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Sunday, August 13, 2017

386: Dogs

 “We need to talk.”

That was a surprise. C.W. hadn’t said a word in 20 minutes. He just sat on the couch in what is becoming his favorite form: The Galilean. I knew to be careful. He’s wily in this form.

“Oh?” I played dumb.

“Quite.”

“About what?”

“Mrs. Big Dope.”

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

“Have you ever noticed anything unusual about her?”

I wanted so badly to reach and see if he happened to be wearing a wire under his robe. “Unusual?” I was stalling for time. “She’s unusually intelligent.”

“I agree, until I look at you, that is.”

“She’s unusually beautiful.”

“Could probably have done better. Can you think of anything that kept her from it? Habits? Traits? Idiosyncrasies?

“She has an inordinate fondness for dogs.”

“I agree. Someone once said that about Dad and beetles. It’s true. So far he’s made over a quarter-million different species of them, if you are to believe your vice-president. That makes the old man chuckle.”

The diversion pleased me. “Why so many?”

“Let’s get back on topic. Anything unusual about Mrs. Big Dope’s relationship with dogs? I mean other than the fact she has so many of them?”

I thought of my options. Even as The Galilean, I didn’t trust him completely. “Well,” I said, “she thinks they understand English, talks to them all the time in complete sentences.”

“I’ve noticed that. What’s odd about it?”

“Uh, other than the fact that they are dogs?”

“You don’t think they understand her when she talks to them?”

I waited, thought, then said. “Not really.”

“Be prepared,” he said, “for a shock. They do.”

I didn’t answer for a moment, thinking of my options. “They what?”

“They understand every word she says.”

“Get out of town.”

“They last time someone told me that was a day or so after they welcomed me in with hosings.”

“I think you mean hosannas.”

“Whatever. Anyway, sure the dogs understand her. It’s one of the greatest inside jokes in the galaxy that they don’t answer her back. Maybe they will someday.”

“They’re playing a joke on her?”

“Not playing a joke, testing her faith.”

“You’re joking.”

“I don’t joke. They dogs do though. And, by the way, I know a lot more about the testing of faith than you do.”

“The dogs joke?”

“Of course. Haven’t you ever seen them play the ‘damage to the auditory nerve game’ when she states a demand they don’t approve of?”

“Do you mean the ‘deaf’ game.”

“My son, you’re never going to develop friends until you break the habit of repeating everything they say. And, yes, the deaf game. Sometimes they play it just after they’ve run a mile because she yelled the word ‘treat’ once.”

“They do that on purpose, play deaf I mean?”

“Haven’t you noticed the way they roll over on their backs and wiggle after they’ve done it?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I think I have seen that.”

“That’s their method of laughing about it. They call it a ‘group guffaw,’ and it’s one of their great joys. That and making up limericks.”

“They make up limericks?”

“Oh heck yes. Of course, you can’t hear them. They communicate with thought waves much above your range.”

“Limericks?”

“Want to hear one? One that the female boxer-mix made up?”

I bit. “Sure.”

He though, then recited:

There once was a Great Dane name Marge
Who dated a Dachshund named Sarge.
She’d stand in the river.
And how she would quiver,
As he approached from behind on a barge.

“That’s awful.”
 
Do you really think she would let you
buy this chair for a mere human? - C.W.
“Don’t let her hear you say that.”

“Why?”

“Remember the last time she licked you in the face?”

“Yes.”

“Guess what she had been doing just before that?’

I thought. “No … surely not.”

“What do you think that translates into?”

"I'm afraid to think."

"Well it sure as hell ain't, 'Why don't you float up and drop anchor sometime, big boy?'"


See also:
Order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

385. Paradise

Yesterday C.W. walked up in the shape of a well-dressed twenty-something and wanted to go downtown and have a drink at a bar.

“I understand that is where your young people go to seek adventure,” he said.

That made me think. “I guess some do,” I said.

“Where else would they go?”

“Some go to Mount Everest for excitement.”

“Are there girls there?”

“Not many.”

“Why then?”

“Gosh,” I said, “I really don’t know. To try and climb it I suppose.”

I could sense his internal computer going off. “They could encounter difficulty doing that. The elevations would pose problems.”

“Oh yes.”

“Are they sent there as punishment?”

“No. They go there willingly.”

“Where else do they go?”

I thought. “There is a place in Spain where young people let wild bulls chase them down narrow streets.”

He frowned. “A human could get killed doing that.”

“Some do,” I said.

“That sounds like allahkahgdomcince,” he said.

“A what?”

“It’s Falloonian for seeking danger when there is no danger.”

“Oh. Perhaps so.”

He paused again as his internal database kicked in. “It is similar to what your American author James A. Michener disclosed in his published book Tales of the South Pacific years ago.

“You’ve jumped the track on me.”

