Saturday, September 11, 2010

...I have a new poem, "Great Imposters" up at and here under "Words In Print." I think Shannon Pell, who runs, is a top notch guy. I do not usually use that expression "top notch." It isn't my style and sounds a little stiff and old-fashioned, so I've just this second decided against using it anymore. How about this: Shannon Pell is one of the good guys, with an editor's sharp eye, and he also gives voice to thousands of great words and pictures that would otherwise be lost... There, I like that better.

I like to make up stories. I'm a writer. When my kids were young I would make up real vivid yet outlandish tales. Even now, all these years later, I'll make up wacky tales or twist around the ordinary in sch a crazy fashion that when I do, on ocassion, tell them something very strange but true, they say, "Uh uh, that didn't happen," and then I'll have to offer up Pinkie Swear so that they listen. Well today..
--My son's soccer coach told me a story that seemed like a movie script on par, if not surpassing that of "The House of Sand and Fog."
--Her old neighbor and her got into a feud. (I pictured him in overalls, skeletal and grisly, sort of like John Carradine, if you remember David's dad, or else the evil lighthouse caretaker in all those Scooby Doo episodes.)
...Anyway, feud...
--They both had adjoining homes in the country and shared the same property line. He kept plowing over their side, intentially tearing up their lawn. Then he'd shoot at their dogs if they wandered over. He got a backhoe and dug an enormous gully between his land and hers, not only that, but he filled the ditch with tons (literally, tons) of reeking cat crap. Not satisfied, he'd buy junk cars that had been squashed and flattened for scrap metal. He'd poison all the trees on that side of her house so that she'd have no choice other than to look out her window, seeing her land framed in rusted steel heeps.
-The clincher came when one morning she was going to fly somewhere, had luggage in her hand on the porch, and the dogs got loose, bursting out the door and bounding outside. She thought, I'll just put the bags in the car and then grab the dog. However, right as she was closing the trunk, she heard a heard a rifle blast ring out.
--The neighbor shot her dog! Not only that, but he wouldn't let her carry the body back to her house. She had picked the pet up and had it cradled in her arms when the neighbor came flying and tackled her. They tumbled on the ground, wrestling for control. He smacked her on the head, then cabled the dead animal by the neck, dragging it away before finally dropping it in a ditch.
--So the woman calls 911, right? A short time later, seven SWAT cars arrive, with uniformed marksmen wearing bullet proof vests, rifles drawn, guns sighted. Grisled neighbor dude comes out with a chainsaw screaming and, over the din, matter-of-factly asks, "What seems to be the problem?" They take Grisly Adams in, book him because they eventually locate the dumped animal carcass as well as--get this--the dog's collar in Grisled dude's pocket.
--The guy later misses court hearings. Then he's booked on more serious charges. Five days after his arraignment, he kills himself. Yep. Might even have been the very same rifle.
--Back at his L-shaped ranch home, investigators discover over 200 cats living inside! Which explains how he could get his hands on all that cat crap that he used to mound up across the shared property line. With 200 cats, he could probably scoop a few tons out of the kitchen alone.
...What a story. My jaw dropped, then dropped again, then hit me in the ankle. Yes, indeed, life can be stranger than fiction, which now, is time for me to do--create some fiction of my own, that is.

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