Sunday, October 28, 2012

120. Frights

Disappointed I was. C.W. had led me to believe that I would finally get to see him in his true Falloonian shape. That has been his most closely guarded secret, as his long-time fans know. With Halloween approaching, however, he hinted that he might reveal all. The world shuddered in anticipation, at least my part of the world.
At the last minute he changed his mind.

“Your species isn’t ready,” he said. He was uncommonly serious about it but I pressed him anyway.

“What do you mean, we’re not ready?” I said. Then hoping to tease him into it, “We survived Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, and Adam Sandler.”

“I know,” he said. “The Jupiterians already got some of the best ones.”

“Then why are you worrying.”

“Can you imagine what would happen if I hit the front page of The National Enquire?” he said. “I would be the laughing stock of the Paskintwarla Galaxy.”

“But think of how much joy you would bring,” I said. We were in a secluded area of our farm, away from prying eyes. He had been trying on forms for Trick or Treat, his favorite time of the American year. “The common folk would be overjoyed.”

He stopped walking and turned toward me. I looked at him and my blood ran cold. I was staring into the face of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

“The common folk?” he said. Then his eyes went red and I found myself looking into a cosmic void so dark and threatening that I couldn’t move.

“The common folk” he repeated.

I found my voice somehow. “I think you might get arrested for contempt of court.” I walked ahead of him.

“Had you going, didn’t I?” A friendlier voice echoed from the white oak trees and I looked to see the form of Mickey Rooney hurrying to catch me. “Whatcha think?”

“I think your job is to scare people on Halloween, not confuse them.”

“Oh,” he said, visibly disappointed.

I stopped to make sure an oddly shaped branch on the ground wasn’t a snake. I was stepping over it when I heard sobs. I turned to see a face wracked in sorrow, red and streaming tears. Oh dear, it was Jimmy Swaggart.

“I just want to bring joy to people,” he blubbered. “This is a time of the year that your people forget their sorrows for a few minutes. Believe me, I know, for I have sinned.” He stopped to blow his nose.

“I think he reinvented himself,” I said. “He’s on top again now.”
He claims that we have no
idea what scary is. - C.W.
The figure sniffed and we continued our walk.

“You are not being much help,” he said.

“You need to be really scary for Halloween,” I said. “It takes talent to scare the daylights out of people.”

He was silent for a moment. “Can it be two people?”

I thought. “I suppose. A scary duo? Yeah. That might work,” I said, thinking of a pairing like The Werewolf and the Mummy, or Frankenstein and Dracula.

“Do you want to see something really scary?” a female voice said. I turned to look and my knees gave way as darkness enveloped me. The last words I remember were “I’d like you to meet my daughter, Honey Boo Boo.”

Sunday, October 21, 2012

119. Anger

C.W. was angry, which was unusual. He usual spends his energy making other people angry.

“Cotton pickin’ dadburned sodbuster,” he yelled from the living room. “No good sidewinder!”

I looked in to find him arrayed as a perfect imitation of 1940s western sidekick, a close match to Gabby Hayes.

“What are you looking at?” he said, a fleck of spittle landing on his whiskers.

“Mind telling me what you’re up to?”

“Trying to figure out your consarnded species.” He held up a folded newspaper.

“What about my species?”

“Why your men are so angry.”

“Our men?”

“Well, your old white men like me. Goldarnit, what has them so upset?”

“I’m not upset.”

“Nobody ever said you was typical.”

“That may be, but I’m still not angry.”

“It don’t bother you that you will be in the minority soon?”

“Not particularly.”

“Or that women are taking over the professions one by one?”

“They are welcome to them.”

“Don’t you see the American Dream slipping away from you, dadblast it? You do have dreams don’t you?”

“I had a dream once to learn to play the banjo.”

“See there,” he said. “So what happened?”

“I decided it took too much practice.”

“Is that all?”

“That plus my wife began to act a little homicidal about it”

“There you go,” he said. “A dadburned woman made you give up your dream. She threaten to leave you?”

“Oh no.”

“But she made you give it up?”

“Oh yes.”


“She would sit at the kitchen table loading and unloading her pistol while she hummed that tune from the movie Deliverance.”

“Dadblame it. There you go,” he said. “They’s subtle creatures, ain’t they?”

“They manage to exert their wills.”

“Anything else?”

I thought. “Well, there was my boxed CD set of the complete works of Robert Johnson that disappeared.”

“Disappeared, you say?”

“Yeah, she says someone probably broke in and stole it.”

“It’s purty sad, ain’t it?”

“Yeah,” I said. I could feel the resentment beginning to build like a small fire.

“Stole it, eh?”

“Yeah,” I said. “Walked right by the TV set and radio to steal a set of CDs.” I was getting agitated now. “And she thinks I believe her.”

“At a boy,” he said. “Now you’re gettin’ it.”

“Just wait ‘til they take over the world,” I shouted.

“Yeah, jist wait,” he said.

My temperature was rising now. “Just wait,” I said. “They’ll take our aircraft-carrier money and spend it on  …” I struggle for the words.
I can see a day when
us men won't control
a goldarned thing. - C.W.

“Dadgummed flower gardens,” he yelled.

“Quilting clubs,” I screamed.

We were both standing now, shouting at one another. Then suddenly, we heard a voice from the kitchen.

“You two better quiet down. Don’t make me have to come in there.”

