The FINAL Final Final Chapter (part 20)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 19t]

Subject: Soooo stooooopid…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 21, 2022 at 5:45 PM

…my situation with the failing phone. I turned it off for awhile so it would charge faster, and at 34 percent I turned it on again, only to discover the cops had dropped by but I didn’t answer. So I called them back to apologize, explaining that my phone went on the fritz a few hours ago, the USB charging port is loose and the cord won’t stay in unless I’m really careful. They understood and said they’ll send someone out again, when they can. So I need to keep the phone on, keeping my fingers crossed it will charge some more, though right now it looks like it is not, and it’s down to 29 percent. Now get this, Wattson:

They elevated my situation to 911, and want me to use that number from now on. Well the woman who got my first call said to do that, so I dialed it to let them know my phone is wonky. Gee, should I have the police call up to my window, like a homeless visitor?

I remember when I called the fuzz on Deek 2.5 years ago, when I did NOT have a smartphone and asked Adisa (of all people) to use his. What a relief to finally have my own smartphone, eh? Trusty, reliable old smartphone. Joke of the century.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: That puffy black jacket…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 21, 2022 at 6:12 PM

…I got from a nice young fellow while sitting with the pups by the bus stop, and wound up in Deek’s shopping cart some days later because I dropped it on the ground without knowing, and he picked it up without telling:

He was wearing it today, but I didn’t pay it any attention until the 911 dog-loving lady asked me to identify Deek, so I said wait a minute he’s still outside, and peered out the window and the first words outta my mouth were: “A puffy black jacket!”

So one might say his theft just bit him in the arse, eh, Wattson?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: And now this!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 21, 2022 at 6:56 PM

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Easier. Better.
Date: 2022-10-21 15:19
From: Marshall McGee
To: Ezekiel Krahlin

On 2022-10-21 14:07, Marshall McGee wrote:

> I’m at home working on tonight’s MOTW show. I got one of your PDFs. I grab the text, paste it into my show file and it’s scrambled. I paste it into a txt file and it needs half an hour of fiddling with to make it readable. I print the pdf directly and its hard to read, in a weird light fong, and 11 pages long. I stopped my printer from wasting paper and jammed a bit of paper in so now I have to fix my printer. It’s not your fault but I don’t have time for this now. Here’s what I want in future: an .rtf file or a .doc file or even a .txt file. Please.

Wow, sorry to hear that. I’ll do the .rtf format promptly, in fact here it is, “A Scammer & A Scooter,” it’s just 41.6 K.

– Zeke

ADDENDUM:

On 2022-10-21 14:26, Marshall McGee wrote:

> Or just in the body of a text-only email, with two hard returns between paragraphs. I fixed the printer. I knocked over the mason jar of tea in the microwave, but that’s okay, it’s an opportunity to clean the spaghetti sauce spatter out of there.


Subject: Well that was a relief…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 21, 2022 at 9:35 PM

…cops dropped by again, this time my phone was on and functioning. Told them the situation with Deek, that he threatened me with violence and dog abandonment, and so on. They said there’s not much they can do about it right now, but to call 911 should it be necessary in the future. They asked if there’s anything else they might do for me, so I said yes, can you possibly speak to him, as he might think twice about dropping by again, since he’ll know I’m serious about getting him arrested and charged with animal abuse. I made it clear that I’m mostly concerned about those dogs, they should be removed from his possession.

Now I can turn the damned phone off so it can charge overnight when I won’t be touching it. It’s tricky getting the plug to stay in, like if you drop a feather on it, it will fall out. What an utterly nerve-racking day this has been! Now if Deek comes by again I can just call 911, and the SFPD will be on top of it. THAT’S established, and I can’t thank the police force enough for their prompt handling. Very impressive.

So, Marshall’s informing me his printer can’t handle the pdf files for some reason was just another jangle on my nerves, but that’s been quickly resolved as he replied the rtf files come out great, thank you. I look forward to no longer dealing with such a tight budget thanks to Deek’s skulduggery. But I do NOT look forward to a world without those furry wee angels! I’d certainly blow a wad of moolah every MONTH for those two!

Has Brindlekin Tales come to a sad ending? I think not, as there may still be further twists and turns to right all wrongs…as my Boddhisattva Premise has shown me such good outcomes can and DO occur against even the most unlikely odds. The love I’ve received from those hounds has lifted my heart forever, with or without them, but the “with” is far more filled with grace than the “without,” wouldn’t you say, Wattson? God bless the little doggies of this world.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Lucky’s Adorable Face
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 22, 2022 at 11:27 AM

From what may be the last video I will ever take of the pups, this frame of Lucky’s face:

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Well that was a relief…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 22, 2022 at 6:19 PM

> The “with” has been a great blessing. But I can’t stand the idea of them just sort of vanishing into the system. makes me too sad.

Deek’s not getting rid of ’em, he was calling my bluff. He dropped by a half hour ago. When I came to the front gate he blurted out he’s not gonna dump the dogs, he never will. I did not respond to that, instead I stood behind the locked gate and said:

“You threatened me with violence!” and pointed a finger at him.

