Monday, August 31, 2015

And The Song Will Fade Out (I Predict)...

The Future - In Color!

Long ago, I declared that I would turn out to be vatic - sorry, to have been vatic.  Finally, my prediction of clairvoyance has been proven true.

What was it that occurred as I foretold?  Several things, actually, but what comes to mind at the moment are the following (in no particular order):
  • In 1993, I predicted that "Achy Breaky Heart" was not the worst thing that Billy Ray Cyrus was going to do to us.
  • The first time I saw MTV (in 1984 - I was a little late), I said, "Well, there goes the radio star."
  • When Go-Pro cameras came out, I said, "Great - we already have sex tapes; now I bet we'll have crimes recorded in 1st-person perspective and posted on social media."
  • When I bought a Camaro convertible, I predicted that some jackwad would flip his and die, and my insurance premium would instantly increase by $129/year, despite my completely ticket- and claim-free driving.
  • When donald trump said, "In no way, shape or form is a Certificate of Live Birth the same as a Birth Certificate," I said, "Oh just you wait - it gets better!"

Pretty impressive, yes?  So... I'll bet you're anxious to see my predictions for the future, looking forward from August 31st, 2015.  For the sake of argument and a blog post, let's just pretend for a moment that you are.  K?  Here we go...

  • The trump thing?  As Yoda taught us, "Always in motion is the future," but I'm afraid he figures prominently in our declining nation's coming years.  Fear not, however, for A) We survived Bush, B) We survived Obama, and C) meh - who cares...
  •  Global warming will not result in the human devastation that so many thousands of climate scientists currently predict.  The reason for this is... man-made intervention.  Remember "Y2K?"  The world's computers were all supposed to fail at midnight, December 31, 1999.  We spent countless billions of dollars to prevent catastrophe, and when it didn't happen, we all bitched and joked about those billions spent, when in reality it was those spent billions that had prevented the catastrophe.  It will be the same with global warming.  Trust me.  It will.
  • Eventually, wireless electronic devices will become uncool, and people will only use them ironically.
  • In another 5-8 years, sex tapes and nude photo leaks will be so commonplace, so de rigueur, that the public will tire of them, and celebrities will once again be forced to actually bring something to the table, in order to garner and hold any substantive attention.
  • The south shall rise again.  HAHAHAHAHAHA just kidding - can you imagine!
  • The Nationals and Orioles will meet in the World Series.
  • Kanye West will have an Oscar.  It will be Emmanuel Lubezki's, for "Birdman," but still.  He will have it.  From an estate auction.
  • "Yes Dear" will be appreciated as the greatest television show of any generation ever.
  • Trains will be replaced by newer, faster trains.
  • Flying.  Cars.
  • Two words:  President Timberlake.

And don't even get me started on where "Bloom County" will take us, in the future.

There.  You're welcome.  

P.S. Winning lottery numbers available, but they'll cost you.

This week, I'm writing in response to a prompt from my Studio 30-plus friends -- for a change!  This time, we were given "vatic" and/or "clairvoyant," and told to GO.  I went.  I'll go again, maybe.  See if I don't!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Then I Don't Wanna Be Czar, Anymore!

Hope springs eternal...

The shadows were getting long.  It was almost time.  The council would not wait beyond moonrise.  Tonight, moonrise would occur a mere twenty-two minutes after sunset.  Czar King Rex the Glorious Leader knew that.

"How do you know that," asked Horus, the Bird-Headed Fool - Rex's jester.

Rex chortled confidently, failing to break stride as he maintained a nine-foot distance between himself and his fool, trailing behind.  "You have to know these things, when you're a czar."

"Oh yeah, well, obviously.  But, aren't you..."

"Aren't I what, Horus?" Rex growled impatiently.

"Aren't you - you know - obfuscating the throne, or something?"

Rex stopped, prompting the fool to stop and back up a step and a half to maintain the nine-foot separation.  "Abdicating, man, abdicating.  And yes, I am.  That's why we're in such haste to meet the council before moonrise.  I plan to renounce my title.  If they won't amend the charter, then I don't want to be czar, anymore."

"Oh yeah," the bird-headed fool said, resuming his march nine feet behind his once again mobile king. "You told me already.  I remember.  I was just wondering if you'll still know stuff like that business about when the moon comes up, when you're not king anymore."

"Of course I will, Horus," the soon-to-be-former glorious leader laughed. "I'll know everything I know now.  The only difference will be that no one will listen when I speak.  And that will be more wonderful than you can ever know."

"Oh, don't misunderestimate me, Rex.  I know a thing or two.  I've heard what the council says about you.  I've seen the scrawls on the poles and barns and bridges.  Your reign has been nothing but headaches for you.  'Rex is a buffoon, Rex is a Marxist, Rex can't do anything, blah blah blah.  I don't know how you put up with it for this long."

"I don't know either, Horus, I really don't.  But no more.  There's the smoke from the council fire.  My freedom is nigh."

"But what am I to do, oh glorious leader?" the fool asked.

Czar King Rex stopped again, and so did his fool, nine feet behind.  "I told you, man.  You will be free, as well.  You can be the next leader's fool, and bring him the same invaluable joy and distraction and relief that you provided me, these past eight years, or you can walk away - a free hobo - to find your own tracks."

The bird-headed fool thought for a moment.  "Can I walk with you?  I don't care if you're the king, or the president, or just another walking dead loser.  You're my friend.  I'll go with you."

"That'll do, Horus," Rex smiled.  

"Can I ask you one question, though?"

"Of course."

"Why are you... abdi-whatever-it-is your throne?"

"It's simple, my friend.  I want to marry Hard-Flossing Hope Peak, and the charter says that I can't, because hoboes aren't supposed to use dental floss.  I tried to get the council to pass an amendment to the charter, and they refused to even bring it to a vote.  I love that woman more than I love being the glorious leader, so there you have it."

"That's the best thing I've heard all day!" Horus declared. "To hell with the council!  Hope is a swell gal.  You're making the right choice."  

"Of course I am, Horus.  Life is short.  Life out here is even shorter.  I'm going to share what I have with Hope, flossing be damned."

"Say, boss?  Maybe we can do a double wedding.  I've been courting Ol' Barb Stab-You-Quick, and it's getting pretty serious."

Rex shook his head.  "Horus, my friend, if you can get that woman to say yes without putting a hole in you, you're on."

 Another bit of hobo fluff, prompted by my writey mates at Studio 30-Plus.


Monday, August 10, 2015

How We Remember It

Calling all eastbounds...

Ted sat on the rusted-out former tractor that had languished atop the hill at the western edge of Seneca Farm since 1970.  More accurately, Ted sat on the Washington Post sports section, which he had intelligently placed between the disintegrating machine and himself.  He stared at the railroad tracks, shook his head, and sighed despondently.  A small rock hissed past him and pinged off the far rail of the near track.  He turned with a neck-straining start, knowing whence the projectile had come, but angry at the loss of another ten years of his young life at the hands of his best friend.

"Dammit, Swack!" he protested.

"What's up, loser?"  Brockton Swackhammer stepped out from between two rows of Maryland corn, now nearing seven feet high, and stopped, basking in imagined applause.

"Nothing.  Just contemplating the famous last words of Socrates.  'I drank what?'  Hey - did you bring beer?"

"Don't quote movies at me, dork," Swack admonished. "We're eighteen years old, now.  And no beer.  That dick at Belby's almost called the cops.  I lost my best fake I.D.!"

"Holy shit, dude!  That sucks.  I could've used one - or twelve."

Swack climbed the front of the tractor and sat astride its dusty engine block, facing his friend.  He reached into his jeans pocket.  "Have a Life-Saver, kid.  Wanna talk about it?"

Ted did indeed want to talk about it.  He had spent the past several years spilling his guts to Swack, lamenting one failed date or unrequited crush after another, and somehow, despite his friend's stereotypical jock callousness, it had always made him feel better.  This time, however, the only person with whom he wished to talk about it was Astrid, but as Astrid was sort of dating Swack at the moment, that was out of the question.  So, Ted opted for Plan B.

He tilted his head back to face the weight of the oppressive July evening air. "Swack, do you remember that last night in Santo Domingo?"

Swack stared at Ted for a moment, searching his memory.  "Huh?  Oh, wait.  Yeah.  How could I forget?"

"You could have forgotten.  I've never seen someone drink so much Cuban rum in one day."

"Fair enough - but I remember, and I want 'Inventor of the Mojito' on my tombstone when I die."

Ted rolled his eyes.  "Yes, we know.  We'll take care of it.  But do you remember what the general said to us?"

"You mean the general who was trying to kill us, or the generalissimo?" Brock asked, returning the Life-Savers to his pocket.

"The generalissimo, obviously.  He said no matter what happened, we would be beloved for generations in his country, for what we had done to save the revolution during its darkest hour..."

"He said our pictures would be on their money!" Swack enthused.

"We have to find out if that ever happened, man.  But, do you remember the airport?" Ted asked, turning his head slightly to aim an ear at an approaching eastbound train, rumbling in the distance.

"Oh come on, Ted," Swack groaned.  "I hate this."

"Search your memory, Brockton Swackhammer.  Look in the deepest, darkest corner.  You know.  You remember.  We have to live with it.  It happened, and it's a part of us."

"Don't make it sound like that.  Gross."

"Can you see the guards?  Close your eyes, Swack.  Can you see them?"

Swack mentally rolled his closed eyes.  "Yes, Ted.  I see them.  Now what?"

"They were just kids, man." Ted whispered.  "They were no more than ten or eleven years old.  I mean... what we did..."

Swack jumped to his feet atop the old tractor.  "We did what we had to do!" he insisted. "It was the last plane out!  What choice did we have?  It was us - and the democratic revolution, the very future of San Juan├ęs - or them!  You've got to let it go, man.  Another 24 hours, and the freakin' SOVIETS would have been there, and then God only KNOWS what would have happened."

Ted shook his head.  "There had to have been another way..."

"Dude!  There were lots of other ways, but most of them would have resulted in nuclear winter, or DefCon 1, at best. You're alive.  We're alive.  The world will never know, and that's that.  God, this is exhausting."

"I know, I know.  But I still have the nightmares," Ted sighed.  "Heads up, man.  Train comin'..."

"I know you do, buddy.  I know it.  Just keep living.  'Keep yourself alive.'  Wasn't that the last thing the generalissimo said to us?"

Ted smiled at his lap.  "Yes.  He was nearly drowned out by the growl of those old Pratt and Whitney engines spooling up, but I heard him."

Swack smacked his friend's shoulder.  "Right.  Now let's go get some rocks.  Train's comin'!"

"Keep yourself alive," Ted said.

"Keep yourself alive," Swack affirmed, barely concealing his pride at having kept up with Ted's latest story of lies.  Santo de-what? he thought to himself.

And we're back!  Again!  With the brilliantly-simple prompt of "fib" and/or "lie," from my buds at STUDIO 30 PLUS, I have ever so tentatively returned fingers to keys.  This is the preliminary result.  Hope you like it.