The original posting is here, although I expect it to disappear soon.  The following is the complete posting, verbatim.

CL los angeles westside-southbay all for sale / wanted boats – by owner

boat image

27′ Sailboat – Ocean view and other benefits – $5000 (Marina Del Rey)

What does captian kurt, popeye, captain hook and tommy lee have in common? They are all bad ass people. Why? Because they were all in command of ships. You should be in command of a ship. You should buy my boat.

I can offer you the opportunity to be in command of this Catalina 27 sailing ship for about the cost of a lot of the stupid stuff you bought, buy or are thinking about buying. I present the following:

Malls & Nipple Milk
I can tell you this; the boat I am selling is less than the cost of that couch you bought at Pottery Barn* after spending 3 weeks researching it on Google**. I don’t care if your favorite mall doesn’t have a roof on it and has a theme. You should be ashamed of half of the mall things you spent hard earned cash money and time on. None of it will take you across oceans and it will not get you a buffaloes milk at Two Harbors (or a nimby cup). Not even close. Do you want your only source of alcohol laden milk to be your pregnant girlfriends nipple because I guarantee it doesn’t have 8 types of rum and 4 types of artificial sweetener in it. If it does muchacho then you should be hanging out with jcvd on a regular basis and won’t be needing this said boat. Back to your mall things.. If you add up the cost of your bed frame, mattress, headboard, box spring, stupid fancy pillows from Target, decorative duvet cover with a cool pattern from ikea and your designer pajamas it probably costs as much as I’m asking and you can have a f*$king BOAT of which can sleep 5 people and will guarantee you more bidness. You won’t find that guarantee in the bedding department at Macy’s. Note: your lame duvet made from rare dead birds is always on sale, you did not hit the Macy’s Bed Bath and Beyond jackpot and score a 300 feather count for 35% off, everyone did and just because you laughed at some actor making fun of Bed, Bath and Beyond doesn’t give you a pass for going there or not going there. And are you really spending your miniscule amount of free time on Earth counting feathers or laughing at jokes about retail stores? And by the way, if you are the type of person who covers your bed with any amount of (especially more than two) decorative pillows, please do not call about my Boat. I am not interested in selling this to a decorative pillow type which is too bad because you my friend are the type that needs this boat more than anyone.

Recreation, Drinking and Sea Monkeys
I understand you have many options on how to spend your free time. How you choose to recreate says a lot about a human being. What I am offering you is the open Pacific Ocean, fishing, going to islands, breathing salty air at sea, breathing atomic four gas powered exhaust fumes, drinking rum, drinking whiskey, drinking cheap beer, drinking expensive beer, drinking the dead sea monkeys floating in the drink that your friend backwashed, spear fishing anything that moves, endless supply of gold colored fish to make into tacos, trapping crabs, getting crabs, free membership to hbyc, a money pit, a fist pumping teeth grinding laser eating dance platform, a new kitchen, a boom that might hit you in the head, a $270 slip fee, the ability to t-bone a stand up paddle boarder, the ability to bbq a t-bone steak, the ability to bone in the v-birth, the chance to see whales, the improved chance to bring a whale out of najas and tying knots. These are fine things. These are gentlemanly things. They certainly beat sitting in car traffic towing your sand rail or three wheeler past a bunch of meth labs to glamis or driving a boat in circles in the std filled cess pool commonly referred to as “the river” or any other so called lake. Does a real man or woman want to recreate in a standing pool of “fresh water” or in a hot desert with a bunch of drunk yahoos with engines strapped to their backs?

Fast Transport
This boat travels as fast as your Audi on the 405. 6 knots at best. And you spent over $30K. Way more than a domestic car just because of the cool logo, neat ads and foreignness of it. Not to mention the way it makes you feel when you look at it after you park it. You could have got a Ford, a 3 wheeler, a sand rail and this boats for the same price. Enough said.

360 Degree Ocean View and the Mexican Navy
Always wanted an ocean view? See above description of how lucky you are. This boat comes with an ocean view of your damn choosing! Imagine a house that could do that. Those creepy realtor types would be drooling all the way to the bank. (Please no inquiries if your picture is on your business card). For the price of a ocean front strand house you could buy a boat like this every month of the year. In fact for $3,000,000 (reasonable price for a strand house) you could buy 600 boats like this. That’s more than the entire navy of Mexico. What would you do with that many boats? You could tie them together end to end and stretch them from Manhattan Beach pier to Hermosa Beach pier 1.7 times. Toss in a few more and you could have a two way sailboat highway spanning the two piers. This would be enough to move the annual 6 man party to sea and save the fun in a town loosing its charm faster than antartica is loosing glacial ice. Everyone would be happy because the kids could again dress up, beam each other with volleyballs and drink booze in the open sun on a WEEKEND. You would be the damn Kevin Bacon of the beach area. People would make movies of how you returned the joy to such an under privileged area of LA. (Math: 1.8 miles between piers = 9504′ / 27′ boat length = 352 boats required for a one way span.)

