Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brace Yourself

When the announcement was initially made, we were all quite naturally shocked.

Harper took the podium, cleared his throat, stared out into the assembled reporters and, in a loud steady voice, announced that for the past two years he’d been using a system of secret weather-control satellites to move Calgary’s winter to the northeastern United States.

He explained that Calgary was part of a pilot program that, now proven successful, would be extended through the rest of Canada, that every Canadian might enjoy unseasonably mild winters.

Prime Minister Harper conceded that yes, Americans no doubt would not like the bitterly cold winters that we would shortly be shipping them, but pointed out that unless they were willing to invest in a weather control program of their own there would be little they could do about that. And, with the focus they’ve of late been devoting to deficit reduction, it was unlikely that they would be willing to do so with their political climate being what it was.

With this in mind, Harper believed that we could ship our winters south with very little in the way of meaningful consequences, and that therefore we ought to. If all went according to plan, the satellites would be online within the week and winter as we knew it would soon be, across this great nation, a thing of the past.

He then proceeded to call an election.

It’s a tough decision that I’m now faced with. I do not like Stephen Harper, either personally or politically. I work for minimum wage plus tips and I’m active in the arts, so I get the impression he doesn’t like me either, and he believes in basically everything I don’t believe in. Nearly every word out of his mouth strikes my as small and petty and hypocritical. Plus, keeping it real, I’m basically a socialist, so it’s only natural I’d find him abhorrent.

At the same time: Weather control satellites, man!

And also: I hate winter so much!

I know I shouldn’t vote Conservative, I do know that. I’ve been unhappy with the Harper government in general, and I’m surely not a single-issue voter. But awesome technology/no more winter in Canada ever again is an AMAZING single issue, and when asked Harper assured us that he and only he knew the codes to the satellites and that no, he would not be passing the information along to a successor. This kind of makes me hate him even more, billions in taxpayer dollars were spent learning how to control the weather and it’s the very definition of a public good, he has no right to keep the operating codes, but the fact that only one Prime Minister could free us from winter weather does paradoxically make me more likely to support his continued candidacy.

I hate him more, but I’m more likely to vote for him in spite of that. Which, I know, was his intent. He doesn’t need my respect or admiration, merely my vote.

The Tory’s are not my party, they never have been and never will, I don’t know why I’m even thinking about this, but I am, God help me I am. And if I vote for them, will I be able to live with myself?

When it’s plus ten in January, I might be able to. Or at least, I might loathe myself in a little more comfort.

Ah well…

…the election isn’t for another few weeks.

I’ll figure it out.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Account

Another Pep Talk
By Christopher Munroe

There will come a day, I know, when I will be held to account for my actions.

A day where every wrong I’ve ever done, every hurt I’ve visited upon those who least deserve it, every moment of weakness or childishness, of short-sighted, arrogant selfishness, will be thrown back in my face, that I might look upon the depth and breadth of every sin I’ve ever committed upon another, and the hurt my sin has caused them.

And when that day comes, truly will I know despair.

However, this is not that day.

Now: Lets get out to the pub. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

After the Conclusion

…and then came the end of it all.

The universe had served its purpose, taught all it had ever been intended to teach, and as such it was time to pass on into the great void beyond that which is real.

It held no ill will with regard to this fact. Even if such thing as a universe could count itself capable of ill will, it held none in this case.

The people went first, those in the background, followed closely by those you’d grown to know and love, growing pale and wan before, finally, laying down where they were and dying, allowing their bodies to turn to dust and blow away in the wind.

Nobody fought, none railed against this process, they knew there was nothing they could do in the face of entropy itself and, when their time came one by one, they accepted it with as much dignity as they could muster.

Which, by the time their time came ‘round, wasn’t much. There wasn’t energy enough in their body to muster dignity, indeed not enough for much of anything.

The world, now untethered from its population, was then free to begin its own slide into the abyss. Cities crumbled, mountains fell into the sea, but slowly, sluggishly, slouching toward nothingness not with a bang, but a whimper.

