15 – NOT SLEEP ‘TIL THUNDER BAY

 

Taking one last drag on his smoke, and dropping the butt on the ground, Lance said, “Shall we get this show on the road?”

Kitty cringed, pointed at the smoking gun, and said, “We’re not going anywhere until you pick that up, and throw it in the trash. What the fuck is wrong with you? You wanna kill yourself with your filthy habit, it’s your business, as you say, but you have fuck all rigt to leave your filth behind for someone else to deal with.”

Impetuous Lance, thoroughly castigated, quelled his impulse to strike back at Kitty, knowing he had no weapon to strike with. He picked up the butt, stubbed it out, walked to the trash can, and deposited it

Kitty was waiting for him inside the truck, engine running. “That habit you fuckers have is really disgusting,” she said, as Lance closed his door.

The boy sensed this was something that ran deep in the girl. He wasn’t sure what to say. Didn’t know if he should say anything. Maybe just let her settle down, he thought. But that might infuriate her, too. She was wanting to pick a fight, and he wanted nothing to do with it. Surrender. Wave the white flag. Beg for clemency. “You’re rigt. Sorry. It won’t happen again.” Contrition. Sincere contrition. Not good enough.

“Seriously. How many billions of those filthy fucking things do you fuckers throw on the ground every year, half of them washing into waterways, downstream and into the oceans? We should be allowed cattle prod you fuckers every time we see you doing it.”

“You’re rigt. You’re absolutely rigt.”

Kitty let it go, backed the flatbed up, and turned toward the road. Before she could turn and exit, Lance said, “Wait.” There was an old man standing ten feet away, watching them. Thinking he could score some Kitty points with a good gesture, Lance said, “This old guy may need some help.”

“Old woman, you mean,” Kitty corrected. “She was watching us the whole time we were there.”

“No shit? Too ashamed to ask for help, maybe? Lance rolled his window down, and said, “Hi. Do you need some help? Are you okay?”

The woman, or man, smiled. Lance and Kitty both got a blast of the warm and fuzzies. “No, I do not. But thank you. That is very kind of you.”

“Are you sure? Do you need some money?”

“No, I have no need for money. But thank you, again, brother. Please, carry on. Have a safe journey.”

The boy was disappointed. He really wanted to help him, even though he knew, somehow, that he needed no help. Kitty, too, was disappointed she wanted no help her. But she also knew, somehow, that the woman needed no help.

After being paralyzed in a warm, frothy contentment for five seconds, Lance smiled and said, “Okay. Stay safe, brother.”

“Sister,” Kitty said, almost chidingly, as she turned onto the road, and rolled away, north toward Thunder Bay.

“Check out Domino’s, pushing it out, and raking it in,” said Lance pointing to the beehive of delivery vehicles coming, and going out of one of the pizza chain’s strip mall stores.”

“The Star Trib said they are hiring ten thousand people globally to meet the expected demand,” Kitty informed him.

“Well, with the streets empty, they’ll be able to meet that 30 minute delivery guarantee without killing anyone this time.”

“Sure, but they’re gonna need Auschwitz size ovens to do it.”

Before they reached the city limits, they rolled passed a billboard that had been graffitied by someone named questionMark. Six lines:

DANGER IS REAL
FEAR IS A CHOICE
COURAGE A NECESSITY
LAUGHTER A CURE
LOVE A VACCINE
CRISIS AN OPPORTUNITY

“questionMark’s onto something ,” said Kitty.

“He is,” agreed Lance.

questionMark had been on a tear. Every billboard heading north along the north shore of Lake Superior had been hit, all with the same message. As they approached the fifth installation, Kitty really got the message. “Fear is a choice, laughter a cure,” she said. “Make me laugh, funny boy. Gimme some more Daffy Donald.”

“You afraid?” the boy who would be King, asked the girl who would be his Queen, although he knew nothing of that matter.

“Don’t ask. About anything,” she said. He knew she meant it. “Just make me laugh, funny boy.”

“Okay. What do you want? More money, or sex?”

“I already told you I don’t worship money.”

“Yes, you did. Sex it is, then,” Lance grinned, scrolling through his book. In the book, Daffy opens one of his shows with a routine about fucking a closet case football player, at a truck stop, on a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha. Then he goes on about how, after fucking the Cornhusker, his dick turned into an ear of corn as a result of some genetic modification experiment Monsanto had been conducting. And on and on the skit goes.

Lance had resisted the temptation to tell this to Kitty, when she had picked him up on a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha. He wasn’t sure exactly why, but he decided to stick with his instinct and continue to deprive her of that inflammation. He scrolled down to the point where Daffy starts cracking wise abut pussy.
“Okay, let’s try this. Daffy Donald is queer, so pussy has no power over him.” Kitty smiled, expectantly. “So here’s part of one of his routines, in which he recycles Doctor Seuss, and fuses it with the film Dusk till Dawn.”

“The one where Cheech is standing outside the roadhouse, trying to lure customers in?”

“Yes, that one.”

“Excellent! Hit me, funny boy!”

Lance cleared his throat and launched:

I don’t give a fuck about pussy

I don’t give a fuck about white pussy

Black pussy

Spanish pussy

Yellow pussy

I don’t give a fuck about hot pussy

Cold pussy

Wet pussy

Smelly pussy

Hairy pussy

Bloody pussy

Snapping pussy

Silk pussy

Velvet pussy

Naugahyde pussy

Horse pussy

Dog pussy

Or chicken pussy

I won’t eat pussy in a house

I won’t eat pussy with a mouse

I won’t eat pussy in a box

I won’t eat pussy with a fox

I won’t eat pussy on a boat

I won’t eat pussy with a goat

I won’t eat pussy in the rain

Or in the dark, or on a train

I won’t eat pussy in a tree

Or in a car, just let me be!

I won’t eat pussy here, or there

I won’t eat pussy anywhere!

Lance kept Kitty in hysterics until they hit Grand Portage, where they turned inland, heading west, along a shit-kicked logging road. Kitty killed the headlights when they were three miles from a bridge that had been the main crossing of the Pigeon River, between Minnesota and Ontario, fifty years back in time.

“You knew we’d be doing this during a full moon,” Lance said, impressed.

“I didn’t know any such thing. I was told, and I believed. And so it is.”

“Told by my father.” It wasn’t a question.

“Shut up,” was Kitty’s answer. The flatbed crawled along slowly, quietly, until Kitty finally killed the engine. Opening her door, she said, “Shut up and stay here. Don’t make a sound.”

Wondering if he should man up, Lance whispered, “You want me to come with?”

Kitty  whispered, “A girl needs a boy like a fish needs a bicycle.”

Lance whispered back, “You’re really hot when you make with the lesbian talk!”

Kitty couldn’t help but laugh, but did so quietly, then whispered, “Seriously. Just stay here. You don’t wanna see this, or even know about it, so don’t ask when it’s done.”

Twenty minutes later, Kitty was back. “Our visas have been approved on both sides of the bridge,” she said, with a self satisfied smile. Lance didn’t ask. He did, however, take note that the lights were on, but no one was home when they rolled past the check points that had been recently refurbished on either side of the bridge.

A hundred yards north of the bridge Kitty caught a human figure in her headlights. “Holy shit,” Lance whispered, not aware that he was still whispering. “It’s the old guy we met in Duluth.”

“Old woman,” Kitty said, as she stopped next to her.

“Hello Kitty! Well done. Hello Lance, good to see you again, brother. Welcome to Canada.”

Boy and girl, King and Queen to be, Lance and Kitty were filled with the warm and fuzzies again. “Thank you, sister,” Kitty smiled. “All is well?

“All is well, Kitty. You carry on. I will follow.”

