Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hanging in the clothes section

La Netta had already taken me to the juice section at Target when I picked up my two juices on Monday. She was now at the clothes section for the second time, there to pick up something for Sierra.

"Do you have a teen-age daughter?", Carl asked her. "Or is she 8?"

"She's 7", said La Netta.

"Picking out clothes for your kids is hard", said Carl. "First you have to consider the kid's own wants. Then you have to consider what everyone will think of them if they wear that. Then, you have to consider the public image."

La Netta picked out one piece of clothing. Carl didn't like it. "Maybe with a black miniskirt she can pull it off . . .", said Carl.

While they sat around and bickered over clothes, I kept my eyes closed. I didn't want to see any pajamdras.

Just then, Carl lambasted another choice of La Netta's in clothing, saying, "That? Maybe she can wear that with pajxmxs . . ."

"Rrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Sorry about that", said Carl.

"La Netta, please get me to a restroom", I said. "I can't hold it in."

"I'll take you somewhere", said La Netta.

They didn't leave immediately, and I told La Netta, "I can't hold it in."

"We're going to the check-out right now", said La Netta.

When we made it to the cash register, I handed La Netta my money bag and said, "Here".

"I need to make sure you find it", said La Netta.

So I paid for my juice, looked at the corners of my dollar bills to make sure they were the right side up, and put my money and receipt in my bag.

Then La Netta led me to the restroom.

By now, I had thought "pajxmxs" to myself several times, with both the "Alabama" pronunciation and the "drama" pronunciation. I hadn't thought the singular yet, thank God.

I purged off the words I had thought to myself then got to Carl's. Zamaazhdap, I thought to myself in the exact same timbre in which he had said "pajxmxs". Then I thought and then another zamahzhdapzamaazhdap. I chanted "pajaamdras" while thrusting at my groin, and it came up like the crusty part of a chimichanga. I then did another "pajahmdras" down there, and then another "pajaamdras". Then I did a "pajaamdras" going up. Next came a pizzaey "pajahmdras" down there, and another "pajahmdras" going up, and I was done. I washed my hands and came right out.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pizza Puzzle

Wednesday morning we drove to the office with Emanuel listening to the rap, but not talking much.

Then Emanuel took his shoe off. Did he say "t-ngling"?

"La Netta", I asked, "Did Emanuel say the word that rhymes with 'single'?"

"No", said Emanuel. "I've got to get to the office, my feet are t-ngling."

"Rrrrrrrr!", I growled. "La Netta, why didn't you tell me yes?"

"Because Emanuel answered it for me", said La Netta.

When we got to the office, I sat in the couch room and noticed a list of names. It had the name of every CIWPer. Earlier I had gotten into an argument with La Netta about what the largest ethnic group is at CIWP. I said it was African-Americans. She said some other ethnic group must be largest. Now I could test my hypothesis.

"La Netta, what ethnic group is Brandon?", I asked.

"He's African-American", said La Netta.

"What about Chris?"

"I think he's White."

"What's Chris' last name?"

"I don't know."

"Maria?", I asked.

"Hola, James", said Maria. "?Cómo está?"

"Fue un mal día", I said. "?Qué es el apellido de Chris?"

"Pxrdon?", asked Maria.

"RRRRRRR!"

"Estoy desolado", she said. Then she mumbled something about "la palabra".

"?Qué es el apellido de Chris?"

"Pearson", Maria said.

"OK, thanks". That meant Chris was Scandinavian.

I then asked her about Gordon. Gordon's last name was Young/Yung, which meant he was Chinese.

When I added all the names up, I had 11 African-American clients, 5 Mexican clients and 2 each for Jewish, Mien, English and Welsh, with 1 each for all the other ethnic groups. That meant my hypothesis was correct. Interestingly, only 8 of our current clients were White. Jolene had left, of course.

After I had purged off "pardon", La Netta asked if I wanted to help her put together a puzzle of the Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles. She gave me all the pieces with pizza.

I tried to piece the pizza together. I figured out some of the pieces, but I couldn't get others to fit. "La Netta", I asked, "Is there just one pizza in this picture?"

"Yes", she answered.

I made a bit of progress, but not much. Then I asked if I could see the picture of how the entire puzzle looked when it was put together. She showed me the box.

"La Netta!", I said. "There's more than one pizza in the puzzle!"

We assembled the two Ninja Pizza signs in addition to the pizza the turtles were eating and the slice of pizza on one turtle's sai. Only the turtle with the sai appeared to be happy. Two of the turtles looked worried and one had an aggressive face as he was slicing the pizza in half with his katana.

Then we went out for lunch at KFC. I bought four snackers for under $5, two honey barbecue, two crispy. We all ate inside the restaurant.

As we got out, Emanuel talked like crazy. He wouldn't stop talking about nothing as we waited to pull off in the van.

". . . 24 flavors of ice xxxxx", said Emanuel.

"Blechhh!", I said.

"Are you going to be long?", asked La Netta as I stepped out of the van.

"I hope not", I said.

I purged in the restroom. La Netta called. I finished up, then washed and I was out of there.

Since we had extra time, we visited JC Penney. Emanuel parted ways with us, while La Netta and the rest of us went in and the women shopped.

I heard one of them mention the extra price for "shxpping and handling". La Netta let me use the restroom, where I picked at my navel.

"What a lovely dress on that mannequin!", said La Netta. "I caught myself, I was almost going to say the C-word."

But she didn't.

(Pizza Puzzle was the name of a banned Wikipedian.)

The day I wouldn't stop salivating

We were riding down the road to Robin's house Tuesday morning with Star 101.3 on the radio when the DJ's got to talking. One of them said "cutxe pie".

"ECHHHH!", I said. La Netta turned the radio off.

"I've been hearing the C-word on the radio an awful lot lately", I said.

"You have?", asked La Netta.

"Yes", I said.

La Netta told me she hadn't reached Jolene on Friday, so she hadn't been able to give her the peanut butter cups. I brought them in.

"Jo-lene!", I said. "I have something for you!" I handed her the bag.

She didn't seem to be appreciative, so I ripped the tied plastic bag open and produced the candies.

"Thank you", said Jolene.

"You're welcome", I said.

"These are my favorite candy!", said Jolene.

"Your favorite candy?", her staff asked her.

"Yes! My favorite!"

Just then Jolene got to thumping on the top of the box. She tapped on it as if she were playing a tambourine.

When we got to the office, I purged in the restroom. I was gagging a lot. Then I lay down to rest on the sofa.

La Netta had just Carl, Robin and me (Ken was seeing his mother) so she asked us where we'd like to go. We threw around bowling and Target, but ended up going to the Pacific East Ranch Market.

I had to get out to spit twice on our way there, because my mouth just kept filling up with saliva. When we entered the market, I spat out again and hoped my mouth wouldn't fill up.

I told La Netta I wanted to look at the fruit section and look for starfruit juice.

I picked out a cherimoya and a Styrofoam full of kumquats from the fruit section, while La Netta was picking out some bananas. We looked in the pastry secton and she selected some honeydew shortbread.

At the meat, Carl discussed how disgusting the food was.

"You don't like chicken?", asked La Netta. "Is that why you wouldn't eat the chicken at the Valentine's Day Party?"

"I don't eat any meat that I can associate with an animal", said Carl. "Beef, pork chops, bologna, ham, those are OK. But not anything that has the name of an animal."

"No lamb, turkey or duck?", I asked.

"That's right", he said.

"No oysters?"

"No oysters. And this is chickens' feet. That's just sick."

