Candy Mountain being south of the Valhalla Inn, Daisy told Kitty to take a left out of the parking lot. Kitty laughed that there be no left turns allowed anywhere south of the border, after July 4, but complied. “You have a very fertile imagination, Daisy. Are you an artist?”

“Oh, how I wish I were, or was, or whatever,” Daisy refrained, “’cause if I werz I could draw the kids book I wrote, but I can’t draw a conclusion.”

Not bothering to point out that her companion and navigator is more than capable of drawing some fairly wild conclusions, Kitty asked, “You’ve written a kids book?”

“Kinda. But I kinda stole it,” Daisy confessed.


“Well, it’s about me and my cat, Peanut Taco.”

“Your cat’s name is Peanut Taco?”

“Yeah. I was eating a peanut taco when she appeared from out of nowhere, when she was just a little kitten. She was all skinny, and making a lot of noise, so I figured she was hungry. All I had was my peanut taco, so I gave her some of it. She loved it, so I gave her more, and more. The little thing ate the whole thing. She absolutely loves peanut tacos, more than anything. More than meat, even. Matter of fact, she won’t hardly eat no meant, unless she’s starving, which she never is, of course. I swear that cat is an alien. The way she just appeared, literally from out of nowhere.”

“Maybe she is an alien. Is that part of the story?”

“No, but it might be, if I write more of them, but I need to find an artist to work with, ‘cause like Alice said, ‘What good is a book without pictures?’ especially a book for little kids.”

“I’m sure you’ll be able to find an artist to work with,” Kitty assured her.

“Maybe, but maybe not. Artists are lazy-assed weirdoes, and they always wanna change my story. Least the ones I’ve talked to. And I ain’t changing my story, even though I kinda stole it.”

“Tell me about your story, Daisy.”

“I can do better than that. I got it memorized. It’s real easy to remember, ‘cause everyone already knows the song.”


With that, Daisy started singing,

What do you do with a drunken sailor?
What do you do with a drunken sailor?
What do you do with a drunken sailor?
Earlie in the morning

“You’re right, everyone knows the song. So, you just changed the words?”

“Yeah. But I think it will be real popular, ‘cause everyone already knows the music, and it’s a fun story, so they can sing it to the kids. And kids love to sing. And there’s dancing in the story, so the people reading the story can sing and dance with the kids, and the kids will remember the story because it’s set to music, so they’ll always ask for it from everyone, and even if the grown up don’t know the story, the kids will teach it to them, so it will spread like wild fire.”

“That’s really smart, Daisy. Sing it to me, please?”

“Yeah? You really wanna hear it?”

“I do!”

“Alright, I’ll sing it, but I’ll stop after every chorus, and verse to explain what the drawing will be of, so you get the whole picture.”

“I love it already,” Kitty Kaboodle said with a smile.







As Kitty and Daisy were making their way to the flatbed Ford, they stopped to have a word with Lance, who was sitting on top of the picnic table, laughing his ass off.

“What’s so funny, funny guy?” Kitty asked.

“Oh, you’re gonna love this!” said Lance, putting his phone down. “Looks like Live Nation is attempting a massive comeback. They just got a five hundred million dollar investment from the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund.”

“I’m sure Jamal Khashoggi’s widow will love that,” Kitty cracked.

“I bet,” Lance Lear agreed. “But, really, what the fuck was he thinking, walking into a Saudi consulate, anyway? It’s like a cow escaping the slaughterhouse, and walking in it a butcher shop.”

“Agreed,” Kitty agreed, “Bad career move, dude. I guess your guy, Rapino, is determined to avoid having to come back here to make toilet paper at the mill.”

“The shares were bought on the open market, ”

“Has anyone at Live Nation resigned, or even voiced an objection?”

“Not that I see,” Lance answered. But, listen to this. They’ve just announced the killer concert of the year. Covidiots Unite, they should be calling it, but they are actually calling it the Freedom Fries Festival. July 4, Detroit Rock City.”

“They’re riffing off the protests at the legislature,” Kitty opined.

“Very much so.”

“Lemme guess, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock are headlining?”

“Bingo! Two of Detroit’s own I don’t imagine they tried to get Eminem to sign on. They’ve got Sarah Palin and the Kardasians MCing. It’s a fundraiser for Trump 2020. Sponsored by the NRA, Jack Daniels and Budweiser. Open carry, open season, kill a kommie for khrist, amen! Rain or shine. Fireworks guaranteed, bring the kids, no masks allowed, even if they’ve got the flag printed on them. Speaking of flags, they’re gonna burn a million Chinese flags, all of which will be made in China, no doubt, like Trump’s MAGA hats. Oh, and no Chinks allowed, even if they’re card carrying Republicans.”

