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Sunday, November 19, 2017

400. Scoundrels

C.W. came in this morning as I was having coffee and plopped down in a seat across the table from me. He looked a lot like a young Harry Truman, complete with a white linen suit and wire-framed glasses.

“Morning,” I managed.

“Wassup?”

That maybe sounded a bit like Truman. He might have said that to MacArthur just before he fired him. I kind of hope so. “You tell me,” I said, and turned back to the book I was reading.

“I’ll tell you one thing,” he said.

I ignored him.

“This current batch of scandals and damaged careers proves how smart George W. Bush was.”

This got my attention. “It what?”

“If you want to run for office in the information age in your country, you must have one.”

“One what?”

“You must make yourself a ‘Salvation Date’ and stick by it.”

“A what?”

“A Salvation Date. It will get you through any scandal that someone digs up if you have the press trained right.”

“It what?”

“Makes you bullet-proof.”

“How so?”

“Simple,” he said. “It’s the date on which you made pals with the Galilean.”

“Say what?”

“They can’t ask you, the reporters can’t, about anything in your life preceding your Salvation Date. Anything before that you did before that date is off-limits. It was done by the ‘other you,’ the you that was under the spell of The Dark One. The ‘new you’ is the one since then and it is open for observation. Of course, your new life since that date must be spotless, washed ‘white as snow’ so to speak. It doesn’t pay to go back too far. Ask Bill Clinton.”

He took a deep breath and continued. “All those TV evangelists have one. Did you ever think, in your wildest imagination that people like Charles Colson, Jim Baker, and Jimmy Swaggart could ever be taken seriously again?

I thought. “Those proved modern miracles of self-righteous rehabilitation all right.” I said. “I can see where a political aspirant with a checkered past could use one.”

“This current feller has several. His tend to drift around as to the exact date and other specifications.”

“Let me make sure I understand. You’re telling me, I gather, that it gives one a clean slate from which to work?”

No matter how sleazy you might have been, you get to start afresh, sort of a political ‘do-over’ in case you need it. Jimmy Carter and John McCain didn’t need one, but most of the others do.”

“I’m beginning to get the picture,” I said.

“It’s marvelous, isn’t it? If anyone mentions a pre-date misbehavior, the bench-jumpers take to the streets to protest the casting of aspersions on their candidate’s religious bona fides.”
 
From this day on. Get it? - C.W.
“I thought our Constitution forbids a religious test for public office.”

He turned slightly toward me, pulled his eyeglasses down on the tip of his nose, and assumed a highly sophisticated and presidential manner. He spoke gravely. “Did you come into town on a load of watermelons?”

I had to think about all this for a moment. I said, “Are you sure about all this?”

“It’s called the ‘Salvation Date Deployment.’ Can’t you see?” he said. He was becoming quite excited. “It’s part of my new book, Scoundrels Are Us: American Politics in the Modern Age. What thinkest thou?”

“By Jove,” I said. “I think you’ve got it!”

See also:
Enjoy theses at all? If so, order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers. It will make him so happy.



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day

Hey friends. Big Dope is taking Veterans Day weekend off and asked me to post this favorite from years gone by.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

399. Beliefs

C.W. asked me for an hour or so of his time interrupted so I knew he was in serious mode. Imagine my surprise when he showed up as Bozo The Clown.

“What the … ?

“Howie Kazowie, little boy,” he said, taking a chair opposite me. “Are you ready to help old Bozo with his job?”

I sat speechless as he opened his notepad and clicked his pen to the ready position. He huge mouth opened into a grin and came up with “Ready?”

“I thought you wanted to have a serious conversation.”

“Well?”

“You look like a damned clown.”

“Shhh,” there are usually children following me around.”

“That’s my point,” I said. “Why the clown shape?”

“That’s the only way I can seriously discuss my topic du jowl, drawing his cheeks into a huge grin.”

“I think you mean ‘topic du jour’ don’t you?”

“I was making a joke, and don’t start in about my GUT.”

“I wouldn’t dare mention your Galactic Universal Translator,” I said. “Now what is up?”

“We are going to discuss what our planet sees as one of the most laughable aspects of your species. I’m simply dressed to fit.”

“And that aspect is?”

“The obsession your species has with conspiracy theories.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. It came up again recently concerning an assassinated president, the one murdered by the lone gunman who sneaked a rifle to work, stayed in during lunch, and shot the president from the building where the gunman worked.”

“And the Falloonians think that was funny?”