Then we were at the juice section. "What does this say?", asked La Netta. I looked, and the tea she had picked out was labeled in Chinese characters with some Korean characters -- no Japanese.

By now my mouth was full of saliva. "Chi-nese", I said.

"What did you say?"

"Chi-nese."

"You can't read it?"

"Can't read it."

I found my starfruit juice and we were good to go.

After paying for our goodies, La Netta pointed out a garbage can where I emptied my mouth. I decided on Taco Bell for lunch.

Once we got to the drive-through, I couldn't order because my mouth was eull. La Netta finally stopped and let me open the eoor and spit outwards so I could tell her what to order. I ordered a five-layer burrito, a Crunch Wrap Supreme and a chicken chalupa.

We hung out at Davis Park where La Netta and Carl ate lunch (La Netta had gotten a tostada from Taco Bell). I went into the restroom and gagged some more. Then the saliva finally stopped accumulating.

Carl talked about his hate of water. Water, he told us, was poison. He hated to shower and he hated to bathe. Being corroded with acid, said Carl, was the same as being touched by one drop of water.

It was 2:07, so we headed on home. La Netta finally gave me my pill. And I ate that Mexican food once I got into the house.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A special trip for Jolene

I miss Jolene. In fact, the other day I found myself walking up to La Netta and saying, "I loooooove tacos. Tacos are my favorite!"

"Nap-nap-napnin!", La Netta said in return.

So on Friday, while Darnell, Robin and Carl were staying in the office for a Valentine's Day party, I told La Netta I wanted to go to See's Chocolates.

The last time I had gone to See's, I had seen a bag full of nothing but Peanut Crunches. I thought Jolene would like those. So I aimed for those at See's.

"Oh, James", said La Netta, "There's a line out the door. Do you still want to go? We can go to Trader Joe's, where they have peanut butter cups."

I told her I wanted to go and stand in line.

La Netta told me that if I waited in line, she could look and see if they still had bags oe Peanut Crunches. The long line was only for people who wanted their orders assembled and bagged by the employee, she explained.

So I let her look. She said they didn't have it.

Just to make sure she hadn't overlooked it, I went and looked. They didn't have it anymore.

I decided to just go to Trader Joe's.

While we walked to Trader Joe's, I saw a plastic frok littered on the ground. "Eewwwwww!", I said.

"What?", asked La Netta.

I pointed to the silverware.

"Oh."

In Trader Joe's, I told La Netta I wanted to look just at the chocolate. La Netta told me they had "the I-word" under it, so we agreed that she would look for me and read off the labels.

I selected the peanut butter cups for Jolene. La Netta said she had shared those with Jolene before, and Jolene liked them. For myself: some cocoa-covered chocolate almonds.

After making our purchases, I got Chinese food at Chef's. The Friday before Valentine's Day, the line was long, but La Netta and I waited in line nevertheless. My order consisted of chow mein, honey sesame chicken . . . and broccoli beef.

"Just a frok, no napkin?", the employee asked me.

"No, no, no", I said. "No silverware, just a napkin."

"Just a napkin", she repeated.

La Netta decided she would park in front of the CIWP office during the party. I would come in to purge, then leave and return to the van.

I went in and purged off the (metal) forks drawn on La Netta's paper Trader Joe's bag (I chose plastic), as a kind of visual rubble-clearing. Then I purged off the word "frok" spoken by the Chef's employee.

Then the frok I saw littered on the ground was the entrée. "Fadorork; fadorork, fadorork, fadorork, fadorork; fadorork, fadorork, fadorork, fadorork", I did for the first tine. Then I did three more tines. Then the "scoop" of the frok. Then the handle.

I finished it up with something that captures the essence of a puncturey frok.

Then I was eone, and joined La Netta.

I left the peanut butter cups in the van at the end of the day, so La Netta could give them to Jolene when taking Robin home.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bang! Clunk! Crash! goes my CD player

When I got out of bed this morning, I was feeling ill. I needed to sit down while I walked. In this bout of illness, I accidentally dropped my headphones.

When we got into the van, La Netta told me I would need to put my headphones on. But when I pushed the ON button, it didn't play. The word "Disc" appeared on the liquid crystal display.

"My headphones aren't working", I told La Netta.

Carl said he could fix them.

"I hope I didn't break my CD player by dropping it", I said.

Carl tweaked my CD player and finally it was playing Nirvana again. I turned the volume all the way up and could now listen in peace.

La Netta had tested Carl's ability to read digital and analog clocks before and discovered he couldn't read analog. But today she asked him if he knew his colors.

"What color is this shoe?", I asked him.

"Black", he said. "Even color-blind people could see that."

"What color is this turtleneck?"

"Navy blue. No . . . cobalt blue."

"What color is Robin's jacket?"

"Navy bloe."

"What color is this bag?" I pointed to a brown paper bag.

"Champagne."

"What color are those bushes?"

"Forest green."

"What color is that seagull?"

"Even color-blind people can see white, grey and black."

"OK, so I guess he knows his colors, La Netta."

Later, Robin head-butted me. I screamed in pain, then yelled, "SHAME ON YOU, ROBIN!"

"I'm scxxtin' -- movin' up so Robin won't get me", said Carl.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Sorry about that", he said.

"La Netta", I asked as we headed to the shopping square, "Do any of these places have a restroom?"

"I don't think either one has a restroom," said La Netta, "So you may have to hold it in until we can get to the park."

We looked around in Joann Fabrics. I asked La Netta about purge words. I discovered that the Intercom played a Joann commercial after every song!

"We're almost out of here", said La Netta.

Then I stepped around and saw the word "C-tibank" on the sign that told where everything was on the square. I squealed, then pointed it out to La Netta.

"What don't you like about that bank?", asked La Netta.

"I can't tell you until I'm finished purging it off", I said.

We visited the pet shop, and La Netta compared the features of aquaria. Then it was off to Chef's for some Chinese food, and finally the park.

I spent about an hour purging off "scxxtin'" (since I had thought it to myself so many times) and then "C-tibank". Shortly after I took my pill, we began the drive home. I was no longer feeling ill or weak.

Not being silent

When I came to program on Wednesday, La Netta was back.

"La Netta!", I called out.

I put my headphones on as the rap played, then we let Emanuel out early. "La Netta," I asked, "Could we have a different radio station now that Emanuel's out of the van?"

"Did I what?", asked La Netta.

"It wasn't a 'did you'."

"What did you ask me?"

"Could we have a different radio station now that Emanuel's out of the van?"

La Netta switched the station to Star 101.3.

We hung around at Fernandez Park a while before visiting the Hilltop shopping center. La Netta and I agreed to go into Pet Smart.

We looked at their mice, rats and parakeets. Their large-eared rat was called a Dumbo rat. Then La Netta wanted to look over at the fish and frogs.

One tank had a hermit crab. It lived in a tank with a variety of shells -- one red, one painted like a soccer ball, one with Tweety Bird on it, etc. I looked at one was painted with cobwxbs. I shrieked in horror. La Netta wondered why, so I pointed to it.

La Netta enlisted an employee's help in answering her question about fish. She wanted to know which species of fish reproduced a lot.

"Like rabbits or guinea pigs", I said.

She answered La Netta's question, and said they couldn't sex a lot of the species.

Then she said, "You'll need to keep an exe on it . . ."

"Ewwwwwwwww!", I said, jumping back.

A little later . . . "So just keep an exe on it . . ."

"Eeeeeewwwwwww!"

"I'll take you to the restroom", said La Netta.

Before we left, La Netta took me to the restroom. "Try not to take long, because Robin is agitated", she said.

While there, I purged off the "keep an exe on"s: "Adolye, adolye, adolye, adolye . . . Keep an adolye on, keep an adolye on . . ."

"We're ready, James", said La Netta.

A little later: "We need to go now".

I finished with the K & E words, but didn't have time to do the cobwxbs. I explained that to La Netta.

When we got to Ross, she told me I could use the restroom there. "You'll just have to do it in silence", she said.

"I have to chant", I said.

"Then I guess you'll have to wait until we get to a park", she said. "So what are you going to do?"

"I'll going to go to the restroom."

"Promise you won't chant?"

"I can't."

"There are young kids in the restroom. That's rude!"

"Then how about I just wait until the children are out?"

"All right."

So La Netta and I stood outside until the little boys came out. Then I went in and purged off the cobwxbs. Next I swallowed my pill.

We had our lunch at Pinole Valley Park. I, of course, didn't eat anything. I was out of money, so I couldn't buy anything either.

La Netta asked Carl about various things he might or might not do.

"Inappropriate sexual behavior?", La Netta asked.

"I don't do it in public", Carl said.

"OK. Good. Non-compliance?"

"You know me! Of course! I'm a rebel!"

Eventually, we got tired of sitting there and having Carl talk about nothing, so we started drops.

"I've got an idea for some suggestive T-shirts", said Carl. "For women, we could make a T-shirt that says, 'I love my dick . . . I mean Ricky'."

"I don't get it", said La Netta.

"Because Dick and Ricky are both forms of the name Richard", I explained.

"And for men", said Carl, "We could make a T-shirt that says, 'I love my pussy . . . I mean cat'."

"That is not OK!", said La Netta. "I'm going to have to put that in your book."

"Carl", I said, "The pussy/cat joke is a cliché. It's not funny anymore!"

"It's not?", asked Carl.

"That is a beautiful bxke", said Carl.

At the end of the day, I shared with La Netta a hug for my shower. As my friend squeezed me, I was surrounded by a blubbery pillow. I finished by picking my navel.

Riding in the ghost van

Tuesday, still no La Netta. Where is she? Kay and Alejandra were driving in her stead.

Kay got into a red van, and I asked if this was the van she was telling Carl about. She said yes.

Kay asked Robin to get on his seatbelt. Carl told him he better be extra conscientious about putting on his seatbelt, because this was the ghost van.

"I'm a rebel, and even I'm putting it on", said Carl.

Ken was talking with us as we drove to Robin's house and I heard something that sounded like "axx oxxx the pxxxx".

"Did you say the A, O the P words?", I asked Ken.

"No, I didn't, James", said Ken.

"Kay, did Ken say the A, O the P words?"

"He didn't", said Kay.

"And I wasn't listening", said Carl. "I have the feeling you were going to ask me next."

"Actually, I don't need to, because Kay heard and she says he didn't", I said.

"Oh, OK, good."

But later on, as we drove to Vincent Park . . .

". . . be driving axx oxxx the pxxxx", said Ken.

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!", I said.

"Oops!", said Ken. "Sorry, James!"

"Now he has to get to a restroom", said Carl.

"Scxxt!", said Emanuel.

"RRRRRRRRRR! EMANUEL!", I growled.

"I'm going to get you, boy!", said Ken.

"Ken, please don't", said Kay.

"I'll help with it", said Carl.

I got to the restroom at Vincent Park when we made it there, and purged off both "axx oxxx the pxxxx" and "scxxt". The others went for a walked while I purged.

I then got back in. Carl said, "We've tried switching seats and Robin is still agitated. We've tried everything and Robin is still agitated. Now the one thing left to try is pure silence."

Alejandra talked a little, then Carl said, "Let's try silence".

Finally the coaches agreed to it. "We'll have silence", said Emanuel. "SCXXT!"

"RRRRRRRRR!", I growled.

"Emanuel!", everyone shouted at him.

"OK, I'm not going to keep saying 'scxxt'. Because 'scxxt' is just a word", said Emanuel.

"Emanuel, are you going to stop?", asked Kay.

They stopped the van again so I could purge. While I purged, Ken took his fist -- and smacked Emanuel!

I got back into the van and Kay told me she had called Lita. She had told Lita about Emanuel and about the schedule change (from Wal-mart to Target). "Has Emanuel done this before?", asked Kay.

"Yes", I replied.

"And have you told Lita about it?"

"Yes, I have."

I walked back to the van and Carl said to Emanoel, who was sitting at the door end of the middle row, "Why don't you scxxt over?"

"Rrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Now I said it!", said Carl. "Sorry, James. Why don't you move over so James will be right behind you to smack you if he needs to?"

I went to the restroom again.

Our next trip was to Target. I explained to Kay that I had spent all my January money. She gave me a $10 bill to pay for juices. I picked out an apple juice bottle from Market Pantry and two bottles of cranberry juice, while Kay was drawn to the Archer Farms products. Kay said, "Yxk" at the banana juice.

We followed Carl to the electronics section. Kay chastised Carl and Ken for wandering off from the group and leaving Alejandra behind them. After looking at electronics, Kay went back over to the foods because I told her I was looking for spice drops.

"What are spice drops?", asked Kay.

"Gumdrops", I answered.

"Oh!"

"What are gumdrops?", asked Alejandra.

"I don't know the Spanish for those", I explained.

"You see these?", asked Carl, picking out some Jujubes. "Close, but different." I told Alejandra that spice drops were covered with sugar.

Then Carl picked out some Dots. I told him they weren't what they wanted.

We left with our juices purchased and headed back towards the van. Then Ken realized he was missing a glove.

"You went axx oxxx the pxxxx!", said Alejandra.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"What did I say?", asked Alejandra.

"You said the A, O the P words."

"She said, 'Axx oxxx the pxxxx'," said Carl.

"Those are the A, O the P words!", I exclaimed.

"I didn't know", said Carl.

"I didn't know those words either", said Kay.

"But when I asked you if Ken said the A, O the P words, you said no", I told Kay. Kay said she was thinking of another word.

Ken and Kay went to look for the glove while I requested silence so I could purge off "axx oxxx the pxxxx" in the back seat.

By the time Ken and Kay made it back, I had finished with both "axx oxxx the pxxxx" and "yxk". They were shouting triumphant exclamations, and I knew they had found the glove. Kay explained that they had looked everywhere in the store, then when they left they found it at the first parking place in the parking lot.

We then drove to the shopping center in Pinole that had a Wal-mart. As we drove, Alejandra talked about a birthday party with a volcano cake. She said "axx oxxx the pxxxx" again.

"Rrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Oh!", said Kay. "There goes the P-L-A-C-E, and the A-L-L."

We got to a Wal-mart, where they had a restroom. I purged off "axx oxxx the pxxxx", then washed my hands and left.

We ate inside KFC. I told Carl I needed him to listen out for words.

"Did I hear the I-word?", I asked.

"They don't have that inside here", said Alejandra.

I ordered two snackers, both honey barbecue, with the $2 I had left. I ate as Carl listened out for purge words.

As we drove to the library, Carl told us more about the ghost van. It was driven by one Darius and one Jennifer when it crashed. Darius, Carl said, was wearing a seatbelt, and survived without a scratch. Jennifer, we learned, was NOT wearing her seatbelt, and required intensive surgery and physical therapy.

"Did they say the I-word?", I asked Kay as I walked with her. "Those people behind us?" Kay couldn't tell, so once we got to the library, we asked for the code to the men's restroom and I went in.

When I got out, Kay took me to where Carl was, in the children's section. "I'm reading an unfinished book from long ago", Carl explained.

