|Chapter||Click the cactus|
to hear Cal!
|Part I - Progress|
|Part II - Gila Hurlin'|
|Part III - Cleavage Clutches|
|Part IV - Hiram the Racing Turtle|
|Part V - Cardinals|
|Part VI - Manuel the Mars Man|
|Part VII - Roy Rogers|
|Part VIII - Connecticut Sal|
|Part IX - Donna and the Defensive Line|
|Part X - Arizona Cal and the Milkman|
|Part XI - Arizona Cal on Acronyms|
Hello again, this is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus, out here in beautiful arid Arizona, from various semi-tropical oases such as Tempe, Tucson, Mesa and points west. I'm sittin' here with my cohort and sometime sidekick, Zuni Bob, not on our usual accomodations of aluminum and nylon reclining folding lawn chairs, but on a matched pair of stuffed gila monster recliners on loan to us from Manny's Exotic Arizona Leather Emporium. Lazy Boys! That's from Manny's, in the dry wash just south of the Barry Goldwater Memorial Ropin' and Rasslin' Arena. Me and Bob are sittin' here, clutchin' a couple of cold ones, planning for and anticipating the week end, when we can kick back. 'Course, as busy as we are tanning, the only other activity we can engage in is discussion. And we've been discussin' progress. You know, you can usually spot progress. Like the progress evident in the change from the abacus to pencil and paper to the adding machine to your $2 disposable solar calculators. Now that's progress. From the Model T to the Model A to the Chevrolet. That's progress. From straight razors to safety razors to twin blade and electric razors. Just don't expect to carry a Norelco into the Dew Drop Inn and be able to count on it for any real protection. But it's progress. But sometimes it's not so clear-cut, this progress business. Take for instance the 44 ounce plastic, recyclable but otherwise indestructible Big Gulp cups from the 7-Eleven on the corner. You can't bring yourself to toss a tacky but perfectly reusable soft drink cup in the trash. What this has done has been to cause us to ignore a staple of our American culture...jelly jars. When was the last time you enjoyed your orange juice with Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo? Don't you long for the days when you could pour your milk in behind Fred and Wilma, dancin' around singin' Yabba Dabba Doo? Instead you gotta try to quench your thirst with a soda in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cup from some hamburger joint that employs fifteen-year-old airheads who can neither take orders nor make change. So me and Bob decided to contact the Bama Jelly and Preserve Company in, I believe, Alabama, to see what can be done about this situation. In the meantime, until we get a reply, you hang in there and hold on to 'em. This is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus.
Hello again, this is Arizona Cal coming to you not from the warm side of a saguaro cactus, but from the cool confines, the air conditioned splendor of our local hot spot, Gila Monster Lanes, here on the outskirts of Tempe, Tucson, Mesa, and points west. I'm here with my comrade-in-arms and co-sponsor, Zuni Bob (he's a Injun) for the third annual edition of Bob and Cal's Bowling for Dollars. Now for the uninitiated, for you folks unfamiliar with the activities at Gila Monster Lanes, I'd like to explain the rules in order to avoid confusion and mortal injuries. You see, down here, we bowl with gila monsters. Not against gila monsters or in cooperation with gila monsters, but with gila monsters. We call it....gila hurlin'. The object is to grab a gila by the tail, taking care not to engage any limbs, fingers, toes, or gender specific appendages in the front end of the gila, and hurl him, unaccompanied, down the lane and at the pins. I stress unaccompanied because should you become attached to the gila, however unintentionally, and make the trip with him, that is a foul and will be dealt with unmercifully. Do not throw your gila on the other contestants. We can only stand so much fun. Ideally, you should try for a flip and a half so that the gila is coming in backwards with his tail thrashing. After your throw, return to your seat and let the clowns handle things. We've borrowed them from the Barry Goldwater Memorial Ropin' and Rasslin' Arena. They like the extra work and we don't mind payin' ‘em the six-pack of Coors. Besides, the best part of this event is when we pay 'em. There's seven clowns, one six-pack, and it gets ugly. They start scufflin' and throwin' gila monsters on each other and it's worth the price of admission. The gilas should be angry so that we get a good show. Getting them drunk is encouraged, but No Mexican Beer. Mescal is okay, but me and Bob get the worms. Anyway, we've got to find some place to lay down, see if we can get someone to install cool ones in our right hands, and watch these proceedings. So hang in there and hold on to 'em until next time, when I'll be saying that this is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus.
