Sunday, July 28, 2013

160 Deities

I was questioning C.W. the other day on the concept of religion on his home planet of Falloonia. In the middle of the conversation, he abruptly left the room. I could hear sounds of scuffling in the next room, punctuated by an occasional “Oh, you’re looking good, baby.”

He reemerged in as strange a getup and shape as I had ever seen him. He had on a double-breasted suit that could almost blind a person by its sheen. His hair was a dark auburn and shone to match the suit. It was piled on his head as if a slight shake might make it tumble into a haystack of oily confusion. He waved a hand, exposing a wrist circled by a Rolex watch and fingers encrusted with diamonds. His shoes were patent leather and completed the “sparkle” effect.

“Wadup child?” he said, making a sign of benediction.

“Uh,” I began before going speechless.

“Lay it on me, oh ‘Searcher for Truth,’ and let me sooth your soul.” He sat on a couch, revealing patterned socks that matched perfectly the color of his suit.

“We were discussing the concept of religion on your home planet,” I said.

“Hmmm,” he said.

“Do you have such a concept?”

“Well,” he said as he thought it over. “We wouldn't buy into serpents who speak in Hebrew to naked women.”

“No,’ I said. “I wouldn’t suppose so.”

“They tend to worship knowledge there,” he said. “That’s why I’m here.” He stopped and thought for a moment then continued. “I’m not sure we ever had a deity paradigm that espoused getting angry at the way its creation was behaving and drowning everyone. Or nearly everyone.”

“Oh, really,”

“No, we would have believed that design flaws were the fault of the designer.”

“Interesting,” I said.

“But we would like ‘The Song of Soloman,’” he added quickly.

“Oh really?”

“Oh man,” he said. “Want to hear some of my favorite passages?”

“Maybe later,” I said.

“Ah, breasts like two young roses,” he said dreamily.

It was time to redirect the conversation. “But do you, on your home planet, have a guiding philosophy, a religion that guides your moral behavior?”

“Religion guiding moral behavior?” He pondered the question.

“Some say it does.”

“Like,” he thought for a moment, “… like killing children who make fun of bald men?”

“As an extreme, I suppose.”

“Uh,” he said, “then no.”

“So you don’t see a connection between the two, religion and moral behavior.”

He studied the question. “Isn’t behavior determined by preservation of the individual, the group, and the species?”

If you don't mind the observation, this
represents a bit of a strange method of what
you call "Beta Testing." - C.W.
“That’s a rather bleak picture, according to some,” I said.

“We can’t erase a picture simply because it seems bleak,” he said. Suddenly he brightened and extended a finger towards me, exposing an onyx cufflink set off by a sparkling ruby. “We would like the parts of your theology that speak to blessing the meek.”

“Oh really?” I said.

“Yes,” and giving to the poor,” he said, becoming visibly excited. “And lauding the peacemakers. And about agreeing with thine adversaries quickly.”

Then he stopped and his face grew dark. “Except for those damned liberals.”

Sunday, July 21, 2013

159. Reflections

I’ve always liked grandmothers, so when I found that C.W. had assumed the shape of a SLOL and was sitting in my living room knitting, I couldn’t help smiling.

“Why the sweet little old lady shape?”

“Sit down child,” she said.

I did as she told me. Her hands flashed as the knitting needs clicked against one another. She didn’t say anything.

“Nice morning,” I said. “See we had some rain last night.

“All things come in their own time,” she said.

“Uh,” I said. “Want to give me a hint of what you’re up to.”

“Just reflecting,” she said. “You know what today is, don’t you?”


“It’s been 44years since we first took notice of you. The day you took your ‘giant step for mankind.’”

“The first moon landing?”

“We thought you were all so cute.”

“I suppose we were. It was a great day.”

“Well what the bloody hell happened?”

I almost spilled my coffee.

“Oh, excuse me,” she said. “I forgot where I was for a moment.”

As the modern mystery books say, I sat in stunned silence.

“It’s just that you have been such a burden to us all since that day.”