I looked at the title: A Home for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.

Shortly thereafter, Carl said, "Finished". He explained that he had read the book as a child but never got to finish it.

"Are you familiar with Eric Carle?", I asked Kay.

"Who?", she asked.

"Eric Carle."

"I can't say I am," said Kay.

"Eric Carle writes books about caterpillars and chameleons and a dog named Spot . . ."

"I liked the caterpillar book", said Alejandra.

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar?"

"Yeah."

We then left the library and headed to a supermarket that specialized in Asian food.

"Kay, I'm going to need Carl to listen out for words for me", I said.

Kay helped me find him.

"I can't be with you to listen out for words", Carl said.

"Can you listen out for words for me then, Kay?", I asked.

"I guess we better leave then", Kay said. She and I walked out of the store while Carl and Alejandra looked at Asian food.

Carl was soon out, having discovered that they did not carry the item he was looking for. "That's a great bxke", said Carl as we walked past a motorcycle. Whoever owns that bxke is the luckiest person in the world!"

I picked my navel as we drove home.

"Sorry about today", said Alejandra.

"You mean with all the purge words?", I asked.

"Yes", she said.

Mission accomplished. We had made it out of the ghost van safely.

The day Lita drove

On Monday, I was picked up by Rosa and Lita. La Netta wasn't there.

The schedule said to go to the office, but we changed it and went to Wal-mart instead.

Lita asked me whether I wanted to go with her or go with Rosa.

"Which one of you is better at listening out for words?", I asked.

"Probably Rosa", said Lita.

So I went with Rosa.

We visited Wal-mart, then walked around Hilltop Mall. Lita bought six cinnamon buns, then six cinnamons sticks, and some of them ate them.

"Did they say the I-word?", I asked Rosa at the cinnamon shop.

"No, they didn't", Rosa replied.

A little later . . .

"Did I hear the I-word?", I asked.

"No, you didn't", replied Rosa.

Lita then realized that our schedule had said to pick up Lisa. She had forgotten all about Lisa! She told Kay to pick them up.

As we drove, Carl said, "The Banana Republic is a store for guys. Girls shop at the GAP."

"But I'm a guy and I shop at the GAP", I said.

"The GAP is for girls. Because its name, the GAP, means hoo-hah."

"Hoo-hah? You mean hee-haw?"

"No, hoo-hah."

"What's that?"

"Vadge."

"Badge, like a police badge?"

"No, I said vadge." I had heard of badge and cadge, but what's vadge?

We stopped and got out. Then Ken, Carl and I got back in.

"Could you scxxt over?", Lita asked Ken, in the middle row.

"Rrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Ooh! I'm sorry! I had forgotten all about that. I was trying to be good with the words. I should have said, 'Could you make some room for Rosa?'"

We picked up lunch at Lee's Garden, stopped at the office to eat lonch, and I purged.

Next we picked up Kay, who had Ayyoon and Miguel with her.

As we made our last van trip of the day, Carl told me, "You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their hair."

"Like I'm related to Kurt Cobain?", I asked.

"No, I mean like this. I can tell that you have a dark personality. And you're hair's straight, so that means you're straight."

"But I'm not straight!"

"Kay, her hair is light in some places and dark in others. In other words, cloudy. That means she has a cloudy personality."

"I see."

"My hair is curly. That translates to loopy. Your hair is wild. That means you're sexually open in the 1960's sense of the word. Bout not me. Me, I'm a woman and I like women."

Kay dropped Ayyoon off. "Be sure to watch CBS and 7:00 tonight", she told him.

When we drove off from his house, Kay explained, "Exe on the Bay".

"Eeeeeewwwwwww!", I said sharply.

"What was that?", asked Kay.

"E-word on the Bay".

"I didn't know that was a word", said Rosa.

"Any time it's followed by 'on'," I explained.

"I thought it was just like, with, you know, K, and then A, then that."

"The K & E words?"

"Yeah."

"Well, it's also when you say, 'Got your --'" -- I pointed to my right eye, then said, "'On".

"Oh."

Kay mentioned off-hand that she had gotten out of a red van today.

"Is that the ghost van?", asked Carl. Carl told us the story of the ghost van. It was at Green Acres and had been in an accident. It was totaled. Then, we went to this day program, one before he joined CIWP, and the exact same van was back. He was afraid that this red van might be haunting us at CIWP too.

"Was it cherry red?", asked Carl.

"No, it was a faded red, the ugliest shade of red you'd see", said Kay.

"Was it . . . the color of that car?", asked Carl.

"No, that's burgundy", said Kay.

Carl continued pointing out other red objects and asking whether it was the same shade of red. Kay said no to all. "It's an ugly, worn-out light red. I don't know how else to describe it", she said.

As I sat in the van, Rosa turned the radio on, then flipped stations. Did one of the stations say "mxss"?

"Did they say the M-word?", I asked.

"No, I said . . .", said Kay, and then she progressed to say what Kay had just said.

"I meant on the radio", I said.

"No, they didn't," said Rosa.

"I was listening to her", said Kay.

"I was asking Rosa", I told her.

"No, they didn't say the M-word", said Rosa.

"You were listening to the radio, right?", I asked.

"Rosa was listening to me", said Kay.

"I was listening to the radio", said Rosa.

As I stooe at home and waited for Stan, a van drove by and Carl said, "That's the ghost van".

When I got inside I got a hot feeling in my neck purging off "Exe on the Bay".

Sunday, February 7, 2010

They wouldn't stop saying the I-word

On Friday, the first place on our schedule was Barnes & Noble. While Carl wanted to look something up on a map to find out if his street on Hollywood existed yet, La Netta was looking at magazines. She asked me if I wanted a magazine.

"I don't enjoy reading magazines", I told La Netta. "Unless they have High Times."

"They do", she said. She picked a High Times off the shelf and gave it to me. "Tokin' with the Beatles", the cover read.

I read an article written by a woman who had worked with the Beatles and Rolling Stones, even Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and smoked pot with them. She discussed the transition from pot to cocaine.

When I finished the article, I turned to the next page. "TXSTY PUFF", an ad read in big letters.

"Blechhh!", I said. I pointed it out to La Netta.

"La Netta", I asked, "Will you take me to the restroom?"

"Sure, James", said La Netta.

"Thanks, La Netta. I knew you'd do it for a friend."

I purged off "txsty" in the restroom, then came back out.

La Netta picked up a new magazine and headed to the CD section. I looked at Abnormally Attracted to Sin by Tori Amos. I listened to every track there I could. Then I showed La Netta Blink-182. Carl and I had been singing "All the Small Things" to her the other day.

La Netta asked if I was ready to leave. I said yes, so we ventured over to Ross.

La Netta took us to the shoe section. Carl began clicking pairs of red slippers together. "I want to go home, I want to go home, I want to go home", he said as he clicked each one thrice. He explained that he wanted to find a pair of ruby slippers that could take him home by being clicked together, just like in The Wizard of Oz, so he could return to his home planet of Mayhem.

"Lita was talking about Carl to me", said La Netta. "Carl has Asperger's. She says there should be a program for really intelligent clients like Carl and you. This place isn't really meant for him."

"Carl has Asperger's?", I asked. "Really?"

"Yes."

"He seems more like schizotypal personality disorder. I guess he doesn't have schizophrenia then."

As we walked on, I mentioned it was surprising he had Asperger's when he didn't get along with Bernard.

"Does Bernard have Asperger's?", asked La Netta.

"He seems to," I said. "I mean, he's always talking about Pokémon."

