Monday, January 17, 2022

Warning: Colon Hydrotherapy Potty Humor Ahead

 January 17, 2022

   Well, I survived the Colon Hydrotherapy session yesterday but I will tell you it was a sitstorm from start to finish. 

Shades of Mister Pee Pee Head!

   Warning: there's even more juvenile, potty humor ahead, but for your reading protection I have changed out the offensive scatalogical slang for feces with the word "sit" so you can get the full bowel moving effect of my hilarious, anal probing experience, but not, I hope, sit your pants. 

   First off, here is what the spa brochure says about the procedure: "Colon hydrotherapy is a simple, safe and convenient treatment, taking up to 45 minutes. Cleanses and rehydrates to detoxify and tone the peristatic muscles of the large intestines. FDA approved, closed system, professional equipment means there is no mess or smell and your therapist will work discreetly, always protecting your safety and dignity."

   All true. I should also say that my therapist is the director of the spa here at the resort and she was quite calming, professional and funny. When it was over, she said, "Well, how was it?" and I quipped, "Quite impactful." I thought that was pretty clever, but she rolled her eyes and I immediately realized she has probably heard every crap joke in the history of the world—every single day. So I asked her to name a couple of colon groaners and she laughed and offered me this, "Well, I guess I'm not as full of sit as everyone says," and "I'd rate this as a number two." Oh, man, wish I had thought of that one, or two, as the case may be, but as you can see there are some funny crappers, besides myself, who have done this. She also confessed to me Colon Hydrotherapy changed her life. She told me she used to be high strung and angry and when she did a colon cleanse "ten times in a row," so much of her anger and stress just fell away. I totally bought this, but I just can't quite get passed the "ten times in a row" part.

   The words ass and hole are never used. The catchall term is "speculum," which, at first, gives it a confusing nomenclature: "You want me to insert the tube in my speculum?" And then when she applies the lubricant, you know exactly where the speculum is going. And speculum apparently is an instrument for dilating a body cavity to permit examination of its interior.

   As for the sensation of the experience, you know that feeling you get in your lower body when you have eaten something bad and you are concerned you are not going to make it the bathroom in time. It's that feeling for 45 minutes.

   Honestly, I felt better for having done it, but on the scale of things I have enjoyed on this vacation, colon hydrotherapy would fall somewhere below driving on I-10 thru Palm Springs during rush hour. But that's just me.

"Rectum? Damn near killed 'em!"

—Old Vaquero Saying

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Get Back to Where You Once Belonged

 January 16, 2022

   Fifth day in rehab. And, by rehab, I mean vegging out at a desert spa on the Mojave Desert. Kathy believes my nagging headaches are not Long Haul Covid related, but rather, are caused by the stress from my work, which is invariably executed while crunched over a drawing board and/or a computer screen. Turns out a masseuse here, named Mercedes, agrees with Kathy. She has beat me up pretty good for two days straight. I firmly believe her elbow alone could bring down a charging bull moose and Whoo boy, she really hurt me (in a healthy way), all the while informing me my shoulders and upper back are "frozen," and if I don't learn to stretch and let go, I will have a severely curved spine, like those old people you see who come in the post office and don't have to bend over to open their PO box near the floor. Four more massages to go and we'll see if it makes a difference.

   And, yes, the Colon Hydro-flushing is today. I promise to spare you the intimate details.

   Or, maybe I won't spare you. Could be funny in a shits and giggles kind of way—literally!

Get Back to Where You Once Belonged

Beatles 4-ever

   It dawned on me this morning how fragile creative efforts are, especially when it involves a team. I finished the epic "Get Back" Beatles documentary last week and it has been eating at me ever since. On the one hand it was breathtaking to watch those talented Liverpool lads create some of their most classic songs out of thin air, but, at the same time, it was painful to me to witness the backbiting and the bruised egos (George quit the band half way thru!), and that pathetic aspect of being in a band and trying to create something is all too familiar to me. I have been in numerous bands so the terrain is familiar. What invariably happens is, one—or two—of the band members are ambitious and want to practice and create original material and get somewhere, while the other members just want to get laid and do the least amount of work possible. That in a nutshell is what all creative effort is about. The slackers vs. the hackers, the latter hacking away at anything that might lead to a better outcome. A recording contract, a successful tour, an actual house to live in.

   Or, creating covers for True West magazine. It's a very fragile contraption.

