Rest in peace, Uncle Monte. You were avenged.
|Monte R Anderson - Author||
This Memorial Day I’d like to honor the memory of my uncle Monte Anderson, my namesake. Monte wasn’t his real name, it was Vernon, but he didn’t like that name. Why he chose Monte, I never learned. At any rate, I was named after him along with my eldest son and my first grandson (the full Monte). He was killed in the South Pacific by a Japanese machine gun. My father was in the same patrol but wasn’t wounded. My uncle’s body was never recovered. My father, Dale Anderson ended up serving in Korea and twice in Vietnam.
Rest in peace, Uncle Monte. You were avenged.
I must admit I truly enjoy watching true crime shows like Dateline, 20/20, Forensic Files and 48 Hours. Before you judge me for wasting my time, let me say there are many things I have learned from these shows. Here are a few:
Victims all seem to have similar traits. When the show interviews the best friends, family and neighbors, typically they will say that the victim was a great person. He or she would light up the room with a smile. They didn’t have an enemy in the world. I’m amazed how many people are killed by friends, family and non-enemies. They are willing to help anyone in need. They’re great fathers, mothers etc. It also seems like the majority are good looking. If you’re ugly, you can feel a lot safer. If these traits describe you, change your ways immediately or you’re dead meat.
The neighborhoods are always safe. When interviewed, neighbors will say how safe the neighborhood is (or was)—so safe that they don’t lock their doors. I find it hard to believe that in this century there are still places where people don’t lock their doors. I’m even more surprise that people will say that on a national TV show. Might as well throw out the welcome mat for all the thieves. If you live in a neighborhood that’s crime free and doesn’t lock their doors, your best bet is to move. Your neighborhood is about to be a crime scene.
There’s usually a large life insurance policy involved or a large sum of money. If your spouse recently took out a large policy on you, beware--you could be next. Money is the root of many crime shows.
There’s usually an affair. The wife or husband (or both) is having an extramarital affair. If you discover your spouse is having an affair, best to ignore it or agree to an open marriage; better yet—join in a threesome.
There is usually something stressful going on. It may be a custody battle over the children, a contentious divorce, or something. Both parties should take up meditation—chill.
It’s hard to believe that perpetrators haven’t learned that there are cameras everywhere. Police will pull up security videos, videos from ATMs, gas stations, traffic lights and hotels. You can’t hide. Deal with it. If you’re planning to commit the crime, at least get your hair done and dress well. No need to look guilty on videos.
Perpetrators always make mistakes. They often include too many people in the plot, or talk to too many folks (jail mates, girlfriends, boyfriends, family). They forget that phone lines can be tapped. If you’re going to do the crime, go solo. After all, it was your idea. Don’t talk to anyone about the crime. Wear gloves at least.
Perpetrators forget about cellphones. Police can pull up phone logs to trace the location of cellphones and conversations. For your own protection, have two cellphones. Keep one cellphone hidden on your person. That way, police can find your body.
There are many more lessons to be learned from crime shows, but these will do for now.
With a national election coming this year, ethics in politics seems to be a major issue. We currently have a POTUS who doesn’t hesitate to lie. Certain lawmakers are under investigation for insider trading. Several aides or consultants have been indicted or jailed. The list goes on and grows each day. Here are my recommendations to put ethics back into politics:
1. I’m a firm believer that we should provide all elected leaders with concubines (professional mistresses). If the public would acknowledge that people in power attract people of the oppose sex and may succumb to temptation, then this solution makes sense. This would eliminate the rumors, sneaking around, the embarrassment, the excessive costs, the spending of taxpayers’ money and campaign contributions and the resignations of otherwise perfectly good politicians. These concubines would be on the payroll and paid according to the level of office. If an official doesn’t want a concubine, he or she must take a vow of celibacy.
2. Politicians should not speak directly to reporters, twitter or the public. They should wear a mask like Darth Vader of #Star Wars. A picture of their face on the mask is optional. Their speech would have a built-in five second delay. When they talk, a panel of censers would have five seconds to intervene. Each censer would have a button like on #America’s Got Talent. One censer would focus on sexist remarks and women’s issues. Another would focus on racist remarks and civil rights. The third censor would concentrate on homophobic remarks and gay rights. The fourth censor would focus on stupid remarks. The last censer would be a fact checker. Checking facts takes more than five seconds, so the censer must approve all facts before the politician speaks. If the politician attempts to quote a fact not approved earlier, this censor would intervene. If any of the censors hits their mute button, the intended remarks are replaced with the words, “No comment.” If three censors hit their buttons, the remarks are replaced with, “I’ll get back to you on that issue.” If all five censers hit their buttons, the remarks are replaced with, “Sun Tzu says, ‘You can’t make a snake straight by pushing it through a pipe.’” Since no one knows what the hell that means, the speech will end without further questions.
