Category Archives: Wolf Tales

Hormone It

Over the past couple of years male friends of mine have openly and shamelessly lamented the various travails suddenly burdening their aging lives.  Some have actually announced they’re experiencing hot flashes!  Seriously?!  Hot flashes?!  In the olden days (c. 1970s and 80s) I often heard my mother and other women bemoaning the onset of this dreaded mid-life scourge.  Since I only heard women complaining, I thought we men were safe and had to deal with other traumas; such as our eyebrows growing together and more spontaneous urination incidents instead of spontaneous erections.

Alas, it seems the much-loathed hot flash has zoonotically migrated into the Y-chromosome crowd.  I knew women shouldn’t have been allowed to vote and wear slacks!

While I’ve attributed recent cranial temperature spikes to allergies and Texas’ perennial schizophrenic weather (which might explain some Texans to the rest of the civilized world), I don’t feel I’m experiencing hot flashes.  I prefer to call them “hormonal readjustments”.  They’re similar to gray hairs; they’re not gray hairs, people!  They’re stress highlights!

Shortly after I turned 40 in 2003 – in the days more commonly known as BH (Before HDTV) or BF (Before Facebook) – I came down with the flu for the first time in my entire life to date.

“What’s this shit about life beginning at 40?” I joked with my then-supervisor at work.

A round of Tamiflu, coupled with orange juice, rum and refraining from frequent masturbation helped over that uncomfortable, microbial slump.  But I still had the gnawing sensation my body had finally decided to divorce itself from my soul and try to lead a life of its own.  I think a number of people experience that same feeling as their odometer reaches the number 40.  We never ask for that kind of life change; the shit just slaps us upside the head!

Now, however, at age 56, I’m starting to experience more unexpected physiological changes in my body, as well as cerebral alterations that occur upon realizing life moves more easily when sound and sober.  Unexpected, yes, but even more pleasurable.  It’s not the same kind of pleasure one might have seeing their best friend and one-time spouse or life partner drive off the cliff in their new vehicle.  I mean, what a way to get a new car!  Full-coverage insurance be damned!

For me, it’s my body finally getting adjusted to NOT holding in all the rage and angst I have when people piss me off – the madness otherwise known as “Life”.

Remember, we don’t develop gray hairs!  Now, my own indigo locks haven’t sported many – yet!  But metaphorically, I’m covered!  Still – no gray hairs, dear readers!  They’re stress highlights!  Thus, it’s good to let out as much stress as you can.  Just watch out for flu varmints and two-timing best friends!

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Inoculate This!

Another week of the latest reality TV show to torture the masses, ‘The Harlequins of Washington’, has thankfully ended.  The histrionic personality of Faux-President Donald Trump has yet to abate and find its happy place.  Trump is the “Typhoid Mary” of the current political arena: infected, contagious, absurdly disgusting and in obvious denial.  Where’s Louis Pasteur when you need him?!  Or maybe Jeffrey Dahmer.  Oh, Great Candelabra!  I guess I shouldn’t be so brutally honest.  But the unbridled scribe in me often takes over my brain faster than Germans at a beer festival.

Yet, every day of the week – including weekends and holidays – the U.S. and the world are treated to regular puny-worded rants from the American Putin.  Trump is quicker to name-slur his adversaries – “Crooked Hillary”, “Lying Ted”, “Little Marco” – than he is to produce his tax records.  Which, by the way, have yet to be removed from whatever subterranean vault they’re being housed in at Trump Tower.

The schizophrenic weather and temperature fluctuations that have traumatized Northeast Texas in recent months have left the Chief and many other locals swaddled in a morass of mucus, madness and melancholia.  I dragged my carcass into visit my doctor this morning, hoping for a shot of some life-altering tonic: cortisone, Vitamin B12, hydrocodone, Don Julio tequila.

Afterwards, I realized our ‘Dear Clown Leader’ could use much of the same; just inject a slew of medications into his fat ass – a process that could last for days – in a concerted effort to nourish his pickling cerebral cortex into some semblance of normality and subsequently (hopefully) save the world.

Alas, dreams are always a good thing.  Never give up on them!  Now, I’ll steer my haggard self from national news broadcasts, partake of some Don Julio, and embed myself into another reality TV show; one with considerably more plausibility – “Ancient Aliens”.

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Knowing You…Sooner Than You Realize!

If you want to know for certain that someone’s response to your Facebook friend request is sincere, just reply: ‘Great! Coming over this evening! Already have yr address. Bringing nachos, wine coolers, Hydrocodone & baby oil. Can’t wait! See u tonight!’

Don’t doubt me on this one! It’s saved me from countless fake friendships and wasting too much time preparing nachos for the lactose-intolerant!

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Dictum One

As I gaze at my bibliophilic mass and scour through various references and guides, I’ve come upon a conundrum; a problem that supersedes the complexities of literary and moral universes; a quandary that has amazingly bypassed the slew of great minds that have slaved over hot pens, pencils and keyboards in the centuries before us.

How the hell did the people who composed the very first dictionary know they had it right the first time?!

That’s not a rhetorical question, dear readers! I need an answer! Our verbose lives depend on it!

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Board

This story is based on a true experience that occurred in the spring of 1980.  All names have been changed.

I met Marlene during our first year in high school.  Her soft Quebecois accent complimented her modest demeanor and gentle smile.  I rarely saw her upset.

I can’t recall how long she’d been in the U.S.  Her mother had moved Marlene and her older brother from Canada to Texas for a job opportunity.  I knew other people like Marlene at the suburban Dallas high school we attended and I always wondered how people like Marlene’s mother found their way to our isolated community from other countries.  But I’m glad Marlene did.

