My friend Bill the Butcher asked if he could do another guest post, and I said HELL YEAH because I loved the last one he did.
Also, it's been a physically and emotionally draining week, and I'm more than happy to take the night off and let Bill bring the awesome to this space.
As a reminder, Bill is Indian (and no, I don't know why his name is Bill and not Apu or Rajeesh - why don't you ask him?), and he's a hard-core militant leftist agitant. So he's strange and scary, but don't let that put you off. His blog is crazy good.
Here's his guest post. He said I could give it any title I liked.
Stumpy the Squirrel Drinks Antifreeze: A Morality Play
by Bill the Butcher
I was driving uphill in heavy traffic. By this I mean I was driving up a steep, steep hill in bumper-to-bumper traffic, on a street so narrow that the vehicles on the other side came close to endangering my driver’s side rear view mirror. By this I mean that my shoulders and neck were seizing up with the effort not to tailgate the vehicle in front or be rammed by the one behind. By this I mean...
...Oh, hey, I should tell you that this was all driving a manual transmission vehicle, shouldn’t I? That would be obvious to anyone in this country, but I suppose manual transmission is rare to nonexistent where this post is going to be read.
|(I actually have readers from several |
countries, but who the fuck cares?
GO USA. - CB)
Oh yes, so this was when I was already late for something (it doesn’t matter what it was – OK, if you must know, it was a friend and colleague’s wedding) and I wasn’t even sure of the exact location I was supposed to go, and it was getting heavily cloudy and there was lightning on the horizon, so on top of everything else this was likely going to come down in a mass of hail any moment.
No, I wasn’t in the best of moods.
So, sitting there, one foot pressing the clutch pedal to the floor, the other the brake, my hand tapping the steering wheel while nothing bloody moved at all, I started thinking of what I’d do at that moment if I had a tank, like, you know, the quartet of stories I wrote on Alyosha and the Least Famous Tank in the World. This isn’t meant as a plug for that so I won’t put up a link. Anyway, there would have been crushed cars and murder and mayhem.
And I would be laughing.
|(You'll have to supply your own maniacal laughter. -CB)|
But since I wasn’t in the driver’s seat of a T 34, I began thinking instead of the old Michael Douglas flick, Falling Down. I loved that film. Oh, man, I loved that film. And like Michael Douglas, I had an impulse to just turn off the engine, pull the handbrake, and walk away.
But I didn’t do that, for two reasons. First, I’m not crazy. Second, the car was expensive, and I hadn’t even finished paying for it.
Even if I had walked away, what then? I couldn’t, I’ll bet, find a weapons dealer to sell me a rocket launcher, and I had no plans to commit suicide by cop after meeting a nonexistent estranged wife and daughter.
You see my problem? If I had a weapons supplier to sell me a rocket launcher, with which I could blow up a street, if I had a wife and daughter, hell, if I even had a gun with which to threaten a fast food place for not supplying me breakfast at lunchtime, I might have walked away from the damned car. I could have done a Falling Down on my own, or at least a "J'pète les plombs" by Disiz. I could have had my own sociopathic movie or rap video, man.
Instead I was sitting in this damned car, watching the morons crawl by, and getting more and more pissed off by the moment.
Now, right in front of me was this truck. I thought overloaded trucks were banned from town streets, but this is India and this is the hicktown capital of India, where the rules are only remarkable if someone follows them by accident. This truck was not only overloaded, the load was obviously not even properly secured, because the entire bed was tilting to one side on the chassis. Like it was going to topple over in a minute. And it was belching such clouds of smoke I’d suggest the army take it to lay down a smokescreen if we ever go to war with anyone again.
But then it would be a deadly chemical warfare agent, what with all that carbon monoxide. It was giving me a headache from three vehicles back, so all one would have to do is turn it towards the Pakista...I mean, whoever we were fighting...lines, and let the engine rip, after which all we’d need to do was get ready for the war crimes trials. Thanks, baby.
By this time I’d obviously miss the wedding anyway, so I decided to turn around and go home. Only, I couldn’t turn around and go home, you know, because I bloody well didn’t have the space to turn the car. So now I was stuck on this slope, cars to back of me, truck to front of me, cars to right of me, volleyed by carbon monoxide and thundered from above. Lord Tennyson had nothing on it.
|(Wait, you say "bloody well," but you don't call |
a truck a lorry? What kind of former
Imperial subject are you? -CB)
It was at that moment that I had a kind of epiphany.
Do you remember the Imperial Walkers or whatever the hell they were called in The Empire Strikes Back? I’m a Trekkie, I hated the Star Wars series, so I may be wrong in the proper designation, but you know what I’m talking about, don’t you? The dinosaurlike machine things topheavily walking across the ice planet Hoth.
No, I am not suggesting someone invent a real mechanical tailless Brachiosaurus. In fact that’s the opposite of what I am suggesting. But a car which could put out, um, legs like tarantulas and crawl over other traffic would be nice, don’t you think? Someone get together with me and make a plan. Someone with more mechanical engineering knowledge than I have, I mean. That’s not a feat.
|(Here you go. His name is Stompy. You're welcome. -CB)|
I even have a name for this crawling car. In fact, I didn’t have to go looking far for it. It would be popular, right? A lot of people might buy it? And it would crawl like an insect?
Right...people’s car and insect. What does that suggest? Something...
This is Chuck again. Ever heard French rap? Check it out: