Remember when Hannibal Lector was all the rage? Years ago, before
zombies replaced him in the fickle heart of the public. Well this is
the true story of what happened to Hannibal Lector, written by one
who was there, which I can now share with you because all the guilty
parties are dead and beyond the law's convoluted reach.
The names have not been changed to protect the innocent-- assuming
there are any....
******** The Silence of the Hacks ********
I don't want to rain on little ole Thomas Harris' parade or put a spoke in his wheel--it's just that I'm sick and dog-tired of all these tenth rate so-called "writers" harvesting kudos and million-dollar advances for writing pure trash all the time.
I mean what's the point? Hannibal Lecter can go take a long jump off a short pier--so what if the Queen Herself knighted the slimy little jerk? It just proves what a tribe of perverted bums our Leaders are, don't it? Because you are never told the truth, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury. You are once again being fed a LIE and right now I'm going to tell you the way it really happened (which is nothing like it's reported in the so-called News of the Day, Hannibal the Cannibal being the hot story of the moment).
Anyway, a bunch of us got together and said we wuz sick and dog-tired of the reading public being such a ninny, needing something as DUMB as mere cannibalism to get them to go to their bookstore and buy a book. At that time Hannibal Lecter was right here in Shoreline, Washington, which is the suburb of Seattle where me and my buddies live. He was hiding out here; it's the one place the cops would never think to look for him.
One night late we formed a sort of a posse you might call it, with ropes and all.. We went to Hannibal's door and knocked loudly. When he opened the door we jumped him. We drug him out (him yellin and screamin and waving his fists, but he aint in all that good a shape from being in prison too long). He wasn't wearing his scary mask that the Warden made him wear in prison, and it woulda been more exciting if he was wearing it, but he wasn't.
So we knocked Hannibal down and kicked him till he shut up whimpering. Then we drug him to that big ole maple tree that grows in front of his house--you pass it on your way to walk your dog in Boeing Creek Park; you'd probably remember the exact spot if you thought about it, anyway we put one end of that rope in a noose around his neck, threw the other end over a limb of the maple tree and we all pulled, yelling "Yo-Ho!" becuz we was feelin good.
Ole Hannibal he kicked a bunch but pretty soon he was dead with his tongue stickin way out.
When he was all done kicking we cut the sonofabitch down and threw the body in the trunk of my ole Chrysler New Yorker. Then we all drove back to my house.
We drug old Hannibal by the legs around to my back yard which is where we cut him up using a chain saw. First the head, then the legs--we sawed the legs into nice roast-size chunks like any good butcher would do. Then the arms. Then the torso. Old Jerry wrapped most of the parts in Glad Wrap and popped them in the two old freezers on my porch. They'd do nice for Sundays all through the winter--then we fired up my barbecue, filled it with good well-seasoned hickory charcoal for a slow simmer and we took and roasted old Hannibal's left thigh just as neat as you please.
Cooking time was two hours, then we placed the roast on a platter and I carved and served (bein as how it was my house), then we filled up our jelly glasses with some full-bodied Chianti, 1984 with a mellow yet tangy and pleasingly fruity bouquet, and we all fell to eatin.
"More fava beans, anyone?" Caroline asked.
"I'm sure enjoyin this roast," Sidney said. "This mustard crust is my favorite."
We all smacked our lips, that roast was so good. The most delicious meat I ever et. I had three helpings, four glasses of Chianti and a whole mess of fava beans.
Bianca, she cut herself another big slice, poured gravy on it and cut it up and et it, making smacking noises, it was so prime. "Mmm, mmm! Don't that just hit the spot. Best roast I ever bit into," then went back for more.
There was some charred bits; I carved them off and threw them to my two cats Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Pretty soon everyone said "Good night" and drove off belching and picking their teeth, and I fell onto the couch in the living room where I sleep, thinking--
"Well it's not MY fault that my wholesome, honest, uplifting books get rejected because the public can't stomach that kind of stuff! I mean what the hell, better luck next time."
And so saying, I rolled over, farted loudly and fell into a deep, satisfying sleep, happy as a clam in clover.
And that's what REALLY happened to Hannibal the Cannibal. That other stuff they try to feed you ? That is a pure lie. Don't fall for it. Why let them manipulate your mind? Go for the truth every time; it's a lot more pro-survival.
High Aztech by Ernest Hogan (on facebook and twitter)
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler (on facebook)
Happy Pride Month Everyone!
In 1977 when I marched in my first Gay Pride March (it hadn't yet morphed into a parade), I could not have imagined that in my lifetime there would be gay marriage. The prejudice was too deep, too institutionalized, too unquestioned.
Growing up I didn't internalize homophobia and as an adult I was self-employed which meant my livelihood couldn't be threatened, so for me personally it wasn't bad, but a lot of innocent people have suffered quite a lot from the cruelty of straight people. (Y'all have a lot to answer for!)
Jody was the most upbeat, youthful, interested, resilient person I've ever met-- by a considerable margin, and yet I could see even on her the effects growing up as a lesbian through the 1930's, 40's, 50's. Those were decades when you could get arrested, thrown in a loony bin and shock-treated, your livelihood and relationships ruined by the scandal of being found to be gay. You could be killed almost with impunity by any heterosexual who felt threatened by your very existence. (All still true in many parts of the world.)
Gay bars were routinely raided and usually owned by the mafia. And as we saw June 12th in Orlando, we are not immune even here, even now.
Jody and her pal Don were thrown in jail in Texas for a week for being queer, in the days before Miranda rights, and if not for her ingenuity in sneaking out a note to a lawyer, they might have been there much longer.
