Sunday, March 25, 2018

Before the Clothes Come Off

You will never see blatant sex on DHTiSH because that would be, well, not what this blog is about.  No one is going to stamp DHTiSH as an adult content blog because that would be unseemly.

But, I've been in Baltimore for five years and it's getting to me.  At some point, I have to at least bend to this warped place, but I will never yield completely.

Thus I was utterly delighted to find a Tumblr that cracks me up.   "Before the Clothes Come Off" is a look back the adult material of years ago, but only at the point before the clothes come off.  It's not X-rated, adult in content, but more W-rated.  W for wonderfully warped.

Thus I give you samples from the Tumblr:

Here we have a woman who looks like Camilla in her macintosh gear - you know, rubber fetishwear for the horsey set.   She certainly looks very chummy and good-natured.  Yet under that raincoat, embalmers gloves and waders rests the clammy heart of fetishist. 

This is self-explanatory.  He's wearing a cheap leather jacket, and she's wear more fake leopard than anyone has a right to.  PLUS, the decor.  Exposed wiring, cheap luggage and you have a horny welcome in multiple languages. 

No expense was spared on this set.  Works of important art.  Fine folding chair furniture.  Strappy high heels.  A man with a towel around his head like Ursula Andress in Casino Royale.  You know where this is going.   And these men are about to become pretty-pretty.

What is the sickest thing that you could imagine in porn?  Yes, you have it. A greasy pre-orgy meal at Burger King by three people, two women, and man who all have the same haircut. Oy, the gas!  And the onion ring breath!  Can you imagine!  Snatch!

There is more of this adult fun on the Tumblr itself.  Enjoy!

Before the clothes come off. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Love, all sixteen flavors, and that douche bag

Cookie has run this image before, but it came up on a friend's "What the Fuck Wednesday" feed and it got me thinking about the late 1960s, and the fucked up commercial culture of that era.  For what its worth, Cookie thinks the guy is fugly and Amy needs a bra.  But they both look higher than the Graf Zeppelin.

I mean a douche that smells and tastes like apricots?  The only people I know who like apricots are all over eighty and live in trailer parks in Florida.

Anyhow, reading down the ad, it says "One of sixteen delicious flavors-of-love from LOVE," What are those sixteen flavors?

Well, here's my guess:

1) Strawberry.  Its a given - everything in the late 1960s was Strawberry.  From Bonnie Bell Lip Smack to Boons Farm.  Strawberry is an automatic given.

2) It's citrus, its clean, sure, why not?

3) So far, so good.  I am not a fan of currants because I think that they taste gamey, but then again, someone thought that apricots would make a fine scent for a woman's secret lady place.

4) It's plausible. Not likely, but if the ugly dude like apricots, then prunes are a logical step, right.

5) I figured that since dude likes apricots, and then assumed that prunes would be next, what raisins?

6) Rhubarb - tangy, in the spring.  After spring it gets pithy.

7) Avocados? Imagine, Judy Tenuta, saying: "It could happen."  And it could.

8) It's natural, and garlic has curative powers in folk medicine.  And it would keep the vampires away during that magical yet unspeakable time each month in a ladies life...Again, as with Judy Tenuta, it could happen.

9) It's exotic, has anti-inflammation powers.  Popular with the Brits. What's not to LOVE.

10) C'mon, everyone loves a little heat, right?  I am not that person.  I eschew hot food because food should not hurt you.  But we're not talking about food, we're talking about douches.

11) Again, it's exotic!  What other food do you bury in the ground so it can rot in peace and then dig it up so you can enjoy it?

12) Not that I would ever eat it, but dude looks stoned enough that he'd go for it.   To me, it smells like cat food.

13) I know.  I shifted gears on ya.  C'mon, Winnie the Pooh Face looks like he'd like to eat out the honeypot.  Pot?  Did someone say POT?  Dude!

14) Dude!  It's served at the restaurant in Dad's Country Club.  Yes, it is an establishment dish but with butter anything is good!

