Posted on: February 19th, 2012 Ice Cream in Amerikkkka

by Douglas Hackle

THE BEGINNING THE BEGINNING THE BEGINNING THE BEGINNING

“What can I get you?” the pimply-faced teenaged boy working the Yummy Freeze service window said in a weary monotone.

“I’ll have a scoop of birdless in a regular cone,” the father said.

His son, a bright lad of seven, said, “I’ll take a double scoop of chair in a chocolate wafer cone.”

“We’re out of birdless and chair.” The attendant jabbed an index finger up at the dry-erase board on the wall. “We’re getting restocked tomorrow. Whatever’s left is written up on the board.”

The boy angled his head up at the list, began reading the flavors aloud: “Bird, elephant, elephantless, apotheosis, passive-aggressive, inasmuch, middle manager, incest taboo, cutesy, interpolation, platypus cunt, long drawn-out divorce, pluralism, fetal pony, bric-à-brac, gainsay, Manifest Destiny, dental insurance, self-abnegation, countermeasure, Socratic irony, brain cancer, heresy, en passant, Sting, self-immolation, ad majorem Dei gloriam, polar bear loverod, my son, my dad, and chocolate.”

“Ratdamnit,” the father cursed. “I wanted birdless. Guess I’ll try a scoop of my son. In a regular cone, please.”

“You?” the attendant asked the boy.

“I’ll take a double scoop of my dad in a chocolate wafer cone.”

“That’ll be five bucks even,” the attendant said. The father handed him the money.

“Oh,” the attendant added, “Since each of you is the key flavor ingredient in the other’s ice cream cone, I’ll need the two of you to come inside so I can make ice cream out of you. If you don’t mind.”

“We don’t,” the father said.

THE MIDDLE THE MIDDLE THE MIDDLE THE MIDDLE

Inside the little ice cream shop, the attendant led father and son to a machine that resembled some sort of oversized HVAC unit with two large hoppers on the top. The attendant instructed the two to ascend a ladder attached to the side of the machine. He told the father to lower himself into the hopper on the left, the son to climb into the hopper on the right. Once both were unsafely inside the hoppers, the attendant slapped a big red “ON” button on the side of the contraption.

“Be brave, son. I love you,” the father called out just before the floor of spiked metal rollers beneath his feet whirled to life, jerking him down into the crushing, cutting, rending bowels of the ice cream machine in an explosive splatcrunch of blood, tissue, and bone.

“I will be brave, Pappy. I love—” Splatcrunch!

The machine clanked, clenked, clinked, clonked, and clunked for over an hour, pulverizing father and son into grainy, pink pastes. The fatherpaste and the sonpaste oozed down into separate compartments located at the base of the machine, where they were slowly cooled and mixed with measured quantities of cream, milk, and sugar. When the hardened, pink ice cream was finally ready, the attendant pried a scoop of my son into a regular cone and a double scoop of my dad into a chocolate wafer cone.

The attendant slogged back to the front of the shop, stuck the two cones out the service window and let them go. Since father and son were not present to take their ice creams, the cones simply fell to the cement.

The attendant slid the window shut, flipped the OPEN sign to CLOSED.

Just then, two homeless passersby noticed the upturned ice cream cones on the grimy sidewalk. One of these vagrants was “Stiles” (Michael J. Fox’s enterprising, party-animal, sunglasses-wearing buddy in 1985′s Teen Wolf). The other was that chain-smoking Indonesian toddler of more recent youtube fame.

The bums knelt on the sidewalk and hurriedly scraped up the upturned ice cream cones. Stiles gathered up the my dad cone. The smoking toddler grabbed the my son cone.

“What flavor you got?” Stiles asked his chubby-cheeked companion, who took a lick of ice cream after expelling a long dragonplume of white Marlboro smoke.

“Probably fetal pony, Stiles, but I never can tell.”

“I know whatcha mean. All ice cream sorta tastes like fetal pony.”

“All ice cream except for fetal pony-flavored ice cream—m—mparghhhg!” the smoking youngling corrected him, coughing up a few bloody chunks of youngling lung.

“Yeah, I nearly forgot. Fetal pony ice cream doesn’t taste like fetal ponies at all. Fetal pony ice cream tastes exactly like . . .”

“Manifest Destiny!” the two old friends said in unison and burst into pants-shitting laughter.

Just then the fucking earth finally and mercifully fucking exploded.

THE END THE END THE END THE END

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Posted on: February 5th, 2012 The New Phone

By David Erik Nelson and Fritz Swanson

The phones had not always been grown in sun-labs along the Sri Lankan coast. But nowadays, when they warm up, they smell of curry, and of salt air, and of summer days.

The first units were bulky, ugly table top sets, like two toaster ovens wired to a car battery and a CB handset, the whole jumble painted standard-issue OD green and stenciled in block Kangi. The Japanese had developed them as emergency communicators for their coast guard, future to past.

Calls were restricted, officer-to-officer, preferably one man to himself, and only on the limited topic of import. No one was clear as to the implications of these warnings and everyone was universally worried: Tokyo, Washington, London, The Brisbane Commonwealth, Singapore, Kinshasa. But you could only call back to the same unit as it existed in the past. So, figure everything is localized. Shrug.

And it had saved lives. It had been used secretly in a few brush wars along the coast of Mexico during the invasion in ’37, and nothing untoward had happened.

Or at least no one had reported anything strange.

At the Battle of El Paso, as Somali Grenadiers marched through the streets, a thousand local Texas Regulars were saved what seems to have been three times in a row as they worked through several ambush strategies live and with full TRPM kit at hand. Of course, it’s hard to say, but the recordings now show the Texas Regulars swooping down on black gliders, their rifles loaded for bear with depleted uranium cased shells, their music grenades detonating flashes of Aaron Copeland in cascading sonic flickers.

It was Vasilev Wang, the famous leader of the People’s Corporate Ukrainian University, who developed a strategy for growing the boards, and to spoof the tachyon signature, making phone-to-phone calls possible across time.

Cheaper. More robust. Consumer grade.

Firefighters bought them. Search and rescue teams. Hospitals were required, by the Temporal Convention of 2053, to have one in every surgery and every triage center.

Then celebrities bought them.

And the rich.

And yuppies, and tired parents, and teenagers. And the costs came down. And finally people just started calling themselves.

Have you ever masturbated with a thousand other yous on the phone?

In the future, we will all be having sex with the prom queen. We will all have red horses to ride off into the plains and have adventures. Beautiful explosions will accompany our love-making. Fire that opens up in the air like the petals of a terrible flower.

In the future, we’ll make a point of calling ourselves back everyday to lie about the recent past, to sugar coat the unpleasantness.

I have been told that I have only had sex once so far since buying the phone, but she and I both wore wireless headsets at the time, taking calls from all selves at all times. I forget her name, but in the moment of passion, as we locked together:

“Uh huh, exactly. Yes. It is exactly. Right. There. Yes. And move that button on your blouse, it will give you a scar if you leave it that way. Oh. Yes. To the back of the cupboard. Stop it. No. Yes. Please.”

Once is enough. Once is for always.

The dominant power on earth is Congo. They have refused our repeated offer of TRPM phones, even free offers, free air-time time-time minutes, even subsidies for taking them. They smile. They hold up a hand to thank us. They shake their heads. But they are kind rulers, the Congolese. They leave us with our phones.

There are a thousand tiny holes in the air, and from out of those holes a billion electric bats have erupted, and at the center of the city, as the density of phones increase, the sky flips from blue to orange, and from orange to a white black, and out of the gaping maw of the starless night, there are unspoken sounds, music which plays inside of your eyes, and the writhing, shimmering, undulating, glimmering, twisted teseract creatures, who unfold inside of your skull as they walk through your torso, have spread out mathematically from a singularity inside of city hall.

The dimensionless Other licks out across the landscape like a cool blue fire.

And from out of the ovoid gap between moments, a Crystaline He steps forth.

He is beautiful.

But it is silly to resist. It has always been this way. Always.

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