“What the fuck is going on?” Lance asked, as they moved forward.

“If I told you… “ Kitty chuckled.

“You’d have to kill me?”

“Not exactly. Not me.”

“My father.”

Kitty nodded, “He might have to kill us both, and that really would mean the end of the world.”

“Holy mother of three headed Jewish whores. What he fuck is going on?” Lance cracked, much to Kitty’s amusement.

“Holy mother of three headed Jewish whores?” the girl laughed. “You just pull that out of your ass, on the spot?”

“Yeah. It’s a gift. One that not everyone appreciates.”

Fifteen minutes later they pulled into the empty parking lot of the Valhalla Inn, just outside the Thunder Bay city limits. Kitty parked rigt in front of the entrance, where Stephen King and, “What the fuck is Old Leather Pussy doing here?” were waiting for them.

“I have no idea,” Kitty said. “He didn’t tell me about this plot twist.”

Stephen King said, “Hello Kitty! Good job. I knew you had it in you.”

Kitty smiled, and took a bow, while Madonna applauded, and cheered,

Kitty!
Kitty!

Super Kitty!
Super Kitty,
rah rah rah!

Super Kitty!
Super Kitty!
sis-boom-bah!”

Stephen King turned his attention to Lance. He put his arms out in the mock hug that had swept around the world, and wiggled his fingers. “Hello son.”

Lance smiled, and said, “Hello Pa. Here’s a little something from me and Ma” as he pulled back his fist, and suckered punched his father rigt in the face, with all the power he could torque. Stephen, father of Lance, hit the pavement like a 220 pound sack of pig shit.

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14 – DROP THE PUCK! GAME ON!

 

“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?”

“Nothing.”

“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.”

15 – NO SLEEP ‘TIL THUNDER BAY

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13 – ALL THE NEWS THAT’S NOT FIT TO PRINT

 

“You know what’s not in the news these days,” Kitty asked., pointing at the Star Trib.

“All the news that’s not fit to print,” Lance posited.

“Very good. Yes, but more specifically, climate change.”

“The last time I paid much attention to that was a couple months ago, when scientists were urging people to commit civil disobedience.”

“I remember. They were citing the suffragette and civil rigts movements as examples of how that strategy worked.”

“Sure, sure,” Lance said. “But did you notice that the scientists weren’t offering themselves up, en masse, for arrest?”

“That’s what the proles are for.”

“Sure. But the scientists had a much better option. I tried to post it on the climate science subreddit, but the mods deleted it rigt away.”

“Tell me.”

“Hang on. I have it on my blog,” Lance said, clicking a few icons. “The header is:

SICK OF SCIENCE, SICK OF SCIENTISTS: YOU MOTHERFUCKERS HAVE HAD A FREE PASS FOR FAR TOO LONG; YOU FIX THIS SHIT, ASSHOLES

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate action, huh?

Fuck you!

You sit there, hiding behind the skirt of a 16 year old girl, and telling the rest of us to do the dirty work, risk our freedom, while you collect you paycheques, watch Netfix, and order in through Uber Eats? Ya’ll gotta lotta fucking nerve. What the fucking fuck is wrong with you fucking bitches? Seriously.

You fuckers have been the de facto priestly class since the Enlightenment. You speak a language the rest of us don’t, just as the priests who ruled before you. We bow down to you, for you are the omniscient ones, unassailable, loving. Everything has to be scientifically proven to be true, even when it ain’t necessarily so.

You gobble up money like herds of hungry, hungry hippos on hills of Himalayan hummus, first proving this, then that, and then disproving both, before saying it requires further study, and MORE MONEY.

You want us to believe that you are working for all of us? Shut the fuck up. You’re whores like the rest of us. You sell yourselves to the highest bidders. Always have.

ENOUGH!

You want us all to go out and fuck shit up, get arrested, and leave our fates in the hands of THE LAWYERS?

No.

Here’s a better idea.

YOU fix this shit.

You have the power.

Here’s how:

Stop working. One week, no cancer research. the next, no staring into the stars. Etc. etc ad infinitum.

You encourage other professions to do the same. One week, no grade one teachers, the next, no high school history teachers.

One week, no plastic surgeons, the next week, no pediatricians.

One week, no criminal defense lawyers, the next week, no divorce lawyers.

One week, no mechanical engineers, the next week, no chemical engineers.

I’m not talking about a general strike that brings everything to a halt. I am talking about inconveniencing people until shit gets real. What happens when that happens? People start SCREAMING. And politicians start SQUIRMING.

It ain’t fucking rocket surgery, Einsteins.

I hear that 90 + percent of you believe that climate change is man made, and it is the beginning of the end of the world as we know it. So, put your fucking money where your fucking mouths are. Or, maybe you don’t really give a flying fuck. You’ll all be dead when the real carnage starts, so who gives a fuck, rigt?

You say the comet is coming? Well, here’s some news for you: all the dinosaurs are in a daisy chain, one fist buried in the ass of the dinosaur in front of them, and trying to steal his money with the other hand. No one is listening to you. You have to BRING THE NOISE. If you haven’t noticed yet, the dinosaurs are stupid. And greedy. You’re gonna have to KICK IT a Hell of a lot more, if we’re gonna save our sorry asses.

Oh, but maybe my idea is too radical for you, huh? If so, that’s funny. Reminds me of the comic in which a doctor tells a patient he has two options: become a vegan, or quadruple bypass surgery and a heart implant, and the patient says, “Vegan? Jeez, doc, that’s pretty radical, isn’t it?”

Putting his phone back in his pocket, Lance grinned at Kitty, and waited for her verdict.

“Nice rant! Too angry for Reddit, home of all who always have their cranky pants stapled on?” she laughed.

“Evidently so.”

“Maybe Mr. Money is running that sub.”

Mr.money

“Funny! Maybe.”

“You know what else is funny about that war of words, and pie charts? Lance shrugged. “The deniers. Actually, labeling them deniers was a propaganda master stroke, but I am surprised the Zionists didn’t get pissy, and try for a cease and desist order for violating their Trademarked intellectual property. But never mind that. The deniers. The ones who go on, and on about how it’s all natural, beyond our control, and say it’s really a scam by wannabe oligarchs and overlords to replace the existing ones.”

“And maybe it is?”

“Maybe. But, if so, so what? Everything in life is a competition. We, all of us, are the result of a competition between the forty million spermatozoa daddy blew into mommy. So, if the wannabe ruling class manage to dethrone, and replace the fuckers who are there now, and they do so by bamboozling all us chumps with an absolutely massive climate change hoax, it’s nothing more than socio-economic, and poli-psychological Darwinism.”

Lance whistled. “That’s good. But we don’t need a new ruling class.”

“No, but we just might get one, when all this shakes out.”

“The King is dead! Long live the King!” Lance laughed, finishing off his drink.

“Long live the King, and his Queen!” Kitty laughed, knowingly.

14 – DROP THE PUCK! GAME ON!

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12 – STOP THE PRESSES

 

King and Queen to be were in no great hurry to get to the border, but nor were they all that interested in seeing what was, or more likely was not going on in the Twin Cities, so they bypassed the Minnesota metropolis, and turned north. Kitty waved her hand at the town, laughing, “No titties for the Twin Cities. Maybe next time.”

“Aw! Poor Twin Cities.”

Kitty explained, “In the ’70s, there was an avant garde rock band called The Tubes. They used to tour with strippers. When they came here the local God squad picketed the venue. The band sent their girls out to counter the protest with signs saying…. Saying?”

Lance rolled his window down, and shouted, “NO TITTIES FOR THE TWIN CITIES! BETTER LUCK NEXT  TIME, SUCKERS!””

