Just Desserts? Just Deserts! [Part 2]

 

[Read Part 1 Here]

When we last left the Kingdom of Doom, its bloated head of state, Brutus the Barbarian, was bending over his bejeweled, solid gold, one holer “throne”… uh… “making room” for his morning repast’s dessert course. For the moment, his palace’s hallowed Hall of Audiences had become little more than a disgusting public vomitorium.

Oddly enough, his subjects were so used to their sovereign grossing them out, that they watched unflinchingly, which gratified Brutus, no end. Furthermore… at least in his demented mind’s eye… the no more than 60 total, actual count of these toady attendees, had now swelled to a tremendous 60 million! He even fancied the thought…

“From time immemorial, no king could ever boast of such a tremendous crowd size!”

Brutus’ recurring “Oh to be loved by so many so frequently” fantasy almost brought a tear to his glowering, evil eye… all of that accompanied by surging feelings of untold rapture… i.e., especially when the masses offered up their rhythmic chants of, “Bru! Bru! Bru!” Of course, the far more accurate quotation would’ve been a combination of “Booooo! Booooo! Booooo!” and “Eeewe! Eeewe! Eeewe!”

Well… his purging now a fait accompli, it was time for him, alone, to pig out on that perfect, thickly frosted, three layer, chocolate cake, which his fair-haired handmaiden, Stormy Stephanie, had set before him… mere moments earlier.

However, as he stood upright once more… slowly pivoting to face and flash his loyal subjects… he was greeted by a deathly silence. He hiked up his whitey tighties and pantaloons. Nonplussed, horrified and outraged best described how he felt at the mere sight of everyone lying prone on the floor… flat on their faces and motionless…

“Wake up! I command thee”, he bellowed… but, nobody could possibly obey him… not Harold the Herald… not Miniver the Minstrel… not Jessie the Jester. Even worse… not even his royal mistress, Stormy Stephanie!

All the sudden an unexpected, yet familiar, voice violated the roaring silence… growing in intensity as the delirious, soaked in a cold sweat, royal physician, Quentin Quackenbush, first, made his staggering entrance… next, promptly stumbled over his feet to fall at the feet of his liege lord Brutus. Too weak to even raise his head, his words got muffled by the red carpet’s plush, luxurious pile…

“Your Majesty! I am the bearer of news… gasp… and it’s all bad. Pestilence has stricken down your entire kingdom… rapid… if not instant… sudden death! it’s a novel influenza… unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my… gasp… three score and ten years of doctoring… and… and… alas… it has also sickened… gasp… even me…”

Brutus thought to himself, “Those ingrates! How dare they disrespect me! How dare they make me look bad by dying without my express permission!” He waddled from chamber to chamber… even clenched his fist to pound on the locked door to his estranged wife’s boudoir. Right about then he would’ve even welcomed one of her spit out with spite, “Buzz off you bastard!” commands. Alas, even her anger towards him had died.

Anyway, all throughout his castle, this novel, macabre scene had repeated itself, without fail. Indeed, Quackenbush had not been disseminating faketh news. At the palace’s very entrance, Brutus even found the palace guard unit had perished.

Struggling… huffing and puffing till red in the face… the 250 kg / 550lb Brutus finally managed to lower the drawbridge… his never used muscles immediately growing sore… his dainty hands now all bloodied and calloused.

He was soon stunned, anew, for even the moat’s snakes and alligators were lifeless… floating motionless. Lumbering out to the livery stable, he found the horses, too, had all been sickened to death. Ditto that re the pigs in the sty and poultry in the hen house. Indeed, nary a whinny, oink, honk or cluck.

Considering sudden death’s dizzying display, not all that surprising was Brutus losing his footing in the slimy mud and taking a face down dive into that muck. It was then and there that he heard a booming voice from above… way above…

Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy…

Stay Tuned, too, for the next installment of Just Desserts? Just Deserts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Nonsensical Scenario? (The Contortionist)

 

The verbose contortionist with incredibly, flexible vertebrae
was a physiological force to reckon with. One day, he stuck
his head so far up the ol’ wazoo, it wound up exiting his yap!
Yep, that shut him up, in the end (pun intended?)! The End!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Desserts? Just Deserts! [Part 1]

 

Once upon a time, deep within the far-flung Kingdom of Doom, there ruled Brutus the Barbarian… the foolhardy, blowhard, hard-liner, who fancied himself omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Yet, truth be told, His Highness was as dull as his daily routine.

