It takes about seven months to reach Mars. Assuming that there would be no coming back because of logistical concerns, I would have to assume I was part of a third world space program. Perhaps North Korea.
For me to be a part of a slipshod program, I would have fallen victim to something insidious. Perhaps kidney thieves (who moonlight as astronauts) kidnapped me.
Maybe the whole plan was to take me along as an organ donor. Have you heard what kidneys go for on Phobos? Astronomical.
It’s not as if we were visiting the Oort cloud. Not returning from Mars is like stopping at Circle K and vanishing. Nothing good ever comes from those scenarios.
I wonder what my captors have in store for me. They must be my captors, because I would have chosen comrades who know how to return from such a short trip.
In this prison, I can only think about home. The room is cramped with a small window. All I can see is the black void.
I’d be lying if I said that keeping my mouth shut is my spiritual gift. My spiritual gift is more akin to putting my foot in my mouth. I’m getting better, though. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
I used to say whatever came to mind, but I’m trying to replace statements like, “What are you…stupid?” Mind you, I’m not saying, “What are you, Stupid?” It’s not nice calling people stupid but somehow it seems better asking someone if they are stupid.
Now, when I want to say something inappropriate, I try to say, “That’s just terr-ific.” More like ,“That’s. Just. Terrrific.” You drag it out for effect. You want to hang on the “r” in terrific to really show your disgust.
Best of all, it works in just about any situation.
“The septic tank is cracked.” That’s just terrific.
“We are out of oatmeal cream pies.” That’s just terrrific.
“Business is slow. We are gonna have to let you go.” That’s just terrific.
This even works when someone is asking how you feel. Terrific. That stops the conversation cold. Nobody really wants to hear how lousy you feel, anyway.
In the meantime, I’m going to try to control my compulsion to slap people. I’ve never actually slapped someone, but people can really say some…uh…terrific things.
Time machines are overrated. They are for old men and forgotten dreams. Those old coots forget that their memories aren’t static. These devices are relatively commonplace, but each time one of these ancient people return from their excursion, they come back broken as they realize their past is only a phantom.
Whether you visit the dream tailors to have fabricated dreams implanted or if you are viewing the past through an expanse of fifty years, you can see nothing beyond an illusion.
As the years pass, you have a tendency to forget some of the bad memories and the mundane moments fade into nothingness. In a sense, the Twilight Zone episode, “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville,” is a cautionary tale. Reality never measures up to the fantasy that has grown in your mind.
I realize that reality is elusive as we are suspended in a virtual reality. Our perspective won’t allow us to really see the world as it is. We only can view reality as we see it.
I just don’t care anymore.
Tomorrow, I’m going to disappear in the time machine. I’m tired of sitting in this living graveyard. Rest homes are convenient for the living, not the living dead.
I want to live a life of intrigue again. In the morning I’ll return to my youth as a Bedouin gun runner. At least that’s what I remember. I hope I’m not spanning fifty years to live a future of past disappointments. My excursion will be different than the others’.
Nurse, is it really time to take my Aricept again?
My wife is distantly related to Huey P. Long. Something about him being her grandmother’s cousin or something. He was a colorful, yet polarizing figure and will remain a figure in Louisiana history for generations to come.
The Kingfish would be not surprised to see that his populist ideas were still popular, but I believe he would be surprised to see how damaging its implementation is to the country. Long was corrupt and bullied his way up the political ladder. Had he not been assassinated, he may have been a threat to FDR in the 1936 Presidential election.
He paved the state with graft, lining the pockets of his cronies, but he was such a likable figure that it appeared nobody really cared about his misdeeds.
Long would be surprised how damaging his wealth redistribution ideas are to the country. On the surface it may appear that wealth redistribution is favorable. In reality, we can see that unemployment is problematic and stealing from the rich to give to the poor solves nothing. We are left with a generation with an entitlement complex who thinks hard work is old fashioned and being on the government dole is something to embrace.
