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Yo, Bandit… Could I have your attention for a moment?

By J.J. Solari

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I wouldn’t interrupt if it wasn’t important. We all have lives, I realize that. People just showing up unannounced either at the door or at the computer….who needs it.

What, no one ever heard of overland mail? Where time just doesn’t matter? We have a Post Office for a reason: to slow us all down. To give us time to reflect: with the Post Office mail you hold an actual object in your hand and you say, “Do I really want to open this?” It’s more civil. It’s almost calming. Emails? It’s almost like it’s too easy. Like as though the sender just doesn’t care. Good news! In this case it’s going to be you that doesn’t care.

Here’s the deal: 50 years beyond when I had calculated this event to occur, I have at last been declared a member of the American literati. Do you know what a literati is? Yeah, me neither. But I THINK it’s when you arrive at whatever literature is via the pen. Or via the typewriter. Or via the keyboard. Maybe via the pencil. Or chalk on a board. I dunno. But I know it’s a thing.

I have included a link to the County Highway newspaper announcement of their latest issue in which my particular contribution has made the first page. “Above the fold” mind you!

“Above the fold,” while you might think it’s a pornographic reference to god only knows what, it’s actually newspaper talk that’s supposed to communicate to other journalists or writers and even to the inhabitants of the Los Angeles busses and “trains” that what’s “above the fold” is what is viewed first and foremost by the casual vagrant wandering around the newsstand looking for visual cheesecake. And that what he is seeing above the fold is first-rate reading matter.

If you got lost in those last two sentences composed by me, the new member of the pantheon of literary greats, what’s “above the fold” is basically insider code, which, if you — an outsider — LEARN it, you can consider yourself a temporary visitor to the compound of greatness. Like as if you had been invited briefly into the arena of dancing flames that eternally chars the splattering, crackling flesh and oils of the sacrificed children and babes deep in the heart of the Bohemian Grove.

Getting back to the vagrant staggering about at the newsstand, he will have no interest in what’s above the goddamn fold. He doesn’t care what’s “above the fold,” “underneath the fold,” “beside the fold,“ or “in and around the fold.” He’s interested in, assuming he’s capable of interest, only in what’s “on both sides of the staples.” Yeah. That’s EXACTLY what I am talking about. And believe me I hate to bring crudity into this.

I believe that an inhabitant of the pantheon of literary greats positioned above the fold should manifest dignity above all. First and foremost. Which I believe is a literary expression. But then what the fuck else would you expect to be manifested from someone above the fold and also besides a literary pantheonian ilk. Like myself. Excuse my language. I am only recently a pantheonite residing above the fold and I have not fully shed my skin of crass vulgarity and commoner carnival-trash lowlife, petty, back-alley sub-human desuetudiny. Now, you see?…..last week I didn’t even know that word. Last week I was just a zero.

So anyway, I am above the fold in the pantheon of literary greats--at least at the moment, according to sources. And I wanted to bring this to your attention if you had been musing on or conjecturing about my position, literarily-speaking, with regard to the pantheon: whether, like, you know, whether I was IN it, or around it, or somewhere on the grounds and gardens surrounding it, or outside of it at the gate, with my hands each gripping a vertical bar, my arms pulling my body against the iron rods as if to transcend matter physicality and pull myself through them and thus into the compound grounds of the pantheon proper.

Well it TURNS OUT I don’t have to do that. I am not only on pantheon property I am actually inside the building. And as I walk about the place, looking around, admiring the statuary and sculptures in the likenesses of past inhabitants of this pantheon thingy-place…..I notice that all the still-living people in here are casually, almost as though pretending not to be doing it…..they are gradually and almost surreptitiously heading toward the front entrance….in order to, as it were….. exit.

It’s as though, and this could be merely my imagination, but it’s like as though it seems as if they all, as it were, are manifesting a kind of vibe that I am sort of…..what’s the expression…….oh, yes: fouling the nest. That’s the expression. Fouling the nest. It’s as though I am fouling the nest. It seems rude! But there is actually a plus side to this: I will eventually be the only one in here. Hold on, there’s George Will pretending not to hurry to leave.

“George!! George-O, bro! Yo! Whoa! And I mean that! Hold up a moment, what’s the rush?”

“I need to leave while pretending not to leave.”

“Why’s that, buddy?”

“Because you’re in here fouling the nest. It’s like the intrusion of a cartoon by R. Crumb into Raphael’s painting “The School of Athens.”

“You’re the one with the bow tie, Sparky. If anyone is fouling the nest in here it’s you.”

“You see? That’s exactly what I mean. You don’t even have a college degree.”

“Nope. Flunked out somewhere in Year 2. My IQ started to drop as soon as I walked onto the grounds the first time.”

“That’s exactly what I mean. You belong in here as much as I belong….”

“Above ground?”

“Is that a threat?”

“No. You already look deceased. You generate the life force of Mr. Rogers, on ’shrooms, encased in Carbonite. Or Don Ho singing ‘Tiny Buttholes In The Wine’ while sipping coral-snake venom.”

George left at this point, picking up his pace without disguise.

Why he even involved himself in this email I don’t know. That’s just ONE of his failings, always making it about him. Returning to me, however, and mercifully so, enclosed are bits and portions of the County Highway horn-tooting for its 7th issue.

The parts that are germane to me being, ya know, above the fold and in the pantheon et cetera are the things that should concern you in particular. The reason being because should I ever come over to your place and, ya know, inadvertently defecate on the couch….. cause I AM fucking 80…..keep in mind that I’m also whatever a “great” is. And I’m in a goddamn pantheon. Whatever THAT is. So just get a new couch and quit whining about it. Jesus.

Pantheonically yours,

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