Each, typical new morn, he’d emerge from his bedchamber… lumber down the flickering, torch lit corridor and pause to rattle the door handle to his estranged wife’s boudoir. Without fail, she had locked it and, on occasion, he’d even hear her snarl,

“Buzzeth off you unfaithful scum wad!”

By that time, Barry the Barber would, for the umpteenth time, bounce on by to offereth his services, but, per ususal, Brutus would shoo him off. His Majesty actually preferred shaving off his royal whiskers for both practical and preposterous reasons. After all, he knew he must not trust anyone to wield a straight-edge anywhere near his carotid artery. Besides, his making this a DIY task did offer him the perfect excuse (not that he really needed one) to gaze longingly into his mirror, primp and preen, comb over his golden, slumbers-tousled tresses and, last but not least, fess up how he was, actually, in mad, Mad, MAD, purple passionate love with… With… WITH…

HIMSELF! Only pangs of hunger could pry him away from his reflected self. And so, with tummy growling, the 250 kg / 550lb Brutus would then waddle down the gradually spiraling, red carpeted staircase, his fur trimmed orange robe all a’flutter in the castle’s musty drafts. Upon his grand entrance into the Hall of Audiences… the adoring crowd (estimated to be 6 million souls) would give him a Standing O and the Royal Trumpeters would fanfare him onward to the very table where he, alone, would be seated. It was there, that a bevy of wrongfully objectified, scantily clad handmaidens awaited him with (faked) bated breath.

While they served up his piping hot, six-course morning repast, Brutus, upon unceremoniously dropping his silk pantaloons and whitey tighties, would seat himself atop his glistening, one-holer gold throne… all bejeweled with sparkling diamonds, emeralds and rubies. As expected, everyone would be “treated” to yet another disgusting, grunting and grimacing, voiding and moving moment. And to top that, this was whilst he’d be chowing down… no less (eewwww)! Ofttimes, while talking with his mouth full, he’d lament over how it was physiologically impossible to outsource each nature’s call to some “lucky” lackey.

Once His Majesty felt a bit… uh… relieved, Harold the Herald, would take that as his cue to enter. In fine baritone voice, he’d loudly attempt to verbally pretty up… to make rhyme or reason out of each and every last damned one of Brutus’ non-accomplishments. He would really shovel on the praise, whilst reciting and regurgitating, ad nauseam, the litiny of royal whoppers.

At that point, it would be incumbent on the note-taking Miniver the Minstrel to, first, mentally string together the appropriate musical notes… to next pluck and strum his lyre to transform Harold’s talking points into lyrical epics. At that moment, Jessie the Jester would literally stumble upon this already strange scene… his mission? To appear so damned outlandish and doltish that, by comparison, Brutus the Barbarian would appear The Very Stable Genius… that he wasn’t.

All throughout the festivities, the enraptured egomaniac leader would gesticulate nonsensically, flash his sadistic ear to ear grin and nod his noggin in mindless approval and contentment.

As one might expect, daily, day long binge and purge, culinary orgies… all accompanied by Harold’s accounts of Brutus’ bogus sham exploits… all set to MIniver’s melodies… all punctuated by Jessie’s gymnastics / pratfalls… left absolutely no possibility for anything of consequence to ever materialize… anywhere… at anytime.

As such, it was dumb luck… not Brutus the Barbarian… that stood between their utterly defenseless homeland and an overlooked, opportunistic, lurking off in the shadows, take no prisoners, genocidal assailant.

Little did the Kingdom of Doom’s denizens know it… but… their luck was about to run out…

 

Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy…

Stay Tuned, too, for the next installment of Just Desserts? Just Deserts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Think Tank Emergency Meeting

 

Once upon a time… in a crumbling country formerly known as Freeland… there ruled Sir Surly, a callous, capricious, unscrupulous, intellectually incurious, imperious, furious, spurious sovereign. That idiotic ideologue suffered an insatiable hunger for undeserved allegiance, admiration and accolades. Far worse, “his majesty” believed himself Above the Law… be such principles established by legislators, scientists, theologians or the very Creator, Herself.