"What's Asperger's about?"

"Asperger's is a mental disorder where people are obsessed with things."

"No, that's OCD", said Carl. "Everyone has that -- that's 100% normal."

"OCD obsessions are worry obsessions. Things like worrying whether you forgot to lock the car . . ."

"Oh, I wonder if Ken has OCD", said La Netta. "Since he would always call Stan to ask whether the house was locked up."

"That does sound like OCD", I said.

We picked up lunch at Lucky's. I counted $2 in coins, plus some pennies.

"How much does Brach's candy from the bins cost?", I asked.

"We can see", said La Netta.

We visited the bins. It cost $3.99 a pound. I stuffed in what I thought was half a pound (there were no scales in the vicinity).

La Netta said, "This feels like a little over a pound". She frowned.

When we went to the honor check-out, La Netta weighed it. "81 pounds", she said.

"That's 81 pounds?!", I replied.

"I mean 0.81 pounds."

It cost $3.something. Not having enough for that, La Netta took some of it out. She found out its price again.

The candy now cost $2.43. I began putting coins into the slot. The screen showed how much I had left to pay.

We got to 30 cents left when I ran out of money. La Netta and Darnell then began to put in coins. Darnell provided a quarter.

"Thanks, La Netta", I said.

"Thank Darnell too", said La Netta. "He helped."

"Thank you, Darnell", I said.

"You're welcome", said Darnell.

We were now ready to eat at the office. I carried my pill into the restroom, went to the bathroom and swallowed my pill.

Then I hung out in the main office room.

"Ice xxxxx in the refrigerator", I heard a voice say.

"Did I hear the I-word?", I asked.

"Ice xxxxx?", asked David Squibb.

"Blechhh!", I said.

"La Netta, did I hear the I-word?", I asked.

"I didn't hear an I-word", said La Netta.

I asked a coach in the main room, and she said, "Unfortunately, you did."

"It just sort of slipped oot", another coach said. "Sorry."

I went to the restroom and purged. Most of the "ice xxxxx"s had an Asian flavor, something like a sorbet, and I could purge them off quickly, but David's "ice xxxxx" had a rrrrrrrrrrrippling sound to it. It was more like sherbet. I wrangled with it for several minutes. I decided to circle around my groin to give an air of finality to my purge. First I did an "adolice cradoleam" down there that had a bovine, milky flavor to it, and repeated it going up, then I did a rhotic, sherbety one down there, one that had the crispness of a bright new day and the rrrrrrrrrrrrrr of Tony the Tiger's breakfast cereal, and repreated it going up, then I finished by going back to the bovine, milky one, which I did at four corners around my groin before going around, and repeated it going up.

I was out.

I slept in the couch room. While I was in there I heard a client ask about "ice xxxxx".

"It's in the fridge", a coach said.

"BLECHHH!", I shouted from in my couch room.

"Oh, no!", said Lisa. "You said, 'ice xxxxx'!"

"Blechhh!", I said.

"The ice xxxxx is in the fridge", said a coach.

"Blechhh!", I repeated.

I was in the room. Kay knocked at the door.

"James," said Kay, "You have a line forming outside."

"D'oh!", I said, slamming my forehead. I was angry.

I finally finished up purging the second round of "ice xxxxx"s. I zipped up and opened the door.

I looked outside. No one was standing there waiting to use the restroom.

I walked out to the main office. Lots of people were gathered around the table, holding a birthday party. (Heh, they say when you're missing one sense, another sense becomes really developed.)

"OK, everybody", I said, loudly making an announcement. "I just got out of the restroom, so nobody say the I-word."

"What's the I-word?", asked Kay.

"What's the I-word?", asked anothier coach.

"Ice xxxxx!", said David.

"BLECHHH!", I said. "NOW I'M GOING TO HAVE TO GO BACK IN THE RESTROOM TO PURGE AGAIN!"

Everybody got on the I-word-sayer's case while I walked in the restroom. Before long, I was purging off "ice xxxxx" for the third time.

I purged for several minutes. "James," said La Netta, "Someone's been waiting here to use the restroom."

"I'm almost done", I said.

"He's been waiting for a long time. Why don't you just let him in and then finish?"

So I zipped up. It was a middle-aged man not from CIWP. He was dressed up.

La Netta took me outside so I wouldn't hear the party, then went back inside. We watched the man walk out of the restroom and I finished up and washed my hands.

La Netta was in the hall. She told me to go back to the van.

When La Netta and Darnell returned to the van, we talked about the incident. One coach asked which person said the I-word.

"I think it was David Squibb", I said.

"I thought it was Otiel", said La Netta. "I talked to them about saying the I-word."

Then she asked Darnell. "It was David Squibb", said Darnell.

"James, he was very upset", said La Netta.

"David Squibb was?", I asked.

"The man who was waiting to use the restroom. He was standing there a long time, and he asked, 'Is James in there again?' He knows your name. Do you know his name?"

"No."

"Well, maybe you can find out. I explained to him hat someone said a word you don't like, and he was all, 'Oh, great! Is he using it to go to the bathroom or is he doing something else in there?' I felt I better not explain your business to him, so I didn't answer."

We were parked at my house at last. Tiffany walked out of the van. "Hi, James", she said.

I waved.

"See me wavin'?", asked Tiffany. I looked around for Tiffany but didn't see her anywhere. Just then, a dog from our neighbors' house jumped over its fence and chased Tiffany. She sped into the door of our car and climbed into the trunk. She noticed the absence of a wheelchair there.

"That dog!", said Tiffany. I had never seen her so scared.

They all talked about the dog for a while, and how it should be kept from escaping our neighbors' house.

"Carl, you know who you remind me of?", asked Tiffany.

"Who?"

"That guy from that movie . . ." Tiffany searched for the name. "Napoleon Dynamite! He looks just like you! Except his hair is redder".

"You know whom people say I look like?", I asked.

"Who?", asked Tiffany.

"John Lennon."

"I could see that, because you've got the same glasses."

"We've both got long brown hair and sunglasses", I said. (Although John Lennon's eyes are brown instead of hazel.)

Tiffany said good-bye to us as our staff arrived.

"I'll see you tonight", she said.

A talk with Lita

Thursday morning we found ourselves at the office.

And Lita was free.

"Maria?", I asked. "I'd like to speak with Lita."

I was soon in Lita's room.

"This full group for the last week hasn't been working out", I said.

"Well, that's the way it's been for a long time", said Lita. "Hasn't it?"

"Tully broke my headphones and so I've had to listen to the radio without any headphones on. Emanuel's in the van so we've been listening to rap. And Darnell says he likes commercials, so La Netta keeps the commercials on. Although I can't tell if Darnell really likes commercials, or if he's just being his usual contrarian self."

"I suspect it's the latter, and that is not OK", said Lita. "I'll have to talk to him about that."

I got into how Tully had broken my headphones and hadn't paid for them.

"Maybe the office could pay for them, since a CIWP client broke them", said Lita.

"I want Tully to pay for them," I said. "And he still hasn't paid me for that Jack-in-the-box taco he ate."

"Tully ate one of your tacos?"

"Yes."

"Well, I could give you $10. Is that how much headphones cost?"

"I already bought a pair of headphones."

"So you have the headphones already?"

"Yes. But with the full group, I'm afraid Robin's going to crack my new headphones too."

"Wait . . . did Tully crack them or did Robin?"

"Tully did. But now with Robin in the group, I'm afraid Robin's going to crack my new headphones. Because he sits down and doesn't pay attention when he's sitting down."

"I see."