As they rolled into Duluth Lance said he wanted to pick up some cheap smokes, before going into Canada, where cigarettes were gonna be $15 a pack.

“It’s a filthy habit. You should quit.”

Lance snapped, “Fuck off. If I wanna kill myself slowly, it’s my business.”

“Oh, touched a nerve huh?” Kitty said with overtones of amusement and faux derision. She could see that Lance was biting his tongue, so she let it go. “Okay, well, we’ll get them here, then. We ain’t going through the main crossing. No duty free where we’re headed.”

Kitty picked up a copy of that day’s Minneapolis Star Tribune and dropped it on the checkout counter, after lance bought his darts, “Anyone buying newspapers these days,” she asked the clerk.

“Nah. You’re the first in a week. Maybe a week of Sundays. They can’t give ‘em away. It’s all old news before it hits the stands, and no one wants to pay for it.”

“That’s true all around the world.”

The clerk nodded, and said, “It is. I have a friend stranded in Germany. She was doing a 16 hour layover in Frankfurt when she started feeling sick. She told me the airport had stacks of newspapers, German and English, all over. No one was reading one, even though they were free for the taking. Everyone was looking at their phones.”

Kitty already knew all that. “How’s your friend?”

“Pissy. Doesn’t like being quarantined at all.”

“Guy or girl?”

“Guy.”

“Well, tell him to think of all things he’s done in his life that he should have, at least, been placed under house arrest for, but gotten away with. Then tell him the karma cops come in strange guises, and tell him that if he gets out in under five years, he’ll be getting off lightly.”

“You saying my friend’s a criminal?”

“The karma cops enforce o more than the criminal code. And I’m saying your friend is human. A male of the species, which means he has more to atone for.”

The clerk smiled, “That’s very interesting. And funny.”

“It’s funny ‘cause it’s true,” Kitty smiled. She put her arms up in a hug position, and wriggled her fingers. “Hugs to you and your people, sister.”

“Back at ya, sister,” said the clerk. “You travelling? Going far? Emergency?”

Kitty laughed, “We’re on the Highway to Hell.”

“You’re going to Thunder Bay?”

“Fuckin ‘eh.”

“Why?” the clerk asked, with her face screwed up. Then she thought again, and said, “Never mind. I don’t wanna know. Whatever it is, it can’t be good. Stay strong. Stay safe, sister. And brother.”

Lance and Kitty parked themselves on a picnic table outside the store, where the boy cracked open his drink, and Kitty scanned the paper, flipping through the pages without even looking at the headlines. “That’s some kinda speed reading you’re doing,” lance noticed.

Kitty flipped through both sections of the paper before bothering to reply. “There’s an old saying in the newspaper business.; editorial is just the ugly stuff that fits between the ads.”

“Good one.”

“There ain’t but three ads in this whole paper. And I would wager that they’re freebies, given to long term advertisers. The age of print is officially over. Finally finished off by a virus, after a long, slow death spiral. The online versions won’t last much longer, if things don’t change quickly.”

Lance said nothing in response. He was waiting to see if Kitty knew. She knew a little, which is all anyone knew, but she wanted to know more. Something about cats and curiosity. “Okay, you win. I’ll ask: You wanna tell me exactly how your Commonwealth idea can save journalism?”

Smiling, Lance said, “Nope. You’re not the only one waiting for the rigt time.”

“Fair enough. I can wait.”

“You don’t want what you want from me, nearly as badly as I want what I want from you.”

Kitty smiled. “Well, we’ll both have to delay our satisfaction, I guess.”

A shrug and a grin was Lance’s response. Then he asked, “What do you know about the newspaper business?”

“A lot. My father was a journalist.”

“Was? Made redundant? Git sick of it, and gave it up?”

“Not exactly. Got himself murdered, working on a story.” She said it almost matter-of-factly.

Lance guessed it was old news, but figured it was best to wait to see if she wanted to continue. She did.

“No, I don’t know what the story was. Apparently, no one did, except the fuckers that killed him. No, I don’t wanna talk about it.”

Lance put his arms out in a mock hug, and wiggled his fingers at Kitty. She returned the gesture. They kept at it until a smile returned to her face. “He was good at what he did. Old school. Didn’t have any respect for most of the new kids on the printing block, and wasn’t shy about saying so.” She pulled out her phone, clicked a few icons, and started reading:

Pathological liars, political cowards, intellectual perverts, shameless charlatans, and unrepentant lickspittles who, no matter what they do, will never, ever get the respect and love they crave from their alleged fathers, and who spend long, lonely nights masturbating into the underwear of their alcoholic mothers.

Estheticians and flower shop girls lacking the common sense to engage their gag reflexes in order to avoid swallowing all the poisonous bullshit they are fed, three or more times a day.

Former frat boys completely devoid of the ability to think laterally and critically, yet endowed with a keen understanding of the joys and simplicity of press release reportage, and chequebook journalism

J-school grads who are dumb as jocks, putting in time until they can ascend the food chain by signing on with a morally bankrupt PR firm, or hitting the big time by landing a gig as a writer for a reality TV series. 

Lead by legions of self-censoring editors with mortgages to pay, these sorry fuckers are dragging journalism into the gutters where lawyers, politicians and priests pull each other’s hair like bitches while proclaiming their own piety.

She stopped, Lance whistled, “That’s some powerful writing.”

“Yeah, he could write. He used to say that 21st century  journalism had, by and large, been reduced to four kinds of stories: that’s none of your damn business, nobody cares, shut the fuck up, and serves the fuckers rigt.”

Lance burst into laughter, but said nothing, hoping she would continue the tirade. She obliged him.

“He said the moment when it became apparent to large swaths of people that there really was a lot of fake news being churned out was The Battle in Seattle. 1999. The infancy of public access to the Internet. Everyone knew, for months, that there was gonna be trouble, probably a lot of it. There had been wherever and whenever the globalists had gathered before that, for a couple years. So they were all waiting with baited breathe.”

Kitty paused to take a hit from her water bottle. “But as soon as the networks started showing the kids in hoodles smashing windows, and battling with the cops, phone calls and emails started going out from behind the battle lines, from the kids. They all said what the news was not reporting, which was that specific, big chain stores were being targeted, not small independents. They also said that, in many instances, the cops had instigated the battles. The people who knew those kids, and trusted them, forwarded those emails to their entire mailing lists, and listservs. All of a sudden, people, not everyone, but large numbers of them, woke up to the fact that the news really was controlled by people who didn’t want the unwashed masses to know what was really going on.”

Kitty stopped, and took another swig of water:

“And my father predicted what would come, what has come. He said that the trick, for the monsters who rule the world, had been to fool the ignoids into believing lies. Whenever they achieved that, they were free to commit atrocities, secure in the knowledge that the sheep would condone the horrors, because they’d bought into their lies. But when the Internet came along, the monsters no longer had control over the means of mass communication, so they had to adjust, to carry on, business as usual.

“And they have. They have flooded the Internet with forty foot waves of bullshit, 24/7. The new goal was to put people into a state of deer-in-the-headlights paralysis through confusion. Convince them that nothing is true. For the most part, they have been successful, and left to carry on, with no united resistance.”

Silence sat between Kitty and Lance for a minute. Lance said, “Your father was one smart motherfucker. You must miss him.”

“No. No I don’t.”

“No.”

“No. I never knew him. But I really wish I had.”

Lance put his arms out in a mock hug, and wiggled his fingers at kitty, until she smiled, did the same, and said, “Thank you!”

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11 – SINO THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING

 

“I think Jack Ma just ‘open-sesamed’ Pandora’s Box,” Kitty said.

“I can’t believe the CPC let him do it.”