“He recounted how medical officers stationed in the South Pacific during one of your great wars noticed a case, among the natives of the islands, of something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.”

“An anomaly?”

“Are you going to repeat everything I say today?”

“No. Explain the anomaly. I seem to remember something about it. I haven’t read that book since my high school days.”

“Did they call it that because you all stayed high most of the time.”
,
“Just on learning. Now back to the ‘paradise syndrome’ you were talking about.”

He recycled. “Seems people lived on these South Sea islands in what you should call, a place or condition of great happiness where everything is exactly as you would like it.”

“Bliss?”

“Paradise.”

“Okay. Now what is your point?”

“No disease. Food hanging from trees. Abundant water. Comfortable climate. No need to work. No problems at all. That’s why it didn’t make sense.”
 
Can't have this, can we? - C.W.
“What didn’t make sense?”

“That they created cruel, inhumane, and destructive religions that kept their people in a constant state of tension.”

“I seem to remember that,” I said. “It doesn’t make sense, does it?”

“It’s almost like you live in luxury but want someone uncaring, cruel, and mean to rule over your daily activities. Falloonians would call that, kughtckoughuruhnhos.”

“Well I’m glad we’re civilized today and passed all that nonsense.”

He looked at me for a time and started to say something but stopped. He nodded to himself, thought, and said, “I’m ready to go get that drink now.”

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

384. Slogans

“Say, you look vaguely familiar. Who are you supposed to resemble?”

“Shut up loser. Go hide your ****ing face. You paranoic piece of ****.”

“What?”

“I’m writing slogans for Blessed Leader. How about this one? ‘So far it’s been the feel-good hit of the year.’”

“Say again?”

“Here’s one: ‘The greatest First Lady in history …you ain’t seen nothing yet.’ Get it?”

“C.W., you have acted strange before, but this is over the top. Wait, … I remember, you’re that new guy Scareamemucho, or whatever his name is.”

“This one’s for the Franklin Graham crowd: ‘Blessed Leader save us all, kick the losers in their … .'”

“Stop it. My wife may hear you.”

“He likes this one, Blessed Leader does. ‘What do Jeff Sessions and a hand job have in common? Answer …each is better than nothing.’”

“I’m not telling you again.”

“I’m recommending that one for when he speaks to the Girl Scouts.”

“I’m recommending you for deportation.”

“That reminds me. Check this one out. ‘Blessed Leader: The Energizer Bunny of immigrant ass-kicking.'"

“I’m contacting the Falloonian Elders.”

“Hey, that reminds me. ‘Worried about growing poor when you’re old? Don’t be. Stick with us and you’ll never get there.’ Isn’t that catchy?”

“You are one sick puppy.”

“Oh, let me think for a second. Oh yeah. ‘What do you get when you cross a sick puppy with a senator from Maine?’”

“I’m not responding.”

“A whiny bitch. Get it?”

“Have you gone mad?”

“No. America’s fallen and she can’t get up.”

“Please stop.”

“Hey, there’s Hillary. Do you have any gray poop-on?”

“Goodbye.”
 
Blessed Leader's family
likes this one. - C.W.
 
“No wait. ‘Hate for our enemies. Don’t leave home without it.’”

“I’m not listening to you. I’m gone.”

“Hey, here’s one that broad in Germany sent me: ‘America. What happens there, stays there.’”

I could hear him yelling after me.

“Tastes great, less fulfilling.”

“Be all we want you to be.”

“Fair and unbalanced."

“Have it our way.”

“Just undo it.”

“Is anybody listening to me?”




Sunday, July 23, 2017

383. Idiocy

C.W. continues not to understand us. He calls us overprotective. He says that upsets the balance of nature, calls it “idiocy-spread.”

“Idiocy-spread?”

“Quite so.” He gets this way on occasion, usually when he shows up looking a lot like photos of an early H.L. Mencken. “If you allow it to spread too far, it can get into the very life-stream of your polity and destroy it from within, like cancer in a human organism.”

That was a little deep for me, but the weather was unmercifully hot outdoors, so I was sipping a beer and soaking my feet in a pan of cool water.

“Perpetuating idiocy poses an evolutionary danger to society,” he said.

“How so?”

He rose, walked over to where I had been patching a spot on the far wall of the room. He tipped the top of a stepladder toward me. “What does it say there?”

I looked. “It says, ‘don’t stand on top of this ladder.’ I think that is on all of them now.”

“And what might happen if someone did?”

“They might fall and kill themselves or be damaged for life.”

“And what would be the, albeit miniscule, effect on the gene pool if such a person never bore children?”

I thought. “A miniscule benefit, I suppose.”

“And there you have edauledzupt.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s a Falloonian term for ‘numbers count,’ not to be confused with your military apologists’ term, ‘numbers sanctify,’ hoocvesascheet in Fallonian. Quite a difference.”

“I’m not sure I’m following you.”

