DOUBLE WIDEby Jim Parnell
"The first thing we do,
let's kill all the lawyers"
then we prepare the Way...
January 17th, 2000 -- Arrived in parcel post, a communicade from the venerable Alton S. Smackemsilly, Esq., late of Borneecheewanna, Mississippi, a legal notice of intent to wreak unholy heck on the person of one Charles Bevill Whitley DuBois, unemployed, late of station KRZD, retired in disgrace from an exciting career in broadcasting. A cease and desist order has been issued in Borneecheewanna stating in no uncertain terms that I was heretofore and forevermore to stop using the character and characterization of the totally fictional character named "Bubba".
I laughed to myself. "What is this hick lawyer thinking? If there was no Bubba, I'd still be at KRZY, fat, dumb and happy." I read further. Not only was I to stop writing about Bubba, an activity that was my highest source of income outside of recycling beer and soda cans (which tells you something about my current standard of living), but that rotten shyster A. S. Smackemsilly was also serving a lawsuit against me: defamation of Southern morals and customs, perpetuation of outrageous and infamous stereotypes, and a host of other whiney legalisms that were sure to hang me higher than a Confederate battle flag on a Carolina state house.
Yikes. Maybe I'd better do something...
January 19th, 2000 -- Letter to Alton S. Smackemsilly, Esq.:"Dear Mr. A.S.S.,January 25th, 2000 -- More fan mail arrives: five large cartons of legal mumbo-jumbo hinting vaguely at dire punishments and financial repercussions (yeah, like I have any repers to cuss!). A total of one hundred twenty five pounds of recyclable materials, at 21¢ a pound equals $26.25, delivered straight to my door. This could become a new kind of cottage industry!
I have received your kind letter regarding Bubba. It's always heartening when fans write to express their appreciation of my work. Please feel free to write again when the phase of the moon allows.
America, land of opportunity! Kind of brings tears to your eyes, don't it?
Suddenly I was struck by the hand of Inspiration, or was that the Hand of ... God!
January 26th, 2000 -- Registered with State of Texas as Prime Recidivator of the First Church of the Return. Fully tax-exempt status applied for. Shaved head and rented oversized Stetson before appearing at registrar's office. Greedy bureaucrat kept staring at my plastic Buddha string tie, like I was really going to give him one. Duh!
Sold five plastic Buddha string ties and three pairs pure silver Magic Mandala spurs before leaving office. Note to self: back-order high margin items like spurs and those ever-popular St. Toad Teddies before Valentine's Day next year.
January 27th, 2000 -- Letter to Alton S. Smackemsilly, Esq.:"Dear Alton,February 10th, 2000 -- A deputation of deputies arrived at the Church serving papers. They had to wait for the UPS guys to leave first. Sixteen cartons this time, but again, only five from A.S.S., who'd decided not to up his contribution this month even though it was tax-deductible. The remainder of the cartons were from well-wishers and hangers-on. Only one was ticking. Lucky the law was there. Who says there's never a cop around when you need one? Sold the kind officers in the squad car an entire consignment of Ancient Old Ones Cologne before reaching Borneecheewanna.
May I call you Alton? I thought I might. Thank you so much for your kind donation to the First Church of the Refluence. Bubba and I have put it to good use, having had three Budweiser Baptisms and one Malt Liquor Mass in your honor. If Bubba were conscious, he'd bless you himself, but he ain't, so I will. May the Great Bubba bless and keep you.
Ramashiva Dubois, Supreme Regurgitator, First Church of the Reflux"
Funny coincidence: cellmate also named Bubba. A couple of tense moments before it became known that I was connected. Awesome is the power of the pen (and the Name of the Great Bubba)! Glory be.
February 27th, 2000 -- The first day of the trial. I wouldn't know until later it would also be the last. A. S. Slappemstupid himself showed up, looking every bit the pasty-faced mouthpiece of the Agent of Darkness I expected him to be. Jury seemed sympathetic. Liked to dress alike, what with those white sheets and all, but I'm no fashion horse myself, so who am I to criticize?
Smackemsilly started in by advancing the basis for his case, which was the notion that I, a transplanted Northerner, had made up the character of Bubba in order to impugn the honor and high moral standards of Southern manhood for the sole purpose of financial gain. This went over with the jury like a turd in the punchbowl for, in one breath, A. S. Smackemsilly, Esquire, had branded me as (a) a Damn Yankee, i.e., one who had such bad manners as to stay down South, rather than high-tailing it back North after robbing them blind, and (b) a liar, for no one wants to actually be a Bubba, regardless of the fact that they all are, and redundantly (c) a carpetbagger, (see (a) for definition).