Hello again, this is Arizona Cal comin' to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus. Out here, in, around, about, and near the outskirts of Tempe, Tucson, Mesa, and points west. I'm sittin' here with my longtime acquaintance and soon-to-be-non-friend-if-he-makes-a-move-toward-that-last-cool-one, Zuni Bob, and we've been discussin' the state of affairs in the world as we know it. Interstate affairs. Mail order. Sellin' things through the mail. The U. S. Postal service has been known to even pick up and deliver mail. If you could get them to do that on a semi-regular basis, you could lay back on an aluminum and nylon reclinin' foldin' lawn chair, get rich, and never have to get up too much. Only problem is that you need something to sell. No problem. Me and Bob decided that we could, as long as we weren't too busy, think of some service or product or product that does a service and about three cool ones ago, we hit on it. Billfolds for ladies brassieres. Think of it! Molded and shaped to adhere to and enhance the contours of the feminine form. You could tell at a glance if a woman has any money. You could say, "Nice billfolds, baby. Buy me a beer?" And you'd have a reason to tip that waitress that spilled coffee on your pants and didn't bring any water if she'd let you put it in her billfold. We could call them...Cleavage Clutches. A women could carry all the valuable stuff in her Cleavage Clutch and carry the necessary stuff in her purse. Then if a thief snatches her purse, all he's gonna get is some gum, lipstick, tissues, tampax, and stuff like that. Some purse snatchers might like that but most of ‘em won't. They'll either have to retire from the art of snatchery or refine their techniques and take up clutch snatchin'. Just think how interesting things could get on a Saturday in any major urban area. In malls and such. You'd never be bored sittin' there waiting for your old lady to spend the rest of your money in some shoppin' mall if you knew that there was a chance that a clutch snatchin' could occur right before your very eyes and you might get an eyeful. It'd sure make missin' that football game a little easier to take. Speakin' of football, me and Bob sure do miss football. So until trainin' camp, this is Arizona Cal comin' to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus.
Hiram the Racing Turtle
Hello again, this is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus, out west of most, south of the rest, east of Needles and on the outskirts of Tempe, Tucson, Mesa, and points west. I'm here again with my neighbor and erstwhile partner in crime, Zuni Bob, reaping the benefits of our copious, life sustaining, and tan enhancing sunshine. I may have mentioned before that me and Bob are avid football aficionados. There's no exaggeration to be found in that claim because me and Bob go to great lengths to obtain our vicarious thrills from the gridiron. 1700 feet to be exact. You see there is a shortage of electricity out here in the suburbs. Understand now, we're not shorted out, we're just so short that we're out. So me and Bob have made an arrangement to plug 17 100-foot extension cords end to end and into a spare plug up on the hill at Conchita Chiquita's Cantina and Pizzeria. Best pepperoni tacos this side of Yuma. So you see, on Sundays in the fall, Bob gets out his pet and my pal, Hiram the racing turtle. Hiram is said to be a descendant of that speedy tortoise said to have embarrassed that hoary hare in that legendary match-up years ago. Me and Bob believe it because ol' Hiram is one rapid reptile. In high gear, He can make 6 or 7 feet per minute. Anyway, we got this custom made harness (nobody had the energy to ride that bicycle anyway) and we hook the cords up and up he goes to Conchita's. Takes about 9 1/2 hours round trip. And just so he doesn't have to dead head any of that, we have him bring a cooler full of cool ones down on the return trip. Ol' Hiram gets back, he sets down and we get set up and plug in the TV. It's just an old black and white Evinrude Excelsior but we don't mind. The football teams are black and white, too. And just like the football boys, Hiram is in training even as we speak. We got him haulin' empties off and so until he gets done, you hang in there and hold on to 'em. This is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus.
Hello again, this is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus. Out here away from it all and near everything. Close to Tempe, close to Tucson, close to Mesa, and close to a case of dehydration if I don't lay my hands on another cool one soon. Me and my inconsistent constant companion, Zuni Bob, are sitting here on our temporary matched set of gila monster recliners by Manny which we just got back from the cleaners. They were gettin' a little stained, mine from suntan oil and Bob's from the pools of perspiration that pour off him. Sweatinest Injun I've ever seen. Anyway, we sent 'em over to Hector's One-Hour Martinezising, and 3 days later, we got 'em back, clean as brand new, with a coupla little straw sombreros. Uptown, don't you think? So me and Bob are sittin' here, kicked back with a coupla cool ones, rediscovering the luxury of the Lazy boys, talking about the important issues in the world as we know it. Like, what kind of a name for a football team is the Phoenix Cardinals? Think about it, a phoenix is a bird, right? A cardinal is a bird, right? So what are they? The Bird Birds? That'll really strike fear in the hearts of the Dallas Cowboys when they figure that one out. Or maybe it's cardinal like the color. Red. The Bird Reds? That'd be hard for me to accept even late in the day. Or maybe it's cardinal like a cardinal sin. Only me and Bob aren't straight on what is a cardinal sin. To whom do you propose this pressing problem? So me and Bob begrudgingly trudged to the lone phone booth in the parking lot of the Barry Goldwater Memorial Roping and Rasslin' Arena and placed a call to Denver to the Pope whilst he was still handy. I told 'em it was Cal and the Pope came right on the line. I asked the Pope of he'd ever done a cardinal sin and what was one? Pope said he didn't do 'em, he had cardinals for that. But he said a cardinal sin was, and I quote, "Signing John Elway for eleventy million dollars in the hopes that he can make it to the Super Bowl and not choke." Not likely. So I said. "Pray for him, Pope." Pope says, "I'll do it, Paul." I said, "Thanks a lot, Pope. And the name's Cal. Arizona Cal. Comin' to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus."
