Bill's Blither

Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

devilishly handsome, screamingly funny, overly modest

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Highway Bitch

Hah, gotcha. You thought this was going to be an expose on some piece of strange riding extramaritably on the back of my brother's bike. No -so sorry to disappoint- but this is just a bit of bitching on my part about my favorite peave : non-signalling a--holes who cut me off at ultra-high velocity, usually while exiting a highway.

This morning, as I was cruising up 91 at about 75 mph- in the exit-only right turn lane- this arrogant SOB in a yellow BMW cut across 2 lanes WITHOUT SIGNALLING, missing my front fender by 2 hairs on his pompous ass, and took the exit. Now I don't give a rat's posterior that he was speeding 'cause so was I, as well as 85% of the morning traffic on 91, but for God's sake let me know what the f--k you're doing. COMMUNICATE! 80 mph is a bad time to assume that I can read your mind.

I've told people I know at the State Police barracks that lane changes and high speed highway exiting without signalling is at least as dangerous as speeding, but while conceding the obvious correctness of my position (all my positions are by definition correct) they never enforce this law. I checked with the clerk of the Hartford Court and was told that as long as she could remember there had never been a ticket issued for that infraction.

On Rte. 9, a highway with at least 2 lanes in each direction, police started enforcing the law against passing on the right even if the person in the left lane is going 30 mph. They passed out 185 tickets in 2 days for this, over 900 in the following 30 days. Imagine the lives saved on that boondoggle. ( Needless to say, I was one of the lucky receivers of that particular miscarraige of the American Way- worse, I was on my way to my accountant to calculate my income tax). I've also been tagged for doing 30 in a 25 zone- this is excusable because it was the end of the month and the cop hadn't filled his quota yet. But guys going 85 and driving as if the word "signal" was Swahili for "never" apparently are made out of teflon.

And girls, don't think you're off this hook. It seems that 80% of women under the age of 30 are required to drive the smallest, brightest colored sports cars they can find at break-neck speed and to treat the highway like a theme park bumper car ride. Ladies, I know you can make your ideas known- I've seen you be VERY clear in communicating at the local pub- so why in hell can't you push that little signal lever in your car? It's easy, just pucker up and... oops, that's another scenario.

So am I right or am I right? No you can't answer (c) other. One of these days I'm gonna rent a Hummer with a snow plow attachment and clean up all those arrogant, non-signalling BMWs, Jags, Lexi, and free-wheeling sweet young things and make a huge metal pile right there on the side of 91. Love that road rage! Yaaaah!


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Why Am I Doing This?

In the last year and a half, I've made a bunch of life-changing decisions to make a place in my life for creative writing. I've entered a Masters program at Trinity College, written a few pretty good articles, and, of course, am writing this blog. Although I've definitely felt compelled to make all these alterations in my daily life, I couldn't really have told you why I have the compulsion. Until today.

It's not that I haven't written before. I've recounted in a previous post how I won a short story contest run by Playboy Magazine when at Yale, and published some stuff in the Evergreen Review around that time. I also included in that post my failed attempt to write a novel (perhaps the Great American one) while off in the Muir woods with my girlfriend. (I was sabotaged by raging hormones at that time). I've done some political speech-writing, written multitudinous work-related documents (for myself and virtually everyone else in my office), and penned a few newspaper articles. But none of that explains why there is suddenly a gap in my life that needs filling.

Today, however I read an essay in the NY Times Book Review section that jarred my somewhat somnolent mind into some insight. Maureen Freely, writing about the prosecution of writers in Turkey who have been criticizing their state's revisionist view of genuinely abhorrent historical events (ethnic cleansing, for example), came up with the following comment: "During the 70's, 80's, and 90's, so many writers, journalists, and scholars were imprisoned for their views that a prosecution became a badge of honor: if you had not yet angered the state, then perhaps you hadn't said anything of importance".