“Here, read this.” He handed me a section of newspaper, and pointed to a headline reading, “Eclipse viewers warned not to stare into the sun.”

“Good advice,” I said.

“And if millions did?”

“They might go blind.”

“And if society took millions of idiocy-tinged drivers off the road?”

“I think I’m beginning to understand, but I'm still not sure.”

“Ever see films of herds of antelope in Africa feeding near a pride of lions?”

“I think so.”

“Ever notice how one over-exuberant antelope will prance around too close to the lions as if life is a game to be played?”

“Uh. Yes.”

“Do the other antelopes gather round to protect it?”

“Not as a rule.”

Cudarhiddens.”

“What?”

“Gene pool preservation.” He smiled. “Hey, let’s take a vacation to North Korea.”

I can’t repeat what I said but it included the word "you" and a hand gesture.

“Why not?”

“Because they are crazy over there.”

“How so?”

“They kill tourists.”

“And how would you describe a tourist who would go to North Korea? Would you want one to be elected president, worse still—marry and procreate?”
 
Some countries openly practice
gene-pool-cleansing. - C.W.
I shook my head.

“So,” he said, “you don’t need a law preventing you from going there?”

I shook my head again.

“Strike one up for the gene pool.” He said. “It’s okay to let others go if they wish?”

“Yes,” I said, “but you won’t catch me going there.”

Okay then,” he said. “Let’s go on a hiking trip along the Iranian border. I hear it is quite beautiful this time of year and we can mark that off our "receptacle for holding water or other liquid" list.”

“Why don’t you take your ‘bucket list’ and shove it?" I said, adding "Here, hold my beer and watch this." I reached for my electric guitar. "I've learned a new song."

See also:
Order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers.



Sunday, July 16, 2017

382. Pain

Last night I dreamed of … well no, actually last night I didn’t dream at all. I passed a kidney stone instead.

Yep.

Can you believe it? C.W. was there and he wasn’t much help. He’s like that sometimes.

As I sat bent over in the least uncomfortable house in the place, he sat across from me in the familiar shape of Arnold Awesome the 18-year old, full of wonder, pest.

“Does in hurt much?”

Actually, it hurt so badly that I didn’t want to talk.

“I said, does it hurt much?”

“Goddam your eyes.”

“Kidney stones. Are those things valuable like other stones?”

“Don’t you have something to do?” I began the dry heaves that accompany this awful experience.

“Be careful,” he said. “Mrs. Big Dope gets mad whenever I mess up the floor.”

“If I knew what it takes to kill one of you, I would. I really would, this very moment.”

“Let me borrow your cell phone and I’ll video you. We’ll enjoy watching that when you get to feeling better.”

I unleashed a barrage of invectives that include bits from four different languages. Former sailors are pretty good at that sort of thing, you know. He tried to keep up.

“You’re confusing my Galactic Universal Translator. I’ve asked you time and time again to show respect for my GUT.”

“Your GUT?”

“Precisely. Now where does it hurt the most? I’ll need to document it to the Falloonian Elders.”

“Would a shotgun blast at point-blank range to the trick?”

“Is it a sharp pain like when I poked you with a fork?”

I closed my eyes and envisioned a lightning strike.

“Maybe a dull pain? Remember the morning after we went to the election victory party?”

“Don’t Falloonians have any illnesses? Any terminal ones? Ones that we could replicate here on Earth?”

“Hmm. I don’t think so. We do, at least some of us do, have problems with prwjegtulspuregn.

“What’s that?”

“You don’t want to know. Trust me. You only have one head. Hey, want me to read to you and get your mind off the pain?”

“I want most of all for you to erupt in flames and be swallowed up by the earth.” I was to the point of imagining Old Testament levels of vengeance.”

“Are you pretty sure it’s a kidney stone?”

“No. I’ve changed my mind. Now I think it’s a bowling ball.”

“Maybe it’s something you ate.”

“Maybe. Why not? Are you a Doctor, in addition to everything else?”

“Maybe it’s cancer.”

“What the hell is with you?”

“I’m just trying to cheer you up.”

“Then go out and jump in front of the next log truck that comes along.”

“This kidney stone, can I have it when you are finished with it?”

“What for?”

“I want to keep it in my slyschetphrmirt bag.”

That’s his collection of interesting artifacts from Earth that he keeps. He has plans of returning to Falloonia and opening a museum of sorts when he finishes his tour here.

“No. “You can’t have it.”

“Why not?”

“I think I’ll donate it to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington. They like to keep world records there.”

“Mrs. Big Dope says you’re a big crybaby. What’s that?”

“A person who tortures someone, murders them, burns their body, and feels badly about it afterwards. And I’ll be no crybaby where you are concerned.”

“Hey,” he said as his face brightened. “Is this sort of like the male version of a woman’s giving birth to a baby?”
 