“Maybe the CPC came up with it, put a gun to his head, literally, and made him do it?” Kitty ventured.

Lance first heard the name Jack  Ma while studying Richard Branson. Branson, Lance figured, was the billionaire most likely to understand, and bankroll his Commonwealth idea. Branson had once passed along Ma’s advice on hiring policies to his followers. Ma’s advice was to not hire the most qualified person, but to hire the craziest one. Lance loved that advice, and started following the Alibaba founder.

“Plausible,” Lance said. “More than plausible, actually. Unless Ma’s stuffing copious quantities of batshit crazy stir fry into his maw.”

“Nice one!”

“That makes sense. Ma is the best known Chinese biz wiz on the planet. More or less universally respected, and admired in business circles the world over. I find it hard to believe that Ma would do this, unless he literally had a gun held to his head.”

“Does he have kids?”

“Three.”

“Well, there you have it,” said Kitty. “They’re holding his kids hostage. And this is tantamount to a declaration of war. Trade war, that is.”

Lance shook his head, and said, “Wow! MAKE AMERICA GO AWAY vs MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. Beijing is asking the rest of the world, ‘Which side are you on, boys?’”

“I remember,” Kitty said, “reading that, during the last Gulf War, or maybe that should be the most recent Gulf war, that people in France had little American flags on toothpicks, and they were sticking them into dog shit.”

Laughing, Lance asked, “Was that their reaction to the good ol’ boys renaming French fries freedom fries?”

“Maybe,” Kitty laughed.

“Well, these new MAGA hats are a lot bigger than dog shit on freedom fries.”

“Freedom fries,” Kitty scoffed, with a chuckle. She quickly let it go, and moved on. “China really is a monster. Filthy, heartless, commie bastards.”

“Has there ever been any other kind of commies?”

“No, I guess not. Not once they get their hands on the means of production, anyway.”

“Yugoslavia maybe?” lance offered.

“Yugoslavia died along with Tito, forty years ago, It just took a coupe decades of ugliness to finally bury the communist corpse. Same thing has been going on in Venezuela since Chavez died.”

“Cuba?”

“Try dissenting from the state in Cuba and find out. They didn’t even let their citizens travel outside the country until 2013. They had a built in Berlin wall of water around the country, so no need to build a solid wall to keep ’em in.”

Having no counter to Kitty Kaboodle’s arguments, Lance Lear leered at her for ten seconds, before saying, “China’s a monster, but it’s a monster we made. Or played a big hand in making, at least” Kitty waited, and Lance continued. “They said only Nixon could go to China. And he did. That’s when it started.”

“When what started?”

“Globalization.”

“In the 70s?”

Lance shrugged, “Yeah. The globalists play the long game. What Nixon started, Clinton finished. China got Most Favoured Nation status in the mid 90s. That’s when China started becoming CHINA. Investments poured into China, and before you knew it, everything everyone was buying was made in China.”

“And the monster has grown and grown, and can no longer be controlled?”

“So it seems. Their New Silk Road project will open markets for them from Beijing to Istanbul. And a trillion dollar infrastructure investment will buy a lot of friends.”

“All of them wearing Ma’s new MAGA hats.”

“He really will sell a hundred million of the things. They’ll be everywhere. I wonder how that’s gonna play with the troops stationed overseas. Everywhere they go, they will be greeted by YANKEE GO HOME.”

Kitty pondered that for a second, then let it go. “But what about the virus? How do you think it started?”

“Oh, I have no idea. Science is not my thing. What do you think?”

“I’ll go with people eating bats, for now. But it’s something rigt out of one of your father’s books.”

That struck a chord with Lance. “Maybe dear, old, deadbeat dad did it. Maybe he got one, or more, of his other illegitimate children, in China to create it. And they did it without the CPC knowing anything about it.”

This amused Kitty. “Yeah, maybe. Maybe you have half siblings all around the world, and the time has come to bring you all in on his most fiendish plotline ever.”

“What do you know about all this, anyway?”

“I already told you, not much. And nothing I can tell you. I just knew, as soon as he contacted me, that it was… rigt. And good. I just knew.”

“How do you know?”

“I don’t know. I just know.”

12 – STOP THE PRESSES!

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10 – MAGA

 

At the top of the hour, NPR lead their news report with a bizarre twist in the ongoing blame game propaganda war between China and Mairka.

“Jack Ma, The founder of Alibaba, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon, has announced that starting today he will be selling MAGA baseball caps. But there’s a twist. Ma’s version of the red hats will read MAKE AMERICA GO AWAY, not MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.”

The news anchor actually emitted a quick chuckle when she read the lead. She quickly composed herself and continued.

“The multi-billionaire will donate half the profits from the enterprise to laboratories around the world that are relentlessly trying to create drugs that will prevent, treat and cure the virus. The other half of the profits will be awarded to the first labs that produce  verified solutions. Ma, who will match sales dollar for dollar with is own money, estimates that he will sell at least one hundred million of the hats, which will retail for ten dollars, and can be purchased at MAKE AMERICA GO AWAY DOT COM. Ma summed up his message in four words, ‘Money talks, bullshit walks.’”

Kitty and Lance were laughing maniacally.

“Ma says the venture will double as a message to America as the country heads toward the November election, ‘The bottom line, America, is that the rest of the world is tired of your shit. Don’t get us wrong, we love Americans, but we are sick to death of your government perpetually trying to conquer the rest of the world, one way or another. We kindly ask candidates, and voters to take this message seriously, and sincerely, when considering the foreign policy of the next administration. God bless America… and the rest of the world, if you don’t mind, please and thank you.’”

“The White House has not yet responded, but political pundits around the world are unanimous in their opinion that President Trump will not be amused. The pundits tell us all to brace ourselves for a blitzkrieg of histrionic Tweets from the President.”

Kitty and Lance were still laughing maniacally.

“Ma hastened to point out that he does not believe that America sent COVID–19 infested soldiers to Wuhan City, where people were first infected. This puts Ma at odds with the Communist Party of China, which has leveled the allegation repeatedly for the last month. Beijing continues to tell the world that the virus came to China with the 300 strong American team sent to participate in the World Military Games last October. The Chinese say the only question is whether the infected troops were sent deliberately, or accidentally. But in an act of solidarity with Ma’s initiative, the Chinese government has declared that it will cover the shipping costs of the hats to every corner of the world, including Antarctica, and will even send one to any astronaut currently manning the International Space Station.

Kitty and Lance were still laughing maniacally.

“Political experts say this may be a watershed moment for the Communist Party, which is usually quick to punish any citizen who dares to fall out of lockstep. Constitutional experts in America agree that citizens  who wear one of the hats will be free to do so under the First Amendment, even Colin Kaepernick. However, they do worry that the most ardent defenders of the Second Amendment will arbitrarily decide to veto the rigt to freedom of speech, and take justice into their own hands, and God help any illegal alien, or tourist who is caught wearing one.”

Kitty and Lance were still laughing maniacally.

“Ma’s strange gambit comes less than a month after the CIA stated, categorically, that a meme that caused an uproar in the United States, had been created on a Chinese government computer. The four panel meme shows the CORONAVIRUS at four different levels of magnification. In the first panel the molecule looked exactly like the actual virus itself, with red spikes coming off the round, white surface. However, the final panel clearly shows that the red spikes are President Trump’s official MAGA hats.”

Kitty and Lance were still laughing maniacally.

11 – SINO THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING

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9 – A CONSPIRACY TO REMOVE THE PRESIDENT

 

“Shall we check what the vanguard of the lumpen proletariat are telling the trampled underfoot?” Lance asked, pointing at the truck’s radio.