Sunday, October 14, 2012

118. Similes

“I’ve been reading here,” C.W. said, with a frown on his face. “That 60 percent of public-school biology teachers don’t mention the process of natural selection.”

“Of what?” I said. I was reading a book on the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and frankly didn’t want to be bothered by a ruddy-faced adolescent playing with his iPad.

“What your species calls ‘evolution.’”

“What about it?”

“It says teachers avoid the subject because some parents and legislators don’t approve of the topic. Is this true?”

“I wouldn’t doubt it,” I said.

“And they are allowed to teach the biological sciences?”

“Why not?”

“Without mentioning natural selection?”

“I suppose so.”

“Isn’t this a bit like teaching arithmetic while avoiding the topic of long division?”

I thought. “A bit like it, I suppose.”

“A bit like teaching physics without mentioning gravity?”

“Hmmm, maybe so.”

“A bit like teaching chemistry without including hydrogen or carbon?”

“So what is your point?”

“How did you people ever advance to the point of landing folks on your moon. You should know that’s when we first noticed you.” His freckled face sparkled in the light of his iPad.

“We had help from other countries,” I said. “Besides, those were the old days.”

“Before the founders of your ‘your neo-conservative paradigm’ began attacking the teaching process?”

“If you say so.”

“It says here,” he began as he punched the iPad again. “That one of your elected congressmen says the earth is only 9,000 years old.”

“Seems like I read that somewhere.”

“So, he is a laughing-stock and will be voted out of office?”

“No, actually, I think I read somewhere that he is quite popular among his constituents.”

“And he is in a position of establishing educational standards?”


“Isn’t that a bit like the CEO of McDonalds establishing dietary standards?”

“C.W. …”

“Or,” he interrupted, “A bit like the Koch Brothers establishing air-quality standards?”

“Actually, they do but …”

“Or like the Grover Norquist establishing fiscal policy?”

“Well, you may be surprised to learn …”

“Or, like Paris Hilton setting standards for behavior.”

“C.W.!” I screamed. “Are you purposely trying to drive me crazy?”

“Wouldn’t that be a bit like someone driving Donald Trump to greediness?”

I groaned.

“Or, driving Lindsay Lohan to drink?”

“I’m warning you …”

I'm not greedy!
I just need a lot of money for hair care.
It's like protecting a national treasure.

“Or,” he said, returning to his I-pad. “Driving teenagers to distraction?”

Sunday, October 7, 2012

117. Citizenship

Ich bin ein Amerikaner.”


Ik ben een Amerikaanse

“I beg your pardon?”

Soy un Americano.”

“Will you stop it?”

Je suis un Américain.”

“C.W., will you shut up for a second?”

Qu'est-ce que vous voulez?”

“I want you to shut the … to tell me what you are doing?”

“I am preparing,” the figure of a young farm worker, dressed in work clothes and a straw hat said.

“Preparing for what?”


“Citizenship?” I said.

“The Falloonian Elders think it would be nice if I could demonstrate an ability to pass.”

“Pass what?”

“Pass as a citizen of your country.”

“Why the languages?”


“What do you mean quotas?”

“Don’t you have quotas for citizenship based on country of origin?”

I thought. “Good point. Best you forget the Spanish. Stick with the northern Europeans.”

“I agree,” he said. “Want to help me with the test?”

“What test?”

“The Elders sent me some practice questions based on my monthly reports and they wish me to study them.” He held up a large sheath of papers. He read one and then said, “For example, ‘The teacher at a major university will receive the highest salary for teaching:  1.physics, 2. heart surgery, 3.chemistry, or’ That’s a no-brainer, right?”.

“I’m afraid so.”

“Here’s another. ‘Marijuana is considered an illegal possession in the United States because, makes a person do silly things, 2.enforcement creates jobs, keeps amateurs out of the production and distribution processes, or 4.all of the above.”

“Who did you say wrote these?”

“Our planetary research institute. I send them material such as newspapers and social network videos.”

I must have looked startled.

“How about this one? ‘Social concern for the nation’s needy children ends 1.upon graduation from high school, 2.after adolescence, 3.after pre-school status, or 4.after gestation?’”

“And your answer would be?”

“I’m stumped. It would seem to depend upon your political persuasion.”

“And they think these questions will be on the citizenship test?”

“Based on your popular media outlets, yes. Here’s another, ‘The founders of the United States did not wish to maintain a standing army. Today we consider this attitude 1.stupid, 2.out of date, 3.bad for the economy, or 4.chicken shit.”

“Chicken shit? Is that really a choice?”

“That’s what they sent me.”

“What kind of material are you sending them?”

“Oh, talk radio broadcasts, news segments, blogs. You know. Typical Americana.”

“Are you sending them Fox News Broadcasts?”
Just think fans. Before long I can say "Hello my
fellow Americans." - C.W.

“Want to hear another?”


He looked at the floor. “I may have sent them a couple.”

“Sean Hannity?”

“He’s very popular.”

“Rush Limbaugh?”

“How could I ignore him?”

“Don’t tell me that your superiors think they are typical of our country.”

Jag är en Amerikansk,” he said, returning to his studies.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


C.W.'s midweek thought: “Bigotry and hatred among the worldly is an abomination. In the young, it brings a tear to the Eye of the Universe, and those that countenance it shall not be named holy.” - Book of Ludicrous, Chapter 1, Verse 12.