Pain just helps you
appreciate no pain, - C.W.
“Do you know who killed my wife’s tomato plants by applying the wrong treatment?”

His smile disappeared faster than the truth at a Trump rally. “Yes,” he said. “I know.”

“Does she?”

“Oh no,” he said. “You wouldn’t.”

“Ten seconds,” I said. “Ten seconds and don’t come back.”

As he hurried to the door, and a fresh wave of pain took over, I heard him muttering.

“It’s the last time I offer to play the role of healer in this family.”



See also:
Order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers.



Sunday, July 9, 2017

381: Mistakes

 Before I could turn around, he saw me. C.W. was in a shape he’d used before, the Vietnam War soldier. “Come,” he said. “Sit.”

It was a foggy morning at our farm. I had intended to take advantage of the cool air to enjoy my coffee out-of-doors and in peace. No such luck. I took a seat beside him under the oak trees that my father-in-law and I planted 25 years ago. A veteran himself, of World War Two, and a great man, my wife’s dad never got to sit under the shade of those trees. He knew he wouldn’t, but helped plant them anyway.

C.W. said nothing, just stared at the pasture, I sipped my coffee and looked at him. “What’s up?”

“Been talking to the spirits,” he said.

I said nothing.

“Did you know that they are making a new film about that miserable war?”

“Which one?”

He looked at me. “Don’t try to be funny this morning, he said. There’s way too much levity going on in your country right now. Comedy may be your downfall.” He turned back to the pasture. In the far distance, a lone deer ventured out of the lifting fog. “You’ve heard about the upcoming film by Ken Burns?”

“Yes.” Now he had me in a sober mood.

“Do you think they’ll get it right this time?”

“Surely,” I said. “I trust Ken Burns. How can you fail with sex, drugs, and rock and roll?”

He looked to see if I was being serious. “Yes. What could possibly go wrong?”

I nodded. He continued. “Do you think they’ll feature those ‘search and destroy missions’ that some of the spirits talk about? They still shudder when they do.”

“I’m sure they will.”

“What was their purpose?”

“Body counts,” I said. “Based on the idea of ‘attrition’ espoused by our General Westmoreland. We were supposed to kill enough enemy Vietnamese that they would quit and go home.”

“What could possibly go wrong?”

“The fact was, they were already home.”

“Like the Taliban is in Afghanistan?

“Look, the geese are flying in for the day.”

“One spirit told me that a dead water buffalo counted as five bodies, and that when they found a body blown to pieces they recorded each piece as being a body. There were even disputes over the ownership of a particular limb.”

“It was a sad time.”

“I take it that this was not the time your president refers to when he urges you to make America great again?”

“Hardly. Can we talk about something else?”

“They talk too, the spirits do, about the massive firepower extended. They talk about whole villages being artilleried out of existence because of one mortar round fired from near it.”

“I’m not sure ‘artilleried’ is a word.”

“One recalled his squad calling an air strike from a nearby aircraft carrier to take care of a lone sniper.”

“We had the firepower all right.”

“Yes,” he said. “What could possibly go wrong?”

“Nothing,” I said, “expect for the fact that we weren’t fighting the German army. There were jungles and caves into which the enemy could fade when things got hot.”

“The generals tended to get things wrong, didn’t they?”

“They sometimes do.”

“Do they suffer for it?”

“Not as a rule. Usually only when there is sex with a subordinate involved.”

“One spirit told me about that awful day in My Lai.”

“Let’s not talk about that.”

“The spirits say that one unit massacred maybe 500 villagers.”

“It wasn’t pretty.”

“America wasn’t great that day?”

“Not that day.”

“One spirit said he saw some comrades throw a man into a well and toss a hand grenade in on top of hm.”
 
The war produced new concepts in
saving villages from the enemy. - C.W.
“Look at those bluebirds,” I said. “My wife does love them so.”

“Another saw five men rape a girl and then blow her head off. Do you think they’ll include that in the documentary?”

“I’m going in,” I said. “I think there’s a show on TV that I want to watch.”

“That’s what the folks at home did then, wasn’t it?”

“What?”

“Turn to a different TV show.”

“Look,” I said, “the soldiers at My Lai were carrying out orders from above.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, their commanding officers ordered them to destroy the village in order to save it.”

“Yes. What could possibly go wrong?”

“Are you going to keep this up all morning?”

“The higher ups found out about the affair at My Lai, though, didn’t they?”

“They investigated it thoroughly, in a process of self-evaluation.”

“Yes. What could possibly go wrong?”

“The Vietnam war was a bad piece of business,” I said. “Yes, they covered up the massacre. But then the military made corrections. They went to an all-volunteer military. They stopped individual rotations to promote unit cohesion. They trained soldiers better. They developed even more sophisticated weaponry, the envy of the world. Our military is now the best trained, the best equipped, and the best financed in the world.”

“Yes,” he said. “What could possibly go wrong?”



