Archive for January, 2010

For David Feinstein

©Gopita Katharine Manning   2010 

I recently died and decided to come back to my physical body.  While in ethereal form, I was lucky enough to be shown around the various realms of Heaven by my spirit guide.

Imagine my surprise when I saw an area marked :  TRUTH FOR TERRORISTS.  It was a hideous smelling and foul looking area…dark grey and swampy, with a mossy gate and a belching, roaring, hissing Entryway.

“What on earth – I mean, what in Heaven”?  I corrected myself to my guide. 

“This, my dear, is the truth for those errant few who decide to blow themselves up in the name of God.  You know the 72 Virgins these mistaken ones think God promised them?  Well, they are in for a bit of a shock, as what awaits them is quite different from what they are expecting.  Instead of a luscious level of nubile wonder, these men are going to a realm to be greeted by – not 72 vestal virgins, but –  72 dried up vaginas72 very old twats!  with a “ leader vagina” of the pack called Commando Twat.  She is something, I want to tell you!”

“There is” –  gulp –  “a leader, a Twat Leader?”  I stammered.

“Yep, there is a leader” responded my sweet guide.

No sooner had I digested this piece of information given freely and unbidden did I begin smelling something foul and fishy and unhappily recognizable. 

“You aren’t taking me there!!?” I protested, but it was too late.  Through the nasty Entryway we slid, through the mossy and fishy smelling interior, to a gateway so grotesque and hideous it defies description.

But here we were, and there they were:  teeth – pointed fangs.  Teeth so grotesque and dirty as to be undecipherable as to whether animal or human in origin.  Teeth so very nasty one tried in vain to shut ones’ eyes and only wish one could also close out the smell, sadly etched into the tender tissue and cilia of the mucous membranes forever.  I gagged.  I began to retch.  And these teeth belonged to the leader.  Behind the teeth resided 72 hideous vaginas, all outdoing the next in ugliness and stench.

My guide laughed until he choked.

“You have to understand the irony here ,”(the irony???!) he giggled.  “These young men, all erect and desirous, having performed their mission for Allah, and ready for the penultimate Heavenly Hump, get to come upon a twat with teeth!  A true Freudian nightmare!!! 

“And like a birthday spanking machine, there is not just the first one – ‘the one with teeth’ – but an entire assembly line of old, smelly, dried up vaginas to hump, and hump well, or the miserable bastard must start the journey over, from the beginning…

“And this is their eternity, their hell, their heavenly hell…..the poor, poor slobs….and thus this manual is written.  To help these sorry few navigate the swampy waters of the underworld, their paradise turned to hell; everything they dreamed of gone, in the tiny mad moment these lost souls made the terrible decision to blow up their own underpants.”

My guide taught me a great deal that night.  Returning to the physical, earthly plane, seeing what I had seen, hearing what I had heard, smelling what I had smelled, I was changed forever.  There was no great lesson I had learned, no moral to the story, no profound dharma to impart to those left behind.  But to some I felt would soon traverse the thin veil to the other worlds in which I had freely traveled, I felt it essential to impart the following words of wisdom:  wearing underwear is trickier than you think.  Always wear underpants with caution and prudence, and always with the utmost moral integrity


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VI:  Helen Has a Hissy Fit


As mother’s go, Helen was okay in terms of the panicky stuff, but in this case she really didn’t have to go that crazy.  I know seeing a horse in your dining room can send one into a tizzy, but she shrieked and fussed and hissed so much, that Prince began to rear, his eyes rolled back in that way that horses have when they fear God Himself, and he reared back and actually chipped a side of one of the Chippendale dining chairs.  I don’t think that got her.  She seemed to know more than I did about the ease with which to get an ornery horse up some brick stairs and through the double screen doors and on into the dining room, and what I believe she was yakking about was how god-awful hard it was going to be to get the suddenly donkey-like beast to budge to walk back down the stairs.  That seemed to be the jump she was making suddenly when she saw my prized white horse in her huge dining room, with the ancestral mahogany table magnificently displayed in the center of the hall-like room – a room with a ping-pong table at one end.  This is where we picked crabs.


