Arp! The Harold Angels Sing

‘Tis the season and all that shite. The softly drifting snow, the twilight’s gleaming, my love is somewhere dreaming of me in ways I don’t know.

Presents for them, but more for me, please. The tree, and food, and drinks. The sweet release from everything and everyone ordinary.
In other words, slush and freeze; shivering in jeans, a woman who doesn’t know enough to step up and say hey, come with me, or hello, I’ll be there soon.
Money spent and gone on things I can’t afford for me, the damn forest in the middle of the living-room. Food someone else made that looks good but tastes like a wino’s dream, and drinks as if we were bobbing for crapples on Halloween.

And then there’s my cousin, Harold.

A genial guy whom everyone, who isn’t busy hating or disseminating the squid ink of their own self-pity, can genuinely feel affection for. No false pride, not any particular twitch to score on anyone.
The only thing is Harold likes to be the nemesis to all, to be the one who either says or brings to light whatever might be uncomfartable for all.

The other night, Aunt Biddy was telling him, ‘Well, Harold, have you found yourself a good woman, yet?‘ And Harold of course had to say, ‘No, but I’m making progress towards building one. I have a couple who have just the right parts, but just don’t fit together. You know they say seen one, seen’m both, but can’t make them wear tattoos, have piercings, or dress up in leather.’
Harold had pretty much been gobbling all the food he could handle, hoovering down like it was going to melt and disappear the minute it hit the plate, so he resumed munching his way through the yuletide feedbag.
That was ok with Uncle Dumpy, but anti Biddy, did not appreciate Harold’s enjoyment and thought he ought to proceed as if he were perched upon an imminent colostomy.
Shades of John Keats!
Harold! Can’t you have some manners! Doesn’t this season make you want to be popular, to have lots of friends surrounding you, to have them all wanting to see you, impatient to know how you’re doing, to have them lined up at your door?’
Harold, of course, took this opportunity to politely inquire of Aunt Biddy, ‘You mean like a prostituti?’

Auntie dropped one of her two drumsticks and was about to recover when Harold tucked his chin in and processed some of the finely seasoned swill he’d gotten down so far.
She looked at me, who for once wasn’t thinking about various self-congratulatory names for my huge throbber, and said, ‘What the hell was that!’
Joy to the world? I replied.
At which point, Harold decided to join the party and buzz-sawed his arrival in the form of a loud and raucous fart.

It’s in the bible, Auntie, I said. Make a joyful noise.
Harold’s spirit got the best of him then, and he asked Aunt Biddy, hey Auntie, what’s brown and sounds like a bell? Dung!
By this time, Uncle Dumpy was laughing so much he spilled some of next week’s leftovers onto his chest. Harold, having consumed more than enough, took one look, flushed, and proceeded to honk out his evenings’ consumption as he fell over the couch trying to run for the porcelain altar.

I was only laughing but that caused the food to rise in a hasty process, and I simultaneously blew gas and arked upward like a demented choirboy causing the outraged Aunt Biddy to demand again: ‘Jesus, what the hell was that!’
Duet? I asked.
She looked like she had a stone’s worth of something that needed processing herself with the frown and pursed lips; pointing to Harold sprawled over the couch arm and twilight zoning a look at me, she squealed, You! And him! What is this!
Arp, the Harold angels sing, Auntie. It’s the real Christmas.

©Dean J. Baker

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Some Anticipate Ricky Gervais

some anticipate Ricky Gervais
being offered huge sums
for the sequel, about farts,
to The Next Sneeze,
until I mentioned clergy of all sorts
has that sewn up every time they

whisper ‘I bless you’ they’ve just
blown gas worse than mustard spread
in World War 1
explaining the paradisiacal state
being mistaken for bliss
and the danger of a clerical kiss

©Dean J. Baker

*note: love Ricky Gervais’ comedy  *’The Next Sneeze’ doesn’t exist except here


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Fantastic read. I don’t want to say more to avoid giving anything away. Get it, you wont regret it.

Cousin Harold, Security Guard – Part 1

“Of course I like to help people – from my desk, with pop and chips. It’s the thought that counts.”

