Thursday, July 4, 2013

Excerpt (from Bus of Fools)

Hugh was sitting on a bench outside the Cafe Lapin Rouge. Andrew Dempster, in an affable mood, decided to give him a little friendly American cameraderie, and ask how he and Ramona were enjoying the tour.
Hugh grunted."Well I guess it's been alright."
"It's turning out to be a real interesting one for Fern and I, too."
"You don't miss the States none?"
"Not at all." Andrew slapped his knee, and brushed his hand down his thigh, like he was cleaning off some overlying lint.
"Well, I miss it, actually. I'd like to eat some real food for a change instead of this petty-nouveau-cuisine crap."
"Same old same old, old boy. When in Rome..."
"Be more Roman than the natives!" Hugh roared. He put down a high five. Andrew weakly slapped it. "No, I can't wait til we get back home. Turns out I gotta cousin on the run from the Mex War. They're bringing in the heat- last thing I heard, they was sending men in hazmat suits to spread killer bees colonies! Can you believe how low and slimy that is? My cousin's kid, he's allergic to bees. That'll be certain death for him, he runs afoul of one of them. Not only that, but they're using napalm on Americans down there too!"
Andrew gasped audibly.
"That's right! Same old Agent Orange crap, & they're shootin' it out of flamethrowers!'
"The same stuff that the MonteCrisco Corporation makes?"
"Hell yeah!" said Hugh.
"Excuse me a bit, Mr. Baggs. I need some coffee."
"Sure thing."
Andrew went into the cafe and emerged in five minutes with a large whipped cream-topped cup of coffee.
"Well," smirked Hugh, "looks like you're falling for the native color yourself!"
Now it was Andrew's turn to grunt and shrug.
"I don't know about the States anymore. Fern and I were talking the other night, we might not even go back again. Hammer and Lasher basically have wrecked our vision of it."
"Hell, they wrecked it for me years ago. But I'm goin' back there to die, of course, when I go. Ain't noplace in the world an American can really call home, 'cept America, even when they're one of your crybaby liberal types."
Taking it personally, since Andrew had a feed on Hugh's mental narrative all along, and knowing it was meant to be taken personally, Andrew took a different tack.
"One of the things I hate about the States is the way the press manipulates everything. Sure, there's honest journalists, but more often than not, they're just toadies licking the self-licking ice cream cone for the establishment. The establishment feeds a story line. Say "Huge spy operation uncovered in government agency." (Let's say just for argument's sake it's the EPA or something harmless like that.) The press will feed the story- just off the word of some nameless insider at the EPA, who refuses to be identified because he's too chickenshit to get fired if they find out just who. Only, that, he won't get fired, because the EPA is actually using the paper to feed the line to begin with! One hand washing the other, so to speak. And say, there's candidate Moe Stooge. Maybe he is the Biggest Guilty of the two Major Candidates running this year (the opposing party is Guilty #2, only a runner up. That's Larry Stooge) Let's mention also we have a third candidate. No matter who they are, they are supposed to play the part of the clown- Curly Joe, or Shemp, if you would.  So- you have three candidates running for office. Paper X runs a headline poll- and express the results like this- "Poll Shows 33% Want Moe for President. 33 % Want Larry for P. 33% Want Curly Joe for President. But their headline reads "66% OF PUBLIC DESPISE MOE!"
You see what I mean?"
Hugh had been nodding. Seeming to be deep in thought a moment, he added─
"And it could just as easily be said that, "66% of the Public Depise Larry!" or "66% Think Curly Joe is Too Dumb to Be President"- which, by the way, is exactly how the lib'rul media think third party candidates rank. And so, of course, Larry wins, the "lesser of the two Guilties" even though he has not really even got a real platform other than keeping himself in a fed job for another four years! Cushy benefits!"
"Damn, Baggs, you do get it. I was all ready to have a fight with you again but you are making some sense. Shit, I should buy you a coffee!"
"Ah naw, now don't, Dempster. Ramona hates me suckin' down all that sugar and crap. I was thinking about punching you out, since you're another leftwing douchebag doormat, after all, but maybe you're OK, Dempster. I guess I am really only a big windbag."
Hugh looked a little lost, sitting on the bench in his penny loafers, white socks, and polyester slacks.
Andrew took a long sip of the coffee and set the cup back on the saucer, on a table beside the bench. He tied his shoes. When he looked up, Hugh Baggs had left the bench and had begun walking off in the direction of his hotel.
"Gotta go, Dempster! I don't wanna miss none of today's tour!"

Andrew followed him, shaking his head incredulously, and had another long sip of the cooling coffee.

Read the complete story of Bus of Fools available at

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