faithful readers, and welcome to this very
special issue of Stik Mann's OtherSpokane.
A very special issue, I say, because a great
revelation has been made to most folks within a $40
Indian rez rocket shot of downtown Spokane: terra
firma isn't very.
On June 25th, a 3.4
magnitude temblor jolted the Inland Empire,
sending an oil painting of a peaceful pastoral
scene crashing down upon the unsuspecting skull
of your humble narrator. Little damage was done (and
my head's fine too). A series of 20, sub-3
aftershocks added to the fun.
Scientists theorize the Latah fault near
Spokane, quiet for over a million years, may have
issued a mere gurgle of the geo-gut, with
definite possibilities of a much bigger
One would think the above is the Big
Story; but, it could turn out to be a
mere sidebar to a much
The Spokesman-Review printed
my Letter to the Editor a few weeks ago (written
under an assumed name, of course). I reprint it
here, and include the final paragraph (in
italics) which the S-R gatekeepers chose to snip
Can we all finally move beyond the lowly,
Lenoesque cheap shots about presidential
daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush?
I don't blame them for their recent troubles
with the law. I don't blame their parents, even
papa Dubya, who no doubt passed on the pray-to-the-porcelain-god
gene to the dear things. No, I blame Ronald
Yes, the power-drunk Gipper, who in 1984
rammed the Uniform Drinking Age Act down our good
nation's throat. With fistfuls of federal highway
money, he bribed every state in the nation,
giving them the choice of raising the drinking
age from 18 to 21 or being condemned to a pothole-hell
world of crumbling, road warrior-like
These girls are not criminals. They are
intelligent, adult, career-pursuing college
students who should be able to have a damn
margarita if they want.
Jenna, you lovely woman, Barb, honey, if y'all
ever up near Spokane, drinks are on me.
Pungent punditry: My friend,
Roger of the North, saw the above letter and
immediately e-chastised me about my familiar
sins. (He should have seen it before the Review
editors got it.) I admitted that my intention was
not to change anyone's political opinions, but,
in fact, to score with one of the
This he finally accepted, and added, "About
time we had first daughters to lust after. It was
just too much of a stretch with Tricia or Julie,
and while fairly reasonable with Susan Ford, she
didn't stick around long enough. Less said about
Amy Carter the better. And, while I think Chelsea
will turn into a devastating 25-year old, as a
teen she wasn't."
Did Californians look with amusement at our post-earthquake
reactions, as we do them when an inch of
snow threatens to shut down their cities?
My latest obsession is with this
painting by Heindrick Heerschop (1627-?), The
Alchemist's Experiment takes Fire; from
the late 17th century.
We confront the alchemist's startled face. A creepy,
devil-like face appears in the blasts of
smoke, and we are sucked up into the swirling,
clockwise movement that dominates the composition,
introducing us to mysteries as we circle-slip
into the vortex -- What exotic dusts and potions
in the strange urns on the wall? And what is that
distant woman doing? Changing a baby's diaper? Is
she spanking the infant? Is it even a
baby? What is that forbidden text he's reading
that has produced all of this madness? -- We're
still spiraling inward, over his left hand and up
his arm, detouring up the shadow of his right arm,
the hand of which pathetically tries to block the
force, encircling his head, around and around,
and ultimately bringing us dizzyingly back to the
alchemist's agape mouth in the very midst of the
first word of his two word utterance, "Whoa,
But...that plate -- the large, shining plate
at the bottom of the picture....
Yes, the plate acts a balance device, as well
as the true beginning of the swirling composition.
But there seems to be something more to it.
Something about its reflective qualities, perhaps?
Is Heerschop suggesting that the face in the
smoke is not of supernatural origins but an
illusion caused by the dancing play of light?
From the new Stik Mann's OtherSpokane
section, Dewdling --
Conversations with Dewd:
"Your 'I-sat-on-the-plug' agape confirms
indignity exposed; and, to your apparent surprise,
it's your 'limpy-bean short story' that again
almost arose. While your itemized
deductions compare to boudoir seductions,
your sweaty-knitted underware has unraveled, and
indeed your butt smells like cattle." --
"Ad word of vice: a sexy hex on you and
your girlie blouses, your pancreas of beer smoke,
your Buddha urine and your Mary Poppins dishwater.
I nose hair the salad bar of your stinking-of-fish,
Canadian lovefest. I slaughter a vague vegetable
in your corny, cigar-is-just-a-cigar
cowboy sweat. May lice spell out the
name of your dentist in an inappropriate location."
Did you hear that Newsweek is preparing to
launch a Polish version of the magazine
this fall? It will contain original
reporting by Polish journalists, and not a mere
translation of the English edition of the
magazine, according to editor Tomasz Wroblewski.
He said the office lighting problems will be
resolved later this summer when the rest of the
staff reports for work and they can finally get
all of the light bulbs screwed in.
Before I went to Mexico, Britta K. from
Metaline Falls asked me to bring her a
refrigerator magnet to add to her collection.
When I failed in my mission, she didn't
accept my observation of a general lack
of refrigerators there, which means few
refrigerator doors, which means the demand for
things to stick on those few doors is severely
She wrote: Nice try, Stik
Mann. I've heard of people bringing home alien
limbs, two-headed pigs and bearded children from
Mexico. Don't tell me there ain't no magnets
Late one night, I conducted a literary
experiment, which I believe you'll find
quite interesting. I began with the old Rodney
"I went to a psychiatrist and said, 'Doc,
you gotta help me. My wife thinks I'm a dog.' He
told me to get off the couch."
