Lost Our Lease

We lost our lease. That’s right, we woke up the other morning and there was a Cease and Desist, Immediate Evacuation of Premises, Get the Hell Out notice scotch taped to the front gate of The Institute, right where everybody could see it. We thought it was a joke at first. I mean who serves one of those on bright yellow legal pad paper written in black magic marker to an organization (**The Institute) of our stature. They didn’t even use a lot of Scotch tape. One little measly piece stuck to the flange of our *front gate padlock, the second largest in the world by the way, we’d a got the first largest but it was simply too big and the freight to have it airlifted here was out of our budget, we could have watched one full year of DIRECTV (Total package including HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, the works) for what it cost to send just the key.

A couple of our interns from the Pavlovo Arts College No. 23, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia made it for us in exchange for The Institute allowing them to work here under assumed names to escape being sent to some gulag way the hell north where the sun not only doesn’t shine, but draws heat away from the earth in a particularly commie way. Since our padlock alone weighs 916lbs. and is 56.8 in. × 41.3 in. × 10.2 in. including the key we thought we were safe from any process servers, errant bondsmen, Amway sales persons, ex’s, those who deliver religious pamphlets to your door under the guise of saying they like you, census takers, unwanted visitors, some wanted visitors that we’re not real happy with right now, lawyers except ours, rabbis, priests, clergy from unaffiliated churches with really weird names, people who just want to come in and have a glass of water, those who are not pure of heart, puppy haters and general riff-raff.

But noooo, the notice was sent by our government, that’s right, the one that we cheerfully and with full malice a forethought voted in last time. We mean you must have because we sure as hell didn’t. We had what should be an ironclad lease made with Teddy Roosevelt himself back in the days when a Presidents word meant something.

The lease said and I quote ” These guys who forthwith and in perpetuity, hereinafter known as The Institute shall have and hold for the next millennium the right to hold a huge giant p-pot of land there in the mountains with any buildings, corals, parking garages, intern camps, The Big House, helipads, farm implements of unusual design, and anything else their clever little minds can come up with for as long as the sun may shine and the grass may grow and people can walk free upon the land without interference of any cheesy government body. So help us, and I mean really, Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, President of the United States and any other place we can get using that new Manifest Destiny thing.”

So you can see how we were confused not to mention vexed as to why we were being summarily kicked off our property. I mean we’re tax payers, sort of. We got rights. We called our attorney who unfortunately was getting his nails done and hasn’t gotten back to us yet with a frantic plea to buy us some time. That was last Tuesday and now we’re heading into the holiday and I’m sure the whole darn office down at Acme Law firm and Tractor Repair is taking the next week off, so we had to get packing and hit the steps. We mean if Teddy Roosevelt’s word isn’t good anymore, what is, we ask you. In trying to contact the present administration to perhaps get some assistance, even our Russian friends sent an email but all we got back was a tweet saying “Did you vote for us? huh? Well, Didya? Hope you like that new refrigerator box.” “the ‘Loser'” being understood. So in the meantime we are sort of thankful for that refrigerator box and the space under the North College Ave. bridge we get to set it in.

There’s more to this story and we’ll be disclosing that information as soon as we figure out how to work this Sterno stove and refrigerator box warmer and get some wholesome cat food in our stomachs. That’s not even addressing the problem of how to hook-up our Wi-Fi. We are a little worried about our staff. Make that ex-staff. The last time we saw them they were milling around the pieces of our lock that had been cut off by the Sheriffs department down at the front gate. Things were pretty chaotic what with dozens of empty acetylene bottles from torching the padlock laying around and various organizations checking ID’s and chasing after those individuals racing off into the sagebrush and hiding under vehicles and so on. Small sad lines of not only unpaid but now unemployed interns shuffling off single file in various directions where towns and villages were known to exist. That was pretty pitiful we got to say.

But we’ve been in tough spots before. It hasn’t always been Peaches and Cream for the Institute. We’ve been kicked in the Fuon Bwey Bweys before and we’ve gotten up and staggered off into the bushes and puked our guts out. So that parts not new. The one thing we’ve got going for us is that you can not keep a good Institute down. And we’re the best damn Institute you’re going to find. To paraphrase Woody Guthrie who wrote a song for the Ladies Auxiliary one time and we adopted it and changed all the words so we wouldn’t have to pay royalties on it. Here’s our semi-non-official version

Here’s our version

Oh, The Institute
It’s a good Institute.
‘Bout the best damn Institute
That you ever did see.
If you need an Institute,
See the director’s Institute.
It’s the Director’s Institute.  (Pretty good, right?)

OK, Here we presented Woody’s version to show you how much we improved it

Oh, the Ladies’ Auxiliary
It’s a good auxiliary.
‘Bout the best auxiliary
That you ever did see.
If you need an auxiliary,
See the Ladies’ Auxiliary.
It’s the Ladies’ Auxiliary (Link to Woody’s version so you can hear how great it is) https://youtu.be/cvnxdLptWZA?list=RDcvnxdLptWZA


*Our front gate padlock before it was destroyed by bad government people trying to curb our ability to be as ridiculous as we want to be .

** Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.



Waitin’ On The Mail

Waitin’ on the mail was always an anxious time in 1967. That hamburger grinder that was Viet Nam was chewin’ em up pretty fast and was hungry for more. It wasn’t too bad if you was in school and hadn’t flunked much, you went to the bottom of the list. They din’t call you. You got a “get out of war free card” as long as you made grades. If you weren’t in school it was a different picture. Your number floated right up there on top and it was pretty certain you was gonna get grabbed.

