Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Her name is was Quisté

The following is courtesy of

Dear Alice,
What exactly is a sebaceous cyst? What causes it and how do you get rid of them?

Dear Reader,

A sebaceous cyst is a catch-all term for a benign, harmless growth that occurs under the skin and tends to be smooth to the touch. Ranging in size, sebaceous cysts are usually found on the scalp, face, ears, and genitals, but can occur anywhere on the body. They are formed when the release of sebum, a medium-thick fluid produced by sebaceous glands in the skin, is blocked. Most of the time, sebaceous cysts don't require medical attention: they can either disappear on their own or stay the same size without causing any problems. If cysts become infected or grow to a bothersome size, health care providers can remove them or prescribe treatment with steroids or antibiotics. Cysts can recur if they are not removed completely.


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I've told you about her. I've told you about how she insinuated her way into my life, and onto my leg. I've told you about how I have struggled with the essence of her, and what she means to me. I've told you about how I couldn't name her, and how she wasn't to be named. All of this and more as you read on. This, dear reader, is how you end an overwrought relationship with a sebaceous cyst.

So, yesterday was the day. I went in to have the bitch taken out. My blood pressure was a little high, and I was pretty tired. I had done a goodbye set of squats that morning that was enough to destroy my regular walking rhythm.

I drove up, paid my forty dollar co-pay and sat in the waiting room. I wrote furiously in my journal about my leg and other drama and I waited.

A kid came in and said he had Medi-care to the woman behind the glass. He said he needed help right then and there. She asked him why. He looked around and asked for a piece of paper; he wanted to write the stuff down because it was embarrassing. He wrote the stuff on the paper. The woman behind the glass told him that she would call him back up later. He made a beeline to the restroom. Ordinarily, when I see this sort of stuff, I don't pay acute attention; but this time I had all of my pistons firing. I was about to get clipped.

I got called in. They weighed me and checked my vitals. Yes, I was alive. And then they gave me the worst looking pair of shorts I have ever seen in my life and told me to get into them. These shorts had no chance of ever being a fashion statement. There was no form to them whatsoever, just an elastic waist.

And there I was, in a wife-beater and these lame-ass shorts.

So I was told to lay on this bed and wait for the doctor. I stared at my toes. I stared at the cyst. I started to blur my eyes and look at my toes. Individually, my toes look rather phallic. I had never noticed this before. I hope that I never have that kind of time on my hands again.

Then in came the doctor. He made a quick joke about spraying the blood out of the room from his last cyst operation. I am serious, the last time I heard that was in the mid-nineties when I was getting my lip pierced. Doctors and body piercing artists. Now that I toss that memory around, I think I paid the body piercing guy forty bucks to do my lip.

He put a cray paper blanket over my lower torso. There was a hole in the paper and he positioned it right over the cyst. Now some people have told me that my cyst had hit golf-ball size status; I prefer to think of it at boulder marble size. Whatever the case, the blanket caused it to look even more pronounced.

Then he busted out with his tools on his little tool tray. Pliers, exacto knives, tweezers and scissors. All of them with that soulless stainless steel look that Cronenburg dropped in DEAD RINGERS.

He asked me how I was. I told him that I was alright. He asked me if I was ready. I told him that I had been blogging the whole thing. Then he asked me if I had named it. I told him that I had not named "her" and I explained the whole sex thing to him. He was mildly amused. The nurse, who had been conversing with me in Spanish told me that the Spanish name for cyst is quisté. We all agreed on the spot that she had been named accordingly. I must digress and tell you that earlier when I was at work, the two women that I work with grilled me with hellfire in regards to my determination that the cyst was a female. They said that it was a sexist thing for me to make such a sexually identifying decision for something as foul as a cyst. That women are not parasitic, uninvited beings that should only be removed with violence. I honestly hadn't considered the angle that they were using. I suppose that I could have said that she (the cyst) was a gay male and that me being straight, I had to cut it out because I just don't get down like that. Or maybe the cyst was a bisexual male and I was still determining if I could go both ways or not. Or maybe the cyst was straight, and I was the gay one allowing him to hang out and hoping to convert him? The stuff was getting queer.
Whatever the case was, Quisté was a bitch. And that bitch was going down.

