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     "What, how?" was all I could offer.

     "It's uhh 'lectronic.  Uhh radar."           

     "Speed detection?" I hazarded.           

     "Oh no.  That's the job of the uhh sheriff down the street.  This gear is very uhh so---  uhh sophisticated.  Reads the signs on yer uhh vehicle, an' notes the signs not on yer uhh vehicle, uhh bumper stickers an' such.  Then crosses those uhh readins against a uhh data base of 687,000 uhh bumper stickers an' such, known to be both good or bad.  Then dependin' on what it uhh finds, it disallows yer uhh petrol an' alerts uhh whoever's on duty."           

     "What?  Why?"           

     "Mister, you tryin' to uhh make a uhh fool outa me?  International terrorism is why!  Those terrorists, they're everywhere, threatening America, our churches, decent folks.  Where have you been?  Maybe hidin' from uhh reality?  You really shouldn't be uhh puttin' me on now!  You wouldn't be one of those uhh perverted librals, would you?"           

     At this juncture I came to grips with my situation:  I was a stranger in a small town in rural Florida, was out of gas, at night, and at the mercy of a bizarre nonetheless threatening presence of a person dressed in a president suit and wearing a George W. Bush mask, a person who could provide me with the necessary petrol to get home or perhaps prevent that happy ending and consign me to God only knows what fate.  I decided to play his game.           

     "What," I asked, "was the result of your surveillance of my car?"           

     "You know what's uhh on yer car, mister, and what isn't.  The Obama's the One! bumper sticker of course uhh clued our uhh computer to register Possible Muslim Fanatic, and then of course there where the absences."           

     "Absences?"           

     "Oh, yes, we're no fools, we know the Muslims can be uhh shifty, not uhh volunteering what we need to know uhh to defend America, however small uhh our little piece of it is right here in Adolpho.  For instance, our computer advised before I ever saw yer vehicle that it lacked any of the positive signs."           

     "Positive signs?"           

     "C'mon, mister, we're no uhh fools, you know what they are, the usual stuff to be uhh expected nowadays since 9-11, for instance, no sign or uhh bumper stickers on yer vehicle sayin' even Our God is an Awesome God, Proud to be American, Bless Our President, or even Support Our Troops, for Christ's sake!  It's a mistake to trifle with me, mister, you damned well know what they are, and you need to keep in uhh mind that yer in Adolpho, not uhh somewhere like uhh Jacksonville, but as a matter of fact we have uhh friends there too, friends uhh everywhere, and all in uhh the real God's service, not to uhh mention America's."           

     Oh, Jesus, I said reverently to myself.  All this from behind the smirking Bush mask.  Heavy, heavy insane stuff, and I could be in real trouble.  God only knows what this lunatic is capable of.           

     "Look," I said, trying the nice reasonable guy role, "is it possible I could get some gas so I could get home to my family tonight?"           

     The presidential arms shifted up akimbo, and the mask's mouth said, "Maybe, if I can uhh convince myself that you uhh aren't a terrorist, or at least not a dangerous one."           

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Rafe Pilgrim, after "a life largely wasted on hard honest work," found himself a jungle of turkey oak, scrub pine and giant palmettos up a dirt road running east of Crystal River, Florida, which neither school busses nor the U.S. Postal Service dare (more...)
 

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What we need are some ratings like offbeat and hmm... by Irvthom on Saturday, Aug 2, 2008 at 6:49:13 PM
...or perhaps Satire and Irony...... by Rafe Pilgrim on Sunday, Aug 3, 2008 at 4:30:29 PM