23 September 1999
The Hammer and the Popsickle
A robot designed to perform Clinton's duties today went berserk upon
hearing news that the Department of Education had risen up to seize
the federal government.
Even though the fighting has not ceased, the DOE has already announced
radical measures it intends to institute. The military will be shut
down and all officers will be enrolled in ivy league universities
at an appropriate level in an appropriate field. Uncle Sam's red white
and blue stovepipe will be replaced by a mortarboard.
Since the coup I am frightened to leave my home. There
are teachers in the street who are likely to shake you down at the streetcorner
and give you quizzes. It is very frightening.
And now there are clowns running our hospitals. Clowns
dressed up as surgeons with white gloves and forceps and rubber chickens.
Because I was tired of cutting off my own thumb
I organized the neighborhood to keep
a fire burning 24 hours a day
in case of possible rescue.
Because the people in the street who had heard the news
carried theater programs
the revolution was mistaken for a crowd leaving
a theater at the end of an opera.
Because they looked very similar to cars,
nobody noticed them.
The prisons had been empty for a long time
it was just not deemed newsworthy
The fungus was not toxic and it looked like pink flowers.
Twenty years passed without a war. Auto manufacturers
switched to bicycles. The police went to special training programs
to learn how to rescue kittens from trees. The mayor
rearranged the playground equipment in the park so parents
would have an unobstructed view of the art. The entire city council
went fishing and had a fishfry on the lawn of the city building. A chorus
was gathered to sing the city to sleep. I myself
had built a printing press and was reprinting classic sixties novels.
For fun. Everybody
ate a different food each night and nobody
could remember what their favorite meal was.In the morning, the schools
had all been painted purple and green. Sculptures
were buried in dead leaves. The landfill
reopened as a museum. There was a form
you could fill out to request life-changing technology or literature.
who had only wanted to get famous died of melancholy
when he found himself loved and needed. Other than that everybody was
A new product served
as an internet connector and nutritional supplement and sunlamp. Everybody
the mail every day since the beginning of the incentive to ship
products to consumers for free and request donations. Single mothers
to supermarkets in limousines. Hotel rooms were given
to the homeless with excessive room service. Penicillin was
free and came in the form of cinnamon chewing gum. A lot of people staged
a hunger strike and nearly gave in when the national guard brought
them steak and lobster. Police paid
people on the street to take illegal drugs home with them. Money filled
the newspaper machines to overflowing. There was a report of an unhappy
person somewhere in Eastern Europe believed
to be apocryphal, but nonetheless the CIA had set up
numerous red cross tents throughout the Baltics and were giving away
cake and coffee