Sunday, August 27, 2017

389: Redemption

“What on Earth?”

“I’m packing.” It was true. C.W. had a bag with essential items laid out and appeared ready to depart on some journey or other. I hoped he wasn’t going in his present form, the Galilean, since he would never make it through the first checkpoint. I suspect that a white robe and sandals on a Middle-Easterner would set off profile detector alarms all over the airport.

“Going somewhere?”.

“You remind me of the man who met a friend who said he was on his way to his brother’s funeral.”


“The man asked, “Oh, did your brother die?”

A glimmer of hope appeared. “Going back to Falloonia?”

“No the dungiderphicupageen hasn’t run out there yet.”

“The what?”

“What you call the ‘statute of restrictive boundaries.’ We have them there too.”

“Oh, you mean a statute of limitations?”

“There you go repeating what I say again.”

“What was your crime?”

“You don’t have a word for it in your language.”

“Serious, eh?”

“A case of improper identification. That’s all.”


“The word for ‘Elder-kin’ is very similar in Falloonian to ‘willing young thing,’ if you really must know.”

“Aaah. So where are you headed?”

“To Washington.”

“To Washington? Where in Washington?”

“A redemption center.”

“What are you going to redeem?”

“Not what, how? Hand me that, will you?” He pointed at a what appeared to be a set of cat o' nine tails.”

“What are you going to do with that?”

“Express my desire for redemption.”

“Your what?”

“Redemption. Our representative in the East has learned from a source that they are setting up redemption centers where the unsaved can be pardoned and returned, with the proper display of contrition, to the fold.”

“What fold?”

“The right fold.”

“As in ‘the appropriate fold?’”

“As in ‘the right fold.’”

“Aaah.” So, does flagellation serve as a justification for being brought into the ‘right’ fold?”

“I don’t know. I thought it might help. I can’t promise to vote right since I can’t vote, and I have only as much money as you are willing to give me. I don’t think you would extend me a large amount for this particular purpose.”

“You got that right. So, you think this seeking of a pardon on Earth might help with your, uh, little situation in Falloonia?”

“Oh heavens no.” He stopped and chuckled. “Listen to me, ‘oh heavens no.’ You’d think I was homesick. We have rules in Falloonia.”


“More like guidelines that we follow without fail. We don’t bend them for political purposes. Otherwise we would be no better than … .” He stopped before he said it.

“But you said you were going to seek redemption.”

“For forgiveness, actually.”

“Forgiveness for what?”

“For being a stranger in a strange land.”

“You are seeking a pardon for that?”

I don't think I heard that
ex-sheriff say that. - C.W.
"Are you going to express remorse?"

"The last one they pardoned didn't have to."

“Do you have any supporting evidence that you plan to take?”

“Only something Dad said.”

“And that was?”

“Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice.”

“That’s only one line of the many things he said.”

“It only takes you people one line from a holy scripture to form a national policy.”

“Do you think it might work in your case?”

“It hasn’t yet, but Dad and I are the eternal optimists.”

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

387. Lines

“How do I look?”

What could I say? C.W. looked like weird, even for him. Remember those male models they used to put in the old Sears catalogs? I’m talking about the men advertising work wear, guys who looked like lawyers wearing work shirts, work pants, and steel-toed boots. Only he had this orange tint on a face topped off with a red baseball cap that said, “Make Everyone Reject Democrats,” under the large letters spelling out “MERD.”

“You look … uh, … swell.”

“I thought so. Are you ready to go?’

“I’m not sure I can. I have a lot to do around here.”

“Nonsense. You’ve got to be my modified forelimb that bears large feathers man.”

“I’m not sure I want to be your ‘wing man’ in that getup.”

“Nonsense. We’re going to score on some chickee babies, grab ‘em you know where.”

“I’m not sure my wife would allow that. Besides, I’m behind on my chores.”

“Nonsense. We’re going to wow the babes. I guarantee it.” He paused. “Oh, and speaking of Mrs. Big Dope, is she going with us?”

“Hardly. Don’t you remember? She said she would never be seen in public with you again after last time.”

“Nonsense. That wasn’t my fault. How was I to know that woman was a TV evangelist?”

“The forty pounds of jewelry and five layers of makeup, along with hair standing up a foot high might have given you clues.”

“I though she may have been a politician, state senator or something.”

“Your pickup line didn’t help.”

“I forget what it was.”

“Pardon me miss, didn’t I meet you at the meeting of the Existentialism Club last night?”

“Oh, yeah. Didn’t work too well, did it?”

“It got worse after you did realize what she did for a living.”

“I don’t remember.”

“Would you get on your knees for Jesus?”

“No. Really?”

“And go with him, with him, all the way?”

“I was just trying to speak in her vernacular. I don’t know why she got mad.”

“That’s the trouble.”

“What do you mean?”

“She didn’t get mad. Don’t you recall?”

“She’s not the one who …?”

“Yeah. She’s the one.”

“She had a nice house.”

“It took us forever to find you.”

“It had over forty rooms.”

“Do you want to go back?”

He blanched and shook his head. “No,” was all he said.

“Now you know why I don’t want to go with you.”

“Nonsense. Bar springing lightly is fun.”

“Bar ‘hopping’ is far from fun with you, and besides, that wasn’t your worst pickup line.”

“Oh? I had others you didn’t like?”

“Let’s cut out the small talk and start some serious bargaining. I bid one kiss on the ear.”

“I used that one?”

“I like sex infrequently. Care to find out if that’s one word or two?”

“No, really?”

“A quiver-full begins with a quiver. Want to help string my bow?”

“I’m not believing I said that.”

“Oh, it gets worse.”


“Remember the one about the difference between walking up and sticking it in, and sticking it in and walking up?”

“I don’t remember that. Besides. I’ve learn about salvation through sincere contrition and penitence.”

“Redemption? From whom?”
Please. Don't ask. - C.W.

“Big hair.”

“She taught you about redemption?”

“Oh, she taught me many things that have made me a better person, or imitation person, or whatever.”

“I still don’t want to go with you.”

“I’ve learned my lesson. Trust me. I’ve gone straight.” He stopped, thought, and grabbed a pad and pencil from his pocket. He began to write and nod, saying “How would you like to get something straight between us?”

A scene from a famous movie flashed before my eyes. Click here and you will understand.

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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.


“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.”


“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.”


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


“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?'"

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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.”



“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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