Thursday, October 31, 2013

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

173. Politics

So I came in yesterday and caught C.W. at my computer again. I’ve given up on keeping him away although he has some method of accessing my password-connected websites. He won’t tell me how he does it but I know he does for I sometimes find weird purchases, like the time he ran up a sizeable bill at Victoria's Secret and charged it to my credit card. We had words over that but did that stop him? No. I’m now paying for a set of DVDs titled “Ten Weeks To Banjo Fun.”

Today was even weirder. He was working on, of all things, a campaign poster. In big letters on an Illustrator worksheet were “No Government. No Time.”

“What the hell?” I said.

“I’ve decided that you should run for political office,” he said.

I said, “That’s crazy.”

“No,” he said. “That new senator from Texas is crazy. You are just unstable.” He thought for a moment. “But don’t worry. I’m your campaign manager. We’ll keep that from the public.”

He did resemble a campaign manager, I suppose. He was paunchy, bald, and had little snaky eyes that darted back and forth like black hummingbirds.

“You will be my campaign manager?”

“You bet. We’ll sell you to the public as the real deal. You’ll be as popular as a whore on a troop ship.”

I had to sit down. “C.W.,” I said slowly, not knowing where to start. “Do you know anything about politics in America?”

“All I need to know,” he said.

“Then you know that a politician has to have a spotless past.”

“Oh please,” he said. “That is so passé. Didn’t you learn anything along the way? We’ll use the ‘Salvation Strategy’ that worked so well for Junior Bush.”

“The Salvation Strategy?”

“Yep. We’ll pick a date when you repented of your sinful past and accepted salvation. Then we’ll forbid the press from questioning any aspect of your behavior prior to that day.”

“The Salvation Strategy. I see.”

“Works like a charm. You are reborn as a politician. Now,” he said. “We need to get you fitted for some new clothes.”

“C.W.,” I said. “Politicians have to be knowledgeable about things like the economy and foreign relations.”


“They have to be experienced.”

“Yesterday’s paradigm.”

“They have to be charismatic.”

“Charisma is as charisma does.”

I said, “Now just what the hell does that mean?”

The difference between a politician and
a bubblehead doll is simply a matter of
brains. You shouldn't worry, though.
You don't elect your politicians because
 they have intelligence. - C.W.
“It means,” he said, with exasperation showing in his voice. “That we can market you like the latest model of a classy car. So don’t worry.”

I don’t know why I made the effort but I did. “A politician has to have a platform on which to base a campaign.”

“Sure enough,” he said. “And we have the most sure-fire platform there is. The one that has propelled more politicians into office over the last few years than any other.”

“And what,” I said. “Is this magic platform?”

“Are you completely clueless? Can’t you guess?”

“No,” I said. “Clue me in. What will I tell the public to convince them to elect me to run the government?”

“Simple,” he said. “You just tell them that you hate the government.”

Sunday, October 20, 2013

172. News

C.W. and I had our first real argument last week. I think, in retrospect, that he did it just to annoy me. Now, I know he has fans among some of you, but trust me, he is not above “pulling my chain” if it excites some sort of Falloonian “giggle button,” as he calls it. Here’s what happened.

I came in one evening while we were home alone wanting to watch the news on television. There, propped on the couch, was C.W. in one of his favorite shapes, that of Kyle the young yuppie sales rep. He was holding some sort of flavored beer in one hand and a People Magazine in the other. A baseball game blared on the television.

He looked at me and said, “What’s up?”

“Not much,” I said. “Can we change channels?”


“There’s something important going on in America tonight.”

“I know man, the baseball playoffs. I’ve already got the game on.”

“Uh,” I said. “It’s something more important than the baseball playoffs.”

He looked at me with surprised written on his face. “What could be more important than the baseball playoffs?”

“Are you kidding me?”

“No,” he said. Then it dawned on him, or so I thought. “That’s right,” he said. “The music awards.” He sat up. “I’ll change channels right after this inning.”

“Not the music awards,” I said.

“Oh?” He thought for a moment. “Is the dance contest show on tonight?”

I said, “I’m sure there is one but that isn’t it.”

“Not baseball, not music awards, not the dance contest …,” He thought. “Man, I don’t know.”

“America is in danger,” I said. “Try to imagine the worst thing that could happen to us.”

“Oh,” he said, pursing his lips. “Of course.” He switched to another channel where a group of bearded men sat around talking. “No to worry,” he said. “Duck Dynasty is still on the air.”

That’s when I’m afraid I began to yell at him.

“Don’t you even glance at the newspaper?” I screamed. “Don’t you have any idea what is going on? There’s a sickness settling on us. Haven’t you heard? Are you totally out of touch with important events in the world?"

He glared back. “Both Kate and the baby are doing fine, thank you.” he said.

It isn't often that we get the chance to
watch something as historically significant
as the baseball playoffs, and in real-time.
This has been an important week. - C.W.
“Give me the remote,” I said, adding an expletive.

“No,” he said as he thrust it between his legs. “This is important. I want to be able to tell the folks back home that I was watching when the Cardinals clinched the pennant.”

“And what about America defaulting on its financial obligations?”

“Oh that stuff,” he said. “Blah, blah, blah. Sean Hannity will explain all about it later. It’s boring anyway.”

I felt like a deflated balloon.

“Sit down,” he said. “Let me finish this game and then we’ll watch Dr. Phil. That always makes me feel better.”

Sunday, October 13, 2013

171. Age

One couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for C.W. when he arrived for morning coffee as a decrepit gentleman of advanced age, at least 90-plus. His cheap clothes sagged from his boney frame and he used a cane in walking.

