Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Bus Ride: Episode I Part 1

The introduction of Adam Snoppen and other characters certain to make a reappearance. We learn about the man, his habits and background. Some clues about the bus and its ultimate fate are shared as well...

Adam Snoppen was sitting with his back to the window, looking over his newspaper at a young lady, quite beautiful and in trendy, feminine business attire—a woman that could pass for a gorgeous high level executive or a decent looking high priced prostitute, depending more upon the eyes that perceived her than any signals she transmitted through apparel or composure—standing with an arm coiled around one of the several poles going from the floor to the roof of the bus. Standing in this manner she was working a BlackBerry quickly with both hands just below the low cut of her blouse. When finished, she tucked it away in her designer purse, ignored Adam Snoppen and looked a wealthy looking old man up-and-down sitting across from Adam. Mr. Snoppen, whom shall only be called that once for he was no gentleman, used the opportunity to slide off his wedding ring. He had removed his suit coat due to it being a warm morning and so dropped the ring into the chest pocket of his shirt, nicely ironed and starched by his fourth wife. As nonchalantly as possible, he rolled up his sleeves, undoing all the hard work his wife had done in removing any and all wrinkles, in order to show off what he thought were a nice set of forearms for a forty-something man in nice dress, not to mention the five thousand dollar watch that adorned his wrist. That caught the eye of the woman who was betraying a curious familiarity with the pole in the center of the bus aisle. While the two exchange glances and smiles, let us learn a bit more about Adam.

Adam was a successful marketing senior executive, responsible for some of the most financially rewarding ad campaigns the country had seen, eight of which were popular Super Bowl ads. If your author didn’t think it would give Snoppen a certain pleasure by listing some of his more memorable campaigns, the ones he himself never missed the chance to mention at parties full of fawning yuppies, then they would be listed here.

He has been married four times, each wife approximately the same age as the former at the time of the ceremony, the groom now quite capable of going through the motions while sleeping if needed. He had a weakness for beauty and once it started to fade he found some way in which to be off with the current wife. Why he remarried so many times instead of choosing a life of bachelorhood is beyond even him, thinking that by spending large amounts of money and inevitably bringing advocates into it, it somehow gave a certain gravity to the farce that was his love life.

What else is of importance about this man? He was a ruthless boss, always eager to point out to junior executives at the agency how hard he had to work, how nothing was ever handed to him, how they all had it so easy in comparison and were lucky to have a boss like him, and even if they were fired during one of his ever more frequent tantrums, he assured them that they would eventually see the wisdom behind the action, and not just recognize it but positively thank him for it. He also listened to rightwing talk-radio incessantly, never once thinking of the unprofessional consequences of assuming all his coworkers were of similar political leanings. Not only did he enjoy the inane ranting of ill-informed and zealous morons, he would daily procure his own tirades about the left party whenever he had an audience, which is the same as saying always. Whenever this party wasn’t in power you might think his employees were spared these long harangues, and to some extent you’d be correct, but they wouldn’t end all together, just as talk-radio doesn’t end when their opponents are down. The only thing that never happened during these long diversions into politics was self-reflection or a criticism of his own party, though he often felt they were too soft, given his own stance was just to the right of Attila the Hun; nor was there ever any dissent from his audience, who were always below him in the corporate pecking order. Adam was too busy sucking up to the few and rarely seen superiors to ever get into politics with them, but should an opposing view be brought up by one of them he’d be the first to support it, carry it further and even give a good denunciation of his own party to boot. In short, Adam Snoppen was a prick, as his name hints—a dick, a bastard, a self-confident idiot.

