Dead Solid Pluperfect

A Hot Buttered Guff™ Production

Arbortext Royalty Fraud: Chapter Nine

A Spiritual Booster Shot

Mary and I were a bit of an odd couple.

She was a fervently spiritual person, with an unshakeable belief in God, Jesus, and Mary the Blessed Mother. Angels, too. Like her, I had been born and raised as a Catholic. But that’s where the similarity ended, for I had dropped out of religion altogether at the age of twenty and had never returned. My belief system, if a self-confessed asshole can be said to have one, confined itself mainly to personal integrity and an innate common sense about what was right and what was wrong. Sort-of-ly. The big things. The small things were just character flaws. You had to live with them or you would get a character flaw trying to unflaw yourself all the time. Very annoying.

At any rate, I had great difficulty comprehending God, or Jesus, or the Blessed Mother, but wished Them well with whatever it was that They were doing vis a vis humanity. It looked like They needed some help, in my opinion. Or maybe it was all supposed to be whatever it was that it was. I was only sure of one thing. The whole ball of wad was way over my head. In four thousand years of recorded history, nobody had seemed to figure it out. Even my brother Tom, who knew everything. No sense me wasting my time on it. If it eluded Aristotle and Aquinas and Da Vinci and Newton, why should a schmuck like me think he could figure it out. Shakespeare had probably been the closest of anyone. Sherlock Holmes knew, but he wouldn’t tell.

When Mary and I got married in 1990, for the sake of her children and our marriage, I accompanied her and them to Sunday Mass, which I had not attended in twenty-odd years. I can’t say it was a painful exercise in duty, because it wasn’t. Churches are fine places to think about the spiritual side of life. Nice quiet zones where you can spend a few moments thinking about the meaning of life, rather than the meaning of money and sex. And BMW’s.

Mulling life was okay. Pleasurable. Mulling was different than Solving, which was not pleasurable at all. Headache city. Besides, what the heck would there be to do once you had solved it? Better to remain unsolved. Unlimited mulling was the way to go.

If this theological interlude seems a digression from the ultra serious evil machinations of Jim Sterken and Arbortext, I assure you it isn’t. Spooky shit was about to join the party. Via an event which was to nourish our spirits and our will to carry on the fight for justice through many of the dark hours which lie ahead. Still, it was spooky shit. Not my cup of tea, to say the least.

Mary began each day by logging onto a web site called It was an interesting web site, run by Michael Brown, devoted to spiritual news around the world, but also carrying other significant news items and the occasional odd ball UFO sighting or some such. It was hard to tell if Mr. Brown was kinky or cosmopolitan. Deeply spiritual, at any rate, and an interesting site to explore.

It was on this web site that Mary ran across the uplifting story of one Louis P. Saia III (say ya), an otherwise ordinary and not particularly religious fellow in Louisiana who owned a trucking company and had invented a device which he wanted to patent. I won’t go into the details of his device or his plight, you can look it up yourself in the web site’s archives. Suffice it to say, the big shot corporate fellows he fell in with as partners decided to just steal his device for themselves, cut him out, and bankrupt him in order to achieve their purpose (sounds familiar, eh Sterken?).

Saia sank deeper and deeper into debt and reached a point of near suicidal despair. Then one morning while taking a walk, the Blessed Mother her very own self appeared to him, filling him with an incredible warmth of love and telling him to just trust in her son Jesus. Soon after, at the trial which would effectively ruin him, the judge was about to wield his gavel when he seemed to suddenly change his mind and wonder out loud if the bad guys were trying to use his court to ruin this man. He then stunningly ruled for Saia and Mr. Saia went on to get his patent. He also painted a depiction of St. Michael the Archangel on the side of each and every truck in his business. No driver for him has yet to have an accident.

Like I said, spooky shit.

Mary, and I admit even I, took this heart-warming story as almost a personal message to us. His refusal to knuckle under to the thieving fat cats provided us with inspiration and encouragement to fight them ourselves. And there would be more of Mr. Saia as events unfolded.

In the beginning, confirmed skeptic that I mostly am, I admit my basic thought was, “Nice story. What’s for dinner?”

Dinner was far more real to me than purported heavenly apparitions. Especially in the land of Mary Tarantino. Mary truly loved to feed people, lavishly. The more people, the better. As I have mentioned, she came from a family of ten Italian kids and began helping her mother shop and cook meals from the time she was seven years old till she left home to get married and have twins at the age of nineteen. And she was not coerced into these kitchen duties. She just truly loved cooking and preparing meals. Bringing pleasure to others was as second nature to her as acting like a jerk was to me.

I got my first glimpse of this side of her about a month after we met. At that time, I was a bachelor and my food budget was somewhere around fifty or sixty dollars a week (1990 dollars). My spice shelf had salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash. Enough. I had the Joy of Cooking on that shelf, but, like my Handyman’s Book, it was rarely perused or implemented.

Mary invited six of her family over to dinner one night so they could meet me and give me the once over and I accompanied her on a shopping trip for this one dinner that came out to nearly one hundred and fifty dollars. Very scary.

But what a meal. There were sumptuous left overs for several days. Mary never, ever, made a meal where the bowls were all empty and the food was all gone and somebody was still hungry.

It was part of her basic approach to life. She never did anything half-way or cut any corners or sloughed off any responsibility. Another aspect of our odd couple status, since I rarely hesitated to avail myself of any these shortcomings. No, if she was going to do something, she was going to do it one hundred percent.

And so she continued her Internet research into Arbortext, and the piles of web site printouts piled up around her on her desk like some basement archive of a dusty old monastery with ninety year old monks bent over quill pens.

Then one day she appeared in my office with a gleam in her eye and some papers in her hand. There were light streaks coming off her hair and the air in the room began to hum.

Something was definitely afoot in our little world.

To be continued Monday June 23 . . . Free Hit Counter website statistics


June 20, 2008 - Posted by | Business, Law, Life, News, Software, Technology, Writing | , ,

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