Skip navigation

“Switchboard Susan, can we be friends?
After six and on weekends!…”

Nick Lowe
Switchboard Susan

Few people know that I, scabiesoftherat, am an avid jig-saw puzzle enthusiast. Even fewer people know that my phone officially died today.


I have to admit, I didn’t see this coming. Once the stark reality of the situation set in, I immediately felt the haunting pangs of withdrawl. I got the sweats and the chills at the same time. I got the cramps real hard-like. My vision kept going out of focus and couldn’t get enough candy into my being fast enough.


I was officially alone….adrift in this mad world like a cub scout in the woods without a Swiss Army knife. My flashlight and calculator were gone. My camera was gone. My film-editing software was gone. My app that allows me to watch a webcam of Andy Warhol’s grave (24/7) was gone…all gone in an instant! I sat alone at lunch today…shunned by those with phones who sat cackling while playing trivia and listening to the Cavs (led by LeBrad Jones).

I went out to my car and began to read The Catcher In The Rye again….I’m surrounded by a bunch of “phonies”. Well, I’m NOT a “phonie”….at least, not until tomorrow when I get to the AT&T store….then I should be a “phonie” again…



“I went away a small man,
But I’ll come home a tall man,
Then what a pretty bride you’ll be…

I’ll be a big man in town….”

The Four Seasons
Big Man In Town

The pot-hole situation is getting quite out of hand.


You might think this is a merely annoyance, but it has ramifications that stretch far and wide,…especially if you own a small or mid-size car like I do.

The fact remains. We pay taxes. Other people pay taxes if they simply work in this city. There is a monetary flow.

…but we just can’t seem to find the resources to fix the common pot-hole, can we? We can consult out phones to help us determine exactly where we are on the face of the planet, but we just can’t find that cure for the common pot-hole.

It’s a big deal too. We only curse them when we try and maneuver between them. After we get out of our vehicles, we forget about them, don’t we?

Well, I’m not forgetting about them! If the city can come around and tell me to fix a crack in my sidewalk, I should be able to tell them to fix the million plus pot-holes that adorn the streets I have to drive on. It’s only fair, ain’t it?…and if they fine me, I should be able to fine them!

I really hate local politics and red tape. It ticks me off. They can micro-manage and nickel and dime a person to death but there is absolutely no accountability when it comes to things of a public nature which are in the best interest of the public at large!

My patience has left me. My hands are trembling like the front end of my car does when I drive down the street. I have nothing left.

This type of blatant malfeasance shall not go un-challenged! I shall protest at city hall!

…someday. Maybe not today, of course. (I plan to sleep in tomorrow…that’s the beauty of second shift. Sleep as long as you want and then watch TV for an hour before you get out of bed. Then get your slippers and sweatshirt on before you go to the bathroom….while you step over the dog,..who sleeps until one pm.)

But they will curse my name when I get some motivation!!

(Just not on a Tuesday, that’s all. Maybe on Thursday…I’ll think about it.)

“Money, I don’t have any,
I’m down to my last penny,…”


“Hush, Hush,
Keep it down now,
Voices carry….”

‘Til Tuesday
Voices Carry


I suffered from rather violent strain of virus earlier in the week. It’s all good now. It’s all gone.

But it also left a rather remarkable side-effect in it’s wake. It appears that my voice has vanished due to it. When I go to speak, nothing comes out. I have been struck dumb by this rogue intruder of my physiological being.

Can’t help it. Nothing comes out. My voice is gone.

I couldn’t help but be initially amused by this. I’ve never been dumb-struck,…but I have been. Can’t speak a freakin’ word here.

In this age of email, texting and self-service, I began to wonder how much I need my voice at all. Do I even need a voice?

I decided, since this is the first time this has happened, that I would use this instance to make a mental note as to how much I actually use my voice during the course of a normal day.

Since I can’t talk, I knew it would be easy.

I let the dogs out. The sound of the back door opening was enough to get them running. I had to say nothing. I went into a bodega and bought something. I didn’t even have to open my mouth. I got gas. Self-serve. No words spoken.

My boss came in and asked about 6. I rasped out, “Pratt”. One word. He understood and went on his merry way.

The guy I worked with asked how I was feeling. I rasped out, “Can’t speak”. He left it at that and then briefed me as to what was going on.

