Pine Ridge, SD
Slim Buttes – Meant to tell you about the radio show. It’s hosted by me, out of my place here, doing all manner of innovative against-the-brain irreverence atypical of contemporary broadcasting formats, working in a few comedy sketches, poetry readings, music from Africa and the Caucasus, self-promotion, wise-cracking, and functioning essentially as a pirate station, broadcasting at 50,000 watts.
Fifty? Yeahhhh. They say on a clear night, they can pick me up in Nashville.
Did I say ‘against the brain?’ My bad. Freudian slip. I meant to say, ‘against the GRAIN.’ Although I never use my name, given name or stage name, you’d know it’s me. That’s how I identify myself on the air, like someone at the door, or over the phone; “It’s me.”
Oh. Almost forgot. KNRBbbbbandit, somewhere around 610 or fifteen on the am dial, give or take a couple frequencies. Sometimes you may find me up around 1650…nearly off the band at both ends.
Friday nights, nine eleven to 1 a.m., give or take a half hour, depending on how quickly I may need to shut down and close up shop. With that kind of transmitting power, I can override most stations, so you should be easily able to pick up the show. If they ever triangulate my position, I’m dead meat.
You wonder where all the oil went? Me, too, there for a while. Then we got shifted over to miners in Chile and election stuff, and forgot alllllll about that oil. What did they say? Vaporated? WHAT? Yes. Magical, magical. Poof. It’s gone.
‘Annnd now…we’ve got 31 guys trapped a mile undergroun, my friends…’
That sort of trapped-in-a-mine shit happens like clockwork in China, alllll the time, and nobody cares, except the families. In fact, it did. They had a cave-in at the same time, the guys over there, speaking Chinese of course, asking the world, fixated at the moment on Chile, ‘Hey, you guys. What about us?’
Well, they’re all out now. The Chileans. I don’t know about the Chinese guys. You hear anything?
The ‘Fly The Rez’ kite contest was a fabulous success, held here on the grounds, and I can’t describe how much fun it was. We had ‘altitude’, ‘duration’, and ‘last man standing’ categories, and I won all the events.
I arranged a small harness for my opponent, the white cat,* Oscar, Chester, Casper, whatever he said his name was, that appeared here a few weeks back, but the apparatus proved to be unmanageable, with the cat invariably getting all tangled up in the string or freaking out every time the kite would lift it off the ground and carry it a few yards away, so most of the events went to me by default since there were no other contestants.
One of the highlights of the contest was duct-taping the mice into a tri-plane (as you may imagine, the cat was going absolutely nuts during this procedure) and sending them up, suspended from the kites, setting new altitude records for the 335th (Slim Buttes 335th Aviation Squadron)**, but after a couple of the pilots extricated themselves from the cockpit and fell to their deaths (no parachutes. we’re 100% legitimate, rudder to prop), we discontinued the exercise.
I didn’t witness the deaths. They were too far away and up too high. When we brought the kites in and looked into the planes, they, the mice, were gone. You can see the excited smiles fading into disappointment on the faces of me and the cat.
Ohhhhhhhh yeah, the Goldilocks Planet. Sure. How many light years? Like we’ve got someplace else to go now? Stop. Say no more.
You see the sequel? Why do they make them? You ever see a sequel that was better than the first?
Uh. ‘Fly – The Sequel’***
Why don’t people like Buddhists? Working from partial notes here; aren’t all notes partial? That’s like all those referees turning on their mics and saying, ‘After further review…’ They reviewed it, then they reviewed the review. Wasn’t the first review the review? After further review of my notes...
With all the Islamophobia floating around, someone conducted a study, you saw, on toleration in America, or lack thereof. Turns out, Americans like atheists, agnostics, Mormons and snake handlers before they like Buddhists.
Geeeee. What’s that say about us? What do they, the Buddhists, stand for? Awakening? Compassion? They wearing dynamite vests? Goes against our aggressive American grain, that compassion talk, not to mention Biblical scholarship. It’s against the spirit of gun laws, except in places nearly like San Franciso and Boulder, Colorado, of which there are none, where citizenship is defined by ownership of two bandana-wearing dogs and at least one strand of Tibetan prayer flags.
I don’t get it. We’d prefer a godless neighbor, or that person who just isn’t sure, over that guy who just sits there, doing nothing.
Smile on his face.
What’s he up to?
It’s so damned dark in here by candlelight, I can’t see my notes. Partial notes.
Here’s a bumper sticker T-shirt idea:
‘Shit Happens - as a result of prior shit happening’
There are a number of things you don’t have when you don’t have electricity, I noticed.
You don’t have:
electrical short circuit
What happens when you’ve used up all your words and ideas to the point where what you’re saying sounds like the shit you’ve already said? Did old man Macbeth run into that? Man on the radio proudly said he’d (not Macbeth. The guy) written 117 books. Now, that’s cranking, isn’t it?
