Acid Heroes: the Legends of LSD

August 23, 2016

A search for a plausible explanation

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:54 pm


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Life on planet earth.

When you drink as much as I do you often wake up in the morning in peculiar states. Let’s just say my grasp of reality often isn’t as solid as I’d like it to be. This morning I had another one of those WHAT THE HELL? moments

This guy is walking toward my campsite dressed in what apparently is a full spaceman suit. Space helmet and everything. And he’s carrying a big metal box in his arms.

He stops about 50 yards from my campsite and puts the box on the ground. Then, after a bit of a struggle, he manages to pull a second box out of the first box. He places that box on the ground. And then walks back down the trail.

I’m like: “Well. You don’t see THAT every day.” I walk down the trail to check out the box, in hopes that there’s a plausible explanation other than that I’ve finally completely lost my fucking mind.

Fortunately there was. It turned out it was a big cardboard box, and inside the box was a big bee-hive with a bunch of bees buzzing around. Apparently it was some project to expand the bee population in the Berkeley hills.

So that was a relief.

For a second there I had even been considering giving up drinking.


August 21, 2016

An ugly scene at Johnston’s Market

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:14 pm


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I used to patronize this fine establishment just about every day for many years for my daily dose of Olde English malt liquor. Johnston’s Market. Until I had an ugly scene in there about 5 years ago.

One afternoon I went up to the counter with my can of OE — just like I had done a zillion times before. But, completely unexpected and out of the blue, the Asian woman behind the counter said:

“No. I’m sorry. I can’t serve you. I can’t sell you beer.”

“What?” I said. “What do you mean you can’t serve me?”

“You’re too drunk already. I can’t sell you any more beer.”

“What do you mean I’m too drunk? This is my first beer of the day. I’m not drunk.”

“Sorry. No no.”

There was a long line of people behind me. Watching me get turned down. So it was very embarrassing. And humiliating. Like I’m some kind of degenerate or something.

“Look. I’ll prove I’m not drunk. I’ll walk a straight line.” I walked a quick straight line. “Look. I can balance the can on my head and walk a straight line. See? I have complete equilibrium.”

“No. No. Sorry. You have to talk to the owner.”

I put the can on the counter and stormed out of there.

It was doubley surprising. Because I had assumed I was on good terms with the people there. I had never caused any kind of disturbance in there in all my years as a valued customer (supposedly). And in fact more then once I had intervened and helped break up fights when some drunken lunatic was attacking them. Or going ballistic because they were a dollar short and couldn’t get their booze (I’d offer to pay the difference just to get them on there way so I could buy my goddamn beer).

And in nearly 40 years of patronizing liquor stores and bars — in all sorts of states of inebriation — I had never once been denied service. And now I was getting 86ed when I was stone-cold sober for crissakes.

(Later I realized the problem was that I had just smoked a joint while lying in the summer sun which caused my face to turn beet red — which I guess made me LOOK drunk.)

Later that evening, as I started to actually get drunk, I started to get more and more angry about the whole exchange. Somebody insults me? I want to insult them back. Among my many character failings, I have an explosive temper.

So I stormed back into the place. Got into the face of the owner who was now behind the cash register — this very stoic Korean guy — and I shouted:


And then, just to drive my point home in case he missed the jist of it, I reiterated my basic position:


And stormed out of there.

It was a stupid and immature thing to do. But in my defense, I can be stupid and immature.

The next morning I was in for another surprise. As I walked down the street I spotted the owner standing outside his store. And he was talking to this black guy who was wearing this black T-shirt with “SECURITY” written in big white letters on the back.

I quickly realized the owner had hired the guy specifically to protect him from me. So I guess I had made an impression on the owner with my short-and-sweet outburst.

So for the next year the black guy would hang around the front of the store to guard the place from me, public enemy number one.

(As a further precautionary measure, the owner stopped stocking Olde English. Which was more than enough to get me out of his hair.)

I actually knew the black guy. Had been friendly with him for many years. He was a People’s Park regular. And he was a pretty good guy. But definitely on the heavy duty side. He had been involved in knife fights and fist fights and god knows what else over the years. So I found it slightly ironic that the likes of him had been brought in to protect them from the likes of me. I felt strangely honored. Like I was a bad-ass or something.