Marlene’s best friend at the time, Kristin, lived in a neighboring community and attended the local high school.  They had a mutual friend, Ryan, who attended the same school as Marlene and I.  I never got to know Ryan very well, but he was more outgoing and better-looking than me.  He also had his own car – a sporty red coupe that he liked to drive fast with the stereo blaring.  He was the proverbial “ladies’ man”; the type who thought girls would orgasm at the mere sight of his face or mention of his name.  As a naïve teenage boy, I was naturally envious.  But, although Ryan and I didn’t know each other very well, we still got along.

On a few Saturdays throughout the 1979-80 academic year, Ryan would pick up Marlene and I in his car and drive up to Kristin’s house. We’d do normal teenage stuff: go to a movie; drive around in Ryan’s car; visit a local mall (very popular in those days); talk about family and school; the girls would sometimes roller skate up and down Kristin’s street (I never could get the hang of roller skating); Ryan and I would talk about girls; and I’m sure Marlene and Kristin would talk about boys.  In some ways, I suppose, things haven’t changed for teens in the following decades.

But one Saturday afternoon in the spring of 1980 stands out more prominently than any other.  The four of us did something completely different on that particular Saturday afternoon; something that seemed innocuous at first, but quickly became frightening.  It’s something that remains terrifying to me – even all these years later.

After a day of doing much of the same things we’d done during previous gatherings, we ended up back at Kristin’s home; our young minds wondering what we could do next.

“I have an idea,” Kristin said and asked if any of us had played with a Ouija board.

None of us had.

Kristin hadn’t either, although she had one stored in her room.  I recall her saying another friend had given it to her some months earlier, but neither Kristin nor anyone else in her family had used it yet.  In fact, I don’t believe Kristin’s parents even knew she had it.

She skipped into her room to retrieve it, and the four of us gathered around the dining room table.  No one else was home.  Kristin’s other friend had explained briefly how to utilize the Ouija board.  This one was essentially brand new, but Kristin said she didn’t know why her friend had suddenly decided to give it to her.

With light from both the chandelier above and a nearby window, we all placed our hands on the planchette.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.

Then, after a few minutes, we collectively felt it moving; sending a nervous tingle through each of us.

I asked if anyone was actually making the device moving, and my friends responded with a chuckle and unified ‘No’.

“What is your name?” Kristin finally asked.

The planchette stopped, before slowly sliding onto the letter ‘M’.  That it had been moving on its own prior to the question didn’t make us pause.  It then glided onto the letter ‘I’.  After several minutes, we got the name ‘Michael’.

Kristin then asked if ‘Michael’ was dead, and the planchette moved up to the word ‘Yes’ on the board’s surface.  Ryan interjected by asking if ‘Michael’ had died in that particular house, and the planchette coasted rightwards onto the word ‘No’.

Kristin asked another question, but I can’t remember what exactly.  I do remember, however, an odd sensation coming over me.  Kristin made yet another inquiry, but again, I can’t recall what it was specifically.

That curious feeling metamorphosed into a barbed needle slowly injecting itself up into my spine, and I abruptly lifted my hands off of the planchette and leaned back.

“Why’d you stop?” Kristin asked.  She and the other two looked at me with surprise, almost irritated.  “Why’d you stop?” Kristin repeated.

I didn’t say anything.  I couldn’t.  I literally couldn’t.  I had never been the talkative type, but at that moment, I was rendered speechless – not out of shame or embarrassment.  More out of fear.  I truly felt paralyzed.  I could only smirk – that peculiar teenage reaction when you can’t explain yourself – and waved a hand on front of my face.

One by one, the other three looked down at the planchette, before slowly retracting their hands from it.  Like me, each of them sat back with a wide-eyed glare.  We all studied the planchette for a few minutes; the eerier sensation that had crept over me now enveloping the entire room like a cold wet blanket.

“Well, hey,” Kristin suddenly blurted; startling us somewhat.  “Let’s go back outside and see what’s going on up the street.”

“Sounds good!” someone said.

Kristin stashed the board back in her room, and the four of us left the house for a short while.  Nothing was going on up the street, but it felt good to get back outside.

At school a week or two later, Marlene told me that Kristin had decided to cut up the Ouija board and toss it in the trash.

“Is she okay?” I asked; genuinely concerned about Kristin’s welfare.

“Oh, yeah!” Marlene replied with a nervous laugh.

Although I remained in touch with Kristin via telephone and letters, I don’t recall us ever gathering at her house again.  And I never discussed the Ouija board incident with either Marlene or Ryan.

I keep thinking, in retrospect, whoever Michael was, I hope he forgave us – a quartet of stupid teenagers – for disturbing his rest.  And I realized even then that it’s always best just to leave people alone – no matter where in the world they are.

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Now Ear This!

The one curious thing about friendships is that you never know where they’re going to go.  Really good friends will understand and maybe even empathize with your mood swings.  Of course, that term – “really good” – is always subjective.

Several years ago I got into a heated argument with a so-called friend.  I can’t remember what it was about, but I so mad I wanted to rip his ears off and stick them up his ass, just so he could hear me beat the shit out of him!

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Screaming Match

Curators at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia have developed a new app called “Heartmatch” where visitors can learn what historical painting best represents them.  I thought, what the hell; it looks like good fun.  So, I tried it and got this:

Now I know why I didn’t get my first computer until May of 2000 and my first cell phone until October of 2001.  BECAUSE ME AND TECHNOLOGY NEVER HAVE BEEN SYMBIOTIC!

I guess I’ll just resort to finding my “heart match” the old-fashioned way: bars, truck stops and porn videos.

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