The sterling matched set of techno-yuppie dweebs who live next door to me, and enable treacherous cats to wantonly murder beautiful birds, were planning to entertain a major magnate of elliptical hardware from Silicon Valley. A slew of closely held and related clones were invited as well. This was major hardware built to last.
The vast artificial lawn of the techno-yuppie couple was measured, mowed, drawn, quartered. Not merely once, or even twice. Tents went up and a few inconvenient trees came down. The stakes were astronomical. The pathological system of pulleys and nets designed to trap beautiful birds for the benefit of murderous cats was temporarily disappeared. An exclusive ambulance arrived to cart off a casualty with brown skin who appeared to be suddenly missing a digit.
I received an informational e-mail from the unctuous first wife of the proportionally dominant male techno-yuppie dweeb. I had seen her live and in-person only once. She rarely appeared while the sun threatened. Her milky skin was worth a small fortune in cream alone. The e-mail suggested I would feel more comfortable somewhere else that day. Her personal font was quirky, yet deep, and bold. The event was scheduled for a Saturday to the best of my recollection. I was bewildered by the nature of the event, however. I considered the odds that someone wasn’t playing a practical joke on someone. Unless it was the day before that or the day after that.
Since I tend to live in my house full-time, I was skeptical that any different day mattered any differently. In reply, I briefly described how it looked to me from this side of the fence. It was California over here. The sun is shining, often. I like to venture outside and get it all over me and rub it in.
Not long after, she stormed over in a thrall, fucking mid-day sun or not. She was wearing a straw hat and radiant dark glasses. Unless that was a squall. Taj Mahal was singing in my living room, “You got to boogie real slow, with the blue lights way down low.”
I opened the door and smiled because Taj Mahal does that to me. I like it when he sings loud and growly. Under those circumstances, I often become a smiling fool with little or nothing to add. I think, though not originally, why mess up a good thing? But, I did anyway.
I said, “A cat show, seriously?”
She sputtered, “Not a cat show, the cat show. Nothing but the finest cutting edge cats.”
I said, “Oh my heavenly stars, how edgy.”
She snarled, “How did you come to be so negative?”
I thought, whoa fucking whoa, stung by a poisonous barb of yuppie hate speech. Is it my one leg that’s shorter than the other that’s causing my tilt, or my crooked smile often mistaken for a smirk?
She proceeded to name names, repeat quotations. I was duly informed that rare lambs were arriving from as far away as Crete to be skewered. Rare spices were piling high for the accrued benefit of the rare lambs. Did I know nothing about anything? Was I not aware of who was kidding whom? She counted high in her head, no missing fingers there. She wasn’t doing no fucking messing around. Her money yowled.
I said, “Whoa, fucking whoa.”
As she stormed off, she promised me, “I’ll be back,” although I did not really believe it.
Later, when I asked the tawny owl how much about this bash he knew, he said, “All of it.”
I said, “What are you going to do?”
He said, “All of it.”
I think I said, “whoa, fucking whoa,” before I thought about it. My knee was seriously jerking. But, I know I thought about it. I was going to get to see the historic location where the war against the human enablers of treacherous cats who murder beautiful birds would be escalating beyond its hitherto unknown boundaries.
I asked, “You, and who else?”
The tawny owl said, “A cast of thousands.”
I said, “Ooh.”
When the big day arrived, sure enough, it was one of those well known days that I had remembered, sort of. It started out earlier than expected. There was a limousine blocking my driveway when I returned from the Farmers Market with a bag of lettuce, lemons, celery, tomatoes, broccoli, squash, and spinach. It was a reusable bag. Another bag contained humongous muffins for the tween twins, blueberry, bran, and applesauce. I was hoping the tween twins would hang around long enough to serve as reliable eyewitnesses.
The limousine blocking my driveway featured some fresh bird shit on its windshield that became smeared by obsolescent wipers. The obsolescence was obviously planned. Strikingly, it looked familiar. I was uncannily reminded of the limousine owned by the Beverly Hills Rat that surfaced in the aftermath of the Catastrophe of 1949. But a rat at a cat show? How could he get away with that? I figured, nah. It must be that all black limousines look alike.
