I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Several More Of My, Previously, Unnamed Phobias


The fear that you are going to be gruesomely murdered in a failed robbery attempt at your local Krispy Kreme at the hands of a former child actor, who now is incurably addicted to shooting up cough syrup and sniffing glue.


The debilitating fear that gravity will suddenly reverse itself and you will plummet into the sky. The fear manifests itself in the constant looking up to see if there is something to grab onto when said occurrence happens, resulting in the avoidance of being in wide open, untree'ed areas.


The fear that you are really a highly trained sleeper agent/assassin and that one day you are going to be activated and have to kill some high profile person that you actually like, and you are going to have to forsake your current life and everybody is going to try and kill you, and you just wanted to sit at home and watch the football game.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mr. Topper Multitasks.

Ask Mr. Topper

Dear Mr. Topper, did you hear that the new improved smart phones can multi-task? Pretty cool huh?
  -  P. Brownell

Big deal. iDad performed all the following tasks during halftime, while watching football this Sunday.

Discovered a small paper from San Luis Obisbo, California.
I subscribed because it's awesome. All excerpts used without permission. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When Getting A Tattoo, One Shouldn't Be Vague.

Dude, you are the worst tattoo studio ever! This is the worst tattoo ever! I can't believe you did this to me. How do you even stay open? I am going to kick your butt. I want my money back, and I want you to fix it. Oh man, can you fix it? Is there something you can do? Dude, you got to stinking do something, man!
     What the heck man?! I can't believe you tattooed this on my chest. What a pile of crap. Dude, I lifeguard in the summer at the Y. Dang, dude! My life is over. I'm gonna have to flippin kill myself, and then I'm gonna have to kill you.
     I said I wanted a tattoo that said I was a sexy beast. Something that was dangerous. Something that told the ladies that I was an animal. Like a bear, lion, wolf or even a killer whale, but sexy. Not a tattoo of all of them, along with those... those darn words. Ah dude, I'm never gonna get a date again. Why, dude? Why?


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fred, Cat Vomit, And Tighty Whiteys.

I ran to the bathroom door and banged politely on the door.
"Hey Laura?"
"What? I'm in the shower!"
"Uh, Laura do you have a huge tattoo on your back?"
"A tattoo. Do you have a tattoo on your back?"
"I knew you were spying on me. That's why I didn't take off my underwear or bra. You freaking pervert, I'm gonna..."
"It isn't me, it's you."
"What? I'm the pervert?"
"No. You didn't close the blinds."
"Yes, I'm blind. Duh."
"THE BLINDS. There are blinds in the bathtub, you didn't close them. Mike the next door neighbor just sent me pictures of you."
"You're letting the neighbors look at me in the shower?"
"I'm not doing letting anyone do anything! You're the one giving the peep show. Close the blinds!"
I could hear Laura fumble around with the blinds and eventually hear them slam shut.
"Why do you have blinds in your bathroom? And why didn't you tell me?"
"I told you. Close the blinds, I said."
"You said something about and blind girl with no clothes in the bathroom."
"No, I said 'close the blinds! You probably couldn't hear me because that animal of yours is loudly destroying my bathroom."
"I'm sure he isn't destroying it."
"Oh really? I don't remember a hole in my door before."
"Oh wah! Like your house wasn't a pit, even before we showed up."
"Do you have many friends? 'Cause you're kinda acting like a bitch. Beautiful, yes. Nice, no."
"Gosh, am I? Am I not being nice to the the guy who got me drug down the street and tied up, covered in road kill, punched in the face, and to top it off, has naked pictures of me on his phone?"
"An elbow."
"I elbowed you in the face, I didn't punch you."
"I'm tired of talking to you. Can I just finish my shower? Or do you have any other nasty surprises for me?"
"Nope. Being mostly naked for the neighborhood to see, about covers it."
     So I left and went back to my cleaning efforts. I wonder, is it always this hard to have a relationship? Is there always this much blood involved? Speaking of bleeding, I wonder where Bill the Cat is? Hmm, last time I saw him he was on the ceiling fan. I should go check on him.
     Yup he's still there. Maybe I should turn it off, he's looking a little dizzy. As the fan turns to a stop, Bill looks down at me and gives me a plaintive meow.
"It's OK Bill, that bad old dog is upstairs, you can come down now."
     Bill looks down at me knowingly, throws up on my head in reply, and falls off of the fan claws first, leaving long angry lines down my arms as I attempt to catch him. Bill runs in a serpentine pattern into the the kitchen. Now that he's empty, he needs to reload.
"Argh! You got to be frickin' kidding me."
     I can't even take a shower. Laura is hogging up my bathroom. Ugh, I'll go outside and spray the vomit off with a garden hose. As I open the front door, Mike is coming up the stairs.
"Hey man, who's the hot chick? Why did you close the blinds? Is she still here? Can I meet her? Oh my God, what is that smell?"
"Cat vomit."
"Dude, why don't you just cuss? You sound silly with all those sort-of curse words."
"No, Mike. It's cat vomit. On me. That's what smells."
"Oh. Why don't you go take a shower at my place and I'll watch your chick for you."
"That isn't some chick, that's Laura from down the street."
"Dude, I'm pretty sure she's a she. I got some pretty good pictures."
"Mike, go away, or I'll tell Laura to sick Conan on you."
"Conan is here? Oh man, I forgot about that vicious thing. Did you tell her it was me?"
"Already did, If it were me, I would get out of here."
"I'm gone. Tell her I'm sorry. I didn't know it was her. Tell her I'll get rid of the pictures."
"Will you?"
"Nah, probably not."
"Mike unless you leave right now, I'm going to give you a big pukey hug."
"Ech, OK I'm outta here, we'll talk later."
"I hope not."
     I go around the side of the house, turn on the hose and begin to wash the throw up off of myself. Hmm, I'll have to remember that for next time. Apparently water out of a hose, that has sat in the sun in Las Vegas, Nevada, comes out somewhere north of boiling. I have to strip, to make sure my pants don't stick to the burns that have surely appeared on my legs as the lava like water shot out of the hose. My legs are red, and I'm pretty sure there will be blisters at some point but for right now there aren't open wounds. The water eventually approaches a temperature that doesn't melt metal, and I rinse the cat vomit, blood and various other exotic foreign substances I have acquired in the last couple of days.
     I make my way back to the front door, covering myself with my wadded up clothes. As I reach the front  steps, the wind catches the door and it slams shut, in a slow motioney way, replete with me reaching out and yelling "NOOOOOooooooo!" as I realize that my keys are sitting on the hook next to the door and I am standing on my front step in my tighty whiteys.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Do Not Think Drifting Means, What You Think It Means.

"License and registration please. Do you know why I pulled you over?"
"You lost a bet? The internet is down? You want me to read your screenplay?"
"You watch your mouth, funny boy."
"Yes sir. No, I don't know why you pulled me over."
"I've heard about you big city boys and your slick imports and that drifting race thing you do."
"Drifting? What?!"
"Sure. This car, it's an import isn't it, son?"
"Well yeah, it's a Toyota Celica."
"That's what all you drift racers drive."
"Umm, this is a rusty 1981. Not exactly a racecar."
"Shut it. City Boy."
"Sir, with all due respect, Albuquerque is not exactly a hotbed of the hip Urban scene. We're not Miami or LA."
"Then why are you drifting, son?"
"Excuse me, sir?"
"Drifting son, you were drifting"
"Sir, I stayed in my lane the whole time. The steering is just a little loose on this old rust bucket."
"Well, you may have stayed in your lane. But you were clearly going from one side of your lane to the other."
"But sir, that isn't drifting."
"What would you call it son?"
"Well, drifting... but not that kind, I mean if you looked up the definition in the dictionary it might qualify as drifting, but that isn't the dangerous racing kind."
"Drifting is drifting, son."
"Uh, sir? You do know that there can be more than one definition for a word? For instance, retreat can mean to fall back during battle, but it can also mean a quiet place to rest and reflect."
"Retreat is for sissies, son. Real men advance."
"Whatever. But even if you think I was 'drifting', I certainly wasn't racing."
"Well that depends on what definition you use, son."
"OH COME ON! There is only one kind of racing."
"Do you have loved ones waiting at the end of your journey, boy?"
"Are you anxious to see them?"
"Then I would say that you are 'racing' home to see them."
"That isn't what drift racing means, and you know it. But, OK. Just give me a ticket and let me on my way."
"Simmer down, boy. Initial the little boxes and sign on the line."
"Fine! Here, hold my beer while I sign that."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just Say NO, To Plumber's Crack.

Are you tired of your plumbers always showing up late? Are you tired of them being fat, rude and incompetent? And then to add insult to injury, once they finally get around to working, you get the rudest shock of all. Plumber's crack! Oh, so gross! We can help.