“But I need this smartphone charged, and my music put on it!” he exclaimed.

“Nope, not gonna happen, do it yourself,” I replied. “I’ll bring down the remaining chips that have your music on them, four or five I think.”

He also asked for some dog food and his bag of shoes I stashed for him only yesterday…and the scant amount of gewgaws I kept in a container on my “Deek” shelf…worthless, but I returned everything. Plus brought down a carton of wet dog food (12 cans) two, unopened 5-pound bags of kibble, two remaining camouflage sweaters, and two more leashes. He muttered something about how I didn’t have to call the cops on him, though in a friendly, amused tone. And that’s it for the conversation, except when I handed him the leashes I began to speak again but he cut me off:

“Let’s not talk.”

“No, this is important,” I replied. So he listened: “You need to cut off all the rubber parts because if the dogs chew on them, they’ll get sick. Something in the dye I guess, but that’s what I’ve always done.” I was referring here to the foamy black covering around the looped handle and down towards the snap hook.

He said okay, thanks, and I stepped back inside, not even bothering to greet Flaco & Lucky. Who weren’t particularly awaiting my hugs, as they were on the opposite side of the shopping cart a short distance away, and playing around.

He lingered for a few minutes on the corner, rearranging the contents of his cart, then moved along. I almost called the cops on him when I returned upstairs to collect his items, but my new phone was still in the middle of setup, and it wouldn’t allow me to switch to the phone app.

So we’ll just have to wait and see if he shows more kindness to his charges, and makes other vital changes to his attitude. Hopefully he will, now that I’ve given him the shock treatment.

> Idea: The dogs are mostly dachshund, right? A few years ago I had to find a home for a defunct friend’s pug. She was old, slobbery, her hind legs weren’t working too well, and she was getting to be incontinent. Hopeless, eh? Not at all. I discovered that for certain distinctive breeds, especially small dogs, there are often really enthusiastic advocacy groups. I found a Pug Society over in Lake County. Two sweet old ladies drove all the way over here in a van and took Darby off to a new home. They followed up with photos. She lived for another couple of years happy and pampered. Look around and see if you can find dachshund rescue groups.

Looks to me like the closest one is 100 miles north of Sacramento. But I see no reason why folks around here haven’t offered to adopt them, the hounds are so damned cute, gentle and kind. At any rate, once more my Bodhisattva Premise:

Again, this is all a game, a scripted play to test whether or not I had the guts to stand up to him, even if it could cost me no longer seeing the dogs, or risking their well-being by ceasing to help take care of them. Deek was most contrite and even AMUSED when he came by this morning. As if to say:

“You did well, Zeke, you stood up to me, I’m proud of you.”

Maybe the police are in on it, too. They certainly were surprisingly understanding and kind…like maybe they belong to a secret organization dedicated to yours truly: The Blue Rose Militia.

And if what I just conjectured is spot on, they are all having a good laugh at my expense, as well. I’d MUCH prefer it be that way, than anything more serious, Wattson. In other words:

They can make all the jokes they want about me, even mockery, insults and threats, so long as the mutts remain unscathed and happy. I’ll gladly pay that price if need be…and more. Though I think I already have.

Welp, my new phone arrived four hours ago, and transferring my phone number over was indeed seamless. The phone is prepaid, but I wondered if I’ll lose the prepayment since I already am paying monthly, and the phone was purchased via Amazon instead of directly from Tracfone…but no, they tacked on an extra month so my next payment will be December 12, instead of November. Now my lifeline to the SFPD is once more intact.

The threat of arresting Deek and charging him with animal abuse is the card I’ll wave in his face every time he starts to veer in the wrong direction. He needs to carve out his own way and love the doggies with all his heart at the same time…instead of leaning on me so much. There will be no more dog sitting for him, either. Unless a big change happens to foment a BETTER arrangement than the first time around. Deek’s gotta make more breakthroughs and I’ll be glad to lash that whip at him whenever called for.

I’m eagerly anticipating last night’s narration of my blood-on-the-wall tale, so can’t wait till Marshall’s podcast is up so I can dive right in! Oh, here ’tis now; time to end this missive and get crackin’!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Oh Fudge
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 22, 2022 at 7:09 PM

——– Original Message ——–

Re: Easier. Better.
Date: 2022-10-22 18:31
From: Marshall McGee
To: Ezekiel Krahlin

I was just overwhelmed with everything going wrong and couldn’t get it together about your story this time. No need to respond, except please send at least a story for next week. If you send more I’ll collect them and dole them out one by one. Thanks!


Subject: New Posters by the boarded up ATM nook
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 23, 2022 at 10:00 AM

They weren’t there yesterday, saw them on my return from Rosenberg’s this morning:

First pic shows all three, the rest of the images are closeups of each houseless person featured:

Click here for a larger view.

