The sniveling last gasp counterrevolution against freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles in California came to a boil behind closed doors in central Rancho Mirage when smoke and stink from oily extracts clogged the unmarked aisles in a windowless vault. Same old, same old lubricated bunch of big bozos trying to hold up sagging drawers with custom dildos masquerading as upright average dicks. Big oil men were there and going nowhere. Left and right wings flapped in place. Anyone who used to be able to stand alone while pissing vinegar had to be there to testify. Some of the concerned big bucks came from as far away as Big D to promenade, which sure as shooting don’t stand for no fruity dumpling, hon.
“Hell of a wingding.”
“Sher is rootin’tootin’.”
The smoke alarm had been willfully destroyed with malice aforethought, and the marbled meat on the rotisserie spit out a marching ditty from John Philip Sousa that stirred. Not only processed cheese was cut. A chorus of blood-curdling squeals came from squads of shorn porkers branded by regimental ties. Nothing spells out counterrevolution better than the scent of burning flesh in the morning. And neckties. There was a good reason why no vegetables were permitted. Yes, gases. As it turns out, red necks with twist ties pulled tight contain a constant threat to emit gases. Clearly, this was no celebration of indigenous banh mi. No daikon, no brine. How do I know? Because I was there.
I said, ” I must be getting turned around by fumes. I don’t see any wings dinging anywhere near.”
I tried to keep my breathing subterranean and shallow. It takes a lot of hard work to stay barely alive. Dire conditions were subject to change without notice.
I said, pointing, “Oh, there I am right over there.”
I need to make one thing perfectly clear right from the get-go. I am not a crook. I was not there because I belonged to any attached regiment, not by the pork hair on any of those hideous multiple chins, nor because I willfully discriminated against fresh vegetables, or knew how to tie a regimental tie, because I didn’t, and don’t, due to an understandable dearth of rote training since circa 2002. And it was as big a surprise to me as anyone that my humble clip-on did not mark me as an outsider and a spy. Because technically that’s what I was, a spy that is. I half-expected to be partially exposed at any of the many moments I endured the smoke wafting. But as it turned out, I was not alone. Clip-ons were well represented, as were girdles, wraps, pads, lifts, tucks. All big ticket items, no scheiss. Plus, half of the remaining bozos not only had assistants to tie their neckties, but to tie their strap-ons and shoes as well. That’s how the big bucks keep on rolling down the subsidized highway. Those motorized wheelchairs can really fly with enough of a head start and a push with some fucking oomph.
“First we got to bring these sons of bitches to their knees.”
“All it takes is gumption.”
“We got it.”
A photo-shopped image of an unwrinkled Nancy Reagan presided in spirit over the barbecue pit, flapping in the fetid breeze. Her little red dress was hiked up high enough to cause involuntarily gasps. A thin voice that had been dubbed-in as her body double got stuck repeating, “no, no, no, no.” Under different circumstances, it might appear as if ‘no’ just meant ‘no.’ But not here and now. No small timers anywhere on the premises. This was big.
“It’s not right to see her bending over like that.”
“Ronnie would pull her up by her bootlicks.”
“I think she’s trying to get up.”
“Someone should help.”
“She’ll just say ‘no’ again.”
Believe you me, I was only trying my darnedest to pass as an ordinary douche, no more. If I did not fit in my mission would fail. I had only intended to use the wings as a prop. None of the grease was supposed to touch me. I’m still saving the best of that for the explosive expose I will write before demanding ransom. Whatever happened after I started to pedal backwards took place behind my eyes. It must make its own sense. Squeaks from the wheelchairs sparked those flares, not me. A match lit the fizzle that fused, not me. I believe to this day the six shooters were an overreaction. How can I be charged with mayhem? It’s not logical.
I heard, “Get that away from me.”
I said, “Eww, gross.”
I heard, “Grab him.”
In retrospect, it may seem somewhat premature for the good guys on my side to have presumed by the deep spiritual need we feel to become as free as any other far-ranging radical in the multiverse to smoke weed and ingest edibles that the proof in the pudding was firmly in the bag, and that the vital passage of AUMA, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act would appear as a beacon even to skunks, pigeons, moles, and mollusks, and cause no undue ruckus. If I had only known sooner I could have been the one to say I told you so.
It was likely not until the next day, or the next day after that, unless unbeknownst to me it turned without warning into the next day after that, when I felt able to proclaim with no more than a smidgen of lying irony to the Unpaid Internet Content Provider, my primary sub-contractor in the speech writing salt mine, “I told you so.”
He replied, understandably, “I’m the one who told you.”
I countered, “Why can’t we just get along?”
“I’m just saying.”
“Then we can have it both ways.”
As it turned out, I was rescued from my predicament when a nominal man who I would swear no sweat had to be part toad croaked. His eyes bugged like moonbeams. I looked stoutly away. Not a wheel chair stood up though he used to be somebody. No Johnny-Come-Latelys were going to get the best of this bunch, gee whillikers. As if.
So sure I seized the time that remained, and fled. So what. It seemed like a good idea. Still does. After pretending to be posing for such an extended selfie for so long, I managed to come up with a dazzling version of a wry grin as a diversionary means of escape. Before any more eyes bugged, I was gone, gone, gone.
In the rear view mirror I heard, “We’ll get him next time.”
Then I heard, “Fuck ’em all.”
As if, I thought. No more next time with the gas left in that tank you call yours. I”ll be free before your well runs dry.
I pulled off of the straight highway and did my best to rub away the slick oily scum that stuck to my skin. I’m pretty sure I got most of it. Some trusty lye and elbow grease would get the rest.
When I scantly briefed my handler earlier than necessary the next morning, she found it hard to believe that I had turned up so little to show. Unless it was the morning after that when I came out of hiding.
She said, “Next time we’ll expect more.”
Why did no one ever tell her expectations are murder? Someone should tell her. Anyone but me.