Harry Pothead And the Axle of Evel
By Stephen Simac
Maybe it was Bush threatening to start WW III, maybe the cold rain, maybe just lack of herb, but I was really, really depressed. Then miraculously it lifted, replaced by a homicidal rage. Far, Far Better to kill someone else than myself I thought.
Biological psychiatrists believe the only difference between a gloomy and a cheerful psychopath is a simple serotonin switch. This explains why so many depressed people on Prozac go on killing sprees. Witness American's attitude changing from somber after 9/11 to jubilant when we started bombing Afghani children.
The possibilities for executive actions were endless, so many were harboring terrorists. Unlike the Bushes I figured I wouldn't get away with mass murder so I decided to go to Florida before anything drastic happened.
Being stone broke meant I'd have to fund my vacation the way most Americans do, by charging it. Luckily the credit card companies had sent me a card, after I fudged a few minor details about my income, like having one. I'd been inspired by Enron. Not enough to bribe half the politicians in the country, but the card still worked for a plane ticket. Other than the cavity search the flight was noneventful.
Having Ft. Lauderdale for my hometown, means never having to say you're sorry about visiting the family. At least in the winter. It's an ideal location as long as you stay close to the coast and avoid the alligators. I took the bus to the beach every day, too dangerous to bicycle.
A few days of swimming in the warm, Gulf Stream waters and my whole attitude changed. I was even pleasantly surprised when I saw Harry Pothead, strolling on the beachfront sidewalk, watching tan women in bikinis. He wasn't alone; he had a buddy who looked kinda like Gandalf the Gray in the Lord of the Rings.
Ft. Lauderdale beachfront has been so spiffed up from its seedy Spring Break heyday, that these two bearded guys looked as outa place as turds in a crystal punchbowl.
I made sure antiterrorism agents weren't following them before I joined them. After all Mohammed Atta had cruised Lauderdale's beach strip on a rental moped last summer before the hijackings.
No Habla Franch
Harry introduced me to Nostrildamus, one of his wizard professors from his Fogwart school daze. The guy had some serious sinuses, and a French accent. It was hard to understand him mainly because he spoke in incomprehensible quatrains, but Harry translated. "He's been like this ever since the Renaissance. He's an estimated prophet, almost any events can be estimated to fit his predictions they're so vague."
I gathered he was a Quebecois when he invited us back to his condo in Hollywood. Florida that is, just south of Lauderdale. (The Canadians flock to Hollywood in the winter.) Shuckums, the strip bar where Mohammed Atta and his Muslim fundamentalist terrorist buddies spent their last night before flying jumbo jets to Paradise is there too. Atta reportedly boarded the flight with a passport issued from the Republic of Conch. That should have drawn suspicions since there is no such nation. Key West, some 100 odd miles south of Hollywood, did declare itself the Conch Republic in the 80's when it announced it was seceding from the union. It's always been known as Key Weird, and the shelled sea snail is pronounced "conk."
Harry said Nostril had bootleg DVDs of the 2nd and 3rd unreleased installments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'd seen the first one, 'The Fellowship of" on the big screen and read the books a few decades ago. An orgy of orc killing sounded cool and Harry Pothead always had plenty of Hobbit happy leaf. I was seriously jonesing, Florida does that to me.
Olympic Smoke Rings
It's not polite to ask how people have made beaucoup money, but the condo was clearly pricey and my curiosity was aroused. I knew teaching didn't pay that well. It was an ocean front penthouse with a huge entertainment system.
Over a pipeload or three of Bilbo Baggin's finest, Nostrildamus volunteered that he had made big bucks by short selling stocks that he'd foreseen were going to crash, like Enron, Global Crossing, Qwest and other clients of Arthur Andersen accounting. I might not have understood him exactly, but he was either a prophet or profiting off insider trading.
Nostril said he had a fortune stuck in a German bank from his "put options" on United and American airline stocks. He'd known about the 9/11 attacks beforehand either from astrological predictions or from his Israeli Mossad contacts. He couldn't collect those profits yet because the trades were being investigated for evidence of collusion with the terrorists.
Harry laughed and said no worries about the investigation, the CIA was doing it. "They're about as clueless as Arthur Andersen going through your books looking for mismanagement. Besides Buzzy Krongard, who Bush appointed CIA executive director last year, was the former head of the firm used to buy those "puts." Now how hard is that putz going to search for the mastermind? He can't even figure out who gave Bush a black eye. Supposedly from choking on a pretzel? It was really his mother in law because he told her to hold onto her Enron stocks when he knew they were going to tank."
He paused to blow a smoke ship sailing off the condo's balcony towards the green waves of the Atlantic Ocean. I asked Harry if he was taking a winter break from snowy New England or had enough character building and was moving to sunny Florida.
"No snow, just slush and ice this winter. Snow might have given me a skiing break from cabin fever. With all this hype about the winter Olympics, I was thinking about taking up snow boarding, but it's been good for nothing but ice fishing, a poor excuse for heavy drinking. Speaking of the Olympics, Homeland Security put out another Chicken Little terrorist alert for them. Incredible sources claimed polygamous patriots were planning to bomb the couples ice skating comp, pissed off by the one man-one woman rule." He chuckled at his joke.
Just Say No To Terrorism
"Truthfully I got lonely up there, those Cranky Yankee locals are extremely unfriendly, give me a shallow Californian any day. The only person who would talk to me bragged he'd been on SSI for twenty years, since he told his shrink he was sucking off dogs. I'm an animal lover unlike you Simac, but draw the line at licking pets."
I decided not to remind him about the time he'd turned me into a psychedelic toad, my ego was still a little raw, mostly from the sweat scraping. Instead I said, "Well the Patriot's Super Bowl victory must have cheered the locals up."
"Don't get me started, you know I'm a Raider's fan. Those drug ads made me see red. I had to smoke two joints to calm down and support ELF eco-terrrorists. Now you know I don't like white powder drugs, but if they're so worried about terrorists profiting off them, then just legalize them. As if. Bush's family has been dealing hard drugs to support terrorism right back to the Opium wars, on the Walker side. Seventy percent of the illegal drug market is controlled by terrorists our government supports, American or allied intelligence agencies or international Banksters, but the other 30 percent are competition he wants wiped out. Some of them like the Taliban were called "freedom fighters" until they crossed the Bush clan."
Harry was getting worked up, always a dangerous situation, so Nostril loaded up the pipe again. It only slowed him down, "Now Bush is sounding like the former Soviet Union, drafting five year plans to reduce illegal drugs consumption in America by 25%. He's got about as much chance of succeeding as Kruschev with steel production. 'Compassionate coercion', he should try that with his own kids and Jeb's daughter the Xanax Queen. She gets treatment, while any other prescription drug fraud not named Bush, would have gotten five years mandatory minimum."
While we were watching Frodo the hobbit's journey toward Mt. Ordor, Nostril quoted an arcane quatrain about a village idiot starting Armageddon in the third millennium with the Axel of Evel. I didn't point out that the idiot had actually said "axis of evil", because Bush's War on Terrorism is going to generate more spectacular crashes than all of Evel Knievel's exploits.
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