Category Archives: Humor

Stop Lying, Smokey!

The vast majority of forest fires are still caused by lightning.  More important, forest fires are good and necessary for healthy sylvan communities.  In fact, there are many species of trees–like my beloved Ponderosa pine–whose seeds *ONLY* germinate from fire.  They are literally like the Phoenix, rising from their own ashes.  Only when we accept forest fires as both inevitable and necessary can we begin to repair–or rather simply let nature herself repair–the incredible damage that has been done to forests across the country and indeed the world through fire suppression.  Suppressing forest fires allows “fuel” to build up on the forest floor, so when those inevitable lightning fires come, they are much more destructive–they get up into the canopies of trees and destroy them, whereas normal, regular, natural, smaller fires would clear out the fuel load (aka foliage, branches, cones, etc.) and the trees would be able to survive with their evolved natural defense mechanisms.  This is why you now see smaller prescribed burns of forest-fuel loads; management is finally catching up with the ecology of forest ecosystems.  Truly, it is only with overpopulation and hence too many humans encroaching on forest habitat that we really run into a problem.

Here you see a gorgeous, majestic ponderosa pine, one of the “Phoenix Trees”; as you can see, this individual survived a forest fire some time in the last few decades with only a blackened trunk to show for it.

To quote activist and longtime forest defender Tim Ream from the SEMINAL documentary pickAxe (my favorite movie, one that literally changed my life, which you can view for free HERE), “Fires don’t kill forests.  LOGGING kills forests.”

Where My Britches At??

Britches was an infant monkey in UC Riverside’s vivisection laboratories; he was stolen from his mother as a young infant and his eyes were sewn shut, with a device attached to his head that emitted piercing shrieks and metallic sounds and banging.  He was liberated, along with about 1,200 other innocent animals, from the torture chambers at UC Riverside by the Animal Liberation Front in 1985.  Read more about Britches’ story, and see a video about his liberation.

Travel Theme: ON DISPLAY

This week’s Travel Theme from Where’s My Backpack  was a little tougher for me than usual, hence the shortness.  There are many ways of being on display!

“Oh, dayam! You see them fine ass females over there? Imma go get some ‘tail’ “

“Oh yeah. Lookit my feathers. My colors. I’m so majestic. I’m like a majestic peacock person! Hey, why aren’t you looking?? Hey!!”

Rats–The Best Pets Money Shouldn’t Buy

Death Valley, in the Badwater Basin, lowest point in North America (282 feet below sea level) with my lil traveling buddy!

Chillin in the redwoods ❤

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I am a companion rat called Romeo.  The highlight of my day is when my enormous un-furry father feeds me treats—peanuts and pistachios (especially in the shell!  It’s fun to chew them open and retrieve the tasty meat within), broccoli, and bananas are my favorites.  Holy shit, bananas!!  They drive me nuts, and nuts drive me bananas.  Hehe.  That’s a little joke for you.  You think I’m a peabrain, but I see you big un-furry apes killing the life-support systems on your only planet—now that is dumb!  Talk about peabrained, jeez.

When dad is reading, I like to hop onto his chest and stand on my hindlegs and nibble on the edges of his books, especially when they’re ones he really likes, the materialist fool.  He was soooo mad when my cousin chewed up several top-to-bottom inches of Catch-22!  We don’t chew books because they taste good; we chew books because we have teeth.  And it’s fun to work what you got.  Kind of like my dad likes working his cock!  When I see him mating with himself, I feel a little less lonely; we’re also both of us “fixed,” unable to breed offspring, so we’re more alike than you might think.

Sometimes he accidentally leaves things (e.g. canvas bags, the fabric wrappings of ice-packs for his knees, very ripe– and dad-smelling clothes he’d been wearing for many many days) just close enough to my McCage that I can reach out and snag them.  My philosophy is that they must exist close by for a reason; I’ll worry about what purpose they can serve me after I yank them into my mansion, even if it takes a whole night of tugging and pulling and biting and maneuvering.  Do now, figure out why later.  That’s the ideology of this rat in a nutshell.  Mmm, nutshells!