As such, he’d rampage all across his kingdom, year in / year out, day and night, on his never ending quest to identify and reward his foolhardy enablers… to call out and severely punish (eventually execute) anyone who he summarily judged to be a detractor… or even slightly suspected of being, such a naysayer.

One day, the Creator of the Universe caught wind of that (figuratively and literally) malodorous monarch. And indeed, She was feeling so PO’d about Sir Surly’s nasty, mean-spirited demeanor that She convened an emergency meeting… requested the presence of four of Her most time honored, cream of the crop, top advisors… none other than Mother Nature, Mother Teresa, Lord John Dalberg-Acton and Sir Isaac Newton.

The very next morn, The Creator gavelled the meeting into session and proclaimed the first and ONLY order of business… namely… to discuss stratagems for reining in Sir Surly’s reign of terror… thereby liberating his oppressed masses (whether or not they even recognized his words and deeds as tyrannical).

Most assuredly, each and every one of Her advisors brought their own considerable talents to that think tank’s table. And since they were already cognizant re the nefarious nature and wicked ways of Sir Surly, they got right down to the business of their punishment presentations.

Mother Nature began her demonstration by warming up her pitching arm, while simultaneously rubbing her feet on the synthetic fabric carpet. Once she generated the sufficient static to form 1,000,000,000 volt, lightening bolts she lobbed three of them squarely at a life sized mock up of Sir Surly, thereby instantly reducing that repurposed, crash test dummy to ashes. Although The Creator did feel misgivings re the severity of Ma Nature’s overpowering display, She could totally understand how global warming and a hot temper would go hand-in-hand.

Mother Teresa was up next, and went the far less violent, we-must-sternly-lecture Sir Surly route. Indeed, there was sufficient tough love awash in her sermon to allow for a goodly portion of her Godliness to rub off on the wayward sovereign… i.e., help him locate his misplaced mind, absent heart and lost soul.

Lord Acton, a onetime Freeland resident, was not in any mood to take anymore crap from Sir Surly. To get even he proposed a far more formidable fire and brimstone approach to scare the bejesus out of that ornery cuss! How so? Acton would studio produce a looped recording of his hallowed, oft quoted words, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely!” When sufficiently boom box amplified and echo chamber enhanced, such a thundering mantra would be impossible to ignore.

Sir Isaac Newton, at that point, was feeling so bemused, he was laughing his ass off. Turning to face him The Creator asked, “What’s so effing funny?”, to which the renowned scientist replied, “I’ve got THE solution! You, M’lady Creator are all powerful, are you not? Why don’t you simply suspend the Laws of Gravity.”

A bemused ear to ear grin suddenly appeared on Her face. She exclaimed, “Point well taken Sir Isaac! I do see where you’re going with this brilliant, striking, yet non-violent scheme of yours! Meeting Adjourned!”

The very next morn, The Creator specifically targeted Sir Surly and, once gravity no longer existed for him… and him alone… with his arms and legs flailing about… for a fleeting moment… he floated helplessly above his kingdom. But not for long. From there, he soared Up, Up and Away, off the face of the Earth… to never to be seen and heard from again!

And Freeland was, finally, free at last.

 

 

 

 

Ho-Hum Fact Based Fake News with a Humdinger Ending

 

Seeing how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was under Executive Orders to [1] thumb his nose at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Articles of Impeachment and [2] flat-out flip off his sworn Constitutional and moral duty to convict and oust the guilty / ugly as sin fake prez, the net effect has lavished absolutely corrupt, absolute power upon one Donald J. Trump.

Ever since then, the undeservedly acquitted, unchecked King Donald I has been going on a full-blown rampage… inclusive of his [1] vindictive ousters of anyone who has ever flat-out refused to kiss his fat Fascist fanny and [2] the further excessive expansion / abuse of his power.

Seeing how Zero Rules now exist to rein in his reign of terror, that means all 7.7 Billion Earthly souls could very well be facing down a disaster of apocalyptic proportions. With the extinction of humanity now looming, the big Q becomes…

Might we, somehow, be able to distract King Donald I? What would it take? Well, generally speaking, we’d first need to install a covert, Oval Office operative… someone to con the conman by tapping into the plethora of his perversions and psychoses.