“NPR?” asked Kitty. Lance nodded. “Why not?”

An egghead professor from an Ivy League school was yammering on about how Trump should be impeached for his handling of the crisis. “Every President should be impeached halfway through their first term,” Lance told the egghead, who could not hear him, and would not listen even if he could, because egghead professors don’t listen to what kids say, unless they are conducting funded studies.

“Yeah?” asked Kitty. “The impeachment process should start simultaneously with the inauguration?”

“Yes. Sorta,” Lance replied. “Actually, it should be built into the electoral process. A referendum on the presidency should be held along with the mid-term elections.”

Kitty didn’t have to ponder it before agreeing. “You’re rigt. It would draw more people to the ballot booths, which are operating anyway, so just one more ballot to check. It wouldn’t add any cost to the process.”

“It would require a constitutional amendment, but who would dare oppose it? Who is going to stand up and say we don’t need more democracy?”

Kitty laughed, “Fascinating. The people who pull the strings don’t want more democracy. They want far less, obviously. But how could they possibly say that?   Here’s the analogy. You buy a slice of pizza for a buck. And the seller offers you another one for free. Who’s not gonna take it?”

“Close, but not quite. The puppet masters will say it’s unhealthy to eat two slices, and they’ll pay off all sorts of think tanks to back that up with all sorts of gobbledygook.”

“Well, then they would, in fact, be arguing that democracy is not good for you. But I take your point, so forget the pizza slice, and say it’s a bottle of pure, 100% organic orange juice.”

“Sold!” Lance shouted.

“It ends the whole impeachment farce. How much was pissed away trying to impeach Trump, when it was foregone conclusion that it would not get past the Senate? The whole thing was charade that taxpayers had to shell out for. With a mid-term referendum, we can remove any President ourselves, at no cost to ourselves. To Hell with leaving it in the hands of politicians. Power to the people.”

“It also means Presidential candidates have to be very careful about who they pick as running mates.”

“Because if the people say, ‘Throw the bum out,’ the VP moves into the Oval Office?”

“Yes.”

“That’s beautiful,” Kitty said. “And the President would never know, for sure, if the VP is plotting against him, with a bi-partisan cabal.”

“No. But the President would always suspect it. The President would also have to be very scrupulous about going back on election promises, because voters are going to remember more of what happened in the past two years than they will of what happened in the past four years. No honeymoon period. Stand and be judged every two years.”

As the flatbed Ford passed another 18 wheeler full of toilet paper, Kitty pointed at its cabin and asked, “Do you think he would be opposed to such a sinister scheme to bring more democracy, more accountability to the Oval Office?”

Lance rolled down his window, said, “Let’s ask him,” and proceeded to try. The trucker looked at Lance, saw him saying something, then put his eyes back on the road. “You may need to get his attention.”

Kitty laughed, accelerated until she completed the pass, hiked her shirt up to her neck, and told Lance to take the wheel. Kitty turned around, and flashed the trucker, who responded by giving a couple long tugs on his air horn. She took the wheel again, moved back into the passing lane, and slowed until they were parallel once more.

The laughing trucker rolled his window down, and shouted, “Thanks for the show! What can I do for you kids?”

Lance shouted back, “We are conducting a poll. Do you think we should pass a constitutional amendment to put in place a mid-term referendum on the Presidency?”

The crestfallen tracker yelled, “Damn, I was hoping you were wanting to pull over to get to know me a little better. Well, your girlfriend, I mean, that is.”

The boy who would be King, Lance, son of Stephen, not Lance, laughed, and yelled “Sorry, no. But if you answer the question, we’ll give you her mother’s phone number. She lives in St. Paul.”

Kitty laughed hysterically, as did the tucker, who pulled on his air horn, and bellowed, “Deal! What was the question, again?” Lance laid out the proposition once more, to which the trucker yelled, “Hell yeah. More democracy. It’s the American way. Throw the bums out!”

Lance gave the trucker a thumb up, said thanks, and started to roll the window back up, but not before the trucker could yell, “Hey! What about that phone number?”

“It wouldn’t do you any good,” Lance yelled, “She’s a lesbian.” The trucker laughed, and pulled his air horn one more time, as Kitty jammed the pedal to the metal, and left him in her dust.

“There you have it,” Kitty said. “The people have spoken. Throw the bums out!”

10 – MAGA

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8 – FUNNY MONEY

 

Lance climbed back into the cabin. “Story time?”

“Story time!”

“It’s titled Die Laughing, which you already know, I imagine.”

“I do. A comedian. Outrageous. He’s bulletproof. American Indian. Retired, decorated Navy vet. Queer. Brainiac. PhD. In theology, a masters in computer science, another in diplomacy. Daffy Donald. Love the name. Tell me more.”

“Yes, he is bulletproof. He can get away with shit that no one else, not even Trump, can get away with, because of his background. Double oppressed minority, patriot, hero, religious expert, expert in diplomacy.”

“He doesn’t have to be diplomatic when he’s bulletproof. He can run and gun his mouth until the cows ascend to Nirvana.”

“And he does just that. One of his favourite routines is about money.”

“Gimme!”

“Gimme, gimme never gets. Don’t you know your manners yet?”

“Gimme, please.”

“Show me your titties!”

“Gimme, gimme never gets. Don’t you know your manners yet?”

“Show me your titties, please.”

Kitty took both hands off the wheel, turned towards Lance, laughed, “I’m such a whore,” and pulled her shirt over her face. She jiggled for thee, count ‘em, one, two, three seconds, then returned Lance to the regularly scheduled programming.

With disappointment thick in her voice, Kitty said, “You didn’t even try to grope me. You are gonna cum too soon!”

“Yeah. Me too, and all that.”

“Oh, nice double entendre! You’re funny Lance. I like that! C’mon, make me laugh some more. Gimme your money shot… pretty please!”

“Okay, but just a bit. I don’t wanna give you more than you deserve. More than you can handle.”

“Shut up and do me, big boy!”

Lance pulled out his phone, and pulled up his book. “Okay, here we go.”

“Let’s go!”

The Master of Ceremonies stepped up to the microphone, and hushed the giddy crowd. ‘You’re in for a Roman orgy of laughter tonight, kids. Fresh off a sold out, three month run at Caesar’s Palace, and on his way to New York, to open his one man Broadway show, ladies and germs, Daffy Donald!’

“And the crowd went wild! Daffy strutted out as the curtain opened. He was dressed as a pimp, straight outta Compton, and on his way to the Hamptons. Over the sound system, the chorus to Jessie J’s hit, Price Tag was, booming:

It’s not about the money, money, money
We don’t want your money, money, money
Just wanna make the world… dance
Forget about the… price tag!

Then the sound of a needle scratching across vinyl, and then the needle coming off the record roared through the speakers. Daffy Donald took the microphone in hand, and laughed, ‘Don’t believe a word she says, Chicago. It’s all about the money!’

And the crowd went wild!, and Daffy sang,

It’s all about the money, money, money
I want your fucking money, money, money
Just wanna make the world… laugh
But that comes with a… price tag!

Money is the most fucked up thing that man has ever created.

Seriously. More fucked up than religion, even.

The world is full of people who don’t want any more religion in their lives.

But everyone wants more money in their lives.

Even religious people.

Every church in the world wants more money.

Even the Buddhists have their begging bowls out all the time.

Do the Buddhists want more Buddha in their lives?

Fuck no!

They’ve got all the fucking Buddha they can stand.

They want more money.

Does the Pope want more Jesus in his life?

Fuck no.

He’s got Jesus up the yin yang.

He wants more fucking money.

The Pope wants more money, because the Vatican has to keep shelling out billions of dollars to all those kids their priests keep raping.