Well, I exchanged the role of psychiatrist
with that of a U.S. Forest Ranger, and exchanged
that diminutive form (Doc) of the formal title (Doctor)
to the even more personal "Larry." Here
are the results:
"I went to a U.S. Forest Ranger and
said, 'Larry, you gotta help me. My wife thinks I'm
a dog.' He told me to get off the couch."
A) New Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle tossed
a $5,000-per-person fund-raiser on top of George
Washington's head at Mt. Rushmore.
B) The view from atop George's head is quite nice.
C) Pigs don't fly out of people's butts.
C, again) Well....I guess what I'm trying to
say is this: In the scanky environment of
D.C., stupidity and arrogance, put in
the same pond, will, as always, breed like toads.
It would be much easier to make sense of the
loathsome creature that oozes from the goo if, in
fact, actual pigs did randomly fly, of their own
accord, from unknowing peoples' butts.
Any bets on how long it'll be before the Feds
are forced to borrow to pay for the
scheduled tax rebates?
A big sarcastic thanks to my friend Phopaw for
sending me this
musical mental virus and causing me to
forever exchange the words of that old American
favorite The Flintstones Theme Song
with those of Jesus Loves Me.
Jesus, Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me
loves me this I knoooooow...
Iraqi producers are planning a television
version of the novel Zabibah and the King,
a tale of a king who falls in love with a poor,
It was published anonymously late last year,
but its bizarre political references, and the
unusual publicity it received on Iraqi television,
radio and in newspapers, have led some to believe
that it was written by Saddam himself.
The CIA will no doubt be studying the book for
insight into Saddam's political thinking, such as
when Zabibah burns the roast and the king
expresses his displeasure by gassing a Kurdish
Isn't it strangely and wonderfully ironic that
we sneak onto Indian reservations
and illegally buy fireworks to celebrate
Secretary of Defense "Giggles"
Rumsfeld is pressing for a Hail Mary
Missile Defense System by the end of
Dubya's current term, whether it works or not. He'll
get no flak from the Defense Policy Board kingpin,
Richard Perle. An Assistant Secretary of Defense
with the Merry Madmen of the Reagan gang, Perle
was Chief of Big Toys for Reagan's Star Wars
fantasy. Carl Sagan once called Perle "the
Prince of Darkness."
As an added bonus, look for Giggles and Dick
"Thumper" Cheney to start whining about
the need to end the nine-year moratorium
on testing nuclear weapons. Were talkin'
big-time earthquakes here, folks.
Garage Degree: Seattle inched
a bit nearer the deep end of the Wacko Pool,
where West Coast buddies San Fran and LA have
been hot-tubbing for years, when the Higher
Education Coordinating Board of the state of
Washington authorized Kepler College of
Astrological Arts and Sciences in that rainy city
to issue BA and MA degrees in Astrological
Why, yes, I majored in the stars -- and I have a
minor in bending keys with my brain.
"Soliciting sex from youngsters online...Next
on All Things Considered."
--- NPR 6/19
Certain UN representatives are licking
their chops as they prepare for the
World Conference Against Racism.
Southern African nations plan to ask former
slave-trading Western nations to cough up
billions of dollars, for "past mistakes,"
as if slavery was a phenomena of bloated, rich
plantation owners in the U.S. South. Will Egypt
have to pay up for centuries of human rights
abuse? The great civilizations of China were
built on the backs of slaves. They could probably
round up some Mesopotamians to blame. Wasn't
Mohammed cool with bondage? Ancient Israel? Will
they go after the tortilla money of the poor,
indigenous descendents of the Aztecs, Incas, and
Mayans? What about the descendents of Africans
who enslaved other Africans?
And who would be getting this "reparation"
money anyway? The Heritage Foundation recently
released a report declaring that more than half
of the 42 sub-Saharan African countries to be
"mostly unfree" -- and a good
percentage of those are just downright
One of Florida's 20 celebrated "New Millennium
Schools," Hernando Lakes High School,
presented its graduates diploma cases with the
words "New Millenium School"
printed proudly on the front.
I don't get it. You can shack
up with a harem of willing women, and nobody
cares. But Tom Green, a 52-year-old Utah man, who
dutifully marries five wives, cares for their 29
children, and does so while claiming a genuine
religious tradition, is facing 25 years in prison.
How does that old song go? "Congress
shall make no law..."
And finally, I offer you this
site. Hope it doesn't leave a bad taste in
I sent it to Phopaw who quickly
returned choice quotes he found there, along with
his own comments in italics:
"I loved the picture of the Indian Holy
Man drinking his own urine out of a human skull -
although I prefer a ceramic cup, or a coconut
"Drinking your own urine makes you think
seriously about what you eat"
"I tried drinking my own urine on a few
occasions about 20 years ago."
I tried drinking my own urine too. I was 6
and it was icky. I stopped after one try.
"If you believe in me, you will never
thirst....Rivers of living water shall flow from
- Jesus (in John 7:38)
Priceless. Just goes to show how with a
little skill you can use the Bible to justify all
kinds of vile behavior. Now if you'll excuse me,
I've a stoning to attend.
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