Our Cult...

 

...has gained thousands of prospective members that followed us like Moses back from a Super 8 Motel in Hollywoo

Now they are burrowed under our skin where they are laying eggs that will hatch and grow and expand like Manifest Destiny to new unchartered patches of territory on our bodies.

Scabies.

biopara-scabies

Father Luke was infected immediately as he's had it before. We were only beginning to notice bumps here and there and haven't experienced the itching that has had him waking up in tears.


Bingo

 

 

 

Bingo's been off her Lithium for two days and is dealing with it as best she can. Keep in mind that Bingo is out of her tit. Bi-polar, schitzo-effective, OCD, manic. Off her banana. Fucked for lunch. A bit wacky to say the least. It can be hard to convince her that bugs are not crawling under her skin at any given moment. Now there really are bugs under her skin but shes keeping it together in her own way. She dances in front of the command center to Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes and writes "Scabies" across the breakfast table in Cheez Whiz. I didn't even know we had Cheez Whiz but it's good to know it wasn't wasted.

 

Bingo is Oddjob. Her name varies. But it's usually Bingo or Oddjob.

Father Luke shuffled down to the clinic at the foot of the road to get a perscription - or "subscription" as he calls it - for scabies cream. They make you get a perscription so they know you're not abusing it. You don't want that shit getting into the hands of teenagers who will just end up huffing it under the bleachers for a cheap high.

Father Luke tells the Doc that he thinks these bumps are scabies and the rummy Doctor barely blinks and says that he'd phone in a perscription. No test or swab, barely a cursory glance. After you've filled out all the paperwork to prove that you have no money to be feltched dry of, then Doc will just assume your diagnosis is as good as any he could come up with and off you go.

All we care now is that we have the 'scrip. It's been phoned in. We're all set and the worst is behind us.

So we set the bombs to fumigate the house and take off to pick up the Sca-B-Gone and get a motel for the night. It's only after the Zyclon B has been released into the abode that the pharmacist tells us that the perscription that has been phoned in is for Rid.

Rid is an over-the counter medication for crabs that won't do a thing for scabies.

(Oversimplified kiddy version of combating Scabies.)

 

And Rid is an *over-the-counter* medicine. Like aspirin. Toothpaste. The doctor has phoned in a perscription for a non perscription product. That's like phoning in a perscription for a frozen pizza or corn syrup. We have a perscription for shampoo and we can't fix it because the clinic is closed as mites work their way towards our genitals or wherever they want to party tonite.

We can't go home because of the fumigation and if we go to a motel unmedicated we will certainly pass on this affliction to some other poor slob.

 

(pause for hack timing...)

 

So we get a room at the San Jose Lodge because it has a pool and it might be hot in the morning.

We'll get it checked out in the morning.

Xanax will make us sleep through the creepiness.

The drink will make us laugh until we sleep.

The most important part now is to get Bingo to a safe place. She's been laughing thru it but it's been that kinda laugh that you get just before or after you have beaten a homeless lady to death because you were drunk and wanted her shoes.

It isn't healthy.

We get Bingo into a room and we head back to pick up her truck and just as we pass the Safeway, the phone rings with an obviously drunken Doctor - annoyed at being paged by his answering service hours ago - asking over a broken signal what we needed. I assumed the role of Father Luke and tell him he has only moments to phone in the correct perscription before the pharmacy closes. I think he says "OK" and we hammer a right turn and stop the pharmacist that already hates us from closing the addict-proof glass.

The phone rings and we have our cream.

Father Luke has lost his sense of humor at this point, if only to make it funnier. He has welts like he's been shot at with 1000 pellet guns. It's real bad. "I'm dying of small pox and this doctor is drinking Ripple down in the creek."

He runs into his room with the tube of goop like the guy who paid for the rock. He deserves to go first. I'm ok with the Xanax and beer. I don't itch yet so I can still laugh. I know this is as bad as it will get, scabies-wise, and I can laugh.

We laugh a lot here and earlier tonite when we laughed about going to stay at a hotel while dirty with scabies, we high fived and a moth came in between it and was squashed and we laughed again.

We are molding our own oddity and mostly we laugh and dream and scheme and daydream and that gets us thru the slow days and beautiful lack of distractions. I've heard that the rest of the world has problems too. I've only missed having televison when the whole debacle in New Orleans went down. I love watching major tragedy come down on CNN but I still get all my NFL on Sirius and in times of desperation for banality I can still find me a USA Today. And the Saints are my team so the weepy memorials before their games this season won't be nearly as puke-pulling as the Yankees after 9-11.

Somewhere a team of scabies will pause at halftime to mourn the tragic loss of thousands here on Van Dyke street. Am I comparing the Katrina victims to lice? Heavens no. I am comparing humanity to lice. Funny one would be offended by the former yet not the latter. And that, I believe, defends my comparison.

Here's a story from back in the day. I posted it long ago but it stays with the theme and its a good fucking story.