I sent a few texts, I sent a couple of emails.

Aside from those three words, I realized that I don’t need my voice at all….and that was kinda sad. The realization that my spoken words remain inconsequential.

…But, later, in the quietness and stillness of my rat’s nest of an office, I stood up and belted (rasped) it out….

“She’s precocious and she knows just,
What it takes to make a pro blush,
She got Greta Garbo stand off sighs,
She’s got Bette Davis eyes….”


“Sometimes it’s hard to believe,
That you’re never coming back to me.
I’ve had this dream that you’d always be by my side.
Oh, I could have died.

But now I see that you’re so happy.
And ooh, it just sets me free.
And I’d like to see,
Us as good of friends,
As we used to be,….”

Wilson Phillips
You’re In Love

I had to make the move today. It had to be done. I hate starting over but it’s a fact of life. It happens to the best of us, I guess.

I had to change the pass-codes on all of my devices today. I couldn’t bear typing in that same four-digit number again. Today was the day that it had to end.

I might miss 7734 in the future. I don’t know. The number has served me well since it’s been with me. It’s nothing against the number itself, of course. It’s just that the chemistry between us has grown stagnant in recent days. It was always there for me when I needed it….like when I would be standing in a checkout and there would be someone taking their good sweet time in front of me. 7734 was always there to help open up the wonders of electronic connectivity to the world that was just beyond where I currently stood.

It’s not 7734. It’s me and my selfishness that is to blame. I know this. But it’s better to have been served by 7734 than not at all! I would’ve missed so much of the world had it not been for 7734

I loved 7734.


There were also those great instances in which 7734 would actually let me by-pass itself. It gave me the freedom to soar without choking me with inane legalities. If I ever wanted to use the calculator or the camera on the fly, 7734 was always fine with that. If I had to check under the hood on a rainy night, 7734 was there with the flashlight. That number always knew what was important and what wasn’t.

7734 always knew what was best for me.

If I wanted to access my personal information, it made sure I had it’s proper sequence before I did….and that’s ok. I trusted 7734 to always look out for my best interests all the time. 7734 always made damn sure I had it’s number before it would let me flit Higgledy-Piggledy onto Facebook, YouTube and even this blog you’re now currently reading….providing that you even got this far into this post.

(Which, by now, is pretty much a miracle in and of itself…..T’a’int it?)

I loved 7734….but I had to move on. Our relationship had become somewhat trite and banal. It was time for a change. I’m the bad guy in this scenario. I don’t deny it. I just had to walk away. Some of you may call me a coward,…I suppose I deserve that.


“Para bailar La Bamba,
Se necessita una poca de gracia,
Una poca de gracia,
Para mi, para ti, ay arriba, ay arriba,
Ay, arriba arriba,
Por ti sere, por ti sere, por ti sere,…”

Ritchie Valens
La Bamba

Ya know, friends? We have this little thing here called “making a run for the border”. It seems to be the cogent thing to do now-a-days. Everyone’s doing it. They’re running for the border. Unfortunately, they’re running for our border and not theirs.

Be that as it may. I decided to run for the border today. I did. I don’t do it often. I don’t do it lightly,….but today, on October 23, 2014, I made a run for the border.

I bought a 12 pack of soft tacos from Taco Bell. I got the mild sauce and Salsa Verde as the compliments to the tacos,…(the soft tacos, I mean. I can’t do the crunchy ones. I simply do not like corn tortillas. They hurt my teeth.)


I picked them up on the way to work. The box was as heavy as a small turkey.

As I drove to work, I wondered to myself as to the storage of these soft tacos.

I looked at the box. It looked at me. I knew I was going to have to transfer them to a non-descript form of packaging so as to guarantee it wouldn’t be pilfered from. I decided on a plain brown paper bag that was stapled 17 times lest some ne’er’do’well decide they would accost my coveted soft tacos.

I put a skull and cross-bones on the plain brown paper bag. I then wrote the word “poison” on it.


That seemed to do the trick. The soft tacos were intact at the end of the night when I went to go and get them. The world was as right as rain.

I ate four at work. I’m about to have four right now. That leaves me three for tomorrow morning.


(four plus four plus three,….)

WAIT A MINUTE!!! That ain’t right! Four plus four plus three,….equals eleven!



