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Cold Iron consists of random bits of irreverence, surliness, and contumely; sometimes it's even funny. Reading it is entirely optional.

...the iron monger and rusticater himself

Cool Iron

"Never hit someone over the head with a hot iron. Wait until it cools so you don't burn them."

...the source of my ideas


February 1, 2018

I was at the Post Office the other day buying some Forever stamps (resisting the urge to ask what the government meant by Forever) when I ran into my old friend, our resident curmudgeon, Pete the Pissed.
“What’s up, good fellow?” I asked.
“I’m doing it,” Pete said. “Put if off long enough.”
“As in?” I said.
“Writing the big fellow there in the White house,” he said. “I do believe he needs a little help.”
“President Trump,” I said.
“Yessir,” he said.
“Could I …?”
“Sure you can,” he said. “I’m gonna go get one of them Priority Mail envelopes.”
So here’s what Pete wrote:
Dear Don,
Since we’re both pretty close in age (thus, the dreaded, older white male), pretty successful in our respective realms, with a strong tendency to articulate whatever pops into our head; since we are, thus, “one of the boys,” a little overweight and fond of our hair, I thought you might appreciate a little advice, kindly meant.
Consider women, which I know you do. We came of age with Playboy and learned that a woman’s place was not in the home, but on our lap, preferably naked. Their value wasn’t much different from those stereos, cameras, and cars, the ads of which earned Uncle Hugh a lot of money. We were empowered, too, to think of women as a commodity to be purchased, whether with money or affection or love; still, a thing, an object. That’s a pretty shallow view but one which, as teens, we could be expected to grow out of and to view women as equal partners in working through both the joys and the struggles of life. Some of us did that, some of us didn’t. You might want to see how your vaunted base stands on that issue, or maybe you just need to look in the mirror.
Speaking of women – really, Don, it’s time to let Clinton go. She had the better numbers, you had the right numbers so you won. If she truly needs investigating, there are those authorized to do that. You, however, need to vacate that scene. It’s like you’re seeking revenge on a bad snowstorm that’s long since melted away and it demeans you something fierce.
Don, all presidents become very concerned about their legacy, about what they have done, and especially about how history will view them. Yes, your friends, your base of the disheartened, disenfranchised, and disillusioned cheer you at your many rallies, but you have to understand they are not the ones reading the history books and they certainly are not the ones writing them. They will disappear once you are out of office and you will then be at the mercy of those so-called fake people: the newspeople, archivists, historians, and pundits you so freely castigate. You need better friends, dude.
Speaking of which, could you just get rid of that “fake news” phrase? Really, if you hate the media all that much do you really think they’re talented enough to create all those things you call fake? Besides, human nature being what it is, whenever you call something fake we all just assume the opposite is true. Truth, you know, can be a fussy bugger.
Which leads me to think there’s a lot to be said about truth that I think you might have missed. We all learned in second grade that your lies will always catch up to you. Yes, you can deny you ever made that claim about grabbing women by the crotch, but it was recorded, my friend. Yes, you can deny that you referred to Haiti and much of Africa as shithole countries, but there were witnesses, man, including Senator Dick Durbin who’s never been known to lie about anything (your Republican pal, Senator Lindsay Graham, even praised Durbin for outing you on that nasty comment). Yes, you can say that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote because of fraud, but practically every secretary of state in the country said they had little evidence of any voter fraud. Yes, you can say you’ve been on the cover of Time Magazine (eleven times) more than any other president, but you’re not even close to Richard Nixon (fifty-five times).
Yes, Yes, Yes, big boy – Americans know that politicians lie, but they don’t expect it to be such that news organizations on the right and the left keep a running tally of the untruths. Depending on the source, you’re between twelve-hundred and two-thousand verifiable lies in your first year in office.
By the way, my plump friend, a little less time on the golf course (you’ve already exceeded Obama’s time on the links and people do remember how you criticized him for that) and a little more time in the gym might help to wash away that orange pallor that looks so freaky.
Here’s the big rub. You’ve got that old man’s sense of infinite wisdom where you think you know everything just because you’ve been on the planet longer than most, and, worse yet, you do that damned Twitter thing because you think we’re hanging on every word you spew out. We’re not. We’re just glad you’re not driving.
“Oh, damn,” Pete said as he came back with his envelope.
“What’s wrong?” I said.
“They say he doesn’t read,” Pete said. “Or that he can’t read. I don’t know.”
“Maybe someone will read it to him,” I said.
“Maybe so,” Pete said. “Maybe so.”
G.K. Wuori © 2018
Photoillustration by the author

Selected Works

I think this book would appeal to anyone who likes a dark crime story set in a rural, somewhat remote part of Maine in a time when the radicalism of the nineteen-seventies was sweeping the country.
Ellen DeLay, an upstanding citizen of Quillifarkeag, Maine, suddenly and unpredictably leaves her happy, twenty-five year marriage for a lonely cabin deep in the Maine woods, where she makes a living dressing hunters' kill - bears, moose, deer. It seems an idyllic life, punctuated only now and then by rifle fire as she shoots into the air to scare off cheeky teens who come to taunt "the crazy woman."
A small-town lawyer in the middle of a gruesome murder case finds salvation in the world of a homeless woman and her daughter.
A young woman's morning walk through her small town finds her immersed in a small tragedy, an indifferent government, and the "science gone mad" of her best friend's husband. Quirky, goofy, nutty - yes, but a gentle look as well at some of the values that keep us from falling off the planet
A hint of generally true autobiography, this piece is part of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill's "How I Became A Writer" series.
Quillifarkeag is a state of mind, one marked by innocence and regret, by guile and sympathy. The people there will let you into their lives - but not very far. Go too far inside and things start to echo, people get close. Honesty becomes negotiable. Bare all and someone might still say, "Were you naked or nude?" It's an important distinction. In a small place like Quilli the naked truth is hurtful. The nude truth is not so bad.

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