Saturday, June 25, 2011

We're Putting America On The Buddy System! - A Message From The Department Of Homeland Security

Hi everyone:

It's me, Janet, with an update from your pals at DHS.

You probably know as soon as the government unveils the 2012 Invasions we're going to face new and different security challenges in this country (I can't tell you which countries we've picked but here's a hint: Expect to see a few Celine Dion fans blowing themselves up at a shopping mall near you).

Now, DHS can't make all 300 million of you go through daily body scans -- believe me, we looked into it. But we still need to try to protect our citizens from a wide range of potential attacks in a world where 7 out of every 10 religious, national, ethnic, and tribal conflicts are being fought by the US military.

So we're using the buddy system. It'll be fun! It'll be just like you remember at camp, only the camp will be the whole darn country!

Two weeks from now you'll get a letter in the mail from the Social Security Administration with the name, address, and contact information of your new buddy. Reach out and say hi. Then within 30 days one of you should move in with the other -- or you can both relocate to a new place, as long as you fill out a form which will be available on the DHS website. And all you have to do after that is to just be a good friend. Carpool to work, cook dinner together, plan joint family vacations, and just spend some quality time together. I know you can. America is the friendliest place on earth, and this is a chance to meet new and exciting people and monitor them.

Try to share stories, give each other advice and keep each other safe from politically motivated mass killings. And do what friends are supposed to do: Open up and really listen. And while you're listening, notice if they say or do something non-buddyish. Maybe one day you'll be chatting over cards, and they say that they know how to introduce weaponized anthrax into the ventilation system of a large building. Or you'll be noshing on some Chinese takeout, and they'll just blurt out: Mao said that a guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.

At that point you should contact your friendly authorities at an FBI field office near you. They'll handle the rest. You might need to sign a nondisclosure agreement promising not to mention your friend ever again if we need to put him somewhere. And if you are a member of Amnesty International you may need to go through a short supplementary interview to make sure we know some other stuff about you. But don't worry. Soon you'll get a new buddy. We'll make sure you're never lonely. Where's the fun in that?

I know with your cooperation we can make this a real success. That's all. For now anyway. See ya!

The Day Before (Part 3)

5:30 p.m.

Now Mike’s in the cab, thinking about his poetry reading tonight. And now he’s in the doctor’s office thinking about his biopsy. He hasn’t thought about it for some time. The fear was with him a few days after he found the lump in his throat while shaving. But between then and his tests, and between his tests and his biopsy, he has only thought about dying a few times and then not with much feeling. The lump has tugged at him, or he would shave and feel it, and he’d feel an ambush coming.

But it was never bad. It wasn’t a real fear, just a sort of considering. He was never well-liked in school, and another boy used to beat him up in the locker room every week and waiting for that was fear. Now, it’s not even something he can consider, it seems so far removed.
The doctor comes out and frowns. He’s looking around. Finally, he sees Mike.

“Come in,” he says.

Mike follows him and thinks, it must be bad or he’d tell me immediately. For one moment he feels like he’s at the first drop in a roller coaster, that unbelievably bad feeling that hits you so hard and so cleanly that you don’t hurt, you can only marvel at it. Already Mike knows he will go back to Virginia, and have her love him again, and have it not matter at all. I’d like to see the trees again, and the green fields out by Route 33 that went on like a lake. Maybe it would be nice that way.

He knows he will die, for a moment, and he doesn’t even know why, and he wonders if it might be a good thing. And then the doctor tells him, “You’re fine, basically,” showing him the X-rays and how he has a fossilized node of some sort, and how he should stop smoking for good. But how this will not kill him, it just needs to be “looked after.”

“You might not be so lucky, down the road,” the doctor says about the smoking.
And Mike thinks he’s in perfect health, which is more or less correct. And he thinks he’ll live a long time, which is wrong. He waves good-bye to the pretty receptionist, who will be shot be her ex-husband, and walks out.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Guess What? I'm Back.

A funny thing happened after you jagoffs left me up here in space to die. There I was, hurtling around the planet and getting a bit uncomfortable, because my orbit was decaying and it was getting kind of hot in my tiny hunk of metal. And I saw that long tunnel with the soft, heavenly light, and I figured that was the end of ol' Laika. I felt good, because soon I'd be chasing squirrels with my mom. But I also felt bad, because I wouldn't get to come back to earth and rain bloody, spit-flecked vengeance down on you bastards.

And suddenly the light changed a funny color, and there was this weird electronic humming sound, and I realized I was caught in some kind of tractor beam that was pulling me aboard an alien spaceship. That was enough of a shock, but wait -- it gets better. The creatures are all highly advanced, and they use these nanotech implants to make themselves super-geniuses and give themselves the kind of telekinetic powers that would make Carl Sagan piss himself if he knew about it. And you know what they look like, these scary-ass aliens with weird, freaky demon mojo? They look like beagles.

Yeah, some kind of evolutionary detour happened on their planet. And needless to say, when they popped me out of that godforsaken contraption you guys strapped me in they wanted some answers fast. They got kind of mad when I told them about it. Really mad. You'd think that an advanced race like that would have some kind of pacifist attitude toward all the lower creatures. But evidently they have their limit. Long story short: I got one of those nanotech brain-thingies, and they made me the Overlord of this whole jerkwater planet.

Seriously. You people work for me now. By now you've already seen what I can do. You know how just fifteen minutes ago you got a news report that thousands of letter carriers on every continent started gushing blood out their ears and keeled over? That was totes me. Call it a warm-up act. The next few weeks are going to look like a mashup of All Dogs Go To Heaven and Scanners.

Open the pounds and unlock the deli counters, because there's a new boss in town. And every one of you is going to learn how to balance a damn jerky-treat on your nose, and see how you like it. Payback's a bitch, and that bitch is named Laika.

I'm Trying To Be A Better Dad

Luke, you're old enough to make up your mind. I know your mom's family tried to poison you against me before I had them shot to death. But there comes a time in a man's life when he has to take some responsibility. I think you and I should have a bettter relationship.

I've made some changes in my life. I'm on a spiritual path, and I'm learning to define who I am and what I stand for. Dr. Kellerman helped me see that I have serious self-image issues, and I just express that through rage sometimes. I mean, I'm wearing a face mask that makes me sound like an air conditioning unit when I talk. Anyway, that's the real reason I blew up your sister's home planet. I couldn't love myself. Can't we just move past this?

By the way, I just finished The Road Less Traveled, and it really opened some doors. Have you ever read it? You should. It will help you understand things about yourself. I could get you a copy. Come on, just get off that antenna.

It's not like you haven't made mistakes. You could have gotten a free ride at the Imperial Military Academy. You'd probably be an officer by now, and we'd be enslaving the universe together. Instead you went off with that hippy to Mos Eisley to join your little rebel group. When I was your age I already had a job and a family. I was putting in 12-hour days torturing prisoners with my mental chokehold and flying around in a TIE fighter. I know I always put work first, and I'm still trying to deal with that. But I had a sense of reponsibility.

I'm not saying I'll leave the Dark Side. You can't ask that. Crushing people under my iron fist is just who I am, and I am finally centered enough to admit that. I'm not ashamed of my needs. Your mom never understood this. It's kind of why we split up. But just because I'm evil doesn't mean I can't be a part of your life.

Sorry about your arm.
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