Prince would not budge.  He would not go down the stairs.  I had visions of mucking the dining room every day like his stall, as he bedded by the ping-pong table and we fed him his oats and hay while we were properly served à la table, my friends poking fun at me because I couldn’t go riding anymore except in the dining room.  I had visions that Prince might be offended as I was by the horrid smell of crab shells left on the floor after a good round of picking.


Then Dad came home.  That is when Helen had her for real hissy fit.  As if she hadn’t gone crazy enough, she yelled out to the driveway from the upstairs window in that voice that signaled real trouble:  “Dick, come up heah.  You won’t believe what Kathy has gone and done.  If Ah’ve told those girls once, Ah’ve told ‘em twice to leave those dayum horses where they belong….”  She actually said that.  As if this had happened before, or could be in the hopper as a plan.  I mean, in South Carolina in the fifties, didn’t everyone’s horse end up somewhere in the house?


The rest of the event is a blank, but I believe, Dick, the other half of the Original Dynamic Duo, somehow coaxed my horse down the stairs and back to the stables, and I probably was minorly excoriated for this infraction, because it was weird enough as to not be that bad, and we were Southern after all, and at least the dogs hadn’t got the ham off the table and gone off with the silver monogrammed fork and knife again. 


This was only a horse in the dining room, and Helen had only a minor hissy fit, as hissy fits go.  Nothing like the day after we peed down the furnace grates on the heads of the guests at Helen and Dick’s cocktail party.  That warranted one hell of a fit.  Helen almost got the vapors and I believe she may have fainted.  My best memory is of one ridiculously over-dressed guest, a soused woman in a brocade gown, standing innocently in the living room on the first floor of our old plantation house.  She seemed genuinely bewildered by the wonders of the heavens opening inside the house that evening:  “well ah nevah in all mah bow-un days!  Can you believe this?  How can it be rainin’ for God’s sake, and ya’ll aren’t getting’ wet ovuh theah?”  She stood like a stupid drunken mule as we urinated on her head and martini glass. I have never wanted a bigger bladder in all my life, and the fact that the kidneys and bladder in both Rennie and me were limited organs was a damned depressing fact that night.  Oh, yes, peeing on Mom’s guests through the furnace grate was up there.  It was up there with feeding shit to Mister. 


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The Boots Blog:  8:00 p.m. Monday:  Houston, We Have a Rollover!

December 24, 2009


I began my lonely garage vigil at 7:00 p.m., having heard nary a stir from the garage from the flying feline today.

As I began the usual medley of Jaques Brel songs he loved, guaranteed to bring him running from any hidey-hole de jour, I became slightly panicky when even “Timid Frieda” failed to work its charm.  So I launched into Barbra Streisand and a rollicking rendition of “Funny Girl”.  With the inimitable way I have with “So, waddya gonna do, shoot the shwans, dese lovelies?” I glimpsed one oozy eye followed by a huge ear  growth and a fat black cat waddling out of the darkness, listing slightly to the left.

My heart leapt with joy, but I dared not stop my singing.  I jumped to “Look at that face, that wonderful face!  It shines, it glows, all over the place!” until I realized that Boots was glowering at me for what he righteously considered my hidden sarcasm.

At any rate, he brought his matted, drooling, Quasimoto self to my chair.  I slowly began our nightly ritual of brushing, and he preened and allowed my grooming.  He was getting better!  Boots, never one for hygiene, had the worst buttodah of his adult life (read “butt odor”), and I attempted discretion when I held my breath and avoided his rear area with the brush and God Knows with my hands.

When I finished with his back, he – ROLLED OVER!!!!  If you know Boots, he is like a dog, and will roll over and let you pat his belly.  So, he not only rolled over, I was allowed to brush his belly.  Eventually his nose ran like a faucet with purring pleasure and his good eye gooped gratitude and I whooped and sang and brushed and figure – 8ed my smelly boy with glee and gratitude.  My Boots is better!!!!!  He has decided to re-join the Feline race!!!