Manuel the Mars Man
Hello again, this is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus. Out here in the area somewhat and exactly on the outskirts of Tempe, Tucson, Mesa, and points west. I'm here with my good friend and co-conspirator, Zuni Bob, feet up, hats down, fans fannin', tannin', and plannin' our weekend when we can really kick back. We're sittin' here with a coupla cool ones warmin' up about as much as we'll let 'em, discussin' mystic things. Besides bein' an Injun, Bob is also a mystic. A mystic Injun. Or so he says. Well, I was just a little inclined to think that it was just the Zuni in him comin' out, until, in the course of our conversation I made mention of the missin', mystic, Martian space probe. No sooner than the word probe passed my lips, Bob flipped sides. Back to belly. In the blink of an eye. I said missin', mystic Martian space probe, and he flipped back. Soon as I saw what was happenin', I said missin', mystic, Martian space probe real fast four times. No small feat. I was tryin' to see if I could get him to fall off, and he literally spun in the air above that stuffed Gila monster recliner, but he didn't fall off. Soon as he landed, he sat up with a mystic look in his eyes, and told me he knew what happened to that missin', mystic, Martian space probe. He told me that there was a Man in Mars. His face is there one time and gone the next. Real mystical. But he told me this wasn't just a Man in Mars, but a Mexican Martian, Manuel the Mars Man. As soon as Manuel saw the mystic, not yet missin', Martian space probe, he drove his low rider out there to check it out. He pulled up in his Mercury Meteor, didn't see any hub caps, so he siphoned all the fuel off and drove out to Jupiter for a case of cool ones. Well, when they tried down here on earth to fire off the retro-rockets, no gas, and now it's the Pluto probe. Made sense to me. Maybe now we'll know what happened to that lovable pup of Mickey's, and until we find out, this is Arizona Cal comin' to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus.
Hello again, this is Arizona Cal comin' to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus. From out here, in, around, about, and near the outskirts of Tempe, Tucson, Mesa, and points west. Me and my buddy and sometimes constant companion, Zuni Bob, were sittin' here on our aluminum and nylon reclining folding lawn chairs, clutchin' a couple of cold ones, waitin' for things to die down a little bit, when suddenly, the dregs of a dyin' desert dust devil drug a daily double edition down into my lap. Not the whole thing, of course, but pages 1, 2, 11, and 12. I didn't even have to get up. Made my day, dotted my eye so to speak. That is, until I started smoothing it out for a leisurely perusal. I was thanking God for all the little things, when on page 2, an article just leaped out at me, begging for my attention. Roy Rogers, King of the Cowboys. My kinda article. But to my horror, I found that this article is obviously a falsehood manufactured by some deviant who apparently lost his job at the National Enquirer. They're saying that Ol' Roy, the last of the True American Yodelers, is strung out on a soap opera. The Guiding Light. Every day at 11. Hell, Roy was my guiding light. I wouldn't be where I am today without Ol' Roy's sure-handed influence. Am I expected to turn into some daytime media zombie whose entire life cycle revolves around some syrupy soap opera? "What's this doing to Trigger?", I asked Bob. He told me they stuffed him. Well, they probably had to to keep him from manglin' the Magnavox. Fie on you, Dale Evans! It's gotta be her fault. Make it right, Roy. Sing Happy Trails to her for the for the last time and get back into the mainstream with the rest of us wranglers. And so, with a hearty Hi Yo Trigger, this is Arizona Cal comin' to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus.