Out came the needles. I felt the first one go in. Then he proceeded to pump Quisté full of anesthesia. More and more, from all angles. The numbness hit. But I would describe it as a cold numbness. Like when you have been walking in snow for a long period of time in sneakers. You can hit your toes full-on with a hammer, and you will definitely feel the pain sooner or later.

Then homeboy went to town.

I took this stuff conscious. I suppose that he could have hit me in the face with a little of the anesthesia and I coulda done some night-nights...but I wanted this thing front and center. Full-on. It isn't every day that you get to see your body cut wide open by a professional. My nurse brought me some extra pillows with paper pillowcases so that I could sit up.

He cut a line across it. Initially, it was just a slight line of blood until I realized just how sharp that knife was. Plus it was tight. It has always been tight, and that has to do with the fact that has stretched my skin to its maximum elasticity point. Then Quisté popped. The nurse was standing on the other side of the room. Her statement was that she didn't want to get splattered. She had paperwork to do, but she was definitely hanging out over there.

So, the inside of a cyst, even after all of my research didn't show up the way I thought it would. I'd read cottage cheese and toothpaste as descriptions of the thickness of the liquid. I would have to compare this to moxycillon, which is the antibiotic you force down a kid's throat when they have an ear infection. Pepto Bismol would be a good way of describing the consistency. Wait, there has to be a better way of describing it. Whatever the case, there was a lot of it. Weeping and brawling it's way out. That mixed with the blood reminded me of the strawberry frappucinos that my friend Dean drinks. I usually tell Dean that his drink looks like the end result of a gerbil in a I am convinced that it looks like a popped cyst. It had no smell that I could find by the way. Perhaps if I had rudely reached in and dolloped some with my finger I would be able to report of some sort of funky smell. It was just that hair oil that all glands secrete. VOLUMES of it. Yeah, I've got it. I've got the image to compare it to: The thickness, the LOOK of it was like the liquidy glaze of a cinnamon bun. That is it right there. That is the image. Work with a heated, drippy cinnamon bun in your head and just imagine my bloody foot over it and you get what was seeping out of me.

So doc squeezed it all out. And mopped it up with gauze. Then he squeezed some more. There was blood flushing in from all around the wound. Not a pulsing, just a steady flow. What else does your skin do when it has been hacked open? I knew that I was going to bleed, but I wasn't expecting as much as I was getting. This was no horror-show spray, but there was a steady volume of the heavy stuff moving out like an oil slick every time the doc let up with the gauze. I was bleeding steadily. And that was when he really went to work.

He had some pliers and he pulled on the sac that was now hanging out of my leg a solid inch or two. It looked like a mini, tangled parachute limply sticking out of my leg. I could feel him tugging on that sac down to my ankle. I don't think that it was attached to my ankle though, I think that was just the skin, pulling. The cyst had been there so long that it had marbled with my epidermis, and he had to really cut with that exacto knife to get it off of my skin wall. If you have ever pulled the skin off of an animal, this is what the cyst's attachment to my skin layer was akin to. It wasn't coming off easy. It was leaving chunks of itself behind as the bulk of it was cut, pulled and sliced off.

He had some scissors. With these little things he was digging around and cutting. At times it felt sharp, and I was quite aware that part of me was getting clipped. The stuff hurt at points. At other points, I watched him digging around in there and clipping and was just aware that my nerves had been tricked into not believing that this was really happening.

