The Muffin Chapter

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 5]

Re: “I’ve never been that happy in my entire life!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 10, 2023 at 1:35 PM

> English muffins give me reason to live…

It’s the crunch with the munch that I love a bunch, for breakfast, supper or even lunch!

Re: 2 Quick Visits, Then Gone
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 10, 2023 at 1:59 PM

[Referring to my saccharine greeting to Kevin:]

> This is good. Kill ’em with kindness.

Two down, one to go.

[Referring to my club footed serial killer vignette:]

> Now THAT’S inspired!!!!!!

I had fun conjuring up THAT one. The stormy gray sky made for a perfect backdrop. Not to mention the creaky old turn-of-the-last-century building itself, with cheaply carpeted floors and a fading blood stain on the stairway wall.

> I know. People are SO willing and eager to jump on the Fauci-the-Villain bandwagon. We should be putting up statues of him and heaping on him medals of honor and Nobel prizes and brass figligees.

That’s right. But such is the way true heroes are treated…almost like a mark of courage.

[Referring to the impact I’ve had on the MCN mailing list:]

> There’s a small but howling lynchmob faction who would drag me out of my house and tar and feather me if they knew you’re on the list because of me! I just sit back like the Empress Wu and watch the tiny mortals scurry about.

What fun! Always at your service, My Osmium Empress of the Netherworlds.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: 2 dogs are okay for emergency shelter, according to this article.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 12:25 PM

Deek just didn’t bother to seek protection from the storm. However, a HOT agent did try to get him into a shelter, and said they’re all booked up. And according to the article, it’s just a 24 hour reprieve, so I guess the unhoused must stand outside in a long line, out there in the rain, each and every time through this string of storms. So how can I really blame Deek under such a Kafkaesque scenario?

Heavy unabating drizzle (“light rain?”) since 9:30 AM. Deek has not dropped by since yesterday afternoon, to pick up his JBL Partybox. I forgot to return the sweater, which I hung to dry; it was only slightly damp in the first place. So right when he began to walk away I said:

“Hold on, Deek, let me rush upstairs to get you that sweater, it’s dry now!”

“No thanks,” he replied. “I might come back for it tonight.”

I didn’t believe he would, and he didn’t. So there’s only one doggy sweater, if any, back at his campsite. Regardless, I DO hope he’s keeping the pups warm and dry in that tent which he may or may not really be using, with those two sleeping bags that he may or may not have anymore, that may or may not be soaking wet at this point. Meanwhile:

Yesterday morning I had another run-in with Scooter, this time in the lobby where he was about to exit. He thanked me again for allowing him to use the shared commode. So I said:

“Doesn’t Karlsen have his own bathroom?”

He replied that yes he does, but the toilet’s clogged. That figures. So now what, Wattson, is he gonna start knocking on my door whenever he needs to take a dump? Or will Karlsen bother to inform the manager to get that toilet repaired? I’d rather not complain to Kevin about a homeless guy who appears to have moved in thanks to Karlsen’s stupidity. Even though Scooter may be dangerous due to his local history of walking around out front, screaming and cussing like the meth freak he is. IOW I am not the least bit assuaged by his polite demeanor of recent vintage. And Kevin is just too untrustworthy a manager to take any complaint I have seriously. But if Scooter DOES start knocking on my door I will surely complain, nonetheless.

I don’t think he knows exactly where I reside, and I hope it stays that way. Though not knowing whether or not I’ll encounter him whenever I step out of my room is NOT a pleasant way to live, nor do I deserve this new stress factor in my world. I also am concerned he may start asking me to let him inside the building, should he see me enter or leave. Or even start calling up to my window for that! In which case I’ll probably go over Kevin’s head and call the SFPD.

Last night around 11 PM I heard his shrill, repeated whistle and hollering up to Karlsen. Whether eventually he got inside or not I have no idea. But this shit’s gotta end! Here’s another gruesome thought for ya, Wattson:

Imagine if Scooter remains residing there for weeks until a gag-inducing rotten smell from that unit overwhelms the hallway, and the homeless intruder gets arrested for illegally occupying a studio apartment paid for by a resident who is now a corpse? Cue appropriate theme music here:

Re: 2 dogs are okay for emergency shelter, according to this article.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 2:21 PM

> Not even remotely farfetched.

I’m putting it all on record via my tales, regarding further incidents of lousy management that may further empower my oncoming lawsuit. Surely a rotting corpse will help my case immensely. Or even just what’s going on now. But a decomposing occupant is preferable, so keep your fingers crossed.

Karlsen lives right across Adisa and mom’s old apartment, which I think is now occupied again, though I don’t know who it is. But I wonder if the new resident has complained about any disturbances coming from that unit. Considering all the scary stuff that goes on in Hotel California North, I’m surprised most tenants haven’t fled in a panic! Well, maybe that explains the high turnover?

All we need now is for Adisa to break into the building in a bad-batch-of-meth frenzy, wreaking havoc till he’s carted off to jail or an institution. Wouldn’t THAT be dandy. Jeez, this gloomy weather is giving me a deluge of Gothic musings…but it’s all grist for the blog mill AFAIC. Continuously watching catastrophic climate change doomer videos doesn’t help matters any. I feel like the Grim Reaper kicking back with popcorn and Pepsi, witnessing the fruits of his labor ripen.

Worse yet: my supply of English muffins ran out yesterday. I only eat the whole wheat variety, but since the supply line for many items has become sporadic thanks to this ongoing pandemic, local corner stores sometimes take weeks to get a fresh replacement. Which supply is usually limited to two or three packages of six muffins each (not counting the sickly white flour equivalent)…so I usually snatch ’em all up, probably to the disappointment of other customers. So whenever I suffer a dearth of muffins, I make my own halvah out of three rectangular whole wheat Ak-mak crackers ground to a meal with my blender, two dashes of Ceylon cinnamon powder, three tablespoons of tahini, and two teaspoons of raw honey. Mix it all up and eat with a spoon, washing it down with Rosenberg’s golden elixir. In conclusion:

Were it not for two, sweet little hounds I’d have morphed into a basket case long ago! If only they could have sanctuary with me now…I owe them so much.

> “Good evening.”

See attachment.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: 2 dogs are okay for emergency shelter, according to this article.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 3:47 PM

> My absolute favorite English Muffins are “Rudi’s.” Can only get them in the little old health food store in Ft. Bragg, and they get snatched off the shelf almost instantly. Whole wheat, organic, fantastic flavor and crunchy texture. The best! When I can’t get those, the next best are (believe it or not) Safeway’s own brand. Also whole wheat, very fresh and flavorful.

I just checked Amazon for Rudi’s and was delighted to see they sell ’em, too…and accept my EBT card. Unfortunately, there’s a $4.99 delivery fee for orders less than $35. A package of Rudi’s costs $5.79 each, thus I’d have to order SEVEN to avoid delivery fee! So it’s off to Safeway I go, once the rains stop for awhile, probably some time tomorrow. But with my luck they most likely won’t be in stock. In which case I’ll order three packages of Rudi’s English muffins from Amazon, plus whatever else I need, that I normally buy around the corner.

The whole wheat muffins I get are Orowheat brand, and they’re inferior. It’s just that they’re the only brand of muffins I can buy within walking distance (except Safeway, which I mostly avoid, but I didn’t know about their muffins till today). Years ago I used to buy multi-grain English muffins from a health food store in Cole Valley: INCREDIBLE! Forgot which brand they were, but they’ve long since stopped carrying them (and that shop shut down over a decade ago)…I’ve never tasted such a delicious English muffin since. Orowheat’s the bottom of the whole wheat muffin barrel…were there such a thing in the first place.

> Damn, that sounds good.

Homemade halvah: scrumptious and easy to fix…and pretty nutritional.

