Jun 29, 2005

POW and BAM

He stood on his side of the street, pretending not to look at me looking at him. I stood on my side of the street watching him focusing his full attention on looking idle and uninterested, kicking at the gravel rocks.

Hey, I said. How old are you?

Karl was 8. I was 7. His dad drove a jacked-up Toyota and drank O’Dools. Karl was a small kid from somewhere tougher than here and his hair was all buzzed down to a rat tail that hung down his neck.

He was 8 and I was 7, so we were friends by default of age and he’d come across the street and Steve and Mark next door would come over the split-rail fence and my brother and I would come out and we’d play gang-of-boys games. King of the hill. Guns. War. Water guns. Hide and go seek.. Baseball. Horse. Football. Lots and lots of hand ball. One time we even tried golf but it was pretty boring, and then I broke a window.

Karl was fast. He was the fastest kid we knew. My brother decided he needed to grow a rat tail so he could be that fast, but my parents wouldn’t let him.

One time we were playing touch football in the yard, with the fence and the driveway as end zones and two saplings as obstacles. There was a kid from down the street who’d come by on his bike and decided to play. We were running our non-plays and screaming and trying to team catch Karl when he’d double fake around the trees. Then suddenly Karl’s yelling that we cheated and there’s a turmoil of rules and details debated and we’re all standing there on the edge of the driveway trying to come to something that’ll make the game fun again.

No way, Karl said. you didn’t touch me. I went like this and you were like, here, and then I made it in. We reenacted it two or three times and decided what must’ave happened was that Karl just didn’t feel it and that a two-hand touch still counts even if you don’t feel it. Karl started yelling - cheaters, liars - and quit. Faggot, said the kid from down the street, which was the first time I’d ever heard the word.

Now we didn’t know what to do, so we’re standing there feeling like shit and then Karl comes out his house followed by his mother screaming at him. He must not be a son of hers. Is he a coward? How come he doesn’t just go over and kick our asses? No son of hers was a quitter, would walk away. Her son would be a man and would be over there across the street punching our stupid faces. And so on like this. Karl pretended we weren’t all staring at his mother, this crazy screaming women who wanted us to brawl over touch football.

I think that was the beginning of the feud. Officially it was later, when Karl spent the day killing slugs with slug poison and then he and Mark and Steve told my brother they were going to get him with it and my brother hit Mark in the head with a hammer. Mark was the logical choice. He was closer to my brother in age and so the betrayal was more nasty. And he was the pretty kid, the angelic blond boy doing modeling for kid’s clothing. So my brother chunked the hammer at his forehead and left a big and beautifully ugly purple bruise on his face. They were forbidden to play with us. We were forbidden to play with them. Our own personal Cold War set in.

The three of them threw rocks at our house for months. They began a doorbell ditching campaign and mastered an array of dirty looks. We played in the back yard. They ran up big support-our-troops-and-get-that-dirty-Saddam American flags and talked about bombs. Dad was a Democrat and a pacifist who told us the war was about oil and that bombs were killing Iraqi kids.. Rumors went around among the kids at the park and people stopped playing with us. Someone told me that Karl’s friends were coming and when they got here they were gonna beat me up.

And then, one day, it looked like they’d come. We were in the park and saw Karl and 15 or so boys with bikes in synchronized karate practice out by the monkey bars, shouting Bruce Lee grunts in unison. The kid from down the street was there and started talking tough and desperate, started talking like this was Armageddon or the Alamo. His dad was a cop, he knew about these things. He found three rusty little razor blades on the bike path and showed them to me. When they come, he said. He looked at me and waited. My sister looked at me and my brother looked at me and it was me they were coming for so it was my job to get us out.

Put them back where you found them, I said, thinking I didn’t want to cut myself with a stupid and dull little blade covered in corroded-colored rust and die of lockjaw. Besides, they knew karate.

When they came, they swarmed over the hillock peddling like hell and it looked like there were more’n 15. Twenty, at least. We heard them behind us, turned, and were surrounded. They straddled their bikes, sneered, and talked to each other about how shit out of luck we were.

’K Karl, said the oldest one with the really cool black BMX bike. The mob shut up so he could talk. You said you were gonna beat him up. Go ‘head.