He eventually pulled what I would compare to a sinus blockage snot out. It was glutinous and clustered. It was one of those oleaginous things that you pull out of the bottom of a sink or a tub and you drool because you might just vomit. He mentioned that the part now dangling from his pliers was probably the hair follicle blockage that had started it all. I couldn't tell if there was a hair in the greasy package, and I never saw it again after he put it aside. My leg was looking more and more like zombies had bitten me many times by my right ankle. I was sweating. I hadn't broken a sweat in a painful situation since I'd had my stomach tattooed. The whole body let out wave after wave of perspiration. Just enough to make me sticky, not damp or soaking. Doc was pulling and tugging at points and I had to look away and experience the feeling from an internal perspective. I could feel him pulling on it. I could feel it to my ankle. I could feel the skin that I'd prodded and poked for years getting pulled and clipped more. There was one point where he performed a full-on episiotomy in order to further grasp the bitch. I saw the man take out scissors and cut my skin like one would cut through several layers of wet construction paper.

There was a final snip from his scissors under my skin which I felt in the way you would feel someone kicking you in the ankle, but fleshier. It smarted. The last of the cyst had finally came out. Its look can most easily be described as similar to the flesh that collects around the chicken neck in the bag that is usually jammed up a roaster chicken's posterior.

The gaping hole, as I so eloquently described to Matt, looked like a tired vagina. Crude, I know, but that is the only real definition that I can muster for the thing.

Doc pressed gauze into the wound again and again and again. He told me that pressure would stop the bleeding. Now my leg was looking like some rednecks had had a cherry pie eating contest on it, and the contestants had been wiping their mouths incessantly with gauze. Globules were everywhere. There was spatter on the cray paper like several people with mouths full of blood had sneezed in my lower leg vicinity.

Doc and I talked about the guy who had been in the avalanche and had hacked his arm(?) off with a buck-knife in order to survive. We both agreed that hacking your arm off with a buck knife is the measure of a man, straight up.

Pressure didn't stop the bleeding, so now it was time to cauterize. I must add that the anesthesia was wearing off at this point. The nurse brought a flashlight looking thing with two prongs at its business end. The doctor lifted the flap of skin and proceeded to cook the stubborn veins. I must admit that this is the only thing that really HURT about the whole process. I could see the wisps of smoke from my seared flesh hitting the air. It smelled like burnt hair, not BBQ as I was joking with some people yesterday.

When the bleeding stopped, he pulled the hole upen for me to look in. I am telling you that the hole must have been 2" X 2". It was pretty big. He moved a tendon around. I felt it. I moved my foot and was able to observe the same tendon move. AMAZING. The flesh underneath reminded me of many a pork roast that I have seen. I must say, that my leg looked downright marinatable and cookable. It was reddish, because of the blood, and I could see all of the veins with their ridiculous choices of direction underneath the initial showing of meat directly over the bone. AMAZING I SAID.

Then came the stitching. He'd had to cut out more than just the initial hole to get rid of the parts of the cyst that hung on. The hole wasn't jagged. Actually, it looked more like the starting of a bowl on a potter's wheel. It was folding in on itself and miscolored. The reason for the bruised looking coloration of the skin was the fact that the skin had been stretched SO DAMN HARD.

10 stitches. A stitch is counted from the down and in of one flap to the up and out of another. I am gonna have one wicked looking Frankenstein smile down there. I told the doc that it was gonna be a badass scar. He smiled, weakly. The revelation for me was that he had been in this situation a bazillion times before, and maybe, just maybe I was amusing him a little. Or maybe, just maybe, he wanted to stitch my mouth shut, pour gasoline on me, light me on fire and send me rolling into the parking lot. I just couldn't tell. For the record, in my book, Dr. Jani is one cool motherfucker.

"Do you take aspirin?" He asked.
"No" I responded.
"Do you take Tylenol?" He asked.
"No" I countered.
"Will you take Vicadin?" He asked.
"Yes." I smirked.

He dimmed the lights and let me sit there and think to myself for what seemed to be about an hour and a half. I felt like the stubborn kid who refuses to go to sleep even though it is naptime. I fought sleep off. I had to get back to work.

When the doc came back, he asked how much time I wanted off from work. I made it clear that I was going back to work that day. I told him that it was my "damn protestant work ethic". He countered with the quip that he'd thought I looked like I "had just stepped off the Mayflower".