Screen World or Water World?
Each day the average person spends ?? hours staring at a computer screen, ?? watching a television screen, and ?? hours looking at a smart phone screen. (You do the math). The hope is that eventually there will be enough devices “invented” whereby 24 hours of your day is spent looking at a radiation emitting electronic display screens. These devices with clever names starting with i will range in size to span every increment of that Home Depot tape measure you never use. This will be toped by the inevitable invention of a gigantic screen that allows up to three people to be imbedded in, is only 2 microns thick, is named after a fruit and hurtles through outer space endlessly. I have good news for you my screen collecting swollen eyeball friend. This boat comes with an lcd tv screen and there is cell service all the way to Catalina Island! So you don’t have to skip the pirate dress up wine mixer because you are worried about missing all those great things happening on social media and on dvd.

Boat Includes
— 4 sails
— Atomic four engine
— Mast
— Boom
— Hull
— Rudder
— Tiller
— The book sailing for Dummies (You must have an IQ of at least 30 to learn how to sail)
— A bow with no arrows
— A bunch of life vests

Attention Doomsday Preppers
If you are a doomsday prepper then you have just hit the powerball lottery scratch off confetti falls out of the sky jackpot. Feel free to go into one of those evangelist religious on stage convulsions right now because when shit hits the fan in L.A. (and it will) do you want to be on the roof of your liqour store with a high powered riffle or in the open ocean reading moby dick with a milky rum drink in your skilled knot tieing hands?

In Summary
This boat is cheap, it gives you access to buffaloes milk, it is more fun than your current hobbies, it is fast enough, it has an ocean view, it comes with a TV, comes with everything you need and it might be helpful in case of a disaster. Most importantly it puts you in command of a ship. Go ahead break a bottle of Champagne over the bow, leave your mall things on land and grab the tiller.

$5,000 OBO / trade offers accepted

*ARE YOU F$##KING KIDDING ME. A STORE NAMED “POTTERY” “BARN”? WHOEVER USED THIS TERRIBLE NAME TO DUPE PEOPLE OUT OF HARD EARNED MONEY INTO BUYING EVERYTHING BUT POTTERY OUT OF ANYTHING BUT A BARN AND SELLING SHIT ALL MADE IN CHINA BUT DESIGNED TO LOOK ANYTHING BUT CHINESE AND I STILL HAVENT SOLD THIS BOAT IS BEYOND ME.

** Google = Best slot machine ever invented. Insert letters instead of coins. Output hyperlinks instead of cash. Google is paid by 3rd party XYZ business for the participants pleasure of playing this terrible slot machine for “free”. But participants pay end up paying in dead brain cells instead of cash and XYZ business trades cash for a snowflakes chance in hell of converting a mouse click to a sale. Only benefit of all this is it finally puts bad newspapers out of business.

*** If you happened to buy a mattress from that old white guy who shrieks “if you find a mattress for a lower price your mattress is free!!!” please, please, please, please don’t f$@king contact me. Did you really think that A-Hole is going to give away a free mattress if you found one for a lower price? Have you heard of anyone getting a free mattress from that damn place? How can our government allow such a thing. I will not give you my boat for free if you find one for less. In fact you will probably be more likely to sink would be my guess. And if you are the type that needs the government to protect you or wastes time complaining about the government also don’t contact me.
Location: Marina Del Rey

do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

© 2013 craigslist

Folks might tell you Pacific Rim is about “Monsters and Giant Robots!” 
They’re only half right. 
There’s a lot more going on in this film and I’ll try to convince you that Pacific Rim is really about: 
Growing up, releasing your ego attachment to your past and to your family. 

I can hear your groans of disbelief right now but here’s my argument. 

1. THE UMBILICAL CORD THEME
In the scene where the baby monster bursts from its monster mother, it is choked to death because it is still connected to its umbilical cord. You could say it was still tethered to its past, the previous generation, and could not proceed. That attachment killed it. 
In the model that is continually shown of the breech between our world and the other world, it appears as a ‘tether’ a connection or umbilical cord. 

2. WE NEED TO BREAK ATTACHMENT, NOT FIGHT THE SYMPTOMS 
This movie contains the ‘need to blow up the center of the death star’, ‘kill the queen alien’, ‘destroy the mother ship’ trope. It’s a common one. You’ll often see it as the ‘kill the witch and all her minions and spells will be vanquished.’ 
Here, this is (as I argue) the ‘break the attachment’/Buddhism theme. They need to cut off the umbilical cord connection to the other world, not just keep fighting the things that jump out from it. 
We see the clearest example of this when during a battle scene, the Robot’s arm crashes through an office building and gently clicks one of those desktop ‘Newton’s Cradle’ things–you know, those ‘hanging clicking balls’ things. 
This tap of the Newton’s Cradle is an image of karma…that there will always be an equal pushback and effect. Sure, the robot’s could keep getting stronger but so would the monsters. You need to get to the source. Break the attachment. 
Before you argue that the Newton’s Cradle is ‘just cute!’ consider its placement within the frame I’m presenting.

