from Cousin Harold’s Adventures In The Real World… ‘Cousin Harold, Security Guard’


Baker’s Bad Boys – The Stiffsicle

“I found your cat.”
Words spoken on an extremely cold February night by the older Baker bad boy, Dean.

Terry and his tormentor, Dean (aka brother), were visiting their cousin John, in Hamburg, New York. Accompanied by their father and mother in the house that Uncle Walter built himself. The adults were sitting in the living room, making noises with their mouths about other relatives. Silly Sally, aka Aunt Sarah, and the Baker’s bad boys’ mother were listening in, murmuring about this and that.

“Where is she? I can’t see her!”
Dean spoke upwards to the eager young faces of his brother and cousin looking down from the second story window, which had now been raised fully.
“Come on down and I’ll show you.”
The two blissfully unaware young goobers shouted that they’d be right down, slammed the window, and Dean stood by waiting.

It was the first evening of one of their annual visits which all three looked forward to, knowing they’d be raising hell and the bar for juvenile delinquency in many a series of unexpected events.

The front door broke open, and the crunching steps pronounced the boys imminent arrival.

“Well, where is she!”
Cousin John looked and if a kid could gasp, did so.
There was his beloved cat, frozen stiff as a fur popsicle, horizontal to the ground at the base of the tree.

Terry just stared, wondering what evil brother Dean would make of this.

“Why didn’t you tell me!… do you think she’s dead?”
“She’s a big frozen stiffsicle!”
Poor cousin John erupted in a crying rage, saying that’s not funny. Which of course made it hilarious. Both Dean and Terry cackled loudly.

Dean, in misplaced empathy, picked the departed kitty up and leaned her against the tree.
“There, she at least looks like she’s alive.”
“This was her favorite tree.” After a pause, John added, “I thought I heard her last night, told my Dad, but he wouldn’t let me go out… the bastard.”
This description of a nearby adult, along with the circumstances of the dear departed, caused a frisson * of discovery to rattle through all the boys.
“And now she’s dead!”

At this moment, the fursicle, aided by the winter wind, leaned a little left from the tree, then slid down to the ground below and rocked back and forth.
This caused all three Baker’s bad boys to look at each other in a startle, and then break out laughing.

“Stupid cat!” yelled Terry.
“I am the ghost of John’s cat, meowwww,” pronounced Dean.

“What’ll we do with her, John asked, my mother loved that cat, too.”

This question was solved in short order, resulting in the boys running inside, screaming about how cold it was, how they thought they heard Johnny’s cat. Making sure that his mother heard this, and would react with motherly concern.

“Is she out there, boys?”
“She has to be!”
“I thought I heard her by the front somewhere,” Dean stated.
Terry had somehow vanished in his usual Terry way.

“C’mon, Mom, could you at least come to the front door and see if you can hear her?” Johnny asked.
Silly Sarah concluded that it would be no exercise to simply humor the boys, so she marched toward the front door with them.

A slight but almost unheard meow caused a rustle amongst Silly Sarah and Johnny and Dean standing together.
“What was…”

Simultaneously, so that it was not quite heard, a louder yet indistinct secondary meow was heard.

“That’s Pearl, Mom!”
“Did you hear that, Dean?”
“Yeh, I did.”

Aunt Sarah opened the inner front door to enable a view somewhat through the frozen over glass outer door.
The hush was interrupted by another startlingly clear meow.

“That was her, Mom!”
At which point as Aunt Sarah turned to look toward them, Terry came around the corner of the house and cracked the outer front door, to yell, “I found her!”
This caused Silly Sarah to step outside on the porch slab, while both Johnny and Dean crowded behind her.
“Well, where is she!” crowed Aunt Sarah.

At that time all three boys pointed to the ex-kitty who had been tied to the railing around the porch at waist level, and started a chorus of meows.

Aunt Sarah caught a glimpse and immediately inflated into adult hyperbole.

“You little bastards! Whose idea was that to tie that poor Kitty to the railing!”

Sadly, all three Baker’s bad boys had hustled into the house by then, and slammed shut the front door.

With the two Dad’s talking loudly, and Dean and Terry’s mother enjoying the conversation, it was difficult, for awhile anyway, to hear Silly Sarah’s outraged calls to be allowed entry, accompanied by a chorus of meows at every instance of her insistence on having the door opened.

This was indeed a good beginning to their visit, but nothing in comparison to what was to occur the next night……

©Dean J. Baker

*frissongreatly anticipated teenage rebellion

see more in…. Baker’s Bad Boys 

and don’t miss their cousin Harold…. Cousin Harold’s Adventures In The Real World




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latest prose poems – Soliloquies Of The Horizons


Disclaimer: None of the events in any of the stories in either Baker’s Bad Boys, or Cousin Harold’s Adventures In The Real World actually took place. Therefore, they are untrue. Well, at least none will be admitted.















