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Sunday, September 17, 2017

392: Amnesty

“Do you think I might obtain permanent status through this so-called ‘Dream Act’ if I applied?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Why not?”

“First, you aren’t a human.”

“And you think this Gudamfulian in your White House is?”

“What? Do I think our president is human?”

“Do you actually think that Falloonia is the only planet that has observers on your planet?”

“Uh, well, I hadn’t thought about it. I’ve always had my hands full with you.”

Right Head and Left Head both looked at Middle Head, who laughed. “Some civilizations just have a better sense of humor. So what about this Dream Act thing? Will it work for me?”

“I don’t think so. You would have had to come here as a child.”

“Wait one,” said Right Head, and they left the room. As they did, Left Head muttered, “We’ll show that Phukeenazoal.”

“I heard that,” I said, yelling it after him. C.W. and I had been sitting around talking and he hadn’t chosen a shape for the day. At last account, he was torn between a physics professor and a welder’s apprentice. As it turned out, he changed directions completely. Reggie the Young Conservative walked back into the room.

I frowned. “You’re going to ask for amnesty in that shape?”

“It’s not my fault I’m here,” he said.

“No?”

“No. The Mother Ship dropped me off at boarding school and they forgot all about me. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

“I think I would leave out the part about the Mother Ship.”

“How about my mother was an ambassador from somewhere or other?”

I thought, then said, “Come to think of it, ‘that just might get the job done,’ as the dentist said when he took the crowbar in his hand.” I was feeling a little Dickensean this morning.

“This is no time for humor or frivolity, especially the treatment of a serious matter with humor or in a manner lacking due respect.”

“I assume that you mean it is no time for levity?”

“There you go again, repeating things I say."

I took on my most serious look. “They will do a background check, you know.”

That stopped him. He thought and said, “You don’t suppose Mrs. Middleton would … ”?

“No,” I said, “she dropped the charges after you replaced her ‘Hillary’ sign.”
'
“What about that Dunkum man?”

“I don’t think he ever figured out for sure that you donated money in his name to your party.”

“Perry?”

“He still thinks I’m the one who sent him the CD of Nazi fight songs for Christmas,” I said. “And besides, he likes any form of marching songs, even those.”

“Mrs. Big Dope?”
Some folks do admire their discipline.  - C.W.

“You might have a problem there,” I said. “If you really are the ‘Ima Troother’ who keeps tagging her on Facebook. I think you are, aren’t you?”

“Oh heavens no,” he said. “That must be one of the Keaderunda reps.”

Shaking my head, I said, “You more or less gave it away when you posted that she made your Ba-Donka-Donk want a dip of snuff.”

“I repeat. I know nothing about any Facebook postings.”

“What about those ads someone purchased alleging that a certain presidential candidate was widely known to have experimented in thespianism with another woman while she was in college?”

“Those ads were true.”

“True or not, they lost her a lot of votes with the Franklin Graham crowd. He even used them in his rallies, I've heard.”

“Anyway, I never paid for them.”

“Oh? Who did?”

“Hey,” he said. “Maybe I could claim I drifted ashore as a child after my parents were lost at sea. My people would go for that.” His skin began darken. He smiled and said, Funcionaría eso?”

I nodded. “’It just might work,’ as the ant said when he started climbing up the elephant’s leg.”
         
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Sunday, September 10, 2017

391. Schemes

“Hey Big Dope, have a seat.”

“Thanks.” I sat. C.W. was typing on my laptop and didn’t look up. He was in a familiar form. I have this friend who writes and teaches journalism. C.W. likes to “channel” him from time to time, hoping the Muse will settle within him. It usually doesn’t work. But he seemed to be giving it a try. He looks so real that I almost called him by my friend’s name. “What’s doing, Son… , uh, C.W.” I said.

“Thought I would catch up on some old consulting projects while we’re locked indoors by the hurricane,” he said.

“The hurricane won’t hit us,” I said. “It’s hundreds of miles away.”

He looked at me and shook his head. “There’s a real denial syndrome affecting you people.” And he started typing again.

“So, what are these old consulting projects you’re working on?”

“Some that I had filed away and forgotten about. Requests for research and political guidance, that sort of thing. I’m sure the clients are wondering where they are.”

