November 22nd, 2006


Good day sunshine

It's 6:15 am, I'm starting my workday with weird messages from my subconscious courtesy of my recently awoken-from dreaming, and a helicopter is circling over Rancho Lake.

It's not even a Monday. WTF?

I Love to Hate Ben Peek

I hate Ben Peek

Hatin' on the Peekster

Ben Peek and I first met in an underground VC bar in Da Nang in '67. He was running cigarettes, as I recall, Cambodian knock-offs of some weird Chinese brand, Lucky Ferret, maybe. I was -- well, never mind what I was doing. Let's just say it involved 1,100 pounds of axle grease and a pair of Ukrainian twins with legs all the way up and back down the other side. A man's got to live, right?

Well, anyway, Peek had a case of samples with him, and was passing them out to the black pajama crowd. Those boys were unimpressed. You had to be a real nail eater to be a VC in Da Nang in those days, what with the old Legion Etrangere types still hanging around with their piano wire loops of ears and shit, looking for trouble under every barstool. One of the VC decides it's funny to stick a ciggy in each of Peek's ears and light them off, as a kind of public service maybe.

Ben Peek goes crazy, starts in on some kind of Australian kung fu, I think they call it Oz Boz or something, but it looks more like a grand mal seizure at a cricket match. The VC, they don't know whether to kill him or die laughing. Bar tender pulls out a South African riot shotgun and sues for peace the hard way, but he hits one of my axle grease vats, spraying Tati and Mati with enough black crap to keep them in Jolson's backup singers for a month. I went after Peek with a shiv made from an old Esso can and four grams of industrial diamond abrasive, but the Oz Boz was too damned much.

I've hated the man ever since. With a passion. A loathing for him and all things Australian that extends to Yahoo Serious and Vegemite, even. We've crossed paths half a dozen times, most recently during the Moldavan Yam Incident, and he's just poison on melba toast. If you hate Ben Peek too (and you should), here's the manual...

Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, written by Ben Peek, illustrated by Anna Brown, and a cover by Andrew Macrae. Buy it from Amazon, buy it from Wheatland Press.

What I am thankful for

First and foremost, I am thankful for the_child, that she is happy and healthy and a wonderful human being to whom I try to live up every day. You make me better, dear, in ways you'll probably never know.

I am thankful that at my age of forty-two I still have the love of my parents, my siblings, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, and my niece, all of them healthy, hearty and hale. Without you, I would not be anyone at all.

I am thankful for the love and support of my friends, and just as much for their criticism and argumentative natures. You force me to thoughtful honesty, and I hope I love you back as much as you deserve.

I am thankful for my readers, those who care about my fiction and those who care about my words here. You listen to what I say, which grants my words meaning.

I am thankful for my writing career, especially for the myriad of people who have helped me on this path, one step at a time. You help me find my voice, which makes my words possible.

I am thankful for the world and my place in it, and everyone around me, for one monkey is no monkey. You give me somewhere to stand, and a place to go.

I am thankful for my material well being, that I have the mental and physical tools to pursue my passions, a comfortable place to live, and do not have to struggle with worry or want.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Even all you Aussies and Brits and Irishers and Dutchmen and everyone else out there, without any compulsion to cook turkey tomorrow, and you Canucks with your turkey on the wrong day. Have a glass anyway.