See also:
Order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers.




Sunday, July 2, 2017

380. Dancing

“Just what the hell is going on in this country?”

C.W. sometimes asks me questions to which I don’t have an easy answer. He did this just the other day. We were walking, he and I, in our favorite park in Little Rock, along the river. He was in a form quite similar to the title character from Zorba the Greek, the book by Nikos Kazantzakis. He actually had transformed himself into a fair resemblance to Anthony Quinn, who played the Greek in the movie.

Anyway, he had just asked me a tough question, and I was still forming what I thought was a satisfactory, if not sufficient, answer. I answered carefully.

“I haven’t a clue.”

“Then what's the use of all your damn books if they can't answer that?” he said, borrowing a line from the book and, later, the film.

I thought hard again. After all, my job is to explain America to him, at least explain my little postage-stamp portion of America. I concentrated hard on an appropriate response.

“I don’t know.”

He raised a hand in exasperation, just in time to make a bicyclist veer sharply, lose control, and rush down an embankment into the Arkansas River.

He slapped his knee. “Hey boss, did you ever see a more splendiferous crash?’

I was glad to get his mind off other questions, but a little anxious to move on. I motioned us ahead. We walked on for a minute before he spoke again.

“Splendiferous crash,” he said, repeating the phrase. “Hey,” he said, “let’s get in your truck and go knock over something silly.”

“I think that it might not be funny if we did it. We could get in serious trouble.”

He turned and glared at me. “Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and look for trouble.” It was at this point that I realized he had, indeed, been reading Kazantzakis and was jacking me around.

“Since you have obviously been reading,” I said, “have you ever heard of John le CarrĂ©?”

“Who hasn’t?” he said. What about him?”

“He said, in 2003, as we were preparing to bomb Baghdad, ‘America has entered one of its periods of historical madness.’ So, this isn’t the first time that we have gone mad, as a country. Maybe the worst, but not the first.”

“You know,” he said, “a man needs a little madness, but for a country, it can be fatal, this madness.”

“I suppose so.”

“Speaking of madness,” he said. “I met a couple of women while you were in the restroom.”

“And?”

“They are looking for some fun. They even told me what hotel they were staying at.”

“I’m married,” I said. “Or don’t you remember?”

“You could just watch and take notes for your next novel. Why not unloosen your belt and look for trouble?”

“Why don’t we just keep discussing politics. Have you read the latest postings our president has put on the internet? Most people have forgotten about the fall of the Ten Commandments in our city, and are laughing about those tweets, now.”

“I’ll bet that man doesn’t even like dolphins,” he said. The he returned to the other subject. “About those women … .”

“I said no.”

“Don’t you believe in God? Can’t you imagine a hell with a special place for the politicians who are ruining your country?”

I didn’t answer, so he took my silence for an affirmation of faith.

“Well,” he said, “God has a very big heart but there is one sin he will not forgive: if a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not go.”

I feverously searched my brain for a logical refutation.

“Shut up,” I said.

Then he began to dance. Out across the grassy area of the park he pranced, swirled, and bowed. Then he pointed to the sky and clapped his hands to a rhythm only he heard. I spun around to head the opposite direction and nearly collided with a jogger.

It was the junior U.S. Senator from our state. He stopped, looked at C.W., and then stared at me.
 
A sure way to overcome madness. - C.W.
“What is that man doing?

“I think he’s dancing, sir, I said.

“Why don’t you make him stop?”

I’d had about enough by this time. I don’t even know what came over me. I said, “Why don’t you do a better job taking care of our country?”

“Why don’t you contact my office if you have a complaint about the way I do business?”

I guess it was the influence of C.W., memories of Zorba, or thought of collective insanity, but an appropriate response to both questions popped into my head this time. I answered before I realized it.

“On a deaf man's door, you can knock forever.”

He stiffened. “I order you to make him stop.”

“No,” I said, unloosening my belt, “I’m going to let him teach me to dance.”

See also:
Delta Dreaming
All Hat No Cattle
Order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers.



Sunday, June 25, 2017

379. Cures

“Ancient wisdom.”

“Say what?”

“Yes,” he said. “Ancient medical wisdom. I’ve been asked to do research and make recommendations.”

There sat Reggie the Young Conservative in all his yuppie glory amidst a pile of notes and objects. He was typing on my laptop.

“What the hell, C.W.? What’s up?”

“Helping out,” he said.

“With what? For whom?”

“Tweaking the Anti-Care Act. For the Party.”

“Do you mean the so-called Affordable Care Act?”

“Oops,” he said. “That’s an inside joke. We’re not supposed to call it that in public. Anyway, some senators say it’s not harsh enough and want some cheaper approaches. I’m tasked to look at ancient ones. I’m on Egypt now.” He reached into the pile and retrieved a note. “Here’s one. Comparison Centers. They will save a bundle.”