And now I am home, blogging this trash, hyped up on vikes trying to find a way to explain how happy I am that Quisté is in an office somewhere getting prodded like the brainbug at the end of Starship Troopers. You know, they have to check her and see if she is cancerous. Biopsy for the bitch.

I kinda wish that she'd stayed intact. It was time for her to go, but she didn't have to break down like that. I wanted her in a jar to keep by my computer monitor at work. In the end Quisté couldn't take the pressure of the relationship that I needed with her and she combusted. I wouldn't say that she was weak, I would just say that I was too demanding. She really tried to make it work, and I had to rely on forces outside of our relationship to keep her in line. In some ways I feel like a real dick. But in other ways, I am happy to be free from that bitch once and for all.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I never got her name...

This picture has nothing to do with my current post, but it does have to do with working out which is part of the theme of today's post. I stumbled across this picture the other day. This guy can't be real. I am not so much "grossed out" by this pic as I am more of in morbid curiosity mode. I don't think that this body is possible without a serious assist from some poor bull's testicles. This guy has zero body fat on top of all of this. What does he look like when he is out of season? This picture is impossible. Amazing though. Photoshop pwns the wasteland on this one.

So I have this cyst above my right ankle. I have had her for years. I remember about four years ago when I was outside barbecuing my mother asked me about her (the cyst). That was when I started to get a little self conscious about her. Never enough to go and get her cut out though.

She has been growing.

When I would go to the gym, I would roll my sock down on it just right so that the wrinkles in the fabric obscured her little golf ball self.

But she has been growing. It isn't a HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING boil...she doesn't talk to me, but she might as well. She has her own personality. The whole experience reminds me of this short story that I read once called "Goosebumps" where an author writes these scary stories that affect the readers with a big bump that furrows its way under the skin and eventually consumes their brain. You can find this story in SPLATTERPUNKS 1 I think. There is no real violence in our relationship however. I haven't got the stomach to give her a beating. I just don't get down like that. I also have a hunch that she would just come back if I used physical force to make her leave.

So I went to go see Sharon, my doctor, about 3 months ago. She (Sharon) mused that I was very familiar with her (the cyst) as I showed her (Sharon) how she (the cyst) is attached to the bone underneath and how pliable she is. She (Sharon) said that I needed a specialist and she set me up for a surgery with this specialist. For the record, I never let Sharon know that I had ascribed a sex to the cyst. That might have put me in line with a different kind of specialist. The thing about surgeries is that they call you, you don't call them. So I parked all of my workout routine. At the time I was doing 3x a week, heavy irons, heavy cardio. I was also doing the racquetball thing. But if I was going to be knocked out of commission for this she-cyst, I wanted to be good and hungry for the workout when I got back into it.

At the time I weighed 200lbs. I had never weighed that much in my life. So I parked the irons. I cut my food servings WAYYYY BACK. I lost weight IMMEDIATELY. I kept on losing. I shrunk back to 180. Boy was I getting tired of being a 180lb weakling, lemme tellyuh. Furthermore, she seemed to be getting more and more pronounced as I shrunk back.

You are probably wondering why I refer to the cyst as a "she". For one, it seems to me that I would much rather have something of a female nature attached to my leg than the math. For another, she isn't really hurting me. She is just there. I can pull on her and poke her and prod her and she is very patient. Much more patient than a male would be. And last but not least, she is COMMITTED. She is committed to this relationship with my leg. She doesn't want to leave, and she is doing all she can to make the relationship work. There was a period of time when she was actually hurting me. Especially when I wore my most favorite boots in the world. I think that it was a jealousy thing, and she knows that I don't have a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I am sure that she was just trying to let me know that I look like a slight poseur when people look down and see these big-assed boots that I wear. It was her way of letting me know that she didn't appreciate the extra attention. She just wants to be attached to my leg, and not have any pressure about it. She cares for me on levels that others can't.

