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Sunday, August 12, 2018

437 Service

C.W. has gone missing. I can’t find him anywhere. The last time I saw him, he had assumed the shape of a long-haul trucker with a MAGA hat. He was nervous and puffing on a big cigar.

He said he was “going to join the Space Force.”

“But,” I said before he broke in.

“No buts,” he said. “They’ll need experienced men and I’m their guy.”

“Uh,” I began.

“Listen,” he said. “They have no idea what they are getting into. They won’t know a Phistupunarsigan from a Beetanisilliagan. You can’t send brave men to fight Galactic invaders without experienced warriors, and three heads are better than one. He grinned and exhibited several missing teeth. “You’d better listen to me.”

“No. You listen to me.”

“Why?”

“I have something to tell you.”

“Better make it quick. I’ve already heard that some Hierdaruckians have landed and are assuming the disguise of a wedding party. Our forces need some guidance and they need it fast. I can provide them exact coordinates.”

“Shut up,” I offered.

“What?”

“Are you listening?”

“I always listen. That’s one of my strengths.”

Letting that pass, I snapped a finger in front of his face.” He looked, and I assumed his other two heads were listening as well.

“Repeat after me,” I said. I waited a couple of seconds until he focused. “There is no Space Force.”

“There is no … what the hell are ya’ll talking about?”

“There is no Space Force.”

“What?”

“There is no Space Force, nor will there be.”

“But the President said ….”

“The President tends to make things up. That’s one of his privileges, or at least one he has assumed.”

“Why would he?”

“It’s in his nature,” I said. “He uses prevarication like some people use a paint brush.”

“But why tell us a lie about a Space Force?”

“Distraction,” I said.

“Dis-what?”

“Don’t you remember how much you like to watch magicians do their tricks?”

“Well, yeah,”

“And remember my telling you how they work them?”

A light dawned. “They fool you with one hand while the other does the trick.”

“Precisely.”

“But why would the President want to distract us?”

“Are you serious?”

“Well, they are on his ass pretty bad.”

“Because?”

“Some folks say he has been a little careless in the way he acts.”

“A little careless?”

“Maybe more than a little.”

“So, you see the need for some harmless distraction.”

“Who would he think might believe him about a fake Space Force?”

“The same people who believe a strong man can slam a metal folding chair down on another man’s head, have the poor guy hauled away to the emergency room bleeding, and have him back entertaining them the very next night.”

“But the Vice-President is setting the Space Force up, and he’s a Reckinarellerain.”

The threat is real.The President
 says this is an actual photo. - C.W.
“The best and the brightest?”

He thought. “Not exactly. They are the ones who transpermiated mosquito DNA on your planet. Some jokester on Falloonia told them it was a species of orchid. He’s been banished to Alabama, the jokester has, and they sent the perpetrator to Washington.” The fog lifted a bit. “As a matter of fact, …”

“So you see the subterfuge?”

“I don’t believe you,” he said. “I’m going to Little Rock.”

“For what?”

“Those folks up there at the Capitol respect our President. If he says we need a Space Force, they’ll be the first ones to join, probably already have. Just wait, you’ll see. If they don’t, I’ll raise almighty hell about it.” 

With that, he took off. I haven’t seen him since.

See also:
Enjoy these at all? If so, order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers. It will make him so happy. Also, click on an ad. It earns him a little and costs the advertiser, sort of a win-win.



Sunday, August 5, 2018

436. Prophecy

It was abnormally quiet in the house. I had come in from working outdoors and my wife was away for the day. I thought I’d better check on C.W. Did I mention that it was abnormally quiet? That’s when it’s a good idea to check on C.W.

But, uncharacteristically, I found him in my favorite easy chair reading a book. At least I assumed it was he, the shape was that of a middle-aged man of scholarly demeanor. He had a long, hawkish, face beset by wrinkles and accentuated by a thin mustache. His eyes flashed beneath a crop of dark, unruly hair.

He looked vaguely familiar but I let it pass. “What’s up? I said.