> One of these days….

I’m sure my darling brindlekin will be living with me again, one way or another. Perhaps after the apocalypse when there will be hardly anyone else around, and I can have my pick of housing, including a residence with a big ol’ backyard where the pups can play in safety. I’ll keep Deek tied to a chain in one corner of the yard.

> I love it!!!!!!! Such memories! Hitchcock, Twilight Zone, Max Fleischer cartoons, Mad Magazine: all helped shape my young brain.

I knew you’d like it…just the tersest of greetings that have become the trademark words of a classic voice from the horror genre of our formative years. Now, I have a question for you:

It’s about a word you used at the end of this following sentence from a message you posted me yesterday. I couldn’t find it anywhere on the ‘net, including Meriam-Webster. So I’d like to know if it’s a REAL word or a typo:

“We should be putting up statues of him and heaping on him medals of honor and Nobel prizes and brass figligees.”

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: What the heck, I just ordered 6!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 4:27 PM

Six packages of Rudi’s whole wheat English muffins comin’ up! I tried to purchase 7, but the limit is one less, so I also ordered an 8 ounce tub of Amazon Kitchen garlic hummus for $2.49, which gave me a grand total of $37.23 via EBT. So no delivery fee, but if you’re not careful you’ll miss the suggested $5 tip way at the bottom…which I didn’t, so turned THAT to zero. Delivery will occur between 7 and 9 PM tonight. I have a freezer to store all those muffins. But screw it, I’ll eat TWO per day for now on! Perfect for a healthy boy still growing.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I sent my latest tale to Marshall this morning (as I do every Wednesday), and he posted back a bit later to say he got it. He always lets me know, since those two times in a row he slipped up. What a boost this is in my life…weekly installments of Brindlekin Tales up there in Mendoland. How the unicorns must be dancing! I don’t think the rain bothers them one bit.

Re: What the heck, I just ordered 6!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 7:04 PM

> Wow! Where did you order the muffins from??

Amazon of course. But I think they’re out of stock for a short while, because they don’t show up anymore since I ordered six packages. So maybe my attempt to purchase seven was because six was all they had left. But I just found a store that sells Rudi’s muffins within a short walking distance:

Mollie Stones.

Where Arwyn works.

Is that funny or what?

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: 2 dogs are okay for emergency shelter, according to this article.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 7:44 PM

> It’s a real-ish word. I heard it in a comedic context, someone spoofing military honors: “Yeah, we’re gonna give you a brass figligee and a bronze oak-leaf cluster.”

Love it, thanks! I’m keeping it in my tales then, including your explanation so readers may enjoy the intentional malapropism, or “mispronuncication.” I got that word by looking up the question: “what do you call a word intentionally mispronounced for humor,” which spat out this article.

Re: 2 dogs are okay for emergency shelter, according to this article.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 7:51 PM

> Definitely inferior, but far better than no muffin at all…

Any muffin in a storm.

> With a piece of cardboard for him to sleep on, of course!

Certainement! I’d never deny him that small comfort, like he does the pups. I’m a better man than that.

Subject: Muffins arrived a few minutes ago!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 9:19 PM

I was on the alert for a text from Amazon that the delivery person would soon arrive, or was waiting by the front gate…so I could go downstairs to pick up the items pronto. The delivery window was scheduled between 7 and 9 PM, and it was around 8:40 when I received a text that my items were just delivered! So I opened my door to head downstairs to the lobby, but:

[Lo and behold, like the oysters in Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter” the muffins were standing around right by my door, eager to step inside.]

To my surprise, the groceries were right beside the door in two paper bags. No knock on the door, no “Hello, is anybody home?” At any rate:

36 Rudi’s muffins have a new home in my freezer, and 6 others are thawing out in the balmy comfort of the fridge. And tomorrow morning I will take my first bite of a brand of English muffin I have never tasted before, but which I’m sure will delight both my palate and tongue! Because they come highly recommended by an outstanding human being who has never steered me wrong, never will (except when it comes to pumpkin pie which I find disgusting), and has always been the most benevolent, stalwart confidante I or anyone else will ever have the good fortune to know.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Rudi’s English muffins are back on the Amazon shelves, though only as an 8-pack, $48.24.

