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.
Freddy says that he’s sick as a dog, so he can’t meet up with me at our favorite bar.
Sick dog? Is one of your dogs sick? I ask.
I’m a vet. I take care of Freddy’s dogs. He’d have said something if one was sick.
“No, as sick as a dog!”
Oh, I must have misheard him.
I guess I’m getting to be as deaf as a post.
Freddy works for The Post. As an ombudsman. He has to listen all day to readers.
He swore and hung up. I guess he heard me the wrong way or something.
A madman killed John Lennon.
Another tried to kill Ronald Reagan.
And then another attacked an actress and killed her.
They all had my book.
They all said to understand what they did, read the book.
What I put in there.
It was the truth about the phonies.
Not the evil these people did.
Their evil. They murdered. Murdered.
Not me. They.
That is the truth.
No, I have not stopped writing.
I cannot stop writing.
Writing the truth.
But I can stop publishing.
Because phonies will read my writing if I don’t.
And they will murder. They will kill.
It was the best of tricks, it was the worst of tricks.
Sidney Carton could pass for Charles Darnay, and the others thought he was going to trade places with the doomed Frenchman.
Lucie would get her husband back, while Sidney would lose his head.
“Am I really going to do this?” he asked himself, facing the moment of truth.
“Hell no,” was his answer, but he said it in French with his impression of Darnay’s voice.
Then he had himself smuggled out of the prison as Darnay.
Lucie wasn’t fooled one bit. But she grew to love him anyway.
The itsy-bitsy spider went up the waterspout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
The rain washed out the bridge to the mainland, too.
National Guardsmen quickly evacuated residents with boats.
But the rain kept coming, and they used helicopters to pull people off of their roofs.
When the rain stopped, it took a while for the water level to drop.
A few houses had caught fire because of gas leaks.
Locals were allowed to return to salvage anything they could.
One guy clutched his chest and dropped dead.
Heart attack? No. It was a poisonous spider bite.
Other kids played with action figures and board games.
I played with fire.
Fire was fun and cheap. And it was so much more fun than action figures and board games.
And it was great for ending arguments.
Paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and fire beats them all.
Water beats fire?
No! Fire boils water and turns it to steam. Fire beats water.
I’ve heard people say that children shouldn’t play with fire, but fire has no warning labels on it.
That must mean that fire is safe for all ages, right?
Here’s some fire… enjoy!
The other reindeer made fun of Rudolph and wouldn’t let him play in their reindeer games.
So, Rudolph hung out with ghetto elves on the South side of the North Pole.
Which, if you know your geography, is all around the North Pole.
They had the North Pole surrounded.
When the other reindeer went into the ghetto to get the drugs that let them fly, Rudolph and the ghetto elves played The Knockout Game with them.
Down went Donner. And Cupid. And Comet. And Vixen.
The gang took their fancy harnesses and shiny silver bells.
Silver bells. Ting a ling.