Amazingly enough, it was a female who told me how to get rid of her (the cyst). This female suggested that I take a brick and just smash her (the cyst). She (the female friend) said that it was the old school method. I have also considered taking a body-piercing needle and running her (the cyst) through...but I just don't have the stomach to do it. She has been with me for years. When she finally has to go, I need to make it as amicable as possible.

So last week I'd had enough of this workout-free trash. I was a wimpy, out of shape male in the throes of a sick relationship with female cyst. Solution? I went to the gym. I busted out HARD. 5 sets of bench. I never went past body weight, because I didn't want to rip anything, but man did I push it. I went back to the curls. I didn't go higher than the 45s, but I threw that stuff around. I did the preachers, the squats, the lat pulls the calf-raises the tricep extensions and the back delts. I punctuated each new set with 50-80 situps. I was back in business.

The next day I was pretty damn sore. But she (the cyst) was still there, winking at me and flirting and telling me that everything was all right and that no one had noticed her. She wants to continue this relationship. I want out. She is much too comfortable. She has become complacent. She isn't really mean-spirited, she is just taking up too much of my life right now.

The next day I also secured a phonecall from the surgeon. I go in this coming Tuesday. So much for getting back into shape. I went back in to the gym on Thursday, but I was borderline useless because of the shock my body was still in. It is Sunday today, and I will go in tomorrow morning...and then Tuesday will be chop-chop. I am sure that they are going to tell me that I shouldn't work out or do anything that will strain my stitches. I am much more worried about the emotional separation I am going to suffer through when she finally leaves me. I don't think it is going to hurt her as much as it is going to hurt me.

"She's going away...what's wrong with my life today?" COLD- STUPID GIRL

I have made it clear to all involved that I want that she-cyst in a jar. If she pops during the surgery, that will be that. I have a hunch that she won't be popping though. She is strong. Very strong. This relationship needs to end though. She is cramping my style. The problem is that I never asked her into my life. She just showed up. I never agreed to let her hang onto my leg, I just tolerated her. One day, I noticed her there, and I let her stay there. I should have gone to have her checked out right hten and there. But she brought something to my leg. Character. Casson mentioned the character of the cyst that Val Kilmer has on his arm. But I am not a Christian Scientist. I believe in doctors, and I believe that a doctor is going to finish my relationship off with my cute little cyst friend. I have been wayyy too complacent with her. So complacent that I haven't even named her. But I am attached to her rather deeply now. I need to put her in a jar when it is all done, because that bitch has been with me for too long to just dismiss her like a piece of garbage.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. So I am gonna let the doctor do it.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Matt and a strange phonecall

I had an experience this past week that really stuck out.
In order to understand it, you have to understand Matt. I will try to make this concise in order to get to the point here. A big part of this is for you to understand fragments of what I understand of Matt.

*Matt is this guy I used to work with back when I was trying to get out of teaching. I would teach by day and slang pizzas with Matt at night at the Sodexo spot over at CSUMB. Those were some hard days. I was broke, broke, BROKE. Plus at the time it was for 95 bucks a day for substitute pay. PE was the class that usually needed the sub. I would rather lose a hundred bucks than teach a PE class. It is that simple.
*Matt is a good guy. One of the best-natured individuals that I have met on this godforsaken planet. I mean this. He has struggled with aspects of life, and has come out with a cocky smile and an attitude that you have little choice but liking.

*Matt is a San Diego kid. He is a high school dropout now getting his degree. He is one of those success stories. Matt is also quite probably the only human being who I know who can keep me in check on modern film. I mean keep me in CHECK. Now this is a heavy statement, and it comes with a qualifier, and the qualifier is that Matt and I pretty much see eye to eye on stuff when it comes to film.

*Matt knows his technology. Or at least, homeboy is up to date. He was asking me the other night if I had a Bluetooth in my cellphone. I replied that I have no idea, and I still don't. We were swapping MP3s and moving film clips and files/warez back and forth quite a bit when we worked together.