Neither the Vatican, nor the rape victims, want your thoughts and prayers.

They want money.

If religious people don’t want more religion in their lives, do rich people want more money in theirs?

Does Jeff Bezos want more money in his life?

Fuck yeah, he does.

Do Warren Buffet, and Elon Musk want more money?

Fuck yeah, they do.

They can’t get enough of the filthy shit.

When some horrible tragedy results in the deaths of innocent people, do their families want your thoughts and prayers?

Fuck no.

They want money.

Do they want the apologies of the people whose fuck ups caused the tragedy?

Fuck no.

They want their fucking money.

They’re not suing the fuck ups for apologies, and thoughts and prayers.

They’re suing them for their fucking money.

Why are they suing for money?

Because apologies, and thoughts and prayers, are bullshit.

And, even if they wanted thoughts and prayers, lawyers sure as fuck aren’t working for anything but cold, hard cash. They want the fuckin’ money!

Do the families of the victims of tragedies want changes to legislation, and regulations that will prevent similar tragedies in the future?

Sure.

So long as they’re getting money, too.

Otherwise, the only ones making money from the tragedy would be the lawyers, who are writing all the new laws, and regulations, and the lobbyists who are hired to make sure all those new laws and regulations s don’t go too far.

How the fuck is that justice?

Johnny got decapitated on a ride at Disneyland, and the only ones getting money for it are lawyers, and lobbyists?

Fuck that shit.

Now, the families of the victims always say shit like, ‘All the money in the world won’t bring Johnny back.’

And they’re absolutely rigt.

But that don’t mean they don’t want money.

What they mean is that all the money in the world isn’t enough to cover their pain and suffering… so give us a fuck of a lot of it.

How much do they want?

More!   I just told you, all the money in the world won’t bring Johnny back, so just keep filling these here wheelbarrows.

They can’t actually say that shit, but we all know they’re thinking it.

And their lawyers know they’re thinking it.

The lawyers know the families are thinking it, because sooner or later, the families always ask,  ‘How much do you think we’ll get?’

And the lawyer has to say,  ‘Well, all the money in the world won’t bring Johnny back… ‘

And the family says, ‘No, no, of course not, but… how much do you think we’ll get?’

The family already knows that the lawyer is gonna get every dime he can get out of the people who killed little Johnny, because he’s getting a percentage  – getting his pound of flesh, as Shakespeare might say –  but they still want an expert opinion as to how much they’re gonna get.

The families fuckin’ eh know all the money in the world won’t bring Johnny back,  but that don’t mean they’re not already spending the money they’re gonna get.

But, what’s gonna happen when less than all the money in the world will bring Johnny back?

What happens when we can clone Johnny?

At a very high price, at first, but the price will come down, over time.

Let’s say it costs a million bucks to clone Johnny.

You think that’s gonna be enough for his family?

Not a fucking chance.

Even if cloning Johnny costs a mere million bucks, they’re gonna want more.

Even if it means they get a chance to start all over with little Johnny, from infancy, and correct all the mistakes they made with him, they’re gonna want more money. because having money will help them correct all those fuck ups they made with little Johnny..

A lot of those fuck ups wouldn’t have happened if they’d had enough money to pay for these lessons, or those lessons,  or a trip to Disneyland… or,  oh, wait, that’s where Johnny got his head ripped off, so maybe not Disneyland.

No one wants to see that again.

And if we do, it’s on dark web YouTube, anyway.

And you know their lawyers are gonna be conniving justifications for more money… because they’re getting a percentage.

Even if little Johnny’s last name is Bezos, Buffet, or Musk,  all of whom can easily afford to bring Johnny back, they ain’t gonna wanna pay for it.

They’re gonna want Disney to pay for it.

And their lawyers are gonna want as much of Disney’s money as they can get their dirty, money grubbing hands on, well above and beyond what it will cost to bring Johnny back.

But, let’s say little Johnny’s last name was Smith, or Jones, or whatever.

And the family is not rich.

And let’s say it will cost $50 million to clone Johnny.

And let’s say there is a 100% certainty that little Johnny will be just like dead little Johnny was before he got his head ripped off.

And, let’s say they can only get $50 million from Disney.

But the family can do whatever they want with the money.

I am 100% certain that the only member of the family that is 100% guaranteed to vote for bringing Johnny back is the dog.

Even Johnny’s younger siblings could not be counted on to be 100% behind bringing him back.

The younger they are, the better the odds for Johnny, but kids can be pretty evil.

And selfish.

They start to be poisoned by money at an early age.

And with that much money on the table,  you can be damn sure their parents are gonna be giving the little fuckers a crash course on the cold, hard realities of life without money,  with graphic and gruesome details,  and four part harmonies.

And Johnny’s brothers and sisters are gonna remember that time he laughed at them, kept laughing, even when they were crying.

And didn’t apologize, until mom slapped him a good one.

So, the vile machinations begin.

‘Couldn’t we, maybe, bring half of him back?’ says poor, broken hearted mommy.

‘Maybe we can get Johnny cloned in Mexico,’ says poor broken hearted daddy.

‘Or China!’ says poor, broken hearted mommy, who has had a thing for Chinese boys since she was a teenager masturbating to her Bruce Lee poster.

‘Maybe we can wait a couple years, ‘til the price comes down a bit. What’s the rush?’

‘Invest some of the money. Spend a bit of it. Just a little.’

If the family happens to be Catholic, they will turn to the parish priest for guidance.

Even if Johnny’s was the sweetest little ass he ever raped – and he’d very much like to dance the chocolate cha-cha with Johnny again, especially because Johnny will be an anal virgin again – the priest will understand that the church stands to gain a sizable donation from little Johnny’s family, if they don’t piss away all that money bringing back a child who could send him to prison for the rest of his life, where he’ll be on the receiving end of the chocolate cha-cha dance, and tossing salad three times a day.

And if a ten million dollar contribution to the church will help the Pope pay the Vatican’s unsustainable ass-raping tab, imposed by various courts the world over,  the priest just might find his way into Heaven, after all,  if he can just quit his filthy habit.

So, after feigning a long period of tortured pontificating, the ass-raper will say,  ‘You know Johnny’s in Heaven, don’t you?’ He is with God, now. What makes you think Johnny really wants to come back?’

And that’s all Johnny’s family will have to hear.

‘Father Butt Diddle is rigt, honey!’ Johnny’s broken hearted father will say. ‘Johnny’s with God, now!  Up there in Heaven. Where there ain’t no Jews, or faggots. Isn’t that wonderful?’

And Johnny’s poor, broken hearted mother will say, ‘Let’s go shopping! Let’s go to Disneyland… I mean, let’s go to Busch Gardens! Do they have one in China?’

Kitty was laughing so hard she was crying. And she was wet,  but not from the tears. Oh, yes, Kitty would be a happy little Queen, to the boy who would be King.

Lance enjoyed the reading, especially Kitty’s highly motivating squeals of laughter. “You’re a great audience.”

“And you, my friend, are a raconteur extraordinaire. You delivery made me think of Carlin.”

“Yeah? That’s what I’ve been aiming for. He’s my fave. I’m stealing his soul, or trying to channel it. But I have to really work on the writing as much as the delivery, because it’s a book. Just words on pages, screens. It’s impossible to convey the energy that comes with a voice, and physical, non-verbal communication. I am struggling with it. If I don’t improve it, it can fall flat to readers. But the great thing about digital and print-on-demand books is that I can constantly edit them, even while they are being sold.”

“Lots of work to do. But you seem to love it, so it is not arduous.”

“No. It’s fun. Well, Dorothy Parker nailed it when she said, ‘I hate writing, but I love having written.'”

“You know who would love what you just read?  Mr. Money..”

“Who dat?”

“The villain in Riff n Raff. Evil capitalist, mad scientist. Will do anything to become the richest and most powerful man in the world,

Mr.money

including whoring his super selfish daughter, Mimi.”

Mimi needs a snarl

“I really am looking forward to reading it. Is it funny? Sounds funny. Is he as funny as me, the writer, I mean?”

“Ir’s a scream. Yes, the writer is funny, but I think he held himself back in the book. You can just tell he’s a lot more twisted than he lets on in the book.”

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7 – NOT THIS TIME BANKSTERS

 

“Slow down. Check this out,” Lance said, as they motored out of Des Moines, headed for the Twin Cities. On the side of the road, in front of a nondescript, lower middle class house, was a card table, stacked high with canned goods, root vegetables, and the current currency of the realm, toilet paper. A simple, straight forward sign delivered a message of hope – FREE. TAKE WHAT YOU NEED.

“That’s beautiful,” Kitty said.

“Yeah, “ Lance agreed, “but they should have added one thing.”

“What?”

“Get it before the banksters do.”

The printing presses on the magic money making machines were running, in overdrive, 24/7, all around the world. Although word had not yet gotten out, the banksters were lined up at the end of those presses, drooling, with their one-for-you, one-for-me wheel barrows.

“Scum,” Kitty said, spitting out the window. “I don’t know if they can get away with it as heinously as they did in ‘08. I hear the Occupy people are planning to set up a guillotine on Wall Street to convey the message.”

“Nice,” said Lance. “The heads should land at the top of a slide, roll down into into bowling pins. Call it Bowling for the Big Bailout Bucks.”

“It has to be different, this time,” Kitty started. “They’re gonna have to bring in universal basic income. My guess is that a big chunk of that money will be earmarked for high tech companies. Good for the geeks, but all that new tech they create will put a lot of people out of jobs. Replaced with AI. Robots up the yin-yang, everywhere you look.”

“I think you’re rigt.”

“If the profits earned by those tech companies goes into Swiss bank accounts, instead of back into job creation and universal basic income, there will be blood in the streets. Barrels out it. If that blood does not come from the cops and military slaughtering the revolting poor, it will come from  the revolting poor slitting the throats of the revoltingly rich.”

“None of that money should end up in the pockets of corporate execs through convoluted shell games. If that happens, you’re rigt,there will be violence. Some smart guy once said something about… how did it go…ah, yes, those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable.”

“JFK. Guess they didn’t like that message. Sent their reply to him in Dallas, special delivery.”

“Use it, or lose it,” said Lance. “If they’re making gobs of money, and not investing it into companies that create jobs, take it away from them.”

Lance opened a pack of smokes, shook one out

Kitty snapped. “Not in here, you don’t. Put that thing away.”

Lance did as he was told, and started running his mouth again. “It’s just pure greed. Greed is an omnivorous, insatiable demon. Anyone infected with the soul-sucking disease is ugly to the marrow, no matter how pretty they may be on the surface. The poor gluttons stagger around, oblivious to the beauty before them, in a perpetual quest for MORE.

“They were animated into this material realm hard wired to believe that the acceptance and love they need to be happy is wholly dependent on their ability collect any and every form of material wealth, and if that means committing unconscionable acts, so be it.

“From the moment our species slithered out of the seas, and bounced down from the trees, greed has been the cancer that devours our humanity.”

“That’s good, dude! What was it Bob Marley said? Some people are so poor that all they have is money.”

“Great line.”

“You know the name Nick Hanauer?”

“No.”

“Oligarch. One percenter. Got in on the ground floor of Amazon. Filthy rich. He gave a TED Talk, six, seven years ago. Warned his fellow plutocrats that if they don’t start sharing the wealth, wait… how did he put it? Rigt. When people would ask him what he saw in his crystal ball, he answered, ‘I see pitchforks.’ It was a message. A warning, to the ‘Let them eat cake,’ crowd.”

“Amazon, huh? I’m gonna put them out of business.”

“That’s what I hear. You’ve been trying to get to Richard Branson with it. But you’re not saying what the idea is.”

“Ideas cannot be afforded intellectual property protection. If I tell you the idea, it’s as good as yours. I’m hooped and out of the loop. And if I just throw it out there, some Bond villain could steal it, and use it for evil, instead of good.”

Kitty laughed, “Old Leather Pussy?”

Lance laughed, “Maybe! I like that. I guess I could work the idea into a screenplay, Bond vs Old Leather Pussy screenplay. I might actually make a few bucks from it.”

“Didn’t you just say something about use it, or lose it?”

“Unlike vast fortunes in Swiss bank accounts, no one can know what’s inside my head. Can’t be taken away. Can only be given away.”

Affecting a German accent, Kitty laughed, “Ve have vays of making you talk!’”

Laughing, Lance pulled the pepper shaker out of his pocket, and said, “Yes. I saw that. So, I won’t have to use this on you?”

Kitty laughed so hard she almost swerved off the road. “That’s hilarious! No, you won’t have to use that… when the time comes.”

“And that time is coming soon?” Lance asked, with hope in his voice.

“I’m gonna resist the temptation to crack wise about cumming too soon.”

“Too late.”

“What? Did you just cream your jeans?”

Lance laughed, “No. I mean you just cracked wise about cumming too soon. And you knew it before you did it. Strumpet.”

Strumpet. Nice word!”

Great word! I like hussy, too.”

“Everyone likes a hussy, Lance.”

“Anyway, dear, old deadbeat dad wants to know about my Commonwealth idea?”

“Yeah. That’s one of the things he wants to talk to you about. He instinctively knows that it will play a large role in shifting us out of the putrid age of crony capitalism, and into the new age of capitalism with a human face.”

“It will. If I can convince someone to build it. And cut me in for a few crumbs. He’s really been paying attention to me, huh?”

“Evidently so. Anyway, we’ll get to all that In Thunder Bay. But, you were saying money gets a lot of space in your book. Care to share? Sorry, I’ve been absolutely engrossed with Riff n Raff, I’m on my third reading of it, and haven’t gotten around to your offering. ”

“Sure. Just pull over and let me piss, first.”

8 – FUNNY MONEY

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6 – BLACK MAGIC TITTY POWDER

 

The diner was half full. A licorice all-sorts collection of ages, races, shapes and sizes sat at tables, the requisite distance apart from one another. Kitty and Lance scanned the menu, made their choices, summoned the waitress, and placed their orders.

Kitty asked, “Washroom?” The waitress pointed, but added, “No TP, though. Sorry. They won’t stop stealing it. We are advertising that people have to bring their own.”

Kitty laughed, reached into her bag, pulled out a bottle of water, and a handkerchief. “I haven’t used it since this started. Wash and dry. Cleaner, free, no trees sacrificed to the greedy gods who wage an eternal war against our dear, sweet Mother Earth.”

Lance grinned, and said, “Solid reasoning. Unless you are a conscientious objector to rational human hygiene habits, because you stand in solidarity with the toilet paper moguls of the world, and the tax slaves who serve them, and your shitty ass.”

The bemused waitress asked, “You two from Portland?” Kitty and Lance chuckled, but did not answer. “Anything else?” There was nothing else. The boy who would be King, and the girl who would be his Queen, did their business, and returned to the table.

KILLGOD

“What do you do when you’re not searching high and low for conscripts into your coming war against the forces of darkness, at the behest of my father, and whoever he may serve?”

“So far as I know, your father serves neither god, nor man.”

“That’s reassuring,” said Lance, staring into Kitty’s bottomless black eyes.

“I do a bunch of stuff. My current project is a new game.”

“You’re a gamer?”