3. ATTACHMENT IN PACIFIC RIM IS ABOUT GENERATIONAL RELATIONSHIP AND MEMORY. 
The lead character (Raleigh Becket played by Charlie Hunnam) is very connected to his twin. He grieves, and grows from the loss and is able to then find new trust and connection from a new equal/peer/lover. 
The leader of the missions, Pentecost (played by Idris Elba) finally gives up the attachment to his ‘adopted’ daughter Mako (played by Rinko Kikuchi) when he hands her the red shoe he had been holding onto and allows her to go into battle. 
Just as children must let go of their family connection attachment to become fully adult, so adults need to let go of their attachments to their children to allow their children to flourish and allow themselves to continue in their own flourishing. 
To connect effectively with another robot driver, one has to ‘let go’ of thought and memory. At one point Raleigh says that the ‘drift’ is silence. A Jaeger driver may be drift compatible with another, and may have access to the equipment to meld, but they still have to ‘let go’ of their attachments. 

4. NON ATTACHMENT TO THE PAST, AND FAMILY RELATIONS ALLOWS YOU TO FLOURISH AND FIND LOVE AS AN ADULT. 
Note that upon severing the umbilical ‘breach’ to the other world, Miko and Raleigh then rise to the ocean surface in what look like coffins. They emerge from those ‘raft/buoy/coffins’ and connect in a kiss. Their new lives are in a sense resurrected as adults to freely love because of non-attachment. 
This adult love does not need to mean necessarily ‘romantic love’ though here it is pictured as such. 
Of course the ‘subliminal as underwater’ theme is likely throughout the film. 

 

I hope that this brief analysis of what Pacific Rim is really about was helpful to you! 
Surely there are more interpretations of the film and I welcome your suggestions, critiques, and differing viewpoints! 

MindFlowers

There once were Five Little Pigs.
Together they owned a party pavilion which stood at the end of the Santa Monica Pier.
It was very grand! Each week all the barnyard animals who liked to dance would dress up
in their finest glad rags and come to the Pigs’ Club Foot to dance!
The band was the swinging-est, most danceable, most absolutely Moo-rageous band in town!
They were called “Joyful Cow-tenence” and they specialized in Moo-sic that made you want to dance!
“Joyful Cow-tenence” was a ten piece band and they all played the Cow Bell. Exclusively Cow Bell.
Do you like to dance? Dancing makes me feel udder-ly amazing!

The Five Little Pigs were named Piggly Piggleton, Wiggly Tail, Oink-Oink, Super Pig, and Jeff.
They all loved to dance. They were very happy to see so many barnyard animals dancing happily
together. (We’ll come back to these five pigs in a bit so don’t forget them!)

Every week everyone would come to Club Foot for the best toe-tapping fun around!

One day, Ms. Chicken (who specialized in the Chicken Dance) brought a giant apple pie to share with
all the barnyard animals to celebrate Arbor Day. It was as big as a swimming pool and it smelled so good everyone wanted to
dive right in!

But some of the older animals hadn’t arrived yet!
“Wait!” Said Ms. Chicken. “This pie is for everyone to share! We should wait until all the barnyard animals
are here and then we can each share a piece.”
Everyone agreed that Ms. Chicken had a delicious idea and found her apple pie idea aPEELing!

Ms. Chicken set the pie on top of the Santa Monica roller coaster where it wouldn’t get danced on and the band played
beautiful MOOsic that the sheep said sounded ‘BLEATiful.’ And everyone had a great time.

Finally, the oldest horse from the barn, Mister Horseradish came slowly sauntering into Club Foot.
Everyone celebrated because they loved Mister Horseradish and also because they could now share the yummy smelling
apple pie!
Yum! Every dessert tastes better when it is shared with animals you love!

But when Ms. Chicken got to the top of the roller coaster to get the pie, she found a surprise!
This Arbor Day party had turned into a Surprise Arbor Day Party because someone….
(Can you guess what happened? What do you think happened?)

Someone had brought a whole buncha vanilla ice cream and put it right there next to the apple pie!
Wow!

And all the animals had their share and celebrated trees with Apple Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream.
Now, apple trees were of course especially celebrated, and vanilla bean plants were also greatly appreciated,
as well as sugar cane plants, wheat, and cinnamon trees. But all the animals loved all trees.

Mr. Horseradish had even brought some seeds to plant and little seedlings to give away!

