Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Category: Uncategorized (page 3 of 737)

Maggie Haberman Receives A Late-Night Phone Call From Whom You’d Expect


“Just one night of peace. Just one…yeah, what do you want?”

“Hi. We need two pies, one with pepperoni, and an order of cheesy bread.”

“Hi, Don, Jr.”

“Is this Papa John’s?”

“No, it’s Maggie Haberman.”

“That’s the weirdest name for a pizza place.”

“I’m not a pizzeria, Junior. I’m a reporter for the New York Times.

“The lying, failing New York Times?”

“Ohhhh, right. You’re fake news.”

“Sure. Busy day, huh?”

“Everybody’s stupid. No one knows what’s going on. My FRIEND Julian was trying to help my dad make America great, and the media is making, like, this whole thing about it like it’s a federal case.”

“It is literally a federal case, Junior.”

“WHY? I didn’t do anything wrong. Maggie?”


“Do you have any pizza at your house you could bring over?”


“I’m so hungry.”

“Junior, tell me about your relationship with Julian Assange.”

“Julian Asswich is my friend.”


“Hasaaaaaan CHOP! Remember that? From the Daffy Duck cartoon? Big Ay-rab guy with a sword. Do you know they throw buildings at homosexuals?”

“Concentrate, Junior.”

“Julie’s awesome.”

“Don’t call him that.”

“We met on Twitter. He’s my tweep.”

“Don’t ever say that word again.”

“And we, like, send each other memes. That guy? That guy memes.”

“Uh-huh. What else?”

“Couch tour.”

“Don’t you bring couch tour into this. Leave couch tour out of it.”

“Okay, so you tell me what the problem is. He sends me a link to a site.”


“A lying, failing fake news site that wants to say fake things about my dad.”


“And he gives me the password to the admin page. So I log in, right? And it’s one of those sites with the About page where they have little bios for everyone who contributes? So, I changed all their info.”

“To what?”


“I called them all gay.”

“Good one, Junior.”

“Even the ladies!”

“Wow. You’re like Lenny Bruce.”

“I don’t know who that is. Is he a winner?”

“Not really. Listen, Junior: that’s a crime. What you just described is a crime.”

“Calling people gay? I swear that political correctness is killing this country. We need to build a wall.”

“To keep out political correctness?”


“Uh-huh. The crime is hacking. Hacking is a crime, Junior.”

“Pssh. Hacking’s not a crime. Hacking’s fucking awesome. Besides, I covered my tracks.”

“How so?”

“I switched my browser to incognito mode.”

“Yeah, you covered your tracks.”

“I’m fucking Archer, man.”

“You are. What else did you guys discuss?”

“Chicks. Star Wars. The gym. Chicks.”

“You said chicks twice.”

“That guy fucks. That guy memes, and that guy fucks.”


“Oh, and he would give me tips on when he was going to drop some heavy information. Like, a heads-up. And then I’d tell my dad. And, like, my dad looked at me with…I don’t know. I’ve never seen that expression on his face before.”


“I guess. He didn’t slap me in front of people like he usually does.”

“All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

“Wow. That’s deep. Is that Kanye?”

“No. Junior, you keep getting yourself into deeper and deeper trouble with these Russians.”

“I wasn’t talking to the Russians this time. I was talking to Julian from Wikileaks.”

“I stand by my statement.”

“It’s just all fake news! The Democrats and the Deep State and George Soros and Hillary Clinton are the ones who collude. No collude from me. They have so much collude.”


“Do you know what collude means?”

“I keep meaning to look it up.”

“Junior, you need a lawyer.”

“My dad’s lawyers said that I didn’t.”

“That’s because they’re setting you up to take the fall.”

“My dad wouldn’t do that. He told me I was his favorite. I mean, he was looking at Ivanka when he said it, but I was in the room.”

“Right. Junior, I’m going to bed. Try not to fuck up any more than you already have.”

“Okay. Forget the pizza. Could you make me a sandwich and bring it by?”


Without Love, It Ain’t Much

To paraphrase the old saying about Ginger Rogers: Sheila plays those timbales as well as Tito Puente, but in an evening gown and high heels.