 

 

Perfectly Good Stuffed Animals

People are always quick to justify the aftermath of a bad relationship by simply using standard and somewhat empty words to describe intangible emotions. "I thought I was in love but it turned out I was just obsessed," they'll say, as though they'd just gotten the results of lab work done to pinpoint it. It's a common cover story for the relationship that ended when she had to change her phone number to get away from you. "Oh, ya, I was just infatuated," you'll say, as though you were just a victim of circumstance and had no culpability in the matter.

Christine was one of those girls, one of those circumstances that I couldn't be held responsible for. I was a victim of her beauty and, more so, her mystery, as mysterious as any girl could be at 21 years old. Mysterious and mischievous, the kind of girl who'd talk you into having sex in public only to walk away just in time for you to get caught all alone with your pants at your ankles, then giggle while you were hauled off to jail.

 

(L) Christine, (R) Dave Attell

I met her during a two-week stint at Knuckleheads Comedy Club in Minneapolis in the summer of 1994 after having lived on the road for less than a year. She was one of two out-of-my-league women that decided in the same week to show interest in me, leading me to buy my own press and suddenly dismiss a lifetime of being ignored by hot chicks as a fluke, an oversight that they would be sure never to let happen again. I left town feeling like a pimp on Navy payday and imagined both of these ladies crying into a pillow at my absence. I never considered the possibility that they may have only shown interest in me because I was leaving town. It didn't occur to me then, nor did it occur to me several weeks later when, on seeing an empty couple months on my calendar, I decided to return to my waiting angels.

My cockiness had ruined my relationship with Bobbie within a very short time of my arrival but it didn't matter, as I was sure Christine was the one I really wanted. For one reason, she was the one I hadn't had sex with yet, and two... Well, there was no reason two. Reason one was plenty. And I was so sure that she wanted me that I didn't even detect the sarcasm when she'd said on the phone before my arrival "You can stay with me, my mother will love it." Now I was scrambling for a place to stay.

I wound up doing couch time at my friend Paula's house and spent my days corrupting her 13-year-old son Jonathan. My car had shit the bed a hundred miles outside of town and now I was broke, homeless without a ride or a place to be. I was no longer the life of the party.. Christine was interested in going out and getting crazy on occasion at best. What made it a real disaster though, was that she'd never actually come out and say it. One minute she was giving me a noncommittal and unsolicited hand job while we sat in her car and the next minute she'd go out of town for days with friends she didn't want to talk about. She'd fuck me and a week later deny to me that she ever had, straight-faced save for a devious sparkle in her eye. It drove me mad. The more distant she became the more I needed to be near her. I tried to be cute about it. She had a day job as a secretary for a local used car sales magazine. I got a job there telemarketing for a day, just to see the look on her face when I punched in for work. It was funny, but eventually that type of shit wore thin and Christine told me that she had another boyfriend and that I should, in so many words, fuck off. I was devastated.

I had dates coming up out of town and got myself together to get back to a life on the road. The night I was to leave, I took out the trash at Paula's place and noticed an enormous box next to the dumpster filled four feet deep with brand new stuffed animals. I couldn't imagine why anyone would throw them away. So I get the bright idea and head off to Knuckleheads where she was working and I fill her car - a tiny old Honda Civic - to the walls with stuffed animals, covering every inch but the drivers seat. I called her drunk late the next night from the gig in Sault St Marie, Mich. She seemed mildly amused at the stuffed animal gag, only because I had left town more than likely, but the conversation wound up in a slurring "I-loved-you-and you-didn't-care" diatribe where you could hear her eyes roll as she hung up the phone. She called me a psycho and told me not to call again. I'm sure I did a few more times til she took the phone off the hook. I woke up with that familiar stink of shame and left it to actual road miles to distance me from the embarrassment.

About a year later I finally made contact with Christine, I forget how exactly but it was friendly and we went out for lunch. Eventually conversation turned to that night with the stuffed animals. After several minutes of "Oh-my-Gods" and light histrionics, it finally came out that she had driven around for weeks with the animals in her car only to have her and her boyfriend wind up catching a vicious case of scabies from them. Scabies are evidently much like pubic lice that crawl down into your hair follicles where they party and lay eggs. She said they were everywhere, heads, eyebrows, everywhere. She said the boyfriend still had scars in his genital region from scratching so much. She'd thought I'd done it on purpose. I wished I had. I just couldn't understand why anyone would chuck out perfectly good stuffed animals like that.

Christine and I remain good friends. She's toned down a bit over the years as have I but there's still something about her that keeps me off base a bit. I could say now that I was never really in love with Christine, that it was just a case of wanting what I couldn't have but the reality is that the feeling is exactly the same. Love and obsession are the same emotion, only love requires the obsession of both parties to lay claim to the title. Being obsessed with someone who is obsessed with you, fleeting as it may be, is quite possibly the best feeling in the world. Being in love with someone alone just makes you look like a dick.


My pre-season pick for the SuperBowl - keep in mind this is merely a pick and by no means who I am rooting for - NY Jets over the Dallas Cowboys.

I will still be cheering for the Saints, Browns, Cardinals and any other splended loser who walks into the yard.