But it became sort of an inside joke between me and the black guy. And we would sort of smile at each other every time we passed on the streets. He had scored a good-paying gig thanks to me. So he was grateful to me.

And it got like, if the owner was thinking of laying him off, he’d be like:

“Hey, could you do me a favor and go in there and shout at the owner again so he’ll hire me back.”


August 20, 2016

I had an odd scene last night

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:09 pm


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I had an odd scene last night. I went to Kip’s at around one in the morning for a nightcap. And I’m holed up by myself at a table in the back corner with my cellphone, blathering away on my Facebook page. And this attractive young co-ed sidles up to me and says:

“Excuse me. Do you know where I can buy some cocaine? Do you sell cocaine?”

“Sorry, my dear,” I said. “I don’t mess with that stuff. I’m just a straight-up alcoholic.”

“Oh,” she said. “So you don’t have any cocaine for sale?’

“Nope,” I said.

I turned back to my cellphone, and she walked back to her table.

I couldn’t figure if it was some kind of prank. “Hey Heather, we dare you to go up to that weird old guy in the corner and mess with him.”

Or if she really thought I looked like some guy who would be hanging out in a bar at 1am selling cocaine to total strangers.

Or maybe she was a freshman and this was the first time she’d ever gotten drunk in a bar so her thinking was a little loopy.

The fall semester starts on Monday. So this is the first big weekend of partying for all the new, in-coming freshman. And it’s kind of a rite of passage.  An annual tradition where you see all the novice drinkers getting drunk for the first time in all sorts of strange ways.  After midnight they’ll always be a couple of scantily-clad young co-eds puking in the gutter or being carried off by their friends. I guess everyone at some point learns the valuable lesson that there’s a right way and a wrong way to consume whiskey and gin and vodka and the other hard liquors. And they usually learn the hard way.

So it was probably that with the cocaine girl.


August 13, 2016

Helicopter ears

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 6:38 pm


Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 6:34 pm
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I’m heartened to see that the AceBackwordsLivesMatters movement is coalescing into a national phenomenon. People across this nation are realizing as one that the life of Ace Backwords truly matters. More and more people are setting aside their bigotry, their hatred and their self-centeredness. To focus on the big picture. Namely, me. Ace Backwords. And my life.


My basic motto? Failure is an option

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 6:29 pm

August 12, 2016

Life is one long ad lib.

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:17 pm


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Yesterday I was walking down Telegraph when I passed this street vendor I know, this very talented painter.

“Ace, you are the greatest artist,” he said.

“And you are a great painter,” I said.

“Nobody else has a mind like you, Ace,” he said.

“That’s probably a good thing,” I said.

And I continued walking on down the road.

A lot of this life. Its like being in a play. But we have to keep ad libbing our lines off the top of our heads. It would be so much simpler if we were at least given a script every morning. So we could do some rehearsing first.


August 7, 2016

Chip off the old block

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 11:26 pm

July 30, 2016

Those goddamn wild turkeys

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 10:06 pm


I hate those goddamn wild turkeys so much. What brainless buzzards they are. Those goony-birds are always trying to get at the cat food at my campsite. And when I run them off they always do the same witless routine:

“Don’t mind me. As you can see I’m walking farther and farther away from the cat food dish . . so there’s no need to pay any attention to harmless little ole’ me . . . as I circle around your campsite . . . and slowly move closer and closer to the cat food from the other side . . . and gobble gobble gobble . . .”

And then just as they approach the catfood dish I have to get up and scream.


And they go running down the hill. Only to repeat the routine all over again.

I swear. They have brains the size of peas.




The secret origin of Moo Cat

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 10:02 pm



Ace Backwords's photo.
One of the cutest things I ever saw in all my years in feral catdom:

When Blondie had her first litter of kittens in 2007 she disappeared for a month. Then one morning she came back down to my campsite and started taking some of the cat food in the cat food dish back to her nest for her kittens. She’d carry the hotdogs in her mouth

Then, a couple days later, she led her kittens down to my campsite. That was really cute. They all came marching down the hill in a line behind Mom. Blondie looked just like a squad leader, leading her troops on an expedition. Ha ha.

When they finally got down to the cat food dish, Blondie basically said: “OK kids. Dig in!!”

That’s how I first was introduced to that crazy cat Moo Cat.





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