Friday, July 17, 2009


Once upon a time...

Miss Bliss met Crazy Shirlee in the market. They were both standing in line when an attractive man pushed past them to drop his items on the check stand. He called out to the checker that he had to run as he clicked off his beeper. The checker nodded her head and kept scanning the groceries of the woman ahead of Bliss. Crazy Shirlee poked Bliss in the side.

“Did you see how yummy he was? Aaahhhh… you were looking.” She laughed.

Bliss turned to look at her. Bliss was short and Shirlee was shorter. Bliss immediately liked her for this.

Shirlee was different from any person Bliss had ever seen. When she smiled her teeth nearly glowed they were so white. She had dark skin but not African American or Hispanic. Her eyes… bright clear ice blue… provided a startling contrast. The whites around her irises were as bright as her smile. A large strawberry mole kissed her cheek. Black hair flowed from her head down past her rear end. Bliss couldn’t help but stare.

“I’m Shirlee… You just moved into the house above the park.” Bliss shook the hand she held out. She did not stop talking until Bliss’ groceries were bagged. It was the speed that she spoke… rapid… that nearly made Bliss’s eyes spin.

“Hey… Can you give me a lift? I’m right on your way home. It won’t be any trouble…”

By the time they stopped at her house (less than three miles away) Bliss knew her life history. It was unbelievable. She was Gypsy. A real, true Gypsy. Not a phony wanna be.

She was married to a man who took her shoes with him when he went to work.

“What?” Bliss made her repeat it.

He took her shoes so that she could not go anywhere. They lived out in the middle of nowhere for the same reason… to keep his wife at home. Bliss thought this was terribly cruel. When Bliss looked down, sure enough, no shoes on Shirlee’s feet.

“He thinks we’re trying to have a baby, but I take birth control pills. I keep them in the freezer. Who wants to have a baby… Oh sorry, you have one don’t you? Well, they’re really sweet and some day I want one but not now… you know?”

It was all Bliss could do not to laugh. She was nuts, but did not seem dangerous. She was funny! Fascinating. Outright bizarre. This is what Bliss was thinking as she talked about the guy in the market. A volunteer fireman, one of many. She knew all of them. She liked firemen. A lot. Bliss began to wonder if that was why her husband kept her shoes with him.

“You better come in and smoke a joint.” She advised. Bliss, not one to pass up a good buzz, accepted. Bliss did not stay long. The rapid talking wore her out and she made the excuse that she had to make diner to escape but not before she had agreed to go to Ashland the next morning.

“You can bring your baby if you want… if you have to… I’m not really into kids, but you know… if you have to, bring him.” Shirlee was not shy about making her preferences known.

The trip to Ashland was a nightmare. Shirlee was a shoplifter. Not just a mild mannered light finger nab-it. We’re talking a full blown grab and stuff shoplifter. She brought a huge purse and crammed whatever hit her fancy into the bag.

This had to be the reason that her husband kept her shoes with him. Bliss was so uncomfortable that she had to go outside and smoke a cigarette on the safety of the sidewalk. Dropping Shirlee off at her house an hour later felt really good.

The next day Shirlee called.

“Oh my god… you’ve got to come and help me! The insulators are coming and I need you to help me. They’ll be here any minute… hurry!” Bliss stared at the receiver a moment before hanging it up.

“I’m in here!” a muffled voice called. Bliss picked her way carefully to the kitchen. Shirlee was standing on a ladder. Only her legs were visible.

“Here, take this…”

A big green garbage bag was lowered down. Bliss did her best to grab it, but some of the contents spilled out onto the floor. Holymotherfuckingcheeseandrice! It was full of baggies of pot!

“Here comes another one… quick!” Shirlee called from above. Bliss dropped the garbage bag on the floor and reached up in time to safely haul the other one down.

“Just one more…” Shirlee called.

Bliss set down the second and reached up for the third. The idea that these bags held so many baggies boggled the brain. Bliss began to laugh.

“Come on, silly! We’ve got to find a place to hide these!” Shirlee turned in a circle looking for a new place.

“Oh,oh… I know, come on grab that one…” Bliss followed Shirlee into the bathroom.

“Shirlee… Where did you get so much pot?” Bliss had to ask.

“It’s Dave’s. He sells it.” Dave was her husband, the man with her shoes.

All three bags went into the tub/shower. Shirlee then threw laundry from the hamper on top of the bags and pulled the curtain shut across the tub.

When the insulation guys arrived, the girls were sitting on the deck sipping ice tea. Bliss quickly excused herself to go home.

“Wait… I’ve got something for you!” Shirlee said. Bliss continued on to her car and started it up. She did not want to be there if those guys found the pot. That wasn’t a personal stash, that was a felony. There would be no explaining away something like that. Shirlee leaned in the car window and flipped a full baggie into Bliss’s lap.

“That’s for helping me.”

Bliss tried to protest that she had not done that much.

“It’s just baker’s pot. Dirt weed. Not even good to smoke. Put the whole thing in a batch of brownies. Really. It’s nothing. Bake it.” Shirlee insisted.

So Bliss did exactly that. While they were still warm and gooey, she cut a nice piece and popped it into her mouth. The rest she slipped into a coffee can, except for the brownie she decided to take to her husband as a treat when she picked him up. The brownies did not taste very good. They had a strange gritty texture even though she had ground the pot in the coffee grinder until it was fine powder. There was an underlying taste of dirt. But they also weren’t that bad tasting either.

Bliss was feeling a warm sleepy buzz by the time she left to pick up her husband. Part way into town on the steep grade of the long hill, Bliss began to feel very strange. The car felt like an ocean liner. Breathing felt like it took a lot of effort and the music was almost solid. She giggled over the idea of the music being solid and made what felt like a very wide turn onto the side street she needed.

But how had she gotten into town? The last she could recall was being half way down the long hill. Bliss pulled to the side of the road and turned off the engine. Whoa. She could see the cabinet shop down the road but was unsure if she could drive to it. And really, if you were unsure if you could drive, you should not be driving.

Bliss walked. Her husband looked concerned over the lack of car. Bliss whispered quietly about her situation. He shook his head and led the way back to the car, where he held out his hand for the keys. She gave him the keys and his brownie. They headed out on the long drive home.

It was fortunate that Bliss’s mother had made diner and that her parents were going away for the weekend to visit relatives and taking the baby with them. They did not have to have conversation. Nor was there anyone to notice that they went to bed and stayed there until half way through the next day, when they still felt somewhat high.

Bliss drove down to Crazy Shirlee’s to tell her that was not baker’s pot or dirt weed. When she arrived she was astounded to see the field around Crazy Shirlee’s house was smoldering black.

“Oh my God… what happened?” She totally forgot about the pot.

“The field caught fire.” Crazy Shirlee said and eagerly began describing the fire that had mysteriously begun the in the night. As she talked, Crazy Shirlee took Bliss by the elbow and led her into her house.

“What if your house had caught fire? “ Bliss thought about the bags of pot and glanced at the bathroom. The bags were gone. Back in the attic she supposed.

“Oh, don’t worry. I lit the fire on the far side of the field.” Crazy Shirlee laughed.

Did I tell you that Shirlee liked firemen a lot?

* * * * *

Ha! I love that story. Miss Bliss lost track of Crazy Shirlee soon after. The woman vanished in the night… as did the cute fireman. I suspect the three bags of pot did too. All her husband had left were her shoes.

Here are three of the tunes from the ride down the hill... when the music became solid. ;)

music video

Golden Earings great song Rod Serlings fantastic creation.

Okay... drugs are bad. Don't use them. The author does not endorse drug abuse. Sheesh!


  1. I would have ran really, really fast. I wouldn't have called the cops, but I would have avoided her at all cost. You were definitely braver than I would have been, AG.

    By the way, I have all three of those songs on my iPod.

  2. I'm with aliencg. I would've stayed away from someone like Shirlee. See, this is why my life is so boring.

  3. aliencg-- Again, it does not surprise me about the music. You have the best taste!

    She was there so briefly. Her behavior was so shocking and things happened so quickly. Then she was gone.

  4. cube--Shirlee certainly was not boring. Scary, insane and utterly charming.

  5. a bag of pot and a long cool woman in a black dress, heaven on earth.

  6. billy pilgrim-- Well the fireman thought so!

  7. I dug that story. Nice job writing it up.

    I haven't done any baking of that sort in a long, long time. Last time I did, I got an amazing stomach ache. I suppose there were some twigs in there that I hadn't pulverized. I was high and laughing like hell, but almost doubled over from the cramps. I must have been an idiotic sight!

  8. Suldog-- Yeah, this was about thirty years back. (Cringe) It has been a long while.

    Oh my gosh. (I have a similar story... for another time.) You would have been a hoot to see. Suppose that would fall into the "hurts so good" category?

    Thanks for the kudos... as always, so glad you stopped in!

  9. "Bliss began to feel very strange. The car felt like an ocean liner."

    Wow. A drug that will turn any car into a Buick Park Avenue.

    Just the other day, I read a book from the 1960s about Gypsies, and was wondering about them.

  10. dmarks-- the car was a ford LTD... already big... and that made it seem humongous.

    About Gypsies... I am sure that many of them are lovely people and it was with some trepidation that I shared about Shirlee because she was the embodiment of a bad stereotype of that already over abused people. But that was how she was. I can't say for other Gypsies.

  11. My only "Real life" anecdotes about Gypsies unfortunately also have to do with shoplifting.

  12. dmarks-- Oh no! That's funny though. Doesn't sound good for the Gypsies. Hey, I have an incredible link for you... let me go find it. It's a Gypsy link about their troubles. Fascinating history!

  13. dmarks-- Check these two out. (If interested.)

  14. Your adventures are so hilarious! I mean, Miss Bliss' of course :-) I love getting to experience these from the safe distance of time and space!
    Great songs, too :-)

  15. Wow! Solid music is not something I have ever experienced. I, too would have run as fast as possible from crazy shirlee which is probably why i have no such stories to share. None whatsoever ;). Thanks for the writing!

  16. laura b.-- Believe me, they feel a lot safer from here too!

    Musically that was a fun time. Lots of good stuff from then.

  17. crazy4coens-- I've got a couple of quotes for ya.

    "Hey turd, outta my tour!" and "Welcome..."

    I am expecting a new son tomorrow! Isn't that exciting? His name is Lorn. Stay tuned for updates.

  18. I loved the story, but what a cliffhanger, I wanted to find out what became of Crazy Shirlee.

    I was in Spain with my buddy when my buddy got robbed by a Gypsy, the guy took a screwdriver and put it to his neck. The gypsy (and his pals) did not seem like people you want to fight, as they seemed cagey and very battle-tested...

  19. Sebastien-- Thanks. Sometimes I cannot believe the life that Miss Bliss has enjoyed. She wishes she knew what happened to Crazy Shirlee, but sadly does not.

    Yikes! You are the second person today to tell me a scary story about threats of possibly being cut or stabbed in the process of being robbed by a Gypsy. It's not looking good for Gypsy P.R. purposes. Yikes twice! I would not have fought either. No amount of money is worth getting hurt.

  20. Yeah, one has to be careful. But there are lots of cool gypsies as well.

    I think Django Rheinhardt, great musician, was a gypsy.

  21. Sebastien-- I'm glad you said that. You are absolutely right. I'm sure there are many fine people who are Gypsy. I don't know Django Rheinhardt... but you can bet I'm going to go and learn about him now. Thanks!

  22. I have one of Django's CDs. He is an awesome musician.

  23. cube-- I really have to check him out. A couple of other people have told me the same thing now beside Sebastien and you. He must be good.

  24. That's a great story. .I was really open like that when I was younger too. Today, I'd run like hell, though.

  25. Churlita-- I have gotten wiser too. I would run from Shirlee now. Very fast.

    But I am also a sucker for people in trouble situations and that can get me into trouble if I do not guard myself.

    I can eat all the oatmeal in the world, but it doesn't make my silly heart "smart".