Stage One: That individual would need to flatter the narcissist bastard… tell him the hordes of his loyal fans desperately need him to indulge his wildest Fascist fantasies before their very eyes. To that end, he must produce and star in a brand spanking new Sunday night, Prime Time Realty TV Show. Were he to ask, “Why Sunday?” The reply would be, “You are a God are you not?”

Stage Two: Have him sales pitch his show to a room full of cable network TV suits… and the toadier the better.

Show Concept: The viewer hook would center around King Donald I showcasing his considerable hero worship for all thugs autocratic. Each improvisational, episodic story-line would tell the salacious, tawdry tale of His Majesty’s “top secret”, behind closed doors, kinky encounters with a fellow despot… handpicked from a select, star studded gaggle of studs. Seeing how such ruling class idiocy runs rampant worldwide, there’d be no shortage of… uh… “talent”.

Pool of Special Guest Stars: Base upon King Donald’s preexisting, mutual admiration society, the following personnel would be instant shoo-ins.

• Vladimir Putin (Russia)
• Xi Jinping (China)
• Kim Jong Un (North Korea)
• Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (Egypt),
• Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey)
• Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines)

The Big Show’s Working Title: Donny Duz Despots & Vice Versa

While there is, indeed, much more to tell, it’s out of my sense of decorum, coupled by the demands of a strict nondisclosure agreement and my being under a 5-Star General’s direct orders to preserve national security, which will necessitate my ending this post here and now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would like you to do us a favor, though (Take 2)

One of the problems with Donald J. Trump’s trying to shake down Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, is this issue does not resonate well with average Americans… i.e., it does not “hit home” close enough.

Seeing how Robert Mueller left it up to Congress to punish Trump for hobnobbing with Russians, and how Donny assumed (correctly) that nobody would dare to even try, he also took that to mean that he could do whatever he damned pleases. To that end… in no time flat… he was on the phone with Zelensky.

Now, seeing how he’ll likely wind up Impeached by House Democrats and Exonerated by Senate Republicans… well… he WILL Quid Pro Quo again… and Again… AND AGAIN.

And let’s say his next dirty deal (attempt at extortion) does hit home… and hit hard, the average people (like you and me). Check out this sadistic, domestic, purely HYPOTHETICAL scenario…

PREFACE: Meet the pharmaceutical pioneer, Doctor Adam Zellweger (no relation to actor Renée) who, following decades of painstaking research and clinical trials on volunteer human test subjects, has discovered the most efficacious drug ever conceived by humankind… i.e., the miracle medicine that’ll instantaneously wipe all Cancer off the face of the Earth. The FDA is mere moments away from approving this wonder drug when…

Donny, ravenous for campaign dollars (to fund the unconstitutional bid for his 2032 reelection), picks up the phone to make his congratulatory call to Zellweger.

Trump: I’m calling to applaud you Dr. Zellweger. What you’ve done is tremendous, almost as tremendous as my attracting the largest applauding Inauguration Day crowds in American History in 2017, 2021, 2025 and 2029. Now, I do know you’re still in need of FDA approval for your tremendous drug… and I do have the power to speed up that process.… but… uh… I would like you to do us a favor though.

Zellweger: And what might that be?

Trump: Initially, you are to donate a $100 million lump sum to my campaign, so I can run for a tremendous fifth term as your tremendous president. And then, once you get FDA approval, once the billions of bucks start rolling in, I’ll start siphoning off your profits. Now, as your tremendous president and benefactor, I believe my tremendous services to you… my yuge influence in this matter… is worthy of a split of the profits… oh… say… 90/10.

Zellweger: So, let me get this straight. No FDA approval till I agree to your terms? I’ll bet that 90% will be your cut, too, huh?

Trump: Take it or leave it Doctor Z.

Zellweger: Do you realize that your causing the FDA to drag its heels will subject millions of cancer patients to needless agony and death?

Trump: Hey, that’d be all your fault, not mine. To save their lives, all you need do is do us that favor.

Well, my readers, what if Dr. Z opts not to knuckle under to Trump’s pressure? And what if, someday, it will be you, me or one of our loved ones lying, crying and dying in that hospice bed?

Today’s hypothetical scenario could easily become tomorrow’s life or death, reality show.

