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A Finger in My Soup

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"Where did you get this piece of junk?" I asked.

"I bought it," he said, as he punched the dashboard and tried again. "I bought it yesterday at Victory Vehicles."

"I wonder who's declaring victory," I remarked.

"What's that supposed to mean? Ugh! Damn this thing!"

"Did you give them more than $10?" I asked.

Joseph gave me a look eerily similar to the look the waiter had just given me in the restaurant. "Are you doubting the salesmen?" he asked.

"Doubting them?" I said. "I'm not f*cking doubting them. I'm doubting you. They ripped you off, and . . . "

"Don't you SUPPORT the salesmen?" Joseph screamed at me. He seemed possessed.

I opened my door and got out of the car. It wasn't going anywhere anyway. People were inching their way cautiously out of the restaurant, but they weren't looking at me. They were looking past me.

I turned and saw the flashing lights of countless police cars, plus all kinds of vans, trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles. They appeared to be surrounding the restaurant and its parking lot and to be erecting almost permanent looking barriers. In fact there was an effort underway to construct a wall around the area.

I looked back, and Joseph had gotten out of the car as well and was staring, horror-struck at a pair of people in something resembling astronaut suits walking swiftly and directly toward us.

They halted a few feet away, and one of them spoke, her voice amplified by something in her space suit. "This area is quarantined," she said. "Some or all of you have been infected by a curable but highly contagious and highly destructive virus. We'll need to determine the state of the infection and administer a remedy. Please speak with one of our emergency personnel."

Tables were being set up in neat rows through the parking lot, with pairs of chairs at each table, and a person in an astronaut suit in one of each pair of chairs.

"Where have you been during the last 48 hours?" asked a quite polite and friendly gentleman across a metal table from me, as we both sat in folding chairs in the parking lot of a restaurant that I will still leave unnamed. I was not feeling as friendly as he.

"Why?" I demanded, rather aggressively.

"Hmm." He studied me. "Have you been near any military bases?"

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 
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