Poster 1 caption: “J.D. Unhoused since 1985. Collects cans to survive. Wished me blessings for a good life.”

Click here for a larger view.

Poster 2 caption: “He told me his name is Michael from the Sky.”

Click here for a larger view.

Poster 3 caption: “Penny. Unhoused. She wanted to be photgraphed dancing.”

Click here for a larger view.

Meanwhile, Deonte is still out there on the cushioned swivel chair, by the bus stop. All by his lone some. He was returning to his chair from behind the building when I stepped out, so I said good morning. I took this snapshot from my window:

Click here for a larger view.

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Deek is keeping his distance, I suppose…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 24, 2022 at 2:16 PM

…though it’s only Day 2 of his disappearance after siccing the cops on him who told him to take better care of the pups, or they’ll be taken away. When he showed up Saturday to collect his stuff I had been storing (which was very little), he was calm and respectful. He even seemed amused, which suggests once more he’s playing out a script a la my Bodhisattva Premise. I HAVE retained all his valuable paperwork, though, which I did NOT mention for fear he’d demand taking that as well…for he’d lose it all within a week, like most everything else.

Deonte is gone, including that like-new office chair which I wish he left behind, so I could claim it for my own comfort. The appearance of that chair when I most need one is like the devil’s taunt. Though I’d never dream of absconding with it when another so down and out has greater need for it. I suppose my bodhisattva guardians find this a knee-slapping twist in the plot, and I need to better appreciate the humor in my predicaments. Though the alarming circumstance for two sweet doggies under the charge of a sometimes-cruel master weighs heavy on my soul and darkens everything else I perceive.

Vagrants in the Castro are now scarcer than hen’s teeth, with Deonte the last straggler. Which leaves me open to being stigmatized as “enabler” of the homeless should I ever be seen giving Deek doggy food/leashes/sweaters, handing him money, or just speaking with him right outside my building. Perhaps another arrangement can be made, such as meeting up with him at the Castro’s perimeter: Dolores Park, the Lower Haight or Church & Market Streets, for examples. But he’s a tough one to hold down to any sort of schedule, that is: IMPOSSIBLE!

I imagine any reasonably well dressed, stink-free indigent minus a shopping cart or huge sack bulging with possessions could freely stroll about the Castro and purchase whatever at Walgreens or any corner “Ma & Pa” shop. Maybe Deek could do same when dropping by: leave his debris parked some blocks away and just show up with the dogs. It would have to be a quick visit, though, to return to his possessions before they get stolen. Hopefully, he’d have a friend stand guard till he gets back.

For me to resume Deek’s allowance, he’ll have to listen to me instead of screaming me down and walking away in a huff. An arrangement that works for me is he hears me out in full, on whatever topic I choose before I hand over my next payment. For starters I will beg him to stop feeding the hounds chicken bones, stop tying them to a standing bicycle that can easily fall over, stop shoving them in anger, and stop screaming at them or in their presence (such as arguing with another vagrant).

I will make it clear to him how much I hate dog abusers, thus I have absolutely NO qualms reporting animal cruelty to the police and Animal Control. Which I WILL do if I ever see him commit any of the offenses listed above, or any new one that comes up. As will the police, since they are now aware of the situation and are keeping an eye on him. They know who owns these pups now, and if he is so foolish as to abandon them (such as tying them to a post and leaving them there), he will be arrested and jailed, and the dogs (hopefully) adopted into a loving home. Deek still has them wearing their rabies tags, so it will be a cinch for the SFPD to verify ownership.

I dunno, Wattson, I’m conjecturing too much rather than accepting my Bodhisattva Premise, which advises one to ALWAYS keep cool no matter the crisis, and trust everything to fall into its proper place with a fortuitous outcome. Things HAD to change, no matter what…I saw it comin’ down the pike for some time, as I’m sure you did too. Deek needs to change with it and stop finding any little excuse to complain and dump it all on me (or his furry angels)…and find the inner strength to be of good cheer through it all. Starting with one hundred percent loving care of the hounds, which will open doors for him as a result. He needs to STOP regarding them as an impediment towards moving ahead with his life, and see them instead as the ASSET they truly are.

Another interesting twist in the plot occurred yesterday morning, regarding my next-door neighbor, Asher, who previously played the enemy and spied on me per the building manager’s request…and no doubt maligned me to other residents. During all this time he remained aloof towards me, keeping a poker face at best, and never bothered to say hello or exchange any other friendly words. So:

I was seated on the steps of the nutritional supplement store on the corner of Noe and 16th, enjoying the early rays of Ol’ Sol and sipping on Rosenberg’s fine elixir, when he walked by with his shaggy mutt and crossed the intersection. Neither greeted the other, but a few minutes later when I entered the lobby he came back down the stairs and, on his way out, smiled and said hello. Of course I was taken aback but quickly rebounded with “You have a nice one now!”

His kind greeting was genuine, no whiff of sarcasm or snarkiness reached my third nostril (you know, like a third eye, only olfactorily speaking). Hinting once again, that this scenario is scripted, else why would he be kind to me after such drawn-out opposition and chilly silence?

Now get this, Wattson: soon as I completed the paragraph above, I heard some noise below my window: friendly chatter and sweeping sounds, like a large brush. I thought: “Are they applying a second coat of white paint over the plywood?” So I peered out my window and was surprised and delighted at the sight below. As if to affirm my Bodhisattva Premise and allay my worries! The following video I just uploaded to my channel explains all:

Mystery solved! I was wondering who pasted those pro-indigent posters in the ATM alcove after the automated tellers were removed, though the alcove remained open awhile longer. Thus allowing houseless folks to continue to gather there as they have for decades. Then when more posters were put up once the alcove itself was sealed off and vagrants lost their humble sanctuary, I continued to wonder…since nothing on any of the posters indicated who put them up. But lo and behold: just a few minutes ago I peered out my window to see two elderly gentlemen pasting another poster onto the painted plywood, though from my window I could only see the top of their heads, and not the actual poster, though of course assumed they were my mystery pasters. So I rushed downstairs with my digital camera, told them I appreciate what they’re doing, I’m a homeless advocate myself, and can I take their picture and a video for my blog. They said sure, go right ahead. After doing so, I asked if they’re from an organization such as the Homeless Coalition, but they said no, they’re doing this on their own. Before departing, I thanked them for all they do and handed them my Brindlekin card, said it’s a true story about my helping a homeless friend to care for his two little doggies.

ADDENDUM

Once the two gentlemen poster pasters departed, along with the two plywood installers who were also out there for some reason (one of whom was our building’s maintenance man), and who actually gave permission for the fourth and final poster to be displayed, I stepped out to take this pic:

Click here for alarger view.

Caption: “Peter. Unhoused, born in French Camp. Lifelong Californian.”

And guess what? Deonte has returned. Check out his pic and the pristine condition of that cushioned swivel chair I so badly need, but dare not steal:

Click here for a larger view.

The only chairs of that type I ever find on the streets are in somewhat dilapidated condition. Ironic, eh?


Subject: Happy Kukur Tihar!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 24, 2022 at 5:28 PM

Otherwise known as “Festival of Dogs,” a Hindu celebration in northeast India and Nepal…and it’s today, October 24th! From Wikipedia:

“In Hindu mythology, Yama has two dogs—Shyama and Sharvara—who guard the door of hell. Nepali Hindus believe that by worshiping dogs they start to see death positively, because a dog follows them in their final journey. They hope that dogs will guard them against the torture in hell. Dogs are considered to be a companion of Yama and to please him, dogs are worshipped.”


Re: Happy Kukur Tihar!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 24, 2022 at 8:10 PM

> Now, there’s a holiday I can wag my tail over!

Though don’t use balloons, one pop and all the party guests will scatter!


Re: [MCN-Announce]- Crushed Urchin shells……CHEAP !
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN announce list
Date: October 25, 2022 at 1:03 PM

On 2022-10-25 12:08, George Dennis posted:

> Yes, I have actually thought about working up a routine for a stand up. It’s actually more like storytelling. I have plenty of stories to tell. Working humor into them is the hard part.

Everyone loves a good story, ever since humanity gathered in caves by the fire on cold nights to allay their fears and relieve the daily tedium of hunting down sharp-toothed and sharp-clawed megafauna. Today the mortal challenges are not megafauna but mega-bombs and mega-dictators. Not to mention mega-plagues, mega-poverty, mega-shootings, mega-instability and mega-idiocy. I COULD make this “mega” list much longer, but I’ll stop here as I’m sure you get my point, Mr. Gurney.

I am a humorist, too, rather than a stand-up comic, though an author can choose that particular style to reach the minds and hearts of the audience. Even if your writing talents don’t take off in popularity, regardless of what a superb gift you may have (and it looks like you do, going by what you post to this list), writing out your tales and notions can be highly therapeutic in such crazy, frightening times as these. I know firsthand because it certainly works for me.

Going out to the world and reading your stories at open mic venues would be frosting on the cake! At the very least you’d become an inspiring bard for the Mendoland community, and greatly appreciated for instilling hope and courage to so many. The world needs you, George, starting with those around you.

So it might not be the best option to suddenly slide down the slippery slope of freaking out over all the horrid news we hear, read and witness through the media 24/7. Every person who has a talent in one way or another to inspire others to forge onward in hope, good cheer and bravado is an indispensable asset for humanity.

Just one borderline-schizophrenic author’s opinion, take it or leave it as you will. Nonetheless I wish you an excellent day, each and every day from here on in. (Or should I say, “from Heron Inn,” a lovely retreat I often escape to in the idyllic, lush, orange-poppy meadow of my imagination?) Now about those crushed urchin shells…


Subject: Wood Chipping Cacophony [12 second video]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 26, 2022 at 12:15 PM

Another peaceful morning obliterated. Noise pollution here in The Castro is unrelenting!