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But really (this is Jan speaking now), rats are wonderful companion animals.  I grew up with dogs, and of course they’re the ideal rescued pet, but dogs and cats aren’t for everyone.  When space and/or money and/or laziness—er, I mean, extreme busyness—are considerations, you can’t do better than adopting a rat or rats.  They are adorable, intelligent (that’s right, I have anecdotes to prove it!), extremely curious, affectionate, completely fine with being vegan—as Romeo demonstrated above, they LOVE eating their fruits and veggies!—and very simple to take care of.  Also, they purr!  Well, they rat-purr, which is called bruxing, where they grind their teeth together, a sign of happiness and affection.  What an edifying, lovely sound that is; it fills me with joy to know that Romeo appreciates my massages and neck and ear rubs; he especially enjoys having the top of his head lightly stroked, between his eyes.  That gets him bruxing almost immediately!

If you’re in northern California, you can adopt from my friend Lauren’s wonderful rescue, North Star; in southern California, there’s Wee Companions  based out of San Diego.  Most animal rescue groups are willing to find transport for their newly adopted animals.  Or there’s always the local shelter—often they have rats.  NEVER buy ANY animals from a pet store, please!  If you’re not in California, you could look up small animal rescues online, or go to the shelter, or (and this applies to enterprising Californians as well) you could go to your local vivisection laboratory and rescue some rats from there—I recommend going at night, when nobody else is there.  Wear gloves!  😉

You might wonder what the hell any of this has to do with undermining the industrial megamachine.  Nothing, maybe.  Maybe everything.  Probably something.  See, I truly believe that every act of compassion and kindness matters.  Of course it matters to the individual nonhuman, but I think it goes beyond that.  The dominant culture is built and maintained on violence, on sociopathology, on a complete and utter dearth of kindness and compassion.  Most members of this culture have our compassion, especially for nonhumans, beaten out of us (sometimes literally, usually figuratively through the media, our parents, etc.) as we grow out of childhood.  To reject that socio-cultural inculcation is the first step toward liberation; liberation of ourselves and of all the oppressed, from people of color to gays to women to nonhuman animals to trees and plants and fungi and rivers and natural communities in general.  It’s all connected.  Don’t believe me?  You’re wrong.  I have anecdotes to prove it!

Further, rats are one of the most maligned species of all.  By demonstrating to people how wonderful they are, you make strides toward undoing that inappropriate and unfortunate cultural malignancy.  This is especially important for animal-lovers because rats are one of the most heavily used-abused animals in vivisection laboratories.  In fact, not only do rats and mice represent 95 PERCENT of all animals tortured and killed needlessly in labs, wasting money and time when it could be spent on preventative medicine, they aren’t even covered under the already-paltry Animal Welfare Act.  So one great way to way to undermine the vivisection-industrial complex, which would itself help to undermine industrial civilization as a whole, is to build a larger culture of respect for heavily-abused animals like these.  The dominant industrial culture will be brought down in a million different ways.  Find your way(s) to contribute.  Maybe this can be one of them!  Countless—literally countless—lives, both human and nonhuman, depend upon it.

Suicide, Revisited

Nine (9) years ago tonight my big brother David killed himself. This is my–our–story, reposted for people who missed it the first time around.