That last trait shall be the final bit of information receiving elaboration in regards to the background of this pathetic, banal and ubiquitous man before his future is revealed. This mimbo, for it must be admitted he did exhibit the physical traits many of the opposite sex found irresistible—dimpled cheeks; a butt that fit well in any pair of pants; a nice set of arms; a persistent and healthy looking tan; well kept and always fashionable hair; and probably most important, an aura of wealth—this mimbo was extraordinarily stupid, just like the bimbos he adored and eventually made wives out of, a stupidity that cannot be overstated if the reader didn’t already come to this conclusion based solely on Adam’s career. He liked displaying erudition, though with a certainty few true intellectuals would ever feel comfortable exhibiting. And what did he read that allowed him this tendency? Reading may be a bit of a stretch for the manner in which he attained ‘knowledge’ about the world, even though that’s how he always referred to his method of attainment at those same parties already mentioned; but given what’s about to happen to him, a bit of leniency will be granted and we’ll say that he read, though we may have to pay for such a concession later. He read about conspiracy theories. Not just any conspiracy theories, not ones that no matter how improbable may still turn out to be true. No, he was most intrigued, and not just intrigued but convinced about the sort that were simply impossible, or at least improbable to the degree of certain dismissal. His favorite claim was that aliens built the Great Pyramids of Egypt and elsewhere. And don’t think that these interstellar travelers, these geometrically obsessed, long distance construction workers who saw the Egyptian stretches as their own personal sand box were limited to the past, like holy men and miracle workers of times long gone; they were common even in the present, abducting people at will and in cahoots with the various governments of the world. These were no fantasies upon which he liked to ponder or thoughts that he entertained during open-minded moods—he was dead certain about the veracity of these claims. Snoppen could speak for hours on these topics, and he was rather convincing given his mastery of the art of peddling bullshit. But the reader will be spared the lengthy orations he was apt to give, much to the embarrassment of his pretty but dumb wives, smart enough to realize that even if they had no clue how the pyramids were built it wasn’t something a successful business person should admit to believing in the company of kind yuppies, if there exist such creatures, no matter how sycophantic they may prove to be.

At last, it is time to go through the series of events, for the first time, which shall eventually become a bore but will hopefully give the reader a complete account of what happened to that bus and those it affected.

Adam had stood up and made small, flattering talk with the young miss standing in the aisle. He had just offered her his seat when a loud thump and several, quick and condensed crunching sounds came from the front of the bus, followed by a wheeze, as if some old accordion, long since having produced the sort of noise it was designed to make, let out its air in a hesitant sigh, reticent of making any noise at all. Before Adam was thrown about the bus, his limbs mixing and tangling with those of the other passengers, he had caught a glimpse of an elbow and an ass, bared with a solid red line running parallel to the crack. If curiosity demands to know the cause of Adam Snoppen’s death, it was severe head trauma, though had that not killed him the internal bleeding and punctured lungs most certainly would have.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Bus Ride: Prologue

On an ordinary day, on an extraordinary bus, there occurred a most curious occurrence. On this bus was a collection of unlikely passengers, composed of a variety of people from a variety of stations in life: from the highly privileged to the lowly scum of society; from the bold and daring to the cowards lurking and hiding in any recess sufficiently willing to shield them from the world, especially those bold and daring folk; from the beautiful to the ugly; from the young to the old; from the enlightened to the benighted.

As the news reports would have us know, a tragedy occurred on that ordinary day. But we know better, or shall, at any rate, for we are about to read the rest of this story. While many of the elements are quite unbelievable, we must nonetheless proceed. Arguments could be had, maybe should be had, about which elements were more fantastic than others—that a single bus could carry such a diverse cargo of humanity, for example; but that would be misleading and beyond the scope of your author’s powers. Instead, we shall proceed as if the series of fantastic and outrageous events happened, despite their immediate recalcitrance towards being labeled as anything anyone might at any time call the truth.

This bus carried its load on a route it traveled every day, through an industrious city far too busily employed in the matters of the day to notice itself. It was the morning of this ordinary day, and for many on the bus it was their last moment of freedom before the duties of the day took them away and kept them occupied with the various tasks that awaited them. Perhaps that was a bad way of putting it, ‘their last moment of freedom’, because some of them certainly didn’t feel free on the bus, for they usually didn’t ride the bus; for some, in fact, it was their first time on a bus since they had ridden in one of the yellow versions, these leviathans of public transport, as children; but even there there were some who were without such memories because privilege had bestowed upon them a fate which would ensure such memories were never made; they had homeschooling or were shipped away to some boarding school. But this story is not about that, and being the modern readers you are, the new sophisticated audience that visits blogs and despises the long-windedness of times past, needing instant gratification, avoiding the prolixity abandoned long ago for the terse, laconic style so prominent in the recently departed century; we, exposed to five second sound bites, fifteen second political plugs, thirty second ads, sixty second PSAs, two minute warnings, ten minute rice, and twenty four hour news channels, high-speed internet connections, TV on demand, open-ended encyclopedias at our disposal, we can’t tolerate, won’t tolerate, such teasing, such willful desertion of our current sense of time, our present-day worth of time, our contemporary work ethic, one that teaches us the value of time, for we value our time, like those passengers awaiting their day’s work we don’t want it wasted on long run-on sentences and never ending strings of clauses lest our lives be cut short, again, like those passengers awaiting their day’s work, though they don’t know what awaits them, what’s already been alluded to—that their lives will be cut short.