If he didn’t stand on his Share Our Wealth program, he may not have even made it to the Governor’s office. Demagoguery proved useful to Long as it does today, but despite his flaws, he still was an affable man who I’d like to share a meal of potlikker with.
When people talk about what their dad taught them, they usually mention how to throw a ball or how their dad taught them how to drive. My dad did that, but I also remember how he taught me to eat sardines. Granted, sardine eating isn’t a skill passed from father to son over the ages. It’s more that he fostered an affinity for them.
He was on the road a lot. After a hard week I would see him sit on the floor with his back propped against the couch. His legs would be stretched out and casually crossed at the ankle. On occasion he would balance an open tin of sardines in his left hand while he deftly speared them with a fork in his right hand.
I was probably six or seven when I grew curious about this ritual. The air was heavy with oily fishiness. He would say, “You want a bite?” It’s as if I was able to participate in something that requires a secret handshake. The only thing that compares is when I would watch my ancient great-uncle George hand roll his cigarettes and light it with a strike anywhere match. He would hold that match out so I could extinguish it with my small lungs.
When my dad was on the road and I had to satisfy my craving, my mom would make me devour them outside. There was a brownish spot in the grass where I poured out my sardine oil once. Apparently sardines are so pungent that they can kill grass.
Years later, I still enjoy my sardines, though I don’t eat them with the veracity I should. I can walk to my cupboard and find a couple of cans of King Oscar double-layered brisling sardines in olive oil. These treasures are around three bucks a can, but brisling sardines are far superior to Beach Cliff big honkin’ sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce at around seventy-nine cents. I’m not a sardine epicurean as I’ll eat just about any brand, but I do have my preferences.
I still have to eat them outside as it is too much trouble to devour them at the table, slide the empty can in a ziplock bag and bury the remains in the trash. If it’s late at night, convenience trumps all where I would eat sardine sandwiches in bed next to my sleeping bride.
Stop whining. Quit crying. Do you really think you deserve special consideration?
Don’t worry, I don’t have a defeatist attitude. After years of therapy, discarding the bottle, and finding Jesus, I finally understand. Do I really need to wring my hands over what my dad did to me when I was eight? No, he didn’t molest me. I had my share of whippings, though. My dad flailed his belt like he was swinging for the fences. But that was a lifetime ago.
We cannot always control our circumstances. We can, however, decide if we are going to have a pity party. How many times does someone have to cry about their childhood before they crawl out of the crib to become a man? For me, it was many years. I finally understand that sometimes you just have to suck it up. I received that advice many times before. I just wasn’t listening.
I dole out the same advice to other crybabies. Seriously, do women find a man attractive when he whines about not finding a girlfriend? I doubt it. Sure everyone wants to climb on the pity train occasionally, but there was a time when I just couldn’t step off.
I speak from experience that crying about your woes is useless. Just take your problems to God. Set them at His feet.
God will provide us with what we need. If you are in a valley, you were put there for a reason. God has many reasons to put you there. Just trust in Him.
When science couldn’t cure my chronic pain, I only had two options. One was a bullet. I chose to turn to God. I’m not saying that God cured me and now I’m a ballroom dancing queen. I still have the pain. This is a burden I must carry, but God has promised He will always be with me. As for the other, I can’t be a dancing queen. Those tiaras make my butt look fat.
Life is hard and we are hit with a myriad of problems, but does ruminating help? I don’t want to sound harsh, but the time comes when you have to put on your big boy Yoda Underoos and move on.
I can barely remember all of those hurts I carried around now. I can look ahead to my future now that I’m not bound by my past.
My self consciousness used to invade my thoughts, and honestly, they still arrest me occasionally, but I pretty much operate as I would if I was alone at home. I know you are thinking that I prance around the house singing Devo hits. Wait, did they have another song besides “Whip it?” Let’s just put that pervasive rumor to rest. I don’t prance around singing Devo. I break into artistic dance while listening to the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
Operating with Mercy Chefs requires a certain element of stepping out of your comfort zone. You get used to it. Just being in my late 30s has made me more comfortable in my own skin. I’ve actually been the cause for mild embarrassment for those with me because I can’t match clothes. That’s such a stupid skill.