"And when I'm switching to sleep mask and headphones or to sleep mask and sunglasses, I have to put my sunglasses or my headphones down and I'm afraid someone will break them."

I then went into how Emanuel had been yelling, "Scxxt!"

Lita told me La Netta had back problems, but maybe it could be just La Netta with Ken, Carl and me two or three days a week.

She handed me one thing: a bag that strapped over my shoulder. My headphones or sunglasses could fit inside it.

"I'll speak with La Netta at the end of the day", said Lita.

We said our good-byes.

I told La Netta what we had been talking about. I explained how I told Lita I didn't know whether Darnell really liked commercials or was just being his usual contrarian self, and Lita had said, "I suspect it's the latter, and that is not OK".

I had to spend three minutes explaining to La Netta how to use "the former" and "the latter".

La Netta wanted to know what the bag with the strap was. I explained it to her. She fit my headphones in, but the bag wouldn't zip shut.

We then traveled to the Pacific East Ranch Market. La Netta asked me what I wanted.

"Some aloe juice . . . or some starfruit juice", I said.

La Netta found some special sauce in a bag that went with leeks. It looked good, but . . . "What's a leek?", asked La Netta.

"A leek is a vegetable related to onions and garlic, but it looks more like celery", I explained.

We stopped at a juice aisle, where I got my starfruit juice. It was labeled, "CARAMBOLA".

We returned to the vegetable section so La Netta could find her leeks. I read the signs until I got to a "leek" sign.

"Here it is, leeks!", I said.

"Oh, it sort of put you in the mind of a green onion", said La Netta.

After we made our purchases, we dropped off Carl with Stan for an appointment.

Our next stop was Target. While we were in there, La Netta said, "Yxk".

Later on she showed me a teriyaki bowl box she was buying. I decided to look and it said, "Frok included".

By the time she had finished at the cieck-out, my mouth was full of saliva. I was hoping to go to the restroom. La Netta told Alejandra to meet us outside.

Outside, she took me to a garbage can, with a top. I tried to spit on the inside, but managed to hit the top instead. I told La Netta I needed to go to the restroom, and was hoping she would take me there to spit.

"Can you make it in alone?", she asked.

When I walked in, I heard a little girl saying something that sounded like "ice xxxxx" at the place where people order fresh food. Then I heard what sounded like a "Whxxps".

I entered the restroom, and slammed my forehead, shouting "D'OH!" I purged off "ice xxxxx", when did "whxxps", then "yxk" and finally "frok".

"What took so long?", La Netta asked.

I explained about the I-word and WH-word. La Netta said they don't have any ice xxxxx there.

We picked up Carl and then listened to the radio together. We agreed to keep it on Star 101.3.

"Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga played. "I know I have paparazzi keeping an exe on me", said Carl.

"Eeewwwwwwww!", I said.

"Sorry", said Carl.

After Lady Gaga finished singing, the first few notes of "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M. played.

"Quick, Carl, change the station", I said. "That song has the K & E words in it." Having a "keep an exe on" to purge off, I didn't want to hear another "keep an exe on".

I got a lot of /ai/ sounds out of my system at Miller's Knots before purging off "keep an exe on". I then came back to the van with my sleep mask on.

Everything was going fine until . . . smack! Robin head-butted La Netta!

La Netta screamed in pain, then told Robin that that hurt, and that he better not do it again.

"SHAME ON YOU, ROBIN!", I shouted.

"Those 'shame on you's seem to work, since after you shouted 'shame on you' to Robin, he didn't bother you again," said La Netta.

"Do you think he head-butted her because he misses Jolene?", I asked.

"That's just you", said Carl. "No one else misses Jolene."

"Well, I miss her", said La Netta.

La Netta said her whole body was in pain and strain. She told me she might not come tomorrow.

"Are you craving a three-client group?", I asked.

"I am", said La Netta.

And so was I.

I loooooove burritos

We started out Wednesday by going to the office. I was hoping I could speak to Lita, but while I waited I used the Internet room.

I pulled up the Webkinz website and looked through the animal catalogue until I looked under the L's and found Lamb. I saw a picture of the lamb I had bought Jolene and this description:

This fluffy, gentle friend is sure to follow you wherever you go! No matter what you like to do in Webkinz World, the lamb will be happy to come along and play. At the end of a busy day, be sure to visit the W Shop and get some Leafy Splurge Lasagna for your little lamb!
Special Item: Little Lamb Bed
Special Food: Leafy Splurge Lasagna


I called La Netta into the Internet room.

"Someone's in there, so maybe you can show me on a later day", said La Netta.

"That's all right", I said. "Shane let me use the Internet room." (Shane is CIWP's behaviorist.)

"Oh, OK."

I showed her the lamb page.

"Is that the lamb you got Jolene?", asked La Netta. "Looks just like that?"

"Looks just like that", I said.

"She just looooooves lasagna."

Lita was still at her meeting, so we left for Big Lots without La Netta. While at Big Lots, I bought a one-gallon tea for $2.50.

As we got back in the van, Darnell tried to quiet down Emanuel.

"Stop talking that mxss!", said Darnell.

"Ewwwwwww!", was my reaction.

"Oops! Sorry, James!"

We ate lunch inside Taco Bell.

"That five-layer burrito is just 89 cents", said Carl. "I'm getting that."

It was my turn.

"How much do the soft-shell tacos cost?", I asked.

"$1.09", the cashier said.

"All right, then I'll get three five-layer burritos."

"$2.74."

I pulled out some money and made my purchase. I was soon to pick up my order.

Then the best part: I ate inside Taco Bell.

The burrito had some hot, chili-like beans inside. There was a sort of fried taste to it, but it wasn't all burnt or frittered up or anything. The warm beans brightened my mouth like rays of sunshine.

When I was all done, I listened to Carl talk to Shane.

Everything was fine until he said, "I don't contribute to the mxss."

"Ewwwwwww!", I said.

"Sorry about that", said Carl. I asked the employee for the ruler with the key at the end and made it to the men's restroom.

After purging, I came back out and threw my stuff away.

We then went to Macy's together, then we headed back to the van. Darnell chatted on his cellphone all the way to Ken's house.

Shortly after landing at Ken's house, Darnell said, "You tried it with ice xxxxx?"

"Blechhh!", I said.

"OOPS! Sorry," said Darnell. "I was so into my conversation, I forgot James was in the van."

He continued to talk about making an alcoholic drink that mixed alcohol with "the I-word" with a relative of his.

When a staff finally arrived at Ken's house, I got out of the van.

"Why are you getting out?", asked La Netta.

"I can't hold it in", I said.

"We'll be at your house in a few minutes", said La Netta.

"But what ie Stan doesn't come until 3:00?"

"They've been really good now at getting to your house at 2:30. And right now it's 2:20-something."

So I went home with La Netta. At my house I could finally purge off "ice xxxxx".

Enzingiyi and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day

La Netta and Darnell were the coaches on Tuesday. Darnell says he likes commercials, so we were not only listening to a rap station, but listening to the commercials on a rap station.

I heard a food commercial come on. I plugged my ears and hummed so they wouldn't say "txsty". "Mmmmmmmmmmmm . . .mmmmmmmmmmmmm . . .", I said.

After about 45 seconds, I stopped humming. I heard them say, "Sleep Train". Good. This meant the food commercial was over.

But what now!? The Sleep Train commercial said "pajxmxs". It even pronounced the word the way La Netta does.

"RRRRRRRRRR!", I growled. "La Netta -- quick, turn it off!"

" . . . and deliver pajxmxs to children in need."

"RRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!", I growled. "They said it again!"