15) Yeah, I know.  Could be worse.  Could be Marmite. Pass the Ritz. AND

16) Pumpkin Spice.  Yes.  THIS.  Someone had to get the idea somewhere.

What flavors should I have included?

Four Easter

Cookie is today reporting from the southern edge of the fourth Nor' Easter, aka Four Easter, to hit the Eastern Seaboard in three weeks.   My head needs to be examined, because I am certainly going crazy in the farkatae weather.

There are things that Cookie likes about living in Maryland - it's not all rude ass drivers who can't park a Mini Cooper between the lines on a (U.S.) football field, the simmering racial hatred on all sides.  No, there are some things that Cookie that Cookie likes. 

First, there is the term "Nor'easter".  For those of you who say "You're getting some snow, big deal," I say, no, no, no. 

A Nor'Easter is different from your average low-front delivering lake-effect snow.  A Nor'easter is the joining of two weather fronts: one, a low, from the northwest/Midwest, and one coming in from the south that hooks into the jet stream and collides with the first front, producing "bombogenesis" that circulates counter clockwise. 

Nor'easters produce high winds, terrific amounts of precipitation, snow or rain, and its determinate result are based on whether or not the southern front tracks inland west of the Eastern Seaboard - rain, or tracks east - rain, snow, and ice.

And that brings us to the second thing I love - the term "Eastern Seaboard".  Other places have coasts.  We have a "Seaboard".   There is no Western Seaboard - it's the West Coast.  I just love the term.

Third, I also love being in the "North" of the "South".  In this age of "truthiness" and smug internet trolls who think that they know everything, but don't, when you see them discuss the south, they inevitably leave Maryland off the list.   To them, the South is Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisana, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky.  They leave off:

1) West Virginia - "it was a border state, so it doesn't count."  So was Kentucky, but you are counting it, right? "But it's different because it broke away from a slave state."  But its residents could own slaves even after the Emancipation Proclamation.  Border states slave owners could own people as property up until the end of the war.  It's the south, suga.
2) Arkansas - "What? Oh, where is that?"  Next to Louisana, and Texas, South of Missouri. It was part of the Confederacy.  "They had slaves in Arkansas?"  Meathead, yes, and segregation.  Do you not know anything about the National Guard being called into Little Rock to desegregate the High School there?  Meathead.
3) Florida - "Well, Florida is different."  It's only different in that you take your kids to Disney World.  Slave State.  Moreover, the southernmost point in the continental 48 is at Key West.  Can't get more Southern than that.


MARYLAND- "Maryland isn't a Southern state.  It's more northern than southern..."  Moron, have you ever heard of Mason Dixon Line?  Have you never listened to the lyrics - every verse - of Maryland My Maryland?  This was a slave-holding border state. Just like West-by-God-Virginia.  And that is nothing to be proud of.  We may seem like a Northern state to you, but it's not.  There is still a great deal of "south" around here.  "Not around Liberal Washington, D.C."  The D.C. region is but one facet of the state.  Maryland isn't perfect, but it sure as hell isn't a northern state, Meathead. 

And you can't just make shit up in the name of "truthiness" to fit your argument.  I love Steven Colbert like anyone else, but come on hipster scum.  Stop being a total douche.

Make no mistake, Cookie has no intention of living out the remainder of my life here in the old line state.  I am a Midwestern lad, and I have left the husband explicit instructions that should the end be imminent, that I am going to the Ohios (five states, all different) to expire.

But for now, I am here, in the midst of the fourth Nor'easter in three weeks, just trying to find something that makes me happy about being here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

It was the dishwasher, in the kitchen, with a gel-pack that did it

We have been going through DISHWASHER WOE.  Woe to me, to the husband, and stress with dishpan hands!

But seriously, read this - it could end up saving you a couple hundred bucks in repair bills.

The woe to me is that the blasted thing started leaking water after two years.  Couldn't figure it out.  It's a Kitchen Aid for God's sake.  So it took three visits from the repairman before we figured it out.  The washer arm split at the seam, in a Kitchen Aid, for God's sake!

