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Monday, April 14, 2003
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

- some dead guy named George Bernard Shaw


The fifth in an ongoing monthly series of mildly amusing true tales of Pete... and the people he meets. Adding to the larger-than-life "Mythology of Pete" through the power of blogging!

= Smoking Ban =

I was scanning the blogosphere, looking for some interesting web logs to read, when I saw one that was "scratched out" on another site's listings with the word BOYCOTT! next to it.

So, of course, I had to check it out.

Before I did, I wondered what the young woman who blogs it had done. I figured she must have killed somebody.

Alas, no, for this is the blogosphere we're talking about. So the reason for the 'Boycott!' turned out to be very goofy. It seems she quit smoking and then relapsed.

All her "helpful" blogging friends decided to do a cyber-intervention and pulled a "tough love boycott."

So, I sent her some words of encouragement...

"Be careful now. Watch your health, as you're eliminating one of the four major 'food groups':

Nicotine, Caffeine, Sugar, and Alcohol.

Without nicotine, your nervous system could get all wacky. Increased quantities of any - or ALL - of the other three will NOT compensate.

Lord knows that's been my experience. Now, I try to maintain a well balanced diet, partaking of all the 'food groups'.

I feel much better too.

Other than the headaches, nervous tics, manic highs and blackouts, I mean." (end email quote)

The web log in question was Cheyenne's "Gnome-Girl" (http://www.gnome-girl.com/). As an aside, if ALL the female gnomes looked as good as Cheyenne, I probably would've forced myself to sit through those boring "Lord of the Rings" movies. But they weren't, so I didn't.

Whoops! Maybe those were dwarves in the LoTR movies. Dwarves, gnomes - what's the difference? Both are politically incorrect terms in this day and age.

Maybe Cheyenne better rename her blog "littleperson-girl" before she's boycotted over the inappropriateness of "gnome" too.

Such a boycott COULD happen, here in Greater Blogtopia!

With the Universe having the ironic sense of humor that it does, I expect all those bloggers now boycotting will one day die of "second hand smoke" health complications.

To quote Jim Carrey in 'The Mask' out of context, that would be... "Smokin'!"

= What'cha Talkin' 'Bout? =

While walking down the street, I saw a nattily dressed woman standing at the bus stop.

She appeared to be talking to herself. She'd talk, and then pause briefly as if listening to somebody answer before speaking again.

In my neighborhood, with a number of homeless people around, this in itself wasn't surprising. A small handful of them have these types of conversations. Usually they are talking with God, or another imaginary friend who might be classified under "Other."

What surprised me was the fact this woman looked like a "Respectable Businesswoman." She was wearing neatly pressed clothes. She wore shoes. Her long blonde hair was freshly washed, coiffed, and did not hold an assortment of leaves and grass. She was not drooling nor waving her arms wildly while having her conversation.

I watched her for a few minutes, listening to this half-conversation, when I noticed she wore one of those new-fangled Wireless Earset doo-hickeys in her right ear.

I only noticed because, at some point, she unconsciously pushed her long blonde hair back behind her ear.

What is this mixed-up world coming to, I asked myself, when one can no longer differentiate between "respectable business people" on a mini-cell phone and homeless crazies talking to the air?

It reminded me of that famous line by cartoon character 'George Jetson'...

"Jane, stop this crazy thing!"

= Macho Macho Man =

I ran into my friend, Kaj, the other day.

He was sporting a black eye. "Did you put a steak on that shiner?" I asked.

He glared at me with his one good eye. He looked pissed off. But then, Kaj always looks pissed off. I think he might have 'anger management' issues.

While I knew better than to ask, I said, "What happened?"

"I was at a bar last night," Kaj began, "and this crazy bastard got up in my face. He's throwing down the insults and I wasn't going to let him get away with that. Things got a little heated...

...then this bastard says to me, "Let's take it outside!" so I shouted, "Let's do it right here! I'll make your ears bleed." You can't take any shit, Pete, cuz those sick motherfuckers will eat you alive. I had to get damn forceful with him...

... He needed a real serious ass-whoopin'! And I was ready to give it to him, cuz I don't put up with that macho bullshit."

Gee, Kaj, ironic much?

So, the bottom line is... Kaj got into a fight. Again.

Working out those 'anger management' issues in his own unique way.

According to Kaj, "We duked it out. That crazy bastard got in one lucky punch, but then I tore him a new asshole!"


So, what's the moral of this little story? There is no moral with this story.

So, you might now be saying to yourself, "Why is Pete making fun of this redneck? Doesn't he like rednecks?"

I've got nothing against rednecks. Hell, some of my closest friends are rednecks. After all, I DO live in Arizona. So I don't have much choice, now do I?

= Don't Make A Chump Outta Me =

I went to the Phoenix Zoo.

I wanted to see the chimpanzees. I figured, since I share around 98% of my genetic material with them, we probably had more in common than I do with most people I know.

At the outdoor enclosure, I leaned over the rail and waved at the chimps. They didn't wave back. Instead, they acted indifferent and continued grooming each other.