“I make ‘em, more than play ‘em.”

“And your new game?”

The black eyed beauty let the question hang in the air for a few seconds, staring back into Lance’s big brown eyes. “My new game is gonna sweep round the world faster than this virus.”

“No shit?”

“No shit.” Lance waited for more. Kitty gave it to him. “It’s called KILLGOD. All caps.”

Laughing, Lance asked, “As in, KILL… GOD?”

“All caps, one word. KILLGOD.”

“You a Satanist? Seriously.”

“Some would have you believe it, but don’t believe the hype. I don’t worship Satan, or any other fabrication of fools, including the biggest lie of all.”

“Which is?”

“Money. Unlike the people who destroy this planet, and their minions who do the dirty work for them, I do not worship money.”

“You’re a communist?”

“Please. Don’t insult my intelligence.”

“Interesting. Very interesting. Money takes up a fair amount of space in my book, so I wanna come back to that. But tell me about your game, first. I take it the purpose, the goal, is to KILLGOD.”

“The purpose, as you say, is to KILLGOD. In my game, you have to kill him, before he kills all of us, or forces us into submission, mindlessly worshiping him, at the insistence of his oversized, and voracious ego.”

“Great lead, girl. I’m hooked. Tell me.”

“One of the archangels has discovered that god is going to unleash armageddon on Earth. He is tired of people not worshiping him 24/7, and has decided to kill us all.”

“I’m sure there are Chistards saying that’s exactly what’s going on now.”

“And sticking their collection plates out to assure your passage into heaven. Martin Luther most certainly did not put an end to indulgences.” Kitty looked around, to see if anyone was eavesdropping. None that she could see, she carried on.

“The archangel, who may or may not be part of a fifth column, tells Satan about God’’s evil plan. Satan says that’s enough of God’s shit. It’s time to kill the narcissist, once and for all.”

“You are a devil worshiper,” Lance laughed.

Kitty ignored the taunt. “Satan calls Jesus on the carpet, and tells him the job falls to him.”

“Jesus is in Hell?”

“That’s where all the cool kids go. God kicked his son out for not worshiping him enough. Like a shitfaced drag queen, God can never be worshiped enough. But he has to tolerate a bit of that, or sit up in Heaven all by his lonesome. But his son would challenge him, so he got the boot. Satan took him in.”

“Hilarious!”

“So, that’s the opening scene. Satan explaining the mission to Jesus. Jesus says, ‘Jesus Christ, what an asshole!’”

Lance burst into laughter.

“You like that one?”

“More! Jesus is going to kill his father?”

“Doesn’t every son want to kill his father? If for no other reason than to satisfy his Oedipus complex?”

“I dunno. Maybe I’m about to find out.”

“Maybe. But Jesus is all for killing the old man. So, the player’s character is Jesus. In order to get to the old man, Jesus must first go back in time to his birth, and avenge the deaths of all the people who have been killed in his name.”

“Brilliant! That’s how players level up. The crusades, witch burnings, all of it.”

“Yes. And when players level up, they get the powers of one of the numerous demigods that God has in jail.”

Love it! So, Jesus gets stronger and stronger, as he progresses on the road to Heaven, to kill the old man. And when he does, he will set all the demigods free. Genius.”

“Thanks. I like it, too. The penultimate level is the battle against the Pope.”

“Would you like to see the Pope on the end of a rope?”

“Very good, Lance. Very good.”

“So, once the Pope is swinging, Jesus ascends to Heaven to go mano a mano with god. How hard is it? The whole game?”

“It will take even the greatest gamers a long time. But there are shortcuts built in, for people who can think laterally.”

“What stage are you at? How soon will it be ready?”

“I’m ready to start testing. I held off for you. You’ll be the first.”

“Wow! I am… honoured.”

“You should be.”

“When can I start playing.”

“As soon as we have time to spare.”

“Which is not likely to be anytime soon, I imagine.”

“We’re all gonna need down time in the days ahead. And our mission is not as arduous as you may be thinking. This isn’t a Stephen King book. You’ll have time.”

BLACK MAGIC TITTY POWDER

The waitress appeared with their food. Kitty grabbed the pepper shaker, and applied a healthy dose to her fries. A little too liberal a dose, as it turned out. She felt the sneezing fit coming, and pulled her shirt up and over her face from the bottom. No, Kitty was not wearing a bra. Yes, Kitty has great titties. Yes, she could have pulled the shirt over her face from the top, but Kitty’s not that kinda girl. Kitty’s a tart. And an exhibitionist. And a tease. And she’s damn good at it, bless her soul.

Everyone in the diner stopped what they were doing, and saying, when they heard Kitty’s first sneeze. All eyes were on her, as she jiggled through five, count ‘em, one… two… three… four… five glorious sneezes.

When she was finished, she stood and yelled, “Relax! I just got tested. I am not infected. I just got some pepper up my nose. Sorry. Didn’t mean to alarm you.” She spoke every word with a suggestive smile, not bothering to stifle her laughter.

When she sat down, one of the male patrons started chanting, “Encore! Encore! As the rest of the patrons followed his lead, Lance said to Kitty, “You did that on purpose, you strumpet! You did that on purpose!”

Kitty smiled, and answered the accusation with a single, drawn out, “Mmmmeeeooowwww!”

The King and Queen to be finished their meals, tipped generously, and made their way toward the door. As soon as they rose, the “Encore! Encore!” chant started afresh, and everyone joined in.

The cooks came out of the kitchen, and banged pots and pans. Two of the waitresses threw themselves across the exits. All were laughing wildly, Kitty included.

Kitty said, “Okay. Okay. Just one more, though. Me and lover boy here are on a mission to save the world, so I don’t have time to be sneezing and jiggling for your entertainment all night.”

Not a sound could be heard when Kitty started the show by throwing a palm full of pepper into the air, sticking her nose into the cloud, and inhaling. The moment her nose started twitching, people burst into thunderclaps of all manner of animal noises. The shirt came up, all the way up, and the place exploded in rapturous exaltation.

After weeks of suffocating in a biblical deluge of non-stop doom and gloom, End Times fatalism, that reign of misery came to a spectacular end. The sun shone gloriously, and dark forests full of scary monsters echoed in laughter, and unbridled joie de vivre. Titty power!

Kitty bested herself by knocking out seven sneezes. No one would have cared if they’d found out that she was faking the last two.

As Kitty somewhat reluctantly pulled her shirt back down, people started shaking pepper out of shakers, and blowing the fine, black magic titty powder in the air. Within seconds, every girl in the place had her shirt up over her face, and was sneezing like mad.

This went on for, well, how, exactly, does one measure time when there are glorious titties bouncing all over the place?  Let’s just say it went on for glorious moment of time, that none who were there will ever forget. Even if they lapse into dementia, years later, they will remember the sheer joy they shared that one night in Des Moines.

When Kitty finally decided it really was time to get back on the road, she implored everyone to  “Calm the fuck down!” That took a full minute. Kitty grinned and said, “Remember, boys, there’s no TP in the washroom! So save it for your dates, or for the girls on Pornhub.”

They could hear the roars of laughter back in Omaha.

“Remember,” Kitty said, calming the crowd once again, “the name of the game is KILLGOD!” She threw her adoring fans the double devil horns, and repeated, “The name of the game is KILLGOD.”

The spellbound mob started chanting,

The name of the game is KILLGOD!

The name of the game is KILLGoD!,

The name of the game is KILLGOD!”

As Kitty yelled, “See y’all in Hell, motherfuckers,” and opened the door, Lance stuffed a pepper shaker into his pocket, and followed his Queen of the Night into the night.

7 – NOT THIS TIME BANKSTERS

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