Such a story amply demonstrates why a House Impeachment and a Senate Conviction / Ouster is in order… and long overdue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eeewwww! The (Mercifully Short) Short Story

 

Once upon a time… there lived a bad, Bad, BAD Boy, named Oleg.

His claim to fame? Well, if you really must know, he was renown for his YUGE YAP; his incessant, incoherent, inane and insane utterances. He was also instantly recognizable, due to his orange hue and tousled, yellowish, straw-like hair strands. Although he was stunted both intellectually and emotionally, seeing how both puberty and societal expectations of mediocrity oft rule, it was both inevitable and regrettable that he’d grow physically and rise to power.

Oligarch Oleg deemed his mirror, his Window to the World. He loved only himself and was only loved by an ignorant and / or insane cadre of his subjugated sycophants and subjects. So enamored with himself, was he, that he flat-out refused to allow Stephanie, his sexually harassed, enslaved, dressed in tattered rags chambermaid to launder his soiled, odoriferous articles of clothing. Hell, he even bawled like a big baby whenever she’d fling his chamber pot’s contents out the window, which overlooked the backyard.

“What a waste,” he’d lament, while mulling over how “best” to “honor” the growing alarmingly, mountainous dungheap.

“What a waste,” she’d lament while mulling over how Oleg’s Dark Ages, choke-hold on power had caused both her genius level IQ and people smarts to languish; denied her both the wherewithal and opportunity to ever see her dreams come true.  She dared not even turn her back, to roll her eyes in disgust, without inviting his unwelcome, pawing, tiny hands.

So, just how bad was the inevitable, pervasive, decaying fecal stench? Well, even the flies had established a NO FLY ZONE over Oleg’s Palace; an airspace encompassing thousands upon thousands of kilometers.

Well, one dismal, miasmatic morn, this stink took a distinct turn for the worse. Oleg woke up with what he deemed to be a perfect, Perfect PERFECT notion worming its way into his “noodle”. Instantly acting upon this “insight”, he promptly issued his royal decree: The Endangered Feces Act of ’19! In short, this document’s legalese stated that, sans his express consent, no one harboring evil intent, would ever be allowed to touch his precious poop. Normally, that’d seem like a win-win, but…

By the very next day, Oleg launched his new corporation, namely, Kingly Keepsakes. He’d market his brand, spanking new, exclusive, product line to the masses; expect his subjects to piss away their hard earned rubles / kopeks to purchase various sized lumps of their beloved Oligarch’s poop; all encased in crystalline plastic. The available (literally) crappy novelties included key fobs, belt buckles, bellybutton charms, dangly earrings, paperweights, bookends, doorstops… Eeewwww!

The End

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridging the Great Divide ~ A Parable

 

Once upon a time, Conrad DeNier found himself debating Libby Learned. Both being nearly lifelong walkers upon the fraying, stretched thin, conservative / liberal tightrope, on that particular, fateful morning, their seemingly eons old War of Words promised to be as relentless and perilous, as ever. After all, neither party was ever willing to cede even one millimeter of ideological territory; NOT when it came down to the prospect of emerging victorious in the battle of the Haves vs. the Have-Nots.

However, this time around, Conrad would trot out his “new” ploy; totally unleash the ever-present spoiled brat, within. He’d hold his breath until Libby totally agreed with him. And so it was. Her closing point made, he first bleated out his counterpoint; next inhaled and puffed out his cheeks. Indeed, so enraged was he that, all the sudden, his heart totally gave out!

While unconscious, Conrad’s entire life flashed before his eyes; he even wound up seeing the light; both cosmically and cognitively speaking. However, as it had all been predestined, this would only be his Near Death Experience.

As the onrush of warmth gradually reanimated his lifeless body; returned him to consciousness, Conrad’s first sensations were of Libby’s relentless CPR. As he squinted through his eyelashes, “The Light” suddenly cross-faded to that of ordinary daylight. Now awash with feelings of utter stupefaction, to him, this had become the proverbial light bulb over the noggin moment.

In spite of their history of fierce animosity, when push came to shove, Libby had done the humane thing; had actually saved his very life! Seeing how she had been willing to set aside her own differences, he could not help but wonder. Could he not do the same? He even began to question the illogical nature of his own ideological selfishness. Why must he always seek more ill-gotten wealth at the expense of the less fortunate? After all, the sheer enormity of what he had already accrued, to date, could even last a spendthrift ten lifetimes.