How Queer?  Seriously, why did this happen?

So the suspects were:

1) The manufacturer
2) The operator(s)
3) The gel pack detergent
4) The water pressure
5)  The water heater
6) The house
7) All of above

The Facts:

1) The manufacturer built this wonderful tri-spray arm.  One arm has a stationary head, one arm has a large head and the other is small head at the end of the last head.  The small head turns rapidly, the large head turns more slowly.  The arm is made of plastic that ruptured.  But why?

2) The operators read the manual, ran the hot water on in the sink, running it until it was HOT.  We plopped a gel-pack into the hopper, and the door closed easily enough.  We set the cycle for normal and we walked away.  In an hour and a half, we opened the door when the cycle ended and a big cloud of steam rose up revealing clean dishes.  So?

3) The gel-pack was from a major label - no off brand.  Bought them at a nation store.  Innocent enough, right?

4) The water pressure was fine, but water can flow, and when it's under pressure, it's going to find a way to break through and it will break through at the weakest point. Which it did, shooting water out between the bottom of the door and the flood pan.

5)  The water heater - a couple-year-old, this one is traditional, nothing newfangled here.  It is supposedly the brand that the plumber's plumber recommends for his plumbing clients.  And they aren't cheap.  In fact, when we bought the house, it was in the + column.

6) The house.  90-years old, traditional.  Center hall colonial, living room with fireplace on one end and the dining room and kitchen on the other. Newer copper plumbing.

The Detective:

I called Trusted Appliance Repair because everyone recommended them.  I mean everyone.  Even the women who turn up their noses at foods at the neighborhood progressive dinner, which are potlucks, and say "I only eat raw organic vegan cuisine harvested by virgins under a new moon because I have* blah-blah and everything upsets my stomach and agitates my Balfour** gland***."

So they send in BatMoe, and BatMoe is terrific. With him is his trainee, Robin, the boy wonder, who hasn't shaved yet.

They come once to look at the problem.

The come twice with the replacement part, which they think is installed correctly according to the training video.  Why are they unfamiliar with the part?

"Yours," says BatMoe, "has this three arm designed that came out about two and a half years ago and it takes a while for these to fail.  Yours is the first to fail that I 've encountered - this just doesn't happen.  So I am doing what the video says to do, but the new arm is just flying off and getting stuck."

Boy Wonder, who is actually really good at looking at stuff on his first day of work says "What's all this jelly doing in here?"  He starts to pull out gunks of junk that look like shredded condoms. "It has no smell, no decay."

I could go one, but it took another day to unravel the mystery, including a call to the detergent manufacturer.  Long story short the solution is on the third visit:


All of the above.  It was a FUBAR all along the way.

First: The water temperature has to be 125 degrees for every dishwasher, throughout the entire cycle.  That 125 degrees is important because a) The materials in the detergent are formulated to work at that temperature for the detergent, and b) the gel-pack dissolves fully at that 125 temperature.

Second: We run the water at the beginning of the cycle to get it up to temperature, but the temperature reduces filling the dishwasher and reduces further hitting the cold dishes since the dishwasher is in on...

Third: uninsulated outdoor wall.  Plus the water in the pipes cools down between fillings because the hot water tank is under the far wall in the living room because that's where the chimney is.  And even though the copper pipes are insulated there's a long enough time between cycles to let it cool down just enough.

Fourth: When the gel-pack is unable to fully dissolve that gel - which is a starch compound - gunks up the washer ports and then the heads and then the secondary holes, and when under pressure...

Fifth: The arm wall breaks, causing the leak.  BatMoe also points out that...

Sixth: The training video for the arm replacement fails to mention the correct position the arm needs to be in AND says nothing about a secondary clip that locks the arm into place by turning the assembly three clicks clockwise.  He shows me the manual, he shows me the training video and he shows me using to parts from the warehouse. And none of them say to do any of this.  So we run the washer and voila! The arm stays seated, the excess rocking is solved and it clears the racks!