TotD’s Predictions For The Upcoming Lord Of The Rings Series

  • Those stupid little hobbles.
  • Fucking wizards or some bullshit like that.
  • Bunch of white assholes walking someplace.
  • Mountains with dumb names.
  • Woody Harrelson for some reason.
  • Some little idiot runs his idiot mouth about second fucking breakfast and all the nerds go YAAAY.
  • Halfway through the series, the Washington Post runs a story about how Treebeard the Ent has been masturbating in front of shrubs.
  • Magic fucking sword.
  • Mystic fucking jewelry.
  • Silly names as far as the eye can see.
  • Ooh, a prophecy.

The Secret Secret Correspondence Between Donald Trump, Jr., And Wikileaks

9/12/16, 10:23 am Congratulate DJT on his speech the other night. Very inspiring, especially the section about locking Hillary Clinton up. I HATE HER! That is one rough-looking lady. Not like DJT’s wife. Congratulate him on that, too.

9/19/16, 8:30 pm You ever watch 2 Broke Girls? Great show. Smoking hotties. The blonde is prettier, but the one with the big tits has such big tits.

10/3/16, 4:11 pm Have a great idea for DJT. He should call her a cunt. DJT’s popularity is based on his ability to “say what everyone is thinking.” What else does everyone think when they look at HRC but “What a cunt?” Maybe the crowd should chant it.

10/3/16 ,4:17 pm A good chant would be “Fuck that cunt! Fuck that cunt!” Very punchy.

10/8/16, 1:09 pm Got something I’d love if you could retweet. www.компьютерныйвирус.com. If you don’t want to retweet it, just click on it.

10/12/16 3:21 am What’s the weather like? I have forgotten what it feels like on my pale skin and creepy hair. Noticed you haven’t gotten back to me. I know you’re busy, but not cool.

10/12/16, 4:11 am Let’s skype so you can watch me pound off.

10/12/16, 4:12 am Meant to send that to someone else. Sorry.

10/17/16, 8:33 pm Another idea for DJT at the debate. Announce that he will grant Assange a pardon and name Assange to the Supreme Court.

10/28/16, 4:11 am Let’s skype so you can watch me pound off. This is for you, Junior.

10.31/16, 10:51 am Hey, my DM’s are all wonky. Did you send me something? I thought you might have. Let me know.

11/8/16, 11:48 pm WE DID IT.


So Happy Together

Well, this is awkward.

“Hey, Thoughts on my Ass. Tell Phil he can munch my nads.”


“Hey, dickhead. Let Billy know that I can smell his asshole from here.”

I don’t know when I turned into a marriage counselor.

“Billy doesn’t believe in marriage counselors. He prefers defense attorneys.”



I’ll leave you two alone.

They Want To Lead The Glamorous Life



Do I want to know what’s in the sack?


Is it–

“Not a human.”

–a human? Okay.

“Just let this one go, boss.”

It’s gonna be tough.

“Suck it up.”

Mickey’s raccoons?

“Let it go.”


Sketches Of Oklahoma

Goddamn, you look good, Mr. Davis.

“I know.”

What are those trousers made of?

“Masculinity. And some sort of reptile.”

You always were a snappy dresser.

“That’s what I hated about those fucking hillbilly bands I used to have to play with. Sloppy little white children. If they was my white children, I’d drown ’em in the fucking tub. What’s that ugly motherfucker’s name with the high voice?”

Geddy Lee.


Steve Perry.


Neil Young.

“That’s him. Big gawky motherfucker. Played with him in New York for that Jew who was always yelling and trying to steal from me.”

Bill Graham.

“That’s him. Neil Young. Yeah. Couldn’t bear to fucking look at him. Got sweat under his armpits, jeans all stained. Motherfucker looked like the bum the other bums use as a cautionary tale. Smelled like an asshole left in the sun. It angered me. I didn’t like it. And his band was worse. I slapped his bass player on principle.”

Of course you did.

“Keith Jarrett showed up for a gig looking like that once. I kicked him real hard in the chest. Man needs to be clean. Look his best. Cut his hair. Take a fucking shower now and then. Shape the fuck up.”


“Who the fuck is that?”

Oh, shit. This won’t end well.


“This motherfucker?”

He just shows up. Sorry, Mr. Davis.


“He crazy?”

Yes. Oh, and he’s most likely gonna–


–challenge you to karate.

“Karate my dick, motherfucker.”




“Who the fuck you calling ‘boy?'”


Yeah, this was the only way this could end.

The Greatest Show on Ice


“Yes, sir.”

“I had a napmare! Bring my wibby!”

“By ‘wibby,’ you mean–”


“–scotch? Yes, sir.”


“Such a wonderful drink named after such mud-covered savages.”

“If we could get past the baseless racism, sir. You said you had a nightmare?”

“Dammit, Jenkins, do you have dicks in your ears? Little skinny dicks blocking up your eustachian tubes?”

“Not that I’m aware of, sir.”

“Napmare. Much worse than a nightmare.”

“How so?”

“Shorter! All the horror has to be packed into 20 minutes instead of being spread out all night.”

“20 minutes? You’ve been asleep for three hours, sir.”

“And yet I’m still sleepy.”

“What was the dream about, sir?”

“Oh, Jenkins, it was terrible. Time looped in upon itself like a fat boy doing somersaults. We were stuck performing the same inane, useless tasks day after day after day. Nothing ever changed! My God, what an awful dream. Ah, well. Over now. Just a dream. So, what’s on the agenda.”

“Dead & Company’s back on tour and we need to make a poster.”


“Get away from the window, sir!”

“Why? I’ll just wake up again tomorrow, which will be today again!”

“Sir, no!”


“You’re awake, sir! You’re not in a time loop!”

“Then why do we keep doing the same shit over and over?”

“Life is both cyclical and progressive, sir.”

“I can’t take it, Jenkins. I’m very fragile. I feel as though I may snap at any second. Like Emily Dickinson at a Black Friday sale.”

“Oh, she wouldn’t do well that in that environment.”

“She is me, Jenkins! I am her! Look at my hand. It’s trembling.”

“That’s your penis, sir.”

“Oh, so it is. Hello there, Monsieur Floppy.”

“Sir, the poster.”


“Yes, sir. The band will be playing at MSG.”

“Ah, yes. The Mongolian Sex Gulch. My children had their Bar Mitzvahs there.”

“No, sir. Madison Square Garden.”

“Oh. I had Mongolian sex there.”

“I’ll regret asking this, sir, but what is Mongolian sex?”

“It’s semi-nomadic.”

“I’m moving on as though this conversation made sense. Do you have any ideas?”

“Child labor needs to make a comeback.”

“Ideas about the poster, sir.”


“Yes, sir.”

“Something that goes with the venue. Let me see, let me see. MSG. MSG. MSG. Ah! A Chinaman frying up a cat!”

“Sir, the racism needs to stop. It’s 2017.”

“Yes, I know. Have you looked around? Racism is getting a reboot. Like Star Wars, but less diverse.”

“Let’s concentrate, sir.”

“Yes, yes, How about a drop more concentration juice?”


“Yummy. Oh, by the way, how many of these posters are we going to have to do this time around?”

“About a dozen.”

“Just hand me the damn bottle.”


“Smooth. Jenkins, I might take up crack.”

“Oh, sir, no. Why?”

“No one’s doing it anymore. I feel bad for crack. Used to play the big rooms.”



“How about something related to sports?”

“Jeff Chimenti in a jockstrap.”

“No, sir. Sports that take place in Madison Square Garden.”

“Patrick Ewing’s sweaty dong.”

“No, sir.”

“You didn’t let me finish, damn you.”

“Excuse me, sir.”

“Patrick Ewing’s sweaty dong, and Billy and Mickey are his sweaty balls.”

“Ah. It’s still no, sir.”

“Is it too late to go to grad school, Jenkins? I could be a squirrel scientist. Sit outside with a notebook. ‘2:30 pm: squirrel ran up tree.’ ‘2:35: ran back down.’ I’d record the doings of squirrels and be happy. Do I deserve happiness, Jenkins?”

“Can we get back to the poster, sir?”

“Poster! Oh, fine, let’s plow through this. Heads is basketball, tails is hockey.”



“Hockey it is, sir.”

“Heads is bears, tails is turtles.”