“Since that day?”

“We thought at the time that you had the capabilities to get past some of your shortcomings.”


“Pigmentation preoccupation and such.” Her fingers flashed with silent fury.

“I’m not sure I follow you.”

“You have such a capacity for love, on occasion,” she said. “Why when that little girl out in Colorado was murdered that time, the whole country went into mourning.”

“I seem to remember.”

She studied her knitting for a few seconds, then looked up at me. She spoke softly. “Then the whole country seems to stick its head up its ass and wonder why the lights went out.”

“Something troubling you?”

“Pigmentation preoccupation, like I said.”

“As in?”

“Why doesn’t it bother some people when a young man with black skin gets murdered for walking down the street not bothering a soul?”

“I don’t know.”

She stopped knitting. “Your species calls it, I believe, schizophrenia.”

“And what do you call it?”

“Just being assholes.”

“C.W.,” I said. “I think you may be having one of your cases of, what is it you call it, role warp?”

“Oh child,” she said and offered me a smile that would have melted hardened steel. “I’m just picking up bad habits from your species. You can be so sweet at times.”


“And then you can be totally fu…”

“Shhh,” I interrupted her. “My wife may walk in at any time.”

“ … funny beyond belief at others. What’s wrong with you?”

In Grandma's day, a good dose of
Senna Leaf Tea in the spring
cleaned all that meanness
out of you kids. - C.W.Add caption
I sighed in relief. “Oh nothing.”

She smiled again and resumed her knitting. “Oh child, she said. Poor sweet child. You can make me so proud at times.”

“Yes?” She was beginning to make me feel warm inside.

“Then sometimes you make my ass crave a dip of snuff.”

Sunday, July 14, 2013

158. Luck

I found C.W. sitting at the kitchen table this morning. Actually, there was a young, blond-haired boy of about ten there in the most ridiculous outfit one could imagine—a long purple robe lined with Sable fur and five pounds or so of gold necklace around his neck. A ridiculous crown sat askew on his hand, as if ready to hop off at any second. I could only stare in disbelief.

“They found that man 'not guilty' who killed that young boy,” he said.

“I know. I heard.”

“Why? How?”

“ I don’t know. I wasn’t there.”

“You mean when he shot him?”

“No, I meant at the trial. Nobody was there when he shot him.”

“Too bad. They might have stopped him.”

“Maybe. But that is what the jury faced. It’s seems hard to get past the ‘reasonable doubt’ standard if when there were no witnesses.”

“But for the fact …”

I interrupted. “There is no ‘but for the fact’ rule in that state.”

“So someone aggravates you, you just shoot them.”

“Only if you aggravate them enough that they take a swing at you.”

He thought for a moment. “Perhaps it is best we not move there, particularly if Mrs. Big Dope were to come with us.”

“Just who the hell are you supposed to be, anyway?”

“Don’t you read the news?”

“Not much lately.”

“I will be King of England someday.”

“Oh please.”

He cocked his head to one side. As he did, the crown began to slip. He grabbed it with one hand and straightened it. “Explain monarchies to me.”

“It is a form of government whereby people are ruled, or nominally ruled, by a monarch.” I grinned. Tautologies make his circuits smoke.

“Say, a king such as I?”

“I think Great Britain enjoys a limited monarchy.”

“Meaning that its ruler doesn’t actually rule?”

“Something like that.”

“Doesn’t do anything?”

“Not unless they want to.”

“They get paid for this?”

“Oh, you’d better believe.”

“And I will get to do it?”

I played along. “As long as you don’t do something really stupid.”

“Like what?”

“Oh, say divorce one of the most beautiful women in the world in order to marry one of the homeliest.”

He pondered this. “Are we talking really beautiful?”

“Really, really. The kind dreams are made of.”

He straightened his back and assumed a royal bearing. “One will try to meet one’s duty as it is presented.”

“That’s the spirit.”

“So how is this monarch chosen, by tests of strength, ability, or cunning?”

“No, by inheritance.”