This may seem very strange and quaint by 21st century standards and sensitivities, but the thing you must remember about stinking backwaters like Borneecheewanna is that The War will never be over. And they're not talking about any of those unimportant wars of the 20th century, like the First, or even the Second World War. They're talking about the Civil War.
Right about then I began to have my suspicions about those sheets the jurors were wearing. Lucky for me I had an ace in the hole.
I waved a letter, heartwarming in its naivete and charm, before that august body and asked the bailiff to read it in evidence. I tell you again, I did not know what would ensue:"Dear Mr. DuBois-
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Great Bubba. Papa says, "If you read it from Aphelion, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Great Bubba who will rise from the murky depths to clear the Earth of all bastidges with his seething naked sarcasm and ferocious stench of bromhidrosis?
Virgina, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the fever of enlightenment given to them by a so-called "enlightened" age. They do not believe in anything unless it carries the weight of scientific authority. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. Reality is that which can be cataloged and measured, to be spooned out in rational doses to the common people. All minds, Virgina, whether they be adult's or children's, are little. In this vast chaos we laughingly call the universe, man is a mere insect, a bug, whose intellect has as much chance of grasping the whole truth as an ant has of understanding non-Euclidian geometry.
Yes, Virgina, there is a Great Bubba. He exists as certainly as the cold unfeelingness of the cosmos exists, and you know that this meaninglessness abounds and gives to your life its highest absurdity. Alas! how comfortable would be the world if there were no Bubba! It would be as comforting as if a Santa Claus truly did care and reward children for doing good. There would be childlike faith then, a world of sweet believable poetry and romance to make existence idyllic and appealing. The external light with which childhood fills the world would never end.
Not believe in the Great Bubba! You might as well not believe in Cthulhu or the Necronomicon. You might get your papa's science books and Skeptical Inquirers to see if Bubba is mentioned in any historical contexts or if R'lyeh truly does rest under the Ocean, but even if you did not find either mentioned in your 'holy' books, what would that prove? Nobody sees Bubba, but that is no sign that there is no Great Bubba. The most real things in the world are those that we can not know through the senses. Can the headache of your friend be felt by you? No, but his pain affects your life regardless. Do you feel the angst of living a life you never wanted through any of your five senses? No, yet the despair remains. Yet if such realities are known but are never seen, then why should other's ignorance of the unseen lead us to share in their blindness. By what right have they earned your obedience? Nobody can conceive of the inconceivable, including your leaders of thought.
You tear apart the rattle of a baby to see what lies inside to make such noise, but the tiny balls there can not explain or illustrate the fear of a hostile world, that makes that baby clutch and shake that rattle so. Only reaching for insanity can push aside the curtain of our hopes and view with stark madness the emptiness that lies beyond. Is that reality? Is that the truth? To give an answer is to replace the curtain with but one more. And it is this, that makes the Great Bubba as true and as real as any veil we place on the chaos beyond. If one must create a meaning, why not the Great Bubba? At least the choice is free.
Thank Azathoth! The Great Bubba lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to await the time when the stars are right again. For with those which eternal lie, with strange eons even death may die..."
The good bailiff was forced to stop by the din of whippoorwills and incessant cry of tekeli-li, tekeli-li from the batrachian creatures battering at the courtroom windows. As waves appeared in the gaping chasms that yawned suddenly open in the minds of the jurors like mouths of starveling souls grasping, devouring, sloshing their brutally cold interstellar icy fastnesses of Slurpee-like saccharine treacle, the judge cried, "Brain freeze! Damn, I HATE when that happens! Case dismissed!"
And so I beat the rap, but that neuroboggle stunt Bubba pulled in Borneecheewanna has rewired my synapses. Now I see him everywhere, if only from the corners of my eyes -- even when he's standing right in front of me slugging down a cold one. Oh well, if that's what it takes to be the Prime Retrograde, so be it.
Business is business, and business lately, is very good indeed. Recycled sheets, anyone?
Title quote from the lips of Dick the Butcher, Act 4, Scene 2, Henry VI, Part 2, Copyright © 1591 by William Shakespeare.
Mythos-rant take off on "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" brazenly plagiarized by a buddy from a nameless poster to alt.horror.cthulu circa April 1998. Replagiarized here by me.
Jim Parnell generates bugs for a living -- the ones that infest your computer. With no one to tell him he's been a bad boy, he plans to inflict Bubba on the world so it too, can see the Fnords.
You can e-mail Jim Parnell at firstname.lastname@example.org
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