I’m not sure if I have mentioned it before, but C.W. doesn’t operate within same space-time continuum as we. He tends to lose track of time completely when he gets focused on other things. I nodded. “What kind of research and guidance?”

He tapped the computer keys. “Here’s one,” he said, “It seeks guidance on anticipated policy directives for the first female president of the United States.”

“It what?”

He ignored me. “I’m looking at specific gender-related opposition to such things as passing an expansion of the Affordable Care Act, whatever that is. I’ll recommend that they go after the most timid members of the opposing party, and win them over. Sort of 'grab them by the pusillanimous,' don’t you see?”

“And you received this assignment when?”

“Oh, some time ago,” he said, tapping the keys again. “Here’s another. They want some ideas on hitherto unimagined methods of political campaigning.”

“Oh really?”

“I started with two ideas, but the client said they were unrealistic. I went ‘back to the drawing board,’ as you say, and forgot all about it.”

“After the two ideas?”

“Yeah, I first thought they might ask around and see if some foreign country might want to offer some help with their campaigns.”

“And?”

“Most of their people said that would be illegal.”

“I see. And the other idea?”

“Oh, it was really too far out for them.”

“Oh? There is a concept now that things might be too far out for political campaigning?”

“This apparently was.”

“And it involved?”

“Oh,” he said, “It was a crazy scheme involving inducing someone who wasn’t a member of a political party to infiltrate that party’s election process and run a campaign designed to tear the party apart. Crazy idea. Would never work.” He punched more keys. “And delete,” he said punching the laptop with one finger. “Here’s a better one. This client was running for some office and was terrified of being elected.”

“Oh really? Why?”

“It was just a publicity stunt. He thought it might help him financially. The last thing on earth he wanted was to be stuck in a public job.”

“You haven’t started working on it yet?”

“Quite the opposite,” he said. “It’s an ongoing project. We just haven’t found the right answer.”

“What’s the oldest one you haven’t started?”

“Let’s see,’ he said. He typed for a moment. “Here’s a good one. I think I’ll start on it immediately. Should be able to complete it in a few days.”

“Can you share with me what it involves?”

“What but not who.”
This is no country for
old libertarians. - C.W.

“Why not who?”

“I’m sworn to secrecy. I don’t know much myself. I don’t deal directly with the client. The assignment came from a think tank somewhere.”

“But you can tell me what it involves?”

“They want me to start leaking some juicy little tidbits involving broad public support and justification for their scheme. Generate ‘pub’ as we call it in the business. The first dispatches should hit the presses next week. I’ve already sent them. After the initial bombardment, I’ll recommend a full-blown strategy.”

“And the scheme is what, exactly?”

“It’s really quite simple,” he said. “A governor somewhere wants his state to succeed from the United States.”                                                                                                                                                          
                  
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Sunday, September 3, 2017

390. Incoherence

“Are you listening to me? Hey, C.W. Will you pay attention?”

“What?”

“Take those earplugs out. What are you doing?”

He removed one earplug. He had been laying on the couch staring at the ceiling in the shape of, let’s see, more or less a senior citizen, a bit overweight with a receding hairline, wearing a brightly colored shirt and sansabelt pants. His deck shoes lay on the floor. “What?” he said.

“Mind telling me what’s going on?”

“I’m trying to rest and get my mind off this planet for a few minutes. We older citizens need to recharge our sanity capacitors from time to time.”

“So, you plug your ears and stare at the ceiling?”

He pointed toward the TV. I hadn’t noticed it until then. A circle of orange was bouncing around indiscriminately and there was shouting. “What the … ?”

“He’s making another speech.”

“He?”

“That man.”

“Oh.”

“It’s wonderful this, wonderful that, terrific this, terrific that, and everything is ‘the greatest’ that ever there was or will be.”

“Why not turn him off.”

“Mrs. Big Dope likes to listen to him from the kitchen.”

“My wife likes to listen to him?”

“She says he tickles her sometimes, but I’m not sure.”

“Oh?”

“No. I think he just reminds her that maybe you aren’t so bad after all.”

“Oh.”