THE REWILD WEST

Shine On You Crazy Diamond.  By Pink Floyd, my unquestionable, unequivocal favorite band, a band that didn’t just make music, but high art in the form of compositional sonic landscapes.  The song is a 26 minute, 11 second masterpiece cut into two tracks, the first track and the last track on Wish You Were Here, separated with three other songs in between.  It is the finest album I’ve ever heard.  And Shine On is the definite best “track.”  It says so very much, musically and lyrically.  On a superficial level it is about the band’s original lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, Syd Barrett, who eventually burnt out his mind by doing massive doses of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) on a daily basis for as many as two years.  “Come on you raver,” Roger Waters sings, “you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!” …

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The Power of Place: A Discussion with Derrick Jensen

Interview conducted in early 2010; I wanted to repost this for all my new friends/followers because I think it’s good and very important.  I know his work and his talks inside and out, so I tried to ask him many questions that he doesn’t normally get.  For further information about him or his work, see the links on the right side of my home page (“Actions Speak Louder than Words” and a link to his website/discussion forums)

JAN SMITH: The theme of this interview is a sort of tagline for my book:  rewild the west, and all the rest.

DERRICK JENSEN: I think it’s a hugely important work.  About twenty years ago I decided to go up to the Northwest Territories.  There was a road there that was really just unbroken forest for 300 miles, and I’ve never seen anything like it before.  It was really beautiful, but it also broke my heart, because of course that used to be the whole continent.  We can say the same thing about North Africa, we can say the same thing about Europe, we can say that same thing about the near East, we can say the same thing about Iraq, and so on.  There’s a phrase for this, something baseline, about how every generation remembers what it was like when we were kids, and how much worse it’s gotten, but we don’t remember how it was when our parents were kids.  There was a study that came out a year or two ago that migratory songbird populations have collapsed by 80% in the last 40 years in a lot of populations; bobwhites, whippoorwills, and so on, and that’s horrifying and terrifying; until I realized that 40 years ago was 1968, which is 10 years after Silent Spring.  Which means that they’ve already gone down 80% in 40 years, after they’d already gone down by 80%, and in the 1920s they were down 80%.  You know, we hear about it over and over no matter where; the passenger pigeons darkening the skies for days at a time—but we’ve also heard that was how Florida was, and Louisiana.  I tell this in my talks:  does anybody know why there are no penguins in the northern hemisphere?  There were—they were called great auks, but who remembers the great auks?

I think this project is incredibly important in terms of helping us to remember that we are fighting over scraps, and we shouldn’t be.  We should be living in intact natural communities.

JS: Right.  And the fight we have to fight shouldn’t be about fighting over scraps.  We shouldn’t say, “Don’t clearcut this 50 acres,” but then say nothing about the clearcutting of 2000 acres tomorrow.  We should say, “We want it all.”  And it’s really not about us, we’re not selfish, saying “GIMME, GIMME, GIMME!”  It’s that we humans—all humans—need it all, the natural world has its own rights, and the nonhumans need it all.  It’s about preserving life.

Now I want to get into this idea I’m calling the power of place.  You grew up in Colorado, right, and then moved to northern Idaho?

DJ: No, I moved from Colorado to Nevada for a couple years, then to northern Idaho, then eastern Washington, then here [Crescent City, California].

JS: Okay, so I kind of want to get a sense of why you moved to the different geographical areas in your life, and why.  There’s a lot of variation there.  Eastern Washington is high desert, which is very very different from the coastal redwood rainforest of Crescent City.  So what did you like and dislike about each area, and why did you move away to the new places?

DJ: Colorado because I finished college, and also because my father lived in Colorado, and I didn’t want to face the possibility of meeting him every time I went to the grocery store.  Also there’s way too many people.  I went to northeast Nevada because my sister lived there and I was starting up a beekeeping business, and that was a place I could find some pastures on which to put the bees.  But I got sick.  I moved to north Idaho because it was one of the prettiest places I’d ever seen.  Moved to eastern Washington because I went back to school.  And then moved to northern California because there were too many people in Spokane.  And I’d committed to living around my mom.  She wanted to live where there weren’t winters, and I wanted to live where there weren’t a lot of people.  This is what we came up with.  After I moved to Idaho I found that I’m very much a forest person; I never liked the desert, and I didn’t really like Colorado.  I have some fondness for it, but I’m very much a forest person.  I feel most comfortable there.

JS: So that place holds the most power over you.

DJ: Yeah.  And I’ve heard a lot about how we resonate with the landbases where we grew up, but in my case that wasn’t true.  Where I lived in Colorado was plains; plains are okay, but as soon as I moved to Idaho and then here I immediately felt at home.  I don’t know why.  I know when I go elsewhere it’s the same.  Like when I go to the deep south, to forests there, it’s very moving for me too.  Really forests anywhere.  I go to Los Angeles or San Diego and don’t feel at home.  I know people who absolutely love the desert and feel tremendous respect and awe and feel very much at home in the desert.  I can respect that, it’s just not me personally.

JS: So you’d feel out of place even when you went to natural areas in Spokane?

DJ: You know, Spokane is right near the edge of forests, and there were some forests right near where I lived.  It wasn’t thick forests like here; you can’t walk through these [redwood] forests, you have to go on a game trail.  In Spokane it was very open forests.

JS: After doing just a small bit of off-trail bushwacking in the forests of northern California last week, I posited that all this dark matter scientists say make up the majority of the mass in the universe might just be found somewhere in the redwood forests, they’re so dense.

DJ: Oh that’s funny.

JS: Do you think you’ll stay in northern California the rest of your life?  Do you think you’re at home and you’ll be happy staying there?

DJ: Well I’ll certainly stay the rest of my mom’s life.  I’m planning on staying here forever.  But you know, with global warming, I live at 17 feet elevation, so it could be underwater.  So I might be staying here for the rest of this forest’s life.  But we need to stop it before then.  I mean, who knows—I have no desire to leave.  But politically things are very bad and just getting worse in this country.  But I can’t see myself leaving, no, I’ll be here.

JS: You talked in one of your recent books about eco-tourism and jet-setting all over the place; you know, this week we can go to the Everglades, next week Glacier National Park, then the redwoods.  But you talked about vacationing at home in your bioregion; sticking to it, learning the intricacies of that place.  Why do you think it’s important to find a place you love and stick with it?

DJ: Well for a couple of reasons.  Actually I think where I liked writing about it best was in the zoo book [Thought to Exist in the Wild:  Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos].  Because one of the things I say is that people go to these exotic places, or in this case, people go to zoos—one of the excuses for the existence of zoos is that we need to have a connection to wild animals.

JS: Such a joke.

DJ: And that’s true, but it’s not really a connection to wild animals if they’re in cages.  There’s another lesson to be learned there; if you want to see bears, you should live such that bears want to see you.  I think it’s a very very bad lesson to be teaching children especially:  that you can destroy a landbase but still see the bears on whose land you’re living.  So what I say there is that instead of going to a zoo, you should go outside and get to know the creatures who live in your home—even if you live in the city!  In Thought to Exist.., I thought, okay, I’m gonna go to the worst place in this entire area, the most life-unforgiving place and see what I see.  And I went to the McDonald’s parking lot.  There were some little landscaped bushes right next to highway, between Highway 101 and McDonald’s.  I sat there for about 30 seconds and I started seeing spiders, I saw sparrows hopping along the ground, I saw seagulls, I saw some bumblebees even though it’s a little cold.  Those beings are just as important and we need to get to know them.  As we’re doing this interview, it’s a little cold here and I’m starting a fire.  I’m putting some old scrap paper into the woodstove.  Just a moment ago, and I felt really bad about this because I didn’t see it before I put it in.  But there was this little tiny tiny spider that was living on this used scratch paper pile, and I accidentally burned it when I put it in the woodstove.  And my point is that even something as absolutely sterile as a box full of used scratch paper still has living beings in it.  This is not to say that, well, since they can live there, then that makes it okay that forests are destroyed.  I’m not saying that at all.  What I’m saying is that there’s life right next to us and we should get to know that.

There are a lot of problems I have with the whole eco-tourism thing; one is that it’s just the same sort of pornographic mindset that’s killing the planet; that it’s there for us to consume, whether we consume it through the timber industry or whether we consume it through our eyes.

JS: Loving it to death.