“The Elders are pissed,” he said, closing the book.

“Oh?” It was then that I notice what book he was reading. It was Nineteen Eighty-Four.

“And why are they pissed this time?”

“Don’t you think they have a right to be?” He said gruffly.

“I don’t know.”

“Listen,” he said. I noticed scads of yellow stickers protruding from the book. He turned to them, one after another, and read.

“War is peace.”

“Freedom is slavery.”

“Ignorance is strength.”

He closed the book. “Sound familiar? Maybe a little like last night’s newscast?”

Before I could answer, he turned to another marker and read, “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” He looked up at me and smiled, then said, “The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.”

“Is this going somewhere?”

“Be still and learn,” he said. He didn’t say it in a friendly way. I’d never seen him like this before. He quickly turned to another page and read. “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'”

I just stood there, thinking of our Secretary of Education. “Are you,” he said, “proud of your country now? How do you like being a fulfillment of prophecy? Not the mythical kind where you read a prediction and then go make it happen, but when it happens on its own and you say, ‘So and So saw that coming?’”

As I pondered this, he continued, pointing at another section. He read, “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” He stopped. “Say, for example, you have a twice-divorced adulterer being worshiped as a religious icon by a third of your population. He flashed a half-smile for the first time. If you think the Elders are pissed, you ought to talk to the Galilean. See?”

Trying to make sense of it all, I tried to answer. I could only say, “Yes.”

Do I have to draw you a picture? - C.W.
He snapped. “Is any of this really beginning to make sense? Does any of it sound familiar at all?”

“Yes,” I said. “I first read the book in high school and then several more times since.”

“Idiot,” he snapped. “I’m talking about 2018, not some journey into your past.”

This was the strangest C.W. I had encountered ever. “What is with you?” I said.

“Don’t you watch the news?” he said. “The Elders certainly do.”

“And why are they so upset?”

“You have no idea?”

“Maybe a slight idea. Could it be …?”

“Shut up,” he said. “Listen.” He turned to another marker and looked at me, his dark eyes piercing the farthest corner of my mind. “Listen,” he said, “and learn. Then you may know why the Elders are pissed.

This time he read gravely, “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”

“Okay,” I said. “I’m beginning to see you point. America today is starting to sound exactly—and I’ll admit it’s scary as hell—like the state described in Orwell’s book.” I paused, “But what has the Elders so upset?”

“Orwell!” he screamed. “Orwell … what has the Elders so pissed about Orwell, his prophecies, and modern America?”

“Yes,” I said, “yes … what?”

“Only,” he said, “that they sent me here in 1947 to warn you.”


Sunday, July 29, 2018

435: Business

 It was obvious that something was troubling C.W. He had been moping around all day in the shape of one of his more troublesome characters. I call him “Carl the confused.” He prefers “Charlie the Wonderer.”

Whatever. He finally asked me to take a walk around the pond on our farm. I didn’t really want to do it because of all the goose poop on the bank, but he insisted, and reminded me that when I had taken on the job of being his host, that I had agreed to explain our ways as well as I could. So we took a walk.

He had filled a pocket with rocks from one of my wife’s dozens of piles that she has picked up over the years. There are no natural rocks on the farm, so they have all been collected by her.

He sailed a rock over the surface of the pond. It skipped once and sank. “She’s going to whip your ass,” I said, “for stealing her rocks.”

“She won’t miss a few from all the thousands she has stacked around.” He sailed another. It failed to skip even once.

“Are you kidding? She knows every one in every pile, where it came from, and when she collected it. Besides, you’re not doing it right. You have to bend low and get it closer to the surface.”

“Show me,” he said, handing me a rock.

“You won’t tell?”

“Heavens no.”

I bent low and sailed the rock. It skipped three times and sank.

“Tell me,” he said as he pulled another rock from his pocket. “Can you really run government like a business?”

The question surprised me. “Why do you ask me that?”

“Writing a report. The Elders sent me a communication saying this orange-faced guy has them all confused.”

“What orange-faced g…, oh.”

“They aren’t sure that he is for real. They think it’s just another Earthling television show. I must explain it all to them. So can you? Run government like a business?”

“No.” I said.

“Why not?”

“Several reasons. First, business can operate anyway it wishes as long as it doesn’t break the law.”

“But what about …?” He began.

“As long as it doesn’t get caught breaking a law.” I corrected myself.

“Oh.”

“Government,” I said, “on the other hand can only operate under specific laws that allow it to protect the public health, safety, welfare, and morals of the people, laws that have been validated by the courts.”

“Then there is an actual law somewhere that allows the president of your country knowingly to lie to the public in order to carry out his aims?”

I thought. “Not exactly.”

“So he can just do it anyway, without punishment?”

“That’s what elections were designed to do.”

“Back in the old days?”

I didn’t answer. After a moment, I said. “There are other differences between business and government.”

“Such as?”

“The business model is that for my company to win, your company must lose. Government, on the other hand should enact policies or take actions that benefit or protect us all.”

“How’s that working for you?” he said, bending over and throwing a stone. It bounced twice.

I veered away. “Business operates under the so-called ‘Law of Supply and Demand’ in providing goods and services. Generally, low supply and high demand increase price. In contrast, the greater the supply and the lower the demand, the price tends to fall. Businesses flourish when high demand justifies an increase in supply.”

He stopped. “But,” he said. “Didn’t your late president Ronald Reagan say that supply creates its own demand?”

Sometimes there
 is the smell of sulfur
 in the halls of

 government. - C.W.
"Reagan received a lot of bad advice,” I said. “Have you ever heard of Oliver North?”

“So, the idea is that if we keep building things, producing products, and providing services that nobody wants, we’ll get rich?”

“No,” I said. “We’ll eventually go bankrupt, time and time again. Soon, nobody will lend us money anymore, nobody who is operating solely on sound business practices.”

“That sounds reasonable,” he said. “Nobody supports a loser?”

“Uh,” I said, foreign interests might, if the rewards outweighed the risks. It seems to be done for political ends at times, and that blurs the proper demarcation between government and business.”

“And the ‘government the people, by the people, and for the people,’ as you great man put it, would allow that?”

“If it has enough backing.”

He bent low and sailed a rock. It bounced four times and sank slowly. He stood up with a bright look on his face.

“I’m beginning to see,” he said. “It’s all just a matter of how far you're willing to bend over.”



See also:
Enjoy these at all? If so, order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers. It will make him so happy. Also, click on an ad. It earns him a little and costs the advertiser, sort of a win-win.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

434: Hypocrisy

It’s always nice when C.W. does his Edward R. Murrow routine. My wife, though, makes us sit outdoors on account of his smoking so much. We sat near sundown last evening under a shade tree in an Arkansas July without a breeze stirring.

I had pulled and extension chord over and placed a box fan a few feet in front of us. “Bless you, my child,” he said, lighting another cigarette. He smiled, took a draw, and put his lighter back into a pocket. “I thought the London Blitz was uncomfortable, but now I don’t know.”

“What’s on your mind?” I said. “You don’t do Murrow unless it is serious.”

“The Elders are at it again.”

“The Falloonian Elders?”

“Are there any others?”

I didn’t reply, no use when he’s on roll. Instead, I asked, “What are they wanting to know?”

“When it all started.”

“When what started?”

“The path that has led to the present hypocrisy-challenged mess your country is in.”

“Hypocrisy-challenged?”

“As in so many can’t recognize it, or refuse to.” He took a drag and exhaled. He leaned an elbow on his crossed leg and held the cigarette like an exhibit. “I think,” he said, “that it started during the so-called ‘New Deal.’ But some of my colleagues want to take it all the way back to the Civil War.” He waived the cigarette as if directing music. “The some of us place it as late as the Johnson-Goldwater election back in 1964. Then there are the radical thinkers that place it as starting the day after Nixon fled the scene. What do you think?”

“I think I have no idea what the hell you are talking about.”

He looked at me as if I had just doubted the known facts of natural selection. “You don’t?”

“Something about politics?”

He nodded and exhaled smoke. “Bingo. I’m talking about the moment when one political party became so angry and revenge-bent that it would be willing to bring the whole country down, given time, cunning, and patience.”

I nodded. The fog was lifting. He continued. “I’m torn between the New Deal and Johnson/Goldwater.”

“When the unquenchable hatred started?”

“Yes. There are two things that irritate conservatives the most.”

“They are?”

“The first is helping those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, the meek, the merciful, and who seek peace. You know, the usual crowd of losers that their favorite writer—that Ayn what’s her name— taught them to despise.”

“And the second?”

“Losing, losing in any shape form or fashion.”

“So you think those have led to an inability to recognize hypocrisy?”

“Are you kidding me?” He flipped the cigarette away and reached for another. “Haven’t you been paying attention?”

“Well, yeah. There does seem to be some double standard about confirming a Supreme Court nominee.”

“Or who is a follower of the Galilean and who’s not?”

“Yeah, there is this Franklin Graham character.”

“Just nominated, as I understand it,” he said, “to the Hypocrite’s Hall of Fame.”

“And you think it started with FDR and blossomed under Johnson?”

“Do-gooders on parade,” he said. “But they just maybe started it. There’s no disagreement, even among the parties, as to who caused it to flourish.”

“No doubt?”

“No doubt at all.”

“You mean there is a bizarre example of bi-partisan agreement as to what caused this abyss of hypocrisy and hatred?”

“Yes.”

“And?”

“It was Obama’s fault.”

See also:
Enjoy these at all? If so, order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers. It will make him so happy. Also, click on an ad. It earns him a little and costs the advertiser, sort of a win-win.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

433. Research

“Ear.”

The minute I heard the word “ear” I smelled something that took me back nearly 50 years. Before it registered, I heard it again.

“Ear.”

And again, “Ear.”

I rushed into the living room and, sure enough, there was C.W. in his actual Falloonian shape, all three heads, multiple hands, and all. Five dogs sat in a semi-circle in front of him, alternately giggling and watching the action. I should have expected some mischievousness. My wife was staying elsewhere with a visiting cousin and she doesn’t care much for seeing our alien friend in his true shape. That’s the reason he waits until she’s away to appear “au naturel.”

“Ear,” Left Head said. A long skinny arm moved raised a hand that took something resembling a short cigar from Left Head and handed it to Middle Head. He took it in his mouth, took a long draw, and held it.

“Ear,” he said, still holding his breath. The hand moved the cigar to Right Head. That’s when I remembered what the smell was.

What the …?”

“Come on in, Mr. Big Dope,” Left Head said as the hand started toward him. It stopped in mid-flight and headed toward me. “Ear,” Left Head said, extending the joint, if you want to call something that large a joint, toward my mouth.

“No thanks,” I said, pushing the hand away, It was green and scaly, cold to the touch. “But,” I said, “you might tell me what is going on.”

Right Head started to speak, stopped, and turned to Middle Head. “You tell him,” he said. “I just forgot.”

“We’re doing research,” Middle Head said.

“Research on what?”

The question seemed to catch him off-guard. He thought for a moment, then said, “Research. What research?”

“Upon what are you doing research”

He thought again. “Who said we are doing research?”

“You did.”
“We are doing a test,” Left Head said, coming to the rescue. He took a long drag, held it, and had the hand move to Middle Head. After holding his breath for nearly a minute, he exhaled and said. “Wow, male of the species.”

“Testing what?” I persevered.

“That plant we’ve been reading about,” Right Head said. “What do you call it?” He thought and smiled. “Merry Fauna,” he said.

“Yep,” Middle Head said.

“Yep,” Left Head said. “We’re thinking about stealing it.”

“No,” Middle Head said, finishing his draw and passing the joint. “Not stealing, sealing it.”

“No,” Right Head said, after a brief coughing spell. “Not sealing it, … selling it.”

“Right,” Left Head said. “We’re perfectly positionated to sell it.”

“Oh?”
Our Marketing Plan:
The worse it sounds,
the more the kids
will want it. - C.W
.

“Yes,” he said. “It has no effect on us whensoever.”

“None wheresoever,” Middle Head said.

“None whysoever,” Right Head said. His face brightened. “Did Mrs. Big Dope leave any of that cabbage soup here for us?”

I didn’t answer. Left Head started laughing. He cackled aloud for some time and finally caught his breath. “I just thought of a name for our product.” He turned toward the others.

“What?” Middle Head said.

“Three Faces of Ease Medicinal Cigarillos.” He said, breaking into laughter again. Middle Head caught on and howled with joy. Right Head joined it. The dogs began their “laugh-bark.” The room turned to bedlam.

I readied to leave. “You won’t think this is funny if my wife catches you.”

The laughter increased in volume. The last thing I heard over the howls and barking was Middle Head, “Hey, save some for Mrs. Big Dope.” The sounds grew louder. He screamed over the merriment, “No, I mean Mrs. Bogart.”

The whole house was shaking when I walked out the front door and into the yard. I was a little light-headed, from secondary smoke I suppose. I began to wonder if maybe I was living on the satellite of some electron in some obscure galaxy and was just imagining all of this. It would certainly make more sense.

See also:
Enjoy these at all? If so, order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers. It will make him so happy. Also, click on an ad. It earns him a little and costs the advertiser, sort of a win-win.



Sunday, July 8, 2018

432: Accountability

Hearing a voice in the living room, I went in to see what C.W. was up to. I heard him say, “I’m not here to judge you but to help you.” There was a silence, and he said, “That’s the judgment of people worse than you, sweetheart. You are the only person on Earth with whom you must deal. Now you go on and try to think things through better from now on.”

I turned the corner as he clicked my cell phone off and sighed. He had taken a shape that he uses from time to time now. I call it “Eddie the Empathizer.” He was in the shape of a young man, maybe in his thirties, with close-cropped hair and a slight stubble of beard. He wore a “ZZ Top” tee shirt and neatly pressed jeans with sandals. A pair of what we used to call “hippie glasses” rested halfway down his nose.

He didn’t look at me.

“What’s up?” I said. He turned and stared as if he had no inkling I had been there.

“It’s getting worse,” he said.

“What’s getting worse?”

“Word’s getting around that they can talk to me and get information without being told they are going to burn in this Hell that your species has thought up. Tell me,” he said, “just where in the he…, uh, … heck did that nonsense come from? I asked the Galilean and he said some writers just made it up for dramatic effect.”

“Maybe, but what about it?”

The phone played “This Land is My Land.” He grimaced and answered. “Eddie here.” He listened, then said, “Yes, I remember you.” He listened again, longer this time. When he spoke, his voice was firm. “Now you remember what I told you, don’t you?” He listened. “So you just can’t wait, is that what you are telling me? You just can’t wait?”

He listened, looked at me, shook his head with a sad look, and then spoke. “Once more,” he said, “it can happen any time, the first, the second, the fifteenth, … any time. It can happen in any position. Holding your breath won’t work, I don’t care what they told you in the locker room.” He smiled, “No, eating spicy food won’t work either. There are pharmaceuticals that work, but they are getting harder to purchase. Did you read the information I sent?”

He listened. “Yes, they work most of the time and are easy to buy. They are also easy to forget about when he gets aroused and wants things to feel natural for him.”  There was silence, then, “There are other considerations, and some of these can make you die. Do you understand? Die. Do you know this boy?”

There was a long silence. “Tell you what you do,” he said, “you take him down to an attorney’s office and have an agreement drawn up where he will promise to pay in full for an accidental baby’s care. Have it witnessed by your local Sheriff.”

Another smile. “No, I don’t imagine he would either. That should tell you something. You think about it.” He clicked off.

“The hormones in your species are among the strongest and most virulent in the Galaxy,” he said, just as the phone exploded in song. He didn’t respond, but said to me, “It’s a losing battle.” Then he pressed a button on the phone. “Eddie,” he said again. As the listened, his face seemed to elongate. Finally, he spoke. “When did you find out?”

He listened for what seemed like an eternity. “Now quit your crying,” he said. “We need to work this out. Can you report the boy?”

He listened and shook his head. “Really?” he said. “Captain of the football team? Why are they exempt from accountability?” He listened, then said softly. “College. I see. Why did you allow him to do this to you?” There was a pause. “Did he really threaten to do that?” 

He took a deep breath as he listened to the phone. I felt I was intruding and started to leave. He motioned for me to stay and spoke. “What about your parents?” After a moment, he said softly, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” I thought I saw an eye moisten. “Now, you hush, maybe we can arrange for adoption.” He stopped suddenly and listened. “I see,” he said, “what would the other race be?”

So they tell an alien
and stranger. Why? - C.W.
He listened again, “No stop it,” he said in a clear voice. “No one will judge you except yourself,” repeating what I had heard him say before. He listened and said, “There is no such place. I’ve been over this entire Galaxy, and I can assure you of that. Cut that out. Franklin Graham is a lonely, unhappy, and evil man. What he says means nothing." 

The caller must have broken in, for he stopped and listened. “I know,” he said at last, “that you are all alone, and have no means with which to attend college yourself right now, but you might someday. Would you like that? Maybe a family when the time comes?” He listened, smiled and said. “I thought so.”

I couldn’t bear it anymore and slipped out as I heard him say, “Now child, you are going to have to make the greatest decision you will ever make it your life …”

It was then that I realized I had tears in my own eyes.

See also:
Enjoy these at all? If so, order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers. It will make him so happy. Also, click on an ad. It earns him a little and costs the advertiser, sort of a win-win.



Sunday, July 1, 2018

431. A Break

Hey friends. It's C.W. your long time friend. Big Dope left early this morning. He is going to give a talk to a group of Unitarians. As they say on Falloonia, that's a Hudelevaoowuldathuanket. Let me consult my Galactic Universal Translator in "idiom mode." Wait one.

Well, my GUT tells me that the best translation for Earthlings is "Ain't that a hoot?"

I have no idea what he will talk about. I'm not sure he does. He's been muttering phrases like "happy as a dead hog in the sunshine." My GUT can't quite decipher that. He also talks about "Jack Daniels sipping whiskey." I have some familiarity with that phrase. He had me shape in as The Galilean, and help him. I think I straightened him out a bit on the commandment to "love one another."

Anyway, he left this little entry. I'm not sure he ever posted it Maybe it will be his theme this morning. He wrote


Last night I dreamed I was drinking wine with Matthew, Mark, and Luke at a little pub called “The Chi of Galilee.” Matt and Luke were ribbing Mark about finding this neat search engine called “Quizzer.”

Matt: Too bad you didn’t know about it before you published your stuff.

Luke: We tried to get you to wait for us, but … noooo!

Mark: (Sullenly) I did okay.

Luke: (Mockingly) “I did okay.” (Sips his wine)

Mark: Just because I wouldn’t tell you where the white colt came from.

Matt: Want to know the real funny thing?

Mark: What?

Matt: I was talking to Him, and want to hear something really interesting?

Luke: Blessed are the rumormongers.

Matt: As soon as we are all finished, He is taking back the computers.

Mark: Get out of Capernaum. Non vadis.

Matt: Vadis. I heard it with mine own ears.

Luke: Taking away computers?

Matt: Yep. Says they ain’t coming back for 2,000 years or so.

Mark: Bummer.

Mark: Don’t tell John about this Quizzer site.

Luke: No way. He always thinks he is the favorite. Let him figure it all out by himself.

Matt: Suits me. By the way …

Luke: Yes?

Matt: Speaking or His favorites. Did you read the neat stuff about Mimi?

That’s when I woke up. And you know … I’m sorry I did.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

430. Retribution

C.W. had left a message: “Under the tree. Sad. Bring the good Scotch.”

I knew what to expect. Pensive moods fit only a few of his shapes, and this had been a rough week for him. I carried everything on a tray, the single-malt I had been saving, two glasses, and a bucket of ice, though I knew he preferred the things in his world be unadulterated.

The Galilean didn’t seem to hear me approach. He sat between a spreading oak and a stand of variegated bamboo. My late father-in-law planted the oak years ago, but he had never enjoyed its shade. Now, a lonely figure, his white robe spreading around him, watched a group of geese leading their young around the banks of the pond.

As I approached, he said without looking, “It’s peaceful here. Someone planned things well.”

“Thanks” I said.

I sat the tray on the table, uncorked the scotch and motioned toward the ice with a questioning look. He shook his head. “I like it just as it is,” he said. “We can change our lives, but not good scotch.”

After I poured a “finger” for each of us, we raised our glasses and touched them. “To the children,” he said.

I said, “To the children.”

The geese caught our attention. They were in a line with the adults fore and aft. The lead goose, a mother I supposed, would flap her wings. Immediately the young ones would mimic with their small, developing stubs.

“She’s teaching them to fly,” he said. “Isn’t it a marvelous planet we have here? So much potential. Could you imagine what would happen to those youngsters if the mother wasn’t there to teach them?” He drained his glass and thrust it toward me. I began to pour and he gave me “the look.” I added an additional finger. He smiled and sipped.

“There seems to be a vicious cult threatening this peaceful place,” he said. “Why?”

“I don’t know,” he said.

He did a perfect impression of Zorba the Greek. “Then what is the use of all your damned books?” He laughed and drank half the rest of his scotch. Playing Zorba is one of his favorite games when he chooses this shape.

He brushed his fingers through long greasy hair. “What the hell do they have against my children?” He was still watching the geese.

“No one seems to know,” I said.

“Wasn’t I pretty clear about that?” I said 'suffer not.' I don’t think I said a damned thing about making them suffer.” He tossed off the remainder of his drink and held his glass out toward me. I filled it nearly to the top.

He sighed. “When we dropped the sperm off on this barren rock of a planet, the one you call home, six billion years ago,” he said, “we chose the very best. Yours was to be a glorious experiment in excellence—in thought, expression, and behavior. What the hell happened?”

He sipped. “Might want to take it slow,” I said. “Don’t get yourself all worked up.”

“Oh,” he said, “you know very well that I’m programmed for forgiveness.” He sipped again. “But the Exalted Falloonian, head of this great experiment, isn’t so bound. He can get really pissed. Remember that home planet destruction scene from that Star Wars movie you took me to see?”

I shuddered. He took another long drink, settled back in his chair, and continued. “And what’s with this immigrant shit?”

“What do you mean?”

“Doesn’t anyone remember the scenario the Elders wrote for me and the family? How we were immigrants? If these sons of …” he stopped and took a long breath. Sipped, and calmed his voice. “If these people in charge now had been in charge back then, and had tried to do to my family what they are doing to families now, there would have been thunderbolts galore, you can bet your sweet ass on that.”

I moved the bottle from his sight. “Maybe its time I took you in for a rest,” I said.

He let out a breath. “I suppose so.” He drained his glass and looked at me like a child begging for a last cookie.

“One more.” I said. He held out his glass. I filled it. This time he finished it off in two large gulps. He leaned back. We sat in thought for several minutes.

Before too long, he broke the silence. “There is a day of reckoning coming,” he said.

I looked over at him.
The best of pals. - C.W.

“It may not be pretty,” he said. “Especially for the leaders of this dreadful cult. Maybe the followers too.”

I drew a deep breath.

“It’s been done before, you know. Not like they wrote it, but its been done. Wasn’t pretty at all. Not at all.”

“Let’s get you to bed,” I said.

“It won’t be pretty at all.” He held out his glass.

I shook my head. He rested the glass on the table. Then he dabbed at his eyes with a corner of his robe. He looked at me with deep black eyes. He said, his words becoming slightly blurred. "It’s not going to be pretty for those who harm my children and rebuke the aliens.”

The sound of a crop-dusting plane made the geese bark and rush to the safety of pond, the little ones flapping their wings to no effect.

Not pretty,” he said again. “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth among the wicked.”

He started to rise, then slumped and looked at me. “I don’t really care. Do you?”

See also:
Enjoy these at all? If so, order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers. It will make him so happy. Also, click on an ad. It earns him a little and costs the advertiser, sort of a win-win.








Sunday, June 17, 2018

429. Peace

Came in this morning to find C.W. in one of his favorite shapes, Reggie the Young Conservative. He was fairly bubbling with enthusiasm, humming a pleasant melody and typing away on my laptop in rhythm with his tune.

“Hey Big Dope,” he said. “Are you in the presence of an important person or what?” He punctuated his question with a one-finger punch to the keyboard.

“Important?”

“Very important,” he said. “I’ve been given what may be the most important job in the history of the world.”

I took my coffee to the couch and sat. “And what might that be?” I said.

“I have been tasked to write up quotes for the president in the leadup to his Nobel Peace Prize nomination.”

“Oh really? How did that come about?”

“Partly because of my internal data retrieval system. I can access all the major speeches and quotes from history and use them as guides. My job is to make our glorious leader sound, well, like a leader.”

“Oh. I see.” But I didn’t really.

“How’s this for starters?” He picked up a sheet and read. “My good friends, for the first time in our history, an American president has returned from abroad bringing peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time... Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.”

“Uh,” I began, but he interrupted.

Reading again, he said, “I believe it is peace with honor.”

I tried again, “Do you …”

He overrode again, “We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will.”

“Would you wait …” I tried again, but he was on a roll.

“Here’s one for his critics,” he said. Lifting the paper, he read, “I tell you that I'm not dictatorial, I'm not intolerant, I'm not overpowering! You're all wrong, wrong, wrong, I tell you! I'm the most relaxed and understanding of people! None of you, I insist, must ever say I'm dictatorial again!” He lowered the paper and smiled, then said. “That’s some real presidential sounding stuff, is it not?”
“May I …”

“Here’s one of my best,” he said. “Ever since I assumed my present office my main purpose has been to work for the pacification of the world, for the removal of those suspicions and those animosities which have so long poisoned the air. The question of North Korea is the latest and perhaps the most dangerous. Now that we have got past it, I feel that it may be possible to make further progress along the road to sanity.”

I groaned. He said, “That’s a good one, isn’t it?”

“Perhaps you should know,” I began.
 
Peace for all time? - C.W.
He interrupted me again, reading, “I am resolved that my method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern us, and I am determined to continue my efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of the world.”

In one fluid motion, he grabbed another sheet and read, “Whatever the lengths to which others may go, my American government will never resort to the deliberate attack on women and children and other civilians for purposes of mere terrorism.”

He looked at me as if he were a minister finishing a benediction. “Peace in our time,” he said. “That’s pure gold, don’t you think.”

“I think,” I said, “that you have just stated minor variations on quotes by Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of England in the 1930s,” during the leadup to World War Two.”

Es macht nichts,” he said. “Who reads history anymore? Our folks sure don’t. Waste of time. Waste of time," he repeated. Now, do you have anything else to say?”

“No,” I said. “I think you are right on top of things.”

Uber alles,” he said. “Uber alles.” He stopped and thought, having had, it seemed, a brainstorm. He grabbed a pad and started making notes. I sipped my coffee and smiled.



See also:
Enjoy these at all? If so, order Big Dope's Book at Wattensaw PressAmazon, or other book sellers. It will make him so happy. Also, click on an ad. It earns him a little and costs the advertiser, sort of a win-win.