“Good morning,” I said.

He said, “What?”

“Good morning.”


“Here,” I said, almost shouting.

“Yes I can hear. Why are you yelling?”

Ignoring him, I placed a cup of coffee on the table and guided him toward it. He lowered himself carefully and pointed toward the cup. “Saucer,” he said.

I walked to a cabinet, retrieved a saucer, and placed it under the cup.

He said, “Thanks.” He took the cup, poured coffee into the saucer, laid the cup aside and began slurping the coffee from the saucer.

I waited.

He emptied the saucer, refilled it and slurped again. “I want to borrow your car,” he said.

“You what?”

“I have some errands to run.”

“You want to drive my car in your current shape?”

He said, “Why not?”

Taking a deep breath, I thought. “Perhaps I’d better drive you,” I said.

“You don’t trust a senior citizen to drive?”

“There comes a time,” I said, “when we decide that it’s best that you not be trusted to drive a car.”

“Or care for infants?”


“Or cook around an open flame?”

“Most decidedly.”

“File tax returns?”

“Maybe not.”

“Be left alone?”

“It’s for the best.”

“That’s why your species confounds the galactic elders so profoundly.”

“Why is that? Don’t Falloonians age?”

“Not within your evolutionary paradigm, but that’s not the point. It’s your elderly we are talking about.”


“If I were a member of your Supreme Court, I could make decisions of such profound implications that their force would be felt far into the cosmos.”

“Oh really?”

“Ask those killed and maimed during your country’s little adventure in Iraq.”

He had me there. I said, “So what brings on this particular little tirade?”

“The devil,” he said.

“The devil?”

“The devil.”

“What about the devil? Is he making you do it?” I laughed.

He didn’t. He said, “One of your supreme court justices said this week that he believes that the devil is a man and he is walking among us.”


“Can you imagine the consternation this caused among the members of the Galactic Monitoring Team?”

“They don’t believe the devil is walking in our midst?”

“Oh please,” he said, raising the saucer to his mouth. His hand shook and a few drops spilled on the table.

“You’ll believe in the devil soon enough,” I said. “if the missus finds a watermark on her table.”

He laid the saucer aside. “Mrs. Big Dope already thinks you are a sort of devil,” he said. “But that is a point for another day.”

“So your monitoring team is concerned about our highest court?”

“Has been for some time.”


“They have inserted a Comtascruwitcha into your midst.”

“A what?”

I believe that your Book of Ludicrous cautions us to be
 wary of those "... who would call The Devil a man, a corporation
 a person, and marriage whatever I deem it to be."  - C.W.
“Oh, it’s a Falloonian term roughly translated as ‘messenger of evil’ and the purpose is to see if your species would recognize ‘The Dark One’ if he did appear.”

“Mind telling me who it is?”

“No can do,” he said. “But I can give you a hint.”

“And that is?”

“He is a senator and he hails from the great state of Texas.”

Sunday, October 6, 2013

170. Connections

As many times as we have talked about it, C.W. still uses my computer while I’m sleeping. I wouldn’t mind if he used it for research, but inevitably I receive these strange deliveries after one of his sessions.

By the way, does anyone know what a person might do with a used milking machine? I mean a person who doesn’t own a single cow?

But back to the matter at hand, I heard him giggling this morning and went in to see what might be up. There sat a sixteen-year old boy with oversized spectacles laughing and punching keys.

“Loookit, Big Dope,” he said. “your species just cracks me up. They are, like, weird and I’m like, about to roll on the floor.”

I needed coffee.

“No, seriously,” he said. “Are you, like, incapable of linking spots so that contact is established?”

“Connecting the dots?”

“Do you know that you, like, have an annoying habit of repeating things I say?”

As I made coffee, I slowly counted to ten. “And what dots have we not connected this time?”

“I’m, like looking at your ‘Visage Page’ and …”

“My Fa…, oh never mind. So what do you see?”

“Like weird stuff. Lookit. Here’s a woman and she’s, like, angry about people on welfare, and I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ and she’s, like, ‘No, I’m serious They should be left to starve.’ and I’m like, look at where you live, and she’s like, ‘what difference does that make?’ and I’m like, you live in one of those ‘color of snow aviation cities.’”

“Stop for a moment,” I said. He did and I poured myself a cup of coffee. “A color of … do you mean a ‘white-flight’ city?”

“Like, there you go again.”

“When is the last time you had your translator adjusted?”

He ignored me. “Lookit,” he said. “She, like, drives 30 miles into the provider city each day to work.”


“Who does she, like, think pays for the highway lanes she uses?”

“I dunno. The Koch Brothers?”

“You make the spontaneous sounds and movements of the face and body that are the instinctive expressions of lively amusement and sometimes also of contempt or derision at me, but I am serious,” he said.

“I’m not laughing at you.”

“You, like, are too.”

“Okay,” I said. “Who builds the highways that allow her to escape reality?”

“Your state uses the sales tax partly to build commuter highway lanes,” he said. “So some of the cost is, like, paid by the least of those among you when they buy winter clothes for their kids.”

“You do have a point,” I said.

“In exact terms, without vagueness,” he said.

Sometimes I think you lack the ability to
analyze a situation and address it logically. - C.W.
“Yes, precisely. By the way, would you have them check your Galactic Universal Translator?”

“My GUT?

“In exact terms,” I said.

“Why?” he said. “I’m not sick.” He typed on the keyboard. “Now here’s a man, and he is a senator, who says that we don’t, like, need national health care since we can simply drop those lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society, like, off at the nearest emergency room for their health care needs.”

“You can drop me off with them.”

“Like, what?” he said.