“All Alone, I Sit Home By The Phone,
Waiting For You, Baby.
Through The Years,
How Can You Stand To Hear,
My Pleading For You Dear?
You Know I’m Crying Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh….”

Paul McCartney/Michael Jackson
Say, Say, Say.

The time is getting late. I have nothing to say because I’m in a panic to get to bed. I can’t get to bed because I feel like I have something to say. Even though I have nothing to say, I feel like I can’t get to bed until I say something. There’s just nothing to say. I want to say something but I don’t feel like it’s the right thing to say. If I said what I wanted to, I’m afraid I would regret it and I would regret the things I say. But words not said are words said in haste.

Like,…ummm,…Paul McCartney actually recorded with Michael Jackson? (You gotta be kidding me!? Really!? Good heavens….where have I been?…just take me out behind the garage and shoot me now!…)


“The grocery store’s the super mart,
uh huh
Little girls still break their hearts,
uh huh
And men still keep on marching off to war,
Electrically they keep a baseball score,…”

The Beat Goes On
Sonny And Cher

‘Tis the ending of another banal 7 day week. Nothing portends evil like the waking moment of a clammy and cold October Monday morning,…but, alas, that is a mere two days away and I have less on my plate tonight then I did when I started this odyssey in the early afternoon hours of this particular day.

I had to run to the bank and was forced to tarry there (far longer than I wanted to) due to the fact that it took four tellers to attend to the man that was parked outside in the drive-through,….no doubt attending to multiple (and possibly questionable) transactions from the comfort and safety of his own vehicle.

I was patently ignored. The man who actually got out of his vehicle and took the time to walk into said bank,…was, indeed, put on hold in favor of the ne’er-do-well who thought it perfectly ok to not leave his vehicle whilst conducting MULTIPLE transactions.

After my business there was complete, I motored over to my other bank so as to withdraw some farthings that might be needed during the course of this fine autumnal evening.

I withdrew the 20 bucks from the ATM and went on my way.

Has my life really sunk to this? Go to the bank, pay bills, go get a 20 spot that I can’t afford and then get a cheap sandwich to lunch upon while I work my increasingly boring job?

That’s all fine and good. I don’t care. I pay the bills and keep food on the table. I should be grateful for that,…not being in the red and all,…it’s just the dashed balmy-ness of it all.

I will do something crazy here and just take a random picture of something. How’s that?


My Paul McCartney bass laying on dirty socks and underwear near the dresser in my room. That was pretty exciting, wasn’t it? (I actually left it there because I will be recording a soundtrack for a movie on Sunday during the Steelers/Browns game.)

I did a list of ailments this week. (I bet you’re glad your reading this post, aren’t you?) I have determined that my left forefinger hurts sometimes and that my jaw pops. The jaw has never done that before. The finger comes and goes,…but the jaw has never done that before. It only pops at work. Not when I get home. I have to wonder if it’s stress or something. It kinda hurts when it does that….I don’t know.

I think the root of the problem is that I miss the 1970s. I am not old. I’m just nostalgic. I love nostalgia…but that’s for another post, I suppose.

Nothing like that Farrah Fawcett poster though.


Beyonce has nothing on her. Beyonce struts her ass all over the stage and then lights up the word “Feminist”.





Yeah, right. Really?

Gwenyth Paltrow just cooed to Obama that he was “so handsome that she can’t speak properly”.


Ok. Now how many of you think I’m a boring old fart because I miss the 70’s?


“The King is gone,
but he’s not forgotten,
This is the story,
of a Johnny Rotten.
It’s better to burn out
than it is to rust.
The King is gone,
but he’s not forgotten….”

Neil Young
Out Of The Blue (And Into The Black)

Totally bored tonight. I don’t know why. I had plenty of things to do. I think it’s just this Ebola thing. It makes me tired for some reason. It’s like mono. You think you got it but what’s really happening is your just really bored.

Spent the day cutting grass. I hate that. There’s no sense in it. You cut grass only to cut it again next week. Makes me wanna blow my brains out.

I dunno.

Just depressed today I guess. There’s just nothing going on.


“We gotta install microwave ovens,
Custom kitchens deliveries.
We gotta move these refrigerators,
We gotta move these colour TV’s….”

