Acid Heroes

October 13, 2017

“Call me Harv”

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 7:57 pm

The career of a writer can be fraught with heartbreak, tragedy and disappointment. Especially for a writer like me who always aspired towards the highest forms of literature. And oh how I paid a price for my literary aspirations. Forced to live a life of abject poverty, degradation and feral cats

But at least I had my soul. And the comfort that I had never sold out.

But then one day, after decades of rejection slips and myriad humiliations, I finally got my “big break.” This agent from one of the biggest agencies in Hollywood contacted me and said they were eager to buy the film rights to my book, SURVIVING ON THE STREETS (Loompanics, 2001) and turn it into a major motion picture.

“Your book has it all, bubala!!” gushed the agent. “We’re talking summer blockbuster!! We’re talking 6 figure contracts!! We’re talking tie-ins with McDonalds merchandise!! Tom Cruise himself has expressed great interest in the project and wants to portray you in the film adaptation of your book!!”

“You’re kidding?” I said in disbelief.

“No I’m not!” said the agent. He raised his hand up in the air in a dramatic gesture. “Picture this! Tom Cruise IS Ace Backwords!!”

So finally after all these years of struggle, it looked like my dreams were about to come true!

“The head of the studio — one of the biggest studios in Hollywood — is eager to meet with you personally, Ace, to discuss this project!”

So an appointment was set up to meet the great man at his suite at one of the most expensive hotels in Manhatten.

So you can imagine my excitement and anticipation when I rang the buzzer to his suite.

My first inkling that things might be going awry was when he greeted me and I realized he was wearing nothing but a bathrobe. “Call me Harv!!” he said in a loud booming voice. He shook my hand vigorously. And held onto my hand for a longer than usual time to the point where I felt extreme discomfort.

“Would you like something to drink?” he said. He handed me a cold 40 of Olde English malt liquor. Obviously he had been studying me and my habits.

He began plying me with more and more glasses of OE. Things began to speed up at this point. And most of the details of my encounter with “Harv” are hazy in my memory.

But suffice to say SURVIVING ON THE STREETS was never made into a major motion picture. And I walked funny for several days afterwards.

Don’t let nobody tell you different. Hollywood is a boulevard of broken dreams.




October 11, 2017

“Hey! How’d that cat get so flat?”

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:19 pm

Image may contain: cat

October 8, 2017

End of the line

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:43 pm
Image may contain: skyscraper, sky, ocean, outdoor and water

When I head down from my campsite in the Berkeley hills in the morning, I often get a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay, and the San Francisco skyline, and the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Pacific Ocean beyond it. And I often get this funny feeling. Like I’ve reached the end of the world, the end of Western Civilization, the end of the line. Remember traveling 3,000 miles across the country from New Jersey to San Francisco. And ending up here mostly because I couldn’t go any farther.



Do cats get lonely?

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:19 pm






I wonder how much cats feel loneliness.

The reason I’m wondering about that is because: For the first 2 years of Fatty’s life, Fatty was an accepted member of the tribe of feral cats at my campsite. Was best friends with Scaredy Cat. Related well with all the other cats. And slept with me every night and got a lot of petting and attention from me. So Fatty had a pretty active social life.

But about 6 months ago she got run out of my campsite by one of the other cats in some kind of territorial turf war dispute.

So now she’s by herself all the time. She’s like an exiled princess, wandering alone in the wilderness.

Four or five days a week she’ll show up at the outskirts of my campsite. And I’ll take some cat food down to the creek to feed her. But it won’t be long before the other feral cats chase after her and run her up a tree.

But this morning all the other cats were gone. So I was able to feed Fatty in peace for once. And after she finished eating she climbed up on my chest (I was lying on my back) and I was able to pet her for a bit. Like we used to do in the old days. And she purred and purred.

But it made me wonder if Fatty was lonely. Living by herself most of the time. Or if loneliness is mostly just a human emotion.

Later, I packed up my campsite and walked down the trail to the road.  Fatty followed me all the way down the trail.  And sat there, watching, sort of forlornly, as I walked off down the road.  Like she was wondering where I was going.  And wanted to go with me.  Which was cute.  But I don’t want her getting anywhere the road. Those cars can seriously mess up a cat.

Uncle Ace

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:12 pm



Me and my sister’s son. I guess technically he’s my nephew and I’m Uncle Ace. I always got along well with kids and animals. It’s the rest of humanity I have problems with.

When my nephew was around 8 he always wanted to play Monopoly with me. I usually let him win. Let him get Park Place and Boardwalk.

Then one time I got tired of losing. And I defeated him at Monopoly. “HA HA” I said

And he started crying.

So I always let him win after that when we played Monopoly.

