Wednesday, May 25, 2016

chapter1.11 - an offer you can't afford

the mCsituation

The sound of text alerts suddenly rang out through the group. "My husband, he's alive!" shouted one survivor. "My child is alive!" cried another. As it turned out, everyone was disappointed, as they had all received the same spam text:

Support the Eevellary Bintonion presidential campaign by offering will give them a discount on "Uterus Card" t-shirts*.*5% discount on all purchases made through****Discount does not apply to sales tax, shipping costs, or transaction fees, or any other costs******Discount only applies to orders over 10,000**********No guarantee on availability of size, color, durability or quality, so expect a freight train of XX-small orange and purple tees which will stain all of your other clothing before the fabric itself dissolves water****************100% 'handling' surcharge on all ordersKudos! #YouAreWithHer!

Van Bilge was puzzled by the message. "Hmm, what's a 'uterus card' and why do I want one? Is that like an organ transplant because, you know, I'm pretty sure I don't need one. In fact I don't think anyone needs one. Or do they? Kudos! (whatever those are, you can have all of my kudos as they seem to be invisible and functionless) (might be like neutrinos but I'm not sure what those are either but they are very very small, I've been told so they could be like the same thing or, um, some thing. Hmmm.)"

Fortunately, no one was paying any attention to him, due to what just had appeared on the monitor.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

#chapter1.10 - radio haze (iii)

the mCsituation

Subsequently,  a long drone leaked out of the monitor's speakers, much like a bagpipe's lower register. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..."
"What fresh new devilry is this? Is someone dying on the radio? Is it some fiery beast risen from hell?" asked Lockjaw.
"No, Captain," said Mr. Schlock. "It is one of your Earth-human audio programs, "That Ummerican Life."
All of the survivors went silent, listening carefully. Lockjaw cocked his head, dog-like. "Oh, now I hear it," he said. "It's a man. Talking. Sort of."

Indeed, it actually was a human voice of some sort. "Hell...o. Welcome..." Then a long pause. Then what might have been a prolonged  inhalation. "UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH."

Then the speech began again--and again, barely audible.  "Welcome.." Lockjaw checked his watch. ""  He then began mixing a martini from what was left of the bar. "Okay, who wants more booze?" Everyone raised their hands including the children.  "Hey, what the hell, we're all going to be dead soon, eh?" "...That..." "Just let me shake this up like Taylor Swift on meth." "...American.." Lockjaw continued shaking the container. "...Life." "Finally, we have a title! Hey, let's see what's in here." The captain opened the container. "Just enough left for me, sorry everybody."
it said. A sad sigh went through the little crowd.

Or perhaps the sadness was caused by the voice droned on its low, barely audible, yet somehow annoying monotone. "Today...let'-- talk--about--anger. Not--just--any--anger. [long pause]No. Buuuuuuut [deep inhalation] the worst type of all: The--things--people--say--about--my--show. Let's start with Dave. Dave, you insulted a woman by calling her a, and I quote, and our listeners should probably cover their ears at this point or set down their cup of non-caffeinated herbal tea or just turn off their hearing aids, assuming they can still hear at all--"

The voice of a man, high-pitched and filled with rage, interrupted him. "Yes I did, Jeebus just get to the damn point. You said you were going to call for an ambulance if I answered your questions!"

"And he's being rude by interrupting me. But I will ask the question: Did you call this woman a 'fat bitch'?'

[Somewhere, on another far-off planet, a bearded mystic intoned, "I just felt a disturbance in the Farce, like the sound of a million cups of chamomile being spilled at once. Followed by an outpouring of angry emails, internet postings, text messages, text messages sent as emails, and even letters hand written and sent via post."]

The voice of the angry man filled the room. "Yes I  called her a fat bitch, she's eating my goddamn arm off. Please call an ambulance or do something! Arrrgh."

"Now let's get her response. What do you say to that, madam?"

A woman's voice spoke in response. "Braiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiins!"

The angry man"Dammit my arm is gone! I'm bleeding out here! Please somebody help me! I think  I'm--" There was a crashing noise, like a body falling out of a chair and hitting the floor.

"So there you have it, Ummerica: A rage-filled misogynist; a woman who simply wants to feed upon human flesh. Next up: A story about unappreciative and most likely bigoted, misogynistic leeches who refuse to be guilted into sending money to support this show and other terrific programs on National SomethingSomething Radio."

"For the sake of Jeebus turn it off!" shouted Lockjaw.

"We can't find the remote!"

Lockjaw clenched both fists and sank to his knees cried out: "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

#chapter1.09 - radio haze (ii)

the mCsituation

'Excellent,' thought Miranda Lund (Senior Stewardess Extraordinaire). Her self-congratulatory stream of consciousness for accomplishing precisely nothing was quickly interrupted as National SomethingSomething Radio resumed over the aircraft's audio system: 'Welcome to Something Less Interesting', said a smooth, plangent voice. The motley crew and motley assorted passengers assumed positions of hopelessness and despair, ranging from the classic scream of "Nooooooo!" to resigned shrugs of "Oh fuck it."

"Oh, fuck it," muttered Miranda. She realized that the alliteration of herself 'muttering' was awkward, cloddish, and plebeian, but then she thought, 'Fuck that too, we're almost dead.' 

"So," continued the disconnected (in more ways than one) voice, "we're here with Profeessor Sally Exculpator, a leadshipologist of the University of--well who really cares? Now, Professor, you've done a good deal of research on leadership. So tell us: Will Secretary Bintonian be the best president ever? Or the bestest president ever?"

"The answer is obvious--she will be both. But make no mistake: A woman is judged more harshly for her past mistakes. And if she makes the same mistake over and over and over and over and, you know, over say a period of three decades, she is, for some strange and no doubt sexist reason--well I won't say it's sexist because I can't say with certainty even when it so obviously is sexist as hell that a woman is judged for this war or that war or leaving the garage door open, I mean no one complains that when a man leaves a garage door open but leave the door open and your child runs out into the street or somehow ended up in the washing machine or playing with the neighbor's pit-fighting dogs, yeah a woman does that and then it's all 'indictment this' and 'prosecution that' just because a little incident happened and someone's child sort of died. Well I'm sorry you don't have a granddaughter any more, Mom but boohoo life goes on, you know?"

"Wow. Just so much wow. How unfair."

"Precisely, and let's not forget that a woman is judged for her past and future mistakes. Mistakes that have not even happened!" 


"For example you lose one or two children and suddenly people are telling you you're a bad mother!"

"Ah ha. So you are saying that Eeveellary Bintonian is being judged not only for what she has done, but what she might do? And men are not?" 

"Correct. Though we might judge them if we know what they will do. But that's a whole freaky area and can't happen. Unless the space-time continuum breaks down in some previously unknown fashion and the past and future start to collide in some crazy kooky but hilarious way."

"Well there you have it. Bintonian, don't judge her judgments, past, present or future. Forgive or forget or forget the future or whatever. So a few people died who shouldn't have. A few soldiers came back bit by bit in used matchboxes and sandwich bagggies. So I put a screaming child in the washing machine. That's no reason to become alarmed." 

"So true. Next up: Will rampant zombieism bring back vinyl records? One industry spokesmen says it just might. Really? That's our next story? Are you fucking kiddding me? Oh, is this still on? Sorry, listeners, it seems that our engineer just ate the producer and is munching on his intestines as we speak. Oh fuck I forgot the fucking trigger word. Zombies. There, are you happy, trigger people? Feel better now! Dammit all why did I ever go into radio?" 

Friday, May 6, 2016

#chapter1.08 - radio haze

the mCsituation

Tragically, someone then changed the channel. (We shall never know whom, in all likelihood, although scholars will continue to debate this for decades to come.)  "Hello and welcome to our live video feed from our studios in Washington," intoned a pleasant, reassuring voice.

"There's a lot going in the world. Reports are coming in from all over the nation that civilization itself is collapsing. Mysterious disappearances have reached untold numbers. Strange and highly disturbing reports of murder and cannibalism permeate the airwaves. So we open this GoodGood Morning Edition with a hard-hitting interview. With my dog, Oedipus Rex." The camera pulled back to reveal a dog sitting in the studio. "Arf!"

"Now Rex, there are many horrible things that are happening. Or, seem to be happening. Videos of accidents, explosions, humans devouring other humans alive in ghastly orgies of blood. So let me ask you, Rex--and please allow me to apologize in advance if this question is too harsh or direct or probing or substantial in any way--I hope you will understand-- but here at NPR, we try to take an objective approach.

Rex nodded his head "Arf."

"Thank you for understanding. Now Rex, here is the question I must ask, which all of America is doubtless asking. Rex: Are you a good boy?"

"Arf!" Rex exclaimed. The news anchor/host tossed Rex a biscuit. "Very good!" she exclaimed.

"But Rex--and I have to ask this--are you sure you're a good boy? And before you answer,  remember that this is being recorded and transcribed for posterity."

Rex wagged his tail. "Arf!"

"And will Eveellary Bintonian be the best president ever? Or the bestest ever?"


"That sounded to me like 'bestest'. And so it stands, America. Rex is a good boy, and Madame Bintonian will be the bestest president in history. Next up: A hipster folk band is here to debut a song they've just written called, um, 'Braiiiiiiiins!'. Hey guys I'd like to welcome you to Good Morning Edition and goddammit I even own a vinyl imporession -aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiedeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"
The news anchor protested mightily as she was torn limb from limb by a heavily bearded folk trio.
 'Great inteview,' thought Miranda. 'Wish I could get paid to talk to a dog and be eaten by a hipster folk trio.