“Oh, no, sir. That isn’t necessary. It has to be bears.”

“Why is this?”

“Turtles are cold-blooded. They can’t play hockey.”

“Excellent point, Jenkins. Deadheads demand scientific exactitude in their posters.”

“Thank you, sir. What about the colors?”

“Make it look like a TeleTubbie threw up.”

“Yes, sir. And the font?”

“Third-rate circus.”

“Yes, sir. Isn’t this exciting? Fall tour!”

“Go buy me some crack, Jenkins.”

“Oh, sir.”

Bobby, Bird

Is that directed at the rest of the band because of the Cumberland?

“Little bit. You know, uh, usually the train wreck comes in the middle of a song. I haven’t seen anything start that poorly since the Obamacare rollout.”

Topical. Nice.

“I read the papers.”



How come you’re flipping off your band three nights ago for something that happened tonight?

“Are you familiar with the concept of semi-fictionality?”

Hey, don’t pull that shit on me, man.

“You asked for it.”

I did, yeah.

Veteran’s Day In Little Aleppo

An ex-roadie and a ghost cop were in a cemetery. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The day had barely taken hold and it was still foggy, but a very thin fog, the kind that does not obscure but makes the world blurry like an aging movie star filmed through a vaseline-coated lens. They had met at the Victory Diner before dawn. Ghosts don’t need to eat, but a short stack of pancakes is delicious even to the dead; ex-roadies do need to eat, but not pancakes. They sat in his stomach too heavy. Both had coffee, black. Tipped too much and walked out to the curb. 1961 Lincoln Continental in triple black: the paint, the leather, and the ragtop, which was down.

South on the Main Drag. Mile or two. Left turn onto Chambers Street. This is the Downside, and it is waking up. Sidewalks are shiny and slick. Men and women with their first names written in script on the breast pockets of their shirts walk to work. There are no joggers or children. Paperboys lean forward over their handlebars and toss the Cenotaph onto stoops and steps. Head east, head towards the Segovian Hills. The sun is behind the range, peaking through the steep canyon that separates Pulaski Peak from Mt. Charity. Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Faith, Mt. Fortitude, Mt. Chastity, Pulaski Peak, Mt. Charity, Mt. Booth. The seven hills, left to right if you’re standing on the Main Drag. Foothills now, and the land is lumpy and bumpy and undulating like it is gathering the courage to become a mountain. Turn south again onto Carrier Place. Park the Continental and get out. Only the driver’s side door opens and closes.

“Told you to stop floating out of the damn car,” Precarious Lee says.

“It’s easier.”

“Shitting in your pants is easier than finding the john, but that’s not the point.”

“Worry about yourself,” Officer Romeo Rodriguez says.

And they were in the cemetery.

Foole’s Yard was where Little Aleppo buried the decent. After the Wayside Fire in 1871, Miss Valentine was interred there under a white marble tombstone that had chubby little angels chiseled into it. Had her birthday on it, and the day she died, and a simple epitaph reading “Pillar of the Community.” The whores she owned were dumped into a mass grave in the southwest corner of the Verdance. The Pulaski were there, too, and so were the residents of the first Chinatown. Foole’s Yard had the Town Fathers, even the disgraced ones, and judges and businessmen and businessmen’s wives. Boat owners and sportswriters. Three generations of the McGlory clan. Dillon Kenny, Little Aleppo’s first Fire Chief, was in the far corner surrounded by his men, Dillon’s Dousers. Near the entrance was a fresh grave; the sod had not yet been laid in over it; bare dirt in a rectangle. The stone had Manfred Pierce’s name on it, and the epitaph was simple. “Hello, beautiful.” Below that it read “Seaman First Class – US Navy.”

Precarious had a grocery bag full of American flags, the size of 3 x 5 cards and made of thick, cheap cloth and affixed to a thin wooden dowel. He stuck one at the head of the grave. He had not been raised Catholic, so he did not cross himself, but he lowered his head and closed his eyes and then opened them and read the stone again and smirked. Manfred told the same jokes for 30 years, and one of them involved the phrase “first class seaman.”

“You know him?”

“Sure,” Precarious said. “Went by the Wayside every so often.”

Romeo cocked an eye and said,

“It was a gay bar.”