3. Prior to the Primary election, all candidates should pose nude. This’ll prevent future problem with selfies, etc. Voters can say, “Okay, now that we have seen you, keep it in your pants.”
4. Bribes shouldn’t be secret. A new law would state that bribes are okay but must be public. Bribes would not go to the individual but must go to his or her campaign or, if in office, to the budget. The bribe must cover all the costs associated with the action desired at no increase in budget, taxes or cost to the people. For example, if someone wants a bridge to nowhere, the bribe must cover all the associated costs of installing and operating the bridge.
5. Prior to the Primary election, candidates must submit to a drug test by an independent lab. The oath of office should include a vow of sobriety. Once in office, officials would be subject to random drug tests twice per month. Come on! We do this in other professions. Let’s get serious.
6. Elected officials must attend rehab prior to taking the oath of office. This will prevent their absence while in office. While we are at it, this should also take sensitivity training.
These recommendations will bring back ethics to politics. Make politics ethical again!
Archeologists recently recovered a text message between Moses and Yahweh. Here’s the text:
MOSES: God, this is Moses.
YAHWEH: I know who this is, Moses. Ur the only person w/ my private no. Sup?
MOSES: I met w/ the elders of the 12 tribes & we went over the commandments you proposed.
YAHWEH: Oh? How’d it go?
MOSES: Well, 2 b honest they felt that 120 commandments were a bit 2 much.
YAHWEH: What do you mean – 2 much? Like what?
MOSES: They felt that some of these shouldn’t be sins. For example, no. 102 – “Don’t go swimming for 30 min. after eating.” And no. 109 – “Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.” They really hated no. 99 – “Put the toilet seat back down.” They felt that many of these should be recommendations instead of commandments.
YAHWEH: How many commandments did they suggest?
MOSES: 5 or 6 – 8 max.
YAHWEH: & what do they suggest?
MOSES: Well, the first 3 seem self-serving. Do we need them?
YAHWEH: Not negotiable. They stay.
MOSES: Okay, then. What about no. 4 – “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy?” We can’t even agree on what day is the Sabbath. Is it Fri. or Sat. or Sun.?
YAHWEH: Not negotiable. It stays.
MOSES: Fine. So that’s 4. The elders thought that we could summarize the rest.
YAHWEH: How, pray tell?
MOSES: How about, “Treat others as you would want to be treated?”
YAHWEH: I like it. However, it seems too vague. No deal.
MOSES: What about no. 5 – “Honor thy father and thy mother?” U must admit, some mothers & fathers aren’t very nice. I mean, we already have Mother's Day and Father’s Day set aside 2 honor them.
YAHWEH: U make a good pt. Let me think about it.
MOSES: Good. No. 6 – “Thou shalt not kill.” We agree on that one. But no. 7, the one about adultery, do we need that? Some of the elders want 2 know if they can b grandfathered in.
YAHWEH: No! It stays too.
MOSES: I think we can combine number 8 & 9. We could say, “Thou shalt not lie, cheat, or steal.”
YAHWEH: Another good pt. I’ll think about it.
MOSES: Okay, last item, no. 10 – “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.” Doesn’t stealing cover this? We already have the one on adultery. At least, can we remove the part about not coveting thy neighbor’s ass? I mean, there are some might fine looking asses out there.
YAHWEH: Again, I’ll consider it. What about the rest?”
MOSES: I can cover them somewhere. We’ll call them recommendations.
YAHWEH: Let me think this over and get back to you. Bye.
Currently, many politicians are throwing their hats into the ring to run for office in 2020, Yet, it seems every day there’s a new revelation about one politician or another about something in their past. I believe the problem is that there isn’t an application for candidates to complete before they’re allowed to run for office. Applications are required for jobs, college, driver licenses, etc. Why isn’t there an application requirement for candidates? The entire situation cries out for one.
As a community service I offer up a draft application that could be easily be adopted for candidates wishing to run for office.
