Dude and Dude: Backstage




“An’ ya wan’ me ta do ‘zactly what ‘bout it?”

I dunno! Somethin’!

“Thought ya wanted ta be in show biz, dude!”

“Sittin’ here backstage doin’ nothin’ ain’t cutting’ it, dude! Ya can’t play games, ya can’t run no tech, hell ya can’t run, ya can’t even talk wit’out some chick shushin’ ya ‘r somethin’!”

“Yeah. Tell that ta tha featured soloist in tha next dressin’ room, dude! He’s sittin’ here jus’ like we are!”

“Yeah? So what’s OC’s excuse? Tha only place he’s a soloist is in tha bathroom!

“Classical gas?”

Yeah! But in this band he’s, like, a bit player!

“Zactly. Tha soloist an’ tha bit player who ain’t playin’ but in a couple a tha things on tha program, they both gotta sit an’ wait, an’ not bug nobody while they’re waitin’.”

“That’s sick, dude.”

“That’s art, dude. Ya do what ya can an’ then wait while others do what they can. OC’s told everbody what’ll listen that, as a trumpet player, he makes a great marine biologist. He gets a chance ta play, wunnerful. An’ when he ain’t playin’, he’s waitin’ an’ not makin’ no fuss that might make it harder for them what are playin’. An’ ya want stress? Try memorizin’ a pile a music an’ then doin’ it absolutely perfect ‘front a a buncha peeps who’re just waitin’ fer ya ta slip up an’ then dump on ya. You what can’t memorize tha passcode fer yer phone!

“Can so!

“Yeah right. Show me.”

“Hah. Like this! No, wait, this … Third time’s tha … Du-UUUUUDE!! I’m locked out! Now what’m I saposed ta do?!?”

“Sit an’ wait?


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When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful
A miracle, it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees, they’d be singing so happily
Joyfully, playfully watching me

He and She

He: “It is a pretty bird. Kinda.”

She: “Yeah. Pretty mean.”

He: “What do you mean by that?”

She: “I’d tell you, but you’re not exactly an average guy.”

He: “Tell me anyway, I’ll see if I can make it add up.”

She: “Be a downer if you couldn’t. You see any other birds at that feeder?”

He: “Now that you mention it, no. Was this one sneaking a between-meals snack?”

She: “Yeah. Along with half of the rest of the birds on the island. Or, they would be if this one hadn’t driven them all off!

He: “Oh. It’s a minor bird.”

She: “Uh huh. It lands on the feeder and declares ‘Mine!‘ Any other birds come close, it chases them away. And it squeaks at them!”

He: “Squeaks?”

She: “Yeah. Look. There it goes now. Two of them, in fact, squabbling. Hear that?”

He:That, love, is a twitter.”

She: “A twitter?

He: “Yep.”

She: “So you’re telling me …”

He: “… that birds only make that ‘happy little birdie noise’ when they’re claiming space, threatening each other, or are actually fighting.”

She: “You mean, like, on the computer?

He: “Kinda. Especially the ‘claiming space’ part. What else are 140 characters good for?”

She: “You aren’t going to tweet that, are you?”

He: “Do I look like the President of the United States?!?”

She: “And so, if the birds are singing in the trees and watching you, that’s not a happy dance?”

He: “More like a war dance. They’re working out how big a threat you are, and how soon they’re going to have to swoop down and try to kill you.”

          *                    *                    *

But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible
Logical, responsible, practical
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable
Clinical, intellectual, cynical

Kris an’ Murphy

Murphy: “So how did Faith’s ‘study habits’ session go?”

Kris: “Worse every year, Murphy. You’d think that, with the money these people are burning to get our ridiculous pieces of faux parchment, at least some of the undergrads would be willing to wrap their brains around the skills and disciplines they need to actually get some use out of their time here. I’m surprised some of these kids are potty trained!

Murphy: “I understand your frustration, Kris. Do I ever! But, potty training is a given. Your incontinence is not something you’d want splashed all over Instagram. It’d keep you out of the frats and social clubs.”

Kris: “So they do know how to study!”

Murphy: “Some things.”

Kris: “Yeah. The things that will determine whether your university experience actually amounts to something.”

