Observations by Key Monroe~~Home of Right Opinions, Cynical Viewpoints, and TMI in Hefty Doses
|E-mail: keymonroe [at] alltel [dot] net

February 28, 2005


Survival mechanism, malicious equivocation, or blind confidence?

Well that all depends, does it not? On whether you're faking your way through an essay test, selling a piece of prime swamp river front property*, or leading a group of classmates through the woods at age 8 and allaying their city-slicker fears of being lost by convincing them that you know exactly where you are going. Heh...

Not that I would do any of those things.

But the last scenario I find most interesting. Perhaps because it is the most flattering of the three, perhaps because it is evidence of an apparent ambivalence that existed in my pre-pubescent psyche. Somehow, I was both socially inept and full of myself.

And if only Al Gore had gotten off of his ass and invented the internet a few years earlier, I would have known then what I know now... I wasn't a freak, just part of an elite, attention-seeking, epicurean fraction of society who would one day be known as bloggers.

(*Disclaimer: This particular purchaser not only wanted the swampland, but he has my url, so it was actually a poor example. Hey, like I'd share do anything unethical!)

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posted by Key on 11:29 PM | Comments (3)
» Bad Bad Juju links with: Bullshitting ?

February 27, 2005

The Chasm of Indifference

Whenever one is faced with a binary choice, A or B, 1 or 0, left or right, how do you choose? When both options appear equally plausible, when there is no "better" choice, just a yes or no proposition, what do you do? I often think of this as the chasm of indifference.

Say you come to a fork in the road. Left, or right (assuming the compass does not come into play)? Do you call heads or tails on a coin toss? A dead end intersection: left or right? Something behind my back: do you choose the left hand, or right?

I like the idea of probabilities in outcomes. Statistical significance in choices. Weighing the variances for a more likely positive outcome. But in the chasm of indifference it doesn't matter, and the choice is therefore somehow diminished, lessened by the inability to parse the odds.

For the record, and this has nothing to do with the fact that some people think I'm OCD, I alway turn to the left (southpaw defensiveness?). I always choose heads (tails is for losers, of course, and smart asses). I pick the right hand behind the back, because I'm pointing with my left. I pick 1 instead of 0, up over down.

Do you peeps think about this sort of thing as much as I do? Sure you do. You just wanted someone to vocalize your thoughts, right?

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posted by Velociman on 05:40 PM | Comments (18)
» Gut Rumbles links with: my blog love

February 25, 2005

Stupid Computer!

I came from work (my DSL haven) around 6 tonight, prepared dinner, took a shower, got the kids in bed, and turned on my antiquated, dial-up dinosaur.

Stupid pieca gruntin, hourglas-turnin, page-reload refusin, near worthless hunk of frustration!

Sam, let's take it outside and PISS ON IT!

My Gawd! I had to type in the code for that link! My url button doesn't even work!

These are trying times. Nor can I open any comments, so I can't show you beautiful people any love tonight. Just know it's here for you.

And now... I will turn this loud, whirring monstah off and find me some good, light-hearted reruns to lighten my mood.

I tried the wet bar first, and it is a sad scene. Nothin left but 4 bottles of liqueur and an unopened bottle of tequila with a segmented worm in the bottom of it.

So I'm sipping my amaretto, hitting the publish button, and hoping for the best. (I'm almost afraid to check...)

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posted by Key on 10:09 PM | Comments (10)

Chapter Four Up!

Christina nailed it, and, as I mentioned in her comments, she has given us yet another reason to look forward to Fridays!

If you need to play catch-up, here are the links:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four

I'm enjoying getting to know the flip side of the writer in all of us. Thanks for the motivation, Christina!

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posted by Key on 05:49 PM | Comments (1)

February 24, 2005

We Rule

Reporters drool.

U.S. News & World Report reported last week that several senior Republican senators demanded that "blogs" be added to their official Web sites.

That's what I'm talkin bout, but this sounds like blogger envy:

It's an amusing story, but the more I read about the weblogging phenomenon from traditional media sources — the more I hear about it from talk show hosts and pundits, and the more triumphalism, tribalism, and group hurt we're starting to see from the "blogosphere" — the more I'm convinced that even "hip" reporters and tech-savvy bloggers themselves don't really "get" blogs any more than those senior Republican senators do.

To say that bloggers don't "get" blogging is to say that talkers don't "get" talking, or walkers don't "get" walking.

It is open for interpretation. Duh... (The rest of the article isn't bad, a few familiar mentions, etc.)

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posted by Key on 04:06 PM | Comments (5)

February 23, 2005

Credit Card Rape

No longer enjoying the double digit screw courtesy my credit card company, I decided shave a little interest rate girth today.

If you are likewise suffering, here is your way out:

Call the 1-800 numbah on your bill. Punch in the necessary coded array of buttons that gets you to a live person, then say this: "Hi I need to speak with an account supervisor to discuss closing my account."

