Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pissing for the man

I've been woefully slack about updating this blog. Okay, let's get things back up to speed around here.

About a month ago, I hosted a couchsurfer - Tom from the Netherlands. He hung around a for a few days and was a wonderful guest. We drank beer, shared stories and drove around looking at the countryside. He even helped haul old rotten planks from the barn up to the house so we could have a nice bonfire.

Tom in front of Frankencoop

You can read about his travels on his blog (assuming you can read Dutch). Me, I just look at the pictures.

My parents also came for a visit since my last update. They only stayed for five days - much more manageable than a multi-month visit like last time. They may be back in a week or so for a couple more days.

I managed to keep my DUI under wraps while they were here. B.J. Boomhauer hauled my dead truck away to his farm. None of my court-mandated shit fell on a day when they were here. Nobody spilled the beans on me. All neighbor-cousins were under strict orders not to mention it. I told them "You don't have to lie for me. Just don't bring it up."

Speaking of court-mandated shit: I had to go in for "monitoring" Thursday. A fifty-mile roundtrip for a fifteen minute visit. This cost me twenty bucks. I also had to submit to my first ever piss test. That was another twenty. Fuckers. Forty dollars is about how much I spend on groceries in a month.

I'm in no danger of starving or anything, but those two avocados (a glorious luxury) I got in town are probably the last groceries I'll buy for a while. Thankfully, I have plenty of food right now. The freezer is stocked with lots of venison that my parents brought. Probably a good 30-40 pounds. I have lots of flour, sugar, powdered milk, yeast, oil and other various staples. I also recently received a care package from an Alaskan friend who kindly sent a couple pounds of good coffee beans, my favorite stinky bleu cheese, hummus mix, nori sushi wrappers and other delectables that cannot be found here in rural Alabama.

And I am seriously considering killing my 15-pound rooster, Caleb soon. All of a sudden, he has become very aggressive towards me. He's repeatedly attacking me - and it fucking hurts! He's huge. He has a sharp beak and spurs like arrow points.

When my old alpha-male, Gimpy, used to attack me it, it was kinda cute. He only weighed four pounds. He only attacked my feet. As long as I was wearing boots, I was safe. (I learned the hard way not to wear flip-flops around him.) But Caleb is a 15-pound monster. It's like having a bowling ball thrown at you. A bowling ball with razorblades sticking out of it. And he doesn't go for my feet. He goes for my legs. This will not fly when it warms up and I start wearing shorts again.

I'm sure it's all attributable to hormones and the approach of spring. He's just being a rooster. But I cannot deal with this angry behemoth living under my porch. I'd rather have a two weeks' worth of chicken curry, chicken marsala, chicken salad, sweet-n-sour chicken and a couple gallons of chicken stock than a summer of looking over my shoulder and dodging a crazy cock out for blood (which he has drawn twice in the last couple days).

It would also be easier on my hen, Murray, if Caleb was to disappear. A few weeks ago, he injured her in a bout of rough sex. Ripped big holes in her sides with his sharp claws. She's doing fine but must be kept separate from him until she completely heals otherwise he'll just jump her again and reopen her wounds.

For now, she spends her days confined to the porch and her evenings sleeping in a cage in the back room. Sometimes, I lock Caleb under the porch for a while and let Murray run free in the yard so she can take a dust bath and scratch for bugs.

But this is all a major inconvenience for me (as well as Murray). If Caleb were gone, she could go back to being free-range and sleeping under the porch. And I could go back to not having a chicken in the house. Nothing makes you feel white trash like keeping a chicken in your trailer.

Anyway, back to my piss test...

So, I went back to the same dingy offices behind the minimall where I was summoned before. You know, the place that looks like a child molester's basement. I waited on the raggedy old couch with a book until it was my turn. The woman I had to see was already with someone else. The door to the office was wide open and I could hear their entire conversation. Nothing really juicy was discussed but I thought it odd that something like this wouldn't be know...private.

When it was my turn, I went in and sat down in front of her desk. She asked if I had brought forty dollars. I handed it over while she typed something in her computer. Then, unfuckingbelivably, she picked up the phone and called her goddamned hairdresser! I sat there in disbelief while she yammered away, explaining why she was going to have to cancel her appointment. Like she couldn't have done this two minutes earlier before calling me into her office. The call lasted long enough that I seriously began to consider opening the book on my lap.

She hung up the phone, handed me a plastic cup and pointed me in the direction of the bathroom. I walked back through the lobby, past the guy now waiting for his turn, and went into the bathroom - the only truly private part of the experience. I had half-expected that I would have to piss in front of somebody. So, a tip for those of you taking a court-mandated piss in Randolph County, Alabama: Feel free to bring a friend's clean urine to substitute for yours if you need to. They won't be checking.

I walked back to her office, carrying half a cup of fresh steaming piss which I placed on her desk. Then, unfuckingbelievably, she pulled out a sheet of paper towel and used it to grab the rim of the cup. "We're all out of gloves," she tells me. Jesus! What kind of rinky dink outfit is this?

She takes a little stick and puts it in the cup. While we wait for the results, she turns back to the computer and starts asking me routine questions. Are you still at the same address? Have you been in any trouble with the law since your last visit? Blah, blah, blah. She also apologizes for calling her hairdresser.

After a few minutes, she gingerly grabs the cup with the paper towel again and removes the stick. "I really hate doing this without gloves."

I want to say "Apparently not enough to let me keep my twenty fucking dollars." Wisely, I bite my tongue but refuse to return her awkward smile. I have not a single damned ounce of sympathy for this woman who just took food out of my mouth by making me submit to a test she could have easily waived.

But I'm smiling on the inside because of what I ate for breakfast that morning. Her office is filled with the pungent odor of asparagus pee. At least in some small way, I can strike back against the system. Fuck 'em. I hope I'm on my period next time.

She glances at the stick, throws it in the garbage and types something into the computer. She doesn't say so, but I assume this means I passed. She hands the cup of piss back to me, still grasping it with the paper towel. "You can throw this away." I resist the urge to toss it in the garbage can. Instead, I take it from her (not surprisingly, I am not offered a piece of paper towel) and walk back to the bathroom where I pour it in the toilet.

I go back to her office and she gives me a piece of paper with the info about my upcoming re-education camp - six hours every Saturday in March. This will cost me 265 more motherfucking dollars. Hopefully, this will help them afford some goddamned latex gloves.

There's other stuff I wanted to tell you about but, I'm afraid if I don't wrap this up now, it'll be another week before I get this posted. I swear I'm gonna start updating this blog more often. It's not like I don't have the time.

I'll wrap this post up with a photo of a couple eggs I collected today:

The egg on the right is what's known as a "fart egg." It doesn't contain a yolk - only the white. It's not very common but it does happen occasionally.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bouncy baby goats

Yeah, I know I'm behind on my posts. I'll catch you all up sooner or later on the happenings here at Spenardo del Sur. But for now, here's a video of my new baby goats gamboling and frolicking on a sunny morning.