Monkeys ARE a lot like people, after all.

A passing zoo employee said to me, "I wouldn't lean over too far. Those monkeys might be a ways down, but they've been known to throw their excrement at the patrons. And they have remarkably good aim, if you know what I mean."

And who says monkeys don't have a keen sense of humor?

At that point, I figured if I wanted to make friends with the chimps, it would have to be a case of "monkey see, monkey do."

So, I dropped my drawers, crapped in my hand, and flung my feces at the closest chimp.

That sure got his attention.

"The tables are now turned," I shouted, "Eh, 'Cornelius'?"

Then I felt bad for calling him "Cornelius", after the lead-chimp in the original 'Planet of the Apes' movie, which is about as stereotypical as you can get when it comes to chimp names.

Sure, I preach tolerance but, when it comes right down to it, I'm as much of a Species-ist as the next human.

Heck, I'll admit it -- I always frowned upon that Diane Fossey. And I didn't much appreciate her co-habitating with those gorillas either.

Does this make me a bad person?

= The Dreaded R-Word =

My 'friend with privileges', Mia the Web-Cam Girl, came over the other evening.

We were going about with the usual "making out", when she began to playfully bite me here and there.

At one point, she bit me right above my hip bone - the one place I actually have some body fat - and I flinched.

"I'm sorry," she said, "I didn't hurt you, did I?"

"No," I quipped, "that comes later in the relationship."

As they say in Jack Chick comics, "Haw haw haw!"

The next night, we were chatting via Yahoo! Messenger, when Mia wrote, "I'm only looking to make out with you but that's all."

She then added, hopefully, "I hope that's ok."

I was perplexed by this sudden turn to seriousness. Confused, even.

So I asked for some clarification: "Do you mean 'making out but no sex' or simply 'making out with sex but no commitments?'"

Thankfully, she meant the latter.

I think my use of the word "relationship" the previous night might've thrown her for a loop.

Just for the record, I meant the small-R "relationship", as in "business relationship" or "familial relationship" etc etc.

Not the Big-R "Relationship", which is always pregnant with uncertain possibilities and fraught with inherent dangers.

And on that uplifting note...

(For The Origin of Mia, see 'Random Bits IV' ("Web-Cam Fun!" piece) of March 25, 2003, in archives.)

= Colors =

This sentence finds me at the convenience store, where I see a Native American leaning up against the side of the building, drunk off his ass.

Two black men walk up to him, and start in with, "How, Chief!" and "Hey Tonto!" as a way of greeting this obvious stranger.

And I think to myself, "If the roles were reversed, and the Native American walked up to them, calling, 'Yo, niggers! Wazzup?? I bet they'd beat his ass redder than a baboon's."

It's something to think about . . . sometimes.

= The Dating Game =

I finally broke down and tried one of those cyber-dating services that are oh-so popular on the Internet. It was a sudden lark on my part to do so.

After a couple of weeks, I got not one response. I don't know where the hell I went wrong this time.

I was pretty straight forward with the "Personal Profile" in which most people end up not measuring up to others' expectations. Ditto with the often embarrassing to admit in-a-public-forum "Personal Sexual Turn-Ons" section.

Then I got to the "A Little About Myself" area, so other desperate singles could find somebody more desperate than themselves. Somebody like... me!

My Opening Line: "I Hate Opening Lines"

In the profile, I wrote...

"I'm 'clean, trustworthy and honest.' A regular boy scout, I am. Oh, wait... the Dating Site FAQ says those three words are overused and that I should avoid them. Well, I'm not retyping it now. Screw 'em!

I'm a bit eccentric. My detractors might use the word "crazy", but personally I prefer the term "eccentric". It sounds much nicer.

My motto: "You better learn to laugh at life, because it's already laughing at you."

Sometimes I can be a little intense.

But just a little. Insert "ha ha" here.

I am the ONE guy on the planet who HATES sports. Did I mention the "eccentric" part yet? Do you need any more proof than this?

I'm not overly fond of people either. Most of 'em anyway.

Gee, I sound like a real catch, huh? Hoo-boy!

I like music (although not much of what passes for "music" on the radio), art and good writing. Sex is o.k. too, I suppose.

As for women, I prefer somebody intelligent, a bit cynical, with a twisted sense of humor. It's also nice if she's really really hot.

I've been told I have a good sense of humor. But sometimes my humor is very subtle.

I write. But I don't think of myself as a writer; I'm a "Literary Industrialist". Hey, we live in a postmodern world and, if nothing else, I'm a postmodern kind of guy... just looking for that special postmodern grrl.

That's all. Ready to move on to the next profile now?"

... Anyway, reflecting on it today, I think I might've had a bad attitude or something about this whole cyber-dating thing. Maybe that came across, and turned some potential dates off.

Who can tell?

Maybe some of my women readers can let me know.

Email me.

Include a picture if you want. Clothing is optional.

= Today's Advice: If You're a 'Crack Whore', Don't Move to Phoenix =

In the last ten months, some seven women have been found murdered in the downtown Phoenix "Garfield neighborhood".

An area about one mile from my home.