And as it did, in the night sky above, first the stars, then the sun and moon winked out of existence, like lights being one by one switched out, until finally there was nothing.

It had been a good universe, one who’s creator might once have been proud of it, full of life and vitality, but it had served its purpose and, as it would never be visited again, there was no longer any need for its existence, nor any need for sentimentalism at its passing.

It had run its course, and its course was through. It was time to go and there was nothing more to it than that.

So it went.

And, as the last of the earth fell into itself, and the last of the stars vanished from the sky, leaving nothing but abyss in their wake, the universe said its own silent goodbye to whomever might be listening…

…and the story, gone but never forgotten, arrived at its conclusion.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Not Found

The Body
By Christopher Munroe

The body was never found.

I know, because I still have it.

I keep it in my walk-in freezer, hanging from a meat hook. Nobody questioned me buying the meat hook, which is weird since I followed it up by not buying meat at any point.

Vegetarian, don’t you know.

You’d think that would be suspicious, wouldn’t you? Buying a walk-in freezer, a meat hook and zero meat? I’d find that suspicious…

But nobody else did, nobody came around to search my walk-in freezer, and thus the body was never found.

But I digress: You wanna buy a human corpse?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

He was cast out...

…and he was neither seen nor heard from ever again, ‘round these parts.

Nor will he ever be.

Our town’s vigilant, we’ll make a point of that.

No one can remember what it was he did to deserve our collective scorn, but whatever it was, it must’ve been awful.

After all, our community doesn’t make mistakes. Not here, not ever. Not once we’ve put our heads together and settled on something.

We cast him out, so casting him out must have been the right choice, the only choice.

Thus: He’ll never be seen or heard from again, for whatever reason.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Lemon

By Christopher Munroe

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

If you’re five years old.

If you’re an adult, and life gives you lemons, find salt, tequila and somebody to share it with, body-shot style.

No, tequila’s not for everyone. Some are made ill by the liquor, and many find it bitter. But that doesn’t matter in the end.

Because you have to make the best of what you have in this life, whether you like it or not.

And sometimes it will be bitter, because life is sometimes bitter.

Like a lemon.

And when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Horn

At the Record Company Meeting
By Christopher Munroe

How about Ska?

The genre originated in the ‘50s, blended with punk in the ‘70s and came back in the ‘90s, twenty years appears to be how long it takes before each Ska revival, so the time seems to be right.

Let’s bring the horn section back!

I’m thinking it’ll replace Dubstep. It’s the same market, young, energetic people who want to dance.

Currently, they dance to Dubstep. But do they have to? Dubstep’s the worst!

They’ll grow to like Ska, I think, we just have to explain it to them.

Hey you, don’t listen to that, listen to this!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Policy Change

Upon our arrival at work, the front of house staff were handed small, silenced pistols and told that, going forward, we would be expected to, on occasion, execute our customers gangland style.

It was hoped that this would provide a simple, elegant solution to the guests who got too drunk, spoke too loudly, and generally disrupted their neighbors enjoyment of their meals. According to our new policy: At the request of a customer, we would drag the offending patron out into the parking lot, put a bullet in them, and toss their body into a specially marked biohazard dumpster located to the side of the building for later disposal before cleaning up any blood that might have spattered on us, hygene is important in food service, and returning to our duties, allowing other customers to enjoy their dinner in well deserved peace.

The restaurant’s lawyers, we were assured, had already worked out the various thorny legal details. There would be no consequences to us personally for the people we were asked to kill.

Nor should there be. It’s just a job after all, and minimum wage plus tips isn’t worth going to court over.

It seemed, we reflected, the sort of scheme that might actually work. After all, it’s only a few rowdy patrons who ruin the evening for everyone else. Nonetheless, we were naturally profoundly uncomfortable at the prospect.

Not uncomfortable that we’d be expected to commit murder, mind you, it’s the dream of every waiter to be allowed to kill the occasional guest. Rather, uncomfortable at how the decision as to who needed to die would be made.

We’re fine with killing customers.

We just don’t want YOU to choose who lives or dies…