I looked at Karl. I had expected something more like a comic book swirl of dust and limbs, with explosions of BAM and POW while I had my head stomped into the ground. But it was just Karl, here to show me, and the big kid with the bike going let’s you and him fight. The mob looked at Karl, waiting, wondering what was taking him so long. He looked at the ground, pretending he didn’t know we were all looking at him.

I turned my back, and walked away. C’mon, I said to my sister and brother and the kid from down the street. We walked out of the circle, the bikes parting, wobbly turning aside to let us pass.

You’re just gonna let him walk away? I heard the big one say. You a pussy? Someone went ba-ba-bawk-baawwwk and the crowd started up again, hissing sisss-sy and pus-sy. I didn’t turn to look, but I imagined them closing in on him.

I’d been in fights before. I lost one when I was 4 to a kid who was 8. One time after church the parents had had to pull me off the pastor’s kid who had laughed when he tripped me. I wasn’t walking away because I didn’t want to fight, or for any of the pacifist reasons my dad preached. I didn’t walk away so I could be one of Jesus’ blessed peacemakers. I walked away because it would be a devastating victory, because I was kicking the shit out of his ego, going BAM and POW to the face of his reputation.
Coffee shop

This is a two coffee shop town, not counting the Starbucks counter in the grocery store. There actually might be a third one, but no one seems to know for sure and from the one thing I remember someone saying, it doubles as an old ladies stationary shop. So there are two, in this town. B. and H. We go to B.

I tell my sister I think there are two things that make this place better than H. 1) At H. the outdoor seating is out in passing-by public on the street corner, while at B. it’s in the back behind the taxi dispatch center and the bar. 2) B. doesn’t take itself too seriously.

My sister looks at me, amused but incredulous. “There are lots of reasons the B. is better,” she disagrees with me.

And then we’re going there the other night and our little brother mentions that H. now has ice cream. “I don’t care,” she says. “We go to the B.,” she says, like it’s a question of character.

Jun 28, 2005

Max

The barista’s name is Max, red hair in a pile on top of her head and bangles of straps on her shoulders. She moves with the body of a flapper, pushing eight buttons to fill four shot glasses to make two Americanos.

Still raining, she says. Good day to sit and read, I say and she smiles, showing braces.

Jun 24, 2005

Two tools

I bought a notebook and a pocket knife. Both tools share an aesthetic of simplicity.
That totalization

"Thinking overruns and overwhelms all the faculties and provinces of the person. In a great act of philosophizing even the finger-tips think - but they no longer feel."
              - Martin Buber, The Eclipse of God

Jun 23, 2005

Cyril Nelson, collector and devotee of American folk art who donated museum collections of textiles, paintings, quilts, furniture, and sculptures, and who was a long-time editor at E. P. Dutton, publishing a classic work on painted furniture, died June 1 at the age of 78.

May he rest in peace.
Omen without interpretation #6

And then I saw a crow flying backwards. Black head turned over the left shoulder to see, backing-up in flight.

I didn't know they could do that.

Jun 22, 2005

Once I had a physics teacher

They told me not to take his class. It’s hard, they said, take the other class. But I didn’t want to take the easy class that had every one in it, (that had all of them bored). If I was going to take any science class at all I wanted it to be interesting, with a professor getting excited in his chalk equations and with me walking out of class feeling the need to pigeonhole passing people, making them put down their back packs so I could tell them something that they had to hear and that I hadn’t known an hour ago.

No, no I said, I want to take Crawford’s class. Astronomy, though it was more like Astrophysics. It was the hardest class I’ve ever taken.

Prof. Ron Crawford had worked in NASA, doing the sort of things astrophysicists do at NASA, and had taken up teaching part time, decided he liked it, and stayed. He was, in style, droll. He assumed that other teachers did something mysterious that he without a Ph.D. had never figured out how to do. He wasn’t self-deprecating about it, just sort of curious, occasionally asking us questions about his colleagues.

The first day of class, he taught about light and explained how it’s a wave and how it’s also a particle and how you could explain light either way, or better, both ways. Then the next day he taught about wave lengths, radio waves, colors, and why the sky is blue. He made us memorize the speed of light. He taught us the equations of the processes of the births and deaths of stars, about giant stars and collapsed ones and black holes and Brownian motion. On one test we had to draw and explain all the possible orbits on one and two-star solar system. On the last day of class, after the final when there was this useless class that couldn’t count towards anything and most classes either canceled or turning to a get-to-know-you-now-that-it’s-over party, Crawford had class and talked about the possibility that space had a topography. Everyone was there.