No. We can't do much about your plumber being fat, everybody is fat these days. Heck, you could stand to lose a few pounds yourself.

And the late, rude and incompetent thing? Well, our plumbing is good enough for government work, and if you don't like that, you can stick it!

But the big thing? The thing that you all hate about plumbers? The plumber's crack? We've got that part licked. So, give us a call at 505-5055, and when we get around to it we'll send somebody to your house. With a little bit of luck, we might possibly be able to solve your plumbing issues. You can be assured of one thing however, we won't have plumber's crack. Because at Au Naturel Plumbers, we don't wear clothes.

*For obvious reasons we aren't so keen on fire, so NO SOLDERING!
**At this time, we are not available for bachelorette parties.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Laura And Fred Share A Moment. A Painful One.

As I start to come to, that idiotic canine garbage disposal is licking my face, probably a little taste test before he starts taking real bites. "GET AWAY FROM ME!", and I swing my elbow; hard. When I connect, the licking stops, but man can that dog cuss up a blue streak! Wait, what?!
   I open my eyes and Laura is holding her nose, which is streaming blood. She is also cussing. A lot. She could make a Marine blush. She is putting curse words, inside of other curse words, inside of completely different curse words; like Russian nesting dolls, except for with naughty words. Eventually, actual words started being inserted into the stream of filth flowing from her.
"What in the BLEEEEP did you BLEEEPITY BLEEP BLEEPING BLEEP, do that for?"
"I'm sorry. I thought it was your dog."
"You thought Conan was washing your BLEEPING face with a BLEEPING washcloth?!"
"No. I thought he was getting ready to eat me."
"And what? He's was just going to BLEEPING clean you the BLEEP up, first?"
"NO. I thought the washcloth was a tongue!"
"You have some serious issues, if you can't tell the difference between a tongue and a washcloth"
"Hello! Knocked out! And by you, I might add. And not for the first time today. Why did you kick me? And while we are on the subject why were you laying on my couch under a sheet?"
"I kicked you because I am in a strange house, and I woke up and there was a man next to me who was grunting."
"My cat got scared, and hit me in the junk. It hurt. When I bent over, YOU PUNTED MY HEAD!"
"And the sheet thing?"
"Oh, I'm BLEEPING sorry. After you took a nap at the base of the stairs, I couldn't find the good linens so I just grabbed whatever I could find and crashed out on the couch. I realized it was you that I had kicked, and although you might be the dumbest person I have met, you seem harmless. I am pretty sure that Conan ate my keys, because his stomach keeps chirping; that clears you of stealing my keys. So I stumbled around til I found the kitchen, got a washcloth and a pan with some water in it and I was cleaning you up, when I met Mr. BLEEPING Elbow."
"I'm sorry I elbowed you in the nose."
"You BLEEPIN' better be. It hurt."
"I'm also sorry you used the sheet I use to pick up dead animals off the side of the road with as a blanket."
   But this time I was too quick, I ducked and her fist missed my face by inches. I went ahead and backed out of groin kicking range while I was at it. Conan was tied up to the bannister at the base of the stairs, and Fred was hanging off the ceiling fan, so I felt relatively safe for the moment. I figured I would just sit quietly against the door while Laura tried to see if profanity could REALLY peel the wall paper off the walls. After several minutes in which she questioned my sexuality, my genealogy, my ability to sire children, and various other ineptitude's, she eventually simmered down to a slow boil. I figured this would be a good time to try and interject something.
"I'm sorry. If I had been awake I would have offered you a real blanket. But I was lying unconscious at the bottom of the stairs."
"That is no BLEEPING excuse, why do you have that inside?"
"It was pretty gross, I was going to wash it. Didn't you think it smelled a little funky?"
"Everything in this house smells pretty funky."
"Do you want to take a shower?"
"I wouldn't take a shower with you, if I was covered with road kill, and you had the only shower around."
"You are, I am; but I meant by yourself."
"OK, that sounds good, I can't get into my house until the lock guy shows up, and he can't be here until late."
"There is a shower upstairs, you can use that."
"Does it have a lock?"
"A two way mirror or a peep hole?"
"What? No."
"OK. Lead away Mcduff."
"No, I'm Fred Mann."
"It's a saying, you putz."
   She offered me her arm and I led her up the stairs, pausing to untie Conan, her 'portable security system'. When we got to upstairs I was glad that she was blind, as I surveyed my wreck of a room from the hallway. Hell, the whole house was kind of a wreck.
"What a mess."
"How can you tell? You're blind."
"My nose works fine. AND we're walking on trash and dirty laundry."
"Good point. I'll pick up a little while you shower. Let me grab something for you to wear real quick. I have a track suit my mom gave me that I have never worn. One, because I haven't been that small since I was a sophomore in high school, and two because I look ridiculous with 'Juicy' written across my ass."
"I'm sure you do."
   I got her set up in the bathroom. Before I left to launch a full scale assault on the dirty house, I remembered something very important and knocked on the door. Over the sound of the running water, the bathroom fan and Conan gnawing on my bathroom rug, I shouted.
"Hey Laura, you need to close the blinds in the bathtub."
"Close the blinds in the bathtub!"
"I got it."
   I left to get a snow shovel and some large plastic bags in the garage, to commence 'operation unbachelorize the house'. After several big bags were filled up and thrown neatly at the bottom of the stairs I got a text from Mike, the creepy next door neighbor. It simply said "nice" and had several blurry cell phone pictures of an elaborate tattoo on a girl's mostly naked back. The window that was framing those pictures looked oddly familiar. As did the house attached to said window. Oh, crap! That's my house, and my bathroom window, and that's my hopefully future mostly naked girl that Mike is ogling.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flames that burn twice as bright, can only burn for half as long.

A nation is united in grief tonight, as we mourn the tragic loss of many of our premiere young souls. In an instant (more or less) they were no more. Future local, state, and national, political, economic and scientific leaders, now only a memory. The hole that is left in the next generation will be impossible to fill. Our young people will be cast adrift on the cold ocean of this age, without their moral compasses, intellectual rudders, spiritual sails or captains of industry. Alas, we are done for.
     If only it hadn't rained that fateful night, at the annual Gathering of the Juggalo's. If only these exemplary examples of kindness and dignity had brought tents. If only just one person had taken the time to explain to these paragon's of virtue, to close their mouths when they gazed at the celestial precipitation. Perhaps then, thousands of our best and brightest wouldn't have had to drown.
     It may just be that such bright points of brilliance were never destined to shine on this dreary planet. Now they are in the nebulous firmament where they belong. The world won't be the same without them.

In Memoriam:
Future Senator from Georgia
Future Yale Debate Team
Future Poet Laureate and Top Stock Trader
Future Supreme Court Justice
Future Qwest CFO and Top Cancer Researcher

Friday, September 2, 2011

Smart Cars. Not So Much.

I am sorry to report that I was in a horrific accident today. I was walking across the street, and I was struck by a vehicle. I am now at the hospital where the doctors are working feverishly to save the driver's life.
     The Smart car hit me square in the leg leaving me a really nasty bruise, and crumpled up like a beer can around the elderly lady who was driving. Fortunately, I was able to pick up the whole wrecked car and just carry it to the hospital down the road. The surgeons have located an old-style can opener, and are using that to extract her. Pray for her survival.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pocket Protectors And Fanny Packs, Intimidate Fred.

