Florida ...

A Month or So Between the Snows of Switzerland
and the Steam of Bangkok

Part IV (Between Part III and Part V)

February 26-28, 2001

Monday, February 26, 2001

Things are worse in Britain than I thought! It's the beef thing.

According to the Disease Control Center in Atlanta, American blood donation machines are now forbidden to take blood from anyone who has dined anywhere in the UK anytime during the past five or six years.1 Most of us already know this. But, according to Andy Page, this terrible 'Mad Cow' epidemic (combined with a fresh outbreak of 'hoof and mouth' disease) is returning Britain to the middle ages. Once green pastures, that in far gentler times were all a'graze with bovine munching and the happy humming of pink-cheeked milk maidens, have now become the 'burning fields' of an unprecedented horror. Guernseys ... Holsteins ... Jerseys ... every little cud chewer in sight ... yes, all of them are going up in flames. As Andy summed it up:

"We may have no meat left, for a plague of the dreaded Foot and Mouth Disease has struck. Livestock are lighting up the agricultural night-sky as I write."

Moving on to meat of another sort:

Though there has been no follow-up from Doctor Sam on this chopped-off head thing that we've been talking about for the past few days, my friend Andy Page has pulled a little English history into the discussion:

The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots is a case in point. [8/2/1587, Fotheringay Castle]:

The first blow cut deep into the back of her head. She was heard to cry softly "sweet Jesus" before the second blow severed all but a hanging tendon; so the executioner had to use his ax like a hacksaw. Witnesses then said her lips continued to move for several minutes as if in silent prayer!

So, it happens even in the best of families!

Decapitated Champagne

Moving on to decapitations of another kind:

Half a dozen years ago ... back when my good friend, Jon Titley, was still fielding a pretty formidable elephant polo team at Tiger Tops ... [Paul, we do have pictures of this, somewhere! Including a priceless shot of Jon defending his goal with a bottle, lying down] ... anyway, Jon pulled off a marvelous bottle decapitation. We'd all been drinking pretty heavily. Champagne was our beverage of choice ... Jon was carrying one of his Gurkha knives, as he usually did when drunk or sober ... it was late ... empties were lying on the floor ... a couple bottles were still on ice ... but, one of the corks on one of the last of Madame Bollinger's finest was being stiff ... Jon would have none of it ... one whack with his knife and the whole fucking cork, with its intact glass collar, went flying into my lap. I still have it.

1 This, of course, will have no impact on the DC's bloodmobile topping-up-schedule when it parks near the Oval Office. Our new American president ... George W ... is a man who has NEVER been to Europe in his whole life! How this son of an American ex-President managed to become our country's 'First Tenant' without ever having crossed the Atlantic is a tale so bewildering that it makes Florida's 2000 vote count look pretty normal. Even our Arkansas born Clinton managed to pass part of his youth in England (NB, as one of the very few Rhodes scholars at Oxford to walk away with an 'incomplete' in his studies).

Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Yesterday the front page of CORKSCREW-BALLOON.COM carried an unusual request for YOUR help. No, no, no ... this is not just another feeble 'side-of-a-milk-carton', half-ass plea for some long-ago swiped kid! No! The C-B dot com team here at corporate Bangkok/Bremerton thinks it has 'found' the perfect model1 for CB4. Now, we just have to 'find' her. And, that "we" includes you!

Go back and 'clip' that page. Carry it with you ... everywhere you go ... look at every face. Yes, look at them all: the girl at the Seven-11 ... the one checking herself in the shop-window reflection ... the pretty smile at the boarding gate ... the eyes looking past you ... that someone at the back of the elevator ...

She is somewhere.

1 Like with the hinges on the gate at Vicky's crypt, it's never a waste of oil to keep all the doors lubricated ... just in case. Hey, little Miss Chowmein may just love her current job ... "And, dangling over the mountains under a pumped-up sheep's bladder? Thank you ... but, no thanks!"

Do you know any of these people?

Wednesday, February 28, 2001

We ended yesterday with a long list of people's names. At first glance they appear to have little in common. Surnames ranging from "A" to "Y" ... most with a respectable sounding middle name (or, at least, a middle initial) ... a thankful absence of 'thuggish' sounding nicknames1 ... and, but one 'aka'2 in the whole lot. The list could easily be the roster of the new members at the Blowing Rock Golf and Shooting Club. Yes, their gender is overwhelmingly male ... but, standing alone, that's not the reason why they are all raising their glasses to Bill.

No, right up until the time the men from Beacon were popping out the carpet tacks in the Oval Office, all 139 on this list faced a future laced with doubt: the minor 'players' were wondering about the condition of the tennis courts over at the Danbury Minimum Detention Center; others had worked their rectal sphincters clam-tight shut: just thinking about being the nightly butt-fuck of a 250 pound 'lifer' was ... well ... just awful beyond words.

And, then came Bill.3

On Monday the worldwide search for Miss CB4 began. With only a photograph and a many-months-old sighting in Taipei to work with ... well, we need all the help we can get. But, thank God, many of you have poured yourselves into this project. This, just in from my good friend Don Bull:

I looked all around Wirtz today but am sorry to say I did not find her.

Tomorrow we are going to Charlotte, North Carolina for three days. We'll check out all the shopping centers, fine dining establishments, and banks.

All throughout the night, acres of powerful Sun Servers searched the world for anyone who might be using the Internet to find our little Miss Chopsticks. Using complicated algorithms and advanced Boolean logic solidifiers, the machines finally spat out:

Transfers by Client Top-Level Domain 

   Requests %Reqs     Bytes Sent %Byte   Top-Level Domain
----------- ----- -------------- ----- | -------------------------
         31   0.3        155.873   0.3 | TW    Taiwan

YES! Thirty-one times a request came from Taiwan. Our girl's home!

Their mighty engines cranking overtime, these New York City born and bred Sun Servers narrowed it to two:

Transfers by Client Subdomain 

   Requests %Reqs     Bytes Sent %Byte   Reversed Subdomain
----------- ----- -------------- ----- | -------------------------
         13   0.1         65,347   0.1 | tw.com.tex.ftp 
         18   0.2         90,526   0.1 | tw.net.ethome.n202-178-245-0-24.n163         

1 Of course, the sponsors of this year's 'honors' list would have probably nudged their neediest clients far away from that almost childish way these clients normally go about customizing their little job descriptions. Undoubtedly helpful in some business efforts, these cute 'handles' rarely ring well in the ear of the man with the pardon pen ... ["Big Joey", "Fats", "Baby Cruncher", "The Squeezer"] ... Yes, Mr. Joseph Santarelli's executive pardon interests might be better served without any colorful amplification of his employment duties.

2 "BURLESON, DELORES CORYLENE, aka DELORES COX BURLESON" This aka appears quite benign ... perhaps Delores was just unhappy with 'Corylene' as a given name. This is understandable. My own granddaughter, Ellie ... should she ever want a presidential pardon ... will face similar raised eyebrows. Her own mother, Patty, had the poor kid's birth certificate amended twice. Yes, right on the face of Ellie's birth certificate is a great big rubber-stamped, "AMENDED". Just plain, "AMENDED" ... nothing else ... no hint that Mom was just wandering around Dell's "A to Z of Girl's Names" ... and that all those little pain pills were just making her undecided.

3 Changing pens, Bill went on to sign several dozen "Commutations". Apparently, these are people who have had enough tennis lessons, or are 'worn out' for one reason or another:

Next: Part V

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