"If two people agree on everything, one of them is uncessessary."

—Old Vaquero Saying

"If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse."

—Henry Ford

Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Life of A Desert Rat

 January 15, 2022

   We can't visit a new place and be there very long before I start seeking out the history of the region, especially seeking out someone quirky, who helped found the town. In the case of Desert Hot Springs, California, that would be Cabot Yerxa, who homesteaded in the Coachella Valley in 1913 and built a ramshackle pueblo-castle home from 1941 to 1949, that we visited this morning.

A Desert Rat Admiring Another Desert Rat's

Rambling Pueblo

   On this quirky, totally cool homestead, Yerxa, dug his own well and, in doing so, discovered a vast underground mineral springs acquafier.

Cabot Yerxa, at left, digging his well while a friend, Bob Carr, holds Cabot's son, Rodney.

   He discovered 130 degree water at a depth of thirty feet, up on Miracle Hill, which we can see from our resort window.

   Yerxa wrote a column for the local paper—The Desert Hot Springs Sentinel—for many years (he died in 1965) and in one of the columns he describes encountering the local wildlife:

"So every day we learned more about desert animals, birds snakes, lizards and insects. Most were retiring and kept out of the way. Not so with the desert rat. This is the smartest little creature of them all, and it came forward at once to investigate us and our belongings. Rats went in and out of our boxes and bags. If no holes were present, then holes were made. Food was eaten on the spot or carried away to their storehouse in a business like way.

   "A 25-pound box of prunes has 2,000 prunes, and rats left alone will carry every one away in a few nights. They will eat lables off cans, eat corks out of bottles, and cut holes through one inch boards easily, and two-inch boards with more time. Yet they look so clean and are so smart in eluding their enemies that one is tempted to forgive their depredations. All snakes are after them, coyotes work sly tricks, and hawks, owls and birds of prey watch for the busy rats day and night. Yet they prosper in a country where food is a problem and there is no water. Rats can climb a barrel cactus and gather seeds from its top in spite of all the thorns."

—Cabot Yerxa, September 7, 1951

   You might file this one under professional courtesy because Yerxa was a first class desert rat himself. In another column, he writes, "Letters are my only amusement. I do not have radio or visitors. I live entirely alone. I have not seen a moving picture in seven years, nor have I been in a restaurant, or any place styled as amusement, in seven years."

—Cabot Yerxa,  May 21, 1953

   And, so, I love the guy. On a related note the first newspaper I worked on was the Kingman Junior High Desert Rat.

"The trouble with winning the rat race is you're still a rat."

—Lily Tomlin

Friday, January 14, 2022

Colon Flush Anybody?

 January 14, 2022

   So, Kathy told me she was treating me to the spa experience but only if I accepted and tried everything they offered. I agreed. 

Desert Spa Regimen

   Today I got the full menu of all the spa therapy we will be experiencing. Some of it I have already sampled. There is something called a Himalayan Salt Room. Check. There is a regular steam room. Check. There is a Lymphatic Flow Treatment Massage. Check. There is something called The Black Baltic Mud Wrap, which Kathy received and gave me a pass. Whew. I swam laps in the gigantic pool and enjoyed it. Check. And there are even healthy drinks in the Oasis Cafe, on the premises, where I sampled the Orange Immunity and the Agave Lemonade. Check. But, now as we head into the weekend there is one treatment looming, scheduled for Sunday, and I didn't really know about it when I agreed and I am not looking forward to it, but here we go. It's something called Colon-Hydrotherapy and, as I understand it, for all you guys with service station experience, it's basically a radiator flush only the hose clamps are attached to your anus. And, in this case, that would be my anus.

   Oh, boy. Anybody experienced this? Who has the huevos to talk about it?

"Serves you right, for leaving me here."

"I'm thinking about it!"

—Old joke about a guy who is bitten by a rattlesnake on his privates and when he tells his friend if he doesn't suck out the venom he will die, he gets this answer.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Past Coming In Thru Another Gate

 January 13, 2022

   We are holed up at a desert hot springs on the Mojave Desert. Here is the view this morning.

San Jacinto Peak with snow on it

  Love the Mojave Desert and all these hidden hot springs. While we are away, Kathy hired her nephew to babysit a certain dog. EJ sent us this photo of the boy this morning.

