“Is there anything worth knowing in there,” Lance asked, pointing at the Star Trib.

“Let’s take a look.” Kitty flipped through the pages,  scanning the headlines. “Everyone is losing their shit, mostly. “

“Kipling should be trending on Twitter to counteract that.”

“Yes, he should. What else? An update on the four asteroids headed our way. NASA confirms their original statement that they will miss us by millions of miles.”

“Why is that news?”

“It’s not. It’s clickbait for their online organ that should never have made it into print.”

“Even if one was coming straight at us, Trump could just conscript Bruce Willis to deal with that. Or not, if  Willis is a Democrat.”

“If he did,  he’d have to follow suit by stepping aside, and installing Morgan Freeman into the Oval Office.”

“Logic would dictate, but logic doesn’t enter into the equation at the best of times, never mind the End Times.”

“What else do we have here? Plagues of locusts in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.” Kitty skipped over the first paragraph, and read, “At least 20 million people at risk. In Kenya, one unusually large swarm occupied an area of 2,400 square kilometres, more than three times the size of New York City. Swarms typically can occupy 100 square kilometres. Even at this size, they can contain between 4 billion and 8 billion locusts, with the ability to consume the equivalent of what at least 3.5 million people would eat in a day.”

“What’s a kilometre?”

“I don’t know. Some kinda European communist plot bullshit.”

“I think that locust story falls into the, nobody cares category, yeah?”

“Nope. No one here, anyway. I imagine some people here would put that into the , serves the fuckers rigt category.”

“Any good news?”

Gleaning the headlines, Kitty came across a good news story. ” Animal shelters all across the country are emptying fast. People are adopting.”

“That’s beautiful.”

“Long overdue, but yes, it is,” Kitty replied. “You know dogs invented Stockholm Syndrome, rigt?”

“That’s funny! Because it’s true,” Lance laughed.

“You know what else is true?” Lance shrugged. “Aside from domesticated dogs, none of the other animals on this planet are cheering for us. We are the real plague on this planet, and the animals have known it since we arrived.”

Eyebrows raised, Lance asked, “Arrived from where?”

“I don’t know, but we are an introduced species. Here’s the irrefutable evidence. One, fire. Fire means death and destruction to every other species. We cannot survive without it. Two, toilet paper. We are the only creatures that have to clean our shitty asses after we shit. And three… you ready for this one? The coup de grace?”

“I’m buying it so far, Hit me, baby!”

“We are the only mammals that sexualize breasts.. Can you imagine a cow, or a sow, or a bitch interrupting coitus, just as she and her fuck buddy are about to complete the first stage of their biological imperative, rolling over onto her back , and shrieking, ‘CUM ON MY TITS!’?”

Lance was in hysterics, and Kitty was grinning ear to ear.

“Case closed,” Lance said, as his laughter tailed off. “Can I steal that? It’s a great Daffy Donald thunder clapper.”

“Yeah? Really?” Lance nodded, with a mad grin. “Okay. It’s yours.”

“Okay, thanks. Any other good news in the funny pages?”

“Let’s see.” Kitty flipped through the rest of section one, and started on the sports. “Wait a minute. Yes. This is good news. It should be front page, above the fold. Bad editing decision, especially in Minnesota. Maybe the kids in the newsroom are going old school, and drinking on the job, but can’t pull it off.”

“Amateurs abound everywhere.”

“You know anything about hockey?”


“You follow sports at all?”

“A bit.”

“Remember when they announced the postponement of sports, and players started stepping up to the plate by donating 100k a piece to pay the salaries of stadium staff that were going to take the hardest hits?”

“Yeah. Great gesture.”

“Well, all those penny ante pissants just got called, and raised. Big time. Check this out,” Kitty said. “There are three brothers, hockey players, Eric, Jordan, and Marc Staal. They just announced that they are going to donate the entirety of their salaries for next season to charities. A total of $14,950,000.”

“Wow! That’s impressive. What charities?”

“To be announced. But, more importantly, they are throwing it down, and challenging all professional athletes to do the same.”

“That could be a tipping point. Publicly shaming the rich to cough up. Anyone who doesn’t do so would be named and shamed. Their brands would be destroyed.”

“Correct. And here’s why this is even more interesting. I will bet your father is behind this.”

“What?” Lance said, incredulously. “What the Hell makes you think that?”

“The Staal brothers are from Thunder Bay. That’s where they made the announcement.”




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