Then he challenged me to play video games with him. I had never played video games before. It was this “race car” video game. And he was quite skilled at video games. He stomped me into the dirt. He had no mercy. Every time I tried to get my race car moving forward he would ram me and force my car off the road. He crushed me at the video game. Beat me by a thousand points.

It was humiliating. He was 8 years old. And I was a grown man. But he crushed me like a bug at video games.

But next time we play Monopoly? The gloves are off. I’m gonna take him DOWN!


October 5, 2017

Cats can save your ass

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:30 pm


Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

In his later years Charles Bukowski became fond of cats. Particularly stray cats. Which he would adopt when they showed up around his house. Ended up with about 10 of the little rugrats.

“I always feel a little better when I look at my cats.”

For a tough guy, Bukowski was a bit of a softy.


 His cats ended up paying him back for his kindness.

In his later years Bukowski got deathly sick. He went to all these expensive Beverly Hills doctors. But they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him.

So after a solid year of feeling like dogshit on the verge of death, one day Bukowski was taking one of his cats to the vet. The vet had his office in the seedy part of town. As soon as he saw Bukowski the vet said: “You’re obviously suffering from tuberculosis.”

Which turned out to be the exact correct diagnosis. The doc prescribed some meds for TB. And Bukowski immediately recovered.

TB is a “poor man’s disease.” Which is why none of the expensive Beverly Hills doctors were familiar with it.

But the point is: If Bukowski hadn’t been caring for his cats he probably would have died. The cats saved his ass.


October 4, 2017

Noble hunter of the forest

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:08 pm




Scaredy Cat caught a little field mouse this morning. She showed up at my campsite with the thing hanging from her teeth. When she put it down the mouse tried to scamper off. It was still alive. Scaredy Cat quickly pounced on it again. Killed it. And gobbled it down. Which added a note of savagery to my “cute little kitties” morning. But that’s life in the jungle. Kill or be killed.

Mini Owl trotted over to try and horn in on the action. But Scaredy Cat put a kabosh to that. She swatted at him with her paw. Like: “Beat it, kid!  Go find your own mouse.” Ha ha.

After devouring the mouse, Scaredy Cat strolled over to me with a triumphant look on her face. She was showing off. She wanted me to see her score. It was her way of telling me: “I ain’t no punk. I got skills.”




October 3, 2017

Part of the scenery

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 10:32 pm


img_20170713_153148.jpgOne of the weird things about homeless street people. They become like part of the scenery. There’s that street light.  There’s that bus bench. There’s that store front. And there’s that homeless guy hanging out at his spot on the sidewalk with his dog.  You see them every day. So after awhile you get to feel like you know them. Even though you don’t really know them.

Like this guy. And his dog. I must have passed him and his dog a thousand times as I walked down Shattuck.  He was always set up at his hang-out spot on the sidewalk in front of Half Price Books. He’s been hanging out there every day for years. And him and his dog are a perfect match. A matching set.  They’re the very definition of “laconic.” Neither of them hardly ever move from their spot. And when they did move, they moved slowly. They were almost like a public statue.  And then at the end of the day they’d move about 10 feet to their crash spot in the doorway of Half Price Books where they’d sleep for the night. Wake up the next morning.  And start all over again.

He seemed like a fairly friendly sort.  People would often stop and chat with him as they strolled down Shattuck.  And his dog was quite popular, too.  Got a lot of pets, a lot of attention, from the passerbys. Every now and then he would take out his acoustic guitar,and jam out some bluesy kind of instrumental stuff, and he had some nice skills on the guitar.

Image may contain: flower, plant and textYou could tell he had a lot of miles on him, probably in his late 50s, and had been through many a rough winters and was kind of on his last legs.  So I wasn’t particularly surprised when he suddenly disappeared last winter.  You noticed his absence immediately.  For, like I said, he was part of the scenery.  And now a piece of it was missing.  Word went out that he had died. So they made a make-shift shrine in his honor at his hang-out spot. They put flowers and candles and heart-felt eulogies. “I miss you and your dog Grinder so much, Rick!!”

But then a month later he returned to his spot. He wasn’t dead after all.  He was having some health problems and had been temporarily put up in a hotel. So it was like Mark Twain. “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

But now he’s been missing again lately for the last 2 months. So who knows.  Nothing stays the same for very long in this life.  Even things that seem like they had been part of the scenery forever.







September 28, 2017

Twisted Image

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:37 pm

A couple more of my old Twisted Image comic strips that somebody just posted on the internet.

I guess everything ends up on the internet eventually.

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Hugh Hefner

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:04 pm

Hugh Hefner with his best friend Bill Cosby. Possibly discussing Hefner’s enlightened and revolutionary views on human sexuality that helped to transform a nation.

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