Dire Straits
Money For Nothing

So, I am getting two brand spanking new credit cards this week. Neither one has a zero balance, of course. Just two new credit cards that assimilate into my already active accounts.

Why, you ask?

Because some jackanapes in some banana republic hacked into the computer system of a store that I would frequent to buy various plumbing and household items! The bastards broke the security wall for The Home Depot! These pirates apparently have access to all the information used when I procured my cards in the first place… the banks, being johnnies-on-the-spot, are issuing me new cards to replace my old ones.

But that begs the question,….are my new cards going to assimilate with my existing accounts? I don’t know. I can still log in to online banking and stuff,….but they don’t ask for the card NUMBER when you do that. Can I still write checks on that account? The mind boggles. I mean, it’s a totally different number now,….or is that new number a “shadow” number? Like a stealth number that, when entered, the machine will actually direct it to the proverbial Bat-Cave of my hidden account.


It also begs the question, who’s paying the banks for the gazillion re-issues of credit/debit cards to the hapless owners of said? That’s a lot of labor on their part, ain’t it? Narrowing down each card holder that used their card to buy 15 cents worth of screws at Home Depot. I would think that Home Depot would be tagged with the bill for that….but are they? Who knows?!

For all the stupid things that have recently happened in our country, this is just the icing on the cake.

I heard today that Jimmy Johns Sandwich Shop also got hacked. With each new hack, is there yet another reissuing of the card that you just got? With each new hack, do you really get another card? If I went to Home Depot and used my old credit card,…then went to lunch at Jimmy Johns,…as I have been known to do,…do I get one new card because of both of them or do I get two new cards because Jimmy Johns and Home Depot are separate entities?

I can’t seem to wrap my head around this….

Either way, they’re both new cards. And you know what that means. A nice, smooth swipe.


“It never felt so good,
It never felt so right,
And we were glowing like the metal
on the edge of a knife….”

Ellen Foley
Paradise By The Dashboard Light

I made it a point to scrub the word “vanilla” from by vocabulary today. I don’t know why. It just seemed time, that’s all. Vanilla has taken on too many different meanings now-a-days. Oh, sure,…there’s the flavor of the ice cream and the extract. That’s what it supposed to mean and, had it stopped there, the word vanilla would’ve remained in my vocabulary.

Unfortunately, the word has taken on various meanings as of late. It has become a synonym for the word “bland”. It is also the last ice cream eaten in a carton of Neapolitan. The word and the flavor get a bad rap now. I think we should let them exist as they are but not acknowledge them in conversation. We should just Let It Be, as it were.

Another point I want to make is that here, on my blog, I would like to fully recognize a person who has been forgotten by history. Her name is Ellen. (pause) Ellen. Her name is Ellen.

One Ellen Foley to be exact. She was gangly. She was goofy. She didn’t possess the graceful timings of others like her. She probably had adenoid problems and she probably had a perpetual cold all the time..



She played the public defender on Night Court’s second season. Her gangliness probably got her the job on that show. However, what people don’t know about her is that she is the actual lead female vocal on Meatloaf’s, “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”. The woman was a powerhouse in the vocal realm. You wouldn’t know it was her because Meat actually switched her out at the last minute for Karla Devito. Unfortunately, that was one of the biggest scams ever perpetuated on the American public. Ellen sang it but Meat wanted everyone to think Karla did.

I just think, in 2014, she deserves her due.

(real singer)

(fake singer)

(Fast forward to 4:05)

(The song,…on the whole,…is absolute dreck. Her vocal performance, however, is outstanding. Bravo, Ellen! Booo, Meatloaf,…you stupid fat pig.)

Truth be told? Freebird and Money For Nothing are not hard songs to play on the guitar. You need distortion, no pick and a simple mind. That’s it. It’s a perfect fit for me. I have distortion, no picks and a simple mind.

(That’s not me. That’s this hot looking chick playing guitar way better than I can….)

My last meal? I mean, the last meal I ate before I potentially make it to my next last meal?

-Chicken stuffed with bacon and pepper-jack cheese, buttered and salted peas, mashed potatoes and gravy, tomatoes with Roquefort, wild berry tea with sugar.-



(I don’t know what my next last meal will be. I may not make it that far….)


Yeah. I said a whole lot here, didn’t I?



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 270 other followers