“It’s gonna be Woodstock for Covidiots,” Kitty laughed.

“Did you know Woodstock was held during a pandemic?” Lance asked.

“Yeah, the Hong Kong flu. Not as deadly as COVID-19, and the hippies had their own vaccine: her name was Lucy, she lived in the sky and wore diamonds!”

“Maybe Trump will show up at Freedom Fries Fest, and dose everyone personally,” Lance said, with a twinkle in his eyes.

“The only way it could get any better is if the aliens decided to show up rigt then, rigt there, to start farming us.”

“Maybe they’d change their minds about farming us, if they dropped acid,” one day soonish King Lear posited.

“Not if they dropped acid with Trump and his legions of doom, they wouldn’t. They’d exterminate the whole fucking planet, with extreme prejudice, rigt then, rigt there, and slap a quarantine on this sector of the galaxy for a million years.”

“Yeah, but only if God were willing, and God’s on Trump’s side, doubly so on the Fourth, so I wouldn’t bet a million bucks on it.”

Kitty laughed, “Allah fucking Akbar, brother. Peace out!”

Daisy had been holding her tongue, hoping someone would ask what she thought. Since the question was not asked, she answered it anyway, “Ain’t no point in arguing with dogs about when and where they’re gonna shit.”




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freedom fries fest



The Daisy show came to a close when Madonna abruptly announced that she needed a nap, and the others took it as an opportunity to mosey along elsewhere, to do otherwise.

Daisy had very much enjoyed being in the spotlight, and resented Madonna for dropping the curtain on her. She figured that the superstar simply couldn’t stand the idea of a nobody getting attention when her magnificence was in the same room. There was little Daisy could do about it, so she consoled herself by logging onto Facebook, and accusing random people of being racists.

Kitty got the call from Margot, went back to her room, and she scooped up the keys to her flatbed Ford. She found Daisy in the lobby, and asked what she was laughing about. Daisy explained what she was doing, and Kitty asked the obvious question, “Why?”

“Well, it just seems like everyone is always accusing everyone else of being a racist, so I figured I would, too, just to see what happens. It’s funny because most people freak out, as if Morgan Freemen, pretending to be God, was pointing at ‘em, and saying they’re the Grand Wizard of the KKK. Like this guy who posted a link to a Taylor Swift song. I’ve never heard the song before, and didn’t bother listening to it. I just called him a racist, and now there’s a big fight going on about why it’s racist. They’re going on, and on about what a bitch Taylor Swift is, and how she probably is a racist, ‘cause no one ever sees her with guys who ain’t white hanging all over her. But if she ran a train on the Harlem Globetrotters, she’d just be a whore, and a race traitor. If you listen to some of them they will have you believing that Montezuma sheds a tear every time a white person eats a taco, because it’s cultural genocide, ort appropriation, or some such shit.It’s just cuckoobananas how people go cuckoobananas for absolutely nothing.”

“That’s very interesting. I’m gonna nominate you to be Secretary General of the United Nations, Daisy,” Kitty promised.

“Oh that would be great! Then I can accuse everyone of being a racist, all the time.”

“And that should put an end to racism, once and for all. I don’t know if there’s any method to your madness, but there’s some kind of genius to it, in a Kafkaesque kinda way.”

“Thank you, Miss Kitty, that’s very kind of you to say so. And it gives me an idea. I’m gonna start an Instagram account under the name Kafka Cuckoobananas. Ima tell everyone Ima be the next secretary of the United Nations, so they better listen to me, or else.”

“Or else what, Daisy?”

“Or else they’re all racists, like Taylor Swift.”

Kitty grinned, and said, “Yes, of course. Silly me. What was I thinking? Are you ready to roll?”

“Hell yeah, I am.”

“Is it true, what Margot says, about you knowing where every pretty boy around here lives?”

“Hell yeah, it is!” was Daisy’s enthusiastic reply. “Every pretty girl, too, ‘cause, you know, sometimes a girl’s got a hankering for a muffin.”




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Opting to pass on the opportunity to get into a discussion about the merits of the best book written in the past hundred years, or more, in favour of plunging even deeper into Daisy’s mind, Kitty continued the examination by asking, “What else? What else is in the news today?”

“Well, there’s a funny story, about a white guy in Texas. He’s an old, blind guy. He’s filed for divorce, because he just found out his wife is black.”

“That is funny,” Kitty laughed.

“It’s gonna be a whole Hella funnier when he finds out he’s black, too, and all their kids are white!”