I said to the driver, “You’re blocking my driveway.”
He said, authentically dumbfounded, “I don’t know what I can do about it.”
I said, “You can move it before I stab your tires with my menacing switchblade.”
Then he stole my line by saying, “Whoa, fucking whoa.” I did not fret, though, or claim a prior copyright or trademark position. I knew the sentiment was becoming a worldwide trend.
Uneventfully, he proceeded to move. As we all learned in kindergarten, there is a time and a place for everything, including hollow threats. Doesn’t it feel good when the other kid chickens out? Thus, I parked where I felt entitled. There is nothing quite like a solid case of entitlement to lubricate the regulatory process. At least the equal of a bran muffin.
I said, in conclusion, “Good talking to you.”
The festivities began with an auction of studded collars, leashes, belts, shawls, and security blankets. They were modeled on a glittery runway to quite a stunning affect. Puffy cats pranced from as far away as ancient Persia. Many rinses and tints appeared. Heated arguments between breeders were understandable. A center for conflict resolution was on the premises, though underutilized a tad.
Next came the promenade of perfumed cats. All squirtable holes were amply filled with spritz and lathers. Swishy cats posed on a red dirt track flanked by deodorized pebbles. Most of the pebbles were off-white. Roses and jasmine, too. An arched runway led sacramentally to the tents. The tents had been assembled to resemble a golden three ring circus. Inside each tent was a trough filled with appetizers, hot, foamy, cold, eviscerated, colored.
The owls allowed the momentum to build throughout the afternoon. Word had gone out that the Lt. Governor was on his way. His hair was well known to be a perfectly shellacked target. What a coup his presence could be for scented cats all over. A wee army of opportunistic parasites took positions in the trenches, awaiting. When the lovely wife of the tawny owl, Thee Mrs., who can duplicate sounds from the entire history of rhythm and blues since Clyde McPhatter, began to sing from the redwood tree near my back door like Big Mama Thornton, they wriggled like everyday lice in arousal. It was game fucking on.
You ain’t nothing but a hound dog
Snoopin’ round my door
You told me you was high class
But I can see through that
You ain’t no real cool cat
And I ain’t gonna feed you no more.
The first birds to attack in formation, a quartet of hovering red-tailed hawks, sliced open the tops of the tents. Then a biblical deluge of bird shit rained down. Perfectly melded squadrons of wrens, jays, coots, and loons cut loose, and gooey. Even the teeny yellow warbler got into the act. She was so cute.
After more shit came flying, more claws came out. Beautiful birds tore into meat, gristle, and bones. Some meat pretended to be alive but there was no resistance to speak of. The human enablers of the cats who murder beautiful birds began to stampede like sheep, lemmings, buffaloes, and gerbils. The yin twin captured vocals with her electronic recording device that were not only high pitched, but dripping with venom. Many who deserved no better were trampled, slow footed ex-wives, middling toddlers, slacker scions, the shamelessly infirm. Many others sank and disappeared in the goo. Many lawyers nicknamed Johnny Come Lately became involved on the spot.
Soon there was nowhere too low for the humans to slump in search of hiding. Holes were dug and bodies dumped. Clotted dirt flew in spades. The yang twin recorded many stunning visuals on his electronic device. The fatally femme half of the techno-yuppie duo appeared to be having a graphic breakdown of a sort. Her high pitched keening caused gruff seals to bark and howl on Monterey Bay. The yang twin posted highlights on facebook and tumblr. He received extravagant offers for immediate endorsement deals from Bollywood. Unless that was Hollywood. I only found out after it was much too late.
Later, the family discussion in which we were sifting and winnowing for thoughtful life lessons to be garnered from our mutual experience was interrupted by a familiar banging on the front door. It was loud, and not thoughtful. I thought, from experience, uh-oh. But, I opened it anyway.
I said, “You again.”
The Sheriff said, “We received complaints of suspicious activity over here. You’d better come with us for questioning.”