Everyone was having a great party….except Sally Badger. Sally Badger was scratching her head.
There was a mystery afoot and she wanted to get to the bottom of it!

You see, mysteries abound all around us. Every time an inventor invents, or an artist arts, or a musician musics, mysteries are being solved. Math problems, questions, puzzles, riddles, unknowns….they’re all mysteries! And mysteries are fun to solve.

And Sally loved to solve them. She was a gumshoe, or detective. She loved to do math, learn science, build, create, study, read, play, explore! And during the Arbor Day Party she found a mystery as he dug a hole to plant a seedling Mr. Horseradish had given him.
As she dug into the dirt with his tough badger paws, she found that someone had buried their slice of apple pie!
How strange! How mysterious!
She used all the senses she knew to find clues: she looked, sniffed, touched, listened, and yes….tasted!
She needed more information so she began to ask the barnyard animals questions.

Sally heard it from a rooster that a “some mysterious figure had been seen near the spot where the apple pie had been buried.”
Sally knew that the Five Little Pigs that owned Club Foot always had their hooves on the pulse of Santa Monica and knew all the gossip. One of the Five Pigs would have to know!

Sally asked Piggly Piggleton if she knew who buried the piece of pie in the ground.
“I have used all my senses to figure it out but still I’m stumped! Piggly, is there any info that you can give me, any deets? Any data, any facts? I’m all ears, eyes, mouth, nose, and badger paws!”
Piggly snuffled.
“Well Sally have you used all your senses so far?”
“Yup!”
“Did you use your sense of balance? Your feeling of intuition? Your interior feelings of being full or hungry or having a headache? Did you use your sense of right and wrong?”
“Well…I guess I didn’t know we have so many senses Piggly!”
“I’m a gumshoe detective too Sally, and I’ve learned that there’s all kinds of ways to figure things out. I once tried to figure out if a flower was pretty by looking at it but it didn’t work. I needed to also use my sense of beauty.”
“I see,” Said Sally. “And was the flower pretty Piggly?”
“Yes. It was a beautiful rose. I can still see it in my memory.” Piggly snuffled again. “And as to that apple pie that had been so craftily and sneakily snuck away underground–I haven’t the foggiest. I wasn’t around at the time. I had gone to market.”
“Aha. I see. Well thank you Piggly!”

Sally Badger went off and found Wiggly Tail playing beach volleyball.
“Excuse me Wiggly, I was wondering if you knew who buried a piece of apple pie in the ground.”
“Ahhhhh. Yes. The apple pie!” Said Wiggly Tail as he put down his volleyball and wiggled his tail.
“So you know about the mysterious buried apple pie!”
“Well, I don’t know about any specific buried apple pie but I can use my imagination to see how it must have been. I can see it right now in my mind.” Wiggly wiggled and giggled.
“Well Wiggly, I want to know about a very specific piece of apple pie that someone strangely buried.”
“In my imagination I see someone burying it with a tiny spoon and they are wearing a bicycle for a hat and they are laughing butterflies.” Wiggly looked very serious as he said that last part. “My imagination surprises even myself sometimes.” And then he wiggled.
“So you didn’t see anything yourself with your eyes huh?”
“No, when the apple pie was being served I wasn’t there for I had stayed home.”
“Hmmm. Okay. Thanks Wiggly.”

Sally Badger was presently no closer to the answer but she never gave up! Sometimes solving problems was difficult, but Sally stuck with it!
She next found Oink-Oink and Super Pig standing atop a pile of rubble. Oink Oink was holding Super Pig in a cradling and loving sort of way.
“What’s all this? It looks like a storm has just come through here!” Sally gasped.
“This? Oh, this was the work of Doctor Haymem. A very villainous villain she is indeed!” Said Oink-Oink.
“Doctor who?”
“No, Doctor Haymem!” Oink Oink corrected. “She’s a meteorologist who always predicts tornadoes and if she’s wrong, she makes her own tornadoes. She’s a bit of a bother, really.”
“Yeah, a real bummer.” Groaned Super Pig.
“But we took care of all that nonsense, Sally. What can we do for you?” Said Oink Oink looking quite heroic.
“Well, you could tell me if you know anything about who might have buried a piece of apple pie?” Sally asked.
“Sally, you are ever the inquisitive badger!” Oink Oink yelled out , carrying Super Pig down off the pile of assorted crumbled buildings.
“I didn’t mean to badger you, I just wondered…I wanted to know…I so much like to solve mysteries, you see.” Sally said as she removed her detective hat and kneaded it in her paws.
“Sally, I love that about you! Love it!” Oink Oink exclaimed. “Super Pig here and I could not tell you a thing about that apple pie for we were out and about doing different things when the dessert was served.”
“Were you two together?”
“No, we were out to dinner at the time at the Tofu Hut.” Oink Oink set Super Pig safely down on the hood of a ’68 Ford. “I remember it well. One of us had forgotten to bring their money you see–” Oink Oink nodded in the direction of Super Pig “And so we could only afford a little bit of Tofu and Super Pig gave me all of it.”
“That is a bit strange isn’t it? I mean, that Super Pig gave you all the Tofu?”
“Tofu is no matter when love is involved, Sally. You see there is a sense of love that when one feels it, you just can’t help but give up Tofu for the Pig you love.”
“Wow. Super Pig. What a wonderful…strange…mysterious…”
“Oink Oink does the same for me!” Super Pig rustled up from the hood of the car, all wrapped up in a long bright red cape.
“That’s the way of love. Oink Oink gives me the Tofu just as often as not. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”
“And what’s good for the Pig is good for the Super Pig.” Oink Oink said softly with a gentle snout rub against Super Pig’s cape.
“So one had Tofu and the other had none…” Sally concluded.
She was no nearer an answer!