No, you can't pay off your card. Yes, this is a bluff. The people who answer the phone cannot authorize an interest rate reduction, and they will only hand you over to a supervisor if you threaten to close your account.

Supervisor gets on the phone, and after giving your name and account number, you will embellish the bluff, "Yes, I need to get a ten day payoff amount and close my account. I'll be switching to a card with a lower, fixed rate."

This is when they get friendly.

At this point in today's conversation, I was asked what fixed interest rate I had in mind. "5.9% works," I said. To really appreciate that request, you must understand that as evidenced on my monthly statement, I was being raped to the tune of 27.9% APR. And I'm being kind by not mentioning the name of the company. That rate is UNHEARD of. Thieves.

I did not expect to get my initial request, although it would have been nice, particularly since the daily junk mail solicitations seem quite confident that they can beat it. However, we were able to reach an agreement, sparing me from the introductory rate account juggle. The final verdict is 7.996% (fixed).

I can live with that.

(For those of you wondering how someone as savvy as myself could be so irresponsible as to have maxed out my credit cards... Well, I'll have you know that I have absolutely nothing to show for it. This is old, crusty, stale debt that I'm slowly and surely chipping away. The cards haven't actually been used in years...)

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posted by Key on 10:00 PM | Comments (4)
» Gut Rumbles links with: words of wisdom
» Synthstuff - music, photography and more... links with: Dealing with Credit Card Companies

Dozen of Invites...

I think everyone who wants gmail has gmail. If not, let me know, I got the hook-up!

(It comes in handy on nights like tonight went hotmail is fried...)

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posted by Key on 08:55 PM | Comments (4)


Our children should always be taught to be supportive and respectful of our men and women in uniform.

ALWAYS. Fucking fundamentals here.

They don't have to like each and every one on an individual basis. Some are scum on an individual basis. So?

They fight for our very pride. They are not politicians. They are not decision-makers. They are our immune system, and without them, all else is worthless.

I was appalled by an interview I saw this morning on Fox. I don't get appalled very often, laid back luvah that I am. But this... I didn't know whether to be angered, saddened or nauseated, but I think I was all three.

Google refuses to cooperate on this one, meaning I have no link for you, so I'll be going on memory.

A man named Rob Jacobs was interviewed. His son serves in the armed forces. As many schools have participated in letter writing to the troops, his son was one to have received letters from an entire sixth grade class.

It is shameful that this sixth grade class out of Brooklyn was brainwashed. Fifteen of the twenty letters included phrases such as "I do not support Bush's decision...," or "I'm sorry you're having to risk your life, when you shouldn't even be over there in the first place." And they go downhill from there.

I really don't know who should be dragged off and beaten, but I can narrow it down to either parents or teachers.

Our soldiers should never be subjected to that shit, particularly from children. It is divisive and disheartening, and it fucking sickens me.

Think this is partisan? One way street partisan maybe. I heard nothing of such letters when Clinton was in office. And if I had, I would have been just as pissed, if not moreso.

Bitch to Congress. Support the troops. Period.

This is not a partisan issue. This is a respect issue.

Update: I figured one of you guys would turn up with the link. Thanks Rob. (Yes, I am that behind on my blog reading. I honestly believe all one million plus of us should be bitching about this one though...)

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posted by Key on 04:44 PM | Comments (7)

February 22, 2005


What was June Cleaver really tossing in the suitcase when she was packing "unmentionables"?

Underwear? Perhaps.

Or perhaps the following:
skimpy lingerie
cuffs, hard core, key only
body paint
whips, chains
anal beads

I never considered the fact that it was open for interpretation until tonight. I have been so naive.

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posted by Key on 10:40 PM | Comments (7)

February 21, 2005


Although I admit, I may not have thought so at the time...

And yet, I think we have all threatened to do this more than once. I've never met anyone who actually has. I feel honored.

Leave it to my Sammy Baby.

(I'm going to go read it again. Bet it's good for another laugh!)

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posted by Key on 10:02 PM | Comments (3)

February 20, 2005

A Grocer Haiku

Sex on a sofa,
Flush against the dairy case.
Price check on aisle three.

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posted by Key on 10:53 PM | Comments (7)

Garlique (and/or other "odorless" Garlic Supplements)

Still stinques.

Many take it, I know. My favorite drug store clerk, a previous employer, my mother-in-law, the list goes on. I do not hold it against them, but they need not go on under the assumption that they don't stink. Perhaps not all, but many bloodstreams pick it right on up, and spit it right back out.

How do I know they take it? Well, I must admit that in the case of the first two, I assume. If they don't take it, they must eat, breathe and gleefully roll around in minced garlic on a daily basis.