“Oh no,” he said. “What they find funny is how your species has concocted such idiotic folk conspiracies around the event.”

“Oh.”

“We differentiate between conspiracy theories, legends, and myths,” he said. The first is the most difficult to understand, and … .” He stopped. “Well,” he continued, “the most laughable, I’m afraid.”

That caused me to think. While I did so, he continued.

“How about the man who shot up a pizza shop because one of the presidential candidates was operating a child sex-slave ring in the basement?”

“That wasn’t funny to the manager of the shop who had a rifle pointed in his face,” I said. “And besides, I think we blamed that one on the Russians.”

“Would it have been better to blame it on the Schcrooarandians?”

“Who?”

“They’re considered by many to be the greatest jokers of our Galaxy.”

“Oh.”

“Or how about the former president who managed the demolition of two of the tallest office buildings on your planet from the White House and managed to have an airliner flown into each one to cover up his crime? They still laugh about that conspiracy effort all over the Opaque white fluid rich in fat and protein, secreted by female mammals for the nourishment of their young … Way.”

“You mean the Milky Way?”

“Old Bozo was just joshin’ you, lad. Wowie kazowie. What fun.”

“I’m leaving,” I said. “I have better things to do.”

“Wait,” he said. “You need to hear this.” He reached inside his outfit and produced a scroll, which he unrolled. “This was compiled by a Falloonian youth with the comparable education of one of your twelfth-graders. He did it as a homework assignment.”

“How old is he.”

“In earth years?”

“Yes.”

“He would be three months old.” Before I responded, he continued. “I’ll skip right to the meat of it.” He read, “It the absence of a single shred of evidence, physical documentation, or deathbed confession after more than 50 years, Earthlings, believe that a master conspirator, hereinafter referred to as ‘MC’ compiled the following conspiratorial body to cooperate seamlessly in the assassination of the aforementioned president.”

He scrolled a bit, with great ceremony.

“An actor playing the role of a crazed gunman who may or may not have known the role was terminal.” He looked at me and raised one of his huge eyebrows, then continued.

“The Dallas, Texas police department, the Cook County Sheriff’s department, various American Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard officers, the American CIA, various organized crime organizations, the Cuban president and government, Lyndon Johnson and wife, the entire American media establishment … .”

“Stop, please,” I said.
 
What? - C.W.
He ignored me. “the American FBI, … .”

“Stop stop.”

“The equivalent of a military platoon of armed gunmen scattered secretly among the throngs lining the parade route, … .”

“That’s enough,” I said.

“One more line,” he said. Before I could protest, he skipped to the bottom and read. “Study Conclusion One: … .”

That caught my attention.

“American earthlings should immediately receive the galactic title of Doobprndoong now being held by the inhabitants of the planet Boochedufhaimerz++.”

“And what,” I asked, “does that award mean?”

“Wowie kazowie son,” he said. “It means ‘Goofballs of the Galaxy,’ more or less.”

See also:
Enjoy theses at all? If so, order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers. It will make him so happy.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

398. Issues

It is one of C.W.’s most contemplative shapes, sort of the face of a famer and the grooming of a fop. He exhibits a cross between hard-earned understanding and devil-may-care insouciance wearing a John Deere hat and stockbroker suspenders. Weird.

“Come in” he said. That was a strange thing for him to say for I was already in and partway through a cup of coffee, sitting across from him. It was his way of telling me that he had only just noticed me.

“What’s up? You look pensive this morning.”

“The Falloonian Elders are concerned. Very concerned.”

I looked at him. Sometimes, usually when he has been preparing reports to transmit back to his home planet, he assumes an annoying but alarming air of flippancy. Not today.

“Concerned, you say?”

“I think I said ‘very concerned’ if you happen to have been listening.”

“Okay. Very concerned about what?”

“The continued drift of your species toward a loss of its grip on reality.”

“Oh?”

“They are very concerned.”

“Elucidate.”

He leaned back in his chair. “Where shall I begin?” he said. He rubbed his chin and moved the bill of his cap an inch or two up upwards. “We know,” he said, “that intellectual progress does not occur in a straight line.” He waited for this to settle. “Remember the abyss that sucked the daylight from Europe following the introduction of your favorite religion? It was known as the ‘approaching black in shade era’ if I remember correctly.”

“The Dark Ages, I think you mean.”

“Whatever,” he said. “At its lowest point, your panspermian sponsors revisited and made some minor genetic adjustments and ‘viola,’ the light emerged.”