"He needs to be gotten to a restroom", said Carl.

"I'm aware of that", said La Netta.

Just then, Emanuel started yelling out, "Scxxt!"

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Emanuel!", said La Netta. "That wasn't nice!"

"Scxxt!", said Emanuel.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Scxxt!"

"Rrrrrrr!"

"Scxxt!"

"Rrrrrrr!"

"Scxxt!"

"Rrrrrrr!"

"Emanuel, stop it!", said a coach.

"I said I'm saying to Scxxt Doughnuts!", said Emanuel.

"Emanuel, there is no doughnut shop by that name", said Carl.

"Scxxt!"

"Rrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Cut it out, Emanuel", said Carl. "There's a restroom that way."

"Carl", said La Netta, "We're going to Fernandez Park. James can use the restroom there."

When we got to Pinole Park, I ran to the restroom and immediately started purging off the two "pajxmxs"es. I tasted baked potatoes with sour cream as I did the "pajaamdras" down there and up here. Then I tasted the tomato sauce on pizza as I did some "pajahmdras" down there and up here.

"SCXXT!", Emanuel called out.

"RRRRRRRRRRRR!", I growled.

"SCXXT!"

"RRRRRRRRRRRR!"

"SCXXT!"

"RRRRRRRRRRRR!"

"SCXXT!"

"RRRRRRRRRRRR!"

"SCXXT!"

"RRRRRRRRRRRR!"

La Netta and Darnell caught him and tried to convince him to stop. I had to zip up and leave the restroom as Emanuel stood by the restrooms.

We all walked over towards the van, and Emanuel continued to say it.

"James, why don't you go while Emanuel's over here?", asked La Netta.

So I walked back to the restroom and purged off all the "scxxt"s.

"Let's buy you some headphones at the dollar store", said La Netta.

The clock said 9:42, then 9:43. I asked if we were going to pass Frosty Freeze.

"Yes, we are", said Darnell.

This meant I would have to cover my eyes with the sleep mask. I could not finish watching the time. Great. I would have to look at the clock starting at 9:44 some other day.

Before I knew it, we were at the Dollar Tree. Emanuel came in with us.

"SCXXXXXXXXXXXXXT!", Emanuel shouted in the Dollar Tree.

"RRRRRRRRRRRR!", I growled.

"Emanoel, come on now", said La Netta.

"SCXXT!", said Emanuel.

"RRRRRRRRRR!", I growled.

"James," said La Netta, "I know you have to use the restroom, but when Emanuel says that, just don't respond. If you ignore him, he'll stop."

"Scxxt!", said Emanuel.

I didn't respond.

"Scxxt!", said Emanouel said. "Scxxt!"

He stopped.

La Netta showed me the only pair of headphones they had. The picture showed an Asian girl listening to headphones with her eyes closed. I bought it for $1.

We bought lunch at KFC. I finally got to order some of those snackers La Netta likes. I picked an original and a honey barbecue.

At Davis Park, Carl began fighting with Emanuel. They spoke and spoke and spoke and spoke and spoke.

"Emanuel, could you please be quiet?", said Darnell. "You're making me want to purge!"

Before long, Carl and Emanuel were talking as if they were the best of friends. I had to keep listening to their conversation, but now they were on a more amicable basis.

"Do you hear that?", Darnell said on his cellphone to his interlocutor. "They're just going on and on. They're like the same person! They're exactly the same person, except one is White and one is Black."

I laughed.

Darnell gasped. "I didn't know James was in the van! Sorry, James!"

"Oh no, Darnell", I said. "I thought that was an astute observation."

"Oh, so you like it?", he asked.

"Yes."

I asked for my pill.

"Don't you have to wait for them to finish talking before you can take it?", asked Darnell.

"Yes", I said.

Their conversation didn't subside.

"Can't you just hum and take it?", asked Darnell.

"Well, when I hum I need both my hands over my ears", I explained. "And with both my hands taken, I won't be able to handle my pill."

"Then, can you put it on your tongue and then hum?"

"It's worth a try." I opened my pill, placed it on my tongue, scrunched up my ears with my hands, and swallowed the pill as I hummed.

"It worked", I said.

As their conversation went on, Emanuel said, "I have family axx oxxx the pxxxx". I growled and walked into the Davis Park restroom.

I heard several "all"s and "psychology"s, which slowed up the rubble-clearing process. Finally, they stopped talking, and I could do all the "adolall, adolall adolover the pladolace, adolall adolover the pladolace" work.

I finished purging, and went back to the van.

We were still too early for erops, so we stopped in front of a department store and Darnell went in.

While I was in the van, Robin head-butted me!

"OWWWW!", I screamed. "SHAME ON YOU, ROBIN!"

I slapped his wrist.

"Robin, that is not OK!", said La Netta.

The same rap song that had been on yesterday, the one that said, "Cutxe with the booty", played. I gagged, and stepped outside, stepping and gagging.

La Netta switched to Star 101.3.

Darnell reëntered the van. He switched soon from Star 101.3 to rap.

After a song finished playing, I heard one radio DJ address a caller as "cutxe pie".

"Echhhh!", I gagged.

When I got home, I spent an hour gagging and purging off those C-words. Then I could finally try my snackers.

Please no more rap

On Monday, Darnell was listening to a rap station and I had still no headphones.

A song with a voice repeating a phrase, then an Alvin and the Chipmunks voice repeating it, started to play. I had never heard this song before.

It went on. "My body jxggle", it said.

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled. "La Netta, this song has the J-word in it!"

I asked Darnell to turn it off.

"This is my favorite song!", said Darnell.

I plugged my ears and screamed to drown out the sound. I hoped it didn't have any more purge words.

When I unplugged my ears the radio was off.

"But if my favorite song comes on again, and you don't have your headphones, sorry!", said Darnell.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!", I screamed.

We visited the office. I saw the picture of the carved pumpkins outside the Internet room's door. They still had it up.

After purging off the dipser pumpkin, I asked Lita when she was going to take it down.

"I guess we could take it down now", she said.

Lita took it down.

"It will be in the folder, but it will be behind other pieces of paper", she said.

I lay on the coach as La Netta and the gang did things.

When we left, we went to lunch. More rap played.

There was one song that sang, "Cutxe with the booty". It was the rap song that went, "Iggy biggy shiggy, can't you see, sometimes your words just hypnotize me".

"Echhh!", I gagged.

I didn't eat lunch until I was done purging that word off.

I hope Lita reduces our group to three clients and one coach soon.

Jolene's party

Well, it was the big day. January 29, 2010. Jolene's last day at CIWP. The day of our going-away party.

La Netta said we'd spend the day preparing for the party. We would use the van money to buy plates and cups, two pizzas and a couple of tacos for Jolene to eat.

I stayed in the van while La Netta bought the plates. We went between store and store to gather things.

I was stuck in the van when I heard Darnell make his cellphone call. "I look a mxss", said Darnell.

"Eeewwwww!", I said.

"Oops!", said Darnell.

La Netta bought a few other things, then we parked.

Darnell talked about the CIWP website. "All the places it says we work! 7-11 . . . Ice xxxxx shop . . ."

"Blechhhh!", I said.

"Oops!", said Darnell.

"La Netta, where are we?", I asked.

"We're at the office, about to have the party", she said.

"Aren't you going to get the pizzas and tacos first?", I asked.

"We ran out of money. I got three pizzas from Little Caesar's."

"Then what am I going to eat?"

"I thought you'd have some pizza."

"I don't even eat pizza from Little Caesar's . . . remember?"