No homeless around anywhere, even Deonte has vanished. Deek’s gone, dogs gone…dreary nothing burger neighborhood populated with small minds more concerned over profits and tourism than human beings down on their luck. Here’s a recent video of the Castro’s harsh repercussion against the houseless. Be aware it’s from Fox News, so definitely has a right-wing spin to it:

San Francisco businesses threaten tax strike over crime, homeless

Though the merchants have asked for more beds and housing, the chickens have come home to roost thanks to a collapsing economy and increased prejudice against the poor, black people, LGBTs and other minorities. The rise of fascism. I even understand the outrage against the ever increasing influx of indigents, some of whom are quite scary and others dirty, aggressive and obnoxious. As you know, Wattson, Deek’s sometimes outrageous behavior (screaming and dumping trash all over) contributes to the outrage, and I have been trying to get him to improve, for his own sake and that of the pups.

It was frightening to see him allow Flaco to eat a small pile of chicken bones the other day, though I’ve told him numerous times that is dangerous for dogs. (“Don’t tell ME how to raise a dog!” is his patent response, if any.) His anger at them for supposedly thwarting his other activities, shoving Flaco off his lap, yelling at Lucky, tying their leashes to an upright bike…all forms of animal abuse.

Whether or not I get to see my furry friends again, I remain helpless to improve their lot without Deek changing his ways. So what good will come if he drops by now and then, anyway? I now have nowhere to turn except to trust in the Fates. But those sweet hounds may have already disappeared from my world forever.

Tomorrow is Deek’s next payday, so we’ll see if he shows up. Though it’s quite possible I’ve scared him away for good by getting the police involved. This anti-homeless sweep was almost like them doing it just for me, that is: driving Deek away because it’s an unfair burden on yours truly and they didn’t want to see me suffer any further needless sacrifice. And it happened so shortly after I set up my dog-sitting tent!

Don’t know what else to say on this matter, good doctor; there are too many future possibilities to dwell upon, some being good outcomes, one of which I truly hope will manifest. And very soon.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Scheduled my next booster shot, spoke with Blvd. Joe
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 26, 2022 at 8:33 PM

Safeway pharmacy never called back in response to my voicemail telling them I forgot the date of my second booster I received at their location…and I can’t complete the application for the Omicron shot without filling in that date. I finally realized I could find out what day I got my second booster by just searching “pharmacy” on my WordPress site! Seeing as there’s no other time I can think of when I included that word in my tales. And thar she blew: April 7th. One of many benefits from writing my tales in diary format. So I logged onto Safeway Pharmacy’s Covid vaccine form for the second time, and got it done: November 8th at 2 PM. Includes the flu shot. Later on I’ll look into getting a shingles booster, DTaP and pneumonia shots. The latter I’ve never had, but I think it’s a good idea in light of my age…and who wants to catch diphtheria, tetanus or whooping cough? Not I, says the little red gay hen!

I finally got around to laundering my four sleeping bags (2 adult-size, 2 children) and a comforter I use for the bottom layer on my cot. I had already heat-treated them several months back to kill all bedbugs, but had yet to wash them, whereby they remained with cruddy brown spots and stains from their defecation. To my delight, all that washed out and the bedding looks sparkly clean once more! Then I bagged them up again until said time my room gets another treatment, seeing as the bugs are back once more. The exterminator is now scheduled to show up this Monday afternoon. On said morning I will bag up my OTHER four sleeping bags presently on my cot, and heat-treat them a day or two later. What an adventuresome life I live!

Actually, those friggin bugs never went away after the previous treatment! This has happened a few times before over the years. But when I called the exterminator several days to a week later to tell him they’re still here, he told me to wait another week or two, because it takes time for all the stragglers to die. But it never happened. By the same token I can’t afford to strip my room of all cloth items and do it all over again such a short time later. And when I say “afford,” I mean both financially AND emotionally!

So I’ve become accustomed to sleeping with the bugs crawling over me at night at certain cycles, and waiting long enough until my neighbor reports a new infestation. Then the building manager may or may not call me to have the exterminator treat MY room as well. From what I understand about bedbugs, whenever one unit gets infested, all neighboring units must be treated the same day, or another day very soon. But that’s not how they do it at Hotel California North!

This morning while picking a few of the critters off my sweater and popping each of the hapless lads between thumb and forefinger, I decided to report a new onslaught within a day or two, as I’ve put up with it long enough. Seeing as I’m beginning to recover from Deek’s exhausting challenges, I can finally deal with it. I’ll just tell Kevin I saw a few of ’em crawling on the wall this morning. I usually prefer to wait until the neighbor complains, but sometimes I make an exception…based upon how far to the right my insanity meter’s pointer has swung.

Hopefully, they’ll be eradicated this time around, at least for several months. But I’m not holding my breath as this nightmare has been a curse in my life for well over a decade. I lucked out, though, because right when I decided to contact the building manager soon, he called and asked if Paolo could drop by to inspect my place for bedbugs.