The third case study listed is my mother-in-law. She is the stereotypic in-law, from the know-it-all whine to the scary, too-arched eyebrows. And she is proud enough of her garlic supplement to brag about it. Bubble burster that I am, I had to (sweetly) inform her that the stink-blocks don't always work on those things. (Sound rude? Hey, I'd want to know. Point being, if I take it to the forum without first addressing, I'm passive-aggressive. And I'd much rather be aggressive-aggressive. I am, however, pleasant enough in my candor. I have references.)

Anyway, she schooled me back. "I finally found one that doesn't cause an unpleasant odor," she gloated condescendingly, even as the breath that carried her words filled the air with a thick garlic stinch, typically more indicative of one having recently enjoyed a hearty Italian meal.

I try to endure, really I do. But usually I end up having to take a step back. I am courteous enough, though, not to pass out.

Now. I understand the need to be heart smart, particularly given that my heart is not my healthiest organ. I will eat oatmeal and cheerios, take meds if necessary, but not garlic therapy, not unless I'm using it to treat a severe case of anthropophobia.

I'm leaning quality of life over quantity on this one, but if I were ever to resort to such drastic measures as this one, I would give everyone a wide berth, and run a disclaimer before anyone attempted to get near me. And I suppose I would have to give up my love life entirely, including the vampire seduction scene fantasies.

Too brutal. No thanks. We all gotta go sometime.

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posted by Key on 10:49 PM | Comments (4)

February 19, 2005

Online Fiction, Chapter 3

Hopefully everyone is current on their Blog Noir reading. If not, let's get her done:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three

Great job on Three, T.J. Meanwhile, across the pond in Feistyland, Christina warms up to deliver Chapter Four.

(By the way - and the fact that this is encased as an afterthought, within a parenthetical, is merely a tribute to my humility - I cannot thank the kind fellow writers and loyal readers of blogworld enough for the kind words lavished upon my Noir contribution. The only reason I took the flattery so quietly was because it felt much undeserved. I enjoyed it immensely, but I could have easily spent another week administering polish and shine. Nonetheless, I am very appreciative of your support and of the invite to write extended my way via our gracious ringmastah.)

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posted by Key on 06:21 PM | Comments (4)

When You're Strange

Surely we are crazed,
Masochistic by default.
Mind's eye smokes a bowl.

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posted by Key on 12:35 AM | Comments (7)

February 18, 2005

The Birth of Key Monroe


Okay, so I sort of did.

I haven't confessed the origin of my blog name because I hated to kill the intrigue. Yeah, okay, and because it's far from creative genius...

Key Monroe is a derivation of my stripper name. Of course, I've always heard that your stripper name is your first pet and first street.

This would make me Spunky Monroe.

Very funny. I can't believe I admitted that on my blog. Anyway, as that sounded a bit TOO stripperish, I shortened "Spunky" to "Key." Besides, Key is more punworthy.

There you have it. Creative genius? Nah, morphed stripper name. Never thought I'd be sharing that one...

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posted by Key on 05:33 PM | Comments (8)

February 16, 2005

Guns, Sex and Capitalism

For failing to devote proper attention to blogworld, including but not limited to my page, my emails, and my blogroll, I submit the following tired excuse:


Don't like that one?

How 'bout this one: Shrek doesn't like you people.

It's nothing personal. He just doesn't get it. He is a NONblogger. You know them. They're the one's who give you a HELL of a look when you try to explain how you met a really groovy friend on the friggin internet, or WHY you need a babysitter for the weekend of April 16.

We write you see. For the helluvit. On whatever. And then we bond. It's called blogging.


Yeah, whatever. Next time I'm telling the truth: We are crazed internet freaks who seek to take over the world using guns, sex and capitalism!

That's right. We promote capitalistic orgies, where only the most ambitious get head ahead!

Jeez, no wonder my husband wants me to quit. You people are sick.

Speaking of sick... no more blogging with a fever. No really, I mean it this time!

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February 15, 2005

Erotic Dreams

A gift!

I love life's simple pleasures, and it just doesn't get any better than this. More powerful than a fantasy, more uninhibited than sober love-making, this is a sin-loving, guilt-free, mood altering trip to behold.

Ah... I had fun last night, or this morning to be more specific.

Question. How do I make some sort of deal with my subconscious to allow more of these to surface? A rarity they are. Typically, I am travelling via washed away road, some deranged cult leader in pursuit, or I am forced to witness the morphing of loved ones into the Pillsbury doughboy... And the worst: teeth slowly and painfully becoming quite loosened, eventually falling out to my horror. HATE that one. Tell me it's financial stress, and so I hear, but I tell you, it is pure vanity that has me waking in a cold sweat after that one.

So. I'm going to floss for a while. Then I'm hoping that my happy place can make some sort of deal with my subconscious. I certainly hope so. If nothing else, give me a "mute" button. Not that I'm giving up on my ideal, but eight hours of uninterrupted sleep would be an excellent consolation prize.

