Sunday, May 24, 2015

251. The Movie Line Game

According to what C.W. was telling me yesterday, he and his fellow Falloonians are not above using a little levity to relax on occasion. We were sitting under a shade tree enjoying a spring day, with him in the shape of a handsome young man in jeans, cowboy boots, and plaid shirt.

“Right now, for example,” he was saying, “we are playing a game called ‘America As a Movie Line,’ and having a great time.”

“America as a what?”

“A movie line. We’ve been forced to review thousands of your films. So we’re pretending that we were asked by the Elders to describe you Earthlings in one line from a popular movie. What would you answer?’

“I have no idea,” I said.

“Our West coast rep thinks you are a rather violent, he calls it ‘truculent,’ society.”

“Oh,” I said, “so what is his choice of a line to describe us?”

“He picked a good one, a very describing or classifying without expressing feelings or judging one.”

His Galactic Universal Translator was giving him problems again. “And what ‘descriptive’ one did he pick?.”

“Fill your hand, you son-of-a-bitch.”

“That’s a good one all right.”

“But,” he said, “it’s not as good as the one from over in Dallas,”

“Well,” I said. “And what impresses the rep there?”

“The politics of that state.”

“So the choice is?”

“The Horror! The Horror!”

“Oh my,” I said.

“The rep northwest of here thinks you live in a crazy fantasy world.”

“A what?”

“A fantasy world in which wealth trickles down, the wealthy know better, sexuality is a personal choice that can be altered at will, race determines behavior, …”

“I get the picture,” I said. “So what is his chosen line?”

“You can't fool me. There ain't no Sanity Clause!”

I nodded.

“Now our Northeast rep thinks you are too afraid of reality.”

“His line?”

“You can’t handle the truth.”

“I see,” I said, but I wished I hadn’t.

“I think,” C.W. said, “that our East coast rep is a little harsh.”

“Really? And what is his line?”

“Stupid is as stupid does.”

I quickly decided to move the conversation forward. “Any others?”

“Our rep in the Southeast, all the way down in Miami, is understandably impressed by your greed.”

So the chosen line is?

“Show me the money.”

“Your people,” I said, “don’t have very high opinion of us.”

“The rep in Chicago does,” he said quickly. “He was very charitable.”

“And how did he treat us with his chosen line?”

“In Switzerland they had brotherly love and 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

“We call that ‘damning with faint praise’ if you want to know the truth,” I said. “But I can hardly wait to hear yours. What impresses you?”
You do believe in your heroes. - C.W.

He pretended to think. “Well,” he said, “you, at least some of you, do have this tendency, whenever a newsworthy event occurs—say a boy is caught molesting young girls—to choose sides and place blame on the same groups of people.”

“Such as?”

“One side blames it all on gay people, atheists, liberals, scientists, immigrants, people of color, college professors, and the like.”
“You’ve been watching that fake news show again, haven’t you?”

“Only for inspiration,” he said. “Never for news.”

“So,” I said, “after becoming inspired thusly, what line did you choose for them?”

“Round up the usual suspects.”
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