With one plug still in an ear, he turned to me. “Did you know that your country has just received the highest rating in the galaxy for wadaphrcinell++?”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“And that is?”

He grew pensive. Although it was silent, his Galactic Universal Translator was no doubt going full speed.”

“It doesn’t exactly translate.”

“Oh.”

“It’s somewhere between incoherent babbling and what you, in common parlance, call ‘male bovine excrement’ delivered at such high speeds that linguistic discipline is impossible.”

The voice on TV rose in intensity and the crowd roared. “I see what you mean.”

A loud crash sounded in the kitchen followed by the sound of glass hitting the floor.

“He’s reaching the point of maximum effectiveness,” C.W. said. “I wouldn’t go in there if I were you.” He pointed toward the kitchen.

“Gotcha. So you don’t have this kind of incoherent babbling on Fallonia?”

“Oh certainly we do. On rare occasions, a citizen unit is born with a genetic phenomenon called krssyesalun.”

“And, what do you do with them?”

“We do what we do with all genetic and physiological variations, we honor and respect them, treat them as what you might call holy creatures worthy of great reverence.”

“That’s interesting.”

“These particular units usually become quite famous and what you call wealthy, in that they never have to worry about creature comforts of any kind.”

“How do they do that?”

“They rent a large enclosure with bars to protect them from those like Mrs. Big Dope and large crowds congregate to hear them. The crowds enjoy themselves and make donations, the performers enjoy themselves, and the Elders appreciate the peace and comfort it brings.”

“They spout nonsense for money?”
One wonders, doesn't one? - C.W.

“And power. They are quite effective in shaping policy. Since nobody understands what they are saying, there can’t be any disagreement as to efficacy. No matter what policy their supporters want adopted, they use the babblings as evidence.”

“That’s insane.”

He turned his face toward the TV.

"Oh really?” he said, placing the earphone back in his ear. “Did you see,” he said, holding up a cylindrically shaped object, “the present that our friend Perry Carr sent me?”






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Sunday, August 27, 2017

389: Redemption

“What on Earth?”

“I’m packing.” It was true. C.W. had a bag with essential items laid out and appeared ready to depart on some journey or other. I hoped he wasn’t going in his present form, the Galilean, since he would never make it through the first checkpoint. I suspect that a white robe and sandals on a Middle-Easterner would set off profile detector alarms all over the airport.

“Going somewhere?”.

“You remind me of the man who met a friend who said he was on his way to his brother’s funeral.”

“And?”

“The man asked, “Oh, did your brother die?”

A glimmer of hope appeared. “Going back to Falloonia?”

“No the dungiderphicupageen hasn’t run out there yet.”

“The what?”

“What you call the ‘statute of restrictive boundaries.’ We have them there too.”

“Oh, you mean a statute of limitations?”

“There you go repeating what I say again.”

“What was your crime?”

“You don’t have a word for it in your language.”

“Serious, eh?”

“A case of improper identification. That’s all.”

“Oh?”

“The word for ‘Elder-kin’ is very similar in Falloonian to ‘willing young thing,’ if you really must know.”

“Aaah. So where are you headed?”

“To Washington.”

“To Washington? Where in Washington?”

“A redemption center.”

“What are you going to redeem?”

“Not what, how? Hand me that, will you?” He pointed at a what appeared to be a set of cat o' nine tails.”

“What are you going to do with that?”

“Express my desire for redemption.”

“Your what?”

“Redemption. Our representative in the East has learned from a source that they are setting up redemption centers where the unsaved can be pardoned and returned, with the proper display of contrition, to the fold.”

“What fold?”

“The right fold.”

“As in ‘the appropriate fold?’”

“As in ‘the right fold.’”

“Aaah.” So, does flagellation serve as a justification for being brought into the ‘right’ fold?”

“I don’t know. I thought it might help. I can’t promise to vote right since I can’t vote, and I have only as much money as you are willing to give me. I don’t think you would extend me a large amount for this particular purpose.”

“You got that right. So, you think this seeking of a pardon on Earth might help with your, uh, little situation in Falloonia?”

“Oh heavens no.” He stopped and chuckled. “Listen to me, ‘oh heavens no.’ You’d think I was homesick. We have rules in Falloonia.”

“Rules?”

