This is an old back-burner post that I just found while surfing the archives of the Trailer Park Cyclist Blog. I really got a kick out of it and I have absolutely no memory of writing it. Channeling my inner Thoreau, no doubt.
I hope you like it.
Observe: I have here in my left hand...
Throughout history scholars have
despaired of our race, our species. As far back as Socrates,
probably. Maybe even farther back, all the way to Thales, who if I
remember correctly was Socrates' Grandpa. My Greek History ain't
that strong. But also there is the Old Testament. Plenty of
complaining about mankind in there! Mostly by God. He creates man
and calls him Adam and Adam looks lonely and so God creates (stop me
if you've heard this one) woman and calls her Eve...or Adam did I
don't remember and I'm too lazy to look it up. If you want careful
scholarship go to the library and check out a book, for chrissake's.
This is the Trailer Park Cyclist and I'm typing in a trailer that
actually resembles a beat up old railroad boxcar from the Depression.
The Great Depression, not this pathetic little depression that
everyone seems to think is over except for me, cause I'm still here
Sometimes I Get Sidetracked
So God created the first episode of I
Love Lucy and then, of course,
the trouble started. Lucy got pregnant and had little Ricky, except
in the Bible version his name was Cain and he wandered the Old West
playing a flute and kung-fu fighting and spouting wisdom in a way
that makes him sound like maybe he got kicked by a mule...
Voice? I'm kinda busy here.”
I said that you are confusing Kane
the fictional Shaolin monk with the first natural born human, Cain,
who by the way, was also the world's first murderer.
Of course not.
“I know, Voice, I was just messin' with ya. Now let me get back to work, here."
So anyway, even
back in the very beginning of time (as recorded by the religious right) God was usually pissed and I often wonder about that. My Grandpa was a kind
of god to me, when I was little, and he was an avid keeper of
tropical fish. It was a big deal. One medium sized tank, carefully arranged and meticulously
cared for and he loved those fish. The tank in his den was
holy and after supper we would sit and study on the fish and he would sometimes tell
me stories. Not much though, he was half Cherokee and given to the
taciturn nature of the Natives, but let us set that aside for now.
The important part of the fish story I am sharing here is that my
grandfather was never angry at his fish. He never complained about
the fish or changed his mind and, uh, flooded the fish tank or blast
out his wrath and holler at the fish like some kind of drunk on the
roof or otherwise piss and moan and send other, bossier and
holier-than-thou fish into the tank to tell the other fish how to
live or how to pray and if Gramps ever sacrificed his favorite
firstborn fish for the good of the other fish I never heard about it.
But I was little
and maybe there were things I shouldn't know about.
I'm Glad That's Cleared Up
So: Good Morning,
everybody! It's your old buddy Tim Joe and now that the right hand
has got all of you looking at the left hand I'll say what's on my
mind. It has not one damn thing to do with religion or politics;
religion and politics are the crayons we use to color inside the
lines that are being drawn somewhere by forces we don't know about
and never will, completely. Even though I am a conspiracy nut, I try
not to indulge in conspiracy theory. “Geronimo!” Hah! ,
remember that? Back when we all still loved poor Mel Gibson, the
Lance Armstrong of Hollywood. No, what I'm up to right now is trying
to get a handle on the news. The other morning I was bored and since the
recent storms provided me with a rich windfall of firewood I
foolishly decided to fire up the Ol' Quasitron 6000 Steam Powered
Search Engine and see what has been happening lately in the
world outside the Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Fish Camp.
Ladies and Gentlemen! The Quaz!
arranged the abacus-style keyboard to form the word “Wassup?!”
and tapped the glass on the dials to make sure nothing was stuck. I
made a quick note that I was going to need another five gallons of
Brasso, various parts were turning green. Then, leaping up, I
grabbed the big Go! chain and let my weight (plentiful as it is) pull
the giant flywheel into action and set things to spinning...
|TPC Editoral Office|
Everyone is Rich Again... well,
that's certainly good news. I guess my check is in the mail. I give
the brass wheel another spin.
Improvement Results In Uptick of Housing Market, People Buying Larger
“The Wall Street Journal reports today that the upturn in the
marketplace and an increase in new home construction is revealing
that first-time homeowners are once again buying larger homes, in
record amounts. These indicators of a reviving economy were good
news to Wall Street and hint at a light at the end of...
“STOP RIGHT THERE!” I screamed, almost blinded by the tears of
rage and the overwhelming sense of absolute incredulity I was
suffering as I read these words. I grabbed the slowly spinning
Search wheel and gave it another spin. Dashing up the steel stairs
to the keyboard, I quickly, sheer dread numbing my fingers,
rearranged the beads to say “What About the Cars...” Then
stumbling back down the stairs to the big six by ten foot cathode ray
black and white screen, I saw only static and a rolling horizontal
bar. Kicking the Quazitron injudiciously, I watched in dread as the
screen cleared and I saw what I knew would be there:
Manufactures Report Record Sales...
“Major automotive retailers reported today that sales have reached
a five year high. Leading the market were the new “crossover”
cars with improved fuel economy, many getting over twenty miles
I hopped over and collapsed into my chair. I propped my throbbing
foot up on an old discarded wire spool I had found somewhere in the
If I were God, or even just a drunk on the roof, I would right now be
screaming at the fish.
