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Incense sample

As some of my FB friends will recall, got an incense shipment right before the nation’s wheels came off, and the timing couldn’t’ve been better. I was running low on sticks, had a full bag of bunk cones from a 3rd party seller, and this was coming right from Wild Berry, the only brand I’ll burn.  You may also know that the new pineapple scent is some kinda strong, and I teased potential coconut-scent-reviews-as-given-by-Tom-Hanks-in-Castaway should those not be a little more in line with what I’m used to. But, Tom sorta is a castaway, so gonna let that slide.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. Tucked in one of the glassine bags was a sample pack of 5 sticks. Not sure who at Wild Berry is in charge of this, but, sir or ma’am, how ‘bout labeling these next time, huh? The blind guy does not like guesswork when he’s about to set fire to something in his home office, okay? (Flip side? Nice gesture).

Package of incense sticks with no labeling.

Last night, I finally open the things. The pineapple smell, though, is still overwhelming the package, so I can’t even begin to guess at what this might be. Pull one out, put it to my nose, and…worry strikes. It kinda smells floral, and I do not do floral. But, the pineapple is strong with this one, and I think to myself: Self, all we ever order is black cherry, black cherry-vanilla, and more black cherry-vanilla. This time, we ordered—surprise surprise—black cherry-vanilla, pineapple and coconut. That screams fruit-flavors as the overwhelming majority, correct? 

Giving the folks at WB the benefit of the doubt, I lit one. Within 2 minutes, I knew I’d made a terrible mistake. It smells like Easter Sunday morning at the front of the grocery store where they’ve set out all those bouquets for people who didn’t remember their moms until that morning. Nasally-horrified, I decide to put it out.

Oh, but wait! My brain suggests, not wanting to waste the thing. It’s still Wild Berry. Why not just take it into the bathroom? Who cares if that smells flowery? Which, at the moment, made sense. I am in single-guy mode at the moment. I’ve unplugged virtually everything in the house Pam uses, I don’t turn on the lights unless I’m throwing a toy to Mouse in the living room, just trying my best not to expend anything unnecessarily. Which, as my fellow Floridians know in times of hurricane, you don’t flush if you just take a leak. Which brings things around to my burning floral TNT stick. “Can’t be worse than a day of unflushed piss, right?”

Wrong. Not only did I go into the can twenty minutes later only to be molested via sinus, I wet a tissue, killed this thing with the tissue in my bare hand, and wished to return to the hour of yore, when it simply smelled like the Men’s room in a NYC subway station. Didn’t occur to me until I’d taken the remainder of the offending olfactory terrorist out to hurl into the empty lot that I had finally placed it. Not the exact scent, but where I knew it from: Upscale hotel.

Now, on the occasions where I’ve been fortunate enough to have been put up at an upscale hotel, this is one of the few drawbacks. They spray something abhorrent in the full-featured bathroom, it’s always floral, and it’s stomach-churning. You’ve got to turn on the exhaust fan and hope Chuck Yeager’s team installed that bitch, because leaving it on while you go get dinner or use the pool or do an entire day of conventioning will not free the john of the scent. But…but then I realized. No, Joe. You’ve made a mistake. This wasn’t just overdone hotel-piss-and-shower-sex-hiding-fragrance. It was far, far worse. It was: Funeral Home. 

Hopefully, that’s not an omen.

Wild Berry is lucky I can’t review this. My judgment on this would be something like: Ever been in a pricey hotel room bathroom and inhale and the scent is so reprehensibly phony and overpowering that when the Kodiak bear in the next room taps on your door, offering to claw your nose off, you don’t just allow him to, you tip him??? Well, this is worse.

Smell is still lingering in the 2 foot hallway between my office and the bathroom. Chuck Yeager’s team had nothing to do with the construction of my home. I’ve considered giving Billy a Ziploc bag to bring back some dog shit—hell, doesn’t even have to be Mouse’s! to rub on the walls, but I think Pam would be bothered when she gets back.

Still, given travel bans and the shape of the world…could be August by the time she gets back. 

Billy and I could paint by then…

To Think, I Remember Actual Film…

Ok, I don’t usually do these things, but, there are so many going around, thought I’d join in. 

Post the 3rd picture on your roll and the results of a GOOGLE search for ‘Art’ with only the first letter of your last name.

Polaroid with a blacked out picture

Here’s a shot I took of me and the Mona Lisa from my trip to Paris, where I got thrown out of the Louvre a couple years ago. Hey, I’m blind, how was I supposed to know you can’t walk up and touch the Venus de Milo? And, that police report is false—I was not trying to cop a feel! Anyway, never liked the Mona Lisa and have zero appreciation for it, which is why I look unimpressed and the sorta-kinda chick in the painting can only smirk.

On to another one. “Please Brighten Our Day With the 7th Pic In Your Camera Roll—No Description!”

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Okay, sorry this one’s a little suggestive and NSFW, but…no one’s working anyway, so figured why not?

Next up… Now, this one’s a little strange, but, ehh… “Post the 7th picture in your favorite gallery, and the first letter of your first name and the food that begins with it! That’s your survival food for quarrantine, Go!”