“More like guidelines that we follow without fail. We don’t bend them for political purposes. Otherwise we would be no better than … .” He stopped before he said it.

“But you said you were going to seek redemption.”

“For forgiveness, actually.”

“Forgiveness for what?”

“For being a stranger in a strange land.”

“You are seeking a pardon for that?”

“Exactly.”
 
I don't think I heard that
ex-sheriff say that. - C.W.
"Are you going to express remorse?"

"The last one they pardoned didn't have to."

“Do you have any supporting evidence that you plan to take?”

“Only something Dad said.”

“And that was?”

“Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice.”

“That’s only one line of the many things he said.”

“It only takes you people one line from a holy scripture to form a national policy.”

“Do you think it might work in your case?”

“It hasn’t yet, but Dad and I are the eternal optimists.”

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

387. Lines

“How do I look?”

What could I say? C.W. looked like weird, even for him. Remember those male models they used to put in the old Sears catalogs? I’m talking about the men advertising work wear, guys who looked like lawyers wearing work shirts, work pants, and steel-toed boots. Only he had this orange tint on a face topped off with a red baseball cap that said, “Make Everyone Reject Democrats,” under the large letters spelling out “MERD.”

“You look … uh, … swell.”

“I thought so. Are you ready to go?’

“I’m not sure I can. I have a lot to do around here.”

“Nonsense. You’ve got to be my modified forelimb that bears large feathers man.”

“I’m not sure I want to be your ‘wing man’ in that getup.”

“Nonsense. We’re going to score on some chickee babies, grab ‘em you know where.”

“I’m not sure my wife would allow that. Besides, I’m behind on my chores.”

“Nonsense. We’re going to wow the babes. I guarantee it.” He paused. “Oh, and speaking of Mrs. Big Dope, is she going with us?”

“Hardly. Don’t you remember? She said she would never be seen in public with you again after last time.”

“Nonsense. That wasn’t my fault. How was I to know that woman was a TV evangelist?”

“The forty pounds of jewelry and five layers of makeup, along with hair standing up a foot high might have given you clues.”

“I though she may have been a politician, state senator or something.”

“Your pickup line didn’t help.”

“I forget what it was.”

“Pardon me miss, didn’t I meet you at the meeting of the Existentialism Club last night?”

“Oh, yeah. Didn’t work too well, did it?”

“It got worse after you did realize what she did for a living.”

“I don’t remember.”

“Would you get on your knees for Jesus?”

“No. Really?”

“And go with him, with him, all the way?”

“I was just trying to speak in her vernacular. I don’t know why she got mad.”

“That’s the trouble.”

“What do you mean?”

“She didn’t get mad. Don’t you recall?”

“She’s not the one who …?”

“Yeah. She’s the one.”

“She had a nice house.”

“It took us forever to find you.”

“It had over forty rooms.”

“Do you want to go back?”

He blanched and shook his head. “No,” was all he said.

“Now you know why I don’t want to go with you.”

“Nonsense. Bar springing lightly is fun.”

“Bar ‘hopping’ is far from fun with you, and besides, that wasn’t your worst pickup line.”

“Oh? I had others you didn’t like?”

“Let’s cut out the small talk and start some serious bargaining. I bid one kiss on the ear.”

“I used that one?”

“I like sex infrequently. Care to find out if that’s one word or two?”

“No, really?”

“A quiver-full begins with a quiver. Want to help string my bow?”

“I’m not believing I said that.”

“Oh, it gets worse.”

“Nonsense.”

“Remember the one about the difference between walking up and sticking it in, and sticking it in and walking up?”

“I don’t remember that. Besides. I’ve learn about salvation through sincere contrition and penitence.”

“Redemption? From whom?”
Please. Don't ask. - C.W.

“Big hair.”

“She taught you about redemption?”

“Oh, she taught me many things that have made me a better person, or imitation person, or whatever.”

“I still don’t want to go with you.”

“I’ve learned my lesson. Trust me. I’ve gone straight.” He stopped, thought, and grabbed a pad and pencil from his pocket. He began to write and nod, saying “How would you like to get something straight between us?”

A scene from a famous movie flashed before my eyes. Click here and you will understand.



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