As I finished our little nightly ritual, I turned off the lights and held him in my arms.  In the middle of the garage, I sang O Holy Night with all my heart, my fat ugly cat in my arms, happier than I have been in a long, long time.

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 December 19, 2009

I rushed Boots, my 11 year old cat, to the emergency vet on Saturday because he was hiding under the bushes all night, in apparent pain, his eyes wild and crazy.  His left ear was swollen out like a golf ball.  It was soft and felt like a bat’s belly.  I have never felt a bat’s belly, but I absolutely know a bat’s belly would have felt like Boot’s left ear if I could feel a bat’s belly.

The vet told me Boots had a hematoma and recommended surgery.  She aspirated the swelling and found blood, a good thing, she said, because this meant that it was a hematoma.  In my upset (I had to get to my hair appointment), I neglected to ask if this ruled out any underlying condition, like tumors or abscesses.  And I ruled out the surgery, because it cost as much as six hair appointments  And it was mostly cosmetic anyway, and well, those of you who know Boots, I mean, well, really….Cosmetic surgery on a guy who looks like that?


We arrived back from the vet, Boots all drooly and goopy eyed, and I let him out in the garage.  When I came back from my hair appointment to give him his pill, he was nowhere to be found.  Nor was he found yesterday (Sunday).  When I finally caught a glimpse of him in the garage, he was bedraggled, unkempt, and he was howling.  He had not eaten for two days, nor had he had water.  He was clearly dying.

My denial and grief took me immediately to childish turnarounds:

  1. His incredible fatness would keep him alive for weeks
  2. It was ‘okay’ that I had overfed my cat.  After all, bringing up three tempestuous girls (Chrissy, Julie, and Lisa) and their incipient eating disorders , coupled with my subsequent Jewish mother tendencies and subsequent frustration over not being able to make them eat, was being gratuitously acted out on my animals.  The fact that Boots had gained over half his body weight in the last two years (from 6 pounds to 13.4 pounds) because of my tendency – nay – downright need –  to overfeed the fellow, was absolutely justified because of my past.  I was a victim of teenage refusal disorder (“TRD”)
  3. If a coyote, God forbid, got the feline, I wanted him to be sated so as not to come back for the other animals.


I was inconsolable.  The stupid vet.  She clearly missed the underlying condition.  It was a tumor so hideous I would eventually see my cat look like the Elephant Man.  Or should I say the Elephant Cat?

So, imagine my surprise last night, when in the middle of my hopelessness and grief, as I sat in my encampment in the middle of the garage, the LA Times at my feet, the phone handy, my journal in my hand, wanting to console the Elephant Cat in the last moments, the air was suddenly stirred and the lights actually dimmed by a huge shape – a flying squirrel ??? – and a clatter bang boom! – from the rafters and debris falling all about my feet as I looked up with a blood curdling scream!  BOOTS?!  How could this be?  My cat had reincarnated as a flying squirrel?

No!  It was the cat, Boots!  His ear looked even worse.  Folded in half, propped up by the swollen golf ball, all furry, the translucent bat belly.  His eye was dripping, his nose running, his hair matted.  His eyes were psychotic.  I backed away as the apparition approached.  What demon had possessed the once tranquil cat?

The thing approached the plate of food on the garage floor and slurped up some Fancy Feast on the good side of its mouth. It was eating.  This had to be Boots!  My belly relaxed somewhat!

This morning, I went out into the garage and boxes and old clothing and dust has fallen from the rafters.  He was alive!!!!  More food had been semi-scarfed and slurped!

Boots is alive, not well, his ear is hideous, his eye is goopy, but he managed to eat more food, and I even got a pill down his throat!  Furthermore, I managed to read about cat hematomas, which are not as uncommon as all that, and he will end up with a cauliflower ear, but will probably make it.  I could have done my reading on Saturday, but it was more essential to have my hair done and complain.

Anyway, the important thing is:

My Fat Lump, My Matted Cat, My Cat Who Soars His Heft Through the Air is alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We all have our Christmas miracles, and I wanted you to know about mine.

Love, Boots Mama, and the One Who Longs for the Bat Belly




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