Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

The Suburban Hearse

April 24, 2017

PBF Suburban Hearse

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Miss Glaciermelt leans into her powerpoint presentation, placing her index finger on a large grey square on the terrain view of an old human settlement.

“This large dead area was called a parking lot. It’s where the last generations of humans left their transportation machines when they interacted with shopping and activity centers.”

The teacher notices Cindy’s confused stare.

“Did you read the chapter 7 –The Suburban Hearse – of your Last Days of the Humans textbook, Cind?”

“I did,” Cindy replies. “But I still don’t get the connection between their suburban habitat and the word hearse. A hearse was a machine for moving dead bodies from one place to another many kilometers away. What does this have to do with the low-density sprawl that humans ended their time on Earth in?”

Miss Glaciermelt is glad Cindy has decided to take the second part of her Post-Human Extinction course. Nothing works better as a teaching tool than a live back-and-forth between teacher and student.

“Well, the most popular vehicles of the last years were called SUVs, and they were a lot like hearses in shape and size. Many of them were great for transporting dead humans, though they were originally used by single people for going from one characterless suburban location to another. Ironically, it was the use of these machines and all the fuels that they required that created the need for billions of hearses. The hearses of the last years of Humanity.”

Hearse imageMiss Glaciermelt fidgets with her computer and then plays a short movie-clip while talking over the narrator.

“Over there, two young human boys are driving bicycles that are much too small for them. This harms their knees. And there’s an obese jogger – another end-time human activity that destroyed body parts – knees, ankles and hips. And look at that chubby human mowing a lawn. Noise actually causes obesity but he probably doesn’t know that. Most humans didn’t know very much near the end of their species’ existence.”

Cindy: “Were humans doing all these dumb, harmful activities because of the obesity epidemics or because of the boredom? Or did their slave-like jobs make them clueless?”

Glaciermelt: “Well, it’s not really one reason. All of your reasons were contributing factors: boredom, obesity and lack of freedom. You’re really animated today, aren’t you?”

They both smile.

Cindy: “I noticed that in the footnotes, the narrator talks about – and I quote – ‘the braindead termite-people of the Suburban Shitscape.’ What does he mean by termites? They didn’t go extinct. We still have lots of termites.”

Glaciermelt: “No, termites didn’t go extinct. But I think he’s referring to the fact that humans were consuming the planet the way that termites will eventually kill the tree they live off of. And the word ‘shitscape’ refers to the low-quality and ugly surroundings that end-time humans lived in. The author also mentions that all their machines sounded like chainsaws: lawn-mowers, ski-doos, leaf-blowers, the power tools of weekend pagoda projects… suburbia was one massive chainsaw massacre.”

Cindy: “Maybe the noise and ugliness drove them crazy and they had nothing left to live for?”

Glaciermelt: “Let’s not speculate, Cindy. After all, we weren’t there ourselves.

click for polar bears

The Suffering of Anne Bear

March 13, 2009

suffering 2

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Bear Petroleum Bros had the best PR in the industry.

They had succeeded in making human beings forget all about their essential Bear connection by using only their initials in their many marketing campaigns, signing off as “BPB: Beyond Polar Bears” in every single advertisement, product placement, and sponsorship.

To neutralize the bad press from their many wars, the bears managing BPB’s PR ordered that raw fish be banned from BPB cafeterias, and then they had a David Suzuki dedication plaque removed from the head office lobby. Any indication that this was a “bear operation” had to be hidden from sight.

The superficial changes just weren’t enough for the protesters.

They came from all over Canada and the US, to Bear Petroleum Bros. HQ in Calgary. And they came armed with petitions and UN resolutions

So Bear management came out to greet the idealistic young protesters, and showed them a movie free of charge. It was called The Suffering of Anne Bear, and here – free of charge – is one short chapter of the best-selling book it was based on:

The Suffering of Anne Bear Chapter 7;  The Iceman Cometh

The rain was so thick today that you couldn’t even see the tiny icebergs of the Arctic Ocean from the kitchen table. It was as if the whole sky was crying for Mommy – still huddled in my mind, starving to death in the corner next to baby Potley as the seagulls eat away at the crumbs of my memory.

The ice fields still haven’t come back, and Poppy came home drunk again and says we’re going to start eating each other unless “the iceman cometh” – whatever that means. Sometimes I wish he hadn’t been the CEO of a major bear-run petroleum company. It brought our family so much pain from other people who wish they’d had all our advantages. If only they knew how much we really suffered.

Yesterday there was a parade near the river. Everybody else’s dad had a mangled SUV from the war, except mine. “I was way too busy wiping your hairy little asses to go make myself a hero killing humans,” he said about a million times. He doesn’t have to do anything like that for me or Minnie.