Jody died in December 2007. Domestic partnership for the state of Washington was only a few months old and we hadn't registered for it. (A fact that would get some play after she died when her son sued me 4 times because he didn't accept our spousal relationship.)
She didn't live to see the unbelievable momentum as state after state legalized gay marriage; as it became the law of the land nationally. I am astounded and thrilled about this, but it is also bittersweet; it comes too late for Jody.
Written exactly one year before Jody died:
Christmas Day, 2006. Sunny and cool. I took a walk with my dog. We walked around our big block of Supermarkets up at the corner of 185th and R.B. Road--it's weird to see those stores from the back because nobody ever goes there, I mean why the hell should they? They shouldn't. Except us (of course), and The Homeless Man.
The Homeless Man lives in the woods somewhere around here, I never found out exactly where--Mary & I took a pile of blankets to him the year when everything in the neighborhood froze solid but The Homeless Man was nowhere to be found, so we went back home where it was messy, piles of papers books and so on all over the place but at least warm and comfy
Anyway, I was telling you: today when I hiked around the alley side, guess who was there? The Homeless Man. We said hello and all that crap and then he threw back the lid of a dumpster that was standing behind QFC--you know how big a dumpster is, pretty goddam big--and he said,
Those were his exact words and I looked. The dumpster was jam-packed to the brim with last weeks' pork chops, lamb chops, steak, hamburger and every kind of pre-packed veggies, all laid out in those styrofoam thingies with the Glad Wrap or whatever it is, nicely sealed over them and everything looking almost fresh with the price stickers still on them. So anyway we chatted a while about how The Homeless Man could take some of the stuff home and cook up a nice stew for himself, except he had no place to cook anything and so forth and so on and then the dog and I walked on because we had to hurry up and do all the shit people have to do to stay alive in this culture and, well, I guess that's about it.
Except for one thing--couple of weeks ago an anthropologist from London phoned me; very nice fellow, lovely Brit accent, wanted to know about Henry Miller and George Leite--you remember George, I spoke of him in my last article. See, there was this piece called "The New Cult of Sex and Anarchy" in Harper's magazine a good while ago and this fellow wanted to know about it because he was writing a book. So I thought, "Well, you know: George's poem about The Mastodon, that poem kind of says it all." So here is that poem for your delectation, OK? To the tune of Tannenbaum:
O Mastodon, O Mastodon,
O broken glass
Comes from your ass.
O Mastodon, O Mastodon,
O broken glass comes from your ass.
O broken glass;
O broken glass
O Mastodon, O Mastodon,
O broken glass
Comes from your ass.
I hereby swear and affirm that these events are true. (Signed) Jody Scott 12/25/06 (rest in peace, dear buddy George). Daughter Lani died 2006, wife Nancy & son Daliel still thriving in California, bless ‘em.
Part III- Okanogan:
I write about how Jody and I meet in 1977 in the foreword to the 2015 Strange Particle Press edition of Passing For Human. It isn't long before Jody recruits me to help with the Irondale business. I'm young and inexperienced enough to be flattered to be entrusted with the bookkeeping. (Note to young self, "bookkeeping is not a thrilling piece of adult business, it's just an onerous repetitive pain in the ass.") But to be fair, Jody has been doing this alone for a long time and how I handle this will be an indicator as to whether I can be trusted with greater responsibility.
In 1981 we buy our first parcel of land in Okanogan County. By now I have learned how the business operates and how to communicate and sell. Jody is an excellent teacher.
Turns out our skills mesh wonderfully, where Jody is weak I excel; where I am weak she is strong. So while she writes full time, I am tasked with finding a new location where we can replicate the Irondale success.
There's no internet so research is via phone and mail and in person. After months of searching I find the place where county regulations, beautiful terrain, views and price align.
The plan is to buy a large tract of land at a 'wholesale' price, divide it into smaller parcels, and sell those to people in Seattle at a 'retail' price. This "spread," or difference between wholesale and retail, is our profit.
We do everything ourselves. We find the land and buy directly from owners. We sell the land for $99 down and $99 per month on a Real Estate Contract we carry ourselves. We tramp and measure and stake and take photos. We figure out how to divide what we buy and write the legal descriptions that make it so. We advertise in The Little Nickel using inexpensive classified ads and we meet people at the local Denny's Restaurant where rent is the cost of a meal plus generous tip.
We have no competition, no one is doing what we are doing. In later years others begin to offer similar terms, some of them legit and some of them scammers. But we have an advantage because society does not recognize our spousal relationship. For this technical reason we can buy two adjacent tracts of land as separate individuals and each of us divide our parcel into four pieces, giving us eight plots to resell. A married couple can only divide the same whole into four parcels. (And that's how to take a crappy hand dealt you and turn it to advantage!)
We enjoy quite a bit of freedom, but also there is no corporate daddy to fall back on; the bucks stops with us- for good or ill. Nobody funds our retirement account or provides us insurance. We take all the risks, we get all the rewards and we assume all the responsibility. It takes a bit of courage and a whole lot of ethics to pull that off successfully for decades.
So, we begin our Okanogan business in 1981, we model it after the successful Irondale Lots, which is built on Jody's successful Encyclopedia Britannica experience, and the last Okie property we sell is in 2007, just months before Jody dies. (We have a lovely time that summer clearing brush growing up in the road and find a big jade rock (OK probably not jade, but pretty) that takes the both of us to lift into the trunk to bring home.)
Over these 30 years we buy and sell hundreds of acres of land, dozens and dozens of individual parcels. By creating our own unique business model, to supply exactly what Jody needs to write full time (a modest but steady income from a few months part time work each year), she is able to spend her life doing what she loves; producing the body of work that we all are the lucky beneficiaries of.
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