“Inheritance?” I could almost hear those Falloonian brain-gears humming. “You mean by luck?”


“So if my sperm-egg coupling had occurred, say, in rural Alabama, I might not enjoy the privileges for which I am destined?”

“Quite likely.”

“I might even be regarded simply as one of your history’s pedis memoranda?”

“A footnote, yes.”

“Like the lad in Florida?”

“Much like that.”

“Sad,” he said.

“Yes,” I said. “A real tragedy.”

He snapped his head toward me. “What tragedy?”

“The killing in Florida.”

Would someone please be so kind as to tell
Mrs. Big Dope that she must obey me
as everyone else does? - C.W.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” he snapped, straightening his crown. “I was referring to the great burdens that will be placed on me to behave appropriately.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“Hardly,” he said, and a cold tone took over his voice as his face froze into a stony and frightening stare. I waited.

“After all, one can’t be mentally distracted over the death of any young black boy who doesn’t show the proper respect.”

Sunday, July 7, 2013

157. Cults

C.W. is threatening to leave me of all things. That didn’t exactly sound right now, did it? What he said was that he wanted to get married and would have to move away. He looked like a marriage prospect. Polo shirt, shorts, walking shoes and a haircut that must have cost more than my last trip to the grocery.

“First,” I said. “You are an alien. How can you get married?”

“Do I look like an alien?”

He had me there. “No, you would fit right in most places.” It was true. He was a model for the perfect yuppie.

“That’s what’s important,” he said. I must have had a questioning look. “Fitting in.”

“Don’t you fit in here?”

“Oh please,” he said, looking around. His eyes rested on a disassembled toaster oven on a pad of newspapers covering the kitchen floor.

“My wife has been working on it,” I said.

“For the last three months?”

“What is eating you?”

“Nothing,” he said. “I just want to get married and she insists on living where everyone is just like us.”


“Perfect specimen.”

“As in?”

“You know … white, tall, and handsome.”


“We would allow some mascots.”

“What would you do for fun?”

“We would go to this church where people like us go. There’s a whole chain of them.”

A chain of churches?”

“Full of people like us.”

“White, tall, and handsome?”

“Maybe one other.”

“One other?”

He looked hurt, “We believe in diversity,” he said.

“So who is this person you want to marry?”

“Someone I met on the Intenet.”

“And she lives …?”

“In this perfect city.”

“And goes to this perfect church?”

“Yes, and the children there all go to perfect schools.”

“And what does ‘perfect school’ mean?”

“Well, uh … you know … just perfect.”

“You want to move to a ‘white-flight’ city?”

“She doesn’t call it that.”

“What does she call it?”

“A community of choice.”

“Because one chooses to be …?”

“Like everyone else.”

“So what are you going to do with your collection of Whoopee Cushions?”

He looked at the floor. “Well, Mrs. Big Dope has always wanted them.”

“I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“How about giving them to your friend Wayne?”

“He wouldn’t live a week.”

“I dunno then.”

“Speaking of Wayne, what will you do with the ‘Beer - Helping White Guys Dance Since 1842’ poster he gave you?”

He looked genuinely surprised. “I can’t take it there?”

“Hardly. And what about those geese on the pond that you have trained to march in unison and quack ‘Gooseland, Gooseland, Uber Alles?’”

“Oh gee,” he said.

“They won’t let you in an apartment with those.”

“Oh,” he said, brightening. “No apartment. You have to loan us money to buy a house. They don’t allow apartments.”

“They don’t allow apartments there?”

“No, children who live in apartments drag down the schools’ test scores.”

Marching to the beat of a different drummer is bound
to keep you out of step with your neighbors. Just look
at Big Dope. - C.W.
“This sounds like a cult to me.”

“A what?”

Before I could answer, we were interrupted by loud voice from the back of the house. “You two have one second to get these geese out of here!”

We raced toward the sound of a quacking that sounded suspiciously like the tune of “The Horst Wessel Song.”

“You would leave all this?” I said as the feathers began to fly.

“In a heartbeat.”