THE TWINKIE OFFENSE
Admittedly, that was a feeble attempt to squirm out of a contract. Apparently, telepathic contracts are ironclad. There was no wiggle room whatsoever, on either side. I continued deciphering decompressed code and translating it into vernacular, down-home American.
At the same time, these self-described “extraterrestrial associates” kept their word with me. When I encountered a passage that I did not understand, nor could I vouch for the truth of what was being said, I came to an abrupt halt and told them, “Absolutely not. I’m not saying that in two million light- years*, give or take a few days. Your statement makes zero sense. You do remember that it will be my name that appears on the cover, not yours, don’t you?” I probably said a whole bunch more than that too, but I can’t remember. I must confess that I, like Queen Dee, also have a flair for the dramatic.
Yes, they did remember. All production was suspended the minute I balked over any issue. I would then get a sudden urge to go to town, or a strong desire to visit Dragon’s Ridge again, or maybe a longing to take a lengthy trip to the nearest over-crowded city. Wherever it was that I was lured, an audio-visual demonstration would invariably be enacted before the journey’s end. Someone or something in the course of events would demonstrate exactly what I was disputing with my code-talking cohorts, usually in some highly stylized performance somewhat like Kabuki theater, clearly arranged just for me and staged exactly where I was led to go. Subtlety was not their forté.
On this particular occasion I decided I desperately needed to check for mail at the local U.S. Post Office, even though there never was any because my regular mail was being forwarded elsewhere. This post office was situated in a room in The Spam Store building, which building was located further down the canyon where the road dead-ended at the foot of a mountain.
To be honest, it wasn’t really called The Spam Store. I called it that because all that was in this store was fishing lures, hunting supplies and some basically inedible American foods, like Spam, Velveeta. marshmallows and Twinkies.
For those of you who are not indigenous to the United States, Spam is a canned meat akin to canned dog food, Velveeta is a hybrid processed cheese that looks and feels like it was crossbred with plastic, marshmallows are spun sugar items that become molten when placed over a campfire, turn black externally, cauterize your tongue as you eat them, and are 100% toxic. A Twinkie is a tubular golden spongecake constructed of multiple variations of sugar, liberally laced with food additives and filled with ersatz cream.
Twinkies rose to fame when Dan White assassinated Mayor Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk in San Francisco, and then claimed his shooting spree was the consequence of eating too many Twinkies. This alibi became immortalized by the American press as “The Twinkie Defense.” I mention this historic footnote here just to let you know exactly how dangerous Twinkies could be and the peril I potentially faced in a store that was selling hunting rifles and Twinkies in the same place. All things considered, this was hardly a likely location to receive a divine revelation or an inter-office memo from outer space.
As I was wondering why I was summoned to this weird store in the first place, a bearded, crusty old guy who looked like he had been living in the woods for many years and was still brushing the leaves off of his dirty denim jacket as if he had just ventured out, suddenly entered The Spam Store, stage right. He walked up to me like he expected to see me there, poring over fishing lures like I knew what I was doing. He directly addressed me and engaged me in conversation, and at times almost verbatim, repeated what my dog’s best friends had said and what I declined to write because it was too far-fetched.
Without introduction of any kind, this unlikely science major started out asking, “Do you know what a quark is? Well, I was just walking in the woods there and the strangest thing was said to me like it fell out of the air. Somebody started telling me about these quarks, saying that they were these very tiny little things that we can’t see but they are very smart anyway and…”, etc., etc.
As a consequence of this encounter, I lifted my 2 million light-year ban and wrote the passage almost exactly as presented.
By the way, on my way out of The Spam Store I bought a commemorative can of Spam. My dog thought it was great.
* Two million light-years take two million Earth-years, by definition.
Continue to the next exciting adventure of – I Will Blend No More Forever – Part XV