“Oh no bother,” I replied, “I spotted a few on the wall this morning, but I’m so caught up in my writing I was gonna wait till later today to tell you. So may as well set up another treatment.”

His voice came through semi-garbled, so I asked him to repeat what he just said, I got a new phone and that may be the problem.

“Your voice comes through loud and clear,” he affirmed.

“Well yours doesn’t and I doubt the problem’s coming from your end,” I replied. “So what did you say?”

“How about Monday, then?” he enunciated at a louder, slower clip.

“Monday?” I answered. “Well that gives me plenty of time to prepare, so let’s do it.”

At any rate, this is the first time I spoke with anyone on my new smartphone, and I’m concerned how it will hold up when I call in to Marshall’s radio show. Wouldn’t THAT be a bummer if the voice transmission is wonky! Because I have NO other option. I couldn’t possibly keep addressing him with “What? What did you say? Can you repeat that?” I can’t imagine reverting to a landline, but if that’s what it takes to be heard over the air, guess I’ll just have to do it. Will AT&T even comply?

I bumped my right foot’s big toe two days ago, against a carton of canned dog food nestled in  my closet. So now it hurts when even a little pressure is put on it, like a sock. A shoe or sneaker over that makes it five times worse! Barefoot is the best way to go, so thank god for those sandals! I seem to be quite the Sad Sack these days, a real low in my life thanks to my doggy dilemma and Deek’s hostility on top of everything else…including the upcoming midterm election which will likely see fascism take hold in this furshlugginer excuse of a nation. Be that as it may, let’s get on with Boulevard Joe:

Upon returning from the laundromat I saw him standing around with some backpacks and bags in the side street beside the Harvey Milquetoast Public Library. I took this time to update him about Deek, that he’s outta control, threatening to beat me up and get me evicted, and he continues to abuse the pups…ties their leashes to an upright bike that can easily come crashing down on them, lets them shiver at night, gets angry at them and shoves them, yells at them, and feeds them chicken bones, which splinters can choke a dog to death.

“He told me you reported him to the cops for abandoning them!” Joe blurted out.

“Not true,” I replied. “They came up to me in my tent and I told them I’m watching the dogs for a homeless friend and they asked when he’ll return, so I said any time between now (4:30 PM) and midnight. Then one of them said so he’s abandoned them? And I told him no, that’s not what I said.”

But of course that’s what I said, Wattson, though not in exactly those words:

“I’m worried he’s gonna abandon these dogs,” I addressed the fuzz, “He’s been having me watch them lately for ten to twelve hours at a time! He’s even threatened to tie them up to a post and walk away and make them MY problem.”

Deity forbid I should be so honest with Blvd. Joe! That would just make him seethe in anger, thus I told a white lie.

I further elaborated how he already knows that Deek badmouths me behind my back quite often, no matter how much I help him out and care for the hounds. That if any cop sees him abusing the dogs, they may take them away from him. Or anyone just walking BY could report him! So he needs to treat them kindly all the time, to avoid that possibility. And why shouldn’t he, they’re lovely sweet doggies, they’re a blessing. At any rate, it’s all outta my hands now, and I just wish some of his friends on the street would say something about his abuse and get him to treat them better. I can’t do it all by myself.

This is the third time I’ve spoken with Joe about Deek’s bad treatment of Lucky & Flaco, yet he remains oblivious on the matter. Not once has he ever said, “Okay, I’ll talk to him about it.” Nor has Filipino Kai, whom I’ve also spoken with on the same issue. What the fuck’s wrong with them, Wattson?

Unfortunately, Blvd. Joe is blatantly hostile towards the police on every level. So when I told him that cops love dogs, and they don’t take kindly to any canine abuser, he lashed out:

“No, that’s not true. They just like to fuck with the homeless and take their dogs away. Animal Control, too, buncha mutthuh fukkuhs!”

So that’s that, no reasoning with Joe, a fellow who is known to sometimes march up and down Market Street wielding a sword or large knife claiming it’s his constitutional right to do so! And he wonders why the police are not always friendly with him? And why, one night a few years ago, a cop shot a rubber bullet into his hand for wielding such a weapon in public. At least the resulting injury got him a free hotel room for several months! Why, I even saw him with a real GUN once, that he pulled out of a backpack to show me.

It seems to me that Deek isn’t the only dog abuser on the streets, for which reason the SFPD reports them and Animal Control picks the dog up and, hopefully, finds the poor creature a loving home. In other words: Joe doesn’t care to see the bigger picture. Not all cops are crooks; some really ARE trying to help out.

Well, I gotta get around to filling out my annual Medi-Cal reevaluation and give them my attorney’s name and phone number ’cause no doubt they’ll gaze upon my fattening bank account with a curious eye. I’ll add a note to the form, telling them that large sum is mostly my rent payments accumulating because on hold due to a lawsuit with Ablahblah Realty.