And so, let it be known that this extraordinary bus on an ordinary day was involved in an accident which ended the lives of all those aboard, and some not aboard. The details of this crash, however, will have to await the next post.

To whet the reader’s appetite, to give reason for return, let this be shared: the story does not end with the death of these passengers, but merely begins. Well, there’s an exception or two, but that’s to be expected. You see, some of these passengers passed on to what some might call Heaven, while others, the majority—sadly enough—went to what others might call Hell. Who went where and what did they find upon their arrival? That is what the episodes that shall follow will reveal. Please join in and read on...

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009


In honor of Mr. Haggard being back in the news, I'm reposting the flash fiction piece I wrote after the first scandal broke. Enjoy...

Behind the scenes of a man who likes it from behind…

"Whuh moo oo ohwaze oo at?"


The young man removed the cock from his mouth and said again, "Why do you always do that?"

"Do what?" The pastor was getting angry; the meth was wearing off and his hard-on wouldn't stand this sort of thing much longer.

"Turn the pictures down. Everytime we make love you put the family pictures face down." He wiped his mouth and adjusted his cod-piece.

"Jesus Christ! How many times do we have to go over this? Now, less talky and more sucky."

"I'm serious, Art! Why can't you admit our love? Is it so wrong?"

The Pastor gave the angry look he often gives: the crazy glaring stare of a confused clergyman, like when he thinks about Hillary Clinton or Teletubbies. "What do you want me to do? Tell all the people I like taking it in the ass from some fucking drug dealer?!?"

The young man's mouth was agape, sans cock, and his eyes showed the look of genuine pain. "I see." He got up from underneath the good Pastor's desk and started collecting his things.

"God dammit," muttered the pastor as he snorted the last line on his desk. He got up, slowly, and waddled over to the man like John Wayne -- his ass still ached. "Come on baby. You know I love ya, right?"

The man snorted back the snot dripping from his nose and wiped the tears from his eyes. "I won't be your fucking boy toy, your obedient little sheep, not anymore. We're done! I've waited for you to take me seriously for too long, Art!" shouted the young man, zipping up his assless pants. He walked to the stereo and ejected his Police Academy soundtrack disk; the song from the Blue Oyster club had been on repeat. He straightened out his S&M gear, looked in the mirror one last time and left the room. An instant later the sound of the door to the good pastor's office being slammed shut could be heard.

The preacher stood with his dick out, limp and wet, wondering what was to become of him. He zipped up his pants, went back to his desk, and sat down, carefully--very carefully. He opened the drawer and pulled out the last of his stash.

"Here's to you Jesus," he said to the empty room and snorted long and hard from the bag. He stopped thinking about his ass, his returning erection, and about what was to happen tomorrow. He picked up the family portrait, saw his reflection in it, and gave himself that smile he's so good at giving. He even fooled himself as he stood up and walked to the stereo. Did he have to take the cd?, he thought

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Self-Immolation or Et Cetera

The city lights were reflected on the hood of a luxury sedan as it made its way to the ritzy part of the city through downtown. The rate at which the glistening lights had moved from grill to windshield slowed until the now numerous flickering orange construction lights remained stagnant at the center of the hood. A line of similar cars formed behind this leader—the first to make it to the construction signs. The road had been reduced to one lane near the traffic light and four lanes worth of vehicles had been compressed into one line of tightly packed glimmering cars, resembling a glossy millipede in rigid pose. The cones separating the other three lanes were sufficiently spread apart to tempt some of those in line to get out and use the marked off lanes.

“Just take the other lane,” said an occupant of one of the SUVs.