The laughter that erupted from Kitty encouraged Daisy to keep going, with no further prompting. “And there’s a real funny story from Oklahoma. There was a black guy making deliveries inside a gated community. Probably all whites inside, like South Africa used to be. So, some cracker, claiming to be the head of the homeowners association, stopped him, demanding to know what the Hell he thought he was doing.”

Baffled, Kitty asked, “Why is that so funny?”

“Well, I saw a pic of the white dude, and he is butt ugly, so I think the real story is this. The black dude was delivering a new fuckbot for the cracker, ‘cause he way to ugly to get any real pussy, for sure. And the fuckbot ran away, and jumped back in the delivery van, when she saw how small the cracker’s dick is. And the cracker didn’t like that, ‘cause his ex-wife left him for a black delivery driver, when she intercepted his secret order of Bubba sized, crotchless bitch panties.”

It was just too good to stop, so Kitty asked, “What else, Daisy?”

Daisy thoughT for a bit, contorting her face a few times, before finally answering. “Well, it ain’t in the news today, but I been wondering about something.”

“What?” Kitty asked.

“Well, you know how everyone is clamouring about getting back to work, ‘cause the virus is only killing old people, or mostly only old people? Well, that don’t surprise me none, ‘cause no one cares about old people. That’s why everyone sends them away, warehouses them in old folks homes, and we all know how bad things inside those Hellholes gets sometimes, what with the staff from Hell, or maybe one of Mr. King’s book. So, what the Hell does anyone care about a disease that kills ‘em? Just means they don’t have to pay to keep alive no more, so, really, they’re happy they’re dead, ‘cause now they get the inheritance.”

No one bothered to contest anything Daisy said, so she carried on. “But now, a little while back maybe, there’s problem with some kids, in Europe. They’re starting to get lung problems, and the scientists are saying the disease may be the virus mutating, and attacking kids.

“Well, I think that will change things, if kids start getting infected and dying. That’s when even the Freedom Fries Fighter guys will say, ‘Whoa! Hold yer horses, now. Maybe we shouldn’t go back to work.’

“But I can’t figure out why they would say that, ‘cause any people who don’t give a damn about old people, shouldn’t give a damn about kids, neither. If you think about it, trying to use the brain of a gun guy, kids are just as useless as old folks. I mean they ain’t got no jobs, can’t get no jobs, ‘cause they ain’t got no skills, so they can’t pay no taxes. So, what good are they? No good to society at all. All they are is a bunch of retarded parasites, so why not let them die, too?”

“Have you ever thought about starting a news blog?” Lance wanted to know. “You could call it, The World Today, According to Daisy.”

“Oh, Hell no. Ain’t nobody reads nothing no more. But maybe I should start my own Youtube channel. But I would call the show, ALL THE FILTH I CAN SHOVEL, ALL THE SWILL YOU CAN SWALLOW, ‘cause that’s pretty much what the news is, anyway.”




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The tortured and twisted logic of Daisy mesmerized the gang of four, and Kitty couldn’t resist delving deeper into the suddenly fascinating girl. “What else has caught your attention today, Daisy?”

“Hmmm,” Daisy pondered for a few seconds, then answered, “Michigan. The gun guys are protesting in the legislature again.”

“Have the Freedom Fries Fighters stated what they want?” Kitty asked.

“They want the government to let everyone go back to work. And the government was gonna debate that, and vote on it. But someone has threatened the President’s life, and all the Freedom Fries Fighters were inside, watching the government, with all their guns, so the government cancelled the session, so no one gets to go back to work.”

“And what do you think about that, Daisy?” asked Kitty.

“I think it’s kinda funny. The Freedom Fries Fighter guys outsmarted themselves. Shot themselves in their asses.”

“What do you think will happen next?” Kitty asked.

“Well, the government has to pass a law that says that anyone carrying a gun into the building has to have authorization to do so, but they can’t keep the gun guys out until they do so. And they ain’t gonna pass that law when all the gun guys are in there with their guns, so I don’t know what’s gonna happen.”

“What would you do, Daisy?” was Kitty’s next question.

“If I were the President, you mean?” Kitty ignored the twice made mistake, and nodded her head. “Well, I would trick ‘em. I would pass a law so that everyone in the building with a gun, rigt then and there, could sell their guns to the government for a million dollars a piece. I’d have all the money rigt there. I mean, are the gun guys so dumb that they would pass up on an offer like that? I don’t think anyone is that dumb. Then; all the gun guys who weren’t there would call all the ones that were there sell-outs, and they’d kill each other.”

Stephen jumped in, deliberately mangling an HL Menken truism into a Dubya blunderbeauty, “Nobody ever went broke misunderestimating the intelligence of the American people.”