“I didn’t suck anybody’s cock while I was in there. I just had a beer.”

“Not my type of place.”

“Grow the fuck up.”

Precarious had his boots on. Thick leather, square-toed, mid-calf. Black. He had shined them the night prior the way he had been taught in the Army. The process involves spit, and a lighter, and more grease than an old man’s elbow should produce in one sitting; the joint throbbed now. Precarious had been wearing sneakers more and more lately, cushiony soles and supportive inseams. His knees chose his footwear in the mornings. No sneakers today, though. To the living, one owes respect, but to the dead, one owes a real pair of shoes.

He could see the boundaries of the graveyard. A fence, metal, spiked. Easily climbable by acid-soaked teens and raccoons scooted through the bars at will. The barrier between the living and the dead had holes in it, and it was simple to slide between the two.

Officer Romeo Rodriguez had a shopping bag the same as Precarious, and he read the gravestones. Beloved mothers, and cherished husbands. Babies. The Mackinack family, they all had the same date of death on their stones. There was a story there. He looked for the chiseled service records, stuck a flag in the soft ground. Romeo had been raised Catholic, so he crossed himself. He had not taken Communion since he’d been murdered, and he felt guilty about it; he had been raised Catholic.

Where are you fuckers? I came back, he thought. Where are all of you?

Flag for the sergeant, the petty officer, flag for the WACs and WAVEs. Flag for the Marines, hoorah the Corps, and Romeo planted them for the other, lesser services. The fog had lifted, but he was still slightly blurry. He had not shined his boots because they would not take a shine. Tactical footwear. Mesh and formulated fabric and laces and gel in the soles. Not a drop of leather.



“What’s a Hello Girl?”

“Oh, yeah. Louise Breton.”


Precarious had walked over to Romeo and now they stood at Louise Breton’s grave. Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother. 1897-1989. Hello Girl.

“World War I. We got in it in 1917, right?”


Romeo said “right” because he was good at reading vocal inflections, not because of his grasp of history. He knew that World War I came before World War II, but that was about it.

“Pershing. Blackjack Pershing. He said that wars were won by the side that communicated the best. At the time, France had their own way of running a telephone system. French got their own way of doing fucking everything. So he hires a bunch of girls to be switchboard operators. Connects the trenches to command.”

“Never heard about them.”

“Yeah. They were called the Hello Girls. Wore uniforms, got medals, and when the war ended, they got stiffed out of their benefits.”

“Welcome to the military.”


Precarious took the north side of the graveyard and Romeo took the south; they’d meet in the middle, squabble, separate. Crosses, stars, crescents. Caduceus for a doctor named Proctor, Thalia and Melpomene for an actor named Shachter. Teachers and preachers and middlemen.




He did. Romeo was standing in front of a tombstone that read “Otto Dasch – Nazi Spy, Beloved Father and Husband.”

“What the fuck?”

“Otto. Yeah. Funny story: Otto was a Nazi spy.”

“I got that. What the fuck?”

“Well, this was before my time, but I heard the story.”

“Who’d you hear it from?”

“You know Holly, Wood, and Vine? The lawyers? Holly told me.”

“Lawrence Holly? You knew him?”

The law school at Harper College was named after Lawrence Holly, and so was a mud wrestling club far on the Downside.

“Sure I knew him.”


Cop habits die hard, even after the cop is dead.

“He was my lawyer,” Precarious said.

“Why’d you need a lawyer?”

“I claim attorney-client privilege. And stop asking so many questions. I thought you wanted a story.”

“Now I don’t know which story I want to hear.”

Precarious reached under his black vest to the breast pocket of his shirt and took out a soft pack of Camels. He had worn his vest because it was a formal occasion. He had a suit and tie for funerals, but that was for people who had died. These people, Precarious figured, had not died. These fuckers were dead. They got the vest. He popped a smoke out of the pack by twitching his wrist and pulled it from the pack with his lips. Replaced the pack in the pocket. Zippo from the change pocket that lay within the left hip pocket of his Levi’s.



And the lighter slid back into his jeans.

“This was ’42? ’43? Before D-Day. Germans are pulling all sorts of bullshit. I suppose we were, too, but fuck ’em. There’s submarines off Long Island and all kinds of saboteur nonsense. Undercover agents. Real fifth column type stuff.”


