Wheel of brie tightening around her neck, sprouts
wailing in their bedroom, Bernadette's life would
suddenly take on new meaning. Monks next door
awakening as usual at first light of dawn, praising
their maker for frost-free refrigerators, distracted
by demoralized swans swimming their moat, clam-
oring for nordic breezes. Crucified husbands rise
once again from the dead, venture out into the ranks
of assimilated nationwide jaycee members. Bare-
knuckle endeavors with Idaho franchises in offing.
Stoutness halves readiness, as once was said. Nipped
in the Budweiser, alternate jury members toe lines.
Shiite militias advance on Kansas City, unless some
stepchild of warships ventures forth to do battle.
Using grammar to manipulate his xenophobic readers,
he sealed the borders. Long plane flights and jet lag,
both things of the past. Road warriors morph into arm-
chair travelers visiting countries no one has ever written
about. Awkwardness, a constant throughout the book,
sadly only an average book in a genre of which it is
the only member. England's designs replaced by those
of Russia. Permafrost nearly done for. Polar bears, same.
Wolves in Poland moving south for the winter. Later
than ever before. Diplo-wonks at a loss for words.
Long Drives in the Country
Carved from the trunk of a tree, Carolee often wondered about
the rainwater that just might, one day, polish rocks. Just causes
still worth launching air strikes for appeared on every hand. Not
yet exploded, Iraqi schoolchildren practiced death by hanging
just like Saddam Hussein, while residents of Pasadena made
do without guacamole for a while. "Obese people like chewing,"
someone said. "We'll have to break them of that." Meanwhile, he
made himself more and more indispensable to the parish priest.
Others spent their days down there hanging around with some
of those malinchistas, while we took long drives in the campo.
That very same week, she began crawling to the law, begging
for mercy even before any charges against her had been lodged.
Abu Dhabi, needless to say, seemed more and more attractive to
all of us who had the good sense to keep our bags always packed.
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