A Drunken Alan Watts Has My Vote

When I was a small kid I wanted to be Perry Mason. No, not because he was fat and could fall on and crush villains, or had a future as a crippled bastard, but due to the use of words. And he had other people doing the minor details.
Then I heard JFK speak – and thought, that’s it. You could look at Richard Nixon and just lift your leg, fart on him, and that would do it for him.

Thus at the same time, I began to wonder about other politicians. What made them believe they had solutions to almost everything when some of them looked like they last read a book called Dick and Jane?

Was it just that they listened to other numbskulls, and then derived their ideas from what those poltroons had not said as well as what they yapped about? None of them seemed particularly schooled in intellectual discovery, as in had a sense of curiosity that extended beyond their own specific interests.
To me that resulted in immediate dismissal of any desire to know more of what they had to say.

Plus they seemed like moral cripples who waited to see how many yelled ‘yay’ or ‘that’s the ticket’ to validate their ‘ideas’ (really cribbed sketches of ideas), at which point they would either shrink down and run away, or stand up and start drawing attention. No matter if the ideas were good or bad. Like circus barkers, ‘Come one, come all, buy my shit.’ Nah.

Outside the generational politicians with a heritage of riches and thus attendance at highly valued colleges, the only other choice seemed to be in those who had a rough life, and thus could brag about being ‘of the people.’ But were they just incipient psychopaths who did not play well with others? Not exactly a source for comfortable inspiration.

Which brought me to the point where I questioned the fact that many were trying to be inspiring, which I found particularly horror-ible.
One of the philosophers I listened to regularly when I was younger was inspiring just be being himself. Alan Watts. Other than that, he was a fucking drunk who lived on a ship. But brilliant.

You could imagine the insults if he tried to run for office. ‘He lives on a ship, and it’s not his.’ ‘He drinks too much.’ ‘He believes in philosophy, can’t kill enemies with words.’ The usual bullshit from non-entities who don’t have a single original idea between them… but unfortunately, the standard.
It used to be said that a nuthouse was like a snakepit, a mental ward where the only thing separating the chuckleheads from the keepers was who held the keys. That became my view of politics and their supporters.

I heard Stephen Lewis talk. He was the son of one of the Canadian NDP (New Democratic Party) politicos. It was like music. Reasoned, passionate (bright, therefore passion wasn’t about yelling and overpowering, circus-like), and far reaching. Inspiring. He’d get my vote… but the vote was a given, while the ideas were not.

So obviously it’s clear whomever wanted my vote would have inspired it, not solicited it. And to me that said it all about so-called politics. The best and the worst of it. An immediate dismissal of those attempting to earn it (i.e.Nixon), and a yes to those who’d inspired it (JFK).

After that we’d get around to their ideas. And an examination of those in power with whom they had to interact. Which would make clear their characters, for examination, not approval.

Seems like the process is backwards now. i.e. current Prez He may have inspired, said the right things, but he lacks in the follow-up department where he is open enough to speak about what worries a great majority. Debt, jobs, the country’s position in the world and how all those things combine and interact with other influences.

I think Shakespeare got it right when he said, first, kill all the lawyers. Meaning I suppose that there was endless yapping and a protracted misery that made them rich and enabled while others merely wilted or died, and process was reduced to a sterile, tortuous ‘conversation’ in which the principles had absolutely no interest.

Today, we’re surrounded by ‘lawyers.’ A mass of uneducated, unlearned intellectual versions of lightweight flipflops merely reactive to every other flipflop. Everybody knows everything… sort of, they all have an opinion, with a lack of knowledge, schooling in their subject (in depth details), and culture in every aspect, except a very select number of writers, has been reduced to this representative gossip good for old ladies of either sex. I know the sand rats probably love that fact. The country’s making warbling tools, and they’re busy schooling psychopathic warriors, all the while China is quietly taking over and sending an unspoken message, ‘learn Mandarin, ah so.’
When everybody knows everything, no one knows anything.

And the politicians, political candidates, reflect all this. In terms of historical awareness, and an inspiring difference, real ‘smarts’ (articulate with lessons learned from history/philosophy/literature/psychology backing up words) are as rare as a red diamond.
Everybody hears the noise-some crap, but no one’s noticing that it’s not the real thing. No true substance at all because the politicos are basically diaper full and nothing more.

Give me Alan Watts drunk on his ship, or Irving Layton (called Canada’s “greatest poet” by Leonard Cohen) reciting his own poems, Stephen Lewis just talking, or the icon Bob Dylan mumbling on stage (as distinct from the funny person), instead of the current tower of Babel just waiting to fall.

© Dean J. Baker

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