Martin

Every year on Martin Luther King’s birthday, the reverend’s ghost wakes from his eternal dream.
He peers from his tomb, across the moat, and into the offices of The Center Of Nonviolent Change.
The dream. The dream where his children would be judged one day by the content of their character.
His daughter was talking to copyright attorneys, setting rates for the use of his legacy, and organizing the takedown notices and lawsuits for those who refused to pay royalties.
“I wished for so much more for you,” he whispered.
Then he settled back into his tomb for another year.

Bush

It’s all Bush’s fault!
Afghanistan? Bush.
The war on terror? Bush.
Terror? Bush.
Guantanamo Bay? Bush.
Iraq? Iran? iPhone? Bush.
The Crimea? Bush.
The economy? Unemployment? Bush.
The one percent? Bush.
Drone strikes on weddings? Bush.
No drone strikes on Kardashian weddings? Bush.
NASA retiring the space shuttle? Bush.
Racism? Sexism? Bush.
9/11? Bush.
The KKK? Bush.
The Third Reich? Bush.
The Kennedy assassinations? Bush.
The assassination of Julius Caesar? Bush.
Global Warming? Hurricane Katrina? Bush.
Tooth decay? Gum disease? Bush.
Bill Buckner? Bush.
The crucifixion? Bush.
AIDS? Cancer? Diabetes? Bush.
Bush? Bush.
Because, dammit… it’s all Bush’s fault!

Mustache Crime

Before World War 2, bottlebrush mustaches were a popular form of facial hair.
After World War 2, they weren’t popular at all for the obvious reasons.
Just as Japanese-Americans were rounded up and sent to internment camps after Pearl Harbor, bottlebrush mustaches were rounded up and sent to barber shops.
Using the sharpest razors, the bottlebrush mustaches were quickly and systematically dispatched and eliminated, washed down the drains in a foamy and messy river of stubble.
Some tried to escape as disguised as eyebrows. Others fled as landing strips.
To this day, Simon Wiesenthal’s barber continues to hunt them down.

Glad Max

Glad Max guides his oxcart along the well-worn trails of Nepal, smiling and greeting his neighbors and countrymen.
Before the collapse of civilization, Nepal had been socially backward. Mostly subsistence farmers with poor access to technology, advanced medicine, and education.
There were a lot less annoying tourists and drugs and other crap that came with modernization. The old ways were back and here to stay. Nice and quiet.
Which made Max glad.
Every now and then, post-apocalyptic weirdos in leather BSDM gear drove up form Australia and caused headaches. And eventually drove off of cliffs.
Which made Max even gladder.

The Heat

I don’t know how people can stand the heat in Phoenix. Is there some secret underground tunnel system, because there aren’t enough skybridge tubes full of chilled mercy from one building to another.
Maybe they go around at night after the sun grants temporary reprieve from its searing wrath?
Centuries ago, my people wandered 40 years in the desert before they reached The Promised Land.
Me, I’d have given up after a day.
“Was Pharaoh really all that bad? I bet the labor market would be in our favor now.”
I step into a building.
Cool, refreshing air conditioning.

Amen.

Memorial Mistake

What if two people who died on 9/11 had the same name?
When the annual memorial event organizers read the list of names in alphabetical order, would they say the same name twice? Or just once?
And when they made the memorial, would they engrave the name twice or just once?
It would be embarrassing to go there to make a charcoal rubbing of your loved one’s name, only to find strangers standing there doing a charcoal rubbing of your loved one’s name?
Or, I suppose, release chickens with the numbers one through nine on them, minus the seven.

Village of Idiots

Sappy has been the village idiot of Martinsdale for over forty years.
He’s the best village idiot that Martinsdale ever had, and Martinsdale has had a lot of good village idiots. Especially since the factory was built and began dumping all those chemicals upriver.
Folks from the government tested the water supply, and they gave those chemicals long funny names that nobody understands.
Sappy must have gotten a double dose of the stuff. He drools and howls and poops his pants better than anybody else.
The government threatens to close the Martinsdale factory. But we need the jobs.
Especially Sappy.