Daisy thought that one over, and said, “No, I guess not. But I think that would take care of the problem. And I think it would be smart if I didn’t mention that George Soros would be picking up the tab for the buy back, ‘cause, you know, the Freedom Fries Fighter guys don’t like that Soros guy, but at least the poor taxpayer wouldn’t have to pay for it.”

“Soros, not Bill Gates?” asked Kitty.

“Oh, Bill Gate is the devil himself. I would arrest him, and sacrifice him on an altar, at midnight, under a full moon. That would get all the gun guys on my side.”

With the waitress on a roll, Kitty made another quick query, “What else, Daisy? What else do you think about this comedy of errors?”

“Hmmm. Well a couple things. The Freedom Fries Fighter guys say they are fighting for democracy. But they are trying to be some kinda guerilla army, forcing the government to do what they want, with their guns. So, they’re really more like communists, or something. And the other thing is that they don’t seem to understand that there is no such thing as democracy, anyway.”

This intrigued Kitty, who asked, “What do you mean by that?”

“Well, think about it. When dos democracy happen? It never happens, so no one has any idea what it is. Families are not democratic. Schools are not democratic. When we finish school, and go to work, the boss is the boss, so no democracy. This so called democratic society of ours is nothing more than a plethora of mini dictatorships. We don’t practice democracy in our day-to-day lives. So, back to the question – when does democracy happen? Once every four years, you get to pick a pack of pathological liars from a larger pack of pathological liars, and hope that they are the lessers of the evils, when it’s more likely that they are the evils of the lessers. And it never matters who gets elected because it’s always ‘Meet the new boss, same as the old boss’. And you call that democracy? That’s not democracy. That’s deMOCKracy. Why don’t they ever let anyone vote on whether or not to go to war? Has anyone ever been able to vote on whether or not to go to war? What’s so complicated about holding a referendum on war? But the Freedom Fries Fighters guys want to start a war for democracy, but it would be a democracy in which they make all the rules. It’s all just dumb, and so are they. ”

Madonna, who had binge read THE RIFF N RAFF REBELLIONS VOLUME 1 the night before, and Stephen and Kitty, who had both read it more than once, were stunned. Stunned, because what Daisy had just said was an almost verbatim passage from the book.

The three of them looked at each other, slack jawed. They all had the same question in their heads, but left it to Kitty to ask it. “Daisy, have you ever read a book titled, THE RIFF N RAFF REBELLIONS VOLUME 1? It was written by a guy who is from Thunder Bay.”

Daisy didn’t have to think about that one. “No. I ain’t never read no book called THE RIFF N RAFF REBELLIONS VOLUME 1, written by Brian Godzilla Salmi, but I have heard people talking about it.”

“What are they saying?” Madonna asked.

“They’re all saying it’s the best damn book been written in a hundred years, or more.”




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The girl named Daisy was becoming a conundrum for the girl named Kitty, who wasn’t fully buying into the idea that the waitress was a dullard. So, Kitty decided to explore the idea that Daisy was not dumb as pond scum, and was, conversely, playing dumb as they come with two empty bottles of rum. “Tell us, daisy dear, what else is going on in the world that we are missing out on today.”

Delighted to have the attention of Kitty Kaboodle, Daisy jumped rigt to it. “Well, Trump has announced that he is building a super duper missile to defeat the Chinese and the Russians.”

“Yes, of course he is,” Kitty replied. “And he really did call it a super duper missile didn’t he?”

“Oh, yeah. I heard it myself,” Daisy assured the gang of four. “Super duper missile. He said it a couple times. Says it’s gonna be seventeen times faster than anything the Russians or Chinese have.”

Lance cracked, “Every fucktard in the world is in a hurry to die these days. Wouldn’t bother me, but they wanna take the rest of us with them.”

“And what do you think about that, Daisy?” Kitty wanted to know.

“Well, honestly, I think it’s dumb. I think we should build our own bomb, rigt here in Canada. A big, giant, crazy, world-go-kablooey bomb. A one gigaton monster. We can keep it rigt here in Thunder Bay. And can call it Giggles the Happy Bomb, ‘cause, you know, it’s a one gigaton bomb.”

“How big is that, Daisy,” Kitty asked.

“Well, Little Boy, the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima was puny, compared to the biggest bomb that has ever been built. The Russians once built one that was 1400 times as powerful as Little Boy. They called it the Tsar Bomb. Fifty seven megatons. And Giggles, weighing in at one gigaton, would be twenty times bigger than the Russian bomb was.”

“So,” said Kitty, “Giggles could blow up the whole world.”

“Exactly!” Daisy confirmed. “And we don’t need no fancy schmancy missile, if were gonna blow up the whole world. We just blow it up rigt here, and the whole world goes kablooey! Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posie, husha, busha, we all fall down!”