One minute I was running down an eternally long high school hallway chasing a clown made of pudding filled balloons, sidewinder missiles and cotton candy and suddenly the scene changed and I was laying in a familiar place. The bottom of the stairs. But unlike all the other times, I wasn't alone, or even tangled in mutant cat. There was an amazingly fantastical warmth on my arm, and my fingers were responding in a giddy tingle as all the blood to them was choked out. I lay there thinking about how lucky I was to be laying with the girl of my dreams even though we hadn't gone on an official date. Without making any sudden movements that would cause her to wake up, or use mace on me, I slowly leaned over and smelled her luxurious... bristly hair and her studded leather collar. Wha?! My eyes did a jump cut to the slavering beast staring at me with the blind munchies.
     I sprang up and backwards and jerked my arm from under the slobber and tooth factory hoping he didn't decide to keep it. He eyed me, found me wanting, and went back to chewing on what was left of my genuine cow hide recliner. I backed away wondering where the dogs erstwhile owner had gone, when I heard a knock on the door. Figuring she must have gone searching for her keys, I went to the door and flung it up saying, "There you are!" But she wasn't. It was two decidedly nerdy looking guys.
"There who is?" asked the one with the fanny pack.
"Not you... Who are you?"
"Las Vegas Public Library."
"That's an awful name. How about you?" I said, looking at the one with matching pocket protectors.
"We're FROM the library"
"Haven't seen that section, is it next to the periodicals?"
Blank stares.
"OK, you're from the library. What do you want?"
"Love" "A Date", they blurted out.
"Wow, you guys are really bad at this. I'm not even gay. Maybe you could just date each other." 
"No", said Fanny Pack, "You checked out 'How To Find Love Or Maybe Even Get A Date: For Dummies' last year and you haven't returned it."
"Oh, yeah. I already told the lady down at the library that I'm pretty sure that I turned that in."
"We don't have it."
"Oh well, I'll look for it later. Bye." and I started to close the door.
Pocket Protector stuck his foot in the door and said in a cracking, I'm almost a big boy, voice, "That's not good enough Mr. Mann." and then, "Ow, that really hurt. Why did you close that so hard?"
"What?! Why did you stick your foot in my door?"
Pocket Protector hopped around on one foot "Ow, ow, ow, ow"
Fanny Pack took over, "We want that book back."
"I don't have it."
"We have ways."
"We have ways."
"Are you trying to threaten me?"
"People aren't returning their materials to the library. You leave us with no choice, we will have to force you to return what you borrowed."
"So you are the library muscle? You're going to intimidate people into returning stuff, huh? Not intimidated. Go away."
"Mr Mann, don't make us get ugly"
"What are you going to do? Say 'Ni' to me?"
"Who told you that?"
"That was really your plan?"
"Not all of it."
Pocket Protector, hobbled over and said, "Ni!"
"No, no, stop. He already knows about that. Let's go to plan B."
"Is that the one with the nun chucks? Because I left mine at home. Mom said I couldn't have them back until I pay for the china hutch."
"No, it's the one where we do the math thing."
"Oh right"
They both scrunched up their faces and started reciting numbers in a cadence normally reserved for magic spells.
"3, point, 1, 4, 1, 5, 9, 2, 6..."
"Are you reciting pi? 'cause that isn't really a math thing. More memorization than anything."
"We're going to recite pi, until your head can't handle the immensity of that mystical number, and your head implodes. Or you can give us the book back?"
"I don't have it, you dorks."
"We aren't dorks, we're nerds. We took a quiz and everything."
"3, point, 1, 4, 1, 5, 9..."
"I'm going to punch you in the pi-hole if you don't get off my porch."
Fanny Pack recoiled and reached into his fanny pack, "Don't touch me, I know how to use this!"
and pulled out a phaser.
"Is that a phaser from Star Trek?"
"A working one!"
"It is not."
"It is. And I got it set on kill."
"I am going set my fists on goo-ify, if you don't get out of here."
I moved out onto the porch to shoo them away and Pocket Protector glanced past me. His face went copy paper white. He started backing down the stairs muttering to Fanny Pack, "Erethay isay a-ay edday irlgay onay ishay ouchcay."
Fanny Pack looked at Pocket Protector in confusion, his phaser limp at his side. "What? I mean ahtway?"
Pocket Protector pointed, screamed "He murdered that girl", and then did his best Steven Seagal impression. Not the fighting one, but the running like a super effeminate track star one.
Fanny Pack, meekly looked around me at the living room couch, blanched, got a little wobbly, decided he could pass out after he had put some distance between us and took off.
     I watched the Library Enforcers bravely run away and then turned to see what had spooked them. Laying on the couch under a sheet that was white in a previous incarnation, was Laura. Partially dried blood covering her face and a good part of the sheet. Wow. She does look dead. I hope she isn't dead. That would really be an awkward Facebook status update. I cautiously walked toward her, making sure Conan was still across the room dining on my Lazyboy. "Laura?"
     Remembering how my last couple of meetings with Laura had gone I picked up a dessicated cushion Conan had yet to ingest and held it in front of my face. No more head trauma, I'm gonna need to think someday.
"Laura? Are you OK? Are you alive? Do you need some CPR?"
I inched forward, wary of things flying towards my face. Bill the Cat chose that exact moment to make his reappearance, rocketing from under the couch Laura was on and rushing headlong into my groinal area. The air left my lungs and I dropped to my knees in pain. Laura's foot found the opening, it had obviously been waiting for and, swept passed the lowered pillow to connect with my ear with a loud Batmanish THWACK. Or that's what I assumed it sounded like. But I wouldn't know, because once again I folded up and took a little break from waking life.