Sunday, February 5, 2017

Excerpt from DAVE! (A Novel from the Future)

December 23, 2030

Hey everyone,
To those reading this email, I want to say thank you. I’m trying this little social experiment before it’s no longer possible for anyone to do social experiments. Plus, my wife left me and I’m bored. I don’t understand it. I came home, and there she was, sitting on the couch, sobbing. The mascara making really unattractive streaks down her face, giving her a bawling Tammy Faye look. Reluctantly, I asked her what’s wrong. Her answer to my very legitimate question was a very uncalled-for slap across the face. It wasn’t the first time I had been slapped by her, but this one had some real meat to it. In fact, I can still feel it, if I think hard enough about it. Apparently she had some sort of idea in her head that I was cheating on her. I could care less about chasing strange. I don’t even like the familiar, never mind the strange. Sucks to say, but I’ve never had much of a sex drive, even as a teenager. Could be low testosterone. Maybe it’s the fact I’ve always felt like an old man trapped in a young man’s body. In either case, I had always been that way, and she knew it when she married me. Anyway, there was no convincing her that I wasn’t sleeping around The lipstick on the collar was just the design of my shirt. She bought it for me for Christmas, for fuck sake. I tried explaining all this to her, but she didn’t buy it. She didn’t buy any of it. So much for trust. Anyway, here I am in an empty house. She’s gone, and all she left me with of hers was her Terence Trent D’Arby CD collection. She said she could only listen to “Wishing Well” so many times. Whatever. I don’t have a CD player, anyway (I don’t think anybody does), so they’re of no use to me. I suppose I could find an old ripping program and upload them, but what would be the point? I can only listen to “Wishing Well” so many times, too. I would trade every one of those CDs to have her back, but it’s pointless in even thinking about it; her mind’s made up.
So here I am, writing this chain letter. All of you on my email list know who I am, but I’m hoping you will forward it to all of your friends, and add some stories of your own. Tell about your lives, tell about how you feel about the state of the world. Send the email to all friends on your list, and hopefully they’ll do the same. Keep this thing going. At least until email ceases to exist. Before the earth breathes its last breath, which may be sooner than we all think.
My name is Glenn Richter. I live at 125 Westboro Baptist Church Lane, Missouri. Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was a fairly successful real estate salesman. My claim to fame, and also my biggest sale, was selling an Oprah Winfrey impersonator an impersonation of Oprah Winfrey’s mansion. I made a pretty good living. I wasn’t rich, by any means, but I did all right, if I do say so myself. I was sitting on top of the world. Or at least, I was sitting somewhere around Finland. Recently, though, I had to quit my job as my wife was spreading rumors around town that I was a philanderer. I couldn’t really disagree, the main reason being I had no understanding of that word. But when I learned what it meant, which happened to be right before I caught her crying in the living room, and was able to call bullshit, it was too late. My reputation was ruined, and sales plummeted. No one trusts a philanderer.
I was a millennium baby, born on May 5, 2000, and grew up in a really small town in Kentucky. My father was a pipe fitter, or at least that’s what he called it. Some call it “porn fluffer”. Not a very prestigious job, and he’d often come home smelling of stale chlorine and coconut oil, but it paid fairly decent, and he was able to purchase a house in the suburbs, right outside of Loserville. We lived there with my two brothers. My brother Dennis, after he turned sixteen, decided he wanted to be my sister instead. My brother Cody was, and still is, a good-for-nothing drug addict. I say good for nothing, but he’s actually pretty good at scoring me drugs, when the mood hits me.
My mom was absent. She went insane shortly after my birth, and the last anyone had heard of her, she was living under a bridge by the Cumberland River, acting like a troll and demanding bridge crossers answer three questions before they pass. Since traffic went by at a rather quick pace, no one really understood what she was asking, so most just threw change out their windows.
So, this country. Dammit. It all started, I think, when Mel Gibson won the election of 2026. We thought we knew what we were getting. He seemed like an honest, down-to-earth type of guy. All of his racism and fascism and drunken ramblings were out in the open, so we thought he had nothing to hide. We thought. But everyone has something to hide. Everyone has an agenda. You, me, the mailman, the guy selling chicken wings from the front stoop of his apartment building, everyone. Every right winger’s dream, to build a wall across the Mexican border, came to fruition. But he didn’t stop there. He put a border wall around the entire United States, which included the borders of Mexico and Canada, as well as both coasts. Even republicans found that a little excessive. A lot of tax dollars were spent on that. That, and military. We decided to give up Alaska and Hawaii. For one reason, it didn’t make sense to build walls around them if none of us citizens could get in. We would have to build two very expensive highly-reinforced tunnels or bridges. The second reason, and what I feel to be the most important, is all of those offers that companies gave away, like McDonald’s two for one deal as well as their Monopoly game, were not valid in Alaska and Hawaii. Maybe there were other reasons, too, but I don’t work for the government, so I don’t know.
