Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the broad highway: the second vision



to begin at the beginning, click here

for previous episode, click here




and when the octopus opened the second cage, and the heard the sound of the waterfall, the second creature swam to the bank of the river.

and there joe beheld a red brontosaurus, with a red barracuda riding him, and the barracuda balanced a portable air-conitioner ion his nose, and his name was behavior modification.

joe reached the end of the driveway, and the beginning of the world. he found himself by the side of a busy highway, with no sidewalk or accommodation for pedestrians. he began walking along sideways so that he could keep an eye on the traffic, and stuck his thumb out. there were a burger king and a wendy's on the other side of the highway but no way to get to them. he was hungry - after the disaster with the dessert fork, he naturally hadn't gone on to the main course.

the cars, trucks and an occasional bus whizzed by, not even slowing down as they passed him. he hoped desperately that someone would stop before a police car came by. the police had been joe's friends for years ... but now... and his feet began to hurt, as he was wearing dress shoes.

after he had been walking for an hour, a small cream colored van stopped. red lettering on the side read: farmer brown's air conditioning. joe opened the passenger door and got in. farmer brown himself was driving - joe recognized him from television ads. joe exhaled as he closed the door and lay back in the seat.

"hot day for walking," observed the farmer, as he pulled out onto the highway.

"it is, that," joe answered.

"where you headed?"

"anywhere."

"well, i guess i'm going there."

they drove in silence for a while.

"say," said joe finally, 'you wouldn't be doing any hiring, would you?"

"no. i ain't doing any hiring any time soon."

they were quiet again. joe noticed that the van had no radio, but didn't mention it.

"you know anybody doing any hiring?", joe asked after a while.

"no."

"i probably can't get hired anyway," said joe. "i don't exist any more."

"one of them, huh?"

"yeah."

"must be tough."

"must be tough for you, too."

"oh? why is that?" farmer brown glanced over at joe.

"oh, you know, having your own farm and all - and now you're selling air conditioners."

"nothing tough about it - i'll take an air conditioner over a cow or a pig any day."

joe looked out the window. it was starting to get dark.

farmer brown slowed the van slightly, as they passed a sign saying: rest stop 1 mile. "want to get something to eat?"

"sure." joe squeezed his wallet out of his back pocket. "i can pay."

"i guess you can. i ain't paying for you."

they pulled into the rest stop. a superburger was the only restaurant. they went in.

joe immediately recognized another face from television - mr wong, the superfather. mr wong greeted farmer brown with profuse laughs, hugs and backslaps. then he stepped back and looked at joe. "who's this guy?"

"he's my best friend," said farmer brown.

mr wong laughed and slapped farmer brown on the back one more time. joe followed farmer brown to a booth in the back.

"that was the superfather, wasn't it?"

the farmer looked at joe curiously. "sure. who did you think it was?"

"i wasn't sure - i thought he might be the worldfather."

farmer brown opened the menu. "let's eat."

a waiter with a towel over his arm and a drooping mustache appeared beside the booth.

"pierre!"

"farmer, my good friend!" more hugs and backslaps.

pierre looked at joe. 'who's this guy?"

"just a guy."

this answer satisfied pierre. "ready to order?"

"i am." said farmer brown. "i'll have four superburgers, onion rings, two orders of fries, and a giant coke."

"and you, sir?"

joe was checking his wallet. there wasn't much cash in it. "i will have one regular burger - with everything on it - and a small coke."

"sir, that won't contribute much to the economy."

"i'll tell you what," joe answered. "i have these credit cards - they are probably no good. but can you check them? if any of them are good, i'll have what he's having."

pierre took the credit cards. "i guess i can do that. meanwhile, you want one regular burger with everything on it - everything on it means lot of lettuce, right?"

"of course. it's free, isn't it?"

pierre left. joe tried to think of something to say.

"thanks for picking me up like that."

"no problem."

"you know, a guy like me, just a couple of hours ago i was one of the elite. i'm not sure how to act with regular people, people like you who are on television and all."

the farmer made no reply but continued to read the menu he had already ordered from.

pierre returned with farmer brown's four burgers and joe's one. he gave joe back his credit cards. "you were right. these are worthless, quite worthless. and they were a bit short of lettuce in the kitchen, so you didn't get extra."

"thank you," said joe. he wondered how much of a tip he should leave.

they began to eat.



next: a dream reborn



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