*Matt is hungry for the HERE AND NOW. When the Taliban executed that guy and his sawed off head footage was online, we were on it. I tell you this, because it plays into the point that I am slowly working towards. Yes, Matt and I swapped the violent clips. We knew where to go to get them too. So the guy who got his brains blown out in Vietnam? Yeah. Vic Morrow dying on the set of the Twilight Zone Movie? Yeah. Some guy committing suicide on local television? Yeah. I am not going to defend this stuff. There was a lot of trash that I opened my mind up to. And there is a recent clip of Pajarita the bull jumping the stands and plowing through the audience at a bullfight in Mexico. I hustled up the clip and sent it to Matt recently.

*You also need to know that Matt breakdances. His group is called THE FREAKSHOW. They break alright, but they aren't your standard Nas-worshipping headspinners. No. Every time Matt shows me a video of his crew, I am amazed at how punk and homeless they look. These guys will not only out-pop you, but they have the look of the kind of people you would see panhandling at a Greyhound station. It is some other level stuff. Matt wears it like a badge. I am sure that the other crews that they go up against really choke back the WTFs when the Freakshow takes the floor. Because Matt is breaking, I think it helps his understanding of 80s hip-hop. He also has a strong understanding of 80s new wave, and basically 80s music in general. He knows his Duran Duran and his Depeche mode. Matt 80s film too. He knows his classics. He also knows what is going on right now, and what is coming (which we both agree is NOTHING).

*And lastly, you need to know that Matt speaks a level of slang that is something to behold. Some of it I have outright stolen from the boy because it is so damn funny. An example of this would be the word "slutty". Like "We ate some slutty tasting pizza last night". Or, "That is the sluttiest looking car on the road". Or, "Yeah, I took that slutty class". OUTRIGHT GENIUS. I can't ascribe the origination of the term to him, but I give him his props on dropping it like a pro. There is more, a lot more, but I will leave it at this for now so I can get on with the general idea of this blog and stop gushing about this guy named Matt who you will never meet.

So Matt calls me at work. Leaves a message, tells me to call him back. I am under the wire with a bunch of stuff that really has me considering a career change, but I find his number amongst the legion of yellow post-it notes I have on my cabinet. I dial it. This is what went down.

Matt: Hello?
Me: What the hell are you doing answering the phone with "hello?" You should be answering it the way you usually do, guy.
Matt: Yeah, I didn't recognize the number.
Me: That's cool.
Matt: Hang on, I am going to put my Bluetooth in.
Me: Alright.
Matt: I am back.
Me: Hey man, you watch that bullfighting clip yet?
Matt: Heh, yeah.
Me: Hey man, you got a cold or something? You sound off.
Matt: Yeah, I have something in my chest, it hasn't gotten to my head yet, dude.

This is how the conversation went. This is how we conversate. Smooth. We talked about how he was getting double shifts, and how he didn't like the boss much anymore. But there were clues. One was that it sounded like he was driving. But I dismissed this as a possibility that he was driving his girlfriend's car. The other clue is that the whole conversation was going nowhere. I mean, the boy called me up at work and told me to call him back. I was waiting for him to get to the point, and it wasn't happening. Then he said something that threw me RIGHT OUT OF ORBIT.

Matt: My girlfriend is thinking about buying the company.

That was when it started to get weird. I Dig Gabby, but she doesn't strike me as the girl who is out buying companies. So I point blanked the guy.

Me: Hey, I think I am talking to the wrong guy.
NOT Matt: Oh yeah? Who is this?
Me: This is Peter. DAMN. I thought you were someone else!
NOT Matt: I though you were someone else too! You talk just like a friend of mine!
Me: Yeah, and you talk just like a friend of mine!

The conversation was totally weirded out at this point. This guy had been talking. I had put in close to 10 minutes on the phone with a TOTAL STRANGER. Why did he agree to having seen the bullfighting clip? Was that just one of those conversational nuances that make people agree when they have no idea what you are talking about?

I told the guy to say what's up to his friend for me and then I bailed out.

But the whole thing got me thinking. Here I am, I think that I am all original and stuff, and I sound like some random guy's friend. Furthermore, I just broke Matt down to you, and I don't think that he is run of the mill, but this random guy I misdialed had the Matt delivery down. His voice was off, but I was sure I was dealing with Matt.