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Well, this is me hanging out with John F. Kennedy, about half an hour before he told me he hadda run, he had a limo to catch. Why this goes along with ‘Jenny McCarthy’, I don’t know, but toldja, I don’t usually participate in these things. And finally:

Share the 2nd pic in your roll, Google your initials and ‘Apocalypse Costume’ and the street you lived on when you were born!”

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Pic of me running behind an alligator, chasing it off my property. He’s small, maybe a 9 footer, but you don’t want to let ‘em hang around and get comfortable. And, if you’re wondering, yes, all I’m doing is singing to it (Luckily I wasn’t arrested for animal abuse. With the new laws, I’d’ve been facing felony charges.)  My Apocalypse Costume is the mask from Friday the 13th (Jason’s Mask) and 130th. So, I guess somehow this gibberish translates into me having some sort of innate ability to chase gators using a horror movie mask until the 130th Armored Division shows up in these COVIDisastrous times. And, now that I’m in on this…For next time, am I supposed to take my phone out of it’s holster before snapping away?

Swing and a miss—no, foul ball!

Okay, told you the experimentation was gonna begin almost immediately, and, that time came. Early last week, Billy and I went out to get me set in the event we went on statewide lockdown, and even though all the restaurants had closed their indoor seating, we could still do drive-thru. Mickey D’s it was. (2 for $3? Hell yeah!) We wrapped up for the day, I threw my leftovers in the ‘fridge and, wouldn’t you know it? Forgot about ‘em…for 6 days. 

(Admittedly, had I left these bad boys in the microwave, I might’ve thought twice about cooking them. I mean, I still would have, but at least I would’ve weighed the wisdom of it). Now, while I love McDonald’s, I can’t stand leftover McDonald’s. Once it’s in the ‘fridge or I have to nuke it? Nope, rather have something else. Mickey D’s may hold up well being put in a plastic box and not turning to glop after a short amount of time, like 3 years, but once they’re a day or four old and chilled thru-and-thru? To me, there’s no rescuing them. But…if one’s gonna experiment on something, why not experiment Victor Frankenstein-style, and try to resurrect something Hence: Air-fried Double Cheeseburgers.

Air-fried Mickey D's

Verdict: Unlike the Nacho chicken fries, the burgers-back-from-the-dead (zombie burgers? Hmnnn) experiment was not a victory. Not a failure, as the pic shows, that’s a first bite taken. Meaning, there were more. In seeking a second opinion, Mouse got a piece, too, and she enjoyed it, so there’s that. But I probably should have let them warm up enough to take the top buns off, and cooked the bottoms & meat first. The buns got rather toasted, like on a BBQ grill, so that wasn’t bad, but the meat was still only lukewarm, and I wasn’t about to cook them any longer. I’d say, swung for the fences on a ball thrown in the dirt, and got juuuuuuuuuust enough of it to foul it off (That’s for Nick Smith and my baseball fan friends who are going through Opening Day depression). Will I try it again? Ehh, maybe. Barbers didn’t cure the plague bleeding those first few patients totally dry, right? (Yeah, yeah, poor example, but my sensitivity valve’s never had a restrictor plate. There, covers my NASCARites, too). Next up? Thinkin’ mozzarella sticks.

Magnetic Attraction!

While not yet in lockdown mode here in FL (albeit close-ain’t like I’m driving myself anywhere!), been working on a new screenplay. While this isn’t anything unusual (I’m almost always working on a script), this one was a stop-in-the-middle-of-everything, get-flooded-with-a-wave-of-complete-pieces-of-story, and turn back around to get behind the keyboard to start making notes. 

Oh, and in a genre I’ve never written before. Yup, that was the real surprise. Sometimes scenes will hit me that might work in a drama or rom-com, something like that, but this? This was something totally out of the ordinary. So, with all the free time to work, and mining RL experiences like I’ve got a helmet with a headlamp, I worked in a refrigerator magnet I had back when I was 7 or 8, that eventually led to the semi-creation of a fictional creature for some very early tales. 

On to Saturday. I’m giving my fingers a break because they’re cramping, and come across a post by Keith Rainville, from Vintage Ninja. I thought – Oh, perfect! I’ll see if he knows any forums where cereal-toy collectibles are big, maybe someone can ID this thing, which I did not remember a lot about. Hit SEND, get a response back in less than 5 minutes: “There was a cereal in the ’70s called FREAKIES – had these monster themed sculpted premiums for years. Might be from that line?” Something in my head clicks. I can’t remember the cereal, what it tasted like, anything. We’re talking early-to-mid ’70s, after all, but Freakies stands out. I thank him for the lightning-quick reply, start looking things up, and holy crap! They’re exactly the magnets I was thinking about. I give Pam a basic idea of the one I want to ID, and sure enough, the one I had was exactly what she described, and besides the teeth, I remembered it pretty accurately. Now, your turn. Dig into your grey matter and see if you had any of these as a kid. I had a couple (meaning I must’ve liked the cereal well enough), but BossMoss? This was my guy. Who else had parents cool enough to buy you this cereal based on commercials like these, huh?! “Toasty and sugary and packed with vitamins!”