He drew pictures and long numbers and Greek letters, starting on the left side of the wall to brick wall black board and writing and drawing in three arm-width wide columns a class. One day, half way through drawing some really long number that was equal to a Greek letter divided by some other Greek letter, he turned to us and said, Do you guys know Greek? Huh, you should really learn.

It was the hardest class I’ve ever taken. The next semester I wrote Prof. Crawford a note and told him that I didn’t have the talent to take physics much farther than reading history, but his class was fantastic. It was the only thank you note I’d ever written. Well, he said, it’s the only one I’ve ever gotten.

Crawford died last year. May he rest in peace.

Jun 20, 2005

Notes and links

"Things of the past are still with us. It's their world that is gone." - Richard Polt, on Typology, Phenomenology, and the typewriter.

Hillsdale College is moving forward with the proposed retirement community, to be called Independence Grove. The Grove will include putting greens, a club house, and lots of other old people stuff. Mostly, this is about selling the soul of an educational institution, and about how old conservatives are stupid, annoying, and rich.

The Disgruntled Son of the Moral Majority who's having the most fun, ex-pat Peter Krupa, has written an excellent E.B. White-citing article on the militarization of space.

For the depressing state of journalism, not that it was ever any different, see this blog rolling newspaper corrections.

When I was a kid in the mid-80s, kids at the school yard were doing Michael Jackson's moonwalk and speculating about the one white glove, and parents were wondering what the hell happened to his face. I thought he was creepy. Matt Taibbi went to the Jackson trial and saw the freaked out death of America.

Everyone seems to love Nolan's Batman, which makes me think maybe his post-Memento big budget Insomnia was better than I thought. All that love seems to have given some writers the excuse to talk about Batman, including this morning's Seattle Times, which gives the whole history of the thing, including the time when fan's voted to kill Robin.

Matt Labash on Mudcat, the man trying to bring rural southern voters back into the Democratic party, going to show that proletarian demagougery is still alive and fascinating, that class divides never die, that America is still divided into mutally un-unitable regions, and that religion's always an issue.

Jun 18, 2005

The lot of dandelions

Dandelion, n., a Eurasian plant of the composite Sunflower family, having many-rayed yellow flower heads and deeply notched basal leaves, grown in most of the world. The seeds do not need cross fertilization and are easily distributed by the wind, which catches the elaborate crown of plumose hairs, carrying each seed-bearing achene into the air like a parachute. Used in medicines as early as the 10th century, usable in salads and wines, and introduced into North America to provide nectar for honey bees, the dandelion is generally considered a tenacious weed with a deep and twisted tap root.
          The word dandelion comes from the French dentdelion, meaning literally "tooth of the lion." The weed has a history of fanciful names, including "priest's crown," "piss-a-bed," "clock flower," "puffball," "fortune teller," and "dumbledore."
          It is said that a message can be sent to a loved one by blowing on the dry puff of a dandelion's seed head, and again that a wish will be granted if all the seeds are blown into the air at once, and again that burning dandelions in the northwest corner of the house brings favorable winds.



The say he lived in Jersey, by the shore in the suburbs where all the streets were blacktopped cul-de-sacs named for trees, with a newspaper laying every morning on every driveway, and where every lawn was mown by the Mexicans imported illegally to spend the summer in trailers riding from green watered lawn to green watered lawn sitting on overturned buckets. Maybe he lived somewhere else though. Suburbs are all the same, and so it could have been in the prairie outside of Kansas City between the flat earth and the flat sky, or in the hills above the sailboats’ bare forest of masts on the North side of Seattle.

They say he went crazy. It’s not like a doctor told them he went crazy. It’s not like he was hearing voices or ranting to his black cat late at night. He didn’t even have a cat. His wife took the cat when she took the kids and the car and he just had the Golden Retriever with the lamp shade still on his head to keep him from gnawing at the now healed neutering stitches. They say he went crazy because, one day, he started tearing down his house.

On the fifth of July the neighbors heard banging. It was after he stopped going to work in the morning and after his wife left to take that new job down in D.C. His newspapers started piling in neat cordwood rows and rotting where the sprinkler soaked them through. The neighbors hear him banging, heard him one morning making crashing noises in the house in the middle of the street and the business suited spouses said to each other, Do you think he’s gone crazy?