The day was winding down. The sun was setting over the part of the sky that Sally guessed was the West because that was where the Sun usually set, but she didn’t have her compass with her so she couldn’t be sure.
She found the last little piggy Jeff sitting on his porch, drinking a glass of Slop.
“Sally!” Jeff greeted. “I do hope you bear me the gift of your company!”
She could not decline him. She sidled up alongside him taking a seat in the rocking chair next to him.
“Have some Slop, Sally!” He handed her a glass.
“Thank you.” She said, being polite. “I have a question for you Jeff.”
“Shoot.”
“Do you know anything about who might have buried apple pie in the ground?”
Jeff stared off in the distance for a while.
“That sure is peculiar isn’t it?” He said. “Whoever did that sure was…creative.”
“I want to know! Who would do such a thing?!”
“Sally, sometimes there are questions that have no answers. Each evening I come out here to my porch and I see the sunset and I ask myself: ‘how could the simple act of the sun setting be so amazing?'”
“Actually Jeff, it’s not the Sun setting, it’s the Earth rotating.”
Jeff laughed. “Well that’s even more amazing!”
Sally was not laughing. “Who would bury apple pie!? That’s just plain silly!”
“Silly Sally? Silly is the best mystery of all. The strangeness that just gets you all wound up and frustrated until all you can do but laugh. That’s my kinda mystery!” And Jeff did start laughing.
And his laugh was just mysterious enough and….well silly enough to get Sally laughing too.
She had a second glass of Slop and said her goodnights to Jeff.
She set off down the path.
There, along the winding path where she had found the apple pie buried down in the ground earlier stood a giant Apple Pie Tree! It was as tall as the barn and it was sprouting slices of apple pie!
There were children and baby chickens nibbling at the delicious sprouts.
Some were holding their pie next to a knot in the tree that instead of oozing sap was oozing whipped cream.

Sally stood amazed. It was so…so…silly!
Sally started to laugh. It was a high ‘hee hee hee’ sounding laugh and it made her feel good.
And Sally went ‘hee hee hee’ all the way home.

Well, there was a ‘change.’

They’re our closest neighbors.

An examination of our most dangerous eating utensil: the fork.

The desert is a hot, dry place and sand and sunshine are everywhere.
And the desert is the best place to get dessert, all kinds of sweets can be found there.
You’ll find Cactus Cakes, Tumbleweed Twists, Melted Ice Cream, Butter-brickle Brambles, and Dusty Cup Cakes.
And no one made better Dusty Cup Cakes than ol’ Toothless Jeb of the Okie Dokey Corral.

“Toothless” was a bit of a misnomer. You see, Jeb had plenty of teeth but when you’re an alligator like Jeb, 43 teeth doesn’t seem like a lot.
Each morning Toothless Jeb would set out his daily batch of Cup Cakes on the window sill of his store and open the window to let the wind sprinkle them with the sugar dust that blew in across the Pixie Dust Prairie.
Well, one morning wouldn’t you know it, along came A Cupcake Thief who called himself Cowboy X and Cowboy X stole those Cup Cakes and took off screaming “Cowboy X Yeee Haaw!”