But there is also “Dave’s Killer Bread Rockin’ Grains English Muffins,” which are mostly whole wheat, at $7.49 a pack.

And finally, “Food For Life, Sprout 7 Grain English Muffins, Organic” that I would’ve bought instead, if I knew about it, $7.29 a pack.

Re: Muffins arrived a few minutes ago!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 10:48 PM

> Oh, gawrsh. I sure hope you like them. I realized after I recommended them to you that the variety I get in FB are Rudi’s Multigrain with Flax English muffins. But I suspect the whole wheat will be delish, too. And those other brands look good, too. The search for the perfect muffin!

I’m sure they will be quite tasty. But that IS funny. Have an excellent night and pleasant muffin dreams! Deek has NOT shown up this evening and I’m wondering if he actually got some temporary indoor shelter. I sure hope so!

Subject: Rudi’s whole wheat muffins suck…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 12, 2023 at 9:44 AM

…whatever morose feelings that may haunt me in my morning resurrection, right outta the park. Delightfully crunchy toasted, umami yeast tang thrills the tongue…satisfies my English muffin cravings like Orowheat never could. Huzzah!

Click here for a larger view.
Click here for a larger view.

Re: Rudi’s whole wheat muffins suck…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 12, 2023 at 2:01 PM

> Had me goin’ for a second there!

The Muffin Devil made me do it.

> I’m eating my surprisingly adequate Safeway muffin now, with butter and honey and a cup of black tea.

Tahini and honey is also good, which is how I’m having my second muffin in a moment. Anyway, Deek and pups are back, and it’s sunny and dry today. They’re relaxing out front right now, see pics. I asked if he still has his campsite with tent and sleeping bags. He just sat there nodding his head about to drift off to sleep, mumbled “I dunno.” He has few possessions with him now (not even a shopping cart), just the JBL monster, smartphone and that large blue drop cloth Flaco is lying down on like the Queen of Sheba. Lucky’s on the right, where I laid down cardboard and another new sleeping bag for the handsome lad.

Some hissy-fit disruption when he showed up, but nothing to write home about. He left me with the pups for about a half hour, so I fed and watered them, enjoyed their company till their master returned. Neck scritches, belly rubs and affectionate reverie all around.

Another storm comin’ up tonight and all the way into Sunday, heavy rains and thunder Friday and Saturday. Then the worst is over, I hope. I can’t afford any more sleeping bags, he needs to recycle the ones I gave him. but I don’t see it happening.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Rudi’s whole wheat muffins suck…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 12, 2023 at 3:01 PM

> That’s a prize-winning photo. content, angle, composition, color.

Thank you. But as i’ve said before, this is destiny: the prose, the photos, the videos, the audio pieces create themselves, unbidden. Some of which have just been sitting there for years in a dusty corner, waiting to appear onstage in my Brindlekin saga…like an old illustration from the 19th century or a voice from early television. Others that come to me unbidden are either recent or appear right before me at the moment, such as an image from a search engine, a post from the MCN discussion list, a spontaneous remark from a stranger that lights up my tales, and so forth.

This is why my stories are so astounding, for I am merely the recording secretary, and inspiration is my pen. And Marshall’s narration of passages from these tales becomes part of the story itself, expanding upon it. IOW my creation is self aware, and will some day change many lives for the better, drawing them into my opus as new, and welcome, characters. You and Marshall, along with some others, are the vanguards. My story becomes everyone’s story over the long, long run.

My tales are a multimedia feast. As time passes and my books get published, my WordPress site will remain the only place to enjoy the full impact…along with other sites that serve to replicate it. Rough edges and all. BTW, this chapter in progress I have already entitled “The Muffin Chapter,” for obvious reasons. Sometimes the simple things in life (such as the crunchy delight of a morning repast) become far more important than “big” things, like the war in Ukraine, a global pandemic, etc. In fact, they may even liberate humanity and heal the planet. It all comes down to perspective…and maybe the marvelous humor and cleverness of Kismet.

> I can see that Deek is a handsome fellow….

Good thing he’s so obnoxious or I might be tempted. Nah, not really…I only have eyes for the demi-dachshund miracles. They fill my heart with more joy than I ever dreamed of.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Texting w/Wattson: 1/13/23

Subject: EMTs showed up in my building again, last night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 13, 2023 at 4:30 PM

I heard the ambulance come howling up Market Street, and wondered if it was going to stop here. Sure enough it did, and I assumed it was another emergency call for my Bohemian trash neighbor, Karlsen. But when I stepped out my door a few minutes later, I heard voices from the floor above instead of around the corner, asking the usual medical questions to whoever was the patient.

I’m guessing it was our building manager, Kevin, who maybe collapsed in the hallway above, or leaned against the wall to keep from falling, or something like that. Because I’m sure it was his voice answering their queries as an EMT instructed the patient to sit down and not move. Or PERHAPS he was a helpful bystander and the patient could not speak at the moment.

Of course I didn’t pry by walking upstairs to take a gander, or standing around on my floor to watch whomever being spirited away. Deek and pups were camped outside for the evening, so I came downstairs to check on them, as an excuse to witness who would be exiting the front gate on that gurney presently parked in the lobby, unoccupied.

“Who’s THAT for?” queried Deek pointing at the ambulance the moment I stepped out.

“The building manager,” I replied. “Told you he wasn’t long for this world!”

“It couldn’t be!” he exclaimed. “I just saw him leave the building and cross the street a few minutes ago. Isn’t he that old man who walks with a stoop and never talks to anyone?”

I was amused by Deek’s apt description, but figured his sense of time and place may be awry, considering what prolonged meth use does to a person. Since the hounds were fast asleep and tucked in their sleeping bag, I did not want to rouse them…and since Deek was preoccupied in conversating with another vagrant, I only waited five minutes before returning hovel, though the gurney remained vacant and I walked up the stairs unobstructed.

Though just before stepping inside, I told Deek I have only one sleeping bag left, so return this one before you leave, and bring back any that get wet so I can dry them, as I can’t afford to buy any more for the rest of the month. His response, Wattson?


A little while later I heard voices outside my door, so opened it a crack only to see no one pass by. “Oh, they’re exiting the building right now!” I concluded and quickly went to the window and looked out:

SOMEone was definitely being rolled out on the gurney, but from my angle and the darkness of night, I could NOT make out the face before he was gently lifted into the ambulance. I didn’t bother to run downstairs and ask Deek if he saw who it was, because I doubt from his seated position fifteen-and-more feet away, that would be possible.

It’s now the next day, and I have yet to find out who that person was, rushed to the ER. But I’m pretty sure it’s Kevin. And if so, no doubt there’ll be a notice to that effect in the lobby, in a day or two. Or I’ll hear about it one way or another. Or I’ll just cross paths with Kevin himself, if it wasn’t him. In which case I hope he doesn’t see the disappointment on my face!

As for last night’s meetup with Deek, it was pleasantly uneventful. He DID call me down to watch the quadrupeds for twenty minutes or so while he rushed off to Safeway. My Raggedy Trio departed around 10 PM, and I wished them a warm, dry and safe night, crouching down to give the mutts a hug goodbye. Flaco stood on her hind legs to kiss me on the face, while her brother squeezed himself through the narrow space between my calves, in a repetitious little circle while emoting groans of endearment. Once they took off I cleaned up what scant debris remained in their little spot out front. They have not returned today, yet; maybe they won’t. He kept the sleeping bag BTW.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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