“What on earth?”

“Herodotus tells us that an Egyptian with a particular illness would sit by the town gate with a sign listing the symptoms. Along would come someone who had suffered those same symptoms and survived. He’d share the cure and move on, cheap medical care if there ever was such a thing.”

“Comparison Centers?”

“Yep. We’ll place them in places with heavy foot traffic. We’ll even include chairs. We’re not heartless, you know.”

“Uh … . any other cost saving ideas?”

“You betcha. Here’s an idea I call ‘shame shacks’ that will save even more.”

“Shame shacks?”

“Yes. We believe, like the ancient Egyptians, that most illness are cause by a lack of religion. So we’ll furnish quiet places for the afflicted to go and repent while they pray.”

“You have to be kidding.”

He stiffened. “If you know anything about us, you know we don’t kid. A sense of humor is a sign of weakness. Quick,” he said, snapping his fingers. “Who is Secretary of Education?”

“I see.”

“Then don’t ever accuse us of kidding about America’s future.”

“Any other ideas?” I tacked the conversation toward calmer waters.

“Happy Halls.”

“And? Ancient Egypt again?”

“They were certain that beer would ‘gladden the heart’ in general, but when one was ill, medicines mixed with beer—and combined with spells—were thought particularly effective. Beer and wine were also prescribed for children and nursing mothers. A prescription from the Ebers Papyrus for childhood incontinence calls for the mother to drink a cup of beer mixed with grass seeds and cyperus grass for four days while breastfeeding the child.”

“So, Happy Halls would furnish free beer to the ill?”

He frowned. “Did you just use the word ‘free’ or was I dreaming? I never said beer would be free. Free is only for humans that happen to be corporations. Still, beer is cheaper and more plentiful than some medications, and many of the poor are already using it for other purposes.”

“I see.”

“Excuse me,” he said. “He rose and walked to a bookshelf and picked a volume of history. I took the opportunity to examine his papers.
 
Self-diagnosis and repentance:
sure cures for most ills. - C.W.
One caught my eye. “An onion?”

“Put that down,” he said. “We’re pretty sure we’re going to abandon that one or modify it substantially.’

I started to return it, but noticed something that made me gasp. “The onion is placed where? In a woman’s what … ?”

“Shut up,” he said. “Do you want Mrs. Big Dope to hear us?”

“And it determines what?”

“Hush.” He said.

“You don’t have any females on your committee, do you?”

“Too demanding. Not harsh enough. Too many moving parts. Now if you’ll excuse me,” he said, opening the volume of history. “I’ve got to get to the Chinese. If my chapter on birth control isn’t finished this week, they might throw me overboard like unwanted garbage.” He stopped, jerked his head toward the ceiling as if the overhead light had just flashed, and turned back to the book. He began to thumb the pages, muttering to himself and completely ignoring me.

“As long as they are born,” he said. “As long as they are born … as long as they are born.” He placed the book beside him and turned to the laptop. His voice trailed off and he typed with a fury I had never seen before.


See also:
Delta Dreaming
All Hat No Cattle
Order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers.



Sunday, June 18, 2017

378: Sin

“Explain it to me one more time. And this time, don’t just shake your head.”

“I’m not sure I can.”

“Look. You’re my host on this part of the earth and you’re supposed to explain things to me so I can send explanations back to the Falloonian Elders.”

“We’re sort of in unchartered waters right now.”

“Just what the hell is that supposed to mean?”

C.W. had appeared in a strange shape and was in a strange mood. The best description would be a cross between TV evangelist and a movie actor of the John Wayne genre. He wore a green, tailored suit that reflected sunlight to the point that it almost hurt one’s eyes. It was topped off by and wide Stetson hat. A pair of rattlesnake cowboy boots finished the effect. Strange.

“I want them damned cigars,” he said.

“I’m afraid not.”

“Why the hell not?”

“Our president has put trade restrictions back on with the country that makes them. We can’t go there.”

“That makes no sense whatsoever. What has this country done to upset your leader now?”

“Nothing now, it was nearly 60 years ago.”

“What?”

“The country fell to Communist forces in January of 1959.”

“And?”

“We haven’t done business with them since.”

Nothing in 60 years? That dude, your president, sure knows how to hold a grudge. Forgiveness ain’t part of his act, is it?”

“Some people claim the opposite. He did forgive the Russians. Not Cuba, though. They are still Communists.”

“So, you don’t do business with Communist countries? What the hell do you call China?”

Uh …, “

“Vietnam?”

“It’s not only that they are Communists, or so he says.”

“Oh? Then what?”

“Human rights violations. Yeah. That’s it. Human rights violations. They mistreat people.”

“What do they do, chop off their heads if they don’t worship the right way? Do they get religion and governance all mixed up?”

“Uh … ,”

“Withhold rights from whole groups of people? Women? Gays?”