Murphy: “Like their social networks will. Like our grades and degrees will not. Precisely.”

Kris: “Gah. Geez, kids, I’m really sorry that life’s not, like, just a bunch of birdies singing in the trees! Sometimes, you’ve got to think outside the app!”

Murphy: “You’ve forgotten, Kris, how many of us, when we were that age, wanted nothing more, after graduation, than to cut the soles off our shoes, climb trees, and learn to play the flute?

Kris: “And just where is your flute, Murphy?”

Murphy: “[…] Point taken.”

          *                    *                    *

Watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical
A liberal, fanatical, a criminal
Won’t you sign up your name, we’d like to feel you’re acceptable
Respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

Reg and Syd

Syd: “Hmph. I don’t want any vegetables working in my companies.”

Reg: “What’s that, Syd?”

Syd: “Oh, hello, Reg, I didn’t hear you come in. The bar is open, of course. What can Mandy get for you?”

Reg: “Gin and tonic, and less on the top, thank you. I complement you, Syd, on the, [ahem] shapeliness of your staff. Anything under the hood?”

Syd: “Well, after a couple of years, when she’s lost some of her, ah, freshness, she can go finish her Ph.D. in molecular biology.”

Reg: “On the strength of what you’re paying her? That’s profoundly, and may I say, unnecessarily generous.”

Syd: “Perhaps. But given the social prospects, never mind the career prospects, of Ph.D.s these days, I reckon she will need all the help she can get. And, ah, she does earn it.”

Reg: “So what’s this about vegetables?

Syd: “Oh, nothing. Just ruminating about the put-downs you hear from the unworthy about anyone who actually performs at the speed of business. They’ve been happening for decades, of course …”

Reg: “Most probably were leveled at the first person who dug a stone out of the ground and tried to do anything with it.”

Syd: “Indeed. I’m just glad that my companies are staffed with the respectable and presentable, and none seem to be infected with this [phtah!] progressive nonsense.”

Reg: “I hope you haven’t jeopardized your shareholder values by buying this kind of staff.”

Syd: “Of course not! Mandy, here, is a special case. The employees know where their bread is buttered, and by how much, and strive to make sure it stays that way. And as we make our background and job performance checks more stringent …”

Reg: “And more comprehensive …”

Syd: “We ensure that our workforce serves our companies well while on the job, and represents it perfectly off the job. At the levels of compensation that make good business sense.”

Reg: “That’s my boy, Sydney! I have to wonder about the persistence of this progressive business, given that it’s clearly uneconomic, for them, never mind for us.”

Syd: “It appears to be, as often as not, a question of personal identity.”

Reg: “But we give them that! And if we don’t, they do it themselves! If we don’t deck them out in our own logo gear, they find someone else’s to deck themselves out in! And pay for the privilege! I do not understand this. If they wish to represent Coca-Cola, they should go to work for Coca-Cola!”

Syd: “Ah. But maybe Coca-Cola doesn’t want them to be working for the company. Maybe those people don’t make the grade!

Reg: “Which means those people have no true grasp of their own merits, or lack thereof. Is that our problem, or theirs?

Syd: “Hm. Your glass is empty. Looks to me like your problem is the need of another drink.”

Reg: “Or another Mandy.”

          *                    *                    *

But at night, when all the world’s asleep
The questions run so deep
For such a simple man
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
Please tell me who I am

Dude and Dude



Look at me.”

“Will I live?


“So you’re pullin’ a power play on me?”

” … whut?”

“I/O, I/O, ya pull tha plug I go …”

“I asked ya ta look at me. Not sing at me. If’n ya call that singin’. Ew.”

“So I’m lookin’ at ya. An’ I ain’t turned ta stone. I think. Now what?”

“It’s like I thought, dude.”


“Ya ain’t Pete Townshend, dude.”


“Ya asked me who ya wuz, dude! Close’s I c’n come is ta tell ya who ya ain’t! An’ ya ain’ tha guy what tha book Who I Am is ’bout!”

“Aw c’mon, dude, ya know better ‘n that! I’m a dude! Same as you!





“Du …”

Enuff wit’ tha ‘Dudes’ a’ready!!”

“Know what I reckon, dude?”

“No. What?”

“Ya got homies, an’ ya like what yer doin’ wit’ yer homies, ya know who ya is. Ya don’ got homies, ‘r ya do but ya don’ like what’s goin’ down wit’ ’em, ya got questions, yeah?”

“OK, but …”

What but?”

“Don’t even, dude. So what if ya know who ya is, an’ who ya is sucks?

“Sez who?”

Zactly!! Peeps ain’t wanderin’ ’round these days wonderin’ who they is, they’re chargin’ ’round tellin’ ya who they is, an’ if’n ya say Boo ’bout it, ya gotta fight on yer hands.”

“An’ if who they is an’ what they stand fer is wrong?

Who’s gonna tell ’em an’ make it stick? Ya got a whole country tryin’ ta tell that ta tha President, an’ tha only thing it’s done is ta make him an’ his homies worse! Who’s gonna even try now?”

“Tha best lack all conviction, while tha worst ‘r full a passionate intensity.”

“Ya didn’ think that one up all by yerself, dude.”

“Nah. But it fits, yeah?”

“Word. But ya know, dude, it’s actually kinda too bad I ain’t Pete Townshend.”


“Wit’ his bread, we c’ld tell OC ta take his ‘command-X’ an’ stick it where tha sun don’ shine.”



Posted in Dude and Dude, He and She, Kris an' Murphy, Reg and Syd, satire | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Incoming …!

He and She

She: “The bathroom? Seriously?

He: “It’s what we got while we try to figure out whether ‘this is not a drill’ means what it says. ‘Stupidity’ has not yet been ruled out as an explanation for this, but I’d rather not be doing the deer-in-the-headlights thing if it’s for real. ”

She: “But the bathroom?!? it’s not exactly a concrete bunker.”

He: “As if there were any in the neighborhood that we could get to in time. I look at it this way. We live in a wood house, perched on stilts on a hillside, and surrounded by floor-to-8′ plate glass doors and windows. If an A-bomb lands in Honolulu, we won’t notice. If one lands in Kona, we won’t notice either. Not for long, anyway. If a bomb lands somewhere in between, the shock wave probably takes out the windows. The bathroom is about the only place in the house where we won’t get sliced to ribbons by flying glass. It’s a little thing, but it’s something.”

She: “OK … but shouldn’t we be getting, like, water and canned food and blankets in here?”

He: “Nah. If all we have to deal with is broken glass, there’ll be time to fetch that stuff afterwards. If we get a bigger hit than that, we might as well leave it for the foragers.”

She: “All right, I guess. I suppose there’s one good thing about being in here.”

He: “Hm?”

She: “If something scary really does happen, we’ll have someplace to go.”

He:One of us will, anyway.”

          *                    *                    *

TSA Jack

Shit, Jack!”

“So that was you?

“No, brah. Not quite.”

“Good. I thought we trained you better than that.”

“How could you have told it was me anyway? With all of those people in security, and the check-in lines, and baggage claim, and everywhere else screaming and crying and freaking out? I’m surprised the gates don’t all smell like sewers! And what do you tell people, when all the experts say ‘Go indoors’ in case of a bomb attack and we’ve got a terminal that ain’t got no indoors?!

“Except the bathrooms.”

“Ugh. Don’t remind me. That scene was ug-lee!

“Good thing we’re Feds, and got the straight dope out to people faster than the idiots who sent out the false alarm could get their ‘sorry, our bad’ out. Or it would have been much worse.”

“Got that right. But what if it had been real?

“I’ll tell you this much, Nohea. Events like this will get that ‘no indoors’ stuff fixed, like, right now. And get those security lines beefed up so they’re much closer to our codes, far more secure for our operations. And with not a peep from the cattle. We’ll keep ’em safe, and us too. Hm. Maybe the Hawai‘i Department of Emergency Management peeps aren’t such idiots after all. Maybe I should send the operatives who pulled this off a small token of our appreciation.”

“Let them in on the swag, you mean?”

You said that, Nohea. Not me.”

“Uh huh. Sounds to me like perfectly good Hawai‘i aloha, looking after the ‘ohana. E komo mai, Jack.”

          *                    *                    *

Reg and Syd

“Well, Sydney, that was the best bellylaugh I’ve had in a year full of good cheer!

“What, Reg? The ballistic missile false alarm business in Hawai‘i? I did find it amusing, in a sick sort of way.”

Amusing? My dear Syd, it’s perfectly hilarious! And the timing couldn’t be more perfect! For this to happen in the bluest of blue states, with its Congressional representatives constantly attempting to gain brownie points for themselves by assailing our President with charges of cronyism, corruption, and incompetence. Our President, obviously the people’s choice, just look at how the markets are doing, and the employment numbers and the consumer confidence statistics! And this one Representative thinks she can accumulate enough freak points to challenge him. Bah! Look after your own, woman!”

“Pot insulting the kettle, Reg?”

Precisely! In the finest tradition of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party in Hawai‘i protects its own, including the massive government bureaucracy that is dependent on it, from all efforts to clean it up and make it actually serve the people who vote for it. ‘Ohana my ass. Al Capone could have taken lessons in running a crime family from them.

“They can’t run a public education system, they can’t even keep their records straight within that system. They get away with it. They can’t build a rail system in Honolulu, they get to keep pouring money into it so they can keep their idle friends onside. On the island of Hawai‘i, they’ve got a Board of Water Supply that can’t supply water, and they tell anyone who dares inquire about the state of their repairs, or lack thereof, to bug off. They get away with it. What has our Donald done that’s any worse?

Now, it’s obvious that they have a Department of Emergency Management that can’t even manage a daily shift change without causing mass panic. But this time, the whole country – hell, the whole world! – gets to hear about it! We couldn’t have been handed a better opportunity to demonstrate to the people of Hawai‘i how stupid they are, and how badly their swamp needs to be cleared. How badly they need to validate with their votes what they’ve already conclusively demonstrated with their purchases, where their true interests lie. With us who actually deliver services, not with corrupt Democrats who don’t.”

“I hear you, Reg. And all those non-white-skinned folk in the Hawaiian Islands who say that we don’t represent them?”

“Don’t be unworthy, Syd. Those persons can say what they want, but so long as they are buying our stuff, they lie, to themselves as much as to others. Besides, the Hawaiian royals were always on our side, they needed our businesses and the money they generated to perpetuate their lifestyles. The rest will come along.”

          *                    *                    *

Screwtape III


“Yes, Master Screwtape?”

“Do we have a Tammany Hall?!?”

“Y-yes, sir, of course, have had it for decades, topside time. A direct copy of the original in the Northeast Corridor subregion of H.E.L.L. LLLC. W-we needed it to house the machine politicians in Seattle and Portland, among other places in our region. Surely you remember this, sir?”

Don’t call me Shirley!”


“Well, be sure it’s down to par. We’re going to need it for when the Democratic politicians in Hawai‘i honor their contracts with us. Which I expect to happen any moment now!

“Everything should be in readiness, sir, the construction demons have anticipated your demands. Each cell in the hall is slated to contain a shade of the corrupt Democratic bureaucracy, one of the Republican/Trumpist business crony racists, and one of the citizenry whose willful ignorance and sloth enabled both of the other two. They can compare notes for all eternity.”

“That’s bad, Wormsap.”

“Curse you, sir.”

          *                    *                    *

Dude and Dude

“So this is yer fault.”

WhaAAAAaat?!? Do I look like I work fer tha Hawai‘i Civil Defense?”

“Ya can’t even be civil wit’ me, dude. I been tellin’ ya ta stop obsessin’ over them Fallout games, yeah? ‘R they’ll stick ta ya. ‘R ta me. An’ whaddaya do? Ya keep playin’ ’em. Now it looks like they’re stickin’ ta tha whole goddam state!

“Yeah right, dude. But, ya know what?”


“R’member how, like, durin’ tha last Presidential ‘lection, how all these chicks on Facebook were screamin’, like, no way no how were they goin’ back ta tha Fifties?”

“Yeah, I dig.”

“An’ ya heard how, like last month, tha Civil Defense peeps started in on tha air raid siren thingy?”


“What decade ‘r we in again?”


Posted in current events, Dude and Dude, He and She, Reg and Syd, satire, Screwtape III, TSA Jack, We the People | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment