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My Robot Is Pregnant theme song!

tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

May 12, 2012

road case


This is George. We met online. Two older men in relationships looking for a walk on the wild side.

That sounds weird. George found my website through the beekeeper video on current.com

He called me up last month and told me to get back to writing. We’d never met but he is an old junk man/wandering seeker and he gave me a few words of encouragement.

Between opening the shop and running Hauler! and going to City Hall for permits and all that I was sinking into the boring world of conformity and paper chasing.

It was nice to hear from a total stranger that my writing was interesting and I shouldn’t give up on it.

Thing is, writing doesn’t pay any bills and I’m getting old. I need to create a money machine because I like to drink and buy at the flea market. There has to be something for me to manage when my knees stop letting me jump off the back of a truck with boxes in my hand.

Writing is sinking towards the bottom of the list.

George gave another call last week, said he was coming through the Bay Area working with the Black Keys and would I like a pair of tickets and to grab a drink…I said yes. Finally the website is paying back!

I didn’t sell the trucks or anything, but again, George was awful encouraging and my girl and I loved the show, went backstage, saw the tour bus and got free tshirts. Thanks to George.

So now we need to encourage George, who is a little older than me, a roadie for a huge band, and thinking about how bad his knees hurt too.

In a dream true to a junkman, George lives near a beach in Florida and he combs the beach for driftwood. He dreams of making furniture and home decor from his found objects. Why not? Can we get an amen from you people that George needs to jump in and start bringing his ideas to market? It’s a long slow road for a good idea, and I think it is a good idea, so get started!

May 9, 2012

this may be a bit much but i mean well

Woke up this morning and sorted pennies standing in the nude. For my father. He gets all the wheaties when I’m done. The non-wheat pre-82’s, I take the jug and bury it out back. Another thing I learned from the old man…treasure is created. It’s up to this generation to leave something for the next. Ikea furniture will likely become very collectable because it doesn’t last. The person able to keep an Expedit shelving unit intact through the year 2112 will have an outstanding example of where our collective mindset was in 2012. That’s what antiques are for – portals into old ego.

Another way to look at it is this. Come here, it’s about a conversation I heard in a bar. Someone I know, my age, almost 40, talking to a girl just turned 21.

She says, “I wish I was around for that (partying at bars during the grunge age of the 1990’s)”

He says, “It’s up to you to party so hard now the next generation wants to be like you. That’s how it works.”

Friend, that is how it works. That’s how getting 21 year olds to make out at a crowded bar works. Consider a 21 year old a rare treasure in the destitute pensioner’s pub we call our local bar and you see the allure of treasure. It doesn’t look like everything else around you. Maybe you hunt pennies, the old dull ones, maybe you hunt shiny women with skin that feels like a new Gucci purse – so soft and sweet smelling.

I think the anaology/parable demands us to say childbirth is the same as burying a bottle of high copper content pennies in a jar for the next generation to find. It involves leaving something behind, and so from one treasure hunter to another, older, slower treasure hunter, happy birthday Dad. I am your buried treasure. Nice work.

May 8, 2012

In honor of my father’s birthday I’ve picked up one of his obsessive/compulsive habits- sorting my change. I’m looking for “wheat pennies”, the old ones from the 1950’s that have stalks of wheat on the reverse rather than the Lincoln Memorial.

I also sort out pre-1982 pennies into the small glass jug because they have a copper value double their face value. Jimbo down at the shop has challenged me to see who fills their gallon jug first.

At this point I can see the difference in color between the two different time periods, don’t even check the dates. It’s a lack of shine, the absence of red on old pennies you notice. The old ones are like muddy water.

Happy Birthday Dad!

May 7, 2012

time’s up


It’s nice to be the law, saves the energy spent being above it. The meter reader never pays for parking. Makes a nice crime novel title, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t the meter reader be a perfect sociopathic killer? The little Cushman three wheeled battery powered vehicle silently stalking the unsuspecting victim…meter man…a vigilante for city hall, murdering meter scofflaws…extracting only the proper coinage from the victim’s pockets that provides the necessary restitution…

May 2, 2012

home is where the heart is

When the comment praises me for the information I provide, or compliments my writing as helpful, then it’s spam. No one clicks on the link. Were a spam comment to say something like, “You sound like a real asshole here. Are you still fucking that cottage cheese container?” Then people will be tricked into clicking on the link.

When are homeless people gonna start using cell phones? I hired a long bearded guy the other day, he looked like Oggy Bleacher and was just walking by the dumpster where I was working.

“Wanna help paint?”

“Yeah, sure.”

It was that easy. He was from Belmont California, just a few miles south and home of MRIPs friend, Papa Sean. Wouldn’t you expect him to be from Philly or Jersey or something? Not a local boy. Anyway, this homeless guy used to clean pools in Woodside, Rusty Sunshine’s territory, then he started smoking meth. Now he’s painting a fence around a dumpster, one built to keep people like him out.

“You know any homeless people with cell phones?”

“Some people find them. You can sell them to the Mexicans for $20.”

“Why do people who have no home collect so much shit in shopping carts?”

“That’s the meth.”

“Who’s a homeless hero?”

“whatta-ya mean?”

“Are there any heroes in the homeless community?”

“Glide feeds us. They’re heroes.”

Glide is a church in the Tenderloin, and I was hoping to hear about a homeless guy who has figured out how to hack into ATM’s and spends the money throwing bbq’s out by the train tracks. But being homeless really isn’t glamorous like that.

May 1, 2012

bird house town


In an attempt to bring relics of the past in touch with the youth of today we got a twitter account called mixednutssf.

You might look at it and see an invitation to a little bluegrass/rock show we hosted at the shop.

April 30, 2012

not all black guys look alike

But some do. That was the wisdom taught at the bar when it was noted Andre 3000 looked like a regular.

There were more discoveries. A young punk with a 6 inch Mohawk rode by on a skateboard, he was dressed in black jeans and hoodie and had pins and studs bolted to his clothes. He was talking on a cell phone.

position open: beer drinking handyman

Hank here is an old farmhand from a diary operation back in western Mass somewhere, Indian name I forget. Sagamore or such like. He works for us at Rolston Hauls and fell off the back of the truck the other day and didn’t even get hurt. That’s a good worker.

He’s holding a beer bottle to his head with one hand and a cell phone to the other ear creating a primitive ineffectual antenna.

The call concerned work in Alaska on a small day cruise boat that gets close enough to the glaciers you can see the woolly mammoth bones frozen in situ but not so close when the forward edge calves the whole boat gets pile driven to the bottom.

So the hauling business is down a good man for the summer, but Alaska is doing one better.


April 29, 2012

strange advice

The Shop door is propped open now that spring is here. An older woman came in and smiled and looked around, moving slowly. Eventually she came toward the counter with a sun hat in her hand. She lifted it and placed it on her head.
“It’s a little big but it will do. There’s a little garden in back of the place where we’re staying by UCSF. I gave my husband a kidney last weekend. Before you get married make sure you aren’t a match.”

“Blood type?” I asked.

“That’s part of it…” she answered.

April 27, 2012

nowadays so

Spent two months getting the store ready to open, and now we are another two months in business. I sat out front of the store this afternoon watching traffic drive by and thought how lucky I was not to be moving furniture. I’ll hump furniture up stairs tomorrow (one bedroom across town), but it’s nice to know something else is building to make me money.

Getting very close to 40 makes me realize management has its purpose. The trick is having something to manage by the time 40 hits. A good friend told me how hard it is to be married with kids in this area. It takes a ton of money. The neighbor drives a Hummer with “fuelish” on the license plate. They drive the Hummer to the airport and fly to Squaw Valley for a ski weekend. My friend’s kids stay home and fingerpaint in the backyard.

The mixed message of American culture is to pursue freedom, and to be a success. We work for financial success with the belief it buys freedom. That’s a big gamble. Only a few get to own a railroad and bill the government. I’m working 7 days a week so I can afford to buy scratch tickets. The only hope is no hope at all, so what’s the point of striving for success?

Open a junk shop instead. A new store that sells old stuff. Think of it as a new vintage store. Put an old phone on the sign. People will get it. You will not get rich, but the hope someday you will find a Picasso rolled up and stuffed into a Stradivarius is viable an option as anything else. Except dentistry. Become a dentist. Become a banker. Then you can be an early adopter of the latest electronics and vacation on distant shores without worrying about making rent. You own, after all.

But the property tax and the mortgage and the student loan and orthopedic surgeon and vanity plates and all that…you cut the vacation short.

Instead I chose a different path. Already taking out the garbage and vacuuming the showroom rug is a tiresome chore. Sometimes things in life are easy, but rarely.

My friend was confiding in me at a karaoke bar where they sell you a scratch ticket, a beer and a shot for 5 bucks. We stared as the KJ danced behind a singer. She was 40ish. Looked 3 months pregnant, more or less. She wasn’t.

“If they’re gonna act like they’re dancing naked, I’m gonna look. That’s my policy,” he told me. It’s nice to be drunk and have philosophies that make sense, if only for a short time.


I was at the scrap yard when I saw the black trailer with the advertising “recycle meal” spray painted in white. I realized English didn’t guarantee an advantage any more in this world. You can speak English and be down at the depths of success.

April 25, 2012

his and hers


My truck, my girlfriends car.

April 21, 2012

and so we advertise

Painted over an old real estate sign. We call it a vintage shop because junk shops are cluttered and Jimbo wants things orderly.

just discovered paint pens for windows


I’m gonna put messages on my windshield like a car lot next

Thrift stores are a bust, over-priced and full of rejects. The yard sale is, to quote Pat (the one who bought coke from nuns) “the last bastion of ignorance” the last place you can get a deal, to score, to come up big. 25 cents makes you $50 – that doesn’t happen at thrift stores. Church ladies are hip, bringing Internet marketing gurus build on online presence for the Sacred Heart of orphan children.

So today Jimbo and I rolled through the neighborhood. It’s better to have a partner. One guy acts interested, the other tries to talk you out of it. The seller gets nervous and lowers the price. Perfect.

Jimbo is a fiscal partner. We must remind folks of that. Two men collecting antiques sends a strong queer vibe. The term partner implies all sorts of domestic activity including animal husbandry, if you believe Rick Santorum’s statement that homosexuality leads to fucking dogs.

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