The first locally known bipedal speaker to mount the podium that had been set up in the common area of Grassy Knolls and begin in a human voice without distinction to celebrate The Catastrophe of 1949, and who went far beyond his allotted time in the process, and not for the first time, which caused gaseous grumblings that no doubt contributed to the level of malice aforethought which was about to be manifested big time, and who like many of his peers remained oblivious to breaking events throughout the ensuing ordeal, proceeded to recite historical achievements that presumed in some manner or form to be associated with advanced real estate development spearheaded by mountaintop removal that was epitomized by Grassy Knolls.
After my unfortunate yet timely collision with a big rock, I was understandably listening less than intently to the man’s pointy remarks. I was lying flat on my back under extreme duress and in no position. Meanwhile, superior enemy forces gathered ammunition and coalesced strategically in the sky.
The non-distinct orator paused briefly to wipe something icky from his brow, yet eschewed benefit of any rigorous self-examination that may have given him a clue. How droll.
“Polio vaccine,” he declared, “Color television, birth control pills, boner pills, bomb shelters, bikini waxes, booster rockets, sitcoms, mini-skirts, rock and roll, pop art, op art, microwave popcorn, Elvis impersonators, debit cards, Sputniks, per per view, financial derivatives, eight track tapes, water slides, spinal taps, mud wrestling, spike heels, wireless communication, push-up bras, white flight, snow blowers, strip malls, black markets, mass markets, recommended dosages, advanced demographics, fanny packs, payola, corn dogs, coke, anal sex, sushi, Ayds, AIDS, ADHD, AC/DC, flip flops, disposable diapers, the rise of Communism, metamphetamines, the fall of Communism, the rise of Islam, the fall of Saigon, the rise of niggers, spics, wops, gooks, kikes, nips, micks, chinks, ad nauseum…”
The common area shared by all property owners with a minimum of a two acre stake in Grassy Knolls, where the first gun shots utilizing live ammunition for purportedly coercive and intimidating purposes were partially aimed and fired, was a postage stamp sized plot that qualified as free range green space purely for technical purposes.
After robbing Peter to pay Paul, the common area had been squeezed in against all reasonable profit projections in order to accommodate the bureaucrats in the Santa Clara County Department of Planning who were sitting on their fat asses with nothing more productive to do back in San Jose.
Final negotiations to quantify parcel parameters were personally conducted by the Commissioner of Land Use and Developmental Entitlements, an appointed position subject to strict political approval, along with his oppositional developmental peers perched across the table, and several comely assistants who took careful notes, over a number of two martini lunches back when drinking spirited refreshments to break up the intellectual monotony of a long day was logically still considered de rigeur, and who could not say rightfully so. The final rigorous two to three hour brainstorming session in which considerable back and forth pandering was ultimately hammered out, codified, and signed on the dotted line by all concerned parties, took place at Ernie’s in San Francisco and included the restaurant’s famed rare filet mignon with the exquisitely gloppy sauce du jour.
Given the ultimately sad causal state of the resulting affair, and its reverberations that continue to throb to this day, it is naturally difficult to precisely determine with confidence the correct quotient of blame due to the chosen side or sides that first fired weaponry on the common area of Grassy Knolls that afternoon, and according to what set of tangents they operated, and in which standard direction and at whom personal and specific diatribes were directed. Suffice it to say that once the rain of partially regurgitated mice began to fall willy-nilly from the sky like wee thespians in a massive Biblical epic, the melee grew geometrically out of proportion like a gross zit that was past its prime age and more than ready to pop.
On one side of the trenches were the cat people. They oohed and aahed a lot. They delighted in fine baby talk. They had lots of faith in beliefs that were often contained tightly in the vicinity of their communal bosoms.
Opposed to them firmly on the other side were the dog people. They wore boots, tended to kick at a lot of shit, and talked a helluva good game.
The irreversible conflict became monumentally gut wrenching and puke inducing right from the start. Infidels battled heathens until mercenary reinforcements arrived. Tight asses raged against loose lips. Neighbors hated the guts of neighbors indiscriminately.
Not surprisingly, given the location at which they were all immersed, and the nature of the binding advanced demographics that abounded, in many cases stolid Presbyterians found themselves facing off against mere Lutherans. Their respective Gods, though both blonde, studly, and uncompromisingly off-white in subtle hue, were worlds apart. One wore sandals and looked like a dirty hippie. He probably smoked weed back in the day, if not blonde Lebanese hash. The other stood straighter and taller and carried a bigger stick equipped with sharper nails that was stuck into his thigh high leather camo clodhoppers.
One dog person, who had been predicting trouble and did not care who knew it, snarled, “I told you so.”
Several counterparts on the cat side hissed, “Why can’t you people ever pick up all of your poop?”
Who do you think you’re calling ‘you people’?”
“Who do you think?”
You all know the childish retort that came next. There was nothing random about it. Multiple knees jerked orgasmically in tandem. These were all still creatures united as humans, after all. The owls who looked down on them knew it best. The tawny owl was not the only one of his advanced brethren to laugh his fucking ass off.
Predictably, things turned from ugly, to uglier, to vastly more ugly than that. That’s where the many guns came in most handy. It did not take long before at least one boiling mother who was called a dirty name whipped out a cute pistol with great aplomb.
In short order, there was considerable impact in the areas of shit, grit, blood, guts, splatter. The cats howled. The dogs itched. The regurgitated mice that formed a trapezoidal pile in the center were thoroughly disgusting. That was prior to stinking. Though none of the beautiful birds who were looking down on the dirt expected humans to disappear for at least a few thousand more grimy years to come, the spectacle in the interim was certainly good for boosting bird morale, as well as well as in the aforementioned areas of deep ass and belly laughter.
But, due to what I will continue to maintain to be no fault of my own, and under the considerable duress of which I was becoming more acutely aware while lying flat on my back inside of the rented cargo van masquerading as an ambulance, I missed it, or at least the most cinematically significant segments. The paramedics who had been daintily futzing with my nose that had been broken in its encounter with the sensitive air bag of my car, and was no longer centered on my face, tied me down with straps that I worried were suspicious and told me to stay put. Why straps? Why down so low? I’m not proud to say, however, that I obeyed with only a whimper.
Until, that is, uninvited members of the mob started to arrive. The paramedics, it seemed, had left me for more fertile hunting grounds. How was I supposed to respond under such great duress? When bodies began to accumulate, moreover, that seemed destined to begin encroaching on my precious personal space, some with apparently unruly blood escaping in an unseemly manner from where it rightfully belonged, which in my opinion was nowhere near me, I rebelled, finally, and sat up.
Besides, who knew where that blood had been? Talk about icky.
I do remember, however, before I fled hastily into the dense woods, that I distinctly heard the final words of one man who was bleeding profusely. He said, “You’ve got to be crazy if you think this is over yet.”
And I remember thinking, I can agree with that.