Thursday, April 16, 2009

Horrid dentistry. Bad taste in my mouth. And a blog in bad taste.

Warning: This blog was written on a novocaine high.

Oral surgery all week.

Like shots to the head.

Leaves you enervated. Full of pain. And sometimes thoughtful if a little bent.

My mouth is full of pain. My penis droops.

It has now come to this. Frog prince has again become a fugly-ucker. Like an aging starlet, I "need work".
I had asked my doctor about further work.
"We can not enlrarge it, Ivan.
Well, what would have been the point anyway.
Oh Dr.Freud, my wee-wee is largely unemployed.
My sex life, what there was left of it was largely in the land of shot horses and fallen women, usually with vibrators.
What other people might call perversions, we called refinements.
Yet what a joy and surprise to find yourself in a beautiful woman's bed where eight hours ago you had been sleeping in a parking lot. The writer thing: Loneliness and art, as any cad knows, are deadly with women... And maybe gay communal farmers.
I swear in the course of my misguide life, I have been hit upon by at least five sexes.
The gay patholotist's wife had said, "I piss on your degree.
You are a strange man."
Strange indeed. Offered me fifty dollars if I would dump on his chest. I declined. But a nearby roofer, down on his bucks, offered to vounteer.
Met the roofer again that night.. "Hey, it wasn't so bad. Nobody's paid me fifty bucks for a having a sh*t before.
"But on his chest?"
Dr. Crippen is a strange man. So is the roofer.
So is the gay communal farmer outfits himself in tights and prances like Rapunzel among the corn rows.
"You can keep your Superman comics!"

The hell of it is that all these guys are rich and successful
while you're still hawking your novels in the streets.
At what point did you decide to be a writer, at what point did you lose your mind?
A million in the bank. A wife who loves you. Beautiful children. And you chuck it all to try to be Carlos Castaneda.
Sorcerer's apprentice. Psychic researcher.
Psychotic researcher. Come home with two goats ande a novel, the goats standing around, waiting to be told what to do. I was, after all, their boss.
More Canadian writers have come home like that. Fifty thousand dollars in Canada Council grant. Two goats, and more often than not, no novel. Waste of taxpayer money.
And the goats standing around wondering what to do.

But I did interfview some goats and came back with a story.
You've probably read it before in this space, but my head aches, I have delusions, so would you take a used story from this man? I am, in my illness arrogant enough to say this is at least as good as the Canada Council crap they have been publishing of late..


In an old prairie dugout, there lived a goat.
Goats seem eternally peeved, that superior expression, but Andreas the Goat was not really peeved; quite happy, really. Did he not have what he wanted, the supply of scraps at the nearby junkyard, the good feeling he got from the Jimson weed and chicory, the late middle age age which had now cooled his passion, True, the young she-goats still showed interest, though this more for his old daddy goat appeal than anything else. He was a handsome old goat.

One day, another goat passed his way. A young-old nanny ...She still had a prance to her gambol, as if very youthful, but a little gray in her dapple showed she was almost as old as Andreas.
The old goat regarded the new arrival with some interest. Meeehh, he bleated, almost out loud. There was, inexplicably, a Meeh-ing response.
Andreas did a slight double-take, but he composed himself. Always be cool around females. "Hello. Come closer. What's is your name, little she-goat,what's your name? "

"Yasmine." she bleated.

She clacked along the gravel to his hideout and came closer. He could now see her face. The cutest little snout, though he could could see by the reddened blacks of her comma eyes that she had been into something.. Funny weed? Perhaps a bit of fermented barley down by the sump pump. She had certainly was on something.
Oh not again, the old goat thought. These kids, always grazing on those devil weeds. And the adults just as bad.

She was now right up to him and went to almost pass him, though rubbing a little along his rough hide.
It had struck Andreas that it had been so long, so long since there had been a horn-to-horn. Or even close contact with a female.

But just as soon as she had come up, she suddenly turned on a cloven hoof and seemed about to run away..
But he followed and trotted beside her.

"What's your last name," he asked.



"Yes. Yasmine Springbok."

"Icelandic,?" he asked.

"No, South African.

And with that, she seemed to just spring away from him, as she had done just before.,soon to disappear through silver-and-blue Russian olive bushes.

These spacey drug freak nannies, they're all the same, the old goat thought. So much into power plays, games, control. Use you as a sounding board. Tease you and run off.

