moonshine revelation #13

“Politics Are Boring”

Harry Truman once said to me, “Zamboni, its amazing how much you can get done if you don’t care who gets the credit.” He was explaining how power-hungy politicians are and how much the ego gets involved.

Lets face it people, if someone actually wanted to be a politician, that instantly makes them the kind of person you should run from. I used to be on the third squad Estonian ice-fishing team, and one of our more agressive coaches was named Porklandia. His favorite motivational nugget to use while we were running ice-hole cutting drills and speed-rigging our poles was, “shut the hell up and do it again!” so always if we said “but the ice was too slippery there” or, “I can’t lug a two ton sea elephant through a two foot hole in the ice”, always his response was “shut the hell up and stop making excuses!”.

One day, while we were resting and snacking on restorative slices of seal blubber, I asked Porklandia where he aquired his no- nonsense philosophy. He told me that his coach used to say, “your actions speak so loud I can’t hear your words.”

Which brings us back to Politics. Politics relies on words, promises, and slogans. Yes often things get done, but mostly because the people get fed up and finally those in power make something happen not because they want to but because they have to, to prevent uprising.

(Yet I have to admit, that me great zamboni being a libertarian/progressive-radical Republican, I do often find enjoyment talking to my liberal big government friends and destroying their ridiculous positions…)

Anyhoos- this is how I interpret the 13th mumbling of the great Pontiac Spirit. Judging by his grave profile, it is easy to see he likes to discuss things of greater import.

It's easy...
It's easy, anytime you get the urge to have a political "discussion" talk about sex instead...

Moonshine Revelation #12

When you’re dead the days you miss will be the ones you can hardly remember.

This is the 12th revelation of this Pontiac Chief given to me, great Zamboni. What do you make of it?

Since you asked, here’s what I think. You see Zamboni knows for a fact that Death is no big deal. You just go to Las Vegas. Of course you have to stay there, but still, unless you were very bad in this upper world, there is a lot to do.

When you’re there you do think back on your life. You will see yourself on the most boring  simple of days, running late, going to Trader Joe’s, the dentist, being bored, and looking up at the ceiling or at the TV even when those you loved most were right beside you. The great days, the days of seeing into someones face, the wrestling on the beach, dropping Lobsters into a pot days, those will disappear and not haunt you because they were lived. Only the days not fully lived will haunt ya.

But like I said, is no biggee.

And those we lose? Aren’t lost.

I always look ahead.

Moonshine Revelation #11 Butterscotch Pudding

This is now continuing in the nuggets of wisdom revealed to me by the Pontiac Indian hood ornament Spirit:

“Butterscotch Pudding”

Ahhhh…. This aphorism is not hard to fathom. There simply is no dessert more like crawling into your mothers lap than this butterscotch pudding.

I wish I had some right now. It is burnt, yet sweet. Golden like skin, soft like a boob. Boob is a strange word you use in America for breast yes? I hope.

Always in great zamboni’s travels, I find myself in restaurants with all sorts of strange things: pannacottas, profiteroles, fondant, budino, mousse, and yet always I am longing for the real and simple butterscotch pudding. I must make for myself.

why add words?

The real, and the simple, is the most comforting, and the hardest to find. Oy! Oi! Buna Zoi!

May the spirits guide you as you try recipe.

Impress Yourself (moonshine revelation 10#)

Chief say RELAX!

This utterance by the spirit of the great Pontiac was the shortest- just two uttered words, and it was the 10th nugget of wisdom spoked to me after I  unearthed the rusted old sedan. Instantly I  had a memory excavating what the  spirit is talking about.

I was busy tearing down the Berlin Wall in the heady days of 1989, and the way my compatriots and I were going about this was doing wallrides on this vestige of totalitarianism with our skateboards. (Though I am over a century of years old, in the early 80’s I was given an  overdose of Jolt Cola and Sun-In hair lightener and Xtacy, mixed together by my nemesis Dracassan and given to me in a champagne glass at a new wave nightklub, with a k). The result of this was not as intended, instead of dying I became renewed in youth and took up skateboarding, the world’s greatest non-sport. I began to skate & destroy, which means to create- as the Hindus teach us- these are but two sides of the same coin.)

