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The Mother of Garlic and her deep fried, two liter bottles of Seagram’s

Chapter 26  (From the book, "Mereology: The Origins of Garlic Cures and the Art of Telling a Tale of Ragout"...

Chapter 26


I recently wrote Brooks and asked him if he wanted to write the story of Momma Lush with me, but he never replied. I think he misunderstood my need for his input. You see, I don’t see or spend time with any of the friends in this story, in as far as I (of the I can) can see them. Not that I wouldn’t like to see all the old friends in this Tale of Ragout, “for without friends no one would choose to live” (Aristotle, NE Bk. VII: Ch. 1), but Life has led us on different paths. When I wrote Brooks, I was hoping we could work on this chapter together. The funny thing is he never liked Momma Lush. She was too decadent for him, as she was for several friends, but Brooks sometimes has a way of telling a story that is charmingly entertaining, and I would have enjoyed rehashing with him the bitter, ugly truths of our youth called Momma Lush, which just so happened during the same time period I ended up in the nuthouse. 

If one considers Metal Head the archetype to deep-fried Twinkies of the Indiana State Fair then Momma Lush is the archetype to the not yet existent deep fried half-gallon jug of Seagram’s Whiskey.

Momma Lush only wanted to live, but her Existence in the suburbs of Chicago and not directly in Chicago (or New York, or LA), corralled her Life within a sacrosanct psychosis of a suburban fortresses of individual mass consumer success stories. There was, and still is, no lifestyle, no pizzazz, no pep, no flair and no zing to suburbia:  Suburbia is the Zero of 1/0 binary intercourse. Midwest America has nothing except malls:  strip malls, mall walking, mall shopping, mall food courts, mall entertainment, and mall zombies.  (George A. Romero was a prophet of Garlic, and, as far as malls go the word ironically comes from pall-mall, which was a croquet-like game involving hitting a ball with a mallet through a ring played in shady, tree-lined promenades. After the game fell out of favour, the tree-lined promenades became market grounds. From a pleasant, unsullied function-free hobby to a life of sheer function and purpose.


 I don’t know if Momma Lush ate Garlic, but to be fair it could be said that she was and still is The Mother of Garlic.  


Momma Lush was the mother of three children:  two semi-attractive girls roughly my age, and Johnny, her eight-year-old son. But she, Momma Lush, was as much a child as the rest of us. Her husband, Harvey, worked the night shift at a local factory, and, to his misfortune, before his shift was over at midnight, his wife, our Momma Lush, opened his door to the alcoholic youths of suburbia. In all frankness, Momma Lush’s nightly parties were driven by her desire to be ravaged by some young, teenage man, and this might have happened if she hadn’t been a fifty-year-old dead-ringer for the now-deceased Divine. Or better yet, imagine a three-hundred pound slobbering drunk, already having lost her fortunes and now living in a trailer park, bleached-blond Britney Spears and you’ll have a good idea of the odds of something like that happening (unless you’re into that kind of thing). No one signed some Faustian contract with her; she was just eternally optimistic that at some point one of us kids would be too drunk to notice who we were fucking. If nothing else, Momma Lush was the ultimate romantic. 

A half-year before my mom had me locked up at the Hinsdale Sanatorium, Metal Head Ed appeared on the scene:  He was a south-sider. Momma’s house was on his side of town, and so he went to school with her daughters at the South High School; hence, the Momma Lush connection.  Though before my friends and I, the North-siders, stumbled upon her home, Momma Lush had another group of kids for whom she supplied both alcohol and a place to hang.  Although these kids hailed from the elite sector of suburbia—the offspring of upper-middle-class parents—and were high school football stars and such, they were all twisted and sick Individuals. Garlic says Individual with a capital “I” because these youths were, in their Gestalt or primitive essence, the prototype personalities to the kind of people who now run our corporations, banks, and country. These champs of suburbia, during this time of my youth, got away with everything they did because they played their roles well—as they still do… and now their roles are at the top of the Too Big To Fail command posts. The first night I ever went to Momma Lush’s these champions of society were holding down Momma Lush’s eight-year-old son, Johnny, in the bathtub and pissing on him. From what I understood this wasn’t the first time something like that had happened. In one instance, they shaved Johnny’s head bald, and in another incident they bound him, taped his mouth shut, and locked him up somewhere in the house knowing Harvey, Momma Lush’s husband, would come home, tired from his night shift, and have to search for his missing son while his wife and daughters lay passed out cold from too much alcohol. Sure Momma Lush was to blame, but what about these pillars of society? 