Cue Sam Kennison
“BIG HOUSES NEED MORE RESOURCES TO OPERATE! BIG CARS NEED MORE
OIL! AREN'T YOU FUCKERS PAYING ATTENTION? AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!
Obviously not. We are obviously not paying attention. Like precious
tropical fish in an aquarium we foul our tank with our waste. But
there is no kindly halfbreed god to change the water and check our
pH. It is up to us. No matter how wealthy we become, we will
continue to be slaves until foreign oil is no longer of even the
least interest to us or to the benefit of our national economy.
“They” know this. “They” don't care. They know we are
stupid and oblivious and distracted by bright flashing images and
shiny new things.
I discovered this “base-life” that I am living by accident. One
major mishap in my business, a contract that I didn't get, put me on
hold. It kept going. New work came in, but it was not enough to
support our lifestyle. We moved to the Pines, temporarily, three
years ago. The Blonde, despairing of me ever again rising to my
former glory, was forced to get her now teenage twins out of the
trailer park. This place is one foul fish tank indeed. She moved
into a condo in town and I moved into this boxcar, because it was
free. Then the microwave blew up, a victim of way too many chinese
noodle suppers. Later, the refrigerator died. There was no money to
replace these things. I put them into the trailer park recycle pile
and swept the floor where they had been. I shook off the dust. I
have been living without these necessities for awhile now. I barely
miss them. I started counting how much electricity such a life
needed. Not much.
Sure, It Works For You, But You're Weird
I realize that most people could not live this way. Not American
People, I mean. Otherwise, there are people living this way all over
the planet. Up until about a hundred years ago, everyone
lived this way. We were just not doing it right. Coal smoke
blackened the sky and disease spread rapidly, as it is wont to do in
a fish tank. But we could do it better, and we did. But...
Everytime necessity forces us to get it right, we rally our resources and do so. Things then get better, of course, and then...we go right back to doing the things that started the problem in the first place.
Lifestyles of the Down and Out
I'm living without an air conditioner. In Florida. In the summer.
It's no big deal. I have screened all my windows and moved some
walls around and set things up so I can catch the breeze no matter
from what direction it comes. I have strategically-placed fans.
Life without refrigeration is a little tougher. I miss drinking
cold-as-hell beer. I don't drink ice tea, or milk or chilled
lemonade. I drink room temp water from the tap. I'm still alive.
But yeah, a refrigerator would be nice. Before it died, I was using
one of those little dormitory units. It was plenty. The microwave?
I never did trust those things anyway.
I'm not holier-than-thou, I hope. Just poor as hell. But I am, on
purpose or not, a kind of warrior. I am a soldier in the Fuck You
Army. Fuck you and your oil! I'll walk, pedal my bicycle or take
public transportation. If I need to get my tools to a job site, I'll
hire a Cab Truck in the appropriate size to haul my gear to the job,
where I will store it with my fellow tradesmen in our
surplus-purchased shipping containers.
When off work, I can get anywhere I want to go on the buses and
trains that run every fifteen minutes. There are bicycle cars that
are a blast to ride in, a chance to hang out with my fellow cyclists.
There are public bike stands at every stop.
Since we overcame 'Them” and initiated a national movement to
outlaw private ownership of automobiles, oil is cheap, and local
governments have been able to rebuild failing infrastructure to
support sustainable transportation. Our downtowns are alive and
hoppin', with food stands and cool saloons with bicycles tied up out
front instead of horses, even though horses are also making a
comeback. Horse crap ain't a problem; urban gardeners fight over the
Now that we have all caught our collective breath and returned to
sanity, the immigration problem has gone away. We're doing our own
dirty work now, since it doesn't take a small fortune to support a
family of four anymore. The poor immigrants all left, headed for
Every Movement Needs Someone To Blame
The strangest twist of all was how, based on the writings of a simple
little man living in a trailer park in Florida, we changed our way of
looking at life. It became ridiculous to want More. We learned to
laugh at greed. Our national and tribal incentives were toward Less.
Popular culture faded away, pretty much. The silly and pompous
became more than just foolish; excess wealth and power struggle and
avaricious intent came to be considered a sin punishable by death.
(Yeah, we killed them. Brittany was the first to go) After Simple
and Poor became the New Rich, professional athletes and big name
actors (like Mel) were endangered species that we didn't try to
protect. Heroes to us these days are the people who are living the
simplest, doing the most with the least. There are local
competitions for the Least Awards.
The Malls are all livestock barns now. There are waiting lists for
trailers in small mobile home communities. Local craftsmen build our
furniture, we eat locally grown crops. There is plenty of
everything. Even for the bums. In fact, like ancient Greece we have
bums who we indulge. They think they are philosophers, but really we
just get a kick out of their bullshit.
We owe all this to the Cyclist who showed us that to have too much
was a true crime, against man and nature. There is no benevolent
keeper-of the-tank to take care of us. If we don't learn to live
simply by choice, our descendants will learn to live simply by
necessity. We are the Gods. It is Us.
All Hail The Trailer Park Cyclist!
Glory Be To The Trailer Park Cyclist!
Hey, wake up!
“Wha...where, uh..I guess I nodded off.”
You were laying
there on the floor snoring like an old hog. It was positively
“Uh, sorry, Voice, I got a little worked up over the news...”
I don't know
why you even bother. Anyway, get up, I want you to meet my cousin
Whispering Pines Trailer Park and
Written Sometime in 2012-13, posted June 27,2014 (the future)