It was late Thursday afternoon in Ukiah and the Rooster’s ass is double dragging. Only one thing left to go, a couple Mexican flags for the house he can use on May Day and Cinco de Mayo, the old ones lost in the BK. Hate though he does to say the repugnant name, and doesn’t, he goes to Walmart. They carry everything, right? Well, there is one very significant item they do not carry. “Mexican flags,” I ask the extremely rotund checkout person of pale, unfortunate complexion.
She seems puzzled. Her thinking is going, Mexican flags? Who in the world ever heard of something so ridiculous? How can he possibly think a store like Walmart would carry such an item when Hispanic shoppers only make up 75% of our clientele? The sly old Rooster had already checked and knows. “No sweat,” he says, ”How ‘bout American flags?” “Aisle 29. Want me to show you?” “No thanks, thweet heart,” the Rooster clucked thoftly. “It’s the Mexican flags I’m after, remember? Thanks for all your help though.” She looks dubiously pleased, until he’s closing the glass door after him.
Michael’s Arts and Crafts, a franchise barn full of every conceivable item of brightly colored plastic, so many words to choose from. “Where the Mexican flag?” “We don’t carry flags.” Adenoidal this time. “Really?” “Well, we get a lot of American flags in around July Fourth.” “Makes a lot of sense,” the Rooster concedes agreeably. “Next week’s Cinco de Mayo. Where are the Mexican flags?” Michael’s will be the first closing in the coming soon ghost town within the dread Walmart event horizon, Staples and Friedman Bros. holding out the longest there after, long after the dreaded Applebee’s, what, five years. We can turn all the atrocious monstrosities into rinks: roller skating rink, ice skating, rinky dinks, indoor rodeo and auction barn, in door growing ops. Plant redwoods all around, break up the asphalt, plant veggies, bright flowers. When the next wave crashes, this country is going to see enough vacant indoor spare you could fit the moon into.
Friedman Bros, right. “Where the Mexican flags?” he crowed. “I don’t think we carry any Mexican flags in here,” the young Hispanic check person told me, quietly, thinking about it some more. “How about American flags? “ “Oh, we got a whole shi— a whole lot of, of them. You want one of those?” “No, thank you,” the Rooster replied pleasantly. “I want to file a complaint.” “You mean, against me? I’m gonna lose my job.” she scowled. “No. No. No, senorita, please, por favor, no, no, NO. Forgive me, please,” the Rooster clucked reassuringly to her, thinking himself the cluck. “I want to file a complaint against the store for not carrying Mexican flags, especially when they’re carrying all those American flags.”
An older, more senior, impressive looking, darker, smaller, more slender Latina with serious eyes and mouth asked gravely, “How come you need all those Mexican flags?” The Rooster received her glare respectfully and tried to explain, his voice beginning to grow hoarse from clucking so quietly, w/such restrain. The Rooster’s style is more blowing it from the rooftops.
“I need Mexican flags,” he said, gaining momentum, “because it’s May Day and then it’s Cinco de Mayo. I want to protest the genocidal treatment of the Mexican and other Hispanic peoples by the US government.” She held her head looking down as he spoke. When he finished, she looked up with a small smile on her grim mouth but warmth in her eyes, “Thank you,” she said and walked back to her counter. The Rooster watched her go. He would have been speechless to respond, being so gracefully honored.
“The manager, his name’s Hakim,” says the first woman, punching a button on her phone. Hakim is six-six+, very cool and Black. “Where are the Mexican flags, Hakim?” He goes off to check without a word although the Rooster is sure he doesn’t have to. “No Mexican flags. Am I right, Hakim?” He knows he doesn’t need to say a word. “You know it’s May Day, Saturday and Cinco do Mayo on. Well, there we have it. How ’bout American flags?” “Oh, man,” he says and looks toward the distant ceiling. “Aisle seventeen. What size? How many dozen you want? Here, fill out this slip. Just say, no Mexican flags. I’ll see it goes where it needs to go. “Muchos gracias, amigo,” the Rooster says to him. “Yer a pistol, Hakim.” They shook, grinned at one another, did not bump chests mid air a la Lebron and Shaq. The Rooster bid the lovely ladies of the checkouts, “Buenos tardes!” wished them “Happy May Day,” and the same for Cinco de Mayo before whirling blithely out the door, too tired to continue his search.
In future weeks, the Rooster intends to go into the subject of Country roads. What happened to the weight limit signs? Who took them down? Who told them to? Subject two, the universal one, pot, pot, and more pot than you can throw ten cords of sticks at, will receive even further looking into, taking off from Alex Cockburn’s recent piece in this noble publication, beginning with general history of the half million years humans have used the natural products of the earth, pot, opium, coke, to cure or at least alleviate their physical and mental woes at no cost whatever to themselves or anyone else, CERTAINLY NOT CANNON BEARING CHOPPERS SCREAMING OUT OF THE HEAVENS, DROPPING ROUNDUP ON THEM BY THE BARREL FULL.
ALERT! ALERT! HAMBURG/NOT HOT DOG! HAMBURG/NOT HOT DOG!
