Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Chapter 2

Continued from the immediately previous post. I post this knowing full well that Greg has threatened to kick my ass if I wrote any more about Jennifer Love Hewitt. Well, great literature requires taking risks, and although that's probably not too applicable here, I will provide the stepstool he will require in order to attempt said ass-kicking. Hey, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Anyway, enjoy.

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The battle had gone on for decades and taken out all in its path. The cities had been destroyed for years already. There were children now who would never know what it was like to have a Burger King, a 24-Hour Mobil Station with a Dunkin' Donuts in it, a doublewide discount cigarette trailer, and a combination Pizza Hut/KFC/Taco Bell all right next to each other off the interstate. There weren't any more interstates.

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Meanwhile, the air inside the camoflaged tents on the top of the ridgeline was thick with sweat, drama, and estrogen. The outgunned, yet resourceful band of women's pro tennis players had held the valley for going on three months, keeping the semi-hot celebrities from getting to the river beyond. There had been casualties, of course, but their supply line was holding, and reinforcements had arrived. Morale on the lines was good; it always was when the patrols came back with the occasional severed head or pair of really fabulous pumps. But Martina Hingis had reason to worry. The gritty racketeueses were still just one serious uphill charge away from being overrun by the "pops"--short for Pop Tarts--and their artificially firm fannies and Hollywood tramp stamps. Only they stood between them and everything Supreme Leader Monica Seles had built over the last long and bloody year. Besides, they knew that no prisoners would be coming down from that hill. They were staying put--one way, or the other.

"Call up Davenport, tell her to grab Pierce and Dokic, and suit up for recon," she told Serena Williams. "We need to fuck with those bitches a little bit."

       *           *           *

The word "postapocalyptic" can mean a lot of things. It can refer to a subgenus of fungi indigenous to the Central Amazon Basin, or the flow turbulence caused by the vibration of the impellor assembly of a jet engine, or it can describe the way things look after one or more apocalypses. In this case, though, it goes way beyond that.

It started innocently enough. Nobody in the Before Time would have banked on society's annihilation coming from a simple feature on SportsCenter, designed to eat up two minutes of TV time in between basketball highlights and beer commercials. Two junior producers thought that having Anna Kournikova and Reese Witherspoon play some skee-ball would be worth a few yuks. And it was--right up until Witherspoon lay dead in a pool of her own blood, a skee-ball jammed down her larynx. From that point on, it was war.

ESPN was, as most probably could have guessed, first up against the wall. As nobody was able to adequately provide coverage of the first skirmishes, all the celebrity magazines and on-line sports betting web sites went tits-up. Their parent media conglomerates and publishing houses turned inside out and collapsed, followed closely by the demise of the consumer electronics industry. The financial, manufacturing and hospitality sectors all crashed and burned soon after on the same fateful April afternoon. Within two weeks of that, government employees just stopped showing up for work, and by Memorial Day, all that was left of the world economy was Nigerian spam emails. Everyone left alive just scavenged for enough scraps to make it through the long, cold nights.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What Has He Been Doing?

Back when I started doing this, I told myself that I wouldn't blog about blogging. With blogging, as with most things, nobody cares about the process, just the product. It's just human nature to pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. And speaking as both a blogger and a blogging reader. it's less than thrilling reading about bloggers blogging about blogging.

I am, of course, violating that principle right now. Eh, what the hell. I figure there's no need getting all high and mighty with myself.

Back when I started doing this, I wanted to write longer posts, too. Partially to train myself to write column-length stuff in case someone may one day want to underpay me for prose; partially to avoid horning in on the act that the bloggers I read were pulling off. Still, I'm not sure I'm going to stick to my guns on that one. Maybe a few quick paragraphs from time to time helps keep the neurons from getting too sticky.

Also back when I started doing this, I was under the impression that there were fewer people without a shred of a sense of humor. Really. I like to try to keep this light. I'm not here to get on anyone's case. I'm not usually pushing an agenda, apart from simple straight-up good government stuff. Most of my posts have dealt with desserts and countertops and Star Trek. I'm not a rabidly opinionated type of guy.

But it makes blogging a whole lot less fun when I have to get all defensive every time I make public some trivial detail of my experience. It has never made any sense to me to pursue the politics of personal destruction that have so pathologically perfused the populace over the last decade. Sure, other folks opinions may be uninformed, factually incorrect, or just flat-out stupid, but nothing to me has ever been truer than the somewhat politically incorrect maxim that arguing over the internet is like running in the Special Olympics--even if you win, you're still retarded.

I like a good discussion as much as the next guy, but I get tired of being called names, having my positions misrepresented, and basically taking a big bite of shit sandwich when all I'm trying to do is keep writing. I'm going to have to move to fiction. Actually, I have a short story started, and I'll end the post with the first couple paragraphs. If anybody wants to read more, I'll post the rest of it:

Jennifer Love Hewitt reshouldered the dusty AK-47 she had ripped out of the hands of a dead Soviet paratrooper back in Angola in 1986, spit a Skoal Bandit into the sandy ground, and peered past the chalky cliffs into the blinding sun.

"Fuckin' pricks," she muttered to Kelly Clarkson, who was standing two paces behind her. "You can tell they're just going back to the old playbook. Flank us around that ridgeline and pin us down while they run back to the high ground. That's just how fuckin' Hilary Duff got her tits blown off." Sweat dripped into her cleavage as she defiantly spit, "Not this time, you douchebags. Not this time," to the enemy hidden in the surrounding hills.

Clarkson understood, too. She understood Jennifer Love Hewitt in only the way that semi-hot, family friendly young female celebrities and lesbian lovers turned elite strike force commandos can understand each other.

So let me know. I'll probably start posting more regularly now that summer is winding down, but I'm not going to be picking any fights with anybody for a bit. You'll just have to deal with mundane--yet witty and impeccably punctuated--comments on stuff like what TV shows we're watching and our latest charity event. Go ahead, see how big and smart you sound picking on me about being a Rotarian, tough guy.