So anyway, a bunch of us eastern european bros were eating Perogi, smoking cigarettes we picked up off the ground and trying to outdo each other with our moves of skating. Each of us self consciously trying to do the coolest trick that would knock another piece out of the wall.

Just at that moment, one lanky young man in a tattered old Santa Cruz T-Shirt, climbed to the top of the wall, several yards away from all of us,  edged the tail of his board on the ledge, muttered simply “impress yourself” then rode straight down the graffitioed face of it.

Of course he slammed hard to the ground and his elbow exploded in blood, but he persisted to try this trick on his own, (even after most of the guys had adjourned to the cheap beer spot) simply reveling in the private joys of trying something over and over that he wanted to impress himself with.

So herein lies the thing: impress yourself, first and foremost. Who is cooler and worth impressing more than you?

The Kid Is Alright

Moonshine #9

                                        “People are the way they are”

This the spirit of Chief Pontiac

if his rebellion against the brits had spread and succeeded.. we would all have this proud profile?

says to me, great zamboni!

Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time:
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes
And laugh like parrots at a bag-piper,
And other of such vinegar aspect
That they’ll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.

Another great spirit, a man I knew well, Shakespeare, say a similar thing here above, which I Zamboni translate as to mean, “sad people will be sad, happy people will be chipper, despite the weather”.

I understand the chief very readily with this 9th Revelation. I know one guy, Shadrack, who owns three fishing boats in Gallilee. This man is always complaining to me about the same thing over our mint tea drinking sessions for the last 25 years: his job and his kids. Every time!

My nanny Consuelo (after I was rescued from poverty by the kind Baron and experienced an easier life) was always so serious and complaining about never finding good love- this despite her great beauty and patience. She always was with the wrong cruel man after man, and though she kvetched until the goats were asleep, she never changed or tried to.

People don’t change. They mature a little, they can grow up. Those of greatness can even learn to let go. But largely we don’t change. Zamboni’s brother, the youngest of the eight, quit school and ran off with the  circus that came through our four goat village when we were children and we never heard from him again.

This was 70 years ago- and just last tuesday I run into him in Brooklyn! He was drinking organic chai at a Hipster cafe called the Red Bandanna.

“Shmelkie! My long lost brother who as children I fight with for crumbs on the dirt floor! What are you doing here?

Though he was a toddler the last time I see him, he has unmistakable third ear.

“Zamboni, the brother who we tirelessly made fun of because you were the only non-blood adopted one, I am still traveling with my circus but we are much famous and appearing at P.S. 122 Avant Garde Arts Festival… I am now too old for acrobatics, but I amaze them with mind bending a spoon and hypnotizing a duck.”

My point is this:Shmelkie was a happy child. He would juggle five crumbs at once. He had a fully trained flea circus, he loved to laugh. And he is still this way after a hard life of circus roaving. He is as he is.

What about you? Do you find a journal that is ten years old, open it up, and find those same words still fit you today? Then why write them?

Listen to the Indian. Either accept, or don’t, but it’s true. A tree stays a tree. On the birch outside my window, there are almost no leaves and the black branches hang down like wet hair. A month ago there were reds and golds. But do these changes affect the inside of the tree.  No!

Listen to the Indian. You can’t change ’em.

Moonshine Revelation #8 “Would It Kill You to Wear A Tie?”

From Bow Tie to Tebow. Aha! All is one in Zamboni. Greetings to you people and I am revealing to you now the 8th revelation mumbled to me by the great spirit embodied in the Indian.

                         “Would it kill you to wear a tie?”

Folks, I think this one is fairly obvious. Just tonight, I, Zamboni was getting my usual after dinner treat, a split of bananna with three flavors, Ube, Macapuno, and Bubblegum, with three sauces Strawberry, Caramel and A-1. The point of the story is this: into the ice cream parlour walks a young man with messed up head of hair, baggy sweat pants and shoes that I think were bed slippers. His friend is like him but wearing flipping flops that reveal his toes..

!!!     In Estonia if you see someone’s toes you have to marry them- toes are private and can be ugly- I don’t want to see yours unless you aim to have Zamboni children!