Seven, and this is humiliating, but Cookie always found those products to clean out your dishwasher to a be a load of hooey, but as it turns out, not only do they descale, but they also have an enzyme that breaks down the gel-pack residue.

The Fix

I can stop using gel-paks and opt for the old-fashioned liquid or the detergent brick.

I can throw the gel-pack into the washing chamber instead of in the detergent shute in the door.

I can turn up the hot water tank.

I can choose high-temperature wash which will raise the temperature of the water by heating it in the chamber itself.

I will clean the dishwasher using a product designed to keep this from happening again.

So, why share this?  Because this really shouldn't happen, and it is better that you learn from me than have it break your wash arm and land you in a mystery of your own.

So remember, if you use gel-packs, keep the water at 125 or above.  Use a cleaner or vinegar in a bowl with a normal wash cycle, or whatever the manual says to do.   Just don't throw the damned thing in there and not think about it.

* Disease/condition of the moment, or what was covered on The Doctors on the last episode that they watched.
**It's always a body part that has some obscure, or made up name, or the name is hatched up.  Cookie's mother got dreadfully sick when he was about seven.  She was in the hospital for a week.  Turned out it was a Brenners Tumor, which she called a "Bruins Glan Tumor".  Anyway, that was for real, and scary.  And I knew it was serious when the family from Marion drove to Cleveland to see her.  We always went there, they never came to Shaker.  So it was a bad thing.
***Its always a gland.  Until it becomes a tumor.  See above.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

A rather disappointing day, but at least the sun shone brightly

Well, the day started out with great promise.  The Husband and I drove the new Prius to Rosslyn, across the Potomac from DC for a Postcard and Paper Show.  For postcard collectors and collectors of ephemera, these are fun events and items are generally priced reasonably. 

But when we got there, it was a Post Card and Photography Show.  Problem with these is that the postcards tend to be more, and the photographs - things which ten years ago cost a pittance - have skyrocketed out of sight, price wise.

We saw lots of interesting things, but everything was priced beyond our means, or the dealers said "Ohio? No, this is a MidAtlantic..."

It's been years since we've been to these shows and people tend to cluster up in front of the long, deep boxes that hold the cards.  This means two things - you can't get to what you are looking for because some idiot has placed their briefcase or shopping bags on top of the boxes you want to look for, or if you ask them to move you either get a grunt or a "I'll be done in a minute," which is rude.  The older men love using an elbow to get you out of the way, the younger people will shove you aside while you are waiting.

Anyhow, I came away with nothing.  I even looked for nursing home postcards for Baikenage Overkill, but alas, none were to be found.

And when we went into the photography room, I felt very lost, because it's a different "thing".  The pictures are always overpriced, and they aren't sorted well.  Moreover, the early photos, like the cased daguerreotypes and tintypes have been bought one place and shipped to another so many times that no one is sure where they originated from.  So it's not about who the people are, but about collecting pictures of boys with dogs, or women with a hairstyle or daguerreotypes with a certain type of case. But who the people are has been lost, and that to me is a shame.

Then it was off to Vienna, Virginia for lunch at the regions only Donatos Pizza, which we found had put out of business.  Strange - its still live on the company website, but it is closed.  So we ate at Wendy's next door, and that was a downer. 

Wendy's in Maryland, DC and northern Virginia are mirthless places, sad, barren and dreadfully old.  At one point Corporate was trying to sue the franchise owner into compliance.  Lunch today wasn't about local cuisine, it was about food on the go.

Finally, after a stop at the SUPER Bed Bath and Beyond at Tyson's Corner, we headed home, but the Toyota's navigation system kept trying to force us from Maryland 29 (Coleville Road/Columbia Pike) onto 95N.  It kept warning us about terrible hold-ups and slow traffic on 29, so we switched to 95.  THAT was a mistake.  It dumped us into downtown Baltimore where traffic restrictions had everything shut down for a St. Patrick's Day race.

But, on the plus side, we got to spend the day together, and the sun was out, so it was a better day than it could have been.  And truth be told, the last thing we need is more crap.

But I am bummed about Donatos.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sometimes, you have to leave, Part II

When we last left Cookie, that is I, was telling you about poor Merry Mary and how she had to go to Africa. To forget.

She didn't have to walk a block up to UDF and buy a pint of ice cream.  No, she had to to go to Africa.  To forget.   Which is a very Victorian thing for a liberated woman to do.

Sometimes, all of us get to a point where you have to get out, see something new, go someplace safe.  Sometimes the world squeezes and squeezes and you have to let the safety valve do its job.

WELL, we had this windstorm last Friday, and it was a doozie.

It was not a typical Nor'Easter, aka Bombogenesis.  It was a Super Bombogenesis event.   Two low-pressure cells, one headed east and the other - over the Atlantic - heading north converged and the result was would deliver a real blizzard.  But the Mid-Atlantic was too warm, so what got was more akin to a dry hurricane.

It was terrific wind storm with 50-70mph gusts over an extended time range.  It started at noon and the power was up and down all afternoon, with transformers going off like a cannon.  All that was missing was Alfalfa doing his "Charge of the Light Brigade" recitation.

By 4:45 the rain had stopped, and the house was a rocking and Cookie needed a shower.   So I hop in and as I am going through final rinse two unrelated things happened:

1) The power went out with a cannon blast, and it wasn't one of those sounds that tell you it's coming back very soon;

2) This was followed an earth-shaking boom and metal.

The two were unrelated.

Number 2 was a large Sycamore that snapped off at the ground and fell on a car almost killing a woman driving up the road.

Number 1 was our power grid going down for the NINTH time in three years with a protracted outage.

So, I call the husband to warn him about the tree on the car - the woman was fine, the car totaled, the street blocked - and to tell him that the power was out.

Now mind you, the NINTH time in this house and without power, Cookie begins to panic like someone panics when they are in an elevator that is stuck between floors and the cables are snapping.  Power means connectivity and without connectivity, we have no cell service, no computers, no lights and no heat.  Add to that trees falling everywhere.

So when I tell him the power is out, and he knows that my nerves are frayed from an afternoon in this creaky old house, he responded in a very logical, measured New England "I'm sorry."

I am flipping out in the middle of a dry hurricane and I get "I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry" works when you drop a plate and it breaks.  "I'm sorry" works when you say something that ruffles a feather.  I'm sorry works when little shit happens.   But a prolonged power outage?  No, that's when you say "What do we need to do."

I'm sorry is what the clerk at Tim Hortons says when they are out of the Maple Bacon donut you were craving.

But when your spouse is having a full-on panic attack, "I'm sorry" doesn't work.

I hang up, and my nerves go up exponentially, the situation is getting worse, not better and I suffer a flight response.

I called the husband, put on a coat, grabbed my keys and iPad and said when he answered "For five years I have lived with constant, long power outages, and every time I want to do something about them, you say you're sorry.  I can't do this anymore. I can't stay here.  I'm leaving."

And the Husband, who loves me dearly and is blindsided trips over his words and says "where are you going?"

"Maybe I will call you when I get there," was my response.

There is only so far that Cookie can bend when pushed up against the wall.   But now I was climbing over that wall and I needed my own Africa, so I left our house. I had no idea where I was going, but I was going in that direction.  Traffic lights were down, driving chaos abounded because drivers in Baltimore don't know that a dead traffic signal is treated as a four-way stop.

And finally, I got someplace.  I handed the keys to the valet. and walked through the doors of the only place open with power.

Mary may have gone to Africa. To forget.

But Cookie went to P.F. Chang's. To forget.  And calm the fuck down.

I got a booth and I lost it.

To cope, the server said, can I get you anything and I ordered a Diet Coke with a water. The hard stuff.  Booze is not going to help anyone in my mindset.  She brought extra napkins.

