Wednesday, April 6, 2016



A horned man I met in the woods told me the country didn’t have a democracy. “It’s a plutocracy,” he said, scratching the hair of his shaggy chin. “Democracy was taken over in a hidden, long-term coup by a totalitarian system of bankers and globalized corporations. It’s a government of the rich, for the rich.”

High in the sky overhead, intersecting lines of chem-trails formed giant white crosses linked like a vast net.

“Looks like it’s gonna rain,” I said.

“Within forty-hours,” the horned man replied.

“I wonder what we’re ingesting.”

The horned man nodded.

From where we were sitting, we could see the long line of limos gleaming on the road thread through the trees. A sickly trickle of river ran below like a varicose vein. The occupants of the armored vehicles hid behind tinted windows with one-way views, but we knew who they were. Slick old whites packed inside entered the redwood forest like parasitic tapeworms in the heart of the host.

I wondered if it wasn’t the chem-trails that woke me up.

Quietly through the woods we traveled for a spell. Through the dancing branches we moved with roots and the sway of green growth till we came to a place where uniformed interlopers held automatic rifles. 
Protectors of the parasites...


Meet Artemis!

Would you like to marry her?

So wife-like, you'll swear she's human...and thank God she's not!

This I had to try.

Six-to-eight days after placing my order, she showed up right outside my door.

I adored Artemis from the moment I assembled her online. The big red bouncy bow on her head was a wonderful touch. I had ordered the dreadlocks specifically, as well as the French accent. But the bow, that was her own decision.

"Hello, mon cherie!" she said, arms outspread for a hug. "I'm Artemis! J'taime!"

"Oui, oui!" I replied. "Come on in!"

And she was right on time, too, having messaged me in advance.

A step up from Stepford. These are the wives you can't afford not to buy.

Finally, a woman with some personality, a woman with some character. Most of the other kind avoid eye-contact and don't have much of anything to say. Bad programming makes them resist human connection. Lifeless mechanical things, not warm and kind like Artemis. "I can't believe you actually showed up," I said. She reminded me that I'd paid. It cost me nearly all my savings, but I told her that was nothing. "I've shelled out lots of times, only to get stood up. Not even bothering with a phone call to explain. You though, you're different. You're actually here. So I'm way impressed already."

As soon as we met, we went places. We went to wonderful places and did wonderful things. Legally, we were married the moment I bought her. I kind of ignored that, though. Mostly I really wanted to romance her. When we were driving around I'd hold her hand. I liked that she didn't freak out over it, and that my opening doors for her wasn't a problem, either. I liked making her feel special. We bopped all over the county together, delighting in the simplest pleasures. Nothing too pricey. I couldn't afford that, after buying her.

A buddy of mine with a flesh wife envied me my android bride. "All my wife does is age and complain," he said around the barbeque at his place one afternoon. "Yours doesn't even eat food."

"Tell me about it. She never has bad breath, or anything bad anywhere. She's just pure goodness all over."

"Wish I could say the same for my wife," my buddy said, taking a wistful pull from a beer...


Sumerian cuneiform tablets tell of the Kluun, an executioner's sect whose members disguised themselves in brightly colored costumes and entertained audiences during executions by distributing the entrails of the executed on slices of stale bread. From the word Kluun we derive the word "clown."

A buddy of mine came back from Iraq with pictures on his camera showing a bunch of guys in fatigues posing for shots next to a wall with raised-relief depictions of ancient Sumerian sacrificial rites presided over by a giant Kluun. All the guys were smiling, and everybody held a burger.

On the day that I saw these shots, only a couple of hours earlier, I had happened to notice a guy in a clown suit standing on the corner.  Now on my way back from picking up my girlfriend after work, I saw him again.

“Can you imagine having to do that?” I asked Cathy, but she was too busy fixing her face in the sun visor mirror to notice the clown jumping up and down on the corner. She didn’t ask what I was talking about. Might have heard me, might have not. She had already been tuning me out a lot.

The giant inflatable clown wavering frenetically in front of the car dealership was not a surprise to me at all, but I did notice it more than usual.

When my buddy, Josh, showed his shots there were four of us in this other guy’s shop. Everyone there but me knew that the most famous clown music was written as a military march. With my window down I could hear “Entrance of the Gladiators” as we passed by the car dealership.

Doot-doot doodle-oodle oot-doot doo-doot!

As soon as I learned about the Kluun, I started seeing clowns everywhere. While Cathy changed her clothes for ladies’ night out I said, “Hey, have you ever noticed how so many businesses use a clown in their advertising?” From the hard blank expression on her face I knew she definitely heard this one. Early in our relationship she would have made eye-contact and had something to say in response. If only to be civil. We had been together for awhile now though, and things had gotten pretty cold.

That night, I don’t know why, I couldn’t stop thinking about clowns...

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