After the second incident, Phoenix police Sgt. Michael Smallman, who is assigned to the homicide unit, was later quoted by 'The Arizona Republic' as saying, "my detectives and I said, 'We got a problem.'"

However, the possibility of it being the work of a serial killer - and the quote above - wasn't released to the press until after the sixth body showed up.

I'm sure the families of victims #3-6 appreciated that.

Five of the six dead women had prior arrests for prostitution. At least four of the women had cocaine in their systems, with their deaths first ruled as "accidental overdose."

But, obviously, something caused the police to tie those deaths together. Not to mention raising the spectre of murder, rather than the ordinary overdose.

So, then, the question becomes: Was somebody purposely feeding bad cocaine to these women, then doing whatever it was he was doing to the fresh corpses to make for a similar M.O.? Or was the cocaine in their systems pure happenstance, having nothing to do with the deaths themselves?

On Saturday (4/12), the seventh body was discovered in a camper in a neighborhood backyard.

It was so badly decomposed that gender couldn't be determined.

It might've been a chick. It might've been a guy in a dress. Like many metropolitan cities, Phoenix has a wide variety of prostitutes to choose from.

Late Saturday, the nephew of the man whose property the RV was on had been arrested for this string of killings. According to police, he's admitted involvement in at least five of the deaths.

A word of advice to future serial killers: If you're going to kill people, don't store one of the bodies in your uncle's RV. That will never turn out well.

When I was discussing this case with a friend, he replied, "Seven bodies? That's nothing! I'm from Chicago!"

Chicago land - home to "Dr. H. H. Holmes", Richard Speck and John Wayne Gacy. It's known for at least three things: Blues music, great pizza, and those really dedicated mass murderers.

= War Notes =

1. Hair of War

For anybody who has seen my picture, via the "Pete's Mug Shot" link to left, I'd just like to say I shaved off both my goatee and full head of hair about two weeks ago.

For good measure, I had a friend cold-cock me in the face a couple of times. The bruises rose nicely by the next day.

Yes, I now have that "Prisoner of War" Look that seems to be so popular in Iraq these days.

Why did I do this? To show my support for the troops, of course!

2. War Is Over

On a more serious note, now that all but the mopping up is done in Iraq, I guess what they say is true:

"To the victor go the spOILs."

In my March 23rd entry ("War with Iraq: Winners & Losers"), I wrote about the 'War Blogs'...

"The 'war blogs' are in hog heaven these days. Plenty to write about on these web logs. But what's going to happen, say, next week or so, when the war is over?" (end quote)

The general reaction to that quote was, "You're naive! This war is going to last many many months." or words to that effect.

Just short of three weeks later and, well... I won't say, "I told you so." I'm way too classy to do that.

Besides, I'm too busy getting ready to watch the NEXT chapter in the War Trilogy.

Working Title: "War with Syria"

As far as Iraq itself goes, I'll keep it plain and simple: There IS no more Iraq!

We broke it; we bought it.

Oh, sure, everybody may wring their hands over the unsolvable "united democratic Iraq" conundrum for a while but, eventually, you'll most likely see - abracadabra! - three countries where there once was one. The Kurds, Sunnis, and Shi'a will all get a slice of the former-Iraqi pie.

And they'll all live "happily ever after." Or as happy as anybody can after years and years of sectarian hatred and mistrust.

On the 'War Blogs'...

Best case scenario:

The Anti-War blogs will turn to other pressing social & political issues, protesting these symptoms of a larger problem - much the same way they protested "the symptom of war".

For a short time, the Pro-War blogs will be on the "Rah! Rah! Rah! Ain't America Grand?" bandwagon, but that'll soon peter out. Then, they will turn to other pressing social & political problems - of which, "war" was never one - and suggest solutions that will be in direct opposition to those put forth by Blogs Formerly Known as Anti-War.

Worst Case Scenario:

The Pro- and Anti- War blog factions will, without a real war to distract them, instead attack each other. Thus paralleling what will most likely happen in Iraq itself, until that country is cut up piecemeal.

At that point, Planet Earth will blow herself up out of spite. The end.

On the 'War with Iraq' in general...

Don't get me wrong -- It's great that the Iraqis are now free and happy. It's also nice that Saddam is dead. Or injured. Or currently hiding in Syria.

But, for all intents and purposes, the war ended like, what, a whole day or so ago? Let's move on already!

Maybe it's my gung-ho American attitude speaking here. In the good ole U S of A, we don't look back. We don't reflect on the present much either. It's always on to the next "shiny new thing".

The light is dimming on Iraq. Maybe the next "big thing" will be a 'War with Syria'. Or maybe O.J. Simpson will go ape-shit again, and "allegedly" knife another loved one to death.

It doesn't really matter, because whatever keeps us occupied - and thus distracted - is good enough for George W. Bush. Especially when it comes to avoiding U.S. domestic issues. And that makes it good enough for me, too!

I'm nothing if not blindly patriotic to a fault.

And if you don't like my attitude, then pack up your stuff and move to France.

posted by Pete 1:09 AM
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