“I think you mean ‘voila’ if you don’t mind.”

“What you now call the Renaissance,” he said, ignoring me.

“Yes. I think that’s what happens. Our progress is up and down, hills, valleys, and plateaus.”

Like a roller-vehicle that moves easily without using power.”

“That’s roller-coaster and you need to have you Galactic Universal Translator worked on.”

“All GUT repair is postponed until after this unstable situation of extreme danger or difficulty.”

“And this crisis is what, exactly?”

“First, let’s kill all the reporters. I think one of your famous writers said that.”

“I think he said ‘lawyers,’ and what has that to do with us?”

“Scientists are next, don’t you see?”

“Uh, …,”

“Then teachers, to be replaced by preachers.”

Uh, …,”

“Reason must go, to be replaced by political opportunism. Have you read about the long period of darkness between 1914 and 1946?”

“Many times,” I said. “I actually have known people who lived through it.”

“Would they have wanted you present leaders to have guided you through it?”

The thought of that stunned me. “You really are concerned,” I said. “Why? You can go back to the safety of your own planet at any time.”

“Scheduling,” he said.

“Scheduling?”

“We had your planet scheduled for shutdown in accordance with current trends and now we must re-slide the cards over each other quickly and set a new schedule. We’re thinking of swapping you with Cedsuphucadhair. It has worse leadership than yours, but it is less prone to destruction.”

“So we are in real trouble, you think? That’s ‘re-shuffle’ by the way.”

“You’re not taking this seriously.”

“Oh, I am,” I said. “But we are a resilient species. We overcome things, even weird and strange things. Have you ever heard of Joseph McCarthy?”

He leaned back and exhaled. “He was sent as a test,” he said, “and things just got out of hand.”

“Will you help us?”
 
Your species accomplishes mighty things
 for the worst of reasons. Illogical. - C.W.
“We’ll try,” he said. “But we have to hurry. There are other issues awaiting you.”

“Oh? What issues?”

“I’ve been reading one of your books,” he said, shifting the conversation.

“What issues?”

One by James Baldwin.”

“What issues?”

“Something about someone’s room.”

“Would you tell me what issues?”

“Want to hear my favorite quote so far?”

Please, please … the issues.”

“I think it is either ‘The world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen who forget. Heroes are rare,’ or another, ‘Nobody can stay in the Garden of Eden.’ Aren’t those great?”

“And what is our next crisis after we attend to the problem of our politics?”

“There is the matter of an unexplained and unpredictable asteroid that has entered your galaxy from somewhere and seems to be headed in your general direction. But first things first.”

See also:
Enjoy theses at all? If so, order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers. It will make him so happy.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

397: Scary Things

“Have you picked out your Halloween shape yet?”

Why did I have to ask that? I assumed I knew the answer. C.W. always takes the same shape: his beloved three-headed monster, but I just had to bring it up. There he sat, looking a lot like some character I’ve seen on television a lot lately, but I can’t remember his name. He’s always standing behind the president in news clips, looking so sincere that chocolate candy wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

Anyway, I thought He would say “me” as his shape again. He says going as himself is the only way most people can see the “real” C.W. It makes sense, and draws a lot of attention. But no.

“I’m going as a real person this year.”

“Oh.” I nodded toward him with a question look.

“Oh no,” he said. “Not this one. I field-tested it and it scares the kids too bad.”

“Who then?”

“I’ll give you a hint,” he said. “It’ll be the greatest Halloween costume the world has ever seen.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“It’ll be such a great costume that it will make Hillary Clinton turn herself into the FBI.”

“No, C.W., no.”

“I’ve received over five million letters asking me to.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“You’re a poot-headed goose if you don't believe me.”

“Come on, get serious.”

“I’ll have ten thousand of my brothers marching outside, protecting our blood and soil, if you don’t let me.”

“This isn’t funny.”

“What isn’t?”

“How you’re threatening to appear on Halloween.”

“Is that what we were talking about?”

“I believe so.”

“I forgot. And, oh, I have to go.”

“So you were just kidding about all this?”

“About all what?”
 
The best "incumbency insurance"
any president ever had. - C.W.
“Halloween.”

“What about it?”

“How you are going to appear.”

“Oh, I don’t know yet how I’ll appear.”

“That’s a relief.”

“Now I have to go.

“Where to?”

“I have to purchase a large pumpkin to use as my head.”

See also:
Delta Dreaming
All Hat No Cattle
Order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers.