(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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robotics vs. Psychotics (One Quick Limerick #030)

 

The so-called-prez, Kim Jong-Un, strut and snort,

Rattle their nukes and our nerves just for sport,

Will their demeanor, psychotic,

Prompt intervention, robotic?

Will Earth be visited by Klaatu’s Gort?

 

If you’ve never seen the classic, 1951 Sci-Fi cinematic gem, which inspired the above limerick, you can read all about it over at Wikipedia and/or watch the entire film over at YouTube (regrettably, the images are not centered properly but it’s the only free of charge clip I could locate).

You can access more original limericks, poetry and lyrical parodies by clicking onto my poetry category.

 

 

Dim Kim Jong-un vs. Dolt 45 (One Quick Limerick #013)

 

 

Dim Kim Jong-un vs. Dolt 45

(Subtitle: Beauty Pageant Losers)

 

Dim Kim Jong-un, down world’s wrong side, does drive,

He holds the crown: World’s Worst Whacko Alive!

He shoots off mouth, deems nukes toys,

Just like all small, cocky boys,

Such as first runner-up Dolt 45!

 

 

Remembering Our First Job

 

Most of us can fondly recall the very first time we ever heard those magic words, “You’re hired!” In our younger days, when our résumés presented no appreciable work history, landing that first job depended more upon how well we had answered the interviewer’s questions… especially those queries specifically designed to help evaluate the level of each applicant’s work ethic, intellectual curiosity and personal integrity.

Indeed, to harbor such virtues was (hopefully still is) to earn each prospective boss’s trust… allay her/his legitimate concerns that we might be unable to meet the company’s expectations.

Of course, next came our very first day on the job… typically starting with the probationary phase where we’d remain under the constant, watchful gaze of superiors… where it’d be totally up to us to prove and improve our talents… to meet and exceed said expectations… in short… to earn our keep.

Well, nowadays, when it comes down to “hiring” / electing our representatives to government positions… well… long sigh… sad to say… it seems that expectations-wise, the bar has become set really, Really, REALLY low.

For proof, one need not look far. There’s an extraordinarily, inexperienced new hire punching the Oval Office time clock. If he, indeed, actually possesses even a minimally genuine work ethic, even a smattering of intellectual curiosity and one milligram of personal integrity… well… he’s certainly doing his very damnedest to totally deep six any evidence such virtues exist within his psyche. More to the point…

  1. So far… he has taken an inordinate number of (golfing) breaks, which I suppose is not all bad. After all, it’s whenever he IS “on the job” that the real damage begins. His idea of “a job well done” is to mass-produce chaos. More specifically… his battle plan is to unleash economic and ecological devastation… belittle and browbeat society’s young, disabled, aged and ailing… taunt, demean, objectify and assault women… harass and dehumanize the LGBTQ community… ratchet up racial and religious intolerance… exploit and crush the working poor… promote and proliferate corrupt corporations and cronyism… inculcate, abroad, feelings of distrust, disgust and flat-out hatred towards America, which can only trigger more terrorist attacks, conventional warfare and perhaps even thermonuclear exchange / mutual assured destruction (MAD).
  2. So far… his cocksure, Mr. Know-It-All bluster all but ensures the permanence of his closed minded, ignorance. Indeed, he exhibits an absolute unwillingness to learn one damned thing and possesses / is possessed by a resolve to fight off, tooth and nail, anyone even attempting to educate him.1
  3. So far… be it his improper upbringing / arrested development or his being a sociopath… he cannot even be trusted to know the difference between right and wrong… that amply proven by his own relentless attempts to quash FBI director James Comey’s investigation of the whole effing mess re Russia… and then firing said director for not knuckling under.

Remembering Our First Job, again, I now ask you, if any of us had ever, similarly, turned our workplaces upside down, don’t you think we’d have been called on the carpet? Maybe even heard the words, “You’re fired!”?

Oh, what a shame that there’s no such probationary period during which an utter failure of a prez could be pink-slipped. Oh, what a pity we cannot utter #45’s favorite “You’re Fired” catchphrase and then promptly show him the door.

Regrettably, impeachment and removal from office is a task left up to the U.S. Senate and House… both legislative bodies, at present, suffering from Republican majorities and inhabited with spineless, pathetic old men. Very few of them could ever be counted on to prioritize patriotism over petty partisanship AND may even share some (if not all) of #45’s deplorable character flaws. Needless to say, left unchecked, the so-called prez will continue hammering away at America and our world until there’s nothing left.

That means, Vladimir Putin permitting, our next opportunity to “drain the swamp” and elect new respectable, responsible legislators and a new, respectable, responsible president won’t arrive (respectively) until 2018 and 2020.

That’s when my blog title, Remembering Our First Job, will take on a far more significant connotation. What this must entail is our NEVER forgetting that, via the ballot box, WE are the bosses of our leaders… NEVER vice versa.

Citizens, not just in America, but also living in every freedom and democracy loving nation, worldwide, must ALWAYS actively participate in each and every new election cycle… view all candidates to be the job applicants they are and then interview and vet them… leaving no stone unturned. To not do so?

Well… as of my blog posting time, in the past, scant six months, we’ve already seen the massive damage done because too many fools had said, “You’re hired” to an entity who, indisputably, is devoid of a genuine work ethic… is sorely lacking an insatiable intellectual curiosity and… when it comes down to possessing a rock solid level of personal integrity… the bogus businessman is morally bankrupt.

Remembering Our First Job is also to fearlessly roar out, “NEVER AGAIN!”

 

 

1The former head of the United Negro College Fund, Arthur Fletcher, had summed it up best when he coined the phrase to lament, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste!”

 

Could Matthew 5:39 End The Madness?

¶1 Defining “mad”… it’s feeling PO’d… e.g., folks indigenous to the Middle East rightfully feeling mad as hell because the U.S. had trespassed on their home turf… more specifically… America had stationed troops in Saudi Arabia. In a nutshell, Osama bin Laden would’ve calmed down had he gotten the U.S. to peacefully stand down (as in America getting the the hell out). But we didn’t… and so “mad” took on a whole new connotation.

¶2 Redefining “mad”… it’s going “just plain nuts”… e.g., a man woke up one sunshiny, Tuesday morning, chowed down his Cheerios and then, as he headed out the front door, he grabbed his car keys, kissed the missus and said, “Oh honey… I won’t be home for dinner… flight 11 out of Logan will be making an unscheduled stop at the WTC.” She reacted by saying, “Oh… OK dear… have a safe drive to the airport.”

Good Morning to you all. As I write this… it is an early a.m. Sunday… a time of the week I usually devote to deep thought. The question I ask myself..: and now, of course, you, too…

Is there a method to my madness? That asked… I’ll now restart this blog… you can decide…

¶1 outlines just one of the key underlying motives behind 9/11. ¶2 showcases the deadly way, which Osama bin Ladin’s soldiers had so matter-of-factly channeled their unresolved and unresolvable anger. True, that domestic, spousal interaction scene is my dramatization … but it does accurately portray that “just doing my job,” “punch the timeclock” “whatever it takes” terrorist ‘tude.

So… to CliffsNotes it… past diplomatic problems have turned into the present-day psychiatric problems… a.k.a., the madness of terrorism. I mean… nobody gets to the point of no return (as described in ¶2) on a whim. We drove people in the Middle East nuts. We hadn’t addressed problems with diplomacy before it was too late… and now… in all likelihood… it is too late. In essence… re 9/11? We did it to ourselves.

We’re nearly 15 years into our post 9/11 nightmare and, with each new attack, it feels like we’re no closer to ending the War on Terror than we were in 2001. President Obama even knocked off Osama bin Laden and, beyond exacting revenge, what else do we have to show for it?

OK… that sums up the past and present. So… where do we go from here?

I suspect that due to decades worth of failed U.S. foreign policy, exacerbated by George W. Bush’s squandering of the free world’s, post 9/11, international goodwill AND his further mucking things up by going on the offensive in Afghanistan and Iraq (the latter nation having no direct ties to 9/11) have made any attempts at peace talks impossible… yep that diplomatic ship has sailed off on a one-way trip to nowhere. Ergo we cannot talk our way out of this mess.

Additionally… President Obama has been sufficiently wise to wind down W’s offensive wars. The Prez understands we cannot fight our way out of this mess.

So what is left? Folks, all the U.S. can do is brace itself (further strengthen Homeland Security) and cross our fingers that we can keep the carnage to a minimum.

Accept the fact that this War on Terror is a no-win war to the end of time. In the not too distant future, “Mad’ just might take on another whole new connotation.

Redefining “M.A.D.”… that’d be Mutual Assured Destruction… e.g., where terrorists go nuclear. True… they’d die along with those who they attack… but… has not suicide been their shtick all along?

But… is that all there REALLY is? Might we be able to “pray” ourselves out of this mess?

As of late, I’ve been wondering. Is it time for a Hail Mary Pass? To face down the al Qaeda / ISIS Holy War with the Holy Book? Turning to Matthew 5:39…

“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”

IF the U.S. turns the other cheek, I believe this just might totally freak out the terrorist world. Forsaking the offensive strategy could be a fatal blow to morale amongst the terrorist troops. Re U.S. passive resistance, some of them might even say, “Damn it… this ain’t no fun no more… I quit!”

And what could terrorist “management” do to stop their troops from going AWOL, threaten to kill them? Is it even possible to instill fear in those who’ve been programmed to blow themselves up?

And how could “management” find replacements after the whole world watches as the U.S. marches off to battle terrorism “armed” “only” with Matthew 5:39?

Redefining “mad”, yet, a fourth time… upon going back to reread my post… methinks that CommonSenseTom just may’ve gone mad, himself. What do you think?

If I am wrong… I now ask… “Where Do We Go From Here?”