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posted by Key on 09:59 PM | Comments (3)

Learning Stuff

Something Miss Priss has learned in the past 24 hours: If you get gum in your hair, you get to have an impromptu haircut. Of course, she didn't tear up as five inches of wavy brown locks fell to the floor of the hair salon, noooo, I did. She couldn't have been more eager to show off her new look this morning. (Now she looks even more like an eight year old version of Ashley Judd.)

Something I learned in the past 24 hours: If you're watering your cactus, and it falls, DON'T catch it.


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posted by Key on 02:11 PM | Comments (6)

February 14, 2005

I'm Back

Forgive my absence. These are busy times, and are we not all entitled to more than one mid-life crisis?

So I ran away from home for a long weekend. I visited people that I've been "meaning to visit" for quite some time, a cousin and a friend, each living several hours away.

It was good.

I wrote the chapter from the road, amidst distraction and with little to no revising, but I enjoyed it. And I've decided that perhaps in another thirty years or so, my writing talent will be polished enough to support my retirement. Perhaps not in style, but hey, I'll use my fat social security check for the champagne and caviar.

Meanwhile, I am adjusting to the lovelies that slap one sober after returning from an escape. Half a dozen files, neatly stacked in my inbox, patiently await my attention, as I curse this damn multi-line phone. Oh, and who paid the bills last week?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Good to be back!

And Happy Valentine's Day! If you're not happy about it, you're not a florist, a jeweler, or newly engaged. It is a minority holiday you see. The rest of us are not supposed to enjoy it; we are simply to survive it.

Suck it up. Nine hours and counting.

(And to all of you who got the "Who's Your Daddy?" text, sorry. I was bored on the drive back yesterday. Oh, and if you didn't get it, I either don't have your cell number, or I have too much respect for your innocent mind. But if you'd like it, let me know. I got plenty where that came from...)

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posted by Key on 02:54 PM | Comments (4)
» A Single Southern Guy Across America links with: In Case You Were Wondering...

February 11, 2005

Chapter Two


Okay, I admit it, I only started yesterday. But I’ve been thinking about it all week. I’ve found though, that thinking it and writing it are two different things. This is the first time I’ve attempted to write fiction of any length in the first person.

You wouldn’t think it problematic, since we write our blogs in the first person, but it’s still an adjustment into fiction. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it’s a fun genre and I hope that I didn’t abandon the excellent precedent that Jim set for us. Like Jim, I am flattered to have been included in the project.

Thank you, Christina for the invitation.
And thank you, Jim for the not so easy task of getting the ball rolling with Chapter One.

Chapter Two:

Forty-eight hours to traverse the country and find some carousel I haven’t seen in over fifteen years. For what? To bail out the reason for my outstanding therapy bills?

“What do ya say, Spades?”

The dog knows his name, always responds to a question with an attentive gaze as though contemplating the answer. In this case, even giving up the car window to redirect his attention to the matter at hand. I like this dog.

My street is a less traveled dead end one off a well-traveled main one. It is a great way to reside in town without having to put up with street chaos. The house is an old Victorian, not as large or ornate as the ones on the main drag, but it does just fine. Not that I can afford the entire house. Years ago, it was divided into a duplex, although, gratefully, tastefully done. The only curbside indication is that I have my own drive, my own door. Houses on top of each other, there is very little yard, but what I do have is fenced. The drive barely stretches the length sufficient to park my car, but it keeps it off the street.

Pulling in, I realized that I wasn’t ready to take Spades in. I could go in, pack in a rush, come back out. If I take him in, he’d make himself at home, and it could easily turn into a commitment. I looked over at him as though he had the answer, and noticed that he’d assumed “alert” mode. Ears and tail up, low growl forming in his throat.

I followed his gaze and I saw it too, a shadow, perhaps a silhouette, on the shaded side of my porch.

Spades hungrily clawed the door, begging for an opportunity to sniff out the perp, which could easily be the neighbor’s fat ass cat.

“Okay fella,” I said as I opened the door, “Go for it, I’m right behind you.”

I pulled my gun just in case, kept it low, and walked around the car to take my walk up to house as I normally would. That’s as much time as Spades needed. He yelped, no doubt wondering what the hold up was on my end, and I ran over red feathers to catch up to him.

That’s what the hold up had been. I had slowed just briefly to ask “what the fuck?” as I took in my normally graying and moss covered walk. Today the walk was completely covered in red feathers, all the way up to the house.

“Yelp! Whooooa! Thud!” It sounded as though someone had just dropped a truckload of potatoes on my porch. By then I’d caught up, but Spades had the situation well under control. Pinned underneath a fierce and slobbery exhibition of teeth, lay an annoyingly amused son of a bitch. He was difficult to recognize, as his fake moustache, sideburns, and tasteless sports jacket had been ditched, revealing an almost attractive human being. Too bad he was an idiot. A stalking idiot.

“Putz, meet Spades.”