A few miles down the road, Cowboy X came across what looked to be a mound of rags on the side of the trail. But it began to move! And low and behold it stood up and it was a person! A Cowgirl named Barstow Barbara, a wallaby.
“Well, howdy partner.” Barb said. “I’m Barstow Barbara. Or, that’s the name I go by. My name is Magill, I call myself Lill, but everyone knows me as Nancy. Nevertheless, the name I go by is Barstow Barbara.”
“Well, that’s clear as mud.” Said Cowboy X. “All around town my name is Mudd. But I go by the name of Cowboy X. You can call me X.”
“Well, X, I’ve been out on this here trail for a mighty long time. It seems since early this morning anyway, and I sure could use a nice refreshing Cup Cake. Could you borrow me a Cup Cake there partner? Whattya say?”
“Well, you mean will I LOAN you a cupcake.”
“I’m pretty sure what I meant,” said Barbara, “and I guess you got the gist of what I meant but what’s the difference?”
“Well I would do the loaning and you’d do the borrowing.” Said X.
“That’s great! Thanks.” Said Barbara.
“Now hold on a right darn rootin’ tootin’ New York Minute there, Ms. Magill Call Yourself Lill Everyone Knows You As Nancy and Goes By Barstow Barbara! I didn’t agree to any sort of loaning agreement by any means or terms between myself or any such party.”
“Look here X, I never did once celebrate anything nor have I partook in any party in my life. Not even one of my birthdays of which there have been several. All I wanted was for me to BORROW and you to LOAN me a Cup Cake. And that’s the end of that. Whattya say?”
Cowboy X scratched at his scruffy beard.
“Well, Barbara. I wish I could. I do. But the way I see it, for me to loan you a Cup Cake would require you to then give me back that same aforementioned Cup Cake. The self same and identical Cup Cake. Being the case that you would like to eat the Cake in question,”
“The Cup Cake, yes.” She interrupted.
“That is correct. The Cup Cake. Being that you would like to eat the Cup Cake. I don’t see how any lending would be possible in this here instance. Good day.” And Cowboy X walked away.

A short distance later, Barstow Barbara ran up alongside X.
“Sir, if I might borrow a moment of your time.” She said.
He glared at her.
“I’m sorry, X. I mean: if I could have a moment of your time…..”
“It is granted. Speak.” He stopped.
“How about we find a middle ground. A compromise as it were.”
“I’m listening.”
“How about if we agreed for you to GIVE me a Cup Cake.”
Cowboy X considered for a moment then said,
“That would lessen my number of Cup Cakes by one.” He said, doing some math in his head.
“Your number would decrease, X, yes. This I do not debate. However, the total amount of Cup Cakes in general would remain the same.” said Barbara.
“The logic is sound.” Said X, “yet still my access to that particular Cup Cake would certainly diminish to the point of absolute zero as you ate that Cup Cake!” He said feeling quite satisfied.
“But, dear sir, you would still have all of your remaining Cup Cakes. From your perspective you would have 100% of the Cup Cakes and as I finished my Cup Cake not only would I have none of your Cup Cakes, I wouldn’t even have any of my ONE Cup Cake any longer. I would have no Cup Cakes and you would have them all.” She cleared her throat. “The bottom line Mr. X, is that in this scenario you would come out on top and in the end I would again have nothing but the rags on my back.” She folded her arms feeling quite accomplished.
Mr. X stood silent deep in thought.
“Aha! I’ve got it! We’ve been so bogged down in the specifics of who gets what and whatnot that we’ve completely overlooked the idea of you buying a Cup Cake from me.”
Mr. X exclaimed.
“Well, how much would a Cup Cake cost?”
“Actually, they’re not for sale. Sorry. It was just an idea. No harm in sharing ideas!” He said.
“Absolutely. No bad ideas in a brainstorm, that’s what Lill always says.” She said.
“Who’s Lill?” Cowboy X asked.
“Me. I call myself Lill.”
“That’s right. I’d forgotten that. Strange that everyone knows you as Nancy.” He stared off into the distance.
“Oh, that’s just because I look like my twin brother Nancy.” Barbara said.
“Nancy huh? And what does he go by?”
“He doesn’t. He’s largely unknown. He’s a struggling artist, writes anonymously, is often misquoted, dresses in disguises, is largely forgettable, and his cooking is terrible. All in all, Nancy is hardly a Nancy or any other name at all.”
“I see.” Said X. “Well, nice to have met you. Good day.” And he walked away.

A short distance down the road Barstow Barbara ran up alongside Cowboy X.
“Pardon me, X, but you said your Cup Cakes weren’t for sale.”
“That is correct Ma’am.”
“Well, how about trading?” She asked.
Cowboy X stopped. “A trade you say?”
“Yes. A trade. Fair and square. I’ll trade you a dollar for a Cup Cake.”
“Trade me a dollar for a Cup Cake huh? That sounds a lot like a retail transaction. Are you speaking of a purchase per chance?”
“I suppose you could look at it that way.” She said. “But that would only be if you wanted to use the dollar as a dollar. If you just wanted a piece of paper to turn into a paper airplane, a dollar bill would suffice and no ‘money’ would have exchanged hands. Suffice it to say, money that is not used as money is just a thing. A thing you could trade.”
“So,” X stopped walking, “If I wanted something shiny to look at and you gave me four quarters for a Cup Cake that would be a trade?”
“Absolutely.” She said.
“Okay. Let’s do it!” X said and held out his hand. He loved shiny things.
“Actually, I don’t have four quarters. I just have this dollar bill.” She held out her stiff crisp new dollar bill, just ready to be made into a paper airplane. “Do you have change for a dollar?” She asked.
“No!” He exclaimed. “I’ve only got my one quarter. It’s the last one I got!”
“Wow.” said Barbara staring at the quarter. “That is pretty shiny.” She liked shiny things too.
“Now, if you don’t mind…I’ve got to get moving along Barbara. You see, I’ve only recently stolen these Cup Cakes and I need to high tail it along the dusty trail before the sheriff comes looking for me.” Cowboy X turned to leave. “Oh, Barbara, before I leave: why do you call yourself Lill?”
“It works whether I’m talking to myself or talking to myself in the mirror.” She said.
“Because Lill is Llil backwards.”
“That’s right!” She said beaming.
“I think I’m beginning to understand you, Barbara. Good day.” And Cowboy X walked away.

