My Psychedelic Graffiti Theory

Yeah, mon. It’s ORGANIC!

It really is a good idea to check drug interactions, even if the product you’re about to take is over-the-counter. I learned that the hard way a while back. It was suggested by my doctor that I take Mucinex because I was coughing and practically drowning in my own mucus. (TMI?)

Anyway, it definitely dried me out, but it also made me even more loopy than usual. I felt like I was floating two feet off the ground. If I turned my head, there was this lag in the rest of the world. I was dizzy, and I couldn’t think straight. I’m pretty sure everyone around me thought I was being melodramatic, but, seriously, I couldn’t function in polite society. (Or even in impolite society.)

Finally, I had the presence of mind to look up drug interactions, between giggles, and I discovered that one of the main ingredients in Mucinex is dextromethorphan, and one of my prescription drugs urges you not to take it with dextromethorphan. About a day after I stopped taking Mucinex, I became balanced and coherent again. Mind you, my thoughts were a lot less creative, but at least I was functional, in my own special dysfunctional way.

The cough lingered for another 6 months, but I was capable of operating heavy equipment again. You don’t realize what a handy skill that is until you’ve lost it. You’ll have to trust me on that.

During what I’m now calling my lost week, I wrote a lot of interesting notes in my “Blog Ideas” list. Some of them I couldn’t figure out after returning to the land of the lucid. But there is one that makes me smile to this day.

I wrote, “Graffiti. It’s ORGANIC!”

Dude.

I remember thinking, “Has anyone ever actually seen someone tagging a building or an overpass? I certainly haven’t. And I’ve been places, and stuff. And I’m kinda old.”

Graffiti seems to appear overnight, fully formed, like mushrooms. Like freakin’ mushrooms, man! So maybe (and bear with me on this), just maybe they grow on their own. Really. Think about it.

Most of the time the words written are illegible and make no sense. That would add up if they weren’t created by a human being. Maybe it’s an entity of its own, and it is trying to communicate with us, but it’s not sophisticated enough.

Maybe graffiti are fungi. Yeah. They grow overnight in various shapes and colors. They don’t move on their own. The plot thickens.

According to this article, the cost of graffiti removal in America alone is about 12 billion dollars annually. (That’s billion with a b.) Maybe we’re going about this all wrong.

If graffiti is a fungus, and according to this article, lots of fungi help us produce helpful medicines (for example, we would not have penicillin were it not for a fungus called Penicillium), then we could be overlooking a valuable resource, here! That abandoned alleyway in the warehouse district might be covered from top to bottom with medical breakthroughs! Yeah! Graffiti might be the cure-all that some believe marijuana to be. (Another substance I should avoid while seeking out blog fodder.)

The bottom line is that graffiti could save the world someday. Remember: You heard it here first.

No more dextromethorphan for me.

What more proof do you need? 🙂

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The Confederate Monument Thing Again

We should learn from dark history, but not deify it.

On this day, when we traditionally celebrate American independence, I’m a little surprised that I’m having to revisit a post that I wrote in 2017 entitled, “Historical Statues: One Solution“. But yes, indeed, the controversy over whether or not to remove confederate statues has reared its ugly head yet again.

That 2017 blog post describes a brilliant solution that the people of Budapest, Hungary came up with to deal with their brutal communist era statues. It’s really quite fascinating, and I hope it’s an idea that can be adopted here. It would allow the statues to still exist, but in an educational context in a museum-like setting where those who don’t want to see them won’t have to. Please do read it and tell me what you think.

But for those of you who don’t click through, I leave you with a few points to ponder:

  • Monuments are not history. They’re the glorification thereof.

  • No child should have to grow up under the shadow of statues of people who thought they should be enslaved.

  • Removing a statue won’t erase the history, and we can and should still learn from that history. Learn, but not deify.

It really is okay to become older and wiser as a society. I promise. We’ll be okay.

Happy Independence Day.

Confederate_Monument_-_E_frieze_-_Arlington_National_Cemetery_-_2011
Historically absurd.

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Going Batty

So, it’s my second night in my new house. It’s 3a.m. I’m sound asleep. And then I hear this fluttering near my head. A moth? A really big moth? Then it zooms past my head 3 times and leaves the room. A bat.

A bat! Mommy! My lovable yet useless dog is cowering in the bed with me. I leap up and close the bedroom door. At least we’re safe. Sort of. But now the bat has the run of the rest of the house. Great. How did it get in? Better yet, how the hell do I get it out?

Times like these, I wish I had a man in my life. But then, I’ve yet to have a man in my life who was even willing to kill a spider for me, so there’s that. But moral support would be good. Someone to bear witness to the battle ahead, at the very least.

I boot up my computer. No one is awake on Facebook. I start Googling “bat in my house” and get all these horror stories about rabies. But cooler scientific heads will tell you that you have a much better chance of being struck by lightning than being bitten by a rabid bat.

I actually like bats. Ironically, just the day before I ordered a bat house for my back yard. Bats keep bugs under control, and are also pollinators. We need them. I just don’t want to have one as a roommate.

Nearly two hours have gone by. I finally see a friend get on line. He’s unwilling to hop on the next plane, but he talks me down from the ceiling. He gives me a pep talk. He makes me laugh. Now I’m ready to deal with the bat. That, and I really, really, really have to pee by this point.

I wrap myself in a blanket. I don’t know why. For comfort? And I grab a second blanket in hopes of catching the bat. I crack the door open and peek out. Nothing. I make a run for the bathroom. Sweet relief. Then I start looking around the rest of the house. But the sun is starting to rise, so the bat has probably gone God knows where.

And sure enough, it’s hiding. Lurking, like some evil Trumpian immigrant, not to be trusted. My house is still in chaos, full of moving boxes. Plenty of hidey holes. I’m hoping he left the way he came. (I suspect it was via the chimney.)

By now the sun is fully up, and my house feels like my own again. But I blocked off the chimney. Believe that. Now one more unpleasant task lies ahead. I peek in the attic.

Yup. Sure enough. There’s a colony in there. I can hear them chittering. (One wonders how the inspector missed that, but oh well.)

So I call a bat removal company. And they tell me that bats are protected, and this is their breeding season, so they can’t remove them until late August when the babies are big enough to fly. Oh great. The joys of home ownership.

So they’re up there, shitting in my attic, putting me at risk for histoplasmosis for the next two months. And I had work to do up there. I guess I have a valid excuse for procrastinating now.

I’m relieved to say that since that night I haven’t seen any more bats in the part of my house that I insist upon occupying. I watch them fly out of a crack in my chimney every evening at dusk. They’re beautiful to behold. I just wish they’d go somewhere else.

Oh, what a night. And did I mention that this was my one day to sleep in? Sigh.

Brown_bats

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