Sure, Fred says some weird things, and some people ask what he’s smoked today.
Fred doesn’t smoke. Or use those electronic cigarette things.
Sometimes, he’ll light a candle or burn incense, but not very often.
He has cats, and they like to play table hockey.
Nobody wants their cat to knock a flaming object off of the table and start a fire.
He’s got smoked turkey in the fridge, but cold cuts don’t cause people to say weird things.
So, lay off of the “What have you been smoking?” comments, okay?
Oh, and go ask Fred for some clean needles.
When a soldier is wounded, the first thing that he calls out for isn’t his mother or his wife… he calls for a medic.
Unless, of course, his mother is secretly disguised as the company medic.
Somehow, when the morphine runs out, there’s always hot soup and blankets for the cold.
And you never run out of kisses on the forehead, and being told that everything will be alright.
Nothing prepares you for when you have to leave the mortally wounded to tend to those who you can save.
Even if it’s your son, screaming in a pool of blood.
Some of the paratroopers fell into the sea and drowned.
Others were dropped too low, or their parachutes failed to open. They hit the ground and splattered like bloody watermelons.
Gun emplacements filled the sky with tracer bullets, which set off the grenades and bullet magazines carried by the soldiers they hit.
They burned and sparkled as they fell, like screaming fireworks and flares.
Some landing zones were filled with sharpened stakes and tangles of barbed wire. Paratroopers who fell there were impaled and torn apart.
None of the trainees survived.
The sergeant called for the next group to drop.
Quantum computing made it possible for people to make backups of their lives and roll their existence back to a point in time.
It was going to be branded as SecondChance, but the service never made it out of production.
At first, it seemed that nobody was willing to beta test it.
But careful investigation of quark spin factors revealed that every tester vanished from existence.
The CIA considered its value as an assassination tool, but they vanished, too.
Lots of people had vanished.
Life was actually pretty good. No wars. No famine. No disease.
They shuttered the unneeded project.
Freddy “Zip” Carson was so good, they put him in the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
No, not his bat. Or his glove. Or a plaque with his name of it.
They put Freddy in the Hall Of Fame.
He’s got a comfortable chair.
Plenty of books to read.
And they bring him fresh iced tea and a steady diet of hot dogs.
Nobody remembers what he did as a player.
Was he a player? A manager?
But he smiles, shakes people’s hands, and signs lots of autographs.
At least he doesn’t need a cage like Ty Cobb does.
Johnny bought a model rocket kit.
But his mother wouldn’t let him buy any of the model rocket engines.
“They’re dangerous,” she said. “You’ll burn the damn house down.”
So, Johnny came up with another way to launch his rockets.
He wove together a gigantic elastic catapult that he made out of smaller rubber bands and springs.
Then, he cranked it tight, shouted “FIRE!”, and kicked the trigger.
The catapult launched the rocket high into the air, striking a helicopter pilot in the head.
The helicopter spun and fell into the neighbor’s house.
After that, he took up model trains.
Baseball’s never been pure.
Owners worked together to screw the players.
Gamblers bought players to throw games.
And umpires to blow calls.
Cork a bat here, smear a little pine tar there. Scuff a baseball or two, and dab on some Vaseline.
Then came the performance-enhancing drugs.
Even the clean guys get a boot from blood doping.
It’s all about genetic engineering now. Athletic supermen.
For every slugger, there’s a thousand slugs.
Twisted, repulsive freaks. Monsters and drooling horrors, all of them.
Dump the survivors into the circuses.
As long as the crowds still pay to see them, I guess.