A Decent Into Madness

Do not try to replicate my life. It is not good for your health.

So here, in this blog, is yet another daring better left unwritten glimpse into my life, the bed I have made and must now lie in, going nowhere. Fast. Amazed at the level of stupidity of the human race, myself included for even daring to try something this novel. You’ve read Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry, an intimate portrait of alcoholism? Well, welcome to my blog, a detailed look of how to have your life become unhinged. I am slowly learning: There is no bottom when you are going downhill. Only different levels of bottom. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Such is my fate. I must suck it up.


Let’s start with a typical day for me. An honest portrait. After a long sleep (four hours) I awake at 6:20 a.m. with my roaster on my face screaming at me. “It’s time to take your hypothyroidism pill. Get up or I’ll leave you some droppings and rain on your parade.” If this doesn’t awaken me then the eight rescue cats that were pregnant and have now had their kittens, are sure to provide such a thunderous meow demanding to be fed that if I do not wake up I am, to be sure,  clinically dead.



Before I can make it to the kitchen to take this cancer-preventing pill for my ill functioning thyroid that threatens to shake up my emotional health, I notice there are messages on my answering machine.


My designated driver is on the phone apparently crying. “I can’t make it today, I slipped out of bed on the wrong side and tripped on my guitar strap and cut myself so badly I have to go to the hospital and get stitched up.”


“Idiot” I mutter, putting aside the inside knowledge I have that he has spent the last three decades of his life as a drug addict on an around the clock intake of opioid and morphine pain pills to deal with his chronic pain. Totally unreliable. But I need him. Other driver’s have turned out worse, trust me. Having to find workers out there is not for the feint of heart. It’s like a box of chocolates: You never know what’s inside of the one you choose, just like hiring a tradesman nowadays. You soon see why successful rural residents learn to be self-reliant and do things themselves. Properly.


Today I have booked the vet of my choice, a precious time slot to have three young cats neutered. I have to pay no matter what. And I do not, never did, have a driver’s license. Go figure. A wordsmith who dares to live in the countryside and can’t drive!! How in hell to deal with this new mess? This is before I have taken my medicine and before I have consumed my first three of ten cups of coffee to get through the first half of the onslaught of the day’s curve balls.


I approach my ninety something year old neighbor and ask him if he is up to playing Russian roulette by driving me to the vet. “What’s that you’re saying?” he answers. “Now. I need you now. Please stay alive and help me.” I am able to get the job done thanks to Doug my neighbor. May he live another hundred years, please gawd.


Still not enough caffeine in me to carry on. At times I have thought that perhaps carrying a duffle bag size pail and an introvenus kit hooked into my veins with the Timmy’s brew I have started to become addicted to, might help.


Why have I given any thought to helping those cats? Well, my other neighbor has a thing about cats on his lawn and has sent out vibrations that he can’t stand the creatures and god forbid, if they bother a blade of his grass, they might not be on this earth for long. So, out of concern for the cats my hoarder neighbor across the street collected and let go, I took them in. But good things also involve bad ramifications. By removing the local nuisance cats there was an effect on the balance of nature. The rats became more noticeable, more daring, so much so that, well, four of them, yes, a herd of FOUR killer rats actually walked onto my neighbor’s lawn which resembles a golf course. They were merely rolling around admiring the golf course mind you, not really after food, which they have, in abundance on my property, thanks to the absence of cats. How did I learn of this horrid trespassing act of the rats rearing their ugly heads on my rental tenant neighbor? I’ll tell you, but if your stomach is a little unsettled by now, don’t read this. It went down like this. My neighbor’s wife stormed onto my property and demanded I make any rodent go away or there would be hell to pay. I was worried. You see, I wasn’t wearing my jock strap. Furthermore, my neighbor told me in no uncertain terms that failure to comply might mean poison would be spread around my property line. I suggested such radical moves might poison the rescue animals as well and that would not be recommended. But to no avail, off she went muttering retaliation. Wow. Now what? I called the OPP and they came. Police in rural parts of Canada, at least around here, are different in a significant way than their city counter parts. They are truly a different breed of cop. Nice people really (as long as you don’t piss them off mind you.The officer who came, explained to me, “It’s free to be nice but it may be costly not to be nice). They actually listen first, talk to the other party and come back to you for a follow-up. They genuinely want to sort out potential trouble and diffuse potentially messy outcomes. In rural settings everything is spread out, no congestion as you find in urban areas and much healthier as well. In my case, they tried  to present the case of how, as an animal lover with an active sanctuary might be somewhat disturbed with the threat of poisoning living creatures. The returning officer pointed out that he learned from the angry wife that she had now  decided to first try live traps but she  still harbored ideas of taking more extreme measures. The police could not do more at this point until I had proof this was going on. In other words, dead bodies. So, at present, there is nothing more that I can do. Meanwhile, the neighbor has told me of the discomfort of hearing meowing cats coming from my Free Farm Animal Home!


It never rains around here. It just pours.


Back from the vet. Today I have not been able to pick up my scraps from the local food stores, which are used as treats and supplementary food for the animals at Free Farm Animal Home because my basketcase driver was unable to get out of the right side of his bed. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. More coffee.


No rest for the wicked. Time to transport my screaming ducks from the barn into my makeshift ponds. I use a wagon for this and gently lift the sumo size ducks over the homemade amateur walnut gate. Wait, I forgot to let my miniature painted pony stallion out of the barn. Do that now. I have to be careful. Three days ago he required a medical procedure that cost me close to four hundred dollars because he was suffering from a condition known as equine colic. And while I’m at it, let the lambs out of the barn onto their enclosure. They are screaming at me as well, shouting insults like “basket case. How did we end up with him.”? Must not forget to give them their lamb food and hay. Don’t forget to leave a little feed for the rats because if I don’t they will run up on my neighbor’s golf course and next time I will really understand the term, a hole in one, and that there is no hell like a woman’ scorn. Hugh? Oh my gawd…. How did I ever end up here? Need more coffee. Not now, get the damn ducks into the pond. Give them some duck food while I’m, at it, and some lettuce leftover from yesterday, the day my driver did in fact manage to get himself out of bed without incident and transport me to pick up scraps. And for gawd’s sake, put on some clothes. I’m naked!


The hounds are howling, or should I say my beautiful dogs. They want their walk. NOW. No exceptions. But I have not yet fed my 1,200 pound and growing wild boar, Wilbur and he’s not happy to see my skinny hide taking to long to feed HIM. The chickens want theirs. The cats won’t stop with their demands to be fed as well.



Wait, what’s that over there? Oh, the post lady has delivered me a nice overdue bill. Bless her. “Have a nice day,” I mutter under my breath.


Oh, summertime, and the living is easy. Imagine what this is like in thirty below zero in the dead of winter with my driveway covered in black ice!


Don’t get me started on handling my attempt to find someone to take over. Oh, don’t you dare. Do not remind me of my wasted two months with what I thought was the perfect couple, or the missing tools or the foundation for what was to be one of three new cat buildings to house the cats. Now in a big messy state waiting for me to clean it up because the rats want it. No. Let us focus on the above-mentioned idea of inventing a portable caffeine intravenous injector allowing caffeine to flow continuously slowly but surely throughout my veins. I mean, the great Canadian Norman Bethune invented the first portable blood transfusion unit to be used on the war torn fields, why can’t I invent the first portable caffeine-injecting device to be used on the funny farm when I am being pulled in 101 directions, eh?



The Letters of Free Farm. Oh my. There is a topic. This IS the potential straw that broke the camel’s back. I am noticing all sorts of patterns. Lots of clever souls out there, especially older applicants who get their 30 something married children to front for them as the applicants. And sending me ten of the same applications so I will notice. This means I have to read between the lines, read the air, even more carefully to figure out who exactly is coming to take over and what in reality are their true intention and motivations. Not an easy thing to do. Not even possible to know if I am interviewing a couple, a man, or a woman. How can I possibly use words like Sir or Madam any longer. I no longer trust my eyes. I cannot tell you how many trans gender applicants have shown up, not to mention the dominatrix who offered to spank me, a promise of administering six of the best. For FREE mind you. Now, don’t go there. I am not thrusting any moral outlook to you dear reader who has nothing better to do with their life but read my blog. Not at all. My role is merely to find an applicant that can get the job done. That’s all. But honestly and full disclosure of what is what goes a long way in screening people and winning my trust.


Stop the world, I want to get off. Pllllllleeeeeeeeaaaaaasssssse.

The “financially stable” applicants who have solid government disability pensions or UIC to prove to me they are in good financial shape. The single moms with six children, sometimes with stay at home permanently special needs children, who swear that it is no issue to handle upwards of three hundred animals on Free Farm and their family and work to pay their living costs. No problem whatsoever. How dare I challenge this wisdom and even suggest it will take more than one adult to tend to the animals, the house, the land, and their own lives, Or the applicants who have written to me and not disclosed that they have a “few” pets, sometimes even more than my Noah’s Arc. You have no idea let me tell you. My favorites are those who take up endless hours of my time, lure me in, like a lobster that is being cooked slowly and not realizing what is coming and spend the time volunteering here and just when they think I am hooked, I have found the answer to my quest, present me with the ultimatum of turning over this property to them hook line and sinker and disappearing. I just love those folk.


I am getting oodles of mail from France today, in French, which means I must use the Google translator. Why France? Can’t imagine. But I suppose it’s closer than Russia, Africa and China applicants, which are dribbling in.


Let’s face it. This little plan of mine to have applicants send me a letter is like asking unemployed citizens to send me their resume. We all know how accurate resumes are, eh?


We are not through half a day here. The chickens and my sixty indoor birds need to be fed. Oh, I forgot, I should take five minutes and feed myself a lunch. I can do that if I forgo the bathroom break and perhaps avoid answering the phone. Phone calls will truly derail my routine.


A few days ago I thought of disconnecting my phone, erasing my web site, tearing up my airline ticket I foolishly bought to show the magic couple I thought would take over that I meant business, and putting up a sign on the front lawn that reads, “STEPHEN OVERBURY BOUGHT THE FARM. RIP.” But then I remembered the deep words of my late friend, who put it this way: Don’t take life to seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.”

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