Of course, there’s the normal heading. Then come the following questions:
___Socialist Party ___Communist Party ___Green Party
___Constitution Party ___Libertarian Party ___Nazi Party
___Federalist Party ___Bachelor Party ___Other(s) _________
2. Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?___Once ___Twice ___Three or more ___Not yet
3. Are you a racist? ___Yes ___No ___Not Yet
4. Which race(s) do you hate? _____________
5. Have you ever smoked marijuana? ___Yes ___No ___Not Yet
Did you inhale? ___Yes ___No ___ Maybe ___Not Sure
6. Have you ever used illegal drugs? ___Yes ___No ___Not Yet ___Not sure ___Maybe
7. Have you ever taken selfies: (check all that apply)___ Nude ___ Partially nude ___Just my genitalia ___Wearing a racist costume ___ Having sex ___Drinking ___All of the above ___None of the above
8. Did you ever sext? ___Yes ___No ___Not Yet ___Not sure ___Maybe
9. How would you declare your sexual orientation? (check all that apply)___Male ___Female ___Transgender ___ Unknown ___ Not sure ___Other(s)
10. Are you ethical? ___Yes ___No ___Sometimes ___Depends ___Never ___Always __ Not sure
11. How would you describe your political orientation? (Check all that apply) ___ Right ___ Left ___Center ___ Left of Center ___ Right of Center
___ Center of Center ___Top of Center ___Bottom Feeder ___Left out ____ Right on
12. How would you describe your financial position? (Check all that Apply) ___ Top 1% ___Bottom 1% ___Upper Class ___Low Class
___Middle Class ___ No Class ___Upper Middle Class
___Lower Middle Class ___ Lower Upper Class ___Upper Low Class
There should be more. Let me know if you think of some.
Some time ago while I was still working (I have been retired for 9 years), my wife asked me if I was having an affair with my secretary. I’m always quick with a flip answer, so without thinking I said, “I should be so lucky.” Now I was married long enough to know by the look on her face that my answer was not the correct one. I knew that I had maybe two seconds to come up with a better answer. I said, “I meant, in my dreams.” Once again, I could tell by her face that I gave the wrong answer. I knew if I ever wanted sex again, I had better come up with something fast, so I said, “I meant, I wish.”
You married men know, as I do, that sometimes there is no right answer. It is hard to know what answer a woman is looking for. Wives and significant others would be well advised to tell us men what the correct answer is and not make us guess. We never guess correctly. For example, in the illustration I just gave, my wife could have saved me many sexless nights if instead of asking me she had told me, “You are not sleeping with your secretary.” Then I would have said something profound like, “Yes, dear,” and that would be the end of it. Women should always tell men the correct answer.
Another example is the perennial question, “Does this dress make me look fat?” If you tell the truth, you are in trouble. If you lie, women can sense the fear, and they know you are lying. It’s a lose-lose situation. Wouldn’t it better if women would just say, “You don’t think this dress makes me look fat.” Then we would answer with the intellectually stimulating, “Yes, dear.” Then there is the challenging question, “Do you still love me?” This is not a yes dear situation. Your answer must use the word love, or you are in serious trouble.
Wouldn’t it be better if women made it a statement rather than a question?
I’m one of those writers of fiction that believes that the characters usually take over the story and write it. I wrote a short story about that idea a few years ago. It’s one of my favorites, so I’ll post it again. Enjoy.
Who is in Control?
It always happens when the room is too quiet—like now while she’s cooking. At first, random thoughts race through her mind, usually about food such as hash browns and blue cheese. Why hash browns and blue cheese? They don’t go together. That is how it starts—always. However, she knows she has no control over these random thoughts. One leads to another which leads to another, and then it happens. She is out of control. No use even fighting it. She has learned to accept it. She wants to enjoy it, but sometimes there is stress, tensions, and emotions. The emotions are always there--of lost love, of love rekindled, and, of course, sex. The experience leaves her exhausted and excited at the same time.
Another random thought rushes through her mind--German black forest cake! What’s the thread? It makes no sense, and she knows it but cannot stop it. Black forest cake, a black forest, a dark forest in Europe? No! A castle in a dark forest in Europe. That’s it! She feels it. Inside the castle, it is all black and dark. No! It is light. Candles are everywhere. Red velvet hangs on the walls. It is a grand ballroom. She sees herself there in a long, formal black dress, flowing and yet sensual. However, it is not her. It is someone else. Who?