But her scent, the recent nearness of a female, had awakened something in Andreas.

For some time, the old goat had noticed his thoughts were more in the past than the present. Manger scenes, back in the days wheh he'd had a family, kids, barns, chickens. All gone now. All grown up. Or maybe worse. He winced at the thought.
Always the new she-goat. that's how it had always been up until he grew old. Never mind, Yasmine Bleat, or whatever your name is, I will tend to my grazing, see my reflection in the old glass windshields around the garbage dump. What a fine old goat I am. I don't need anything or anybody. I am a rock. I am an island.

But Yasmine kept coming around.

At first she seemed to ignore him as she gambolled past, but he had to admit she was raising old- goat passions in him, not only the hint of an erection he was starting to feel along his scrabbly belly, but also some sort of promise that Yasmine seemed to hold.

One day she came right up to the old goat and said,"I will give you whatever you want. Anything at all. Whatever you want, real or imagined.
"Nutcase," he decided. Off-the-wall she-goat probably Iberian. Gypsy. Best keep to myself."

But on the third day she came back with an old soup can can in her mouth, which suddenly, inexplicably, turned into a flower.
The old goat pawed at the ground, but here, suddenly was a bunch of carrots. "How you doo dat?" the old goat asked, trying to show casualness, not the sudden, strange supernatural fear.

I am she-goat, mistress of goathood. I can make you horny. I can de-goat you if I choose. I can make you magic. I am Isis-goat. I know you better than you know yourself."

Never met a goat like her before.

They took to running around together, past the trees, past the birds, past the clucky stampeding chickens, through the yard and into a grove of Russian olives, spiky and hard to get near, let alone eat. "Got something to show you, said Yasmine. Come."
Andreas followed, followed her down a glade to the hollowed-out stump of an old oak tree, ancient, thick, though the inside was rotted out, leaving a circular ruin all around. One end was open, and inside, there was space for two or three goats, as if in a pen. There, inside the old oak stump there was a nest of spiders, just babies really, scrambling for cover. Yasmine suddenly went to stomp them, and in fact, trampled a couple. The others got away.
Andreas was surprised at this sudden show of atavism. Who, what was she really? Andreas had a sudden feeling of unreality as . the hollowed oak stump seemed suddenly alive, all ashimmer. . "Do not be afraid," said Yasmine. This is only a show of my power. I can give you anything you want. Anything at all. And then she knelt on her front legs and produced the vision of a past manger scene, the old goat's former mate, the kids, the chickens. All he had to do was walk into it and there he would be.But Andreas just stood there tranfixed, wondering at the unreality of it all. And just as soon as the scene dissipated, she scrambled for a wall and was suddely gone.

It took a long time for the old goat to return to the dugout.

He was much changed old goat.

Seven years of rooting around the old dugout that he had lived in
And for the first time, he'd learned something. But what was it?

He yearned to see the young-old she-goat again.

One morning, he saw two goats up on the rise, a fine billy and along with him, Yasmine.

Son of a wanton goat! he thought. I should have known.

But the following day she was back, alone, her mysterious companion not there.

"I want you to love me," she said, rather matter-of-factly. I want you to love me. Spiritually, like a goat-knight.
I will give you anything you want." And suddenly, between them, there sprung a clump of olives. Andreas had a taste. Not at all like stale Campbell's soup. Something in those olives though. He could feel, sense the ramaining baby spiders in the stump's walls. Could see them spinning their little gossamer webs, and the mother now nearby.
He made to tell Yasmine how he was feeling, but she was not there now.. She was gone again..

She came back that evening, and, after some rubbing against him, unexpectedly, presented herself to him. Andreas was in goat heaven. He took her. And afterwards, without much ado, she went to run off again. "Stay," said Andreas.

But she gave him a quick nuzzle and she was again gone.Seven days went by. No Yasmine.

He saw the mysterious he-goat again, alone this time, up high on the knoll. Soon another goat joined the handsome Sean Connery- goat. It was Yasmine.
Andreas could see by the familiarity displayed between them that they were, it seemed, still in love. "And me, what about me?"

She showed up alone the following evening.He was half-made with jealousy and woe.


"You can't get everything from just one goat," she asserted. I am with him, but I love you."


And she was gone again.

