Saturday, January 22, 2005



On or off the bus? On or off the bus?


Outposts of Tyranny & Islands of Freedom

Are you all right? the voice demanded quietly. It was a calm female voice, and Sanctiblogger slowly opened his eyes through the fear. It was the woman in the sports bra.

You're sentient, then. Good. I was worried. The word DOG was no longer visible on her forehead.

They were still on the bus, but now it was bright and clean, and filled with attractive young women wearing sports bras. There was no empty seat. The driver was now dressed in the garb of a Cardinal of the Church in full regalia, but he couldn't see the face. Where are we going? Sanctiblogger asked the woman.

I think you're going to an outpost of tyranny. At least that's what it says on your ticket there. She pointed to a piece of card hanging on a string around his neck. It said S. Sanctiblogger: Outpost of Tyranny #6. No Baggage except carryon.

Outpost of Tyranny #6? Where's that, he asked.

I don't know, she said. Does anybody else here know where Outpost of Tyranny #6 is? she shouted to the rest of the attractive young women in sports bras.

No, never heard of it, they all replied. We're all going to Islands of Freedom. Why else would we be wearing sports bras?

Sanctiblogger looked carefully at the women. Then it hit him. They were the Sufi U Chess Club cheerleading squad, the ones who'd been fired by the A.D. the same day he'd been fired.

The Cardinal of the Church driving turned to shout, "Outpost of Tyranny #6! Prepare to disembark!"

Sanctiblogger froze. The face. The face of the driver was that of Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales. Who'd once been Dr. Torquemada, the head of the Torture Studies Dept. at Sufi U. Until. Until he'd been given a new identity in a deal to protect the university from a lawsuit. My god, Sanctiblogger gasped. I'm screwed.


Water Balloons

What's this?

Sanctiblogger catches a rush of movement out of the corner of his left eye and then someone is shouting out of a deep yellow madness. He turns in his seat to look, but sees only a pistol waving about in the air. He ducks without thinking, and sees on his plasma screen a clean-cut Concerned College Conservative with a light saber, mouthing the words "For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny--prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder--violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders and raise a mortal threat." Then comes a series of thwoop-thwoop implosions like disappearing water balloons as heavenly reinforcements flood into the bus to take out the threat. They are, Sanctiblogger notes from the red and white feathers in their berets, members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. They scuffle. They skirmish. They exchange fisticuffs. They have words. They grunt in pain.

Then the gun goes off and there is a vvvvoom sound and one of the Fusiliers stands with his arm cut off at the bicep and spouting blood and the dirty shabby angel driver is slumped over the wheel with a red spot on his back beneath his right wing. The bus speeds up, and is suddenly buffeted by aeolian winds. The Fusiliers' hair stands on end, and they short out like--well, like fuses.

Sanctiblogger looks down and sees a red diagonal line stretching slowly but inexorably across the screen, where the only post-human presences he can see still on the bus are his own, hunched desperately over his laptop, and the shapelier one of the young woman in the sports bra, who stares straight into the camera with her eyes humorously crossed and the word DOG written in red Magic Marker across her bangless forehead.

Friday, January 21, 2005


On the Bus

“Is this the bus for heaven?” Sanctiblogger asked the driver, a surly-looking angel with dirty wings.

The angel spoke through a smoldering stump of cigar. “Yeah, that’s what the sign says, doesn’t it, pal?”

Sanctiblogger sighed, and climbed on board. Getting fired. Of course, getting fired from Sufi University means you’re dead. He knew that all along. But somehow, it just hadn’t seemed real until now.

“Hey, pal,” the surly angel barked. “Deposit your fare.” He indicated a vacuum hose.

“My, ummm, fare?” Sanctiblogger asked.

“Yeah, your fare. Are you stupid or something? Your mortal spirit. Suck it out.”

So Sanctiblogger put his mouth to the tube. With a great WHOOSH his mortal spirit was sucked out. He suddenly felt much lighter. Like he’d lost twenty pounds or taken a great huge shit or something.

He looked around the bus. Only two other passengers, who seemed to be asleep. One of them was clutching a bottle wrapped in a paper bag. Drool was running out of his mouth as he snored through his nose. The snores caused the line of spittle to jiggle each time he exhaled. The other passenger was a beautiful young woman, wearing shorts and a halter top or sports bra or something. Her head lolled to one side, leaning up against the window. As she breathed in sleep, the window would fog up and clear, fog up and clear.

Sanctiblogger took a seat in the back, away from the others where he could see out the rear window clearly. He opened his bag and took out his laptop. Wonder if I can get WiFi here? He wondered. Ha. Sure enough. Now, let’s Google “heaven bus” and see what’s up. Sure enough, a website, appeared. He clicked on it. A live webcam showed the view from the front of the bus, where the angel with dirty wings sat driving, all the way back to where Sanctiblogger could see himself looking at the computer.

But something was wrong. The other two passengers didn’t appear on the screen. In their place were two different passengers sitting in different places. In fact, one seemed to be sitting right next to Sanctiblogger. A hugely fat man with big white whiskers. But Sanctiblogger looked to his left, where the man appeared on the screen, and there was nothing.

How odd, he thought.


Another Controversial Firing at Sufi U

Faculty Up In Arms, Discuss Sanctions Against President

Sufi circles buzzed today at the news that Dr. Spiriti Sanctiblogger, chaplain mullah and a tenured associate professor in the Department of Advanced Smegmatics at Sufi University, had been fired.

President Bernardus J. Wockle, who was behind the firing, cited "religious differences."

"This is the last straw," Whaling Mullah Dorset K. Baber declaimed to this reporter from the hammock in his office. "Wockle has been pushing the boundaries of Sufi love and tolerance for years now, but this time he's gone too far."

President Wockle has long championed an "all is one and one is all so what the hell" doctrine. Many Sufis consider this position lax and weak-minded. Dr. Sanctiblogger was one of President Wockle's most relentless critics.

"Spirry never tired of exposing the flagrant contradictions in Wockle's views," Mullah Baber explained. "And now, of course, his firing has exposed the greatest contradiction of all: to defend his antihierarchical views, President Wockle has wielded his hierarchical powers. That's like raping someone who challenges your celibacy policy!"

President Wockle, asked about these charges, only smiles.

"Jesus Christ," he chuckles, "can't anybody around here take a joke?"

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Reserve Chaplain

The Mullah was searching through the mail that had piled up while he was in hospital.

Get-well cards, hope-you-die cards, insurance bills, a note from Condoleeza Rice asking for an amulet that would help her stop thinking of sex all the time (have to answer that one!), some magazines, and—hey! What’s this? From the Department of the Army?

He opened that one.

Dear Reservist Billdoug,

Greetings! This letter is to inform you that your status has been changed from “inactive” to “active,” effective 1/31/05.

You are hereby directed to appear at Fort Bliss, Texas by that date for retraining…

and so forth.

I’m being drafted? Pressed into service? But I never even served in the Army! What the hell are they on about? I’ll soon straighten this out.