Funny how it took a deep shade of physiological blue to get him to cede his seething, red hot intransigence; to temper it with a healthy helping of newfound, true blue hued tolerance. Conrad DeNier even wound up seeing Libby Learned in an entirely new light. Indeed, he now deemed his longtime foe a newfound friend.

The multifaceted moral to our story is fundamental…

Peaceful coexistence is vital. Allow selflessness to gain the upper hand. See the light before you see The Light.

 

 

 

 

(Hopefully) Compelling Fiction

 

The dawn’s early light has awakened Pat and Leslie… albeit a bit too late. Having slightly overslept, there’s barely sufficient time for a good morning kiss, getting dressed for work and a coffee shop stop.

As expected, the Starbucks visit is a quick in and out. Pat, back behind the wheel, enters the Capital Beltway… Interstate 495… and instantly observes, aloud, how the traffic patterns seem a bit lighter than normal… in fact… way too light. Leslie guesstimates their commute will take a scant thirty minutes, tops.

Pat switches on the car radio which is already in Emergency Alert System mode. It’s that godforsaken, eerie end of the world signal, which, unfailingly, manages to creep them both out.

However, on this ill-fated a.m., this is NOT “Only a Test.” The grim, TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY message follows.

Leslie, a journalism / communication arts degreed Editor of a News and Opinion Website and Blog, mentally rehashes the previous day’s news cycle… gallantly tries to connect the dots. Alas… that was yesterday’s world. But it doesn’t require much analysis to conclude that the madman has finally done it… Tweeted the world into an early grave. The global thermonuclear exchange is now in progress… if progress is even the operative word.

Pat, his PhD in nuclear physics, fortuitously, recalls a nearby, past workplace… a now mothballed military installation… complete with a lead lined, fallout shelter, no less! Putting the pedal to the metal, they race towards what could be their last hope for survival.

“Why oh why didn’t we move far, far away from DC right after Inauguration Day ’17? We had had plenty of chances, Pat! Sure as shit, DC is the #1 target of all of our enemies and our bodies will be reduced to radioactive ash.”
“What good would that have done? After all, there’s actually no place to live safely at a time like this. But Look! We’re not dead yet! I can see it, Leslie! There’s my old army base!”

Crashing through the multiple padlocked, chain-linked gate, they skid through the gravel to a halt. As they rush forth towards the main building’s doors, the dialogue becomes even more tense.

“Hurry Pat… I don’t want to die like this!”
“I know, my love, but… I’m not even sure the provisions we’ll need to survive are still stockpiled within. And worse yet, my old CO, Col. Jeffries… was a renowned stickler for security… likely deleted my password from the system, long ago… that is… IF there’s still electricity powering up the keypad, at all.”
“You mean we could easily die whether or not we are granted ingress…”

Leslie knows, fully well, that this last utterance is both the question and the answer.

One final hurdle does present itself. Luckily, Pat’s pocket knife easily strips the casing off each end of the severed wire and, with a spark… the two ends meet and the keypad flickers back to life. After Pat’s first two password entry tries get challenged by the same, flashing “ACCESS DENIED” LED response, the third try proves the charm. At last, the security system recognizes an ages old numerical sequence and… with the creaking hinges loudly protesting… the triple layered, blast doors slowly open wide. Leslie rushes inside, yet oddly, Pat does not follow.

“What are you waiting for? We must close the door, now!”
“We have a moral duty to look out for the welfare of others. They’ll be needing this shelter, too.”

Waiting until the very last minute, with a shared long sigh, they must concede that it’ll be just the two of them.

Now in Security A-1 lock-down mode, they stand beneath the garish neon glow. Feeling the dank chill in the air, they huddle closely and kiss tentatively… both sobbing as countless blasts proceed to “efficiently” roll up the outside world… bury their loved ones and lay waste to the Earth, that no one will ever know again.

They crouch to pick up their Styrofoam coffee cups off the floor, raise them upward to propose a toast. Leslie goes first…

“To whatever may remain of our Earthly tomorrows, even if there is only one.”
“To today… if there’s no tomorrow at all.”