Romeo had no idea what a fifth column was.

“And Otto here? He got sent to Little Aleppo.”

“Why the fuck would you send a spy here?”

“Well, you know, the Nazis were a lot dumber than we make ’em out to be. They did lose the war.”


“And according to the story I heard, Otto might have gotten lost or confused, See, he was the worst Nazi spy in the world. You know how con-men don’t do too well in Little Aleppo?”

“They do seem to get caught quick.”

“Yeah. And being a spy is just like being a con-man. And Otto was just awful at it. Thick accent. Shit, he even had the little mustache. Plus, he’d get drunk and straight-up admit to being a Nazi spy. Brag about it.”

Romeo turned to face Precarious and said,

“Why didn’t anyone turn him in?”

“Well, think about it. If they got rid of the terrible spy, then the Nazis might send one that knew what he was doing. Then you got all sorts of insecurity. Every new person that comes into the neighborhood, you start wondering if they’re a spy. Better to have a spy you could keep your eye on.”

“That makes no sense.”

“In addition to being a bad spy, Otto was also a bad Nazi. He took to America hard. Grew up on Hollywood and now here he was in California. Decided he wasn’t going back his first week here.”

“But he was still a spy,” Romeo said.

“Yeah, but more of an unofficial double-agent. Him and his buddies down at the Buntz Bierhaus would come up with outlandish stories to send back to Berlin. They’d try to figure out what would cause the most confusion. Told ’em we were training chimpanzees to jump out of planes. Gonna shoot ’em full of tuberculosis and drop ’em into city centers with open wounds and rifles. That story got all the way up to Himmler. There’s memos and everything. It’s fucking history.”

Romeo smiled.

“That’s kinda funny.”

“Funny as fuck. By ’44, the Cenotaph was running polls about what the next bullshit he should sen back would be. Otto became a bit of a local celebrity.”

“This fucking neighborhood.”

“Hey, who else had a honest-to-goodness Nazi spy? He made everyone feel a part of the war. Until he showed up, it was mostly profiteering and draft dodging.”

“There was no draft dodging in World War II.”

“There was in Little Aleppo.”

Precarious took one last drag off his cigarette PHWOO; he raised his left foot up to his right knee and brushed out the cherry on his heel. Crumpled the remainder into a little ball and shoved it in his back pocket.

“And after the war?”

“Otto settled in. Opened a shoe store. Collected butterflies. Married a black chick.”

“Black chick?”

“I told you: he was a bad Nazi.”

Romeo didn’t put a flag down for Otto Dasch, but Precarious did. The sun was higher in the sky now and from around the cemetery came work sounds. Crunching transmissions and the beepbeepbeep of reversing trucks and garment racks rolling along the sidewalk. In the southeast corner of Foole’s Yard, a gravedigger did just that with a Bobcat, The mechanized shovel pulled dirt from the ground with ease; the earth had no hold of its soil and it slipped away with no argument or protest, just the thrum of the diesel engine in the back of the ‘cat.

There is always a need for a fresh grave.

Marine and Soldier and Sailor and Airman and one or two Coasties. You get a flag, and you get a flag, and you get a flag. The Barkwith brothers, who fought for the Confederacy got flags. Precarious smirked as he stuck Old Glory at their feet. Korea and Vietnam. Various Middle Eastern locales. Hiram Creech was a Rough Rider. Veracruz and Nicaragua and Manila. Hawaii and Honduras. Cuba and China and Cambodia. You name it.



“What does this mean?”

Precarious walked over to Romeo and read the tombstone of a man named Guy LeFaun. 1918-1944. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

“It is sweet and proper to die for your country.”

The only noise in the cemetery was the Bobcat.

“I don’t know about that,” Romeo said.

“Yeah. Me, neither.”

They were out of flags and out of graves, so the ex-roadie and the ghost cop walked out of Foole’s Yard and back to the 1961 Lincoln Continental, triple black with suicide doors, and Precarious Lee glided the car away from the curb nice and smooth and none of the dead cared at all about Veteran’s Day in Little Aleppo, which is a neighborhood in America.

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