Still, sometimes I wish we could all eat together as a real family instead of sifting through garbage alone all the time. Being a roobar is no life for a beautiful, young, innocent child like myself. And it might be really nice for my beautiful, innocent family to be able to do something beautiful and innocent together.

If only someone could read my diary or see one of hundreds of big-budget movies based on its candid and heart-warming story.

O Quarante

March 10, 2009

le O-40 2

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Hot liquids melt his fur into skin as Rusty eases into the swirling water of the massive jacuzzi. His small, pert backside brushes a water jet that parts the fine white hairs between his cheeks.

He thinks silently to himself as a cloud of artificial fog comes out of one of the disco boxes near the bar:

Someone ought to throw some ice in there once in a while so the mist doesn’t burn your flesh.

Rusty closes his eyes and fantasizes about being the quirky and high strung spokesmodel for Le O Quarante.

“Is there any better way to temporarily forget the decline of our species and the gray misery outside than with a quick fix of steam and flesh at le O Quarante health club and slushee bar?”

This mix of chlorine, the other patrons’ cologne and the pot he voluntarily ingested before the sauna are mixing together to make Rusty feel dizzy and unfocused. Which is exactly what he needs.

Am I stoned? Of course, I’m stoned!  Why wouldn’t I be. Sitting here in this sauna wasted and breathing in chlorinated mist and soap products. After all, I’m a polar bear. What have I go to look forward to? Extinction?

After working in an office all day, role-playing comes easy. But now comes the hard part for after-work Rusty – relaxing. How to relax your polar bear muscles when the fate of the entire world seems to hang on every adjective of every sentence of every conversation. ‘You snooze, you lose,’ is why he drinks so many espressos.

Visualizing Antarctic penguins, he spreads his toes and concentrates on unwinding the nerve endings in his chest and upper thighs as he exhales slowly, like a Buddhist monk creaming his smock.

Rusty’s mind changes gears suddenly:

Hey, isn’t that a grizzly wading into the pool? What the…

I have a major soft spot  – I don’t know why it’s called soft – for bears from other lands. I remember I heard some smart bears at college say something about how this was my way of avoiding intimacy.

But is that really why I chase after gorgeous and healthy brown bears? I mean, I really love being intimate with bears from other lands. If I wanted to avoid intimacy, wouldn’t I stay home instead of seeking this kind of intimacy?

The grizzly emerges from the cold water of the pool and walks right over to the jacuzzi where Rusty is now trying to relax. One of his muscles gets really tense as the small but well-built brown bear submerges his lower abdomen in the chlorinated cauldron and breaks the sauna code of silence.

“Hey, do you know what time this place closes?”

Aaah, a country bear.

Rusty will be sleeping well in a few hours.

Bear Wars 1

March 6, 2009

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“Razor-Claw missiles armed and ready for launch?”

“Affirmative. Launch in 10, 9…”

General Escalade hadn’t wanted it to come to this. The Polar Bear Defense League (PBDL) was a non-profit, charitable organization – and its original grant application talked about climate change chats with junior high school students, pamphlets at malls – education and community type of things. They raised their first bit of cash selling plain vanilla cookies door to door.

But everything changed when Exxon moved into the ANWAR. That’s when the Board of Directors started saying very different things and planning very different activities.

The critical political change came after Exxon gave billions of dollars to the governments of the US, England and Australia to officially merge Exxon with the Anglo-Saxon “race” to create an ethnic/corporate conglomerate – Anglo-Exxon. This new hybrid would need a foe to try to conquer, and the polar bears were an obvious target because they were unarmed and owned absolutely no media or lawyers.

Then there was the NATO bombing of the last remaining polar-bear-friendly ice sheets north of the drilling zone. Anglo-Exxon proudly advertised this destruction as mankind’s way of “preparing the way for a prosperous northern freedom-zone.” Meaningless words that nonetheless stimulated the TV audience – convinced them they were one step closer to a room temperature heaven.


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“Razor-claws set to reach targets in 11 minutes,” the young and well-meaning bear cub says to his superior standing next to him talking to Thomas Dolby on his cell.

“I wouldn’t want to be living the burbs when these babies start to land,” General Escalade confides. Showing a bit of sympathy to the victims of their bombing campaign helps everyone deal with the carnage that will soon follow, though the most effective strategy for coping with the collateral damage is to remind yourself of all the harm these humanoid oil-fiends would have provoked if they’d been left to live. The general’s soothing words are that – even though you can wave your right arm and kill a million humans – you are still a nice bear deep down.

Basking Ridge, New Jersey is the first suburb to be hit. The smell of raw fish and fresh commuter’s blood fills the streets with the sweet but sickly scent of polar bear revenge. Hey, isn’t that the luckiest commuter in New Jersey crossing an overpass just before it crumbles?

(Watch for “Bear Wars 2,” coming soon to a blog near you)

Cindy’s Toys

March 5, 2009

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Theodore Fellonius III, Cindy’s little white stuffed bear, begins to quiver and stretch. From where he lay on the floor next to an ice cream container full of crayons, he is invisible to Cindy’s parents who are watching reality TV and infomercials  in the downstairs den.

He starts to grow in size, doubling in height in just a few seconds. His face begins to rapidly mutate – the soft bushy nose turning into a firm wet rubbery snout – the eyes morphing from perfect little black beads into red-veined watery orbs with a fixed and angry black-eyed glare.

Cindy sleeps without interruption. She keeps her “Max-Air Plus” air conditioner in her room on maximum arctic cold and sleeps with five blankets to stay “cozy.”  Sometimes she even leaves the window open and the air conditioner on super-turbo.

Theodore’s formerly amorphous paws begin to sprout distinctly un-cute digits. And on each digit, a razor-like claw begins to pierce through the increasingly matted white fur.

Will Cindy wake up in time?

Shy Mouse

March 4, 2009

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Shy around women in general, Farfour was particularly embarrassed to be talking to these beautiful young cheerleaders from Ohio so soon after “the scandal.” These happy, healthy young women had all seen a very stoned mouse emerging from Saddam’s anal cavity on CNN and the other networks – played over and over and over on a loop – just a few months earlier. How could he ever overcome such a humiliating (and genre-limiting) international media debut? Was he destined to be a shy boy forever?

The cheerleaders were all a lot taller than he was and most of them were blond and pretentious. Farfour figured that their height and pigmentation difference might explain the girls’ lack of empathy for his situation. Two of the gals removed their iPods and pretended to be interested in what he was saying.

“I never said for anyone to kill Israelis in the show, I said that the soldiers were hurting everyone in my city. Those weren’t my words that they translated. It was the words of a well-meaning but nationalistic Israeli translator at MEMRI. He misrepresented my texts.

Misrepresentation in a media product translation is worse than lying. It’s a form of structural lying that stuffs lies into someone else’s mouth. It’s like writing History in a skewed way that suits your own agenda. It’s creates false discourse and this makes everyone a bit dumber. If only we could…” Farfour started but then caught a reflection of the gum-balloon that the smart one was blowing with her huge, inflamed wet lips.

farfour kiss 2

“This is the best remix of Bootylicious ever!” shouted Candy Amsterdam, as seriously as she could while dressed in her 50s rollerskate fashions. The strawberry scoop of her two-scoop sugar-cone bobbed up and down between her words.

Farfour felt the familiar tingling of hopelessness and defeat, like he’d been beaten down by his own lack of confidence. The text had enslaved him yet again.

But how much longer could it keep him down…

Commuters

March 4, 2009

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Rusty the polar bear sloshed back his sud-soaked squeegy paw. From the other side of the windshield, he could see the bored face of yet another hyperactive and irritable rush-hour commuter ignoring his presence. For the commuter, Rusty was just another squeegy-punk loser species at another baked-asphalt intersection.

Rusty’d about had it up to here.

His clenched paw plowed through the safety-glass of the windshield. Perhaps it was all the pot, or the headache from the heat beating against his dirty fur, but Rusty felt no pain or remorse as his razor-sharp claws lunged through the broken glass and into the soft neck of the suburbanite motorist.

The sudden blood loss made the commuter drop his cell. In no time, he slumped over, dead in his Abercrombie and Fitch muscle shirt and spray-on tan.

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Meanwhile,  just a few blocks away, a few polar bears were having body-bag races and eating bean-stuffed human intestine on wheat buns. Jimmy and Orca had been chosen to organize the Polar Bear’s annual picnic and bake sale in Jasper National Park.

Jimmy had brought along some eyes for eye salad, potatoes for potato salad, and lettuce to make some commuter-on-rye sandwiches – with the crust removed, of course.

Orca, a vegetarian since her ice fields melted, decided to skip the commuter sandwiches and just eat raw nuts and berries, along with the wine.

But she got really loaded on the wine and ran into a clogged intersection full of SUVs and killed over a hundred drivers with her paws, laughing and singing Pat Benatar “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” the entire time she mangled the motorists and scratched the paint of their vehicles.

“Orc, honey, the picnic’s over here,” Jimmy whispered after her rampage, a smile sprouting on his furry white face. He knew she was just dealing with her inner demons in a creative way. This was Step 4.


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