"Well, if you want to buy tacos, I can take you over", said Darnell.

"OK", I said.

I sat in the back seat purging off the word "ice xxxxx" as only Darnell was driving, then Darnell turned the radio on.

"Darnell, could we have tie radio off?", I asked.

"I was listening to this song!", he said.

"Is it your favorite song?"

"Yes."

The song ended and they played another. "OK, now that that song's over, could we please have the radio off?", I asked.

"This is my other favorite song", said Darnell. He sang along with it. "What are you going to buy at Taco Bell?"

"It's a long order, so I'll just tell you when we get to the drive-through", I said.

"I want to know now."

I told hiim. When we got to the drive-through, I had him order four soft-shell tacos, a chicken chalupa, a Crunch Wrap Supreme and a cheese quesadilla.

"Darnell, now can we have the radio off?", I asked.

"OK", said Darnell. He turned it off, and I purged off several occurrences of the word "screaming" from one song before I got to "ice xxxxx".

I was all done purging when we got to the office. We carried the food (I the Taco Bell order, Darnell the pizzas) into the office. Food was being set out in the main room. Just one problem.

The television was on.

"If the television is on, I won't be able to eat", I told La Netta. I then told Lita.

I heard someone on TV call another character "sweetxe". I growled and headed to the restroom, and Darnell said, "Someone please turn it off now!"

After I purged off "sweetxe", I came back to the main room. I took the Mexican food out of my bag and placed two tacos in front of Jolene as she ate the pizza.

"My stomach's sore!", said Jolene after eating some of her pizza.

She refused the tacos and the lemon cake.

I was photographed eating my Mexican food at my spot. I ate the five things I ordered for myself, plus a bean burrito that they had accidentally thrown in.

"Jolene", I said, "Pick up one of the tacos and pose with it so we can be photographed together."

"NO!", said Jolene. "MY STOMACH'S SORE!"

"Jolene, I just want to --"

"NO, MY STOMACH'S SORE!"

"You don't have to eat it, Jolene!"

"NO!"

"Jolene", said La Netta. "You don't have to eat your taco, James just wants to take a picture of you holding it."

"NO! MY STOMACH'S SORE!"

Carl said, "axx oxxx the pxxxx" while we were eating, so I took a break to purge.

When I came back, the television was on again.

"Darnell, quick, James doesn't like the TV on", said Darnell.

"How about, 'Please turn it off, Darnell'," said Darnell.

"James doesn't like that word", said Carl, "So that's why I didn't say it, so we wouldn't purge."

"That word doesn't make me purge", I said. "It only bothers me when people say it to me."

"So you can say it to other people?", asked Carl.

"Yes", I said. "Darnell, could you please turn the television off?"

"Sure", said Darnell. "Thank you for saying, 'please', James."

"You're welcome." The television went on.

I finished my meal. Jolene was still too sick to eat the rest of her food.

"Mission accomplished!", said Carl.

I asked La Netta for photographs of myself posed against a wall, and a photograph of Jolene, so we could have photographs of each other. La Netta took both photos, then we decided what to do with the left-over food.

Jolene wrapped up a slice of lemon cake and put it in Jolene's bag. I took the rest of the lemon cake and the Stars & Stripes lemon-lime soda with me. I placed the two tacos for Jolene in her bag.

When we arrived at my house, we waited for Stan. When he came, I moved to the middle row, sleep mask off, and told Jolene, "I love you." We hugged each other, and as we hugged, I said, "Eat lots of your favorite foods! And find a name for the sheep, OK?"

"OK," said Jolene.

A going-away present for Jolene

It was Thursday, January 28. The radio was on, and I didn't have a pair of headphones. They began discussing Colbie Caillat, and then one of the deejays said, "She's got the Jen Aniston thing going on -- the cutxe pie thing."

"Echhhh!", I said.

Carl began talking to me about how he'd remake the Wizard of Oz. "Instead of Txto the dog, they'd have the band Txto!", she said.

Darnell soon told me I could get out once we made it to Burger King.

I went in their restroom, gagging and choking, and managed to purge off "cutxe". Then I got to "Txto".

I stepped out of the restroom, and heard two men talking. One of them saie something that may have been "cutxe" -- I wasn't sure. I walked back in and purged it off too, accompanied by plenty of gagging.

We dropped off Jolene at a beauty lesson for women at the office, then our first real site of the day was Hilltop Mall. Darnell asked who wanted to go in and I said I did. I wanted to buy a going-away present for Jolene.

We walked through Wal-mart, and I asked the other clients what sections of Wal-mart they wanted to look at. "Aren't you going to ask me what section I want to look at?", I asked Darnell.

"Well, I'm going to leave Wal-mart and then we can come back to it after I've found a Bluetooth", said Darnell.

So we walked around the central area of the mall. While we were in an elevator together, Darnell said, "little bxtty" in a cellphone call.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Sorry!", said Darnell.

One of our stops was a restroom, where I purged off "bxtty". We then walked into two other cellphone shops.

I tried to keep my hands close in front of my eyes as we walked around to limit my field of vision. I stepped to the left, and looked at all the cellphones that were in my field of vision. They were all OK. Then I stepped up to the front of the store, behind Darnell, closing one eye and placing my hands close to my eyes. They cordoned off all but the cellphone cases right in front of money. Then that eye accidentally opened and I saw out of the corner of my eyes the shelf to the left. I looked and saw it was decorated cellphones. Uh-oh! I would have to inspect.

Oh, no! One of the phones was a Winnxe the Pooh cellphone!

"Eeeeeewwwwww!", I said.

"What is your problem?", asked Darnell.

I pointed to the Winnxe the Pooh cellphone behind the glass.

"James, why are you even looking at that?", asked Darnell.

"I accidentally saw it when my eyes opened, because there was too wide a range in front of me", I said.

"Oh", said Darnell.

Darnell found a Bluetooth and we were able to go back into Wal-mart so I could buy Jolene a stuffed animal.

"These are the Valentine's Day bears", Darnell said.

"I'm not looking for Valentine's stuff. I'm looking for the stuffed animal section", I said.

Darnell found it. "Here are some bears!"

"I'm not looking for the bears. I'm looking for a sheep or goat. I asked Jolene if she had any sheep or goats, and she said no."

"Well, here's a sheep", said Darnell.

I looked at it. It was a stuffed sheep with a Webkinz label on it. I was saved! I had found Jolene a stuffed lamb!

When I bought it, it came out to $15.

"$15 for a bear?", asked Darnell.

"It's not a bear, it's a sheep", I said.

"$15 for a sheep? Still, that's too much."

I paid it, and now had only $5 left. We headed off to the van and drove to the office to pick up Jolene.

"I'll be in the restroom", I said.

"Well, can you be quick, since we need to get you home at 1:00", said Darnell.

"I'll try", I said.

I purged off Winnxe the Pooh in the office restroom. I then came out.

I was about to ask for my pill but the radio was on a commercial. I heard them say "free shxpping" and growled.

"What's wrong?", asked Darnell.

"Didn't the commercial say the SH-word?", I asked.

"No," said Darnell, "I heard them say, 'free screw'."

I didn't believe it. Free screw? It sounded so much like "free shxpping" that I started picking at my navel.

When I was done picking, I asked for my pill, and promptly swallowed it. Then I said, "Jo-lene! I've got something for you!"

I gave her the bag and she pulled out the lamb.

"What do say, Jolene?", asked Darnell.

"Thank you!", said Jolene.

"You're welcome, Jolene", I said. "That's your going-away present."

"And what he paid for it was ridiculous", said Darnell.