DJ: Well, it’s more like…I remember Linda Hogan years ago wrote about nature writers who go to Yucatan Peninsula and they end up writing about themselves.  You know, what do you know about the place?  Years ago, when I was in my twenties, I was at one point driving all over the place and I think in half a year I slept in 130 different places.  Most of the time just throwing my backpack down by the side of the road.  And I realized pretty quickly that for all I was driving around, I may as well just be sitting inside a small theater with different scenes projected onto the windshield.  Because I wasn’t getting to know any place at all.  Absolutely no knowledge obtained.  All you’d have to do is turn the car into a little theater and blow in some different scents—and it doesn’t really matter, you’re still you.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that years ago I interviewed Vine Deloria, and one of the things he talked about is how all his students at the University of Colorado, they’d go hiking over a weekend, and they thought they were connecting with nature.  But what he would say is they’re not, all they’re having is an aesthetic experience.  In order to really get to know a place, you have to live there for a really long time to start recognizing the patterns.  I’ve lived here for 10 years and I don’t know the patterns.  Recently there was a very bad year for banana slugs—they’re everywhere here—and it was a really bad year for them.  Was that a strange thing or was that a pattern?  And in this case they came back the next year.  I just noticed this last night—this year is a very good year for mushrooms.  Which is kind of odd because it’s been very dry until a couple days ago.  It also hasn’t been very cold; November is usually the coldest month here:  what does that mean?  I mean it takes a long time to start to see the patterns of who comes when.  And that’s true with human relationships too.  You can have this really amazing weekend affair that’s really passionate, and that’s one thing.  That’s also not the same as getting to know someone over a long time, it takes a long time just to know humans’ patterns.  Or to get to know a dog’s patterns, a dog’s preferences.  I live with this dog 24 hours a day and it still takes a long time for us to get to know each other.  How much more so when you have the additional complexity of all these different beings who are all just as sentient and alive as we are?  I mean the trees have just as much preferences as we do, and just as much of a subjective existence.  And to get to know them takes a long long time.  And of course that’s a good thing, that’s a fine thing.  It takes generations to really get to know a place.  I read somewhere about how some indigenous peoples, I don’t remember who, knew that martens make a major migration every six human generations or something.  How do you know that unless you’ve lived there long enough for that to have happened three or four times.  Once you’ve lived there for 18 human generations, then you might know that.

I just got a note a couple days ago; people always ask me if I will edit their work or if they can edit mine.  I always say no because I have to know someone really well before I feel comfortable with that.  If I were to edit a book of yours, what I would have to do is figure out what you want to say, and how you want to say it, and then help you to say it better.  And it takes a long time to get to know someone well enough to know what they want to say.  And to enter into those relationships.  It’s even more so if we don’t both speak English, or don’t both even speak human.  It takes a really long time to get to know another well enough to know what is in the others’ best interest.  I mean some things are pretty obvious—it’s not in a forest’s best interest to be clearcut, we can know that.  But what does a forest really want?

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The rest of this (extended) discussion can be found under both the BEST OF THE WEST header and the OTHER WRITINGS header above.  Thanks!

HERE  is a link to my review of Jensen’s book Lives Less Valuable.

HERE is a link to my review of his graphic novel As the World Burns:  50 Simple Things You Can Do To Stay in Denial

Travel Theme: CURVES

Ailsa at the lovely blog Where’s My Backpack does a weekly photography theme, and whenever her theme goes well with my nature photography and my general pro-Earth/Animal(/and in this case Woman) worldview, I’m going to post a contribution of my own….

Mmmmm, curves!  What man (and woman who loves women!) doesn’t love curves?

The loving curve of a baby redwood and his mother?

Any real man, that is.  Women have curves.  Don’t feel desert-ed if you do.

Nothern Death Valley, the Eureka Valley Dunes.

You are in good company.  Women of all colors–brown, white, auburn, beige, ebony–have curves.

Turkey Tail mushrooms.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of.  Curves inspire the flamy passion of the red-blooded.

Claret cup cactus flower in the White Moutains of eastern California.

Curves inspire awe and wonder…

Sitka spruce at Praire Creek Redwood State Park.

And are things of quiet, shapely beauty.

So join me in celebrating the wonderful, natural beauty of curves!!

Cartoons About Saving Earth!

This is reposted from www.DeepGreenResistance.org ;  read about DGR– the most critical, crucial movement this world has ever seen–the movement to TRULY save the planet and its millions of species from sure destruction.  This is about REAL sustainability, not capitalist sustainability, or sustainability that allows us to continue being vastly overpopulated and overconsumptive and destructive.  Also, you can read my review of Deep Green Resitance, published in the Earth First! Journal, HERE.

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Cartoons may seem like a questionable choice of medium for conveying complex political theory, organizational strategy, and scathing critique of mainstream movements, But then, if you feel that way, you must not have read the work of Stephanie McMillan.

McMillan, a cartoonist based out of Florida in the United States, has two main cartoons. The first, Minimum Security, is a daily comic strip in the form of a long-form narrative, about a group of friends trying to stop ecocidal maniacs from destroying the Earth. The second, Code Green, began in August 2009 as a weekly editorial cartoon focused on the environmental emergency.

From the author, Stephanie McMillan:

“I’ve been thinking of quitting drawing “Code Green,” my weekly editorial cartoon about the environmental emergency. My income from paying clients has crashed; if I’m going to continue it, it needs to be supported by readers. So I’ve started a fundraising campaign.

I’m not going to be pushing this much at all. This is the only post I’m going to make about it. I’m okay with quitting this cartoon. But because some readers seemed dismayed when I talked about quitting, I didn’t feel right about ending it without giving you a chance to keep it going.”

Support Stephanie McMillan’s Code Green here: http://www.indiegogo.com/codegreen

If you like these cartoons, I highly recommend the hilarious graphic novel As the World Burns  by Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan.  You can read my short blog-post review of it HERE.

As the World Burns by Jensen and MacMillan

This book was released five years ago, but it’s still great and still very timely and I want to promote it, so this is my short review of it.

As the World Burns:  50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial, by Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan, Seven Stories Press, 2007.

As the World Burns is a graphic novel about a world becoming increasingly unlivable.  Dams choke rivers and decimate fish populations, factories spew toxic garbage into the air and water and soil, and enormous swaths of open space disappear to the death-marching “progress” of industrial civilization (sound familiar?).  And we’re supposed to fight this death machine by recycling?  Taking shorter showers?  All the while, aliens from outer space have descended, and bought off the rights to what’s left of Planet Earth’s natural resources from the torture-loving, zombie-faced U.S. President in exchange for large amounts of gold.  The aliens begin gorging themselves—literally—on the forests, rocks, mountains, fish, and everything else in the natural world until almost nothing is left.  And the president’s corporate masters are not happy about it…

The novel traces the philosophical evolutions of many disparate human characters—young adults, mainstream environmentalists, a nature-loving wanderer who may or may not be Derrick Jensen—and how they come together, both conceptually and physically, to rise up with appropriate levels of resistance and stop those who are killing the planet.  For the nonhumans, there is never any question.  The crows, the polar bears, the raccoons and fish and one-eyed “vicious terrorist” bunny who escaped from a vivisection lab, don’t have the luxury of waiting patiently for the revolution to come, for the shackles of civilization to be gradually lifted.  They don’t have air conditioning, water filters, or laws to protect them; they feel the brutal effects of industry and human development every day, in their bodies, in their psyches.  For those with the steel-toed Shaq-boot of civilization on their necks, there is no tomorrow.

As the World Burns is a gripping, hilarious, heartbreaking tale.  I cheered and I cried when the one-eyed bunny returns to the vivisection lab and exacts revenge on his tormentors.  We could all learn something from the “terrorist” bunny, and the rest of the nonhumans in the story.  They never stop to question whether their actions are “moral,” legal, or fit into a rigid dogmatic philosophical doctrine (also a product of civilization, a concern that just doesn’t exist in the natural world).  Freedom is all that matters.

As the World Burns is rife with Jensen’s acerbic wit.  McMillan’s drawings are fabulous, too.  It is necessarily less in depth than Jensen’s usual long, winding, piercing analyses.  In a way, this is a blessing, since this makes it much more accessible to those not well-versed in anti-civ ideas.  Get a copy, spend a few hours being entertained and inspired, and then pass it around to your friends.  You just might plant the seeds of revolution.

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You can buy it from your local used book store, or directly from Derrick Jensen (and check out his great website while you’re at it!).

Someone’s Trying To “Drive” Me Back To Prison!!

Oh dear Earth, the irony and absurdity of this is just too great for me to not share.

I was going through my old emails; I just got out of prison a couple months ago, where I spent the last two years.  Wanted to make sure I didn’t miss any important correspondences.  I came across this gem–which arrived in my inbox, unbeknownst to me of course, about seven months into my incarceration–from the El Monte RV company:

December 9, 2010

Dear Valued Customer,

It’s been a while since your last rental? Are you planning to rent this fall?  If so, I would enjoy the opportunity to hear from you and discuss your travel needs with you.

We work very hard to provide our clients with the finest customer service and pricing for their travel needs. If your budget or travel needs have changed, please contact me so I can give you a quote and see if there is anything we can do to provide you with any discounts or specials.

See, I committed my crime with the help of an El Monte RV rental.  The marijuana was stored in vacuum-sealed bags in cardboard boxes in the bathroom.  After I was arrested the vehicle was impounded.  I had to pay TWO DOLLARS a mile for a company employee to drive the vehicle from western Illinois out to its intended destination–eastern New Jersey.  That came to approximately 900 miles, or $1800.  Valued Customer, indeed.

They also neglected to return–even though I pre-paid an exorbitant amount for shipping–some of my items left in the RV after my arrest, including a bitchin green jacket I’d just bought, some CDs, and George Carlin’s brilliant posthumous autobiography, Last Words.

I really feel like the El Monte RV company is trying to subtlety suck me back into the criminal lifestyle, and I don’t appreciate it.  In fact, I’d like to lodge a formal complain against them; what kind of company encourages their customers to perform highly illegal and dangerous acts with their products?  Not one I would want to patronize, that’s for sure!!

Now I’ll include their email again, but this time with my comments inserted.

December 9, 2010

[At this point I had been incarcerated for approximately 201 days–their computer system must not be very detailed]

Dear Valued Customer,

[Really?  Oh wait–I made them a shit-ton of money by fucking up and having to pay them $2/mile.  I’m TOTALLY a valued customer!]

It’s been a while since your last rental?    [sic; don’t they have that information on file?  So why the question mark?  Plus, you’re damn right it’s been a while–I’ve been in fucking prison!!]  Are you planning to rent this fall?  [Marijuana is harvested in the fall.  Are they even TRYING to hide their intentions?]  If so, I would enjoy the opportunity to hear from you and discuss your travel needs with you [Yeah, I bet!].

We work very hard to provide our clients with the finest customer service and pricing for their travel needs  [“travel needs” indeed.  Also, when it comes to pricing, I didn’t feel $1800 was a competitive rate for retrieving your vehicle from the impound lot and driving it 900 miles to New Jersey)].  If your budget or travel needs have changed [my travel needs sure have changed, as I’m not a recidivist douche bag–and in terms of budge, I’m broke and in debt beyond human comprehension, thanks for reminding me!], please contact me so I can give you a quote [fuck you] and see if there is anything we can do to provide you with any discounts or specials [you can go fuck yourself–that would be special].

Don’t you love when life is so hysterically absurd and forehead-smacking ridiculous?  At least it keeps things interesting.  Sometimes you just gotta laugh–it feels slightly better than crying.