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Randomania


Fried baloney sandwiches and tater tots at Nation on 13th. Even a toast bar popping up (literally) at Blue Oven in Findlay Market. Blue Oven bread is delicious and I’m sure the toppings are fabulous but I can’t help but giggle at the notion of a Toast Bar. All these foods from my childhood regaining prominence.

I think I’ll buy an old film projector caddy. The kind on wheels that the high school geek, with his glasses taped together, would roll into the class room to show a film strip. I already have a toaster. I’ll get a supply of Pop Tarts. Plain and frosted. I’ll wheel the projector cart with the toaster and tarts down to Fountain Square, plug in and offer gourmet Pop Tarts. I don’t yet know what makes them gourmet. I’ll work it out, something will pop up. I’ll sell them for $5 a tart. A business concept so stupid that it can’t fail.

Or cans of Vienna sausages. The little sausages packed in gelatin. Stick a toothpick with a squiggly, colorful, cellophane embellishment. Dust a little parsley. Oui. Oui. Ouinies. Pretend they are a French delicacy. $6 bucks. Genius.

###

Wash day. We had a wringer washer. A wringer washer, in case you don’t know, is a powered machine that churns and sloshes your clothes around like any other washer but has a set of rollers mounted on the top which squeezes the water out so you can hang the clothing on the line to finish drying. As a child I was fascinated by the flattening of the clothes. I wanted to help feed the clothes into the wringers but I wasn’t allowed because the rollers might grab my fingers and pull my hand through and crush it. In my cartoon inspired mind, I imagined the whole of me being wrung dry and flattened into a two-dimensional Mick. That would have been cool.

Summer wash days had the wheeled, wringer washer on the back porch in the fresh air. In the winter it would be wheeled into my older sister’s abandoned back bedroom. On those days with the house closed up tight against the cold, humidity clouding up the windows and the chug, chug of the machine and, perhaps, my mother’s relentless playing of Jim Reeves records sometimes prompted the horror. Paisley shapes, like swimming sperm, in my peripheral vision signaled the onset of a migraine.

The closet was my refuge. Seated on a box filled with Christmas lights amidst the hanging clothes with the vague aromas of their wearers. Shut out the light. Muffle the sound. It was my only hope. But odds were that my head would split as if rift with a meat cleaver. If I’d had sufficient grasp of the concept of suicide in those days I might have taken more effective action.

I’d usually have to empty my stomach in the bathroom. The headache prompted the vomiting, the vomiting exacerbated the headache. As if my head were being crushed dry through the wringers.

It would eventually pass, of course. The migraines became less frequent when in high school and faded into near non-existence by the time I entered college. I grew out of it, they would say. Perhaps I just found better uses for swimming sperm.

###

I want to launch a newspaper. Or a literary magazine. Paper based. A fool’s errand. I might as well tilt at windmills.

The newspaper would focus on O.T.R. Everything that happens here. Everything elsewhere that causes everything that happens here. In that way, it would encompass the world. Real news from real reporters instead of ideologues.

I’ll call the Literary Magazine, Itchy Brother, named after a character in The King and Odie cartoon series. Itchy was the ne’er-do-well brother of lion king, King Leonardo. Itchy suffered from the mange and constantly scratched himself. Itchy’s accomplice was the nefarious Biggy Rat. Biggy and Itchy conspired to take over Leonardo’s kingdom but the plan was always foiled by Odie, the skunk. More information than you need, I realize. Anyway, the literary journal will be called Itchy Brother. It will publish short fiction, essays, poetry, art, cartoons, photographs. An outlet for our considerable, repressed creative spirit. It will not make a dime and probably operate in the red until my passing.

I need a benefactor. A patron of the arts who has more money than she or he knows what to do with. Someone who likes acknowledgement. A do-gooder. If you know such person, put me in touch.

On a more modest scale, I need a laptop. Do you have an old functioning laptop you don’t need? My requirements are modest. Microsoft Word and internet/email ability. I’ll trade you something I have but don’t need. Items of furniture. DVDs.

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