So stated a laboring Cousin Harold as he struggled against the imprecations of one Mrs. Grumpypants who was shoveling inspiration as quickly as she could on why Cousin Harold ought to apply for a job, somewhere.
Cousin Harold had been having a bad time considering the dozens of jobs for which he ought to apply and it had tired him out daily so by the time he came to actually having to do something about it he found himself caught in the philosophical dilemma of ‘to do, or to be’ and mostly this became boring after a few seconds so he fell asleep on the couch with the newspaper folded over him.
This was usually how Mrs. Grumpypants found him after returning home from work.
“Harold! Wake up! If you think I’m going to fix dinner after working all day while you lie there like some sunbathing hobo sea lion, forget it!” (Cousin Harold had tended to put on some weight due to his restrictions of looking for work while basking on the couch.)
Cousin Harold woke with a silent curse.
After a brief time when he was so startled and woke cursing and yelling back, only to find Mrs. Grumpypants was then in her element where she never tired of attempting to cure him of his mistaken apprehensions about her words and his idle search, he’d decided he knew what was best: be quiet.

At first he had simply started walking around hunched over and shouting, ‘Bawk! bawk! bawk!’ every time Mrs. Grumpypants started her daily after-work inspiration lessons, but as that only infuriated her, he’d simply found that pretending he was some stuffed exhibit allowed her to feel she was making progress. The more progress, the less talk.

What Mrs. Grumpypants did not know was that every single morning after she’d left for work, Cousin Harold struggled into his clothes and made his way to the local café, where he purchased breakfast and forced his way through the want-ads.

Full, tired from a strenuous intellectual perusal of ads-for-gomers, and thus slightly disheartened, Cousin Harold then made his way to the couch that just happened to be positioned to catch the afternoon sun. Normally he would have to do the crossword puzzle in order to lift himself from the stupor of staring at employment ads, and quite often in these times he would find himself calling his poet friend. Dr. Dean.
Dr. Dean was not a real doctor, philosophical or otherwise, but he liked to use the term so that when appropriate, which it never was, and he was asked about the title, he’d merely crow, ‘Dr. Dean – at your cervix!’ frightening away the women he hallucinated might fall into his net through sheer admiration of his cleverness.
“Hey, Cousin Harold – what’re you not doing?”
“Well I went to the café, had breakfast and by that time it was close to noon, so I had lunch, did the crossword a little bit, which made me tired so I came back here, and I’m looking for work.”
“Any luck there?”
“Not yet. You-know-who is bound to be home soon and I was hoping I could find a job by then, or at least some likely looking prospects to point out to her so she’d leave me alone for another few days.”

“Fuck a duck. What about dinner? You make it, or her?”
“I usually stuff my face at the café and then when she asks about dinner, I tell her I’m struggling with my diet and I would appreciate it if she’d not throw temptation in my face.”
“What’re you going to do about a job? She’ll leave or throw you out.”

“Dr. Dean, I’ve been doing everything I can. Anyway it’s quarter to 3, I’ve got another two hours before she gets back home, so I’m going to take a nap.”
“Rest them barnacles, Cousin Harold, never know when you might have to do something.”
Only a few days later I heard whispers that Cousin Harold had truly been looking for work – but for a second job for Mrs. Grumpypants. ‘Well, she never does anything except bitch and gobble a bundle of scraps and then fall asleep before she has to get up and leave again in the morning, and we need the money.’
When Mrs. Grumpypants discovered his true meaning, she let fly. Cousin Harold found himself waddling to the café without money, and his game controllers busted when he got back to the house.
“Dr. Dean! Help, I need work.”
“Cousin Harold, you don’t need work. You need a job. Remember the difference. I’ve learned from many an academic.”
“What do you think?”
“I was looking through the want ads myself, for entertainment you know. I saw…”
“Hey, what about a job like you had one time? At Hell-Tech?”

“True.. why don’t you try for work at some department store as a night-time security guard? Be perfect. Walk around every hour or so. Hear a break-in, run to the other end of the store and call the cops. No intruders, you can doze on a new couch or three.”
Next thing I knew I got phone call about 2 a.m. that evening.
Cousin Harold was on the job. Woe to the world of commerce.

©Dean J. Baker


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