She clenches her fists in an effort to drive the thoughts out of her head, but she cannot. The pot boils over—again. Crud! Double crud! Crud for spoiling another meal and the crud burnt to the bottom of the pot. She will tend to it later. Another meal destroyed by random thoughts. As she places the pot in the sink to soak, she notices a movement in the reflection of the window. She turns toward figures in the family room. Damn! They are here. Too late to run an errand to maintain some sanity. Her uninvited guests have arrived and now sit motionless. They are waiting for her. With a sigh, she finally gives in and goes into the family room to join the group. They have saved her favorite chair for her. She sits down and lets her thoughts take over.
She looks at the person opposite her. He is there—the protagonist. God, he is gorgeous! If ever I want to commit adultery, it would be with him. That’s silly. I’m divorced now and it would not be adultery. I could give myself to him willing. But it can’t be. He’s in love with her. She looks to the person sitting next to her protagonist.
They’re sitting there holding hands and smiling at each other. She envies her. Her with her long, blonde hair, good looks, and a body that makes truck drivers do U-turns for another look. She wishes she had her legs. Mental note; must give them both names.
The antagonist is there too. She hates him with a passion. He reminds her of her ex-husband, a mind so twisted and cruel and yet cunning. Somehow, he will get what he deserves. She will make sure of that. The others are there too but for the moment they aren’t important.
Her protagonist speaks. What an angelic face. She decides to call him Angel. “Good, you are back. Where did we leave off? Yes, of course, I was trying to rescue my true love from the castle.”
“Over my dead body,” says the villain.
She decides to call him Blackheart. It may be too descriptive, too obvious, but it will do for now. Besides, it makes her feel better.
Blackheart continues, “I will stop you, and I will throw you in my dungeon to rot.”
The fair maiden speaks with a voice like butter melting on a baked potato. She decides to call her Mary, using her own middle name. Now they have even more in common. “If you do, I will rescue him, and we will be married and live happily ever after.”
Baked potato? Where the hell did that thought come from? Then she remembers and rushes to the kitchen. Too late! The potato in the oven is now black and crispy. It looks like another PB and J sandwich for dinner. She grabs a newspaper and fans the smoke detector. When she gets it to shut up, she returns to her chair. Her guests have remained motionless, waiting for her return.
“Too trite,” says Angel, picking up where they left off. “It has been done. Is this a fairy tale? We can do better than this. You might as well tie Mary to railroad tracks, and I could ride in on my white horse just ahead of the train. Come now, people, think!”
“Perhaps we should modernize it a bit,” says Mary. “You know, make it more relevant. Make it Chicago, or New York.”
“Not a bad idea,” says Blackheart. “I could be the rich tycoon and Angel could be an intern. Mary could be my sexy administrative assistant whom I secretly desire.”
Angel scowls, “Sound more like a reality TV show. Let’s be original.”
After a while, she gets the courage to speak, “Women still fantasize about knights in shining armor, castles and damsels in distress. Their own lives are like a dungeon and they want to be rescued.”
Angel, Blackheart, and Mary stare at her for a moment. Blackheart breaks the awkward silence, “Get real, will you? Besides, this is not about you. What do you know about romance? You made a mess of your own marriage.”
“Blackheart!” shouts Mary, very annoyed.
“Okay, that was a cruel even for me, but the point is; this is your first novel since your divorce and while this may be therapeutic for you, it may not be interesting to your readers. We, on the other hand, have been through this a thousand times and know what readers what. So, sit back, pay attention, and we will get you through this.”
“Blackheart, you are an ass,” interjects Angel. “What Blackheart means to say is that we can help you write this book. And what is with the name ‘Blackheart’? That’s you talking and not a realistic name. Kill it!”
“Wait a minute! I like that name,” protests Blackheart.
“You would!” says Mary, still annoyed. “What about ‘Angel”? Turning to Angel. “Honey, I love you, but I can’t make love to an angel. That must go too. Will someone get that stupid doorbell? I can’t think straight with that ringing”
The doorbell startles her. She goes to the door and signs for a letter. It is an offer from her publisher for her novel. Her guests remain motionless, waiting for her to return, but she does not return. She takes this opportunity to escape upstairs to her computer to work on her novel.
As she starts up the stairs, Mary’s voice rings out, “Where are you going, Honey?”
“Upstairs to work on this novel.”
“Okay, we’ll wait here for you. And while you are at it, kill that ‘voice like butter melting on a baked potato’. That is just too much.”
