Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vatican’s Ban on Condoms a “Godsend” for the KKK

Mt. Holly, NC—The ranking officers of the Ku Klux Klan gathered for their annual “G-Hate Summit,” and to draft a resolution supporting the Vatican’s recently renewed ban on condoms.

“I told you we was officers o’ God!” exclaimed KKK Grand Wizard Pro Tempore, Jimmy Griffin. “This proves it! And we don’t need no rope or a tree; just good ol’ fashioned AIDS.”

The global economic downturn has caused the KKK's overall membership to dwindle and the subsequent drop in dues had dashed any hopes of an imminent, full-blown race war. The organization, however, has been invigorated by Pope Benedict XVI’s reaffirmation of the ban.

“Look,” Griffin said excitedly, “the AIDS epidemic in Africa kills, like, two million niggers a year! And for free! Praise Jesus!”

National Klabee, Joe Purdy, agreed.

“This truly was some Godsend,” he said. “We couldn’t ask for no better support for our cause. Now, we know the Pope ain’t gonna mention the KKK, but we’re clearly on the same side. Under our robes, we white Christians are all equal.”

“You gotta hand it to the Germans,” admired Griffin, smiling. “The Pope will finally finish what Hitler started. All we do now is wait ‘em out. Those niggers’ll be dead in, like, 6 years, I figure.”

Despite this philosophical windfall, the KKK still faces tough times. The organization has enacted a nationwide hiring freeze and cut back on the purchases of everything from paper clips to giant, wooden crucifixes.

Group leaders are optimistic about 2009, though they haven’t ruled out seeking government bailout money.

“We’ll prob’ly just talk with Biden about that,” said Purdy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Dog Whipper

I really wish Marcy could see it when I’m depressed. It doesn’t happen often, which may explain why she can’t tell. Still, that may be all the more reason I need her help when it does happen.

I had a three-day weekend—to be the first of many. The adhesives plant had trimmed back to a four-day work week to save money. That means a 20 percent smaller paycheck. I spent Saturday in bed; I didn’t feel there’d be any point in getting up. I feel like everything I touch turns to shit. I don’t know where I thought I’d be at this point in my life, but I’m not happy right now. Don’t tell my ex-wife; she’d only celebrate.

For my girlfriend, Marcy, everything—even my depression—is all about her. “If you’re not going to talk to me,” she said, “then I’m gonna go stay with mamma. You can pout by yourself.”

Two things: First, when you’re in high school like she is, you don’t know how tough reality can be. Second, her going to her mamma’s isn’t so dramatic; her mamma’s town house is three blocks away. It’s still aggravating in principle, though.

“THANKS FOR NOTHING!” I shouted as she closed the door behind her.

I had to shit and passed the kitchen on the way to the bathroom. I opened the fridge, grabbed an MGD and headed for the toilet. I sat down, stared blankly at the wall and took a few pulls off the beer. On the floor were a few pages from the USA Today I swiped from my neighbor, but I’d read them all several times. I’d farted, but couldn’t shit, so I just pulled up my shorts without wiping.

I grabbed another beer and headed back to bed. I just sat there propped up against my pillow searching for anything in my head that sounded good. Should I go for a walk, watch television, or make some food? Everything I thought of just bored me. I chugged the second beer and went to sleep.

The phone rang sometime after dark. It was probably Marcy, but I can’t be sure. I yanked the phone cord out of the wall and threw the entire shit across the room. Fuck everybody.

I awoke about daybreak, which is too early for a day off. I retrieved another beer and chugged it while standing over the kitchen sink. That, together with the toilet paper I stuffed in my ears bought me another three hours of sleep.

When I opened my eyes, I replayed Marcy’s comments from the previous day, as well as some of her choice comments from previous arguments. Christ, if I were waiting for her to help my depression, I might as well eat a gun barrel, or just go lay down on the train tracks and wait to die. And she wonders why I don’t open up and rely on others. Relying on others would have killed me by now.

No one besides you can take care of you. How does this fact elude me even for a moment? “I’ve got to get out of bed,” I thought. I got up and threw on some shorts, a t-shirt and my sneakers. I went out and knocked on my neighbor’s door.