“Uh … ,”

“Send us terrorists?”

“None of those. They used to meddle in the affairs of other countries in the region, but I don’t think they’ve done that in a while. I don’t think they do much of anything, except dance. They do dance a lot.”

“So, meddling in the affairs of other countries is a hanging offense?” He stopped. He had been in John Wayne mode, but a change came over him. “Dance? Did you say dance?”

“Yes.”

“Now we’re getting somewhere. This dancing crap. Can’t put up with that.”

“I’m glad you see that.”

“Sex. I bet they do that too, don’t they?”

“Oh, I’m sure they do.”

“It figures. Sin is as sin does. Bet they do it in all different ways as well.”

“I wouldn’t know.”

“You can be honest with me. Mrs. Big Dope is out shopping.”

“I still don’t know.”

“I’ll bet the first folks that came over to them from Europe taught them how to do it the right way.”

“I’m sure they did.”

“Then sin arose and showed its head.” He stopped and winked. “No joke intended, son. Once they started actually enjoying it, sex that is, it was a short distance to the wicked pathway of sin and despair.”
 
Beware of lurking perils. First thing you  know,
this woman will have you dancing. - C.W.
“Do you think so?”

“Oh yes. First thing you know they were doing it standing up. And you know what that led to, don’t you?”

“Dancing?”

“Damned right. The sin of all sins. I take it all back. It’s good to have a fine moral president. I couldn’t bear the thought that I was actually supporting a country that exported the terrors of dance along with their cigars.”

“I’m glad I was able to explain it to you.”

“Damned fine of you. Now, one more favor.”

“Sure.”

“Let’s find another source of cigars.”

“Sure.”

“See what you can find me from Columbia.”


See also:
Delta Dreaming
All Hat No Cattle
Order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

377. Heroes

“How can Batman die?”

“Batman didn’t die. The actor Adam West, who portrayed Batman on television died.”

“Oh.”

It was Timmie Joe the 14-year old nerd, one of C.W.’s favorite, but most pesky, shapes.

“Do superheroes ever die?”

“Not as general rule.”

“Do they get old?”

“Not as a general rule.”

“Do their beliefs change over the years?”

“Not as general ru …. . Say what?”

“Could we say that Superman, for example, helped the President fight the Russians back during the cold war?”

“You ask too many questions.”

“He did, didn’t he?”

“I suppose so.”

“Now the President’s best friends are the Russians.”

“So?”

“Are they Superman’s best friends too?”

“You ask too many questions.”

"Was Superman hooking up with Lois Lane?"

"Don't use such language."

"Inquiring minds want to know. Did that 'man of steel' thing include … ,"

"You talk too much. Let's change the subject."

“Why were there no African-American superheroes back in the day?”

“Things were different then.”

“But superheroes aren’t supposed to think like everyone else, right?”

“Not as general rule.”

"Then why didn't Batman let Robin invite any black friends over for sleepovers?"

"I suppose Batman wanted to keep their secret."

"Were they … ,?"

"No. Those rumors are malicious and false. He just want to keep their identities secret."

“Why are there no gay superheroes?”

“Uh … ,”

“Who did Wonder Woman’s hair? There’s a good superhero sidekick for you.”

“Don’t stoop to stereotypes.”

“They could call him ‘Long Bob,” and he could fight crime with his comb and scissors.”

“Don’t you have something to do?”

“She could hold them down and he could do their hair.”

“Please stop.”

“Give them such a ‘do’ that they would never show their face again.”

“You know, as they used to say in the horror films, it just might work.”

“No, on second thought it wouldn’t.”

“You mean having an awful hair style wouldn’t shame someone into going straight and doing right?”

“Nah. Probably not.”

He fumbled into a pile of papers and held up a photograph.






See also:
Delta Dreaming
All Hat No Cattle
Order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers.



Friday, June 9, 2017

Morning Thoughts: Stupid

C.W. and I were talking …

Actually, I was drawn into the room by commotion going on among the three heads. When I came within range, Left Head and Middle Head were berating Right Head.

“Shame,” said Left Head.

“My conclusion is that you have behaved poorly,” said Middle Head.

“Bite me,” said Right Head.

I interjected. “What’s going on here?”

“He’s been misbehaving,” Left Head said.

“A danger to our mission,” Middle Head said.

“Up ya’lls',” Right Head said.

I said, “Ya’lls'?”

“I’m picking up on my Southern roots,” Right Head said. “The rural south has been the moral backbone of America since before your Civil War.”

“Okay, okay,” I said. “Let’s all calm down and tell me what the matter is.”

“He’s breaking the primary rule any rational person would follow, and we’ve put a stop to it,” Left Head said.

“And that is?”

“I can’t say it,” Middle Head said. He turned to Left Hand. “You tell him.”

Left Head took a breath. “While we’re taking our naps, he’s, he’s, he’s … .”