This is no doppelganger stuff, this just helped me to realize how trivial it all is. How little I know and how unoriginal it all is. I have had whiplash moments like this in my life before. When I thought I was totally onto something, and then I meet someone who is deeper into whatever I was onto. When I was listening to Skunk Aninse wayyy back when and then all of a sudden the band is in STRANGE DAYS, my lid popped off for a second. That was my revelation that there were a LOT of other people into what I was into.

Me Me Me?

Who am I, does someone know me? (that is a lift with a twist from James Caan in THIEF).

I'll tell you who knows me. Apparently some random guy whose number I randomly dialed, that's who.

He is Magnificent. I am miserable.

Patton: Rommel, you magnificent bastard. I read your book.

Years ago, when I was a student at the superior University of Victoria, my friend Ian would constantly quote George C. Scott from PATTON.
Peter, you magnificent bastard this and Peter, you magnificent bastard that. Good times. I was a total George C. Scott fan, but that was a result of THE CHANGELING and FIRESTARTER...nothing on the class tip, like PATTON. Shoot, I think homeboy was even in the EXORCIST 3...with that scene with the woman in the hospital walking across the hall very quickly with a pair of scissors.

So the in-laws were in town a few months back, and I re-calibrated NETFLIX to accommodate them. PATTON was on the list. So we watched it. I think we all watched it 2x. Including Luther. The quote around our "profanity fee zone" was "Rommel, you magnificent basket! I read your book!" Isn't language fun. Rhetoric and the games we play with it around here make me laugh sometimes.

PATTON is a good flick. George C. Scott holds it down. Of course, I was waiting and waiting for the quote that Ian used to always drop, and when it showed up, I was one happy bastard.

I have since adopted the quote and throw it at everyone in my life who is "magnificent bastard status". There are a lot of them. One of them is this guy in my life named Peter.

Peter is truly a magnificent bastard. He is a bachelor in his 50s. He just doesn't care. I have spent a little time with him here and there. Peter rides a Harley and seems like one of the more jovial individuals in Hunter S. Thompson's HELL'S ANGELS. Oh there is a history of womanizing and hard partying in his stride. The man was obviously a severely disciplined, hedonistic soldier at one time. I really don't think that there is any malice in Peter, he is just a free spirit, getting over on the system.

So the other day, I referred to him as a magnificent bastard. He laughed, but I think he took offense. So I broke it down to him. Yes, he had seen PATTON. Yes, he said that he remembered the scene where PATTON said the beautiful quote. Soon afterward, my trouble began.

From that point on, every time he sees me, he calls me a "miserable bastard". He thinks he is still on the original quote. So I have thrown it back at him.
"Peter, you magnificent bastard," I say, in closing, or upon greeting. I have said it to him several times in the past few days. But he isn't heeding the correction.
"Peter, you miserable bastard." is what I am getting back. And when I get it back, I am getting the glint in the eye that says that we are on some inside joke stuff. But now I am at a loss. The game has suddenly gotten too complex for me and my introspective ways and perhaps he is right, maybe I am a miserable bastard after all. Maybe whatever he is saying to me is accurate, and he has some insight into my psyche and my being that I haven't seen. I truly felt that when I called him a magnificent bastard, that the man was magnificent. I still think so. He is an island to himself. And you had better row like a Viking is whipping your back if you want to keep up with him. Perhaps he is being sincere in what he says when he refers to me as miserable. Perhaps that is the inside joke. I see him as truly magnificent, and he sees me as truly miserable. I hope I am wrong. Whatever the case may be, I will have to think hard about the next magnificent bastard I refer to as a magnificent bastard. They might be so magnificent that they are able to change the very peace within me and cause me to post a blog as raw as this one.

"Peter, you miserable bastard."

How the hell does he live his life misquoting George C. Scott like that?

The only way he can do it is if he truly is as magnificent as I think he is.