Fondue Dreams Meet True Grit

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He was a man who loved fondue too much. Not caring much for the company of others, he entertained himself by sitting in his own RV, parked in his own driveway, and listening to his eight track recordings of Wayne Newton’s greatest hits.

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At one time he had been a lifeguard, and he was terribly strict in his control of the pool. No one could enter the pool unless first approved by either he or his twin brother. The two brothers admired all forms of extreme discipline, and in an earlier era would have certainly been enthusiastic members of the Nazi party.

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He met his first wife Darlene at Sea World where they were both working as entertainers. She was every bit as physically fit as he, and the fact that she could entertain any crowd by dancing and telling jokes made her the object of everyone’s attention.

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Soon married, they opened a restaurant which catered to over-eaters who cared more about quantity of what they ate than quantity.

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They had a daughter who refused to learn to speak English, though she managed quite well in four other languages. She loved to disinfect things. Maybe working behind the counter at the restaurant had emotionally scarred her.  Eventually she went on to share her father’s fondness for recreational vehicles, especially ones that never hit the road.

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The Mrs. grew tired of family life and left both husband and daughter behind, moving to Las Vegas, to pursue a career as an exotic dancer. When demand for her services waned as she reached her sunset years, she enjoyed even more success as an event planner.

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ABILITIES YOU MUST HAVE IN ORDER TO JOIN THIS GROUP

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You must be able to swim ten meters underwater on one breath.

You must be able to derive square roots without the aid of a calculator.

You must know which of these three words is not a word: irregardless, irrespective, immaterial.

Explain in fewer than 100 words why most harmonicas are sold in the key of C but most blues songs are written in B flat or E.

You must be able to whistle.

You must be able to recall the seven cardinal virtues and the six deadly sins.

You must be able to find on the map Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

You must not be Vitamin B deficient.

You must be able to discern the difference between the Elmore James songs “Look on Yonder Wall” and “The Sky is Crying”

You must be immunized against Mad Cow disease and Epstein-Barre syndrome.

You must speak at least three languages besides your native tongue.

You must have spent at least a week in Albania.

You must believe that Artie Shaw’s band was at least the equal of Benny Goodman’s.

You must certify that the concept of spending your retirement years “kicking back in some beach community” sounds stultifying.

You must attest that you lost “that Christmas spirit” years ago and find most holiday promotions tiresome at best.

You must wake up in the middle of the night at least twice a month convinced that your body is riddled with cancer and it’s too late to do anything about it.

You must miss the character actors one used to frequently see in movies and on television fifty years ago more than the “stars” who got top billing and most of the attention.

You must admit to yourself and to others that you find the act of yodeling unmusical and watching old men in lederhosen perform it, distasteful.

You must refuse to accept the notion that all religions have some value, and are at least partially good.

You must get down on your knees and beg God for mercy.

You must admit the fact that you are hopelessly addicted to social media, and that its impact on your life has been almost wholly negative, except for providing a way to stay in touch with old friends, but the more you see or hear about them the more you realize there’s a reason you lost touch with them in the first place, and the only reason you log on so frequently is because you have absolutely nothing else going on in your life to fill the seemingly bottomless void that social media attempts to address.

Fable

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We never spoke, not even once, but we had the best communication I’ve ever had with a woman. She could talk, I’ve seen her do it with other people, but she and I only conversed with touch. Her touch spoke volumes. That first year together we couldn’t keep our hands off each other.

Then we stopped all physical contact, and merely communicated with our eyes. We gazed and understood what the other was thinking. Sight told us everything we needed to know, and with absolute certainty.

When she became blind, I still had my vision, although with her out of the picture it didn’t take long for me to join her in perpetual darkness. We were both surprised to find that we knew the other’s whereabouts, and what the other was thinking. By now, we seldom ventured from the house, so it was only a matter of keeping track of which room we were in.

When she died, I knew it within a few minutes. The air grew cold, there was a strange mechanical sound that seemed to come from everywhere at once. I stumbled across her body at the bottom of the stairs. It was then that I began to tell her everything I hadn’t told her, and it took me days until I felt I could stop talking. Then my sight returned.

She appeared younger than I remembered her. Rigor mortis had come and gone, but her complexion had always been pale, so that wasn’t what I found shocking. It was her expression. Her face was frozen into a horrible scowl. The lips were drawn back, exposing her sharp incisors, which made her seem more like a vampire or a predatory cat than the sweet person I once knew so well.