“Husha, busha, we all fall down?” asked Kitty.

“Die. We all die. It’s a nursery rhyme. You don’t have it down there. We used to sing it when we were kids. It comes from the Black Plague era. The kids all form a circle, holding hands. Then they dance counter clockwise, singing ring around the rosie, ‘cause you’re supposed to put a rose in the middle of the circle, but we never had no roses, so we skipped that part. Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posie, because posie was a mixture of herbs the kids were supposed to carry in their pockets to protect them from the plagues. Husha busha, that’s the sound of a sneeze. One of the kids sneezing, which meant that the pocket full of posie didn’t protect them, and they got the plague. We all fall down, because they all got the plague from the kid who sneezed. They all died. That’s when we would all fall down. Then we would all laugh, get up, and do it again. And again, and again.”

Lance Lear, who was unfamiliar with this tale, looked at his father for confirmation. Stephen, King of Horror, nodded his head silently.

Kitty said, “Yes, that makes sense. We used to play it, too, but I never knew what it meant.”

“Well, now you do, little Kitty!” Daisy said delightedly.

“But, why would you want to kill everyone? Why would you want to make the whole world go kablooey?”

“Well, we don’t. We just want the rest of you to behave yourselves. Be nice to each other. It’s kinda like mom saying that if us kids didn’t behave ourselves in the back seat, she was gonna crash the car and kill us all.”

“Your mom used to do that?” Kitty asked, aghast.

“Oh, yeah, all the time.”

“Where’s your mom now, Kitty?”

“She’s dead. One day she crashed the car, trying to kill us all. But she only killed herself.”

“I see,” said Kitty, with no expression on her face, or inflection in her voice. “But your mom only killed herself, you say, so maybe only Canadians would get killed if you blew up Giggles.”

“Oh, no. Nuclear winter would come and kill the whole planet. But we, us Canadians, would get all the black eyed virgins, like you Miss Kitty, up there in Heaven, ‘cause we blew up the ultimate suicide bomb. So, we would win, just like we do at hockey all the time.”

“I see,” Kitty said again. “But why do you call Giggles the Happy Bomb?”

“Well, that’s how we sell the idea to everyone up here. Especially the kids. We get a big guy, dressed like a big, round bomb, you know, the kind with the burning fuse on them? And he is Giggles the Happy Bomb. He goes around the country playing with kids, and handing out bullets. Bullets made from depleted uranium, like the ones the Pentagon uses everywhere, ‘cause if they’re good enough for the Pentagon, they’re good enough for us. And all the kids come to love Giggles the Happy Bomb, and know that he is their friend. And they believe for the rest of their lives, just like the baby Jesus story.”

“Once again, Kitty said, “I see. But there’s a problem. You would kill all the animals, too, if you blew up Giggles the Happy Bomb.”

“Yeah,” daisy said with a shrug, “I know. And that’s wrong. And that’s the part I am trying to figure out. But I think we can build Giggles so that he, or she, only kills the humans. You know, like the neutron bomb. You know, the realtors’ bomb. Ultra high radiation, that kills people, but leaves the buildings standing. I mean, if you can make bombs that save buildings, why not one big bomb that saves animals?”




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77 a



After making what may be the greatest first impression that did not involve an act toe-curling sexual congress, Margot rode off back to her home on Candy Mountain to prepare for her invasion, brief though it would be, of Wuhan.

Before taking her leave, Margot told Kitty she would call her when she was ready for Miss Kaboodle to come out to her ranch, for a quick photo shoot that would make the Wuhan lab boys all woohoo. Margot assured Kitty that Daisy knew where she lives, because Daisy knows where all the pretty boys in the area live, her own son being one of them.

Having proven that not all puckheads have taken too many slapshots to the head, the brothers Staal jumped in the sauna long enough to sober up, and drive home to plot a game plan that would entice three of the biggest names in the history of combat sports into this growing conspiracy.

With nothing else to do, Daisy loitered in the lobby, hoping that Kitty would want some cooking lessons. Not wanting to make it obvious to her father that she was hoping to lure yet another of the guests into a room, and leave it looking like the Marquis de Sade, Xaviera Hollander, and several well endowed barnyard animals had been residing therein for a fortnight, the girl tried to make jibber jabber with our intrepid friends from south of the border.

“I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but there’s a movement starting, here in Canada, that may seem a little impolite to you.”

“Is it even possible for Canadians to be impolite?” Madonna wanted to know.

“Oh, Hell yeah, it is. But mostly to each other. We’re getting pretty good at it, too. Or pretty bad, I guess I should say.”

“I hope you’re not getting that from us,” Stephen hoped. “Robin Williams, peace be upon him, would roll over in his grave and weep, if hews were to reach him that the nice, quiet apartment, where our sweet, pleasant, mild mannered cousins live above our ground floor crack shack, is getting outta whack owing to our incessant histrionics.”

“Well, almost everything from down there spills across the border, so that’s prolly what’s happening. Y’all sure do like to hate on each other, in a real bad way, down there in the Divided States of America.”

“I am sorry to hear about this great leap backwards by our good northern neighbours, who put the letter U in words for absolutely no reason. What’s this nascent movement all about?” Stephen asked.

“Well, since y’all now have the highest infection and death rates from the virus, people up here are saying we should build a wall… and make Trump pay for it.”

Laughter boomed in the lobby of the Valhalla Inn, at the news Daisy presented. Kitty was the first to break the cacophony of guffaws. “Daisy, if you’d be so kind, please tell your handsome Prime Minister that I would be happy to make a substantial contribution to that cause, if I might have the good fortune of being smiled upon by him, with a passport bearing my name in his hands.”

Sensing an opportunity, Daisy smiled suggestively, and replied, “I’m sure we can work something out, little Miss Kitty.”

As amused as he was, Stephen wanted to play this out a little more. “You know, don’t you, Daisy, that the statistics coming out of China are almost certainly grossly under exaggerated, and they likely have more bodies piled up, and waiting to be piled up, than any other jurisdiction in the world?”

Daisy pondered this for a few seconds, as the others watched and waited with baited breath for her response.

Daisy did not disappoint, “Yeah, I guess you’re rigt about that. Maybe we should build a wall along the border with China, too,” thus proving that the worst pandemic of all had crossed the border, and taken hold in the great white north.

“Great idea, Daisy,” Madonna chuckled. “Send Trump the bill for that one, too.”

77 –



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build the wall



Oddly, for a man who has made a fortune writing about supernatural things, Stephen was hesitant to fully swallow Margot’s claim that time does not exist in the tunnel. “Margot, are you one hundred percent certain that you came out of the tunnel the same time you went in?”

Loving the irony of the question, Lance pointed it out, “What? You believe there is a tunnel that can take you anywhere, in at least this world, but you can’t believe it is timeless?”

Back-footed, King said nothing, but Margot answered his question anyway, “Yes. One hundred percent. We even tested it once. We went inside, dropped acid, and didn’t come out until we were straight again, and it was the same time we went in. It was really good, super clean acid. Purple microdots. Every time we took it, it lasted at least eight hours.”

This confession seemed to stun the Staal brothers, for whom Jordan spoke, “Margot! You didn’t tell us you were an acid head.”

“There’s nothing new about mere mortals indulging in psychoactive substances to attain enlightenment,” Margot replied, with a grin. “That’s how we become gurus, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more, say no more. That was an incredible trip, though. We brought a boombox with us, and listened to Pink Floyd the whole time. I used to think I was cool because I listened to Pink Floyd. Then I listened to them on acid, and actually understood what they were saying. It was a breakthrough. My boyfriend laughed, and told me I finally was cool. The fact that there was no time in the tunnel made perfect sense. But you know what made no sense?”

“Money,” was Kitty’s bet.

“Yes,” Margot confirmed, “Money made no sense, at all. Still doesn’t, in so many ways.”

“That’s because money is an artificial human construct. It is not at all tied to the laws of the universe,” Jordan said. “It’s an abstract that can be manipulated at will. Often with a great deal of will, of course, but money is not subject to the laws of nature, or the universe.”

Then Marc jumped in  to back up Margot’s claims, “What Margot is saying does make sense, if you understand something about quantum physics, or at the very least accept that theories being put forward by the best minds in the field are in the realm of possibility. Carlo Rovelli is the best known, and most eloquent thinker regarding what Margot is saying.”

Shockingly surprised that a puckhead would be talking about quantum physics, Stephen said, “I thought the three of you played junior, not NCAA.”

“So?” was Marc’s one word answer question. “As Mark Twain put it, ‘Never let you schooling interfere with your education.’ Or, in the case of the three of us, our lack of schooling. Just because we’re puckheads, doesn’t mean our brains are made of rubber. My thing is physics, Jordan’s is economics, and Eric’s is theology.”

“Yes, of course,” Stephen backtracked quickly. “Forgive my ignorance, and my ignorant assumption.”

“Ah, it’s okay, coach, we get it all the time,” Eric laughed.

Relieved, Stephen turned back to Marc, and said, “Sorry. Please continue. Carlo…”

“Rovelli. He had a bestseller, a couple years ago. The Order of Time, was the title. In it, and in subsequent lectures promoting the book, and his theories, he pointed out that time runs at different rates. It runs faster at higher elevations. This is all confirmed by GPS technology. Time runs at a different rate in space than it does down here. And even here, it runs faster on top of a mountain than it does at sea level. So, it could be that the tunnel, the timeless tunnel, if you will, runs so deep that time stands still, or moves so slowly that one of our years is a mere second inside it. And Rovelli is very open about the fact that he used to take LSD when he was young. In fact, he credits it with opening his mind enough to see things that others can’t. To imagine, and understand things that we are blind to. So, Margot, it’s not just the gurus who are indulging to attain enlightenment.”

“If Margot says the tunnel is a timeless tunnel, I believe her,” Eric the amateur theologian confessed.

Nodding, Lance said, “Me too. So, how do we get a team of scientists into the tunnel?”

Madonna had the answer, “I know what boys like… I know what guys want… I know what boys like… boys like…”


Madonna could not argue the point, so she conceded it, “It’s true. Boys like… boys want Kitty.”

“Okay, then, that decides it; we’ll go have a look at the boys in the Wuhan virology lab. I bet we can get inside, leave pics of Kitty everywhere, and get out before anyone sees us. She’ll be a Goddess to those lonely geeks overnight. Then, when she appears, they will follow her anywhere!”

Lance didn’t like the idea, but he bit his tongue. And gnawed on it.

“But there are bound to be girls working in the lab, too,” Stephen pointed out.

Kitty laughed, said, “That’s okay. Girls like me too,” then winked at Madonna.




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75 a




Oh, yes, I know that tunnel,” said Margot. “It’s been at least thirty five years since I’ve been there, but I am pretty sure I can find the way.”

“If you don’t mind me asking,” Stephen interjected, “how did you, a white girl, come to know of the tunnel, and what do you know about it?”

“I dated a native guy in high school,” answered Margot. “He brought me. He took me away from here, when here was not where I wanted to be.”

“Where did you go,” Kitty wanted to know.

“Wow! The places he took me. Ceylon, Samarkand, Tibet, and Timbuktu.”

“That’s incredible,” said Kitty. “How long does it take to get to Timbuktu?”

“There is no time in the tunnel. Time does not exist. You come out the same time you went in. But you have to know where you are going. If you’re not sure, you can end up anywhere, and that can be dangerous.”

“And how soon can we get going?” asked Lance.

“You know what, thinking about it, I think I’d better get in touch with my old boyfriend again, and have him take me back. Make sure I know where it is, and if there’s anything I’ve forgotten. As I say, it can be dangerous.”

“Did you end up anywhere dangerous?” Madonna asked.

“No. But he always knew where we were going. It was always a surprise for me. He knew what he was doing. So, give me a day to find him. Maybe he and I can do a test run together, just to be on the safe side.”

“Amazing,” said Kitty. “Where will you go?”

“He always told me the tunnel will take us absolutely anywhere.”

“Anywhere and anytime?” asked Stephen.

“No. Wait. I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s a time tunnel.”

“Can you go anywhere in the universe? Can you go to other universes?” Stephen wanted to know.

“I don’t think so, but I don’t know. Maybe. But, again, as I said, you have to know where you’re going, or you could end up anywhere, so that kinda thing could be very dangerous, if it’s even possible. I’ll find out what I can. But let’s keep it in the here and now, for now. So, maybe I’ll ask to go to…”

“Wuhan,” said Lance.

“Fascinating idea,” Margot answered. “I’ll ask. He has to want to go, too, or not care. I think that’s how it works. Let me see. If he agrees, which I am pretty sure he will, and we go, I will call you from Wuhan.”

“Talk about dangerous,” said Stephen. “Make sure you wash your hands before you come back,” Stephen laughed.

“In and out like a flash. A couple selfies, a quick call to you, so you can see I am there, and back again.”

“Wait a minute,” Lance interrupted. “Time does not exist in the tunnel? You come out the same time you go in?”

“Correct,” Margot confirmed.

“So, I could go into the tunnel with an idea for a book, write it, and come out the same time I went in, no matter how much time I spent inside?” Stephen asked.

“No. Wait,” Kitty said, “More importantly, scientists can go into the tunnel, find a cure for the virus, and come out the same time they went in?”

“Whoa!, said Margot, “I hadn’t thought of it, but yes, that’s rigt.”




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73 B



Although she loved Margot’s Sinderella idea, Madonna had a couple suggestions, “I don’t think you should limit the Sinderella TV idea to a half hour. I think you need to include interviews with the performers. I want to get to know something about them, as soon as I’m exposed to their talents. And I’ll also want to see a selection of the fashion that’s on display. No need to interview people who are looking fabulous, but I do want to feast my eyes on them. And, if I may, I think you should have four stars performing at the first event, instead of unknowns, just to draw public attention.”

“Yes, all good ideas,” Margot admitted. “Obviously, none of this can happen until it’s safe, so it will be a side project. Would you be willing to perform at the first Sinderalla?”

“Absolutely. And, if you land Lily and Elton to host Love and Nothing but Love, I’m sure they would be happy to join me. Just say who else you want, and I will ask them, and introduce you.”

“Wow! This is so crazy,” said Margot. “Maybe Macca? Or Adele?”

“Yeah, good choices. Actually, since they’re both Brits, I’ll stand aside. They’d also make great hosts for the show. If it all comes off, maybe you’d be good enough to let me perform at the first Sinderella stateside.”

Feeling playful, Margot said, “I guess I could look at an audition vid, to see what you can do.” Madonna laughed, and Margot added, “I would just die if you would do Future Lovers I Feel Love! Maybe with the Blue Man Group”

“Excellent idea, “Madge said. “I’d love to work with them. I saw them in Istanbul, a couple years ago. Amazing show. They just kill I Feel Love, with Venus Hum. I can see it all, but maybe with me singing the Future Lovers part of it, with Donna Summer doing the I Fell Love part. It is her song, after all.”

“Good golly, Miss Molly, that’s so exciting! Quick! Someone pinch me,” Margot gushed.

“Okay, it’s all fantastic, but you have a lot of work to do before we get anywhere near there,” Madonna pointed out. “So let’s not get too caught up in it all, just yet.”

“Oh, I understand,” Margot assured the Queen of Pop. “Sinderella is dessert, but we all love us some dessert.”

“Do you know who you’d want as a guest for the first Love and Nothing but Love?” Stephen asked Margot.

“Well, Madonna is rigt about opening with a bang. Four stars on the first episode of Sinderella TV will hook millions of viewers. Go big, or go home, rigt? So, yes, I know exactly who I want for the first episode of Love and Nothing but Love. But, it’s not gonna be easy to get him. Or her.”

“You know who you want, but you don’t know if it’s a male or a female?” asked Stephen.

“Yes. That’s why it will not be easy to get him, or her. Not even with all your contacts,” Margot said, nodding and Madge and Stephen. “Everyone knows this star, but no one knows who it is.”

“I know who it is,” declared Kitty.

“Do you?” asked Madonna.

“Don’t you?” retorted Kitty.

“No. Who is it?” Madonna wanted to know.

Smiling, first at Margot, then at everyone else, Kitty said, “Banksy.” Margot grinned and nodded her confirmation.

“Wow!” Madonna exclaimed. “That’s brilliant. You land Banksy and all of Britain will be watching. And tens of millions of others around the world, especially the art world, which has to be a big part of the target audience. But that’s not gonna be easy. No one knows who Banksy is. You may as well have said you want the Queen to be your first guest.”

“She’s actually my second choice,” said Margot, with a smirk.

Madonna roared laughter, “I’m sure Lizzy will be thrilled to know she’s playing second fiddle to Banksy. But how are you gonna get Banksy? No one knows who he is.”

“He or she,” repeated Margot, “but you’re wrong. Obviously, some people know who Banksy is. And I think I know someone who does.”

“Who dat?” asked Kitty.

“Julie Burchill,” Margot answered.

“Who dat?” Kitty asked again.

“She’s so nasty,” Madonna opined.

“She’s brilliant,” said Stephen. Looking at Lance, he said, “Burchill is almost a modern day Dorothy Parker, but as Madonna says, she’s so nasty.”

“How are you gonna get to Burchill?” Madonna wanted to know. “I imagine I can find someone who knows her well enough to ask for a meeting, but I doubt she’d accept, especially if she knows you’re trying to get to Banksy.”

Margot grinned a knowing grin, and assured Madonna, “No need to trouble your friends. I’ve been backing Burchill, on Patreon, for a few years. She uses a no de plume, but I know it’s her. I think I can arrange an audience on my own, just by offering to pay her a couple thousand quid for the honour of buying her lunch. And here’s something else; I think Burchill is Banksy. Why does everyone seem to assume that Banksy is a guy? It would be so Burchill to make people think that, when it’s really her.”

“Fascinating theory,” said Stephen, “and not a stretch to imagine, either. Good luck with that.”

“Thank you,” Margot nodded.

“But, if I may,” said Stephen, “we have some other business to take care of. Since we all now know where we are going, we need to know how we are getting there. And the Hanson brothers tell me that you not only know of the tunnel, but how to get to it, and maybe even something about how it works. Is that true?”




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