And I’m gonna spend the rest of Deek’s allowance for this month on new clothes, including a pair of sneakers. Well, that’s only a hundred dollars, but I have another hundred-fifty on top of that, so I should be fine.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: They gotta be kidding!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 27, 2022 at 11:17 PM

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Your Inactivity Alert from CA.gov
Date: 2022-10-27 21:57
From: ebtedge@fisglobal.com

You have $0.02 in cash benefits that will expire if you do not use it. Do not reply to this Alert.


Click here for a larger view.

Re: They gotta be kidding!

On 2022-10-28 12:47, My Dear Wattson wrote:

> Well, let’s see: you could buy a gumball. Maybe.

Ha, ha, you show your age, Morticia! I’m guessing they’re 25 cents now (or even 50), so looked it up, found this page, quote:

“A gumball machine is a type of bulk vending machine that dispenses gumballs, usually for a small fee. Originally one penny, the standard cost of one gumball in the United States is now one quarter.”

But what EBT (food stamps) does is give you an extra $20/month to purchase non-food items. You use the EBT card at your bank’s ATM to withdraw the amount, and no more. But if they see you haven’t spent it before their next allotment, they email a warning, because if you DON’T spend it, they take it back. At least, that’s what I figure, though they haven’t sent me $20 for months now, or posted a warning to spend it, until yesterday. Perhaps there’s a glitch in the system and they moved the “2” three places over to the right. I wonder if this has happened to any other EBT clients? I’m gonna visit my bank today and try to withdraw $20 again, though last time I tried, goose egg…that was almost five weeks ago. So I really don’t understand what’s going on, here. At least I’m still getting my $220 in food stamps each month, so I’m not complaining.

THE MARSHALL PLAN

I was planning to keep my air-wave pieces twenty minutes or under, seeing as last Friday’s narration came to 22 minutes including the digital voice reading of the missing text. So I posted to Marshall McGee the following:

Subject: Change of plan re. my tales narrated:

Seeing as each tale I send is a passage from one of my upcoming chapters, how about I just email you the latest one each week, without also posting it to the announcement mailing list…say, every Wednesday or whichever day you prefer? Everyone else can wait until the chapter is out, which includes that passage. This way, you will not have to keep a list of upcoming pieces to read that will pile up quickly. I’ll keep tabs on that.

And after each narration has been aired, I’ll splice it out of the podcast and post a link to that excerpt on my Youtube channel.

Each of my chapters now averages 50 minutes reading time, so not practical to narrate on your show. But the passages are around 20 minutes each, some a tad shorter, others a tad longer. I’ll keep each one to a minimum 15 minutes and a maximum 25 (or shorter if you prefer). The Pallas piece you read totaled 22 minutes after I inserted a digital voice reading of the missing text.

If for whatever reason you prefer to keep our present arrangement, that’s fine, too.

So he replied:

Re: Change of plan re. my tales narrated:

That sounds good. Less than 15 min. long is best for me, but you do what you need to do. Just for an experiment, try brutally whimsically cutting one to five or ten minutes and see what it looks like. It might be better.

Well, that’s quite a challenge to cut five minutes out of my tale, Wattson! For even at 20 minutes, ’tis nonetheless a mere PASSAGE from a chapter, not the entire chapter itself! After all, my stories are my BABIES born of excruciating labor. Were they REAL flesh and blood offspring I’d have NO problem chopping off a limb or two, but fer cripes sake I’M AN AUTHOR, not a kitchen-dwelling, barefoot pregnant wench! Or as I like to say when criticizing heterocentric dogma: “It takes no brains to insert rod A into slot B.”

But it certainly DOES take brains to give birth through the creative process, and much intense, drawn-out pangs to produce a final result of genius! So much so in fact, I’m tempted to hand out cigars each time I beget another mini-masterpiece offspring from the loins of my cerebral travails.

Nonetheless I accept Marshall’s preference to reduce the length of my tales to less than 15 minutes, for the sake of having them read over the air. Seeing as it’s an HONOR and a great opportunity. Though, good grief, chopping them down to TEN, or even a scant FIVE minutes? Blasphemy! Marshall can just take the occasional message I post to the MCN lists that may impress him enough to read aloud, for that.

On his last podcast, McGee exclaimed how he LIKES people who write books. Which may be one reason why he’s eager to read my stories once again, in addition to, well, my superbly eccentric writing style and prolific outpouring. *blush*

In fact, so superb and eccentric that George Dennis recently posted this hilarious critique of my Pallas tale to the announcement list:

“What a f*cking idiot. Actually tried to listen to this and it makes no sense. You are the worst writer in the world. Go find a manhole cover.”

I have a TON of Brindlekin Tales at this point, it would take YEARS for Marshall to read ’em all, at 15 minutes max and once per week. Not to mention any other tales I come up with over that span of time. So things are lookin’ superlative in that department.

AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY NONSENSE

Xfinity sent me a notice yesterday that they have yet to receive my Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) renewal, and I have until November 26th to complete it. Even though I filled out the requisite form almost two weeks ago, without a hitch.