Once not long ago, to be out of the house meant to be presentable. Today most men just think, cover most skin and it’s okay. I don’t think the Great Indian was being a Mormon or a prude- I think he was saying, life becomes what you dress for. If you dress for a day of achievement, of respect by yourself and your peers, then it may become that. If you dress for a stupid day of watching TV on your couch, well like they say in Southern Estonia, “A pig in high heels looks like a whore and spoils the bacon” Crystal clear, no?

Live it people, metaphorically as well, as always!

Moonshine Revelation #7 “Hot Cousin”

In this series of mystical sayings croaked out to me by the rusted hood ornament of an old Pontiac, the 7th is incestuous yet profound:

“So you have a crush on your hot cousin, think you’re the first?”

This at first does not sound like a nice philosophical crudite, but like all the musings revealed to me from the great spirit within this Indian, with further delectitude we can glean meaning. What is being said to us is exactly this: whatever weird desire you think you and you alone  have, whatever you think makes you inexcusably weird- I can guarantee a million other people share this. Okay, for what just popped into your mind perhaps not a million, but  a few hundred for sure.

Look, Zamboni is saying you can’t control your feelings right? Only your actions. Once I was holding hands on many consecutive nights with a toothless hag named Ramenskoff. Despite her toothlessness, she was very funny always telling off color jokes about amputees and she had a nice smell that was like a new leather jacket and butter. Being around her was nice. But one day she say to me, “Zamboni, we have been holding hands walking along the Baltic here for maybe three years, when are we taking this to next level?” And inside, my gut starts to churn, churn like I had four Long Island Ice Teas in dive bar. I want to say some love words, but I  do not feel them. I had to be honest and reveal the insides of my gut that I am not feeling loving acts toward her in deep way.

She yell and scream at me, throw my pet mink into the cold waves, and storm off. Maybe I led her on, perhaps, but in the end I had to face what I was feeling and not judge it, no?

Many people spend time inquisitioning what they want. Why do I always end up with this deadbeat guy/girl? etc. That’s fine, but what we want is what we want. Or like my friend David Mamet said to me once while we were hunting honey badgers: “we don’t always say what we want, but we always want what we want.”   I know right?!

I am not saying to bump uglies with your cousin, though up until only a century ago they were always doing such things without many people being born with two heads. Still, I don’t advise it, neither do my lawyers.

I am saying, be as patient and tolerant and non-judgmental with yourself as you would be with a best friend.

Moonshine Revelation #6 of 29 and a half “Ga ga”

This one sounded at first like a cough or piece of phlegm caught in the throat of this time traveling Chief-

He needed lozenge badly

but because I am Zamboni and everything does not escape my retention- I decrypted this glottal gift as “Ga ga” or somehow referring to Lady Gaga herself. I asked the Great Indian, “are you referring somehow to the pop icon Stefani Germanotta, a.k.a. Lady gaga?” And the re-animated hood ornament slowly nodded his head.

Needless to say I have thought long and hard about why one of these great revelations is merely the baby-like utterance and nom-de-pop of this singer….for a moment I even feared, “have you, Zamboni finally stepped into a puddle of befuddlement from which you cannot untangle?”

Of course not bitches!

Here is the answer as I interpret. After having a long conversation with the Ga herself, in a lower east side dive, during which we drank several Manhattans and in her male drag persona Joe Calderone

It was very hard for me to keep him from starting fight in bar

she scratched and adjusted frequently her prosthetic shwang and balls, she said to my astonishment: “Isn’t it strange that I feel less able to be private in private , and more able to be private in public?” After much reflection it dawns on me that the Indian and Gaga is telling me something about myself and our culture at the same time!

I think what he means is that today, people are not sharing anything in private, but instead sharing everything in public. As Shakespeare wrote, “the truth will out”. Truth must come out, like steam or desire. But today we live in a day when instead of a circle of close friends, you might tweet your innermost thoughts into the void.