As I was headed south across the Nebraska panhandle toward Cheyenne, I come up over a hill and holy smokes, there’s not one, but two State cops pulled over, lights flashing.
Just off the road, with the help of one of the cops, two guys were struggling to offload a huge bull elk, massive rack, obviously dead, from a pickup truck, over the barbed wire fence, and into another pickup on this side of the fence. I wondered if the animal had been poached, since the cops were there, lights flashing.
Putting my pipe out of ‘plain sight’, I braked and pulled over and stepped from my truck. Hitching up my belt as I approached the four men, I affected the puffed up manner of someone in authority.
“What’s going on here?” I demanded.
The young cop standing in the back of the pickup with blood and elk hair on his hands began, “We’re trying to ge…” before being stopped with a hand check by the clean, older, serious cop on my side of the fence.
“Who are you?” he asked, suspiciously eyeing first me and then my truck.
“I’m Colonel Brovvik, commander of the Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Squadron,” I said with a gruff, authoritative indignation, fully prepared to explain myself further, if necessary.
“Colonel WHO?” He didn’t buy it. Not for a minute. I was wearing sandals.
“I advise you to return to your vehicle, Sir,” he said, ‘overing’ on me in a serious tone that suggested little patience for interference with official in-the-line-of-duty Nebraska State cop business. I would either have to bluff, fold, or play it half way. There was no way I could prove my command of the 335th.
“Is there a crime here?” I asked. “Who shot the elk?”
“I got him,” said one of the men proudly, which told me the whole story. No crime, with the clean cop advising me again to return to my vehicle.
“Thought you guys might need some help,” I said, walking away. At least three of them must have thought so, too, judging by the size of the elk; six, maybe eight hundred pounds, and could have had the assistance were it not for Officer Clean. All the way to the Wyoming border, I expected him to roar up in my rearview mirror, chasing a fishy story.
No Problems Anymore – Just ‘Issues’
Have you noticed, or is it just another overused word? Nobody has ‘problems’ anymore, just issues. On the radio, I hear guys talking about car repair issues, lower back issues, issues in the defensive secondary, immigration issues, NASCAR pit stop crew issues, health issues, firearms and concealed weapons issues, eye ear nose and throat issues, deer hunting issues, jogging issues, and Johnny Cash’s daughter’s growing up issues. It sure is comforting to know people aren’t having problems anymore.
Other really overused words:
‘ExACTly’ - Used in response as an affirmation. Replaces ‘You’re right’, ‘You can say that again’, ‘uh huh’, ‘For real’, ‘preCISEly’, ‘Fucking aye’, and ‘Yes’.
‘Actually’ - Heard it used more than a dozen times in each of three separate ten minute interviews; a political commentator, a UFO researcher, and a seventh grade girl scout. Please stop.
‘I held my nose/I closed my eyes/I took a drink’****
*showed up here hungrier than hell, looking like someone had tossed him out onto the gravel road at 50 mph. A white male, one blue eye, one yellow with a cataract . Who needs a cat with cataracts? “I don’t have no cat food,” I told it. “I don’t even like cats.” Looked up in the cupboards. “All’s I got’s this tuna,” I told it, opening the tin. When the smell hit him, he looked like he’d been hit with electric shock, eyes stricken with surprise, like in a Tom and Jerry cartoon.
**Fly – The Sequel
In this case, the sequel is expected to outperform the original. Did you see it? I don't know how much to give away here, and could allow you to await its release in theaters, but the gist of it is me as fly ninja assassin, the best in the world, with scenes of me giving lectures and swatter demonstrations - to a class of cadets, a round table of Chinese businessmen, Larry King, Oprah, a parenting class of 6 mo.-olds (a mother proudly exclaiming, "He's so gifted!" of her fly-swatting child), promoting the book on the Today Show, and so on, technical stuff like backhand, ceiling slap, long-range detection, recognition and interdiction...looking for a way to tie it all together, and another way to end it, and another way to make it appealing to a large audience who wouldn't instantly think the producers were insane. Who would've thought Planet of the Apes would have taken off the way it did?*****
***renamed ‘Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Squadron’
****‘Love Potion #9’. If you know the rest of the words, you have my deepest sympathy.
*****"You've given this a lot of thought, haven't you?" said Louie in surprise when I ran the idea by him. I reminded him that I'd witnessed him talking to them, he had two swatters, right there on the table, and the reasons why we hate them; they eat shit, ok? They're cannibalistic and necrophiliacs, Jeffrey Dommers of the insect world. They make maggots. They like to land on your food without washing their hands, especially after eating shit, and they like to wake you up by going up your nose, to list a few. Bo knows. Those guys live in a trailer. He knows what it's like to wake up swinging out of a dead slumber. Bolt upright out of a deep delta rhythm sleep, cursing and swinging at the air, maybe slapping himself in the face. Even my dad, a truly peaceful man, hated flies. He's the one who got me started. You get hit and land dead in the gutter, who's the first to show up? Cop? Ambulance? Bystander? No.