Middle Head blurted it out. “He watches Fox News.”

“No,” I said.

“All of you just jump up our …” Right Head began.

“See what it’s doing to him?” Left Head said.

“Are you really doing that?” I asked Right Head.

“What if I am. How else would I know that Santa Claus and Jesus are both white? It certainly wasn’t reported on the ‘lamestream’ media.”

I couldn’t speak.

He continued. “Or that Obama and his "communist" cronies wanted to kill 10 percent of the population?”

Two sets of eyes rolled and then looked at me.

“Or that the Obamas had a secret terrorist fist jab?”

Left Head looked at me. “See the problem now? He’s been sending some of this stuff to Falloonia. The Elders are threatening to have us shipped back.”

I looked at Right Head. He smiled, “Did you know,” he said, “that gay marriages will lead to interspecies couplings, humans to goats and the like?”

“Stop it,” said Left Head. “Enough is enough.”

“Poverty Isn’t that bad, because poor people have fridges.” This time Right Head had a most defiant look.

I finally had to ask, “Did you really get all this from Foxnews?”

“It might interest you to know,” Right Head said, “that Travon Martin’s hoodie was responsible for his death and that Newt Gingrich's infidelity might have made him a good president.”

“That’s absurd,” I said. “And that’s enough. We don’t watch Fox News in this house. You are hereby prohibited from it. It makes you stupid and we won’t allow it.”

He looked, at first, stunned. Then his look changed to disappointment. We waited for his answer. Would he agree, or argue? He finally spoke.

“Please?”

“No,” I said. "Prolonged use has shown to reduce your understanding of the world, and, as I’ve said, it will make you stupid and unable to understand reality.”

In the voice like that of a teenager, he looked at me a tear came to what they call an eye in Falloonia.

“Can I just watch it until I need remedial English?”


Sunday, June 4, 2017

376. Rules

  “Come on in. I want to show you something.”

“What the … ?” If I hadn’t known it was C.W. I would have sworn John Lennon was sitting on my couch. He brushed his hair back over his shoulder and pushed his tiny glasses higher on his nose.

“I’m in the groove now, man.”

“You’re what?”

“In the groove, dude. I got it all happening.”

“You what?”

“Oh,” he said, “I forgot to tell you. The communications tech on Falloonia sent me an updated slang module for my Galactic Universal Translator. My GUT has never worked better.” He stopped. His face brightened. He grabbed a pen and pad from the coffee table and wrote. When he finished, he read to me, “If you find you have to fart in public, go and stand beside the fattest woman you can find.” He smiled approvingly. “Oh man, that’s knocked out. Strictly copasetic.”

It took a moment for me to find my voice, as you might imagine. “May I ask what you are doing?”

“Getting’ it together man. I’m going to be loaded.”

“Exactly how are you going to be, uh, loaded?”

“From my book,”

“What book?”

“The Big Dope Book of Rules.”

I sat down. “The what?”

“Book of Rules. Now don’t go ape on me, man.” I just used your name because it sounds real gone, you know. Oh wait.” He wrote, speaking as he did so. “Never buy a used car from a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt or carrying a mini-Bible in his pocket.” He stared at the paper. “Man,” he said, “it’s really happening now.”

If I remember correctly, I simply stared at him at this point.

“Can’t you dig it?” he asked. “People are carrying around a lot of hang-ups now. They need all the advice they can get.” He nodded in approval of his own point. “Oh,” he said, beginning to write again. “Never take romantic advice from a man over 50 or a woman under 30.” He smiled. “Far out, man.”

“May I ask a question?”

“Shoot,” he said.

“Have you gone bat-crap crazy?”

He ignored me and started writing and speaking. “Be kind to your neighbors. Remember the ‘courtesy-flush.’ They'll thank you for it.” Only then did he look at me. “You hacked off about something?”

“Astounded,” I said, “would be a better word.

“Shoot me the straight-skinny, man.”

“First, you need to talk to your technician back on Falloonia.”

“Sock it to me.”

“You might tell him to move the dial forward 50 years.”

“Say what?”

Happy 50th Sgt. Pepper. - C.W.

“Then, you might reconsider this whole endeavor.”

He signaled for me to wait. “Before you spread, make him cover the head.” He chuckled and looked back at me. “Now what?”

“You can’t be serious about all this.”

He wrote again. “If he’s not kind and tender, then threaten his member.” He looked at me as if he saw me for the first time. “Yes?”

“Nothing,”

“Good. Now if you don’t mind, I’ve some work to do.” He glanced at his pad, I.Q, …, I.Q, … let’s see. Oh. A man’s I.Q. can be estimated by dividing his age by the number of tattoos he has.

I began to ease away. As I exited the room, he yelled toward me. “Been a blast rapping with you.”

 See also:
Delta Dreaming
All Hat No Cattle
Order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers.