Sunday, September 30, 2018

444. Power

“Just what is it that your women want?”

“What the hell?” The figure seated across from me was a new one for C.W. It was a well-configured man in a business suit, handsome in a boyish way and smiling as he asked the question.

“I’m counting on you to tell me,” he said.

“Tell you what?”

“About the females of your species, your women.”

“I’m not sure I would be talking like that in this house.”


“First of all, they aren’t ‘my’ women. Second, you’re on pretty thin ice with one who lives here.”

“My point exactly.”

“And that point is?”

“Don’t we take care of her?”



“Take care of her?”


“Are you crazy?”

“No, I graduated from the best learning center in Falloonia. I can’t be crazy.”

“How did you get into the best learning center in Falloonia?”

“On my merits. It had nothing to do with the fact that a member of my Formation Team sits on the Board of Falloonian Elders.”

“Is it difficult to be allowed to study in the best learning center?”

“Not if you are a Phorchunataseid.

“What is that?”

“Hard to explain. But back to these women of yours.”

“Hold it. I told you that they are not my women.”

“Anyway. What is it that they want exactly? It seems they want to rule over us men. It’s like a Falloonian Uoondierfut wanting to sit on the Board of Elders.”

“A what?”

“A Falloonian species used in Formation Teams. Don’t worry about them. Just tell me about your own lesser gender.”

“Where on Earth did you find that descriptor?”

“In that book you gave me to read.”

“And didn’t I tell you not to take it literally? Even the Galilean warned you about that.”

“Yeah, He also warned me that you get a little carried away at times.”

“Carried away? How?”

“With all your concern about everyone having ‘a seat at the table’ as he puts it, even though he told you that rejects are going to be around for ages to come. Is that what your lesser gender wants, a seat at the table?”

“Among other things, I imagine.”

“Well they can’t have mine unless they can take it forcibly. They aren’t much into taking things by force the way we are, are they?”


“We men.”

“You know what, C.W.?”


“You’ve chosen many shapes and forms since we’ve been acquainted, but I think this is the most despicable.”

“Now you’ve hurt my feelings,” he said, wiping a tear from an eye.”

“You’re going to have more than your feelings hurt if you keep talking that way.”

“I knew you would take their side. You’re just not fair,” he said, reminding me of a young child who’s just been told no. His face changed to a stark visage of rage.

“Who have you been hanging out with?” I asked.

“None of your business.”

“Have you been sneaking off to that hunting club again?”

“None of your business.”
My friends are headed to
the very best schools. - C.W.
“No wonder you came in here hating women.”

“What’s it to you if I want to hang out with real he-men?”

“Who don’t like women?”

“None of your business.”

“Remember the talk we had about being on the wrong side of history?”

“Don’t worry about history. We’re going to control it, and you might better decide which side you want to be on. Our side will get what it wants no matter how we have to take it.”

“And then what will you do?”

His face turned blank. His eyes struck for something far way. Veins in his temples throbbed. He sniffed, refocused and stared at me, his eyebrows forming an M.

“What do you mean, what are we going to do then?”

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

443: Remorse

What can you do on a rainy day when you are cooped up with a restless alien who is in deep trouble with a third member of your household? The alien is nattily attired man of maybe 23 who looks like he just left a fraternity party at some expensive private college. The third member is my wife.

“I have no recollection of doing it.” he said. He was lounging on a couch drinking a beer.

“You say you didn’t break her priceless heirloom practicing your golf putt?”

“Isn’t that what I just said?”

“No,” I think you said you didn’t have a recollection of doing it.”

“There you go,” he said. “If I had done something that thoughtless, I would have remembered it. I have a photographic memory you know.”

“You always remember?”

“Of course.”

“Like the time you used her grandmother’s photograph to practice with your air rifle?”

“That’s ridiculous. I’m not going to honor that hypothetical question with the truth.”

While he seemed to be considering whether that sentence had turned out he way he intended, I broke in. “I seem to remember that’s what she claimed.”

“That was a long time ago and I hadn’t been here but a short time.”

“That excuses things?”

“Falloonians like to experiment when they first arrive on your planet. I was just having fun. Inipurtseeastrms will be Inipurtseeastrms. You can’t blame them for that. You would never allow us membership on your planet if you didn’t allow us a lane at sea that is a regularly used route for vessels. I am a man, after all.”

“I think,” I said, “that we allow you a good deal of ‘leeway’ as you tried to put it, man or no man.”

“Then you understand I was just trying to learn Earthiness by having a little fun.”

Earthiness? I would have to remember that. “Mischief is okay if you are just having fun?”

“I think so. Don't you?”

“Were you just having fun when you sold her battery-powered drill to the junk man?”

“Women aren’t supposed to have those kinds of things. They are supposed to have feminine things that keep them in the kitchen and bedroom. Your country would run a lot smoother if they did.”

“If I were you I wouldn’t let her hear you say that. She still remembers the time you and Rodney used her best colander to pan for gold in Bayou Meto.”

“A little adventure never hurt anyone. Why is she so sensitive?”

“I don’t know. Why don’t you return the ZZ Top CD you stole from her and ask her then?”

“It was someone else who did that. I have a witness.”

“And who might that be?”

“My counterpoint in Mississippi. He could vouch for me.”

“Why doesn’t he?”

“He had to return to Falloonia for a, uh, … conference. Yeah, a conference. But he definitely saw that it was someone else.”

“And who might that have been?”

“How should I know?” He sat up and looked at me with as serious a face as I’ve ever seen on him.

“Look,” he said.

Men, our biggest fear in America
today is gang warfare. - C.W.
“Us men got to stick together.”



“And if we don’t?”

“And if we don’t, it’s going to be hell to pay. What if Mrs. Big Dope forms a gang?”

“A gang of what?”

“Other pissed-off women.”


“Pretty soon, they’d be wanting to speak out loud in church.”

“You don’t even go to church.”

“I heard one of those guys on TV say it, so it must be true.”

“You believe TV preachers?”

“When they say things I can profit from.”

“I can tell you something you can profit from.”

“Don’t bother,” he said. “Mrs. Big Dope has given me three things already. I’m supposed to master them within three days or else.”

“Or else what?”

“She didn’t say, but it sounded bad.”

“And what were those three things?”

“Repentance, reflection, and remorse. She said they might, just might, lead to a fourth ‘R’ if I tried hard.”

“And that would the fourth be?”

“Redemption,” he said, “but that’s going to cost me a bundle.”

See also:
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Sunday, September 16, 2018

442. Guilt

There was this sound of arguing going on in the backyard of the farm. I heard several obscene epithets hurled. It sounded familiar. I heard one yelled in Falloonian and I knew the source. One had to be C.W. Who was the other? I walked outside.

Mystery solved. It was C.W. in one of his favorite shapes, Lefty and Lucky the conjoined twins. They walked, hip to hip, around an oak tree my late father-in-law and I planted some 25 years ago. It is one of my wife’s favorite spots, and she protects it with zeal.

“Ass****,” Lucky shouted. F****** ratfink.” They pivoted and began walking around the tree in the opposite direction. I noticed a trampled plant.

“Hey,” I said. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Nothing,” Lefty said. “We’re somewhere else.”

“No,” I said. “I can see you.”

“What you see isn’t real,” he said. “Trust me.”

“He’s lying again, Lucky said. “That’s all he does.” He smiled. “And he’s real good at it.”

“Am not,” Lefty said. “I’ve never lied since we’ve been on Earth. I’m the greatest truth-teller my planet ever sent here.” They continued walking.

I say they are conjoined twins, and I speak the truth in a literal sense. A narrow square of skin and muscle joins them. A first-year medical student could separate them with a local anesthetic, but they preferred to be “joined at the hip,” as they put it. Somehow, I fear, this close association feeds and supports the worst instincts in each.

I watched them for a minute. Lefty spent two turns around the tree cursing his attachment. When he paused for breath, I broke in.

“Having an argument?”

“Argument hell,” Lefty said. “I’m letting him know what I think of a ratfink mother … .”

“Stop,” I said. “Tell me what’s going on.”

“Ask him,” Lefty said. “I don’t know anything.”

“You’re cussing like I did when I dropped a link of anchor chain on my foot and you don’t know anything?”

“I know nothing,” he said.

“Ask him about your wife’s favorite jelly glass,” Lucky said. “The one she found in the junk pile and was over a hundred years old.”

“I’ve never touched a jelly glass since I’ve been on your planet,” Lefty said. I wouldn’t even recognize one if I saw it. I use expensive, tasteful glasses, the most wonderful and beautiful ones in the Galaxy.”

“Ask him what happens when one is drinking wine from a jelly glass and drops it on a hard floor,” Lucky said.

“I don’t remember doing that,” Lefty said. “I wasn’t there.”

“You weren’t there when my wife’s jelly glass got broken? What exactly happened, if you had to guess?”

“I’m not going to answer any hypothetical questions,” he said.

“Now he’s in a world of doo-doo,” Lucky said.

“Doo-doo head,” Lefty said.

“Fellows,” I said. “What’s up?”