I remind myself that there are places on earth where people would be happy to sit in our dark house and not complain.  This is my issue, my problem and in the greater scheme of things, I am being a total pussy.  But, this is my crisis, internally and externally.

I sat and thought about all the time I had said we needed to get a generator for the house - because the power doesn't just go down in the neighborhood.  It goes on a vacation.  It can be three hours, it can be three weeks.  And between both houses, we are looking at 15+ times in five years, nine of which have been in the past two and a half.

And the power company is of absolutely no help what so ever.

Honest to God, these people know nothing.

"Use our app to report your outage!" they suggest.  How the Hell are we supposed to use the fucking app when we have no wifi, and no cell service?

"Check our outage map!" Kind of hard to do when the map has a huge banner across it that reads "Due to high demand, our website is unable to handle your request."

You call their customer service and are told: "You may expect a longer than average wait time."  When you do get a human being, they know nothing.  "If you see a crew in your neighborhood ask them.  They are more informed than we are in the call center. Sorry."

So I am sitting there and the phone rings, its the Husband who tells me he's arrived home, the dogs are fine and walked.  "When are you coming home?"

And I tell him I don't know.  Because I don't.

"Can I come to you?"


So I tell him where I am and he arrives and we sit in a booth and we communicate.

In 22 years we've had one fight, and that night we were not going to have the second.

He hears me out and agrees, it has to be dealt with.  "That house is really dark."

Cookie has never asked for a new Lexus, a trip to Europe.  I have never demanded a Wolfe range.  I have never gone out and spent thousands of dollar on clothes.  Ever major expenditure has to weighed and looked at.  I don't drink, and I don't smoke and I don't gamble.  I also don't sleep around.

He acknowledges that.  And my isolation working out of the house as I do.

We agree on a whole house generator only after I contact a real estate agent and confirm that it would be a plus when we decide to sell the house.

We also agreed on getting rid of a couple trees and drain the backyard which floods.  And then plant the right trees in the right places.

And then we eat and hold hands.

Because at the end of the day, all either of us wants is to be with each other, at home, with a light on to read by or play a game of Scrabble.  To curl up in our bed, to sleep and wake and begin another day together.  We could do it in a trailer, we can do it in a studio apartment. It doesn't have to be fancy.  We just need to be together.

But during the day, when he goes to work, I need electric.  And now the Husband understands that this really is a thing, and we both see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And we leave my Africa together, we came home and went to bed in the pitch blackness.  The next morning it is 42 degrees in the house and the Husband says "Yeah, this has to stop."

By the time the power comes back on, we are rejoicing.

And our plans are moving forward, as we move forward.

Sometimes you have to leave home in order to go back home. Together.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Sometime, you just have to leave

Cookie has shared a great deal with all of you, and I expect one of my life experiences to end up in a book someday so I can sue someone for my original writings.

"What the fuck was that for Cookie?" you are asking.

Well, I am in a Mood.

And this latest storm last Friday was the catalyst for that mood.   "The winds breed depression," according to Paul Bartell's Scenes From the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills.

To understand what happened, we have to go back, back, back, back in time to what happened about 18 years ago with one of our old neighbors, Mary Merry, who was in a relationship with a woman name Nurse Nora.  They were a cute couple, but...

There is an old joke that goes: How many dates does it take before two Lesbians to move in together and form a household based on shared common beliefs and egalitarian values?  Answer: One.  On the second date, they hire a U-Haul and move in, on the second day, they cats together, then they spent the remainder of the relationship trying to figure out how to move out without hurting the other womyn's feelings.

Well, this happened to Mary and Nora.  They met, fell in love and then one day, Mary came home to find Nora's stuff and the cats are gone and note saying that she was accepted in a Masters of Nursing program in South Dakota, and "It will be better this way."

Suffice it to say that Merry was no longer Mary, she was, understandably very hurt and upset.  Inconsolable, actually.

Fast forward about three months and Cookie - that is I - and the husband gets up on a summer morning, he to take the terrier for a walk and I go out to get the paper on the porch when I spot someone who looks like a monster from Where the Wild Thing's Are mucking about in a freshly poured cement sidewalk section.  WTF?

So I see Merry Mary's next door neighbor and we meet on the sidewalk and I ask what in the name of all that is righteous is that beast doing in our new sidewalk?

"Oh, that's Jerry - he is an Anarchist.  AND is squatting in Merry Mary's house," says Neighbor.  "Last night he was screaming "FUCK YOU" you at 3AM and pissing from the front porch roof.   It woke us up and when I opened the window to tell him to pipe down, he called me "a Fascist Pig ready for slaughter."

Where is Merry Mary, I ask?   I wanted to ask more, but I think our neighbor needed a drink and I was afraid at 8AM, telling me more would drive him to crack open the tequila.

"Mary went to Africa."

"Africa? What? Like Africa Road up by Alum Creek State Park?" asked I.

"No.  The real thing.  Mary went to Africa. To forget."

"To forget?"

"To. Forget. It's this Nurse Nora thing.  She felt she had to leave everything and clear her head.  So she is spending a month in Namibia.  So she leased her house to her friend Connie, and Jerry is Connie's boyfriend, and two weeks ago Jerry tried to sell Michelle's furniture and moved all of his anarchist friends in.  There is nothing we can do with Mary being in Africa. Because she is not reachable.  Because she is in Africa. To forget.

And in fact, it was a Hellish three months for everyone on the block because Jerry turned into a 300-pound 40-year-old man-baby who should have been medicated years ago. Even Connie left him - LEFT HIM - in her friend's house, unchaperoned.

He destroyed property, he graffitied our garages, threw trash in our yards.  When Mary arrived, she could get him out because, under Ohio law, he had squatters rights.  So she had to cohabitate with Jerry until the process to evict him went through.  He even told sweet Mrs. Houston to "go to Hell, Imperialist!"

Mrs. Houston looked like Judith Lowry. Her late husband Ned taught labor rights at Ohio State.  And she had a mouth on her that would either spin pure sugar or saltwater.

"I told that vile man that he could 'fuck off'.  I told him I have lived in my house for sixty years and he could shove that Imperialist shit right up his ass," said the 90-year-old woman.  "Then I told him that I was a progressive Democrat and I won't stand for that Mother Bloor bullshit. He doesn't know his head from his ass."

"And I told him if he thought he was going to shock me with his language he had another thing coming."

So what did he say, I asked.

"Oh, he tried to outshout me, so I turned the hose on him and told him that was for urinating in my geraniums.  Hit the bastard in the face with the power nozzle. He squealed like a  stuck pig."

Finally, the police carried Jerry down to the jail, feet first, out of that house and was charged with destruction of real property (Mary's house and our garages) and grand theft when he gave away all of Mary's stuff claiming she had abandoned it.   And then Mary listed the house, mad at us for either calling her parents and demanding that Jerry be dealt with or not calling her parents and letting Jerry get away with this.

It was a no-win situation.

Except for Mrs. Houston, who also put her house on the market as well.  "Now that the fartless wonder is gone, I'm moving in with my son Sidney and his wife.  I am just too old for this bullshit. And I couldn't put it for sale with that jackass next door. Poor Mary - she tried to pull a Margaret Mead and it backfired on her and all of us.  Well, he's gone.  Piece of pie, dear?  It's peach.  Made it myself."  The Husband had two helpings.

But Mary damned us if we did, and she damned us that we didn't.  She would glower at us if she saw us.  Maybe she was embarrassed.  I don't know.  Cookie was no longer "Poor Mary," but was more "fuck that."

Seriously - if you go to Africa - to forget - and you don't get your legal affairs in order, you create the opportunity for all sorts of bad ju-ju.

So today, I am just going to leave my story at this point, and in Part II in the next couple days, I will explain why Mary, going to Africa - to forget - came into play last week in Cookie's life.