“I can’t. It’s marked off,” responded the driver.

The line of vehicles grew. A honk could be heard several cars back and soon the vehicles closer to the front began flashing their headlights. The third car back, a large luxury SUV, slowly crept out of line and went to one of the marked off lanes, passing the head car.

“See! Just take the other lane,” repeated the passenger.

“I can’t now. Everyone else is and we’re trapped.”

Three new lines of cars were forming, abandoning the first one. They flowed past the point of blockage like pebbles caught in the current of a stream, as if some invisible force would not permit them to remain standing in line.

A block further down the road everyone saw why the road was reduced to one lane. Just beyond the traffic light a construction crew was working on a water main, blocking off all but one lane. All the cars that had jumped out of line tried to merge back into the original lane. None of the people who had stayed in the designated lane let them rejoin. The autos began to honk at one another and flashed their lights while they attempted to squeeze back into line. The intersection became blocked and traffic ground to a halt at that part of the city.

“We’re going to be late,” sighed the passenger...

A party arrived at the theatre twenty minutes late, surprised to find people still wandering about in the lobby. The group checked-in their overcoats and made their way to the usher, who proceeded to take them to their seats. Again, these people were surprised that hardly anyone else was seated. Every show sold out and they had waited for weeks to get tickets.

The musicians in the pit at the front of the stage could be heard tuning their instruments. A man sitting in the third row checked his watch, turned in his seat, looked around the theatre and saw it was nearly empty but that people were filing in from the various entrances. The white noise of random conversation swelled as more and more of the chicly dressed audience sat down.

An older gentleman with frayed hair, like that of a stereotypical conductor, made his way to center stage. He cleared his throat into the microphone before it emitted the high whine of feedback. He stepped away from the microphone as everyone quieted down and turned to the stage. He stepped back up to the microphone:

“We have been informed that due to traffic problems our show will be delayed until the house is full, or close to it at least. Apparently some people can’t read and took a closed road, causing a full gridlock. We don’t expect it to be much longer, so please take this time to read the program and we apologize for the inconvenience. Enjoy the show.” He walked off stage as moans could be heard coming from the freshly seated audience…

Two brothers sat in a private balcony to the right of the stage. A young man with a date at his side noticed them. It was his first date with the young lady and he thought about how the old pair up in the balcony resembled the duo of muppets from The Muppet Show. He decided against mentioning it as he thought it was an immature comment to make and didn’t wish to say anything that might not impress the young lady in the elegant evening gown beside him. His date had been rather cold to him all evening and seemed distant; he didn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize his chances at another date.

The young lady couldn’t believe how dry her date was and hoped the show wouldn’t be as boring as he had been. She laughed at his weak jokes, was courteous when he opened a door for her and thanked him when he paid for dinner. If only he’d show some life, some silliness, some anything, she thought…

A man with a red face walked behind an usher with his wife trailing. He seemed to have forgotten about her and proceeded to step on the feet of those sitting in his row as he made his way to his seat. When his wife finally made it to her seat he looked up, as if surprised to see her there at the theatre with him. He sighed and moved the program he had set on her seat to his lap, doing her a great favor to which she’d no doubt be oblivious. Just think, now he’ll have to sit the entire show with a damned program in his hands. The woman smiled, thanked her husband, and thought about what an asshole he was…

The house lights retreated and darkness encroached. The sound of the curtains withdrawing could be heard as it got quiet. The audience’s eyes hadn’t adjusted to the darkness yet and the young ballerina crouched on the floor wasn’t seen until the spotlight turned on and illuminated her. She seemed to be brought to life by the beam of light and slowly stood up as the music began. The show started and most of the audience had their eyes on the events taking place on the stage…

Forgive me kind reader, but we must make a digression. There was once a legend that sprang up revolving around the famous figure of Marie Antoinette. This fine lady was said to have the most impeccable manners, and despite the bum rap she has gotten in history she was a stellar lady. However, when her husband was beheaded and her family taken away, she devised a scheme: a small payback for the wretches of France. After she was convicted and sentenced to death she stopped eating, save her last meal three days prior to the execution. Many were surprised by her appearance as she was led to the guillotine; some even say she had a smirk on her withered and withdrawn face.

