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Friday, June 17, 2011

Inside the Ring: Chairman Mao

It’s Friday again, my bloggish friends, and the iPod is at the ready.

What say you, my technological oracle?

Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz
Watchin the Detectives by Elvis Costello
Get Up (Sex Machine) by James Brown
Getting Down by The Kills
D is for Dangerous by Arctic Monkeys
Hem of Your Garment by Cake
Avenue B by Gogol Bordello
Goin Down by The Monkees

Hmmm. I’m sensing a mixed message here.

And yes, the last song, “Goin’ Down” is by The Monkees. THE Monkees. Perhaps one of their coolest songs ever with a screaming trumpet part that I suspect is Al Conti.

I could look it up, of course, but why deny someone the opportunity to prove me wrong?

And now, back to my latest foray into silliness.

Mao was one of five, born to a young mother – too young, really – who left as soon as he could climb over the box he was born into.

After Mao’s mother left town (with a traveling basketball team, to hear some tell it) he went to live with his grandmother, Kitty.

Baby Mao-Mao was the biggest of the litter, with a good appetite and a pleasant demeanor. Grandma Kitty lovingly teased him that she suspected that his father had been Samoan.

“A fire-breathin’, foot-stompin’ Samoan god,” she’d chuckle.

Time passed quickly for Mao, and he joined the Marines as soon as he was full grown. Grandma Kitty watched him from the front steps on the day he set out for Basic Training, worried for her big black Tom.

“Stay outta trouble, now,” she called after him. “Steer clear of the fancy women – and don’t you smoke no dope now! Beer is good enough, you hear me, Mao? Beer is good enough!”

But Mao was already half-way down the dirt road.

She needn’t have worried about him – at least not initially. What he lacked in intelligence he made up for in likeability. Easygoing and handsome, men wanted to look like him, women wanted to look up at him.

He was that good-looking.

Mao was a quiet cat with little ego and even less education. He was, as he would explain in later years (but prior to the kilo of Meowie Wowie that would eventually ruin his career), a “self-defecating kind of cat”.

We can only assume that he meant “self-deprecating”. He never smiled when he said it, and he did not appear to recognize that he was either mispronouncing the word or being unintentionally funny.

And who was going to tell him?

Mao joined the USMC boxing team in his second year. The rattle of the ring, the steamy smells from the locker room – these things excited Mao in a way he had never been excited before. His size, his natural strength, and his willingness to be led made him a stand-out from the beginning.

Mao was going to be a star.

And if only he’d listened to his Grandma Kitty, he’d still have that house outside of Scotsdale, the apartment in Tokyo, the villa in Tuscany, and the cartilage in his nose.

But those are other stories.


Sioux said...

More Mao! I see a chapbook on just his "tails." (Okay, that's the last time I'll write that! I promise.)

Glen said...

I think Mao IS going to be a star

mybabyjohn said...

Grandma Kitties always know best.

Cake Betch said...

Well at least Mao didn't get that funky weird cauliflower ear shit. And you know, regardless of whether he meant it or not, self-defecating is still correct isn't it?
At least after they get to a certain age. Did you know kitties have to have their bowls stimulated in order to use the bathroom? Yeah, neither did I before I volunteered to raise an abandoned newborn kitty.

Shelly said...

Self defecating- HA! Love Mr. Mao-

Pearl said...

Ha ha! Yes, I guess we ARE all self-defecating, aren't we? :-)

Leenie said...

I find the combination of the words "kitty" and Samoan a little disturbing. Having a hard time getting that one to focus. But a big tom as a boxer with messed up ears--I've SEEN that. Love it, Pearl.

jabblog said...

Gentle Mao, too soft-hearted for his own good, poor boy.

Oilfield Trash said...

Mao is off to stardom.

Pat said...

Mao is a feline Mrs Malaprop - bless him!
Ah James Brown. I remember driving - heart in mouth - my # 1 son and his pals into London's Rainbow Club to see him. James and I were the oldest people there.

Deborah said...

I don't know what it is about these stories in particular (all of yours are brilliant) but the moment I start reading I'm just bubbling with delight, and laughing aloud. I just LOVE them! :o)

Beth M. Wood said...

Can I admit here that I have never been too fond of cats? A dog-lover yes, but cats? I don't hate them - that's a mighty strong word...Cats, to me, are like vanilla ice cream. But Mao...? I'm hooked!

Lazarus said...

Pearl, I think you'd be a killer children's book author, you should consider that if you haven't already... and you could write those books that have double meanings to entertain adults too. Go for it!

SeaD said...

Pearl I was just going to say what Lazarus said! In fact, I picture Mao in a children's movie and I just know my G-baby would love it!

Great, great stories!

W.C.Camp said...

I am not in love with the kitty's namesake, but his adventures sadly seem to make my life seem even more dull than I thought. SIGH!!! W.C.C.

Audubon Ron said...

I odd as this may seem, I get this.

Joyful Things said...

Goin Down! love that song.

Joshua said...

According to that iPod mix, sounds like someone's going to have a very good time this weekend while wearing a short dress. Or ride an elevator...while wearing a short dress.

George said...

Goin' Down is definitely a Monkees tune. It's funny that you have a James Brown tune there as well because Mickey Dolenz was inspired by Brown's style when this tune was penned. I don't remember if I read this or heard it on a show about the Monkees.

Barbara said...

You had me at self-defecating! Great post!!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I just love your cat stories.
"Self defecating" <-priceless.

IndigoWrath said...

Curious fact you probably knew - "Mao" is Chinese for "cat". Not like Chairman Mao (a subtly different pronunciation). Curious, but true. I guess he's a cat who knows who he is and where he's going; this won't end well.

Daisy said...

I'm not a cat enthusiast but I like your cats Pearl! Thanks for the story.

Gigi said...

That's always the case isn't it? *sigh* If only he had listened to Grandma.

gman said...

+10 cool points to you for having gorillazat the top of your playlist :D

Crystal Pistol said...

There is nothing like a fire-breathing, foot stomping Samoan god. (I'm pretty sure I dated one of those.)

And hooray for THE Monkeys! "People say we Monkey around but we're too busy singin to put anybody down." What a fabulous recipe for life. And Davey Jones? Ahhhh be still my bleeding heart. He's just so dreamy. *sigh*

aBroad said...

I see the future and I am Grandma Kitty and no one will ever listen to me either.
I have seen that flat nose before .. poor Mao :(

River said...

I'll echo a couple of others and ask why aren't you writing childrens books?
A whole series of Mao adventures, could be a winner.

Belle said...

We should always listen to our grandmas.

Symdaddy said...

1. I wouldn't dare contradict you re. Al Conti (although I don't think he appeared on any credits)

2. Goin Down was (is) a pretty cool song but I can't remember if he dies at the end or floats to safety (gonna have to look up the lyrics now).

3. Davy Jones? Ptuuuuiii!

4. There is def'nit'ly a 'Mao' book deal with your name on it just a-waitin' you signature.