Finally Barstow Barbara caught up with him again.
“You again!?” X said quite exasperated. “Why don’t you just leave me alone?”
“Because I am really very hungry! I haven’t eaten all morning!”
X looked at his watch. “It’s only 9 O’Clock!”
“Yes, but it’s late afternoon in France.”
“But we’re not in France!” Yelled X.
“Very convenient for you, isn’t it?” Barbara said flatly and crossed her arms.
“You’re full of nonsense!” Cowboy X grumbled and pulled his cowboy hat over his ears.
“My empty stomach stands in direct contradiction!” She answered and was so pleased with herself that she shook her rags and did a deep curtsy before finishing with a pirouette.
“I will not loan, sell, or trade you any of these Cup Cakes! Not one, not some….and not all!…I know you’d ask.” X hitched up his overalls and spat on the sugary ground for emphasis.
“How about a bet?” Barbara offered.
“Hmmm. What do I get if I win?”
“All of your Cup Cakes.”
“What if you win?”
“I get one of your Cup Cakes.”
“I like those terms. What’s the wager?”
“That you can’t guess what day my birthday is on.”
“Well, let’s see here. There’s 365 days in a year and one of those days would have to be your birthday….I like those odds. Okay.”
Cowboy X set down his Cup Cakes and they shook on the bet.
“Well,” X said. “Using logic, I may be able to figure this out. Let’s see: you’ve already told me that you don’t celebrate your birthday and you don’t seem to be celebrating. However, subconsciously you may secretly want to somehow recognize that it’s your birthday…perhaps by eating a Cup Cake…and you certainly have been showing interest in my Cup Cakes today. And you seem to be the sneaky kind of wallaby that would choose a bet like this on her birthday just as a joke to herself…So…Using logic, reason, the power of deduction and insight and powered by intuition and my knowledge of you…I’m going to guess that your birthday is today.”
Barbara raised her eyebrows. “Cowboy X…It is indeed my birthday…BUT! But the question was ‘what day was my birthday?’ so what day is it today?”
“Uhhhh. Wednesday.”
“Nope. Today is Tuesday.”
Cowboy X threw his hat on the ground. “Dagnabbit!” He yelled. “This week has been going by so slow!”
Barbara laughed and laughed and held out her hand, very satisfied with herself.
Cowboy X thought quickly. “But! Wait! What about we go double or nothing. If you win, you get two of my Cup Cakes and if I win, I get to keep all of my Cup Cakes.”
“I like the terms.” Said Barbara. “What’s the bet?”
“That you can’t guess any day of the year that is NOT my birthday.” Said Cowboy X.
“Well, there’s 365 days in a year and most people I know, wallabies or not, are born only on one day…So…I like my odds! You’ve got a bet!” And Barbara shook X’s hand.
“I will guess that your birthday is not today.”
“Sorry.” Said Cowboy X. He yanked the Cup Cake back from Barbara and walked away.

A short distance later, Barbara ran up to X.
“Okay, X: you won’t lend, sell, trade a cup cake. And I’ve tried my best at betting you for one. How about I EARN a cup cake?”
“Well, that would depend on what you would do to earn a Cup Cake.”
“I could teach you how to climb a cactus!” She said.
“Well, that would be a very valuable skill to acquire. For, high atop the lofty cactus I would be able to espy the afar Sheriff on yonder and then turn and high tail it in the opposite direction, thus putting space and hence time between us. Bottom line is: I hire you for the wage of ONE CUP CAKE and by extension buy myself freedom AND the rest of my Cup Cakes.” Cowboy X tugged at his beard in thought. “Okay. You’ve got it Barbara. Teach away. I am your pliant and willing disciple.”
Barbara walked X to the base of the tallest cactus in the Dessert Desert, just West of the Pixie Dust Prairie.
“This here cactus will serve as our classroom.” She said and took out a small notebook and a big pencil. “What you will want to do is grab your arms around the cactus and slowly shimmy up it until you get to the very tippy top and then sit down.”
“By the sounds of it, that will be very difficult, Barbara.”
“I never promised you a rose garden, X. Now get going. Class starts now!”
And Cowboy X grabbed onto the cactus “Ouch!” and started climbing “OUCH!” and kept climbing “Ouchyouchyouchyouchyouchy!” until he got to the tippy top and sat down.
“Very good, X! You get an A Plus!” Barbara yelled up and grabbed her Cup Cake.
Before she could take a bite, X called down: “How do I get down?!”
But he was VERY HIGH UP and it was hard to hear what he said.
“WHAT?” Barbara yelled back up to him.
“HOW DO I GET DOWN FROM HERE?” He yelled very loudly.
Barbara yelled back very very loudly: “YOU JUMP!”
And Barbara laughed and laughed and laughed. She was about to take a bite of her delicious Cup Cake when all of a sudden: SPLAT!
Cowboy X jumped down from the tippy top and landed on all of his other Cup Cakes which broke his fall quite nicely because there were a lot of Cup Cakes and they all had a lot of very fluffy frosting on them.
Barbara was a bit surprised. “X, you look very happy!”
“Of course I am happy!” He said. “I got to see the most amazing thing ever. It was just amazing……”
Barbara was silent for a while and was about to take a bite out of her Cup Cake when curiosity got the best of her.
“What was it?”
“Well, I can’t really describe it. You’d have to see it yourself.”
“Well show me it!” She said excitedly. She hoped it was shiny. Barbara really liked shiny things.
“I wish I could. But you can’t see it from here. I could only see it from up there.” Cowboy X pointed up.
“Up there?” Barbara questioned questioningly.
“Yup. I could only see it from up there. And it was pretty amazing. Really.You may never have seen it yourself it all your life.” Cowboy X said as he brushed off the fluffy frosting from his coveralls.
“Well I want to see it!” Barbara exclaimed.
“Well get on up there then!” Cowboy X encouraged.
“Will you hold my Cup Cake?” She asked.
“Sure.”
“You won’t eat it will you?”
“Nope.”
“Not even a little bit.”
“Nope.”
“It’s just that I earned this Cup Cake. I earned it fair and square through work, okay? It’s mine. This Cup Cake is my wage. I don’t want to have a labor dispute with you. I like you Cowboy X, I do. You’re professional, you’re a natural leader. I wouldn’t say you’re a friend per se, but as much as you were my student you were my boss. And I think that we had a good rapport as a supervisor and employee.”
“I agree, Barbara. I totally agree.”
“So please. Don’t sour this experience for me okay? I’ve wanted a Cup Cake all morning and this solitary and singular Cup Cake is all I want in life right now. It’s the only thing I’ve got going for myself. Look at me. I’m covered in rags! And this notebook and pencil are really just props. The notebook doesn’t have any paper in it and the pencil is really dull–they’re just for show, you know…To make me look the part of a teacher for when I teach people how to climb cacti. You know. So please. Cowboy X….don’t…just…please don’t eat my Cup Cake.”
“Sure thing Barbara now climb up that cactus.”
She handed X the Cup Cake and started climbing.
It hurt. It hurt really bad.
And as an aside, just me to you: don’t ever try to climb a cactus. It is horrifically painful and possibly life threatening.
When Barbara got to the tippy top and sat down she looked around.
“Cowboy X? What was it? What was it that you saw up here? That I had never seen before and you could only see from up here?”
“The top of your head!”
And Cowboy X laughed and laughed and laughed through a mouthful of Cup Cake.
“Cowboy X! Yeeeee Haaaw!”
And Cowboy X ran away across the Dessert Desert.

After a couple of hours Barbara saw two figures coming from a long distance away, their shadows laying long ahead of them. In a couple more hours, the Sheriff and Toothless Jeb stood at the foot of the cactus.
“Who’s up there?” Toothless Jeb yelled up.
“It’s me! Barstow Barbara!” She yelled down.
“Oh. That’s the girl named Magill who calls herself Lill but everyone knows her as Nancy.”
Said the Sheriff.
“Whatcha doing at the tippy top of that cactus?” The Sheriff asked.
“Don’t ask!” She called back down.
Thankfully Toothless Jeb had brought a basket of Cup Cakes that he laid down so that Barbara could jump down into them. They were very shock absorbent.
“What are you two doing way out here in the Dessert Desert anyway?” Barbara asked thinking she was pretty lucky they came along.
“Oh, we’ve been looking for a Cup Cake Thief.” The Sheriff said and he pulled out a Wanted Poster with a picture of Cowboy X on it. “His name is Nancy, he calls himself X, and all around town his name is Mudd.”
Barbara scratched her head. “Not a bad looking guy, is he?”
“Meh. His looks are pretty forgettable.” said Jeb.
“Yeah,” said the Sheriff “and his cooking is terrible.”