Bad Science Fiction

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

It was like a bad science fiction movie. I had to scrap ice and snow off my windshield frozen for two days. Then drive through a thick fog. As I pulled into the parking lot, it was busy. Though still dark there was a line waiting for Walmart to open its doors. The scene was frenetic, thirty minutes to closing on Christmas Eve frenetic.  They had milk and bread and eggs and toilet paper and little of anything else. I’ve been through the winter storm rush and the hurricane rush, but this was a first. No cereal, not a box or bag. Potato chips gone, everything gone whole aisles wiped out.

The staples were there. I bought hamburger, bread and milk but if you were looking for Mama Santucci’s old fashioned Italian dressing…forget it. I’ve never understood why people stare at the milk jugs through the glass door like looking into a zoo cage. It’s pretty self-explanatory, you open the door and choose a gallon of milk. Four hundred gallons of milk, ones the same as the other. At first, I thought it was just me, but it was everybody.

Everybody was in a hurry; everybody on edge, everybody wanting to grab their stuff and go. Everybody wearing anxiety like a three-day beard or a three-day drunk. Very few kids, who would take their kids to dangerous place like Walmart now? Like life in slow-motion, a car spinning out of control prioritizing life in an instant. America looks into the void because it is the only option available to them.

We have a twenty trillion-dollar economy taking one quarter out leaves a five trillion-dollar hole. A one trillion or two trillion-dollar stimulus package are band aids on bullet wounds. Each wad of money they throw at the economy piecemeal makes the next wad of money less effective. This is a time of overkill. You cannot cheapskate yourself out of this one. We have to send money to the people till the people start sending it back. The cost of saving people is cheaper than trying to make them whole, once they’ve lost everything. I’ve never seen public fear before and never thought I would participate in it but… Anyone who tells you what’s going to happen tomorrow is lying.

I really wanted to avoid the Cheeto today, but I’m locked down and it’s the only original comedy on the Internet. Anyway, Trump said there are no empty shelves in grocery. Which means there are empty store shelves nationwide. The news conference today seemed to be one-part apologies, one-part sticking to the script and one-part week in review. It meant there wasn’t much news, just Mike Pence sucking up and most are only watching to see if Trump flips out again. Making bird noises running across the room flapping his arms and screeching like a Parrot. Of course, it’s absurd but…with Trump? It’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Trump’s public performance is but an inkling of what is going on backstage. Mike Pence just boasted about expanded testing two hours after CNN reports New York and California are limiting testing. Remember, only you can prevent forest fires! A total sense of total detachment in the White House of the imagination.  I listen to what the Cheeto says and can deduce the opposite. So, when he says the story in the New York Times isn’t true, I know it is true. The way Donny the tea kettle was about to blow up about it, I know it’s way true.

Like a televangelist, he’s not angry for what did only that he got caught.

The plain unvarnished orange truth is the orange one is incapable of empathy. We’ve seen it before singularly and now we witness it at a national level. Inside that orange head the only issue which confronts Trump and can hold his limited attention span is, “I don’t want to be blamed for this.” Inside his Alfred Hitchcock psyche is a black and white rerun where he’s being framed for a murder he didn’t commit. In the midst of a global pandemic, he offers, its not just us, a hundred and forty countries. Then he smiles, what a good boy am I.

Funny thing about grocery store rushes, cereal usually isn’t an item you run out of. I never heard anyone say, “There’s a hurricane coming we better stock up on Coco Puffs and chips!” Is it a hoarding problem, a supply problem or both? Is this a once in a lifetime event or is this the new normal? The tributaries of madness lead from here after one year or eighteen months. Mitch McConnell cutting coupons out of the newspaper trying to find a way to do this on the cheap and maximize the upside potential. This ain’t no time for playing and you’ve only got one shot and it is counter intuitive to everything Republicans cherish. But only by refloating the economy through the workers can you ever hope to make it right.

“This is the thing to bomb. This is the beginning—from “I” to “we”. If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into “I”, and cuts you off forever from the “we”. ”
― John Steinbeck

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