POT BULLETIN: His first day on the Board of Supes in the years before the flood, NORMAN DE VALL was asked by a Coastal right wing twit what his stand on POT was. Norman did what he was to become famous for, shamelessly turning his back on the people who voted for, elected him— against almost everyone’s better judgment. That night at Mike Nolan’s knockout cabin deep in the Comptche woods, a well known local realtor and others, including the Rooster, did with gusto verbally tear NORMAN DE VALL limb from limb for a surprisingly long time, tears streaming down much of NORMAN DE VALL’S face, Linda holding his poor little hand. Our mistake at the time was not to immediately recall NORMAN DE VALL, apologize to the good guy Ted Galletti, ask him urgently to resume his seat. We would be so much better off today without NORMAN DE VALL spending the decades, in addition to everything else, irritating, insulting, ignoring people he should be listening to (what, NORMAN DE VALL listening? Blink!) and comprehending (ditto), thinking himself the Statesman, representing whatever whakoid subversion of self exists between those pink, jug ears — in Ukiah in particular, around the court house, and what are you little people doing getting my way? DON’T VOTE FOR NORMAN DE VALL!
Prediction: There will be no votes for NORMAN DE VALL. In the end he will not be able to bring himself to vote for NORMAN DE VALL. Who’s been stealing all Dan Hamburg’s signs? You have any ideas who might be doing it, NORMAN DE VALL? Blame it on Colfax.
* * *
“He speaks softly. “Detective, did you ever here of an asshole named Clive of India?” “Yes.” “And do you know what this asshole named Clive of India did to the whole world?” “British Empire.” ”Financed by?” “Opium sales.” “If you put it like that you risk trivializing his achievement. He was the first to make the connection between arms and narcotics. This little thug from Shropshire, who would certainly have been hanged if he’d stayed in England, saw the way to finance a whole private army, and the model proved so successful they repeated it all over the world: narcotics, slaves, and weapons. It is the tripod on which our global civilization continues to be based. They have changed the labels and the slaves get health insurance. The plain fact is, the sociopathic of the modern corporation started then and there w/Clive. By the time the British narco empire collapsed, twenty million Chinese were addicted to opium and pink faced syphilitic alcoholics in scarlet jackets were intimidating the whole world with their Maxin guns”
— John Burdette/The Godfather of Kathmandu
It’s still the British Empire, or the Empire for the English speaking peoples, to paraphrase the former Exponent of the phrase as well as the empire, although I think he said “of,” but now the Colonies, the scabby, vermin ridden tail is wildly wagging Queen Empire, the clotted cream, monumental, somewhat hairy, breasts, thighs and buttocks of the pestilential harridan bitch. What about Australia? Australia’s the asshole, mate!
MAYDAY. Protested briefly at Philo PO, sign DEPORT EL MIGRA, was greeted with suspicion at first by Hispanic folks passing by, then shy smiles and small waves, a couple raised fists, grins and enthusiasm when the meaning of the sign together with the khaki tee shirt with the bright red star and the word Cuba on it, made their impact. The Rooster likes his signs to be not immediately comprehensible causing the viewer to look more closely (so they’ll run off the road into a ditch and have a few moments to contemplate; guerilla messaging) and have to give it a moment’s thought.
White folks appeared more non-plussed and squint eyed than anything as is their way, too many of them. Other signs can read: DEPORT NAPALATANO (the Rooster’s never sure he’s spelling these people’s names correctly. He spelt Cheney’s name w/an “a” until three years ago). Korean Vet named Jim paused to chew it over for a while. He was far more concerned w//border security than the Rooster “…and the border north of here too…” “Man, these people belong here. It was their country until good old Uncle Sam savagely, barbarically raped, robbed and murdered them for it with all the world watching.” Thoughtful, knowledgeable, if mistaken guy, Jim.
SUNDAY: 3pm+-5pm IT’S ALL SHOW BIZZ. All those city bound vehicles, slowed to 30, the road curving in front of the PO. The Rooster had to exercise great care the driver of a vehicle trying to read his sign didn’t veer into the other lane where another vehicle might be looking at him and not where he was going. OOOOOPS! Err, sorry, I guess. Hispanics picked up on it immediately, most of them, now. The others thought he was tea for brains, but often got it once passed and had a couple seconds to figure it out. Small waves, shy smiles, muted V signs, the occasional fist which the Rooster was distributing liberally. The honkies — well the lib honkies — wonder if he was tea for brains as well, while others less lib assume he was tea for brains for sure, even if they can’t quiet comprehend the sign, duh.
The Niners Cap, the black leather jacket, the natural, hemp jeans, the battered hiking boots; it is the pick of the litter, show quality, German Rottweiler Lady sitting patiently at his feet, Dolly, and the Cuba tee shirt randomly shuffling some peoples decks for them.
Cinco de Mayo protest signs suggestions: END US Genocide against all Mexicans and all Hispanic peoples everywhere, NOW! DEPORT NAPALATANO NOW!” Put in a good word for POT: STATES’ RIGHTS! In general, Hamburg! Moorman! Eyster! Go! Go! Go!