So I checked the FCC site where I’m registered for the ACP, to discover that my EBT card lacks an issue or expiration date, either of which is acceptable. Turns out they DO have a start date, but it’s on the back of the card, and I only uploaded the front. So I took care of that and, for good measure, also uploaded a pic of my Medi-Cal card, which includes a start date on the front. Keeping my fingers crossed this’ll work.

SMARTPHONE UPDATE

As you know, I purchased a new phone in a panic, but I have since learned you can switch phones whenever you want, via Tracfone’s “manage lines” feature. I’ve already tried it, and it works like a charm…no loss of minutes or data. My old Moto E still charges, though slowly, but I’d prefer to use that one when calling in to Marshall’s show as I have a hunch the voice transmission will be better than my Blu View 2, which is $20 cheaper. But if not, I can switch back in hopes of resolving that issue, should it ever arise. It’s also nice to have a backup phone in case the other gets lost, stolen or stops working for whatever reason.

CLOTHING UPDATE

I finally caved in to purchasing new clothing via Amazon, Deek’s allowance be damned, it’s over. I cannot in good conscience continue to support someone, financially or otherwise, who abuses his dogs. This is NOT a veiled excuse to shop till I drop; my feelings about this are genuine. A pair of new sneakers ($47, yikes!), new sandals ($24) and two pairs of Hanes sweatpants with pockets ($26). And still, $125 remaining for the month, which I will hold onto until my next Soc. Sec. deposit arrives on the third, after which THAT remainder will go towards purchasing fresh underwear, socks, two pairs of elastic-waist pants, two sweaters, a couple of long-sleeve shirts and a second warm coat.

“Elastic waist?” you may be wondering, “What’s up with that?” Well, for the past 15 years or so I’ve never been able to stop hitching up my belted pants, no matter what kind of belt I try. Nor do suspenders work either: they’re made so cheaply these days, one of the clasps always breaks soon after purchase without any way to repair it. These belt-free trousers look good, and cost around $30 each. Unfortunately, the “try before you buy” option reserved for Prime members works only if you use a credit card, and I’m stuck with debit. But returns are free, so same diff anyway.

DEEK UPDATE

I am finding newfound strength dealing with his atrocities, though it’s been a rough ride, emotionally, these past several days. He has NOT dropped by since our heated clash, even though his latest payday has come and gone. Which, I believe, is a good thing. For it is obvious to me a new phase has begun, where I must LET GO of the pups and place absolute trust in Kismet they shall be perfectly fine through it all. In fact, my Bodhisattva Premise demands I do so, if I have learned ANYTHING from its teachings and the many previous real-life challenges, which have all resolved themselves admirably well when I cease to worry, and do my best to maintain a positive light.

For once again, this latest crisis has caused the demons of negative fantasy to rise to my consciousness. And it is MY responsibility, and mine alone, to vanquish each one ASAP. Worry over the pups’ happiness and well-being, Deek’s threatening behavior, imagining worst-case scenarios: all demons I’ve managed to quell by focusing on relaxation and looking on the bright side. In short:

NEVER CAVE IN TO DARK FORCES, WHETHER FROM WITHIN ONESELF, OR WITHOUT. ALLAY THEM ALL WITH KIND AND BEAUTIFUL THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS. DO NOT FIGHT THEM LIKE ENEMIES AS DRAMA QUEENS AND FAKE HEROES DO, BUT REALIZE THEY ARE ALSO TEACHERS. THEREFORE LEARN FROM THESE CHALLENGES THEY FLING AT YOUR FEET, AND BE GRATEFUL.

If I’m correct that Deek is but my main bodhisattva guardian these days, he KNOWS this, thus acted out a painful scenario and departed, allowing me time to figure things out and grow into a higher realm of existence as a result. And the SFPD, of all people, facilitated my transition into this new phase…making them my guardians, likewise. THEY EVEN DROVE ALL THE HOUSELESS OUT OF THE CASTRO for good measure, that I tend to my own needs right now! I know this is not all about me, but the timing is clearly to my benefit.

And yes, I WILL resume his allowance, once he gives PROOF he is treating the dogs with love at all times. Until then, though, no dice. One more thing:

PALLAS UPDATE

This morning when I went to Rosenberg’s for my morning java, Pallas was tending the cash register and, just before I departed, said:

“Hold on, I wanna write something out for you!”

“Oh, okay,” I replied, knowing full well he was gonna jot down one or more books of an Indo-religious nature to recommend. After all, that’s why I gave him my email some weeks back, but for some reason he never got around to it. Just as he began scrolling a ballpoint across the back of a receipt I decided to say in jest:

“Or you can just speak to me directly, I’m right here!”

So that’s what the attached pic is all about. Which appears to contain a short list of two authors, and a general theme:

Baba Deep
Singh Ji Shaheed
Sikh religion

I have yet to look ’em up on the web, but will do so later today. I look very much forward to holding scintillating conversations with him once I have all of the above references under my belt a bit. Or elastic waist band in my case.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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