During this pandemic, it may be hard to remember the last time we celebrated. I think it’s important to celebrate the little victories. When you celebrate, do your victory dance like a football player who scored a touchdown. Don’t have a victory dance? Make one up. Dance like no one’s watching, because… no one is watching unless you post it on Youtube.
Here are some little things worth celebrating:
Molly looked at the security monitor. “Someone’s coming up the front sidewalk,” she informed Jen.
“Do we have an appointment today?” Jen asked.
“Not until 1 pm,” answered Molly. “This must be a walk-in. Looks like a young couple.”
When the couple reached the front door and rang the doorbell, Molly asked over the intercom, “May I help you?”
The young man looked around until he saw the camera. Looking at the camera he said, “We’d like to see Ms. Jennifer McDowell, please. We have urgent business.”
Molly rang them in as Jen walked over to the hallway and signal for them to come back to the office.
Jen and Molly introduced themselves and asked the young couple to sit down. “My name is Charlize
Wessel,” said the young woman. “and this is my boyfriend Maury Fincham.”
Molly entered their names into her computer while Jen removed a record from her desk. “Do you mind if we record this conversation?” she asked.
Charlize and Maury glanced at each other. “We rather not,” answered Charlie. “I’ll explain why in a minute.”
Jen turned off the record but left it on the table.
Charlize glanced at Maury who nodded. “I… We’d like to hire you,” she said. She reached over and took Maury’s hand.
Molly offered the couple some coffee or tea and busied herself with maneuvering her walker to the coffee pot and serving everyone.
Finally, Jen asked, “How can we be of service?”
Charlize looked at Maury who motioned for her to explain. “It’s a long story, but first is this confidential?”
“Yes,” answered Jen, “but if there’s a serious crime involved, we will advise you to notify the police. I must tell you that my boyfriend is a police detective and I’m a medically retired police officer.”
“We know,” replied Charlize. “That’s one reason we came to you for help.”
“Why don’t you start by telling us what’s going on and we’ll advise you on the best course of action.”
Maury sighed, “We think someone has been murdered. Molly gasped and looked at Jen. They both sat back in their seats “Not by us,” Maury quickly added. “By someone we know.”
“Why can’t you tell the police?” Molly asked.
Charlize leaned forward. “Because if I do, they’ll arrest me and Maury for other crimes.”
“What crime?” Jen asked.
“Identity theft,” Charlize answered.
Jen sat back in her chair and thought for a moment. She looked at Molly with raised eyebrows. “What the fuck?”
Molly stood up and using her desk for balance, moved to the front and leaned back on her desk. “Let’s do this,” she said. “Tell us what’s going on and we’ll see if we can work out a deal with the police. If what you say is true, you might get a plea deal to avoid jail time.”
Charlize and Maury looked at each other. “Okay,” Charlize said.
Jen turned the recorder on. “Do you have to record this?” Charlize asked.
“I’m afraid so,” Jen answered. “But if we don’t take the case, we’ll give you the recording.”
“Okay,” Charlize answered.
“Okay,” said Jen. “Start at the beginning.”
“Here’s what happened. Maury and I live together in Chicago. I work in a jewelry store in the loop. It doesn’t pay much, mostly on commission. To make extra money, I steal identities. Maury is into photography and he helps me forger driver licenses or anything else I might need. I make small Charles on their credit cards; not a lot.”
“Wow,” Molly said. “So how does a murder fit into this?”
“Well. A couple of weeks ago, a guy came into the store and asked for me by name. I never met the
I was taking a shower the other day when I ran out of shampoo. I reached for my wife’s shampoo and read the label. The label had a long list of ingredients that weren’t contained in that product. I never heard of any of them. I’m now convinced that they were made up. As a public service, with apologies to Lewis Carroll, I will now list all the ingredients that aren’t contained in this blog.
This blog doesn’t contain any brillig, slithy toves, gyre, gimble, wabe, mimsy, borogoves, momes, raths, outgrabe, jabberwocks, jubjub birds, frumious bandersnatches, vorpals, manxomes, tumtum trees, uffish, tulgey wood, burbles, snicker-snacks, galumphing backs, calloohs, or callays.
It might contain a small amount of humor, some wit and a drop of sarcasm. Enjoy.
Monte is the author of 8 e-books: 3 novels, 3 non-fiction, 1 collection of short stories, and 1 novelette.
Buy Monte's e-books:
The Register cliff Rapist
The Clone Murders,
Archimedes of Syracuse: Leonardo da Vinci's Mentor,
Leadership for New Managers: Book Two
Angels and Gargoyles