I immediately reacted (and related) strongly to that statement. I remembered how my emotional juices had flowed in the 60's , manning the ramparts in the battle against the government's attacks on civil liberties and the foisting of an unpopular war on the too-slowly awakening public. Sound familar? I want to reawaken my feelings about injustice. I want to remember how RIGHT I felt being shot at in Mississippi and dragged from the Admin building in Berkeley. I want to prick the balloon of the smug right-wing SOBs who think that things are just fine as they are ("let 'em eat cake" syndrome). I want to trash the Joe Lieberman's of the world who think that they have some secret knowledge (which they don't share) that justifies the horrific actions of the current administration, leading to the murdering of our troops trying to police a civil war that has not been stopped for hundreds of years. Enough, I think I've made my position clear.

So there it is. My mission is to expose harmful imbedded arrogance and pomposity in our society both on a macro scale (governmental), and a micro scale (my own social experiences). My weapons of choice are ironic humor and indignation, in roughly equal measure. My models range from Mark Twain to Will Rogers to Bart Simpson. If successful, I can bring some balance to my own life and maybe influence a few around me. My measure of the significance of what I write is whether what I say "angers the state" or at least ticks off the pompous and the arrogant.

You know , maybe I'd just like to tick a few of those people off, period.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Long, Tall Women

As anyone who has read this blog knows, I am fascinated (obsessed?) by anyone without a y chromosome. So when my brother invited me to a Connecticut Sun (WNBA) basketball game, I left skid marks in accepting. Not only were there to be women in shorts panting sweatily up and down the court, but they were super-sized, on average 12% more female per person than I'm used to. Fantasy heaven. All I needed was my creative imagination and a step-stool.

As it turned out, it is politically incorrect to comment on the pulchritude on display. I was only supposed to notice their athletic ability and somehow not speculate (even silently) on the pleasureable havoc these young Amazons would wreak on my overmatched body in the boudoir. I therefore squelched these unseemly thoughts (sure I did) and forced myself to concentrate on the sports action. This proved unfortunate as unlike their male counterparts, these ladies couldn't seem to levitate more than six inches off the floor. Jump shots were more like the old one-handed pushes I remember from the early 1950's. Although some of the twisting back-handed drives were spectacular, the ball was released 6 inches BELOW the rim. Nearly all of these would have been blocked in a Division 3 men's game.

Nonetheless, the game was competitive and enjoyable. The Sun had an Australian player who dove for every loose ball and also was blonde and cute (oops, forget I said that part). They also had a player who was 7'2"(you can't blame me for the prurient thoughts I might have had here, I mean come ON). Unfortunately, "movement" was a foreign concept for this tree-top female, so she mainly stood in the center of play with her hands up. Fortunately, several players on the Los Angeles team inexplicably tried to shoot the ball exactly where the giantess had raised her hands, which led to many blocked shots. Again, nobody seemed to consider jumping as an alternative technique. Oh well.

Before the game, the cheerleaders, who call themselves a "dance team", were in the hallway outside the gate signing pictures of themselves. They were young and lovely and ludicrously cheerful. Their pantalooned costumes were definitely "Family Channel", any relation to the sexy velcro of the NBA a very distant thought. I've never seen such beautiful, sexless women. Their dance routine was similarly Disneyesque. Even their hip-wiggles looked like a fourth-grader imitating grown-ups. And once again any off-color comment was strictly verboten, a wolf-whistle would probably have gotten me ejected. They signed my picture on top of their images, and I noted that not one of them left their phone number or e-mail address. I think I need to lose 30 pounds and 30 years. Appealing to their intellect seemed doomed to be a failed strategy. Again, oh well.

A warning. If you go to one of these games, be prepared to stand in line if you want to eat dinner. However, my brother Rick and I found a bar fittingly named "Lucky's" which was nearly empty and had great subs. This will probably not work in the future as the place will be deluged by hordes of my readers, but give it a try anyway.

The best part of the night was the time I got to spend with Rick. My brother and I always see each other with tons of people, usually family, around. Several hours of one on one was terrific. He's really a great guy. More on that....