Nights were now spent in fits of jealousy and discontent. He would do this, he would do that. He would butt heads with the mysterious lover.
And one day he did. He saw the two of them up on the rise again and ran right up. "You got a problem? said handsome Sean Connery- goat. "Yeah, I've got a problem." And with that, he gave the handsome stranger a pretty good grazing. The stranger did not fifght back. "Leave him alone," Yasmine bleated. "Leave my husband alone."

Andreas walked back down the hill, to his shed. He had a sense of clairvoyance. He thought, as he had run away that he heard Yasmine say, "There is a reason for everything. I had come to you for a reason."

He sulked in his "apartment." So that was it. They are married. Well,he had his pen, he had his food and he had his certainties. It was an episode, a learning experience, old as he was.I will be a rock. I will be a hill. I will keep to myself.

Yasmine did not come around again.He grew to be his old self again, his certainties, the "key" his pen.

One morning,something compelled him to leave his pen, and leave fast. There was the sound of heavy machinery just above. He was out just before a massive bulldozer razed his home.

And high up on the knoll, again, he saw Yasmine. Alone. She was making moves to go back down to the other side of the knoll. She had almost disappeared now.. He had no idea why, or what he would do, and could he do it. But he suddenly made to follow.Soon, he was up on the rise, with Yasmine still in sight.

I think I am still high on novocaine!



Charles Gramlich said...

I'm sorry to hear of the oral work, and not the good kind apparently.

As for "psychotic researcher," there's a term I can get behind.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ivan,

Been too busy to post of late - 6 employers no less. But when listening to last weeks 'In Our Time' (Melvyn Bragg's programme(, Mencken was mentioned in relation to Huxley. It brought me back to previous plans - to read Newmarket and Mencken. Pleased about that. Will mail when I've read your piece.

Back to the grindstone:

Danny Tagalog. said...

Well, hello, Danny.

Bowled over to have you mention Mencken and me in the same breath.
Mencken is God!
And Huxley was a prophet in his own right.
Ah, the hand of intellectuality. said...


It is good to smile at ourselves sometime.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Well now Ivan, interesting, I am not sure I was expecting all that, but it suits you. You seem to me to be a person that is blunt for the most part. I am not sure if that is who you are or just a persona that you put on. Either way, I still think you are wonderful. And you're right, it is good to smile at yourself once in a while.

Be well love,
T said...

Yes, Tara.

Sometimes I forget Norman Mailer's dictum of elegance and tact.

boneman (and his wild zinnia) said...

Well, you seemed friendly enough, I thought I'de wander over to see what's doing.
Find out that folks in .ca get some good drugs at the dentist.
Of course, I realize it may have been my own fault in the long run. I probably should have lied.

Yeah...should have lied when, on the form it asked, have you ever dome heroin?
Yes, I answered, and I quit doing it after a short period in 1971.
It asked if I had ever dome amphetimines or hallucenigens.
Well, yes. But I quit doing those in 1981 when I was dating a beautiful thing who wanted children.
Yes, and I quit the hard stuff in 1991 (or whenever it was that Hollifield beat Brown in the first round?)
(An added ribbon I wear is that, after starting up smoking back in 1958, I finally quit in 2002....and that was, and remains, the toughest battle I fight.

None-the-less, perhaps I sjould have lied and just said, "no" because when they pulled all my teeth in four sessions all they used was a local while I was there and nothing (take some tylenol if you need pain relief) ....
at least until the last session when I begged (BEGGED) for something to get the pain out.

Hey. Next time I have to get all my teeth pulled (like they'll grow back sometime, eh?) I'm coming to Canada!

Donnetta Lee said...

Oh, my. Yes, you are high! But, as you say, good to smile at ourselves. And now you have a great smile. Albeit still a painful one. Sure hope you get to feeling better soon. On both ends. D

Midnight said...

Yes, get well soon Ivan (physically), but not mentally.

[Insert emoticon smile here.]

And some ends, justify the means.

You only live twice. said...

Free health care, but not dental care. O Canada!
Eleven bucks for a pack of smokes and nuttin' for the dentist...And there are no places you can smoke any more.
Granola-chomping sickies now get lung cancer at 19. And they don't even smoke.
Novocaine for everybody, I say. said...


Don't get my mother started on immortality. She is FN-99. Friggin' near a hundred. said...

