Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
Moron wants to know if it's hot enough fer me and I'm like yeah, yeah it is, it's sho nuff hot enough fer me, thanks for asking, but this is what's happening on the backroads by the rivers of my memory as Glen used to sing —
I can't breathe, I can't pee, I can't eat yet don't lose weight, I can't hear the TV unless the people on there shout like Garrett Morris, I can't see except in gauzy, gauzier, or maxipad triplicate, I'm allergic to most things I'm fond of, which means no goat's rue or shaved buckeye in my Caesar like the rest of you lucky dogs, I have recurring bouts with shingles, my liver is shot, my prostate a studded mace, I'm kept awake nights by an old football injury, an old gunshot wound, an old dogbite, an old accidental kneecapping with a baseball bat, I'm having stabbing pains that give me to think that an alien infant might burst through my abdominal wall any second now, I have arthritis, bursitis, psoriasis, at least three glandular disorders, an erratic pyeloric valve like Ignatius J. Reilly, reflux, bad teeth, bad feet, really bad feet, skin cancers, gallstones, and back spasms that lay me low, I have headaches like Michelle B. except mine aren't from a walnut-size brain caroming around a cranial gymnasium, the mouth-corner dribble gives me to think mini strokes, I'm old, I flub around like a manatee, I'm stifled, I never figured it out, I never got the hang, I'm varicosed and phlebitic, I have big toes shaped like pit viper heads, I have what looks on the X-rays like a saguaro cactus growing on my Id, I have what all my relatives call whelps, I have the Pine Bluff scab, I have the Cabot frakes, I pretty well keep the Smackover drizzles, I have the Flagstaff halvsies and Corky's lament, at least once a week I have the Magnolia yips, I survived a Campbellite exorcism once but the puzuzu or screwtape still abides to horn and fork at soft spots where the spirit's willing but the flesh is weak, there's something I got from hog-nosed bats, something else akin to consumption from a blackbird roost abandoned during the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes, I go all the way back to breakbone malaria, I'm often disoriented from bombardment by the same rays that took Warren Carpenter, an ominous chiasm on the back of the tongue, the pins still cause me grief that my late mother-in-law paid an old gypsy woman to stick into the vitals of a cornshuck doll made in my likeness, it seems like they said Alzheimer's but I'm just not sure, and I'm not sure now what it is I'm not sure of, I was hooked at various times on clay, tobacco, Afrin, and a tranquilizer that cost an arm and a leg and turned out to be a placebo, I don't have leprosy except for all practical purposes, I've got a scattering of what I'm pretty sure are buboes but nobody else thinks so, my nether polyps would barnacle a cruiser, the TV lawyers are pretty persuasive of mesothelioma, the ranched neck is probably traceable to a car wreck that I don't remember having but that this damn nuclear-cooling-tower collar is bound to be evidence of, I just know fracking is at the back of the nervous exhaustion, I'm in line to having my esophagus stretched — really — that procedure being in the family legacy, Cousin Leon just now recuperating from it, I have one of those IRAs that pays a negative interest, it was 115 degrees F. for almost a fortnight one day last week, the idiots have taken over and brought Western civilization to its knees, the Great Crash that will return us all to savagery having just recently commenced and picking up momentum nicely, expect Texas to break off and slip away into darkness first, it being already pretty much there, and sundry other unpleasantnesses characteristic of August.
Comes the time when you fixate on such pecker gnats and toestubs and lose sight of the bigger picture and the brighter side. You no longer think, well, this sucks but it beats a hacking cough, or well, it could be like Jerry N. when, on top of everything else, the rat crawled up through a sewer pipe and surfaced in Jerry's commode and took a gaping bucktoothed hunk out of Jerry's haunch as he sat there completing some personal business. Rats biting you on the butt in the sanctuary of your own home is when it begins to get iffy, dicey, when the foundations start to shake. You suck it up or it begins to get away from you. I know that. And I'm committed to doing the right thing. Really I am. Maybe I am.
I had a legitimate topic for today, I swear I did — something conventional, respectable, ponderous, in the blovial tradition that has dulled Wonder State sensibilities with local, national, and international dispatches since 1819, but a moron says something in passing and it becomes suddenly obligatory to throw it all up and vent. It happens, it happens even without the sh- frontloaded. Happens in August a lot.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.