If you was like some of those boys you could scoot on up to Canada and sit it out. But momma didn’t raise no boys like that. You was raised to do what was right even if it weren’t sure that it was right. If the men who ran the government said it was right then if you was called you went.  And you did your part.

Vince and Tommy was twins. They weren’t the kind that wore the same clothes and cut their hair alike. They didn’t try to look different but they were their own men and went about their lives the way each one wanted, not worryin’ about who thought what. They was close though, don’t never try and get between them. They was men, cause you were a man at 15, 16, 17 sometimes younger if you could drive a tractor hayin’, bring in stock in the middle of a cold snap so the new calves didn’t freeze, or rode fence all day in August when it was so hot your horse left a sweat trail just walkin’ slow. You were a man cause there was work to do and you were supposed to pull your own weight. And you did.

Cale Linters got called up this week and was shippin’ out to boot this Friday. He didn’t want to go and his ma called her congressman to see if she could get him off the list as he was needed on the ranch what with his dad Daryl down with a busted hip, but it didn’t do no good. He went. Vince and Tommy told his ma they’d help with the hayin’ and stuff when it was time. If they was there anyway.

It was one of the few times in their lives that the twins envied anybody. They envied those boys who had enough money to go to college. Ranchin’ hadn’t been that profitable the last few years and besides who’d do the work if they was off somewhere, ma? They  couldn’t afford to go and there weren’t that many scholarships available for B students. No they had to stick it out and just trust that they wouldn’t get called. Supposedly there was some rule or something that they couldn’t call up more that one man from a family and the boys would argue endlessly about how it should be me and not him cause I would be a better fighter, and you did better runnin’ the ranch and so on.

The agony of waitin’ came to an end when Jeezy the postman left some letters in the mailbox. The boys rode on up in the rain to pick up the mail and there they were. Those official looking letters from the government. One for each of them. Tommy opened his first right there in the rain.  Selective Service System, it read, Order to Report For Induction, The President of the United States, to Tommy Calpers, Box 8, Logan, New Mexico, You are hereby ordered to report for Induction into the Armed Forces of the United States, and to report at …..  Vince did the same rippin’ his open too and his read just like his brothers’. They rode back home slow, dreadin’ havin’ to tell ma the news.

Ma looked at the letters real slow like, checking one against the other, tryin’ to make sense of the words. “God damn them to hell, God damn the rotten sons of bitches” she said real low and tried not to cry. It was the first time in their lives the boys had ever heard her swear and it scared them more than the letter. She hadn’t swore even when Dancer that miserable stud kicked their dad and they missed that big bank payment cause dad couldn’t work. “I’ll fix this” she said “they won’t get you both.” But they did. Rules don’t always mean a lot when there’s a war on. The boys went.

If you were alive then you know how this went. We had a long mean war, bad things happened and sorrow was always near. You can visit the boys anytime. Both their names are on the wall there in DC. Ma and Pa went once. It was terrible. Pa won’t never speak of it to this day. Ma keeps the letters in a box by the bed where she touches it every night before goin’ to sleep. Waitin’ for the mail ain’t important anymore. There’s just a few bills and the Ace Hardware flyer. It builds up to the point where sometimes Jeezy will collect it out of the box and drive down to the house and give it to Ma. “Nothin’ important today, Ms Calpers, just the usual.” “I got all the important mail I’ll ever want” she tells him. It’s what they say to each other every time.

Labor Day 2015

2015-09-07Labor Day7466

Labor day, one of our most beloved and looked-forward to holidays, was created to celebrate the first Monday in September. It was created out of love and compassion for the working people in America by labor barons who were trying to suck up to the working class, so they would go out and buy stuff without taking time off from work, because they were like, on holiday. This benefitted the little guy and the labor barons as well due to the fact that they both got what they wanted. The workers got more stuff and the barons got the money made off the sale. So… Win-win.

Grover Cleveland, our 22nd and 24 President of the United States, he took the 23rd term off to celebrate Labor Day, created Labor Day in 1894 at the behest of a bunch of New York labor guys who wanted to show the working classes how much clout they had so they’d join their Unions. It was supposed to be celebrated in May but Grover, feeling rather peckish for some reason, and wanting to display that he was his own man, decided to have it in September, mainly because he liked September and there weren’t any holidays in that month at that time.

Like any sitting President, Grover had his ups and downs. As a politician and more importantly a President, he was for “Anything Good” and was steadfastly opposed to “Anything Bad” consequently he was much adored by the people that liked him. So much so that he was the fifth guy selected for Mt. Rushmore but was ultimately rejected because he was too “jowly” and would take up too much room. Plus they would have needed a foothill just for his moustache alone, which they didn’t have, and according to the engineers and architects spearheading this project they couldn’t bring in. This was a bitter disappointment for President Cleveland and his supporters, but everyone else just kind of shrugged it off and went about their business. They had work to do.

So, there you have it. Labor Day. All you workaholics, take heed. Stop working for today, unless you’re one of the people who are supposed to work to balance this whole thing out and make it work, and go out and buy something, anything, whether you need it or not. That’s what this holiday is all about. Be American, go forth and spend your money so other people can work and make the stuff to replace what you’ve just bought. They’ll make money, you’ll have stuff and America will be great again. Do your part. Make this a great Labor Day. Grover would be proud. Enjoy your Labor Day.