Last time I went off at both ends was to finish a novel and gain a son.
Now some chesty pervert is after me.

Midnight said...


My congratulations and best wishes to your mom and you!

It's all in the jeans!

the walking man said...

Ever wonder how they castrate a goat?

A rubber band is placed around its balls until they get black and fall off.

They are then useful to hang from the rear view mirror of a Ford Escort to remind one of what could have been...or what was.

Now Yasmine may have promised him anything but what she gave was some olives and a night of pleasure and in the end the old goat still wasn't certain of what he wanted.

Fate though moved him along without any remorse of its own as the 'dozer came and leveled his pen.

It is like that in the solitary mind, always deciding that to decide may lead to the wrong choice so never decide anything and let destiny be the one to pick.

BONEMAN...I got Demerol when they took my teeth I am halfway to being a toothless old goat.

Go granny go...long life and good health! said...


You're the second perceptive person to observe that the old goat didn't know what he wanted.
A third, a police chief, offered that the old goat just wanted the idea of Yasmine, the gorgeous nannyl-bot that Andreas was in love with...Police chief? I used to do PI work with the cops at one time. We were rouunding up pimps and drug runners. This somehow placed me in the position of actually living living through a novel. Yasmine wrote the novel for Andreas? Andreas tried to make Yasmine his novel?..But as you say, "Fate though, moved him along without any remorse of its own as the 'dozer came and leveled his pen"
Friggin' bright guy, Mark.

benjibopper said...

hard times when a government employee gets paid more to take a dump than a writer gets for a feature. now even reader's digest won't buy from freelancers. hard hard times. said...


It's always been hard and sticky withe the Digest.

In the old days, they'd reprint something of mine from the Star Weekly or the Canadian magazines, I would ask for the money and they would say, well, you'd been paid by the Star already, and in any evet we have to give the money to them, the original publisher, and not you.
Even back in 1972, they were disinclined to take over-the-transom material.
And in journalism iteself right now, times are desperate.

Here is a letter from my friend, Jeff Mitchell, one time magazine writer and now working as a journalist.

Hello, Ivan:

I intended to mention it in my last dispatch, but self-absorption once again got in the way: John Slykhuis, you may know, retired last month after a distinguished career of newspapering, defined by many awards, important articles and columns too numerous to comprehend, and providing employment for those otherwise unemployable (ie., you and me). My wife brought me a copy of his final column in the Advocate in which John passionately decried our blind and feckless abandonment of our liberty to bureaucrats, cops and cranks. He concluded the piece with a declaration of his intention to retire to a beach somewhere to read Hunter S. Thompson. To which I commend him.
And congratulate him on getting while the getting is good.
Times are not changing; they have changed. The industry is closing in on itself (literally; our once grand broadsheet has shrunk to a sub-tab format about the size of what we used to call a pony tab, a format generally employed by the advertising department to publicize fishing derbies and municipal recreation programs. I feel sometimes as though I have spent the past 25 years trudging across a barren plain only to arrive at the lip of a bottomless chasm. Men in suits line the precipice, pissing into the abyss. The moment prompts an old torch song to unwind in my head: Is that all there is? Is that all there is?). My colleagues are being discarded, declared redundant, or, worse, unprofitable. The world is shrinking. The sky has fallen.
Thanks for writing, and your kind words. I am reading you each day; you've been bookmarked here, my man, and these days, amid all the distraction and chatter, that matters.

4/05/2009 3:34 PM

Lana Gramlich said...

Ugh...Feel better soon! Dental troubles are never fun. said...

Thnx Lana.

Mona said...

Horrid dentistry and horrid destiny...both in one go!

That got is so unsure of himself, while Yasmine like the essentially characteristic female hangs like the proverbial carrot on the stick in front of him.And knows that she will remain desirable only if she does not give it all...

The power game is on...the hunter becomes the hunted...

Sacrificial Goat sometimes deserves the demolition!

You should take that novocaine more often... said...


Thanks. said...


Thanks so much for this. I needed a shrewd insight from a female.
A story (probably apochryphal), is told of poor half-blind James Joyce being craftily and teasingly masturbated from behind in a darkened movie theatre by some mysterious femme fatale. She never finished and it is told he followed her around for twenty years. What am i going to do with this?
Seems even accomplihed men can be idiots.

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