While Ronald Yates and paranoid J. Edgar Hoover may have only pointed fingers at the so-called freaks (granted, both men did more than just point fingers) it was the consequences of their actions, thoughts, ideologies, and so-on that prepared the sales floor for the selling of selves and Existence into the Identity of absolute self-destructing, Finite Individuality. To put it differently:  The progeny of the Ronald Yates of this world and the weed-like spreading legacy of Mr. Hover and his ilk mixed ingredients of natural but suppressed desires (historically smelling, supressed desires) with sick and twisted fantasies as they, the offspring and acolytes of nuttiness, cheaply sold themselves, Life, and Existence into Individual mass consumer Identities… Nixon’s paranoia worked and still works wonders in developing the true middle-class, Individual values and dogmas as they rise into Nothingness.   From the mouth of Garlic… 


After watching the charming champions of Downers Grove South High School in action, I challenged their authority at Momma Lush’s by yanking Johnny out of the bathtub and telling them all go fuck themselves. To my advantage, my group of friends had grown in numbers, and even though we weren’t the desired image of suburbia, we had respect for Momma Lush:  We needed her home, booze, and company as much as she needed us. 

Momma Lush never wanted her son to be tormented, so she found reassurance in our presence, and thus agreed to ban the previous group of kids from coming to her home. Don’t get me wrong, my friends and I were not making Momma Lush’s life any easier:  We still did things like paint her bathroom from to top to bottom—including sink, tub, and toilet—camouflage, and hid out afterwards, outside her house in the bushes and waited for Harvey to come home. Through an aromatic cloud of Garlic I see Harvey looking for some peace of mind after a long night of work as he enters his humble abode. I hear his hollering and cursing. From a safe distance away, standing alongside my comrades, I feel the joy as we let out rounds of cat calls, Bronx Cheers, and whistles before Harvey throws open his screen door, shakes his fists, and shouts obscenities at us.  

Another time we put all the furniture on the roof while Momma Lush lay passed out on the living room floor. And, again, we waited outside for Harvey to come home. Through garlicky ruminations I see him arrive and get out of his car and stand silently on the driveway while shaking his head. Bitterly he stares at his furniture on the roof as realizes he’s forced to accept the reality of his life. He then screams, “Goddamn it, Blaire,” and the fifteen of us standing on the other side of the street with beer in hands break into fits of laughter. 

The only thing we didn’t do was torture her son. We were punk rockers and not society’s darlings. We clung to morality and responsibility. We valued relationships as the rest of our world forged Super Individual Consumer Identities. Like my parents, Momma Lush could never become, because of her own circumstances, a yuppie.

In the last days of high school as they followed my stint at the Hinsdale Sanatorium I was at Momma Lush’s house when the ringleader from the previous crew of kids came by. Not only was he the one who had pissed on little Johnny the first night I met Momma Lush, but he was also the quarterback and captain of the Downers Grove South High School football team and… and recently elected Prom King. On that night, though, he was at Momma Lush’s with the team’s star running back and star receiver, and they were all whacked-out on cocaine. Their plan for the evening was to rob White Hen Pantries and 7-11’s so that they could have on-hand cash the following night at Prom and for their cocaine addictions. Mr. Quarterback’s father also happened to be an FBI agent, and so he and his buddies had broken into his dad’s at-home collection of weapons. At Momma Lush’s they stood in the living room clad in camouflage and with Uzis strapped around their bodies. After the suburban youth heroes—America’s future bankers, CEOs and politicians—left Momma Lush’s, they robbed a White Hen Pantry. Having acquired their privilege status through birth meant they were none too clever and the police caught them during their second heist at a 7-11, only a mile away from their first robbery.

The following Monday at school I had a speech class and I talked about high school football stars, cocaine addictions, and Prom Kings. After less than thirty seconds of introduction the teacher stopped me, grabbed my arm, and walked me outside. It blew his mind that I knew about the event—something, according to him, I wasn’t supped to know about. He informed me that for my protection some things were better kept silent. By “protection” he meant protecting my future as an Individual consumer. He then explained that the FBI and police had called-in a special meeting at 5 a.m. that morning and informed him, his colleagues, and every employee in the school district of the incident. In their potted version of Garlic, calm heads decided it wouldn’t look good if the public were to find out the truth about their own morality (see hypocrisy) by having to see what the future of yuppiedom and self-indulgent Individual mass consumerism nurtures; therefore, all parties involved agreed to drop and forget the charges against suburbia’s champs so that life could continue on as if all were normal. I told the teacher that the school board’s decision was ridiculous and that he couldn’t keep me from my First Amendment rights. He smiled and asked me who would believe me. He was right. Since newspapers and TV news agreed to not cover the incident, the only ones outside of law enforcement and the schoolboard who knew were Momma Lush, me, and my friends. In today’s world nobody would bat an eye in disbelief at such a cover-up, but in 1985 the vampires and monsters were still festering beneath the picture and their ruthlessness and ugliness still needed time to mature before they could go too big to fail public. (Lance Armstrong is a perfect example of the Individual having realized the too big to fail dream on an Individual level… he is a champ!) There was still the need for the proverbial black sheep, scapegoat. And to address this issue, throughout the late 1970s until the early 1990s, punk rock kids were to blame for any and all problems rotting in suburbia. As a clear example, the black sheep West Memphis 3, although now free, spent over fifty combined years of life behind bars for the crimes committed by too big to fail America.

The sense of failure coming out of the Vietnam era wasn’t catalyst enough to distort the family values into the values of me. The Cold War and all of its nuclear Armageddon fear mongering wasn’t enough for vampires and monsters to further their causes. Children needed to be nourished in the want of waste and so we were given the teat of mommy and daddy yuppies to fearfully suckle on. Monsters and vampires manipulated my parents’ generation, the post WWII era, through feats of social engineering. Baby formula anyone? Mothers’ milk is definitely not as good as what a McIndustry can provide.  

But us Fuck You Generation, the punks, the ones on the front lines, did not submit freely. We never had a problem taking responsibility, even though our parents were no longer engineered to pass on a system of values other than one that served unbridled consumerism. We could not forsake Existence for a McTreat on the McTeat. There is a definite irony in the fact that suburbia wanted to send my life as ragout straight into the garbage can and that it went to all lengths to protect those supporting and circulating the image:  regardless of their Uzi, cocaine-riddled, extra-curricular activities. The sacrifice of the West Memphis 3 and all others, like myself, who were and still are unwilling to take part, either by choice or the misfortune of being found guilty on fabricated evidence, was never too much:  Because the reward for all Americans, with people like me being the fodder used for furtherance of the New World Order, would be America’s continued domination of the world. So the black sheep, although more truthful and virtuous in their own characters, could be sacrificed to further the Individual consumer, and were (and still are) the necessary seeds to continued world domination. In retrospect, I know now that I would have been safer in the nuthouse. My stew could have cosily simmered in a pharmaceutical slushy for eons while my army of flying pink Teddy Bears protected me from any emotions and sensual desires. If only I would have known then what I know now, I would now be resting in my padded digs, drooling over Linda Loma giblets day and night, until my parting breadth.

Ha! Fortunately for Existence there was, is, and will always be Garlic!

The world might want to judge Momma Lush for her indirect crimes against her son, but in her defence, she was, at least, honest. She wanted to live life, and in doing so she became negligent. But she never claimed to be America’s mother. And because of this, because of her unwillingness to take the moral high-ground of naïve hypocrisy, unlike society’s willing herd, she had no claims to forgiveness. Those who stand behind the pulpits or sit on the court benches or in the boardrooms or own the banks and high rises or hold titles or wear the white coat or dance and prance on TV or who in the same moment hypocritically live morally depraved lives (Lance Armstrong, for example), can always demand respect with no valid reasons. But the person who openly embraces their sensual and emotional character and who is a victim of delivered circumstance gets no leniency:  Truly alive people are castigated. The Salem Witch Trials continue to this day. Just turn on your TV and listen to any neo-conservative pundit and you can hear the Piper’s Witch Trial Tune. Because the privileged play the game as the monsters and vampires desire it, an eye gets turned when they and theirs get caught doing something wrong:  Bankers! Insurance Company CEOs!  Oil Company Executives! Politicians!  Pharmaceutical Executives! Monsanto and other Chemical Company Executives! The list goes on and on. (A few years after delivering the first draft of this book, the US Government declares these institutions and businesses Too Big to Fail, and, inadvertently or intentionally, sentences the world’s working class to financially shoulder the burden of these twisted-turds general contempt and disrespect for Life.)  

Even if the twisted-turds, the too big to fail, get found out, and one among their ranks is selectively sacrificed (think of Bernie Madoff), so as to appease the masses, the too big to fail have their own special, well-furnished prisons. There is an irony to Federal Penitentiaries. Business people and politicians search out responsibility, and when they abuse their power, which affects millions if not billions of people negatively, they get sent to a Holiday Inn. But a poor or working class slob who commits a crime, but who has never abused his or her circumstances and is victim of circumstances, gets hard time in hell. If white-collar crimes were made capital offenses I guarantee you that the number of murders, violent crimes, and thefts would sink to almost nothing:  Because negligent mothers like Momma Lush could then live in a world where living needn’t be perverted; thus returning the necessary sensual and emotional essences to the relationship. The awe would not be rerouted or suppressed so that vampires and monsters could continue to thrive. Perversions coated in bitterness and ugliness might still occur, but they would no longer be the impetus to becoming something real:  The monsters and vampires would not possess or embody the fuel of and to one’s Individual consumer success-story-lives.

The Momma Lushes of this world will always be society’s righteous representatives… and, unfortunately, sacrificial lambs:  Because even in Momma Lush’s negligence she was fighting for Life and not death. She wanted to experience the flesh of Garlic and not the Identity delivered in the purchasing of a consumer product. The oddballs always know deep down there is no I without the we. In a sense, nonconformists were sent to test the waters of history. It’s our fate. But now Garlic is taking us, the nonconformists, into the time of awareness, embracement, and acceptance. 

No matter what the Rush Limbaughs, Bill O’Reillys, Ann Coulters (or pick your current right wing spokesmen of this world) claim, their agendas of Individual selfishness are a lie. Without me in their thoughts, they are nothing—hence their origins as they embrace nothing. And with this as their creed there is only a bitter, twisted sense of some greater knowledge found in their so-called wisdom. The Finite Individual dogmas they cling to and use to expose the so-called left-wing agendas are nothing but malarkey. We know this because the vampires financially reward these people, and this insures they will always have followers:  The herder, for his obedience to the vampires and monsters, is rewarded with gold, and thus, in eyes of his sheep, his sermons are without hypocrisy. The monsters and vampires reward those who serve them. Through Individualism and the great illustrious feats of linear logic the Bills and Anns pretend to know God personally, but what is sorely missing from their make-believe worlds is the reality that:  Their God is Dead, and they, the Bills and Anns, keep Him dead, because Nothingness, as it is the source Identity behind the Individual, is their master. Garlic blames the Finite Ann Coulters and the Bill O’Reillys of this world, and, at the same time, reveals to Life that punks, freaks, and misfits always fight for Existence. As for the American Democrats and their media mouthpieces they have no sensible context. I’m not sure if they even know what Garlic looks or tastes like. And if they did know, they would only ingest it in moderation. As mentioned before, Democrats have long since embraced the role of Edward Bernays, propagandized corporate control in place of an actual democratic governing. What an American Democrat doesn’t realize is that no one should ever ingest Garlic in moderation, because Garlic delivers an All existence in the light of pure positivity. There’s never need to soften its roots of radiance or to suppress the glorious aromas of Life.  Hallelujah!