Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Hee-Haw Conflict

Tony and Lohbado were arrested and sent to work as slaves at the great dictator’s palace on the Plains of Radiation. Their job was to polish doorknobs in the mahogany hall. The Dictator had a fetish for knobs of wood, glass, crystal, porcelain, silver and gold. His palace contained a corridor of doorknobs.

     Every morning the great dictator Galen would grease the palm of his hand with tallow, hormone Oohaw Cream from the Galen Labs, where experiments were carried out on wounded cows. Most people didn’t take the great dictator seriously. Tony loved Galen. During a brain wash session, Tony was blown away by a video of Galen walking into a room and caressing a precious gold knob with his name engraved into it.
     Silk pillows were provided should Galen wish to kneel and worship the doorknobs. In the video, Galen unscrewed a knob, placed it on a chair and sat on it. Galen was wearing a kilt. A look of power and defiance swept over Galen’s face. He shouted orders to have three prisoners brought in to kneel before him and read off a list of Galen’s accomplishments.
Music played in the background, a bubbly wash of soft squeaky melodies, one tune after another, some a little faster or slower than others, in a standardize measure, a doo dah doo, doupa doop mood maker mood machine, hum de dum howdy doody sure is a nice day. There’s talk about doing something. Time to take action, dum de doo dah, howdy doo, how much money do you have? How do you survive? Do you have a job? What do you do dee do dee do? Good luck. Have a nice day.
     They also played that kind of music at the Plaza and in the supermarket. It blared in the background as Lohbado tried to remember what it was he went out to buy. Sometimes Lohbado would hurry into the store and his mind blanked out. He’d stare at cans of sardines, jars of dill pickles, tubes of octopus paste, bags of beans and noodles and not remember what he intended to buy.
     Lohbado’s going out of the apartment had a motive, or intention, even if the goal was nothing more than to do something in order to break the inertia of doing nothing. Lohbado had a particularity, which ruled out arbitrariness. During the here and now, at the time when he was planning a future to define his presence, Lohbado stood a moment, blank mind, and began slowly wandering the aisles. Soon he spotted a store clerk, in peripheral vision. The clerk followed Lohbado, as if he felt Lohbado was trying to shoplift. Lohbado was tempted to turn and explain to the clerk he was an honest man, who felt it was bad luck to steal.
     Lohbado did that once, after setting off an alarm at a drugstore. He showed the clerk the contents of his pack. When he explained how he would never steal, the clerk became more suspicious. Lohbado must be a thief. Why would he be explaining his honesty if he was in fact honest? Perhaps the clerk would like to strip search Lohbado. The alarm went off when the clerk told him to go through the detector again. Finally, the clerk let Lohbado go.
     After that, Lohbado gazed in fear at doors with detectors. He walked cautiously into stores and prayed that nothing on his person would set off the alarm. It happened two or three times a year, enough to make him nervous. He saw it happen to other people. One lady discovered it was the magnetic chip on her public transit card that set off the alarm.
     Lohbado managed to escape to the city. The city spread out, a set of sentences, streets of text, alphabet storefronts, blocks of ideas, towering concepts and religious steeples scraping the sky in sheer belief. He went to the archive to do research on the Hee-haw conflict and its disastrous impact on the economy.

The Hee invaded Haw. The Hee and Haw were mortal enemies. The Hee believed sex is only permitted on holy days. The Haw scoffed at such an idea. According to Hee morality, sex should take place at breeding centers. According to the Haw, such an idea was preposterous. They got into a big fight in the parking lot outside the House of Paris. A lot of eggs broke against the windshields of people who tried not to get involved.

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