Sodomites with Attitude

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My older sister was not a nice person. Being mean earned her a certain amount of respect, and both men and women were afraid of crossing her. She would make you pay for any challenge or disrespect. Oddly enough, men found that alluring. She had more boyfriends than any one woman could use.

When she smiled, which was almost never, she could be attractive. When she looked at you like she wanted to dissect you, which was most of the time, she left an impression. She was without a doubt a featured player in nightmares all over town.

At first, no one would believe she was my sister. I am passive to a fault, meek and humble. My major failing is that I’m too nice a guy. But I have limits. I can snap, and have in the past. Those people in South America were threatening us. Even though I couldn’t understand what they were saying, I could sense their vehemence.

If she had been along on that trip, I probably could have restrained myself. But she wasn’t. It was just me and my niece and nephew, and somebody needed to protect them. Anyway, that’s the past. There were no consequences, at least for us. We have moved on.

I’ve been told that I’m quick to point out the flaws in others, but slow to do so in myself. That’s probably right. I can tell you that my sister is a player, a manipulator, but I probably do the same only in my own perhaps more subtle way. I could have been a salesman if I’d wanted to work, but I have never wanted to do so. Thank God our parents left us a substantial inheritance!

We are sodomites and proud of it. Although we don’t choose conflict, we are surrounded by those who want to judge us. Some want to save us, others merely choose to condemn. No matter how hard you try, you will never convince us to change. We don’t try to change you, so why do you try to change us? Are you so unsure of your convictions that you need us to agree with you?

Yesterday, a big man came to our house and began to pound on the front door. We watched him through the curtains and waited for him to go away. He pounded for ten minutes at least. Maybe fifteen. After he left we were nervous and whispered among ourselves. Would he come back? Would he bring others with him? We have a video surveillance camera that recorded him if we needed to give it to the police, but in our experience we are better off leaving the police out of our affairs. They do not favor Sodomites.

Our parents practiced an antique religion, full of oppressive ritual and pointless sacrifice. When I think of all the innocent birds and reptiles who shed blood to allow my parents and their friends to feel they were supplicating evil spirits I feel nothing but shame. Fortunately, when they passed their religion passed with them. They called themselves “The Old Believers of the Dolorous Path.” Somewhere on YouTube there is a low quality video of one of their ceremonies. You can clearly hear the howling of frightened animals and the weeping of children mixed with the gruff chanting of the elders. It is a dark video, with splashes of red illuminated by candlelight.

Lock-Down

 

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You’ll have to stay put until something can be established. As long as no one is certain what’s going on, or can reasonably describe what happened, we’re going into lock-down mode. All exits will be sealed until further notice.

People don’t just turn into liquid and flow down the street. Babies don’t spontaneously combust. Sure, unusual things can happen, but then the burden of proof is greater. No one is going to believe you were taken up to Heaven, met Jesus, and then came back down to Earth to tell us all about it. At least they won’t believe it unless you can start showing some miraculous proof.

Miraculous proof is all that we require. Oh, and promotion. Nothing matters without proper promotion. In a better world the important and true would rise to the top, but not here. On this miserable rock bathed in a veil of tears, if it hasn’t gone viral, it simply hasn’t gone anywhere.

What you witnessed may or may not have happened. You might be deluded. Many deluded people aren’t aware of their condition. Look at our President. Just because you fervently believe in something doesn’t mean it exists. Artistic types make stuff up all the time. Some are quite convincing, but everything they invent is conjured up out of thin air.

These are not necessarily bad people who invent things that don’t actually exist. They might be benevolent, caring, imaginative, and supportive of creativity in others. They might also be pathological liars. We who are inclined of give the benefit of doubt are potential victims of this latter group.

And so for the time being we must seal or borders. We must suspect that everyone has a malevolent purpose. Their intentions are to do us harm. “What would Jesus do?” you ask. He would do what we are doing. He would hunker down.

“But” you protest “the Jesus I met in Heaven after I had been swept up to kneel at his feet would embrace even the most snarky of us.” Maybe. But we are not Jesus.

We are simply your neighbors who are trying to make the best of a bad situation. We did not cause this calamity, but we are trying to minimize the negative outcomes. Maybe there won’t be any. Indeed, we could be making a mountain out of a molehill. But someone did testify that he saw another person liquefy and that other person has not been seen since. There is a noticeable smell in the air, like burnt toast, except it smells a bit like burnt rubber and burnt toast. There is also a dog that won’t stop barking, but no one has been able to find the dog. So we are confused and anxious. We will batten down the hatches until the storm has passed.