I have the same demeanor as my dad did. I thought he was a tool, and he was. He was always striking up conversations with strangers. I don’t always do it, but I will to be friendly or to amuse myself.
It’s amusing talking to people that appear uncomfortable. Perhaps I’ll have a chance to amuse myself. If not, I’m sure someone will get a laugh out of me.
It seems that there have always been people searching for reasons not to believe. Thomas was trapped in his unbelief. He told the other disciples,”Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25 NASB)
That same argument is espoused today. Some people discount the Bible as a collection of fables told by ignorant sheep herders. In my estimation, that is an argument adopted by many people who haven’t bothered to read the Bible. Can one make an informed decision without investigating all information available to them?
Others search scripture in order to disprove the Bible. That certainly isn’t being objective. I’ve heard the claims that there are two Isaiahs, that Jesus was not resurrected, even that Josephus’ account of Jesus was a forgery.
The truth is that there will always be people who reject Christ. Some would even reject Christ if they placed their hand in His side.
Our pluralistic society rejects Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) We want to be inclusive of all beliefs no matter how ridiculous they are. I could say I will live eternally at IHOP with the pancake god if I eat pancakes everyday for two weeks. “If that’s what you believe…” or “what is true for you isn’t necessarily true for me…” are the mantras today.
As a matter of fact, any belief is accepted as valid unless you believe in Jesus Christ.
Ben’s great-grandparents met in the internment camp colony forty one years ago. They were only two in a sea of millions driven to the camps colonies because of the famine.
Generations lived their entire lives in these resorts. They must be resorts. Nobody works. They don’t have to. They spend their time on leisurely pursuits. Everything is provided by the government.
He watches the black smoke from the power plant dissipate as he considers tomorrow’s big day. His birthday.
Ben eyes the transmission lines from the plant as they fade into the horizon. He thought, “I wonder where they lead?” The propaganda drones say the outside world is a desolate wasteland.
As Ben reflects on his life, he realizes that he will finally see the inside of the plant tomorrow. The government provided Ben a comfortable life, and tomorrow will be a very special day.
He’s seen those olive drab government limousines scuttle about almost daily and he will finally have his turn to ride in one tomorrow. The government will honor him when the limousine delivers him to the plant. He will be incinerated.
I hate breaking a sweat. Manual labor and I don’t get along. Monotony comes with driving a hammer or repairing a busted sewer pipe. The moment I start a task my mind starts screaming “Nooooooooo!”
I have fallen back on my radio broadcasting skills before, but honestly, you can make more money delivering pizzas. I spent many years teaching myself how to cook. That is something I enjoy, though.
If I was going to be stabbed in the neck with a drywall saw if I refused to pick a skill I wish I had–I would choose mechanic. I could wear a shark skin suit and tell everyone I’m the mechanic for Vinny the Knife. Wait. Wrong mechanic. I’m not looking for 20 to life. And I’m not tough like Charles Bronson. And he’s dead.
I have a few automotive skills. I’m certainly not competent enough to sell my services. Not even as a shade-tree mechanic. Those are very good skills to have and will be highly sought after the zombie apocalypse. I can imagine all kinds of broken machinery that only a skilled mechanic can bring to life.
I just changed my brakes the other day. It’s usually a simple job. When a rotor is stuck and you try to knock it loose with a framing hammer, it’s time to get mad. That’s what I hate about automotive work. Crowbars, hammers, even hitching a team of draft horses are sometimes needed to bust a part loose. I can’t stand that. Those equines won’t work unless you feed them and that gets expensive.
I could also be a mortician. Not that I would want to learn that trade, but it’s practical. Your customers don’t complain if you eat a ham sandwich while you do whatever ghastly things a mortician does. It would be a difficult job with my sensitive nose. Who wants to smell dead people?
There will never be a shortage of dead people (thanks to those meddling zombies) and machines, so there will always be a market for morticians and mechanics. I get queasy at the sight of coagulated blood and liquified organs, so I’d rather be a mechanic.