I, for one, miss being able to go to Hawaii for vacation. We used to do it all the time when we were children. Dad set aside a lot of his fluffer money for us to be able to take vacations as a family. While I spent most of my time hang-gliding, beach-lounging, and para-sailing with Dad, my brother Cody spent most of his time stoned as hell on Maui Wowie, and trying to score heroin; whereas my brother Denise, who was once Dennis, spent most of his time taking in the very large vagabond transgender scene that Hawaii had to offer. Selfish.
Now back in the day we never would have thought that Mel Gibson would have been elected president in 2026. Not because he’s a prick, not because of his time being spent making Apocalypto II (I thought the first one was awesome. The sequel, were it to ever be finished, would probably do as well as most sequels do), but because it was 2026. A number that is not divisible by four, and therefore, not an election year. But toward the end of Donald Trump’s reign, he decided he wanted “a couple more years”. This became somewhat of a slogan for his campaign, which was kind of lame and too vague to be much of a slogan, I thought. But he was so revered at that time, that people walked around carrying signs and wearing shirts that had that slogan on it: A COUPLE MORE YEARS! (My guess is he wasn’t that revered, and he paid to have his support teams seem larger than they actually were. And why not? He could afford it. The same way he paid to have protesters protest his own rallies.)
And so it happened. Trump was in for another couple years, which threw off the schedule of any future elections. Furthermore, to keep things consistent, they also changed the schedule of the Summer Olympics and Leap Year so that they could still fall on the same year as election years, as they always had been. This would apparently make things less confusing. Now, those are two international events, so you would think the rest of the world would put up a stink. But we’re America, so fuck you. (Of course, you know, that became America’s slogan.)
So yeah, Mel and that crazy wall. I realize that after 9/11, things changed for the worse. We suffered more frequent terrorist attacks. America’s distrust of Muslims grew. But we could have done something other than get every card-carrying Muslim out of the country, and send them to the Middle East. Most of them didn’t even hail from the Middle East. There were Muslims from Africa, China, the UK, and even ones born right here on American soil. Not only was shipping out all the Muslims wrong, the plan itself was expensive and poorly thought out. They were sent away with a small amount of “gate money”, much like prisoners get upon release, which helped ease their burdens a little. Maybe. But this gate money was funded on the taxpayer’s dime. Also, even though we got rid of the majority of them, some were left, and those, more often than not, happened to be the actual terrorists. Only the law-abiding ones left on their own recognizance. Also, we had no great plan to keep them from sneaking back in.
Donald figured he could get the wall built in those couple more years he had. That was a long shot. Masons were no longer allowed to exist, as they were thought of to be part of some cult, which was no longer allowed here. So there were really no skilled brick layers. But he gave it a try, and actually got a fair amount done, at least across the Mexican border, before his term was up and Uncle Mel finally got his turn in office to complete it.
He made us call him “Uncle Mel”. He thought that “Mr. President” sounded “too stuffy”. Now, I had my share of crazy uncles. One even insisted that he hailed from a meteorite that crash landed on earth back in 1806. Now, that would make him not only very old, but also very dead, as he would have burned up when the meteorite hit the atmosphere. Yeah, I had my share of crazy uncles, and I didn’t need one more. And I never had an uncle as crazy as old Uncle Mel. He had his share of stupid agendas, but priority number one was getting those walls up. We soon ran out of brick and concrete, and what was erected was a combination of brick, steel beams, chicken wire, wood, and “old-fashioned American ingenuity”. Whatever that was. Not very effective, but it was something, I guess. There were parts of the wall that were nice, that even had some decorations and some potted plants hung up, and those were the parts they tended to show on television. But we all knew how the rest of it looked. A lot of us lived by the ugly parts.
If the wall was the end of it, I could probably live with it. I mean, I don’t really know any Muslims or Jews, so it doesn’t really affect me personally. It sucks, however, I could deal. But there’s far more to this regime than some stupid barricade. Right at this moment, there are more poor people living in America than there have ever been in history. There are more legislations preventing any sort of anarchistic movements. Nowadays, you can’t say anything bad about the government. Trump passed laws preventing what he called “libel and slander” against his administration, making it a civil violation to even comment on something so innocuous as Trump’s hair. You could get the shit sued out of you. Nowadays, it’s a criminal violation, not a civil one, and you could end up in federal prison for badmouthing the government. Of course, you’ll note here that I really don’t give a rat’s sweet fuck about the law. I’m not going to continue living under this dictatorship and smile the whole time. Stalin’s dead. Hitler’s dead. Hussein’s dead. Bin Laden’s dead. This type of autocracy should have died along with them. Alas, here we are. The end of the world is coming, friends.
Maybe my mom’s craziness is genetic, and I’m being paranoid. But what tells me otherwise is I’m not the only one who thinks this way. We can’t all be crazy.
Something is going on. Society as we know it is in for some major changes. I don’t know what, or how long it will take, but we are on a downward slope to hell.
Anyway, Merry Christmas. Hope all is well with you guys. Ciao.

Glenn Richter.

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