“Hey, Bishop,” he said with a smile. “What’s up?”

“Is your kid home?”

“Naw—he’s with his bitch mom. You want to borrow his bike again?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “Is that alright?”

“Sure. You wanna come in for a beer? What I save on food with him being gone I spent on a little hooch.” He glanced at his watch. “It’s noon somewhere. How about some Sunny D and vodka?”

“Maybe when I get back.” I said.

“Sure. The bike’s locked up to the back fence—same combo.”


“Say, Bishop, you seen my newspaper around here?”

“I’d ask the Mexican family that moved into 3C,” I said over my shoulder as I headed into the stairwell.

His kid was almost as tall as me, so I didn’t have to adjust the seat. The gears were a little stiff from being left out in the weather, but they worked. I wasn’t sure where I was going. I just wanted to be moving, toward anything and anywhere else.

The neighborhoods around the apartment building were pretty quiet, but a bicycle would always bring out any dogs not behind a fence or on a leash. I hadn’t gotten more than a couple of blocks away before some stocky mutt lunged out from behind a large juniper bush and nearly knocked me off my bike. I kicked out at him, but he dodged my foot. He ran beside me, snarling and barking for about 30 yards before turning around.

I stopped at the next corner. My heart was racing. Between work and Marcy, I was done being fucked with. I lay the bike down near the curb in front of the local elementary school. I pulled off and stripped a three-foot-long switch from a young tree in the school’s front lawn. I whipped it around a few times to hear it slice the air with a satisfying swipp. I got on my bike and headed back the way I’d come.

When the dog lunged from the juniper, I was ready. I caught him across the forehead with the switch. He yelped and retreated underneath the bush. HA! “Don’t fuck with Bishop!” I thought. I was feeling better already.

I remembered a few more loose dogs up on the street behind the elementary and biked in that direction. Right on cue, the dogs leapt from their yards into the road and I nailed ‘em with the switch. They’d yelp and run back to their houses. Who would have thought whipping dogs could cure depression?

I was dripping with sweat and invigorated when I locked the bike to the fence behind my apartment building. Things were looking up.

“I think I’ll take that Sunny D & V,” I said as my neighbor opened up his door. He just grinned.

After a couple drinks I returned to my apartment. Still no Marcy. I had busted the clip on the phone cord, so I just gently set it in the jack and placed a strip of duct tape over it to hold it in. Maybe she’d call and we could patch things up. I grabbed a beer, turned on the television and sat down on the couch. My neighbor had mixed the drinks pretty aggressively, and I was riding a solid drunk.

Maybe I hadn’t been that depressed after all. The bike ride had definitely helped. I just hoped I hadn’t hurt any of the dogs. I mean, they shouldn’t be lunging at me like that, but maybe dogs aren’t smart enough to understand roads and bikes.

Jesus, what if I really hurt those dogs? I took a long pull on the beer. I don’t think I hurt them, but how would I know? I was so caught up in the invigorating rush of whipping that switch around. Fuck! I’m such an asshole. I took out my mood on a bunch of stupid, helpless fuckin’ animals. Was that one dog wagging its tail? Oh, Jesus. What have I done?

I half-heartedly took another swig of beer and started crying. “What the hell is wrong with me,” I wondered as the tears really started flowing. Just then the door opened.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Marcy asked, standing in the doorway. “I thought if I gave you some time you’d stop pouting. Now you’re pouting and drunk. I was calling you all night. I don’t even know why I came back over here. And to think I felt bad for leaving. Mamma was right.” And with that she left again, slamming the door behind her.

I couldn’t stop crying. Not because of anything Marcy said, but because I felt so horrible about taking advantage of those damn dogs. I finished the beer and went to the fridge. I took what remained of the leftover pizza and threw it in a plastic grocery bag. I ran downstairs, unlocked the bike and headed back towards the elementary school.

“Dammit. I must be more drunk than I thought,” I thought. And I could only remember where a couple of the dogs lived. I was horribly unsteady on the bike as I approached the house with the large juniper. The dog cautiously peered out from beneath the bush.

“Hey little guy,” I said pulling a slice of cold pepperoni pizza from my bag as I eased the bicycle down against the sidewalk. My shoelace had apparently come undone and gotten caught in the chain. I didn’t notice this until I tripped and fell hard on the concrete, skinning both knees and an elbow. The dog backed away, still watching me as I struggled to get the lace loose and stand up.

I tossed the now-dirty pizza slice underneath the bush beside the dog. He sniffed at it and took a few tentative bites before wolfing down the rest of it. I tried coaxing him out, but he wouldn’t come out from under the bush. I felt a little better anyway.

After about 40 minutes of sweaty, drunken bicycling, I found two of the other dogs I whipped, I think. I fed pizza to two more dogs, in any case. Maybe it’s all the same as far as my karma is concerned. I hoped so, because I was out of pizza.

The sun beat down on me as sweat ran into my eyes and the cuts on my knees and elbow. It was all I could do to lock the bike and climb the stairs to my apartment. I took another beer with me into the hot shower, which stung something fierce for the first few minutes.

Wet and naked, I fell into bed and slept soundly until morning. Singing birds awakened me. I lay in bed watching the first rays of sun move across the wall above the headboard. I sat up in bed and my knees stung as the sheet moved across them.

At least I still had my health and my four-day-a-week job. And after a plate of eggs and bacon, I figured I could probably talk some sense into Marcy. Who knows? The week might turn out okay after all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

KKK to Boost Membership with Marketing Campaign, Free Hot Dogs

March 3, 2009, Listre, North Carolina—The Mid-Atlantic branch of the Ku Klux Klan announced Friday it has hired a marketing firm to help boost the organization’s dwindling membership. “There’s nothin’ more American than hangin' a nigger from a tree,” said Great Grand Dragon Cleetus Jeeter, “but we can’t rely on that no more to bring in the new boys.” Jeeter said the Klan’s newly unveiled marketing campaign has been designed to reveal a kinder, gentler Klan, which is sensitive to today’s whites.

He says the first phase of the campaign will feature “block-burnings.” Jeeter admits “block-burning” sounds a bit off-putting. “We ain’t burnin’ city blocks or nothin’. We’re just replacing burnin’ crosses with burnin’ blocks of wood. People has got the wrong idea about our crosses, so we’re gonna start fresh.

We had changed the name to ‘Rapture Days,’” said Jeeter, “but someone forgot to call the print shop. Next thing you know, we got some eighty thousand ‘block-burning’ flyers, and they’s too costly to redo. He knows to change the name for next year.”

Jeeter is also telling folks they need to bring more than an appetite for a race war. “We’ll be giving away roasted hot dogs, too.” he said. “Besides, we figured we already had the fires goin’ you know.” Jeeter says the group is doing it’s best to court the environmentally conscious racists who have strongly criticized the Klan’s failure to go green, much less even clean up themselves, ever. Jeeter says the Klan will now be collecting trash as well as militantly segregating the recyclables from at all events. “Sure we killed us some Jews last year,” said Jeeter, “but nothing ruins a good hate crime like a bunch of litterbugs.”

The second phase of the Klan’s marketing campaign will initiate a so-called “billboard blitzkrieg.” The ads will feature a hooded Klan member, holding a fully-garnished hot dog in one hand while giving a thumbs up with the other. “The marketing boys wanted to show folks our friendly side by showin’ a Klansman without his hood,” Jeeter laments, “but won’t nobody do it.” The campaign seemed stymied, but the marketing team overcame that hurdle with a catchy slogan, which Jeeter says is the backbone of this campaign.

The billboards, as well as magazine ads, lapel pins and bumper stickers will focus on that slogan—showcasing the organization’s new “Klan-Do” attitude. Future marketing phases will support the slogan with pictures of Klansmen helping old, white ladies across the street and helping old, white men bag their groceries—all while giving a big thumbs up. Jeeter says the new image is just the shot in the arm the Klan needs.

“It brings a tear to my eye, and that’s a fact,” says Jeeter, grinning and giving a big thumbs up. “Klan-Do! Heh, heh. Serious, though. Jesus would be proud. I think it’s somethin’ real positive that God-fearin’, race-hatin’ whites can really get behind.”