Many things can be said of royalty but their manners have rarely been in doubt; none was more aware of their etiquette than the good Antoinette. She could, say, withhold a fart for a fortnight’s travel in a royal procession if needed. Her pride was too great to allow such a slight into existence because of her actions. Not once in the royal logs could any mention be found of any dishonorable behaviors on the part of the fine Antoinette: No foul smells, no improper sounds, no reprehensible squabbling, no conniving gossip, nothing of the kind, sort, or nature. A lady through and through: Marie Antoinette.

The good queen’s last meal had been cabbage soup. However, some raw eggs were hidden away in the bosom of a confidant and allowed to rot and ruin. The night before her execution, our good queen, the poor victim of the times, cracked open the eggs and sipped them down as if they were the finest champagne in all of France. The cabbage soup now had some company as she had held for three days all those urges that no one else but oneself can satisfy. She broke out in sweats and was sleepless for she feared falling asleep and relaxing one muscle, which would call an end to the clever lady’s scheme. The guards who saw her assumed she was fearful of death, which would explain the odd appearance and behavior of this once regal figure…only, how to explain the smile on her face?

So the day had come and after all the ceremonies that surround such an occasion had been completed, the good Antoinette was beheaded. The moment her head fell from her torso a plume so vile, so repulsive, so revolting, nauseating and hideously repugnant spewed forth from the good lady’s ass. All the things that would have been solid had rotted in what must have been a painful experience into a stew of putrid liquids. The pressure caused by three days’ worth of refusing to release any of the fetid farts was so great that those who saw it firsthand could have sworn her corpse was moved by the release.

As the gas filled the square those around the now dead queen swore a curse had been cast upon them. They lamented over the burning in their eyes and the stinging in their nostrils. Many began to barf, which did not add to the pleasantness of the situation, and soon a ponds of vomit formed, through which the confused and bewildered crowd ran. The panic was so great that France was almost lost for good. A monumental campaign followed to quench the rise of the heated stories surrounding the queen’s execution. The rumors and gossip that spread from this public event were too dangerous for the frail new government and were quickly stomped out of existence. Few to this day know the truth regarding the beheading of the good lady Antoinette and her posthumous punishment on the people of France…

Now, how might this relate to what you’ve read so far, kind reader? I’ll tell you. Well within the first act, someone let one go. This was no ordinary fart. If someone had bottled the infamous flatus of the good lady Antoinette, ground up PepĂ© le Pew, and mixed the two together they would not have nearly achieved the odorous power as was contained in this bomb released within the audience. The strangest thing happened at first, and that is, nothing happened.

The one thing this fart didn’t have on the good lady’s was spread. This was a localized fart whose strength came from the fact that it was concentrated. It didn’t matter who released it but what happened as a result.

The smell made itself known but no one would publicly acknowledge it. This was far too formal an event and they were adults, weren’t they? Why should anyone embarrass another person for what is natural? But the rotting smell was unbearable. People started to breathe through their mouths in the vain hope that it would make the smell tolerable. They were wrong. One lady’s eyes started to water and her nose ran but when her husband asked if she was OK, she indicated that it was the events on stage that had brought her to tears.

And then the initial domino that had fallen found its target. Someone amongst the crowd, enveloped in the invisible curse floating about the room, figured as follows: If I can smell this violation against all that is humane, then others must as well; therefore, I can release one and so long as it isn’t heard no one will be the wiser. So the man coughed and farted. If it weren’t for the tuba blast at that particular moment his plan would’ve collapsed into public shaming.

It turned out many were thinking similarly to this man. The rigidness of the event would have shattered into brouhaha by any overt releasing so all had to be done surreptitiously. While the subtle squeaks and whines of air on rectum could only be heard by those expecting them, the smell was plain to all.

The audience was now farting at will, for no one feared being suspected of perfidy. The result was a room full of noxious fumes. The air became thick and began to distort people’s views, like heat rising off a desert highway. The slender figure of the lead ballerina was warped and twisted into the visual equivalent of the smell that saturated the air. Before long a musician faltered, then another, and then yet another. The first to go were the woodwinds; next came the brass. Even the dancers on stage began to feel the effects of the communal farting. The final straw was when the second ballerina figured it was safe to let one go. She chose a leaping split for the moment, only by now the band had ceased to provide any cover and the distinctive sound of feminine flatulence could be heard, like the creaking of a board under great strain.

The charade was over: public acknowledgement of the farce taking place had been made. A moan could be heard and the audience soon all stood up and began to run for the aisles…

Out in the lobby a line was already forming at the only manned counter. “We demand our money back!”, “We want a rain check! This is completely unacceptable!”, “It smells like a skunk’s asshole in there for Christ’s sake!”, “I’ve never been so disgusted in all of my life!”, “My eyes! My eyes!”, and so on…

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Two Fools and a Ship

There was once a vessel of extraordinary reputation. This ship would travel far and wide, leaving its home harbor with goods and come back months later with the most exotic cargo. Her crew was loyal, hardworking, benevolent, and capable. All enjoyed the benefits of this great ship and spoke highly of it and her crew frequently.

Two swindlers caught wind of this ship and her crew. They had long been in cahoots with one another and often referred to each other as brothers though they shared no blood. These two men figured that a crew as good and honest as the one they had heard about must be gullible as well. So the men devised a scheme in which they would slip amongst the crew in disguise as the ship was departing on her next voyage. The men procured their outfits and when no one was looking they slipped amongst the crew.

It took only a day before they were spotted by the excellent crew and the stow-a-ways were bound and held in the deepest bowels of the ship. The two men started lamenting over their miserable luck.

“How can it be? We’re too clever to have been caught so easily!” cried one.

“You know, brother, don’t be down. I went to see a fortune teller before our sally to see how we should fare. Do you know what this seer shared with me?”

“No, brother, what did she say?”

“She told me that when I was at my absolute lowest, when I have plummeted to the depths of which even Hades would seem like a lofty cloud in the sky, she said that all I need to do is look down,” said the one to the other with a smile.

“Look down?”

“Yes! She told me that when I could get no lower all I need to do is look beneath my feet and there I shall find buried treasure!”

“But we’re in a boat, brother. And we’re at the bottom of it.”

“Exactly! We’re the lowest we can go, just like she foresaw! And have you ever been so low, brother? Of all our hi-jinks, scandals, and exploits, have we ever had such misfortune? Have we not always been successful?”

“Aye, that is true, brother.”

“So are we not at our lowest in that sense of the word too?”

“I believe you are right, brother,” said the other with a growing smile on his face. “But still, I ask, how are you to make out the prophecy in a boat?”

“It’s simple. These sailors must have outfitted this boat with a secret cargo hold. I have heard of cargo merchants doing just such a thing in the event they should be overtaken by pirates, so they put their most valuable cargo in these secret hiding spots.”

“That makes perfect sense!”

And so the two crooks undid the shackles that bound them as this wasn’t the first time the duo had found themselves restrained in such a fashion. Not finding any obvious planks hiding a secret hold they spotted a barrel of gunpowder and poured what they thought was a small amount onto the floor of the ship. With bright smiles and eager hopes the two men lit the powder. The ship’s belly was ripped open and the sea made her way in with such speed that the brothers didn’t even have time to realize how stupidly they had behaved. The ship was sunk in moments and all her crew, cargo, and potential were lost to the sea forever.

Stupidity does not harm only the stupid.

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The Spider and the Butterfly

There was once a caterpillar that was ever so content with his life, until one day he got the urge to take a nap. He couldn’t find anywhere that seemed cozy so he made himself a cocoon and nestled up for his slumber.

When he woke up he found he had radically changed. He had large, cumbersome wings that were bright and attracted the attention of many a predator. Given he had always had a fear of heights he didn’t take much pleasure in flying and when he did fly he found that he was now at the will of the winds as his light weight and large wings made it hard to resist even the slightest breeze. Lastly, this radical change was a reminder of his impending doom. He realized that he was now closer to death than he had been as a caterpillar. This greatly worried our metamorphosed friend.

One day he sat upon a tree branch lamenting his ill-fortune. He long yearned to be a caterpillar again with no worries but to eat and be happy. A spider overheard him, and being as cunning as she was, lured the brooding butterfly into conversation.

“If you’re as unhappy as you are, why don’t you wrap yourself up in a cocoon again and wake up as a caterpillar?” asked the spider, knowing full well that this was impossible for the butterfly.