“He dropped the glass and broke it,” Lucky said.

“I was somewhere else at the time,” Lefty said. He appeared to think. “In Falloonia, yeah, they transfigured me back to Falloonia for a conference. It was the greatest conference they ever had and I was the best speaker, the best speaker by far. Just ask them.”

“So I assume Lucky was with you? He can verify?”

“No,” Lefty said. “He stayed here. I went alone.”

Lucky and I stared at one another.

I had stomached about enough of this. “What really happened?”

“Mrs. Big Dope found out about her broken glass,” Lucky said.


Lucky shrugged.

“He jumped in the air and turned over on me,” Lefty said.

“Do mean he ‘flipped’ on you?”

Lefty nodded. “They shouldn’t allow that, not even when someone commits a crime, which I did not, by the way.”

“What happened next?”

“He’s being punished,” Lucky said.

“If he’s being punished,” I said, “won’t you be included?”

“No,” Lucky said. “I’ll still get five meals a day. He’ll only get one.”

“I see,” I said.

“And,” Lucky said, “he’s going to have to wear a sign around his neck that says, ‘jelly glass murderer’ for a month.”
Big Dope says I'm two-faced.
What do you think? - C.W.
“Turncoat b*****,” Lefty said.

“Guys, stop it.” I said. I looked at Lucky. “You seem to know that he’s nothing but trouble to you. Why do you stay joined to him?”

“Tell him,” you prick,” Lefty said.

“Well,” Lucky said. “He is good at filching snacks and he gives me half of them.”


“He keeps the attention off me. Have you noticed how your wife’s rock collection is disappearing and how I’m getting better at skipping them on the pond?”

“And?” This was getting uncomfortable.

“He makes me laugh.”

“Oh, how?”

“It just cracks me up,” Lucky said “to see you go berserk when he pulls one of his crazy stunts.”  

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, September 9, 2018

441. Suspicion

Newspapers are making fonts smaller and smaller each day, so I was holding a magnifying glass over the daily cryptoquote and not paying attention to anything else. That’s why I jumped when a hand slapped a sheet of paper filled with type on the table in front of my and screamed, “What the hell is this?”

It startled me. I stared at the hand. It was a small one. A little finger sported a large diamond ring that sparkled like beauty pageant contestant. I looked up.

It had to be C.W., for nobody else had hung around the house that morning. I’d never seen him like this. He stood in the shape of an overweight, pudgy man past middle age with a half-bald scalp, the remaining hair pulled into a ponytail. A strange tint emanated from him and he seemed vaguely familiar.

I said, “What’s what?”

“You know damn well what’s what.”

“Sorry, I don’t.”

“Read the [censored] thing. Maybe it will jog your memory.”

I couldn’t remember C.W. using such language before. Pulling the sheet toward me, I saw the word “Memo” in large type. I looked and said, “What is this?”

“Read the thing,” he said, practically yelling and using the same expletive as before.

Glancing at it, I saw phrases: “Poor representative of your planet … prone to insulting his Earth Host’s wife and friends … engages in right-wing politics … shows an inordinate fondness for monetary gain … has set up multiple get-rich schemes that have failed … doesn’t keep his GUT in good condition … addicted to improper Internet sites … several warnings related to stalking … .” Confused, I glance at the top again and saw, under “TO,” the words “Falloonian Council of Elders.” I looked up. The orange tint had left his face and showed a fierce red.

“Did you write this [censored] thing?”

“Uh, no. Don’t know anything about it.”

“How about that [censored] wife of yours, Mrs. Big Dope or whatever you call her? This sounds just like some of the [censored] that [censored] might put together.”

“I’ll ask you not to speak of my wife in those terms.” I thought better of it. “Rather,” I said, “I warn you strongly not to let her hear you talking that way about her.”

“Somebody around here is guilty as John the Baptist,” he said, “and I’m going to get to the buttocks of it.”

“I think you meant Judas,” I said, “and if you want to get to the bottom of it, you might want to tune your Galactic Universal Translator.”

“Shut the [censored] up for a moment,” he said. “I’m trying to cogitate. Somebody here must have done this dirty deed. The Falloonian Elders are all over my [censored] tush.” He picked up the sheet and waved it in my face.

“Nobody here did it. I can assure you of that.”

“Somebody did it. My GUT tells me that it’s someone I know.”

“Have you considered,” I said, motioning for him to cease with the waving in my face, “that hundreds of people each week read my accounts of your charming escapades?”

“Charming my keister,” he said.

“It could be any one of them.”

That made him stop and ponder.

“That guy we drink beer with, what’s his name, Perry?”

“Oh, I don’t think so. He adores you. Don’t you remember the present he bought you?”

“The beer-holder that said something about don’t Earthlings ever shut up”?

“Something like that.”

“What about that ex-Green Beret out East? Michael D you call him.”

“There’s no such thing as an ‘ex-Green Beret.’ He is a ‘former’ Green Beret and shares your stories with all his friends. He would be highly upset if your stay ended.”

“There’s a whole bunch up in Ohio.”
Someone out there is
envious of my greatness.
Help me fans.
“They like your politics,” I said. “Want to keep you on.”

“There’s that one makes furniture with his buddy. They have a lot of time to gossip.”

“They’re busy building things,” I said. “As the country folks put it, ‘They ain’t studyin’ you.’”

“I know,” he said. “It’s that guy who makes films, that Gary what’s his name?”

“He wants to make a documentary about you someday,” I said. “He’d be devasted to see you go.”

“The [censored] that did this,” he brandished the paper, “is out there somewhere. My translator has as set of Truth Indicator Tracer Synthesizers built in. Just wait until I let the guilty [censored] feel my … .”

I broke in here. “Tell you what,” I said. “Maybe some of your fans might try to guess who the guilty party is.”

He thought about this. “Might work,” he said. “This [censored] can’t stay anomalous forever.”

“No, indeed,” I said.

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, September 2, 2018

440. Respect

“Did he really play golf during the funeral services?” C.W. and I were having coffee. I was anyway. Coffee makes him drunk. I give him hot water and he pretends that it’s coffee. He was in an impressive shape, a well-dressed African-American man past middle-age and graying, with a neatly trimmed mustache and thick eyeglasses.

“As far as I know,” I said. “There’s a photograph of him that purports to verify it.”

“What shall I tell the Elders?”

“What do you mean?”

“My monthly report is due.” His voice was trending deeper and sounding more like that of James Earl Jones.


“I’ll have to explain it to them, and I expect you can ascertain the difficulty I shall encounter.”

“What difficulty?” I was really just screwing with him a bit.

“Why a sense of protocol seems to have left your government along with all the other respectable attributes so long observed but now neglected.”

“What are you talking about?”

That was it. He turned to face me squarely. “Want me to phrase it in your terminology?”

“Suit yourself.”

“Shall I tell them that your country is going to hell in a handbasket?”

“Don’t you think that is a bit extreme?”

“A president plays golf and posts insults about people on your Internet system while the country buries a man who underwent nearly six years of imprisonment and torture in the service of his fellow Americans. My take on it is extreme?”

“It’s just him.”

“No, it’s his party. How shall I explain it? There is no Falloonian word or expression for such collective callousness.”

“What about that term you used on me after I told you my wife really loved that song Having My Baby and you played if for her on her birthday?”

“Mrs. Big Dope forgave me after I explained. And, by the way, the bruises have all healed. The term is Einterietudaahnis++.’”

“Do the clicks establish the exact portion of the anatomy involved?”

“Now listen,” he said. “I’m serious. Can you please place your frivolous levity aside and engage with me in serious contemplation?”

“On one condition.”

“What’s that, pray tell?” his voice deepening more.

I said, “Promise me that if we find a solution, you’ll say ‘We have the meat.’ in your report.” I broke up laughing.

He didn’t. “Einterietudaahnis++,” was all he said.

“Haven’t you heard of ‘comic relief’ before?”

“I have heard of almost every word, term, and idiom in your speech patterns,” he said, “but I fail to see how a term associated with dramatic productions, and favored highly by William Shakespeare, applies to my distress concerned with the gratuitous disrespect paid to one of your country’s highly esteemed veterans and statesmen.”

“I’m hurting myself,” I said. “Along with 60 percent of the country. I see a final end coming in the production of true American heroes, and I almost cry, as the Psalmist said, when I, figuratively, sit on the bank of the river and remember the nation that was our Zion. Even President Abraham Lincoln relied on humor to support him during our nation’s greatest crisis. Can’t I use it when dealing with its second greatest crisis?”

He thought. “As much as I encounter difficulty in accepting your point, I’ll admit it a shred of viability.”

“Thank you,” I said.
It would be a sad day indeed,
if you run out of heroes. - C.W.
“Now,” he said, “perhaps you might set aside your humorous demeanor, for a moment, and help me explain to my superiors how an elected president of a country like yours can behave with such gratuitous disrespect during the memorial services for a far better man than he?”

“Just tell them …,” I began.

“Tell them what?”

“Tell them that it as a damn good thing it wasn’t a service for John Lewis.”

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.