Saturday, October 2, 2010

Twenty

I know this is Twenty and I never did a Nineteen but I did start a Nineteen but then I decided it was stupid so I saved it with the intention of going back and unstupidifying it. But that never happened so I finally just decided to abandon it altogether. But it was already saved as Nineteen in My Documents and I didn’t want to erase it but I also didn’t feel like renaming it something like “Aborted Blog” because that sounds like something that would get me in trouble if super conservative, pro-life space aliens ever got a hold of my computer. So I just called this one Twenty. Nineteen will someday be discovered and released on the DL as a rare previously unreleased blog and hipster future kids will get their pretentious hands on it and say things about how this was from way back before Duncan Peabloggy sold out and had something real to say. Which is a ridiculous claim because I’ve had absolutely nothing real to say from the start.

I start a lot of sentences with "But". I think it's just to stick it to my grade school teachers who said I couldn't. I guess I use the word "but" a lot in general. Like inside of sentences too. I like buts.

But so even for Twenty I couldn’t really think of anything to write for a blog. But it’s been almost a month and I like to try writing at least one blog each month. So I’m going to try to force this one out. And as we all know you have to be careful when you’re forcing one out because it could come out like shit. Usually one idea pops into my head and inspires me to start writing and then the momentum carries me into a couple more ideas. No such luck in September. Not a creative thought in my head. So I am turning once again to my muse. That stupid f’ing cat in my house who is bothering me as we speak. Or as I blog.

My cat is the proud new father of at least one new kitten! How do I know? Well my cat has no tail. And it was the only one on my mountain without a tail. The previous owner told me it was because he was born that way but I always just figured that he didn’t want to tell me about the sadistic six year old who cut off its tail with a machete when it was a kitten. But then a new cat was born up the mountain recently without a tail. Scandal! It seems my cat is a bit of a Catanova. But my cat doesn’t spend any less time pestering me and laying around my house so I guess he’s embracing the Dominican tradition of making babies and then not caring for them ( I’m still not going to cut his balls off. It’s not right.). Anyway I asked my friend Google about these cats without tails and he referred me to his buddy Wikipedia who, contrary to the slanderous claims of that asshole Academia, is a very reliable source of information. It turns out my cat is a Manx cat. His family tree has ventured all the way across the Atlantic, beginning on the Isle of Man between Great Britain and Ireland, to end up in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. And now the tree has grown a new branch. You’re intrigued by this, I can tell. I’ll continue:

“The Manx (Manx: Kayt Manninagh or Stubbin) is a breed of cat with a naturally occurring mutation of the spine. This mutation shortens the tail, resulting in a range of tail lengths from normal to tail-less.

Just fascinating. According to the Cat Fanciers Association (that’s a real thing!) Manx cats are very rare. The white ones can be worth over $4,000. You know, if you fancy that kind of thing. Mine’s black. Worth about a dollar.

“The Manx tail-less gene is dominant and highly penetrant.” Hence the new tail-less kitten. “Kittens from Manx parents are generally born without any tail. Having two copies of the gene is semi-lethal and kittens are usually spontaneously aborted before birth. This means that tail-less cats can carry only one copy of the gene.”

And so on. If I write any more about this my head will explode from the excitement but I encourage you to look into this more and perhaps take up Manx cat breeding as a weekend hobby.

The highway that runs through the nearest town to me sucks. Like it’s in incredible disrepair. So nobody likes to drive on it. Especially big trucks that need to deliver materials to me. And because the highway sucks so badly that the government has to protect it from overuse because they wouldn’t want it to get damaged? So there are soldiers from the National Guard at the entrances on either side of the highway and if any trucks drive past their checkpoints they have to show a permit to enter the highway. But as it turned out one of the trucks delivering pipes to my site got stopped and did not have a permit to pass. So I had to go out there to try to convince the guards that these materials were for a good cause and they should let the truck pass. Yeah right. Plan B: “I work for the Government of the United States! Let me pass!” That one made them laugh. And rightfully so. Because, though I do technically work for the US government, my position gives me about as much power as a mail carrier. Plan C. Bribery. It’s the only one that ever works. (footnote) So the driver had to pay the Guards to pass and then I had to pay back the driver. I wasn’t sure at the time why it had to be done that way. We finally arrived at the police station in town where we leave the tubes because after all of that I didn’t have the energy to try to convince the driver to head up the mountain. And I was talking to the police guy who I’ve met a few times and I started asking him why the Guards charged me $3000 pesos because that seems like a lot to me. And as soon as I started asking the driver starting yelling at me, very urgently, to go to where he was. So I went and he very slyly placed $1000 pesos in my and said kind of threateningly, “We’re all set now. Do you understand?” And I did. I was being bribed not to tell the policeman about having to pay a bribe. And I think it was because the driver was in cahoots with the Guards and they were both ripping me off. And if I told the policeman he would probably make the driver bribe him to not tell anybody about the bribes. So instead the driver bribed me back with a third of my own bribe to them. It was all very exciting because I had never been bribed before. Except for I guess maybe my parents bought me ice cream when I was little so that I would shut up. And I’m sure those bribes were accompanied by a few threatening words as well.

Footnote: Yes I am copying David Foster Wallace. But it’s fine because I paid him off. So back in the day when I was a wide-eyed but tail-less Peace Corps newbie I would have gone a on a diatribe about how bribery and corruption are what is keeping this country down. Engineers bribe politicians to give them government contracts. Politicians bribe law enforcement to look the other way while they bury dead hookers. Dead hookers bribe some guy in hell to sneak them into heaven because business is better up there. But now that I’ve been here for a year I don’t think that’s really what the problem is. It’s mainly gravity that’s keeping this country down. But until they get some significant results from that hadron collider in Switzerland we’re going to have to leave Gravity be. The thing is that corruption is so widespread that there’s no way to eradicate it completely. So what we need to do is take a page out of the book of those hippies who want to legalize marijuana (if they haven’t already torn out all the pages to roll joints with) and legalize corruption so that we can then regulate it. Am I right? Or did I take the wrong page out of that book? I’m hungry. I wish there was a Taco Bell up here.