The Mall Dream

A dysfunctional, post-apocalyptic world had arrive in the U.S. It wasn’t extreme. Shit had happened. Infrastructure and governments were failing, oil and gas were limited, food and water were scarce, and security was precious.

Somehow, I’d taken over a large mall.

I established myself as its ruler and then set up a society to live within it. I’d managed to make it secure, acquire food and drink, and we were generating power. Details aren’t available.

Friends of different times in my life heard of it. A large horde of them arrived as refugees. Everyone from childhood to the recent past were represented.

After greeting them outside on a sunny day, I took them in, assigning them spaces and familiarizing them with basic concepts: everyone works, no physical violence or abusive behavior, and respect one another. Break one of these, once, and you’re gone.

They quickly settled in. One favorite old friend, Don, became de facto representative of that particular group. He ended up hanging out with me a bit. They had suggestions for improvement. I thought them good and adopted the suggestions.

Meanwhile, I had two Mazda Miatas and gas for both. Both were green but different shades, with the new one being darker, almost forest green. I often drove the older one around. On this day, I decided to take the newer one for a ride. I invited Don along.

But first, I went around pissing on the mall floors. I pissed copiously, everywhere. I was then ready to go, but then regretted pissing everywhere. “I shouldn’t have done that,” I told Don. “I need to clean that up.”

Don, his cheerful, relaxed self, answered, “Don’t worry about it. We got you covered.” He pointed out there, where everyone was already mopping up my mess.

That’s where it ended.

Would I Lie?

I enjoy watching “Would I Lie to You?” Hosted by Rob Brydon, Lee Mack and David Mitchell lead two teams. Two guest celebrities appear on each team every show, people like Bob Mortimer (who shares hilarious tales), Jo Brandt, Richard Osmen, and Greg Davis. The team members then tell a story about something that happened to them. The other team then guesses whether it’s a lie or true. Points are awarded. Yes, it’s British. My favorite episode involved Germane Greer and cannibalism. I love how the panels and Rob really get into the premise.

I stream it on Britbox via Amazon. I’ve watched many episodes more than once, tests to see how well my memory works as I try to recall if they’re lying or telling the truth. I’m usually wrong. I don’t think that bodes well for me doing my taxes in the future.

Whenever I watch the show, I think, what tales could I share? I’ve come up with one. First, the opening statement. That’s what’s used to launch the premise and cross-examination.

I once passed out three times trying to give blood just so I could have a doughnut.

They would ask the usual questions. When did this happen? Where? How old were you?

I’d answer, “I was in my early twenties, working at a bank in Pittsburgh, PA. The American Red Cross was having a blood drive in the lobby. If you give blood, you’re given a free doughnut. I really wanted a doughnut, so I took my place in line. Then, well, as I approached, I fainted.”

For some reason, as I write this, I imagine it being spoken in David Mitchell’s voice.

You fainted, will be repeated. I’ll nod, affirming that’s what happened.

Then?

“They put me on one of the little beds they had set up and gave me some orange juice. I returned to my desk, but I really wanted a doughnut. I got back in line and fainted again.”

They would ask me, “Was this your first time giving blood? Have you ever fainted before? Do you have a history of fainting?”

It was my first time giving blood. I’d never fainted before.

The ARC again put me on one of their little beds with orange juice. After I felt better, I returned to my desk. But…

I really wanted a doughnut.

I returned to the line, worked my way forward, and fainted again.

“A third time,” people exclaim. “Boy, you really wanted that doughnut.”

“Well, it was free,” I reply, “and I like doughnuts.”

“What kind of doughnuts were they? Were they special doughnuts?”

“Glazed.”

“Were you hurt whenever you fainted?” They would ask. “When you say, fainted, do you mean that — what do you mean?” (Lee Mack is questioning me; I hear his voice.)

“I swooned,” I answer. “My vision grew dim, my legs grew weak and then buckled, I lost consciousness, and found myself being helped off the floor.”

“How long were you out?” Lee asks.

“Not long, a few seconds, maybe ten seconds, I guess.”

“Did you ever get a doughnut?”

“No.”

Rob asks, “Well, Lee, it’s time to decide if he’s telling a lie or telling the truth.”

He’s lying, they agree. Nobody would get in line three times just for a doughnut. Or the ARC would give him a doughnut after the second time, to reward him for his efforts.

“It is a lie,” I tell them when the time comes. “The truth is, it wasn’t me; it was my sister.”

And that’s the truth.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Hello, world. Saturday, April 3, 2021 is or has arrived, depending on where you are when you read this. It could also already be gone by the time this post crosses your path.

The timestamp shows that Sol showed up in Ashland at 6:50 AM Pacific Time. She’s gonna cut out again at 7:39 PM. Meanwhile, she is warming us a bit, so we’re expecting a high temp in the low seventies F.

Today’s music is “Kodachrome”, brought to you by Paul Simon back in 1973. Over on Facebook, Mom shared a series of photos showing four to six young cousins from, the offspring of three different sisters, cuddling and playing in a chair at her house. These would be grandnieces and grandnephews to me. The oldest was ten and the ages dropped off to two. All are caught smiling and laughing. The photos were taken a few years ago.

It reminded me of going home at times. Home was always where mom or my mother-in-law lived. They always asked, “When are you coming home?” I may have left those homes when I was a teenager, establishing homes for me and my wife around the world, but our mothers always asked, “When are you coming home?”

Part of being back home was discovering the old family photos. As older relatives, boxes and envelopes of old photographs arrived. Time was spent studying these things. Sometime notes, dates, or memories established what we were seeing, but many times, we were left with questions of who, when, where?

Thinking of these digital photographs, caught on phones, transferred to computers, displayed on FB, I wondered what it’ll be like in fifty years for these children. Will FB be there to display the photos and remind them of who put it on the net? Or will they be processing through some machine on some night when their mind is restless, put in the right information and stumble across the photos by themselves? Will they remind that date, that chair, those cousins? Will they all still be tight as friends?

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax, and build some memories. Here’s the music, released back when I was a kid. Cheers

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