Long ago I was trapped on a deserted island for two years that was no more than a hunk of sand and one palm tree and endless sea in every direction. One day a bottle washed up on this bump in the Indian ocean. I put inside a note, corked it and threw bottle back into the sea. Months went by, and finally it returned to me. I uncorked, and removed the note. It read, “yes, nice weather we’re having!”

If you give out the small you get back the small. There are those who say nothing new happens and that Gaga is re-hash of Madonna. That is not her fault. They say culture is at a standstill rinse and repeat cycle, this is true and why we love more and more the retro and nostalgia. The theatres that book Zamboni complain that their audiences dwindle. There is something not happening now and it is something like the slow death of dreams and the future becoming boring to people as they get more and more interested in the past.

Ovid said “Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these.” I agree. This age is poker face- impossible to read. But don’t worry! What more interesting times are there to live in than times with no identity? Now we make!

Moonshine Revelation #5 It’s What’s for Dinner

The number five pearl of wisdom revealed to the Swinegali myself great Zamboni is the following: (In the Indian’s creaky voice, he said:) “if you don’t know what you want for dinner, I really can’t help you”

>>>*&^%$?? was my first reaction, but then I realized that so far, this strange amber Indian that sprung forth with the rusted sedan had not so far steered me into any erroneous zones- he must be on to something. But Great Spirit,  what?

Then I thought about my ferret, Beulah. I once asked her, “what would you like for dinner?” And she responded, “i don’t know”. This was quite a shock to me! -, as one thing Zamboni is always sure of is what he would like to eat, usually many things are coming to my mind: burritos are nice in San Francisco, Goulash is good in Budapest, Perogi is delish in Poland, and Yak balls are surprisingly good anywhere, while in Vegas,  each night I  go to  Golden Steer. (

It seemed strange to me that someone could have not one clear desire for a food. Ah!

So perhaps this is what he is telling us- regardless of what you might have or get- you should always have an idea of what you might like to have. Ask yourself- what would you like for dinner? What do you want in a husband, a son, a job?

It’s not about the getting- its about the wanting. “But Zamboni” you might say, “don’t the buddhists teach us to not want so much? to get out of the cycle of desire/fulfillment/more desire?”

Perhaps, but Zamboni is only about 24% Buddhist, the rest just average Joe with Dreams of Carnegie Hall.

Is it not so? Thanks to the great one they call R.Black for this visage! Oh, and i'll take the Rueben with extra Russian dressing on the side, fries, cole slaw and an Arnold Palmer, thanks.

Moonshine Revelation 4 “Toilet”

Praise be to the spirits embodied in the Indian…

Inside the amber, time stands still... nice

and here is the 4th thingee he revealed to me from the rusted chassis of the Pontiac I unearthed by happenstance in Hopper Creek:

“A toilet is just a toilet, but it knows how to flush.”

I puzzled over this one a bit, beyond it’s surface meaning (especially appreciated over the holiday in which one night I, great Zamboni, drank three bottles of Slipovitzsk Prune Brandy from Smolsk with the worlds oldest rabbi, and an Irish authority on Leprechauns, and needed the comfort of my toilet for many hours afterward). Then I realized, as with so much in life, the surface meaning is in fact the only meaning worth considering, as Oscar Wilde said, “only a superficial person doesn’t judge by first impressions.”

You see people, a toilet is not an object of glamour, fame, beauty or majesticness: yet it does one thing, and one  thing very completely and well. What the Great Indian is telling us is that all of us should have One Thing, one thing that we do well.

Sure, we should all follow the little dirt paths and tributaries of our whims and desires. It is fine to be a poet who makes movies and sells organic quince  jam out of an Airstream while blogging about vintage watches and rescuing Greyhound dogs and finishing taxidermy school online. But, let us all have one thing we know how to do, that we can teach others with confidence and authority.

What is that for you? What could you teach with gumption and aplomb:

-how to ollie?

-how to laugh?

-how to throw a pot against a wall?

-how to kiss?

-file a tax return?

Personally, for Great Zamboni, I make better salad dressing than anyone I’ve ver met. Mike V? He knows not just how to skate, many people know this- but he knows best of all how to appreciate the freedom of Skateboarding and spread this over the globe (I hope he can meet me in Estonia one day for epic session!)

Tell me yours.