I’ve wanted to post more than I have over the past few days. Part of the reason I haven’t is physical and part of it’s mental. The physical part has to do with my right hand. It’s not working the way that it should, the way that it used to. Something happened about a month or so ago, some kind of muscle/tendon/nerve damage. The inside of my right thumb, between the knuckles, hurts like a bitch whenever I extend my right arm. It burns. Best-case scenario, I’ve got carpel tunnel. Worst case, I figure, I’ve got some fast-moving degenerative neuro-muscular disease. My grandmother fought ALS (Lou Gherigh’s Disease) for a number of years before her death, and I don’t want to go through anything like that. That, unfortunately, is the diagnosis I’ve given myself. (I have an appointment with a real doctor tomorrow.) Whatever it is, the pain’s been getting worse. It not only affects me when I reach now. It hurts to do almost anything with that thumb, including typing. As a result, my posts have been sporadic and my emails have been less than exhaustive. I think that people are getting pissed at me.

Someone writes me a well though-out 500-word letter and I respond, “Thanks for your note. –M”

The mental part I was referring to is just procrastination. I haven’t been institutionalized or anything. I’ve just been hesitant to write. Maybe I just don’t want to write anything as god-awful boring as that “I love fuel cells” piece again (see previous, drunken, “I want to save the world by going to business school” post). Whatever it is, I’ve been taking every opportunity given to me to not write.

“A two-hour episode of Big Brother? Sure. Sounds great. Let’s microwave that gallon jug of liquid cheese and break out a new bag of chips.”

So, I’ve been rubbing my fucking thumb and sitting in front of the TV. I want to get the new issue of Crimewave off to the printer by September 15, the new Monkey Power record needs to go to press, and I want to do a better job with this site, but I can’t seem to find the motivation. (I suppose it’s conceivable that the pain in my hand isn’t even real. Maybe I just dreamed it up to give myself an excuse not to work. Could that be possible?)

Actually, my hand feels OK right now, probably because I haven’t typed since Friday night. Hopefully, it will hold out long enough for me to get a few short stories out. Wish me luck.

Fighting over Phyllis Diller’s Panties

Linette and I got into a fight the other night over Phyllis Diller’s panties, or, to be more correct, we got into a fight over a reference I made to them in Friday’s post. The reference, if you’re going back to look for it, is already gone, so don’t bother. I took it down after the fight, thinking that it wasn’t worth the headache… You’ve got to pick your battles in life, and I wasn’t about to make one of my big ones about a pair of an old comedienne’s panties, real or imagined.

“What did you say that was so bad, Mark?”

I said that it was, “dryer outside that Phyllis Diller’s panties.”

We hadn’t had much rain these past few months here in Michigan and, as a result, a lot of our plants are struggling. It bothers me quite a bit. At any rate, I was trying to think of a way to relate the severity of the dryness. Apparently, I took a wrong turn, but I did it in the name of comedy and clarity. It’s important to me that you know that.

Actually, I was trying to expand on that idea for quite a while, but I just couldn’t get anywhere. “It’s dryer out there than Phyllis Diller’s panties during an audience with the Pope?” I don’t know. I was trying to think of something that would be completely un-sexy to Phyllis Diller. “Kenny Rogers?” “Her husband, Spike?” “Jim Nabors?” Or, I could have linked to a photo of some horribly un-sexy person, like one of my friends or fellow zine-publishers. That’s probably what I should have done.

At any rate, the comedy was never fully incubated. I shouldn’t have posted it anyway.

Linette said it made me sound like I hated women. I hope that no one else would think that. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love women and I admire very much the work of Phyllis Diller. She’s a pioneer. In fact, I’ve spent more than a few hours, trying to arrange an interview with her through her agent of Crimewave.

So, at least for a while, it’s going to be all penis jokes here at markmaynard.com. I hope you can live with that? If you absolutely need a joke about a vagina, or panties, wet or dry, please email me and I’ll see what I can do on the side. It may not be top quality, but maybe it can get you through the day, and that’s what’s important. I don’t want any of you giving up on life just because I’ve cut off your moist panty humor lifeline.

The Bachelor Party

The bachelor party last night was good. I got to play laser tag for my first time, and I learned how to shoot craps. I also got to stand on a pedestal in the middle of a giant, inflated life raft kind of thing and beat on another man, also on a pedestal, with a giant, padded log. It was like something from American Gladiators. Very homoerotic. And you can’t ask for more than that from a bachelor party.

Some guy smacked me in the head really hard in the process of playing this game of skill and balance and I felt my brain slosh up against one side of my skull. I could literally feel my brain get bruised up and down one side. It could have been worse though. Another guy, this big, 300 some pound fellow, got knocked out of the inflatable arena and landed squarely on his neck. We all heard a crunching sound, but he jumped up, shook it off, tried to play it cool for a few minutes and then excused himself to go home and wait for his fingers to lose feeling. I heard that someone else had his eye pop out, but I didn’t see it happen.

Later in the evening, things got kind of scary when a woman cop came in and told to us cut down the noise. But, guess what? She wasn’t a real cop at all! She was a dancer, dressed up like a female police officer. Can you believe that? (I should have guessed something weird was going on when the stranger came in a few minutes before her and started the CD player. I forget the song, but it was something like “Hot for Teacher.”)

The important thing is that I didn’t break down in tears when the woman sprung out of her cop’s uniform. I also didn’t run and hide. I just stood there, leaning against the wall, sipping my beer, acting cool. I handled it perfectly. I didn’t ruin the moment for anyone and I have nothing to be ashamed of.

Neighborhood Watch

Apparently, there was a lot going on here in the hood last night, while I was out learning to shoot craps and hold my composure in front of a naked woman. According to two neighbors who came up and talked to me as I chased Foxie around the yard this morning, the house on the next block, the one that there’s always something bad or annoying going on at, outdid itself. Apparently a small fight broke out on their front porch around 10:00 PM. It began after a full day of drinking, when two women began slapping one another. Eventually men got involved and the thing grew. Passers by apparently got sucked up into it too. At the end of it, chairs had been brought out and broken over people’s backs and one fellow had to be taken away in an ambulance after he was beaten to the ground and then kicked in the head repeatedly. Five police cars responded to the scene and there were some arrests made. (I figure our property value probably falls one percentage point for every person carried away on a stretcher from that house.)

I walked by the house today and there’s something that looks like Jed Clampett’s truck outside, all filled up with broken furniture and plastic bags full of clothes. Either someone is moving out, or someone is moving in.

I’ve seen ambulances there two times in this last month and I heard one of the women explaining that she’d fallen in the kitchen and broken her arm one of those time.

There are six apartments in this house. The landlords, whoever they are, allow dogs and they charge less than any other landlords in the area. As a result, they attract people who raise pit bulls and like to drink.

Every morning, as I drive out for work, I see them walking down the street en masse for their first beers of the day. The rest of the day is just spent strewn around the house, on the house’s broken decks and in the yard, drinking, singing, rapping along to the radio, yelling at passers by, etc.

I want to write more. I really do. But I have to work on some other stuff before my thumb starts hurting again.

Good night.

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