The Regal Uno

   One of our readers is bothered by all the swearing on "Yellowstone" and "1883" and wants to know if they really swore that much in the real old west. Here is what I told him.

Old West Potty Mouths

   The short answer is Hell Yes! With one caveat. Men have always had potty mouths around each other going back to the beginning of language. The one area where men cleaned up their act is around women. A good example of this is a memoir I read by a farm woman who remembered an incident soon after her marriage. Her husband was out with several other farm hands, building a barn for their homestead and she thought she would surprise him with a treat, so she went out and sat in the shade to wait for an opportunity to show herself. She wrote that she was mortified to hear her husband cursing up a storm, using words she had never heard him utter, ever. When she showed herself he too was embarrassed. This illustrates to me how swearing was very male oriented in those Victorian times. The other change in our language is that the F-bomb became ubiquitous during WWII when it evolved to be used as a verb, an adjective and everything else. So, yes, there was plenty of swearing in the Old West, but as a general rule, men did not swear around women. 

    Hope that fuckin' helps.

"I believe the future is only the past again, entered through another gate."
—Sir Arthur Wing Pinero

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Hot Springs Tonight!

 January 12, 2022

   We are working on a character for the Mickey Free story I am calling the Gotcha Kid, a young, whippersnapper reporter who hates bad history and exposes many of the lies in the popular Mickey Free story which will anchor the first half of the story. He is very brash and he's hopelessly stuck in the seventies with paisley shirts and a scorpion embedded bola tie. This is how I envision him.

Daily Whip Out: "The Gotcha Kid"

   I was inspired by a bola tie that I was gifted by the New Times Weekly many moons ago, but when I went to find it, I discovered it was not a scorpion but a black widow.

BBB Buttons and ID tags

   Anyway, just giving the reporter a bola tie is hilarious enough, but to make it a scorpion, or even a black widow, is priceless and I'm glad I saved all those do dads just for this art reference.

  Remember the old just married joke: Hot springs tonight! Actually, that's exactly what Kathy and I are doing today. Traveling to a California hot springs. She is convinced my long haul Covid symptoms of having a constant headache and acute tinnitus are due to stress and not the pandemic and she wants me to literally chill in the hot springs for seven days and seven nights.

   Meanwhile my son thinks I'm merely suffering from "oldassittus." Such a smart ass he is.


   An Ed Mell sunrise this morning over Ratcliff Ridge. My daughter Deena remarked it looks like the saguaros are doing their morning yoga excercises and stretching towards the sun. Kids today.

   Let's end with two road trip quotes:

“A tourist is a fellow who drives thousands of miles so he can be photographed standing in front of his car.” 

—Emile Ganest

“Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.” 

—Jerry Seinfeld

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Kevin Jarre In The Rearview Mirror

 January 11, 2022

   I am taping a 30 Minutes with BBB this afternoon and here are some of my basic notes, which I have cribbed from our big feature in the next issue:

Tombstone On The Cutting Room Floor
(in progress)

   The talk will actually be launched next week, but this is a sneak peek.

The Basic Premise

   Was Tombstone a massive hit because it was, in fact, gutted and recut into a commercial revenge plot? Or, if they had actually filmed Keven's original script would the resulting film have been an even bigger hit?

   In my opinion, there is evidence for both conclusions. The reshot film works because enough of the structure remains from Jarre's brilliant screenplay, that the streamlined version—less is more—works as a very potent genre movie. And this is in no small measure due to the editing wizardry of Andy Vajna (pronounced Vie-nah).

   On the other hand, the nuances and shades of gray from Jarre's original script would make for a very compelling mini-series.

   So, who is going to dust off that original script and make it shine, completing Kevin Jarre's original vision? I have a hunch someone will take that challenge and we'll see the results sooner than later.

Michael Biehn Gets Real

   Oh, and by the way, Michael Biehn, above, who portrayed Johnny Ringo in the classic film weighs in with some very cogent remarks about the script and the resulting movie.

   This is one of them.

"The movie that emerged after [Kevin Jarre's] departure is a boiled-down version of what was always in the screenplay and not some compromised artistic vision."

—Michael Biehn

   Meanwhile, in the job hunting department:

"Michael, your grandfather is 90-years-old. He's not going to live forever. Wouldn't it be great if before he died, he could turn the TV and see you doing something that looks like work?"

—Mike Rowe, on how his mother creatively prodded him into creating the TV show "Dirty Work."