“Woe is me, for I can not spin silk any longer. It appears I have lost my silk for my wings,” cried the butterfly.

“Ah, well you’re in luck. As you can see, I can spin web all my life. I’d gladly wrap you up and help you,” replied the spider.

“Thank you! You know, you’re not as terrible as all say you are. To be honest, I had long feared you to be an enemy but now see you are the only true friend I have. All my other friends have told me I must learn to deal with my new found state and try to enjoy myself as I am and not to wish for things I cannot have. But you, you alone, have offered me a way out of my dilemma!”

And with that the butterfly flew into the spider’s web and was immediately wrapped up by the deceptive spider. At first all seemed to be going according to plan until the next morning the spider sunk its fangs into the trapped butterfly.

“Aye!” cried the butterfly. “What are you doing? I thought you were my friend!”

“Don’t worry. Soon you shall go to sleep from my bite and you shall feed me.”

“But what of me becoming a caterpillar again?” asked the butterfly.

The spider did not respond but instead waited for the butterfly to tenderize from her bite and soon ate up the credulous insect.

Those who tell you what you want to hear are not always your friends; friends may not always tell you what you wish to hear while enemies readily will


Substituting harsh truths with comforting lies is no way to go about life.

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The Two Travelers

Two travelers happened upon one another at an oasis. One rode a camel and the other a donkey. After having unloaded their respective beasts of burden under some shade both men approached each other at the pool of water at the oasis center. Both smiled and greeted each other but could not understand one another’s tongue.

One traveler offered his right hand to shake, as was the custom in his land; and the other offered his left hand, as was the custom in his land. Not only was it in the custom to offer the hand each offered, but it was a sign of disrespect to offer the opposite hand. The offering of different hands greatly offended the travelers and they were soon shouting insults at one another. Before long one traveler pulled out his scimitar and the other his sword. The battle was fierce but brief: both travelers suffered mortal wounds and both died soon thereafter.

The donkey brayed and the camel spit but they both drank side by side at the pool while their masters’ corpses lay in the midday sun.

Tradition, custom, and culture are not all they are cracked up to be—they make men more disparate than camels and asses.

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When I was laying out one night looking up at the stars I happened to see a shooting star--some say a falling star. As it fell down and disappeared beyond the horizon I was overcome by a heavy sleep and dreamt a dream that was so lucid, so vivid, that I could hardly forget it. It was cut up and disorganized but it seemed to be some sort of message. At times I got the sense that the story told, if you could call it that, was recent, and at other times a series of events that took place long ago. There was narration and at times it was almost as if someone were lying next to me in the grass sharing their story. I can't claim to make much sense of this dream but it left such an impression that I feel a need to share it. What is odd is that the narrator claimed the same thing—that he was sending me a message and that he too felt a need to share it.

The Dream

"Would you say that you like to waste money?"

"I'm sorry?"

"Money, particularly your client's money, would you say that you like to waste it?"

"Of course not."

"So the court may assume then that you intended this ad campaign to be effective?"

"It wasn't meant to be taken literally! It was sim~"

"Sir, please just answer the question. Did you intend to make this ad campaign effective? Or did you just want to produce an ineffective series of commercials while ripping off your client?"

"It's not like that. If by effective you mean that I wanted them to increase their sales, then yes."

"No matter what the message was?"

"This is absurd!"

"What's absurd? I beg you. I'll tell you what's absurd! That a corporation such as Toys 'R Us can send seditious and pernicious messages to the youth of our nation for years and not expect to face up to it! That's what's ridiculous!"

At this point the judge stopped the plaintiff's lawyer. Court had just reconvened and after the judge's reprimand the courtroom erupted. I could go on with all the small details but the main gist of the lawsuit was that a Mr. Lat had claimed the reason he couldn't keep a job or manage his finances was because he was the victim of the "seditious and pernicious messages" his lawyer spoke of. I couldn't tell you how many times the court had to listen to the jingle over and over: I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys 'R Us kid! I don't wanna grow up, 'cuz baby if I did, I wouldn't be a a Toys 'R Us kid!

Experts were brought in who pointed out that the ad was heard by millions of children and if the message really was that influential, why hadn't the country suffered an epidemic of laziness and unwillingness to work? To this the plaintiff's lawyer said that the country was suffering from this exact condition. He pointed out how in poll after poll a high percentage of people were unhappy with work. And then he went on about how arrogant Toys R Us must be to bring this up and that they must think those in the courtroom were all morons by trying to pretend as if this wasn't a problem the country was facing. I could go on but it'd do no good. What's important is that from this point forward the defense was defeated.

Press conferences were held and Toys 'R Us was already working on making up with the public by trying to distance themselves from, well, themselves. They fired their CEO even though he hadn't been in charge during the years of that particular ad campaign. They even had a new jingle they said they were going to start using the very next week. While no one ever got a chance to hear it, it was claimed to have been written to inspire good citizenship and a desire to grow into responsible adults. This ended up being a confession of guilt in the public's eyes and Toys R' Us stores around the country were looted and burned to the ground.

Mr. Lat was awarded a mighty sum. He ended up losing it in bad investments and loose spending, but before long he was back in the courts. This time he would claim that all the ad campaigns for all the products he bought, in essence, wanted him to go bankrupt. The ads had turned him into a mindless consumer of their products and not once in any of their ads did they tell him that he didn't need their products. Through some odd steps in logic that someone of importance found reasonable he was granted another large sum of money. Some companies went out of business this time, including Ferrari, which oddly enough had never created a commercial that Mr. Lat, nor anyone, had seen. Lat's lawyers assured the court that this was simply fancy trickery on the part of Ferrari.

The tyranny of Lat eventually led to an acceptance of this sort of thinking. Any industry worth a damn was lost or hid away. Artists stopped writing love songs because couples going through divorces were claiming to have been duped into thinking their spouse really was "the one". If, they claimed, they hadn't heard the song when they started dating then they wouldn't have been wooed over and intoxicated by the song's amorous effects and would've realized they weren't meant to be together. Restaurants were sued for making people fat, gyms sued for making people feel bad about being fat. State lotteries were sued for preying on the stupid while public schools were sued for opening up students' eyes to the atrocities of our past: undue suffering resulted in realizing we humans had such a brutal past. Politicians who were convicted of fraud and unethical conduct were released when they argued that the voters were responsible since they wouldn't have been in office if it weren't for the voting public.

What prevented all of this from stopping was the unspoken agreement that it wouldn't be nice to tell another person that they were full of shit. As you can guess, someone finally argued that it wasn't nice to let someone think they weren't full of shit when they in fact were. This, in turn, ended up leading the beast to bite its own tail and eventually the phenomenon self-destructed.

"I was allowed to think I wasn't full of shit when I truly was."

The defense was desperate—it was obvious to them but how to make it obvious to the public?

"So you're telling the court you're full of shit?"

"Yes, and that's why I should get money. This unspoken agreement amongst all of us in society has led to my immense embarrassment when I discovered that I was really full of shit. If someone had told me sooner I could’ve avoided the added embarrassment of going on all these years behaving the way I did.”

"We rest our case your Honor. This man's full of shit."

The case was made that society as a whole had allowed someone to suffer the shame of not knowing they were full of shit. Since the courts decided that a people could not sue themselves they threw out the case and all like it that arrived in the future. A haze was lifted. People began to realize that unspoken agreements weren't really saving anyone. In fact, they were quite harmful. Lat's name, which had graced our nation's money for years, but not always, was removed and the name became synonymous with laziness and later became defined as "a state of being full of shit". No longer was his name recited during morning mantras by sleepy eyed students. The strategy of arguing with an asinine assumption and unspoken agreement, which had been so effective earlier, had even gotten his name a place in the courts of law, but that had now changed.

Let us pray no society ever suffers from this or anything similar.


That was the end of the dream. Like I said, I can't claim to make much, if any, sense of it. The voice told me that he was from a parallel universe and that he traveled from reality to reality warning all who would listen not to fall into the trap that he and his kind had fallen into. Upon discussing this with friends some concluded that I had had a revelation. I put it off to bad diet and drug use.

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Stole it!!!

I couldn't recover my previous "free-fiction" blog, so this'll just have to do. If you would like to contribute, feel free to leave a comment here with contact info.

~That one guy

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