No one walked into the street to look and no one called their neighbor or a minister or the police. It wasn’t that kind of neighborhood. There was, like the yellow sign said, NO THRU TRAFFIC, and the cul-de-sac was as silent as a ghost town with automatic sprinklers, a mailman, newspaper delivery and the occasional protestations of a dog.

And one crazy crashing neighbor.

The crashing noises began in the morning when the first neighbor went outside into the watered morning wearing a bathrobe and cradling coffee. He crashed as the neighbors each raised their automatic garage doors and drove away for the day. He was crashing when they came home at night and the kids tumbled out of the cars shouting and cheering and quarreling and ran into the houses. Sometime in the night, after midnight, he stopped. Around two, they say.

On the third day he raised a ladder to the rain gutter and climbed up on to his roof. He tore off the gutter and left it lying on the lawn. He took the backside of a hammer to the shingles and tore them off, one by one. He peeled off the synthetic siding that never needs to be painted. He smashed out the plywood with a sledge hammer, and with his bare hands he ripped out the insulation and the electrical wiring, the phone wires, the cable wires and the plumbing. He piled all the rubble on the lawn. When the neighbor snuck looks through the windows at night they say they saw him curled up in the middle of the skeleton of the house, the two-by-fours lit by the street light.

On garbage day, when everyone was gone to work, he took a wheelbarrow of smashed up and flattened to paten-thin pieces of former house, and he passed them out among the green cans on the curb.

He tore up the white carpets. He threw rocks and baseballs at his windows until every piece of glass was shattered. He split the cabinets into kindling, kicked the plastic bathtub to the sidewalk, and ran his chainsaw through the framing. When the holiday season came, the whole cul-de-sac put happy holiday cards in the mailboxes and put out little white Christmas lights, but didn’t think it’d be good idea to invite the family over here this year.

When nothing was left but the foundation, standing in an empty outline of a house, the man who might have lived in Jersey went down to the Ace hardware store and special ordered a 16-pound maul. The concrete cracked out in pieces shaped like the rubble of the Berlin wall and when he’d smashed it all he cracked up the driveway and the sidewalk. He dug up the juniper bushes and the rose bush and the sod and when he was done, after nine months of noise, there was just a square dirt lot and a little maple tree.

After nine months of piece by piece tearing down his house, crashing and banging his suburban lot bare, he was done. He sat down and looked at the little tree. For forty days, they say, nothing happened and the neighbors became more nervous.

The dog, the Golden Retriever who must have been hiding through all the racket, with the vet-ordered lampshade still stuck on his head, came back. He sat down next to the man who must have been crazy to tear down his house like that, and looked at the tree.

While they sat there, silent, a great host of dandelion puffs in a white cloud of parachuting seeds came drifting in over the tops of the houses. The wind seemed to stop, and the seed puffs settled in drifts down over the crazy man and ridiculous dog like the softest and gentlest of snows. On that day the UPS man drove up and dropped seven big boxes on the curb.

The man stood up, unpacked the boxes, and assembled a carousel. He put it together, and started it. No one ever heard of him, or from him, again.

The carousel had three horses - one lame, one blind, and one demon possessed. The three horses, painted over-gaudy and crazy-eyed, circled slowly. The carousel stood in the middle of the lot of dandelions, a little speaker played out the carousel music of wheezy carnival organs, and all the kids came to watch.

Jun 14, 2005

He doesn't look it (It was years before I started fighting back)

When I look at those pictures I see a little kid. Serious, and scared. With his blond hair in a bowl cut. I look, but I can't see what it was that made them fear me.

Jun 13, 2005

Singular rain

The man on the radio, with his deep and easy assured voice, says it might rain. Fifty percent chance of showers, summer rains moving in off the ocean currents.

There’s a one in 13 chance of drawing an ace from a clean deck of cards, a one in nine million chance of being stuck by lightning twice, a one in six chance of being Roman Catholic, and a one in two chance it will rain today.

Fifty percent. Which means that for every two of today it will rain once. Which means that it could rain or not and there’s no way to tell. Which means we know nothing except that we have these numbers and this voice of professional assurance and radio broadcast authority saying it’s alright, it’s explainable, quite understandable and predictable. The man on the radio said it might rain and it might not rain and that he’s got enough colored charts and data from the ocean flowing and wind blowing to come out confident over the radio waves saying what it will be like to live today. And the next time it’s exactly like this it might be different.

When the rain comes, I look at the sky trying to track the a single drop of ocean cold water pulling loose from the gray cloud and falling, abandoned into wild slanting descent to crash end into my eye.

Jun 12, 2005

The flowers of the Judas tree
judas

I remember I asked old Childs if he thought Judas, the one that betrayed Jesus and all, went to Hell after he committed suicide. Childs said certainly. That's exactly where I disagreed with him. I said I'd bet a thousand bucks that Jesus never sent old Judas to Hell. I still would, too, if I had a thousand bucks. I think any one of the Disciples would've sent him to Hell and all - and fast, too - but I'll bet anything Jesus didn't do it.
        - Sal, in Catcher in the Rye

Jun 11, 2005

Today I am 23.
Notes on Summer

1. Every day this week I have watched the sun rise up over the empty field that will, before I come here again, become a suburban neighborhood and I have watched it set down upon the water of the Strait.

2. Through the fogged up bathroom windown the world looks green and gray.

3. I bought a Salvation Army coffee mug, a two-handed affair, and a typewritter, a light blue electric Royal.

4. I cashed my whole paycheck and wrapped it into a wad with the hundreds on the outside so I could look at it and feel the wieght of the roll delicious in my pocket.

5. I may have to tell my boss that my long hair can't be cut without breaking a religious vow.

6. I read for my 30 min. lunch break and when my co-worker gets jokingly (but serious too) offended, he says, people've told me I'm boring, but no one said it was that bad. I tell him I've been reading for lunch since I went to work at 13 and am not about to stop now.

7. I now know how to back up a trailer.

8. Coming here, I cannot call it 'home,' but I know the names of all the streets.

9. I bought 9 board feet of poplar and am going to try, again, to carve.

10. A friend of my parents recognized me, but couldn't remember my name. I grinned and said thank you.
Bastard Stoicism (retold)

"Yet the impulse to narrate remains. Many things are not worth doing, but almost anything is worth telling."
        - Ursula LeGuin

Jun 8, 2005

Street gull

The seagull dropped out of the sky, swinging low over the street corner garabage can and BAM. He hit the paper bag, slam colliding into the bag with the Dairy Queen grease spots, knocking it over into the grass in a mayday mayday dive. The seagull pulled up into a landing, putting out his white wings, orage legs stuck out for the ground.

He'd barely landed, hadn't even folded back his white wings before he struck again. BAM. Head back, neck whipped forward. His beak smashing and wrinkling the brown paper as he side stepped a circle to the left. Striking, striking, striking.

Then the light turned green. It seemed like he should have a name.

Jun 7, 2005

Jun 5, 2005

It was a long short week

Like I said, 14 stumps on Tuesday and me thinking, for the first seven, the before-lunch seven, that I liked pulling stumps. When you're pulling stumps, the medium stumps where they're not big enough to hire in a machine and not small enough to just hit with a shovel and where you gottas do it by hand (trying not to hit the rose bush that’s behind you or the house foundation with the wide side of the pick axe), people leave you alone.

A lot of jobs, your co-workers or your bosses will decide that what you're doing is more interesting than whatever they were doing or thinking about doing, so they'll come and watch you. Which is fine, right, let them watch. But then they start kibitzing, like running seven different mutually exclusive possible scenarios for how you could go about doing what you were working at doing, before they came to watch and how they would think what maybe you ought to do is. But there's always the option of giving them the job, stepping aside and saying, why’n’t you show me. And no one wants to be given a stump, so nobody comes to watch.

It's mostly brute strength, with a medium stump. You have a shovel and an iron bar and a pick axe or a maddoxs and you rotate them. Digging, spiking, choping, and then you step on it, try to wiggle it to see where the tensions are running out into the ground. You stop and squat back on your heels and stare at the stump. As if you're waiting it out, playing chess with it or staring it down. And nobody says, hey, get to work you lazy bastard, because stumps are hard work and besides if you’re so crazy to take on a row of stumps in a rock bed, then maybe you’re crazy enough to scare them out of the ground.

Sometimes the home owners come and watch. Mostly because they can't believe the brutality of it and they hired you thinking that, really, this stump is the stump from hell and will be around longer than sin and poverty. And then they see you, dirt from finger nails to elbows, getting down on your knees, on the ground grabbing this thing in its hole with two hands and twisting until something snaps. Sounds like a broken neck. You pull it up, hold it up like it was a giant’s head just removed.

So for the first seven, I’m enjoying this. And then for the second seven I'm thinking, why couldn't we leave this tree damn well standing? By 14 I was thinking that at 15 I was just going to lay down and die defeated. But I was done and went to hobbling around carrying out the crippled up chores of the end of the day.

That was Tuesday. Wednesday we start working on the bluff above the port of Port Angeles, topping off the trees blocking out the view of the Strait. You can't cut more than 30 percent off the trees or they die and if they die, their roots don't hold the bank bluff there and the neighborhood will wash down into the water. And you can't just drop the tops down to the 50, 60, and 80 foot bottom of the bluff, because they'll dry up, dead, and that's a fire hazard. And if the trees along the bluff all burn, the roots won’t . . . so you pull out or pack out everything you cut.

We rig up the ropes and climbing harnesses and two of our guys climb down the drop off. I think this is called a Plake hitch, he says, Don't remember. It's a climbing knot. If you know this knot, you can climb. You can use it to climb up or down. It feels a little like show-'n'-tell and I don't want to climb. At all. So this looks a little silly, but the knot is pretty interesting. I’ve seen it tied at least 20 times, and I can't figure out how it works. Dear God, I think later as I try to tie it myself, what did they do when they only had one-directional knots?

So they climb down and over, leaning against the knot and feeding themselves down the rope to a tree to climb up into. I spend the day feeding them ropes and tools and pulling out brush with an extended out pole – it looks like I'm marlin fishing and catching trees – and when the other guy on the telescoping lift pulls in to the bank with a basket full of brush he tips them over the edge to me. I pile the brush pulled up and the brush dropped down and drag around the house to the yellow chipper parked in the driveway.

We do this for 11 and a half hours. Don't quite finish, so the next day we come back and start again only the one guy quits. So we don't have him and it takes longer than it's supposed to, which may mean the company didn't make any money and every one wants to know but doesn't want to say they want to know what went wrong.

My sister points out, in a mix of disbelief and distain, that I'm falling asleep at nine.

When I wake up, at six or six thirty, I do the catalouge of pain. I notice what hurts, what hurts now that didn't yesterday morning or last night, and what hurts where I don't know why it hurts. Ankles? I say, how'd I strain my ankles. I think about it for a few minutes before I remember the standing for 11 hours on the slope that drops into the bluff.

Thursday I do mostly clean up and Friday I deadwood. Deadwooding's nice because when you're done the homeowner passes your tree, does a double take and says wow. I spend most of the morning deadwooding a fir, Japanese bonsai folding saw folded in my pocket and the large hand clippers out working. Snipping up one side of the limbs and back the other, blade flat against the tree. The second tree is something I can't name with flowers, thorns, and leaves that like to crumble so when I crawl out almost finished at the call for picking-up-time-before-quitting-time, I all clawed and scratched the hell up. The owner lady says wow, those look really nice, which is nice. I pluck a thorn out of the side of my skull, brush the dead leaves off my neck, get a shot of water and think I'm glad it's done.
Harold Logan, an areospace engineer and a priest in the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada since 1983, who worked to relieve the shortage of priests in Ontario, and who built four matching prayer desks for his last parish, died on April 14 at the age of 86.

May he rest in peace.

Jun 4, 2005

Arborist-speak

Deadwood, v., to cut the dead wood from a tree.
Face, n., the wedge-shaped cut directing the fall of a tree; v., to cut the face.
High flier, n., the whispy branches above the main foliage.
Pole pull, n., clippers attached to the end of a pole, operated by a pulley. (Alt. pull pole).
Round, n., a large piece of a log that is roughly as wide as it is tall.
Skirt, v., to cut off the lowest limbs of a tree.
Stob, n., a long stub of wood.

Hand signs:
Raised fist, stop.
Flat hand pointing, lay it along this line.
Two fists together jerked twice, pole saw.
Flat hand run back and forth across the arm, chain saw.

Jun 1, 2005

Lesson: Fourteen stumps will whip a man. And he'll be goddamned whipped.
'Deep Throat' was W. Mark Felt, a J.-Edgar-man disgruntled with Nixon's Hoover replacement, and who was later pardoned by Regan for illegal investigation of the Weather Underground.