Putz’s transformation must have included an infusion of charm, as he smiled crookedly at Spades then said, “Nice to meet you, Spades. I make a mean steak, maybe we can work out some sort of arrangement.”

A confused Spades stopped growling as he tilted his head and seemed to give it earnest thought. Yet his front paws remained planted in the guy’s chest, jailing him prone.

“Wanna call him off now?” Putz beseeched.

“Not particularly.” Definitely keeping this dog. Moments like these are rewarding.

“Look,” he said as he gave up his amused mockery of the situation, “I’m a Fed. We need to talk.”

“Yeah? This is the second identity you’ve assumed in as many hours, and I never knew the first one. Nevermind the fact that you appear to be a deranged stalker who litters the walks of his targets with red feathers!”

“Max, daaaarling,” he began sarcastically, “You can call him off, and I’ll pull the badge, or you can kneel down here and feel around in my pants. Either way works for me.”

It was a shame to let that line work for him, but he had a point. “Alright Spades, give him room to breathe.”

My new pet, brilliant animal, obeyed, but continued his ambivalent gaze while the humans conversed.

Putz produced the badge. It was good. Wonderful. Like there’s time to be dicking around with a Fed.

“You don’t look like a Sean O’Callahan.”

“Yeah well, you don’t look like a Max Robichaux.”

Moments later, I was asking the guy how he takes his coffee. But I don’t have much use for social calls from Feds, so I instructed him to spill it. Not that I wanted to hear it. Should it have anything to do with my father, chances are I was better off on the first train out, so to speak.

“It’s about your father.”

“No shit? Look, I know he’s in trouble, but for some reason I got the idea that it was with an organization that threatened more than imprisonment.”

“It is.”

“Ahhh. Let’s skip to the part where you tell me what led you to my doorstep, and why the pathway there is covered with feathers.”

“You’ve been busting up marriages and ratting out insurance fraud too long, Max. You damned well ought to know what it’s about.”

“Humor me.”

“We’ve kept the cases away from the media as much as possible, so I’m actually somewhat relieved that you don’t know. We need to give them a false sense of security. They don’t slip, we don’t catch them. They’re that good. And that prolific. Growing like a damn tumor up my ass. Their daytime name is Patterson Development.”

“Heard of them. They’re big, well-respected, had a hand in numerous downtown projects.”

“Not well-respected across the board. We’ve had our noses up their ass for about ten years, but it’s only gotten really bloody here lately. They make those idiots you uncovered for insurance fraud look like circus clowns. And they have their eye on you. The feathers mean that they know where you live. Had they painted your door red, you’d be as good as dead. Max…. Max! Where are you going?”

“To pack, I have somewhere to be in 44 hours. And I don’t have time to let some screwball Fed unload a bunch of urban legends on my ass. Feathers, paint, and murder would make headlines.”

“Not if it didn’t happen. Somebody’s cleaning up after them from the inside. I think your daddy made a few contacts in prison, and I’m betting he has a name.”

“Wonderful. I’ll tell you where to meet him, and you guys can have yourselves a wonderful little witness protection courtship, and leave me out of it. If you need me, I’ll be taking the leaf blower to my walk.”



“Why are we here?” After the line of vague bullshit served up this morning, I can’t believe that I allowed this guy to talk me into “teaming up” for a few days. It’s not like it was an option. He’s a Fed, and his assignment was to babysit my ass. He scattered some damn feathers and fed me a line of bull to play on my girly fears, making me putty.

The fact is, I will make sure that I’m chaperone free the second he outlives his usefulness. In the meantime, I told O’CALLAHAN that we had a trip to make. Of course he knew that, just didn’t know where. No telling how long those bastards were tapping my line. I know how to check for these things, obviously, but who fucking spies on a P.I.?

He talked me into scheduling the flight to Louisiana tomorrow, since we’d likely be followed. And assuming his paranoia was substantiated, it was a valid point. Get in for the meeting and get out.

“Why. Are. We. Here? I hate casinos.”

“Yeah, me too,” O’Callahan grinned and cut his eyes, the liar. He looked like a wild cat on the prowl. “Let’s go. Tourists, informants and mobsters, oh my…peacefully congregating under one roof; ah, is there any place more magical than Atlantic City?”

As “Mr. O’Callahan” was greeted by several staff members, as well as patrons, I was guessing he was a regular. We finally came to rest at the black jack table, where an hour was washed down with some bourbon and cards, with a net loss of only $50. Not bad.

O’Callahan stood up and stared across the room. I followed his appreciative gaze and came up with a beer-bellied, bulbous-nosed, angry, sweaty guy and a mid-twenties Marilyn Monroe look alike almost wearing a little red something.

Tough call.

She sashayed her way over with enough sway to make me seasick. She then parted her high glossed lips and let out a small sigh before she spoke in a voice much deeper than I expected. “Sean,” she purred “Do you have another girlfriend?”

“Hi Love.” He was grinning down at her, amused, smirking, and very charming, damn him. What’s with the nickname? Love?

He continued, “Love, I’d like you to meet Max Robichaux. Max, this is Love Carlisle.”

I think I managed to get out a “charmed,” perhaps followed by an “as I’m sure they all are,” before I became distracted. I saw an earless man approaching.

“Christ Sean,” she started, quickly discarding the cigarette she had been savoring the moment before. “I can’t believe that you brought her here. Didn’t she get a warning?”

“She can talk,” I said. “And would that warning be the tooth or the feathers? And who the fuck is Mr. Earless?”

“Works for Patterson. Your father is still breathing, therefore Toby is earless. Speaking of, he’s stupid, but he’ll spot you soon enough, particularly if you’re talking to me.”

“And? What’s he going to do? Hold me hostage until my father claims me? He’s never fucking claimed me before. How did I suddenly get so special?”

Having had enough, it seemed like a great time for a smoke. I could tell that dame was useless. She knew things, that was a fact, like how to mix truth and fiction.
I made my way to the exit while they continued to waste each other’s time. I was enjoying my second smoke when he found me in the side alley.

“What are you, crazy?” he asked as he approached, “This isn’t exactly the best place to seek solitude.”

He was in my face now and I’d had it. Time for him to see how quickly I could draw a weapon in a pinch. His back to the wall, I walked towards him until we were breathing the same air, his back against an outside wall, and my gun in his crotch. “Let’s get one thing straight,” I educated. “I am not your assignment or your keep. I will not be paraded around by a putz emboldened by a badge and discussed as though I’m not in the room. Got it?”

“Had it. Lost it when you shoved your pistol in my pants, but I like the forcefulness...” I increased the pressure, and not verbally. “Got it,” he relented with a nervous grin.

“Good. Now would you like to tell me why the hell you took me here, if not to parade me as your pet of the week?”

“I was parading you, but not as a pet. Although, I must say that you clean up rather well. At the risk of sounding fashionably heightened, I’m loving the low neckline on that sweater, and trading in the sensible pumps for the strappies…nice. I like your hair better down, though the look does set off your eyes. Did you know they get even greener when you’re angry?” Oh, he could charm a fucking snake with that low gravelly tone and sparkle in his eyes. “By the way, I have green eyes in my family. Irish heritage. I bet we’d make the best looking kids…”

“Congratulations. I don’t know whether to thank you or slap you.” As bitchy as that was intended to be delivered, it actually surfaced only mildly sarcastic, and with a teasing grin. Damn him, but he’s goooood. Not the tired lines, but the delivery. “So, why the parade?”

“You’re still in town. People need to know that. They’re all waiting for you to move. If I knew you have somewhere to be tomorrow, they do. They just don’t know where, but I’m betting they’re looking for a carousel. That’s one reason for the appearance. We shake things up by not being in a huge hurry. Also, there’s a carousel in Atlantic City which might throw them off a bit, or at least divide their resources. And lastly, it’s important that we not approach this from a strictly defensive standpoint. We have a few mysteries to uncover ourselves.”

I was quiet on the way back. I didn’t like this. Not that I’m the best driver in the world, but anytime a man has strutted in and grabbed the wheel that is my life, bad things have happened. I’m not thrilled to be stuck in a position where I must share the beloved control. But stuck I am.


Lafourche, Louisiana, 36 hours later

I had watched the red boxy numbers on the digital clock in the motel room turn for the past hour and 33 minutes. 5:30am. The meeting only three hours away, it was time to get up anyway.

Shower taken, I decided to go on the prowl for some coffee, then wake up my lovely travel companion. Surprisingly, I found his door cracked a bit, and my first instinct was to draw the gun and kick the door open. But I reminded myself that in all likelihood, he had the situation under control, so I postponed the knee-jerk reaction until I had at least knocked.

“Come in.” Gruff voice, curt tone, but definitely O’Callahan. I entered and found him staring out the window, smoking a cigarette, and looking reflective. I had a feeling that his typical lighthearted and flirtatious character guarded a serious soul. Now I knew.

“What is it?” I asked, no need for morning pleasantries.

“Bad vibes, picking up bad vibes. I don’t think you should take the meeting this morning. Let me go instead.”

“Very white knight of you O’Callahan. Nice try. I’m going. You want to help, start talking.”

“Okay, I can’t be sure, but I think I saw someone in the airport yesterday while we were waiting on our delayed luggage.”


He looked surprised, so I knew I had it. He got a weird kind of look in his eyes when that dame walked up to us at the casino, and he had the look again as he spoke. There was no point in asking him what it meant. He didn’t know. And whatever he did know, she managed to confuse. Great.

He thought we’d have more of a window than that. I was hoping he was right. No matter. This was my father, my mess. I would meet him.


The old fair grounds was for the most part gone. In its place a conglomerate of local vendors, a picnic area, and even a small park had emerged. The only evidence of the old fair was the carousel. It was not only still there, but had been maintained. It still circled several times a day with sticky children and nauseated parents. It was oddly touching. Riding the carousel with my father had been one of the good memories. That had been after his cousin’s wedding, the one time he took me to Bayou country.

Three minutes were left on the clock, assuming this would be timed perfectly, and I did. I used the time to scan the crowd; it’s always good to take inventory.

Still early, the carousel was lit, but not yet running. Vendors were opening, and a handful of new year resolutioners were jogging through the park. I became so distracted in my observations that I almost missed the short and stout man in the overcoat and top hat. It had to be him. There were no other viable candidates in sight. My heart strangled me as it began beating into my throat, and I suddenly felt anxiety, a vulnerability that I absolutely loathe.

I turned to check out the park bench a dozen yards back. O’Callahan was there, ostensibly reading the paper and sipping coffee. I turned back to the man in the overcoat. Everything began to blur and move in slow motion. But as he approached the carousel, so did I. The closer we got, the more I became certain that it was him. Every nerve in my body felt like Jello, but I was still in motion. When we were about thirty feet apart, he saw me. Our eyes met just as the shot rang out, and held only for a fraction of a second before he slumped to the ground.

“Daddy!” I was running then. Somewhere behind me O’Callahan was running too. He was running after me, yelling for me to stop, but there was no stopping me.

I fell out of a run and into a sprawl as I couldn’t afford a second of lost time to position myself. “Daddy!” I was screaming in his face, touching his face for the first time in so many years.

His eyes barely opened as he reached out to me, “Max, baby I’m so sorry.” He coughed and blood puddled under his head. “So sorry…”

“Daddy, don’t talk. We’ll get help.” I was sobbing. I thought I was out of tears a long time ago, but I was crying.

“No baby. Must talk. This is all we have. I love you, never told you enough. And I’m sorry. Never told you that at all. I hate to leave you with this, but I can’t trust anyone else. I’m so sorry…” As he spoke he pushed a sealed envelope into my hands.

“No. Dad, no. I love you too,” I whispered.

He was gone.

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posted by Key on 08:13 PM | Comments (20)
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» Velociworld links with: Number Two, With a Bullet
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» Technicalities links with: It's Blog Noir!... Chapter 2
» Technicalities links with: It's Blog Noir - Chapter 3
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» Technicalities links with: It's Blog Noir - Chapter 4
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» Tammi's World links with: Chapter Four
» Tammi's World links with: Liv Kicks It
» Tammi's World links with: Chapter 3
» Tammi's World links with: Blog Noir Part II.

February 06, 2005

When Worlds Collide

When I was six, I took a pencil from my church. I meant to return it, but always forgot, so there it sat in my pencil box, taunting me, inflicting a guilt trip... for years. I always wondered what my mother would think if she only knew she'd raised a thief.

Years later, when I was eleven, a boy in my class asked me if I had any interest in his friend (who'd put him up to asking that question). "No." I said. He asked again the next day and the next, until finally I turned up the tone, "No, I do not, and you tell him that!" Next day on the bus, the friend, emboldened by false reports, asked me to "go" with him. "I'd rather die!" I exclaimed. Oh, the guilt was much stronger than pencil-thief-guilt this time. Lasted years. I even cringed when I ran into him after we graduated.

I could go on, as obviously the examples worsen with the years, as does the guilt, but I'll spare you and cut to the chase.

My worlds are colliding. Real world and blogworld do not seem to be getting along these days. And when I find myself saying, "Not now honey, mommy's writing," I have a healthy dose of guilt, particularly after the tenth time or so. I've always carved away time on a daily basis for homework and bedtime and necessities, but not nearly enough for play.

So lately we've been playing a lot of Mall Madness or just watching Drake and Josh reruns together, and tonight - last night to those of you who sleep - she had a friend over and we took off for the Mall of Georgia, so that she could use all of the Build-A-Bear bucks that she had accumulated over Christmas.

This is not a goodbye to blogworld, but it has been a while since I stepped back from the blog to have a look at life.

Not to worry, I accepted a mission, and I shall fulfill. I will be back on Friday to post Chaper 2.

Have a good week, friends.

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posted by Key on 04:03 AM | Comments (16)

February 04, 2005

Farook! Farook! Farook!

I guess I am now wearing the hat and twirling the baton. I sincerely hope that I don't drop the damn thing.

I must admit, I was given a great start.

(Course he could have set the standard a little lower. Damn good stuff Jim!)

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posted by Key on 09:56 PM | Comments (11)

Everybody Wants Me!

Okay, I have nothing against Paula Abdul and her role on American Idol, really I don't, well, other than I think it foolish to give the spot up. But today, I wish to bitch about her prissy assed attitude during Fox News interview with Brian Kilmeade yesterday morning.

I don't know why I'm writing about it, because really you had to have seen it. The worst of it was re-aired this morning, as Steve and E.D. attempted to lighten the mood.

"Stoooooop!" a giggly Abdul scolded Brian, "You're flirting with me!" Her snobby behind was serious.

What-the-fuck-evah, Paula. Who's flirting with whom?

"Are we live?" a mortified Brian responded, knowing quite well that they were, but choosing humor to remind her of this fact.

Brian told E.D. that he refrained from making eye contact with her for the remainder of the interview.

And I'm here to tell you that Brian was much more engrossed, engaged, and intimate in his conversation this morning with Marcus Allen. All smiles and intense eye contact, dude was actually enjoying this interview. And, amazingly, I don't think Marcus felt the least bit violated.

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posted by Key on 12:46 PM | Comments (5)

February 03, 2005

Brain Pain

Trying to have a conversation, brave daylight, think, these are all especially fun tasks through the haze of a splitting headache. You know, the type where you might consider scooping out your left eyeball in hopes of confronting the demon in your head.

So yeah, I've taken my Allegra and my Tylenol, and I'm a little more human now. Dull pain is more manageable anyway.

This is my allergist's fault.

He wanted to test my allergies, since my sinuses never clear up. And to be tested, one must abstain from any antihistimines for a period of three days prior.

Ouch. Sinuses hated that.

But fortunately, I have found out what I already knew, and that is that I am allergic to my beloved furbabies. (Not gonna link, scroll down for pics.)

So options are living in a pet free home (as I tested allergic to dogs and feathers as well), allergy shots, or antihistimines for as long as my stubborn ass refuses to give up my pets.

Come on. Too easy. Hand over the script.

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posted by Key on 09:32 PM | Comments (10)

February 02, 2005

Jittery Kid

Although I have been fostering children for three years, and have dealt with an array of emotional and behavioral issues, with every new addition I seem to be introduced to something new.

My foster son has nervous tics. I am not a nervous person. In fact, I am laid back to a fault. So, admittedly, I don't get it. But always up for a challenge, I felt confident that I could coax him out of this problem myself.

It started with heavy blinking, and enough nailbiting to result in swollen, cuticle torn fingers. I began making him aware of the blinky thing as he did it, and that seemed to work, eventually subsiding. Unfortunately, I've never been able to catch him in the act of nailbiting, so I began wrapping the fingertips every night, and coating them with a nailbiting deterrent. But although improved, they still look pretty rough.

The new issue is the head shaking. The quick and tiny head toss that we might employ in order to get a fly out of our face, he has adopted as his new thing. He does this constantly. He also makes faces, sniffles, and coughs.

I've requested a psyche eval, but of course, these things take time, given that a government agency is in charge of making the arrangements. And even then, these things have proven amazingly useless in the past, so I decided to do a little google research myself.

This is the first link under "nervous tics." Apparently Tourette Syndrome is amazingly common and can be quite mild. Great. But I'm still in the phase of this process where I'd like to deny that as a possibility.

However, I have NO experience with nervous tics. No close friends, no one in my family, no personal testimonies, nuttin... So, I'm voting for stress as the cause, given what this poor child has been through in the past year, and given the fact that he does have a nervous personality.

Of course, I publish this in hopes that someone - perhaps one who is more exposed to this sort of thing than I - will come along and tell me that this is no biggie.

Update: Wow. Thanks guys. I am floored by the responsiveness of my readership. I really appreciate the comments and the emails, though I haven't returned the first one. Between appointments and work, today seemed to have strange evaporating powers. I will keep you guys posted as we progress, however. For now, he had a good day at school today! Baby steps, dontchaknow...

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posted by Key on 05:39 PM | Comments (8)

February 01, 2005

Sharing My Fortunes

I collect them. For some reason, I open a fortune cookie, and I just can't throw out the fortune.

So here are a few that I am tossing today after cleaning out the wallet:

"You are protected by silent love and friendship near you." - That's nice. Course I wouldn't mind if it were a little less silent, show me love!

"The truly generous shares even the undeserving." - Oh, I LOVE the wording on this one. This is because I am willing to share the undeserving with anyone who will take them off my hands! Am I generous or what?

"Talents that are not shared are not talents." - Heh. Where to start? (Must be a Happy Spa creed...)

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posted by Key on 05:33 PM | Comments (7)

Smells Like Velocispam

From the Inbox:

bulky commonness netted monkish delicacy crinkle chromic

I like it. Finally, spam that makes sense. Shame there's no link, no clue what's being sold here, or where to sign up for it. But I've ruled it out as fan mail.

(Velociman, are you moonlighting as a spammer named "Leta"?)

Update: Acidman likes the taste of the Velocispam. He has created a delicious recipe for these special terms.

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posted by Key on 01:12 PM | Comments (4)
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