Hello again. This is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus. Out here where the sky is clear, there is no fear, with plenty of beer, and I'm on my rear on the outskirts of Tempe, Tucson, Mesa, and points west. I'm sittin' here with my old friend and sometimes uncooperative participant in constructive conversation, Zuni Bob. We've been engaged in a disengaged discussion about the aforementioned fear, our lack of it, and our anxiety concerning its absence. Me and Bob was remembering that someone once said that the only thing to fear is fear itself, and that has got us worried. We figured that if we weren't afraid of anything in particular, we weren't paying close enough attention. Sound kinda negative to you? Now me and Bob don't usually worry about too much, sorry to say. Not that we don't ever worry. We worry about things like tanning conditions, beer supplies, and the Arizona Cardinals during football season. But not anymore. We are going to try to worry more about things. And if we can't think of anything to worry about, we'll worry about that. I bet you're wondering what has happened to this pair of carefree idlers, me and Bob. Well it started with our new acquaintance, Connecticut Sal. Bob seems to think that he's from out of state but I'm not sure. All I know is that he showed up one day. We was sittin' on our portable, reclining, folding nylon and aluminum lawn chairs, clutchin' cool ones, tannin', and plannin' our next move which concerned the next cool one. I tilted my hat back and saw a lone figure traveling across the parking lot at the Barry Goldwater Memorial Ropin' and Rasslin' Arena. As I watched, this person made his way to Gila Monster Lanes, went inside, and was soon ejected. Now considering the activities over there, that was fairly surprising since just about anything goes. My curiosity was tweaked up a bit as I watched him dust himself off, turn around,and make a beeline toward me and Bob. He pulled up short of Bob and pulled out a long clipboard. He informed us that he wanted to sign in. I said hell yes, why not, and what for? He told me it was for safety's sake. Well for heaven's sake, who can argue with that? Not me and Bob. So we signed him in. Or signed him on. And he commenced to go on and on. About safety. And fear of safety. Or the lack of it. He pointed out all the unsafe conditions surrounding us. Like the unsafe condition concerning our acquisition of cool ones. He pointed out that the cooler was too far away and either one of us could take a spill when reaching for a new cool one. Then, just like magic, he produced two safety harnesses and told us to put them on. We tried to oblige, but he didn't tell us how to put them on. Bob started flippin' around, I fell off my perch, and the next thing we knew, we was all tangled up and we'd tipped the cooler over. Sal didn't seem to notice our predicament as he informed us that we needed to get our own clipboards and sign in. He told us that we even needed to get a clipboard for Hiram the Racing Turtle for when he goes up to Conchita Chiquita's Cantina and Pizzeria for supplies. I told him that would be a waste of time since Hiram was a turtle and no turtle can write because they don't have fingers (they have turtle claws) and they can't grip a pencil. He told me that Hiram was going to have to get a grip. I told Sal that he was going to have to get a grip. I knew then why they threw him outta Gila Monster Lanes. So Bob, in a rare fit of activity, tossed Sal down the dry wash next to the overturned cooler. And ever since, me and Bob have been worried about things. Mainly about whether Sal was going to come back. We're trying to get a grip. And maybe you need to get a grip. So hang in there and hold on to 'em. This is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus.
Memories of Donna and the Defensive Line
Hello again, this is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a sagauro cactus. Out here where the sun is hot, the beer is not, and the last time it rained was before my memory became impaired and I could remember that I was on the outskirts of Tempe, Tucson, Mesa, and points west. I'm sittin' here, reluctantly participating in a warm friendship, sippin cool ones, discussing hot topics, and currently receiving a cold shoulder from my sometime compadre, Zuni Bob. The latest topic we mulled over was my aforementioned memory impairment and its effect on my ability to keep the cooler at a satisfactory level. I have never been married, never longed for a partner to arrange and organize every aspect of my life, and never wanted to be on the receiving end of any delegated responsibilities. So how come I'm sittin' here, longing for some stimulating conversation, and old Bob is laying on his portable folding reclining aluminum and nylon lawn chair facing the Barry Goldwater Memorial Ropin' and Rasslin' Arena and not me, ignoring my feeble attempts at a reconciliation short of gettin' up and goin' after more beer? I offered to dump the water out of the ice chest, but a man has his limits. A man also has the ability to use the services of any handy pack animal. So I rolled old Hiram the Racing Turtle onto his belly (he was tannin' too), strapped the cooler on and attached the appropriate number of food stamps to the back of his head with some fresh Doublemint, and sent him up the hill toward Conchita Chiquita's Cantina and Pizzeria, home of the best pepperoni tacos this side of Yuma. He should be back Thursday, some time in the late afternoon. What more can a semi-unambitious man do? Before this discovery pertaining to the availability of fresh refreshments and the ensuing snit that Bob felt he had to perform, we were talking about the state of professional football in this state. This being the dog days of August, we couldn't help but wonder what those dogs known as the Arizona Cardinals were doing holding a training camp. Or if they were? Where do they have their training camp? Nobody knows but their trainer and nobody cares. Who is their quarterback? Ask his wife. She's over at Gila Monster Lanes hustlin' drinks between frames. Her name is Donna Dooyawanna. She's a Samoan. Champion gila hurler in the women's division. Been known to throw as many as seventeen gilas simultaneously, all for strikes, and then whip the clowns and steal their beer. She should play defensive line for the Cardinals. She's bigger, meaner, faster, and she plays for quarters. She says it's not her sport. She's a hindcatcher, if you know what I mean. And if you know what I mean, then you know what this means and this is Arizona Cal, comin' to you from the warm side of a sagauro cactus.
Arizona Cal and the Milkman
Hello again. This is Arizona Cal coming to you from the warm side of a saguaro cactus. Out here where it ain't cool, as a general rule, but me and Bob are no fools here on the outskirts of Tempe, Tucson, Mesa, and points west. We arrived at this conclusion after an encounter with a bonafide fool recently. Me and Zuni Bob were sittin' here clutching a couple of cool ones, thinking about whose turn it was to facilitate the acquisition of the next two, talking about that acquisition, and coming to no fruitful conclusion, when this fellow showed up in a service uniform. Walked right up the dry wash over by the Barry Goldwater Memorial Ropin' and Rasslin' Arena. Like he knew where he was goin'. Made me nervous right from the outset. You could tell just by lookin' at him that he not only didn't know where he was goin', but that he wasn't ever goin' to be too sure about a whole lot. You know the look. Wide-set eyes, weak chin, deer-on-the-front-bumper stare, draggin' his feet, and mumblin'. Had a hat on that looked like one a milkman might wear. He was wearin' a gray uniform shirt with his name stitched over the pocket. D-A-N. I kinda figured that was the only fortuitous thing that had ever happened to him. Being named with a short name, that is. You could tell by lookin' at him that if it was any longer, he'd have to abbreviate it. And that might be too big a load for him. Now, don't get me wrong. I didn't take an immediate dislike to him or anything like that. Hell, I've got relatives that look a whole lot like him. None of them with a milk route, but I do have experience with that breed. I was just nervous. Well he trudged right up in front of me and Bob, squinted down at his shirt (twice), told us his name, and announced that he was a milkman. Surprise, surprise. Got his name backwards kinda like I expected, but he was lookin' at it upside down. Well before he could say anything else, Bob jumped up and lit into him verbally. That made me even more nervous. Bob might normally be described as what one would call taciturn. A man of few words. And this outburst might be described as uncharacteristic, to put it mildly. Bob told him that if he thought he was goin' to sell any milk in these parts, he better be sellin' it in twelve-ounce cans. And it better not be nutritious, or wholesome, or non-alcoholic. And it better be the stuff that can't spoil in the heat. Because, Bob told him, there is only so much room in a styrofoam cooler and it is reserved for important stuff. Now, that was quite a lot for Bob to say. He slid back down on his portable nylon and aluminum foldin' recliner, tireder than usual, and looked levelly into the milkman's non-comprehending eyes, and said "Well?" The milkman almost focused for a second, didn't of course, then started mumbling something about the innerneck and gogglin' some wedgepage. He said he'd get back to us, and then shuffled off with a purpose. I asked Bob what set him off. I asked him if it was the fact that he only had three letters in his name. Bob said that wasn't it. He reminded me that he only had three letters in his name. And that I only had three letters in my name. C-A-L. Arizona Cal, coming to you from the warm side of a sagauro cactus.
I have some problems with your random letters. I've never been good and I won't get better At knowing some sequence and, given my history, Their meaning, to me, is often a mystery. These letters are known as an acronym. Means something to her and nothing to him. It could have been invented at somebody's whim. I'm sure I'm supposed to know it but my memory's dim. Like LOL(or laugh out loud) Whoever thought of that one must be proud. It's known far and wide on the Internet, But that's not the only meaning that I get. When I see this, I see Land of Lakes. A little imagination is all it takes. I think it could also mean limas on liver. Now that's a dish that could give you a shiver. AMF is my favorite line And that means all-right and mighty fine. It means something else to an old-school hippie. It's a little risque and slightly trippy. They all could be found out to mean something other To me and my sister, or you and your mother. So if you must use these confusing inventions, Make yourself clear and announce your intentions. And if you're afraid that it might be misread, Stop using those letters. Use the word instead.
To express your love of The Chronicles of Arizona Cal to Cal himself, grab another cool one and e-mail ptrosper at windstream dot net