Nhoj Morley


Incident #2: The Fog



As the lads traveled, Ahklem needed to stop at every diner, truck stop and gas station to use the bathroom. This was a clever ploy to allow Strumbozo to have some righteous loitering time to engage the locals. His come-on was always the same. "What do you folks think is behind all this?" By the time Ahklem returned, they were usually invited to stay for a full yak-fire on the subject of politics.
Everyone talked about politics as if it were only a veneer to conceal what is really going on unseen. Few spoke about the veneer. Yakkers described what was really meant and what actually happened and what didn't happen at all. No one knew what to do with the truth. Accumulating the whole story for themselves was impossible. Thankfully, pre-fab stories were available. Once an appealing story is selected, yakkers have only to fit new truths into it to confidently know what they are talking about when an opportunity for yak-time arrives.
For the lads, it was a goldmine of American political nuggets. Shirley they would have the big picture of Democracy put together by the time they reached Washington. The only problem was with the weather. The farther they went and the more stories they gathered, the denser the fog that would roll in when the yak started.
It got worse at their nightly campfire when they would review the day's nuggets on a chalkboard. They could barely see where to draw the lines. Yet, the lads pressed on determined to keep gathering the bits and pieces that will add up to Democracy.
The next yak-fest began with Mr. Wilson. "It's not just the nukes, believe me. All the big nations are building sex-robots as fast as they can. Their leaders know the world is screwed and that time is short and there is nothing anyone can do about it. So, at least they'll have sex-robots before it's over."
Mrs. Biggles carried on. "We know that Putin is building a city in space full of sex-robots. He will rule from there with laser beams and suck his wealth up long vacuum hoses."
A retiree in a ski-mask piped in, "We don't know who has already been replaced by a sex-robot. No one can be trusted. Robots don't take hush money. How can you trust someone who doesn't take hush money?"
Mr. Wilson reclaimed the floor. "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a sex-robot with a gun. Sooner or later, the truth will be found. It must be somewhere." Everyone nodded and took a sip of coffee.
Strumbozo was puzzled. "Somewhere? Are you suggesting there is a where that keeps the truth?" The table went silent. Faces chilled. Garnishes wilted. Mrs. Wilson broke the silence. "You boys aren't from around here, are ya. I think maybe we got us a couple of them robots in our mist!" The lads rose and backed away from the table. "Where ye goin', robot-boy?" All the patrons in the diner had picked up their forks. They rose and turned in synchronization toward the lads.
The only sound came from the news channel on the TV. "You know what to do with those unfeeling robots who come to take away your future, don't you? A good guy with a fork should aim for the processor… "
Strumbozo attempted a calm voice. "Easy, folks. We'll be going now. We're late for the Gun Show. It a double feature today with cartoons… " The lads ran out the door and into the dense vapors outside.
The fog rolled in so heavy that night the lads had to step gingerly. They were looking for somewhere to camp. Ahklem stopped. "This is thick as goat-soup. I can't even see the ground!"
"You're right. I can't see my eyelids. Camp will have to be right here." Strumbozo set his PBS tote bag down with a clang.
"A clang? What are we standing on?" Strumbozo knelt and felt around. "We're on some kind of hatch or door. There's a handle here. Maybe we can get out of this fog!" They pulled hard on the handle and the hatch squeaked open. A brilliant light burst out from the opening. There was a ladder and a sign that said, "Warning. Dangerous facts beyond this point. Wear protective gear." Blindfolds hung on little pegs next to the sign.
The lads descended the ladder and found themselves in a vast underground warehouse. There were rows and rows of shelves and pallets all full of The Evidence of Everything. They were standing in the Bunker of Truth.