Crunching and Punching

Source
Lenin giving a speech to the troops at the on, May 5, 1920 with Trotsky in foreground. Taken in front of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater. (note that this is only the left half of the original picture; the right half featured Trotsky, so the picture got slic
Lenin giving a speech to the troops at the on, May 5, 1920 with Trotsky in foreground. Taken in front of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater. (note that this is only the left half of the original picture; the right half featured Trotsky, so the picture got slic | Source

Smoke In the Woods...

There was unrest in the forest...

Natural resources were disappearing.

This scarcity alone guarantees turmoil as uncertain markets contract in an uncertain economy.

National financial institutions are occupied as everyday citizenry demand reform. Political parties are pushed to the extremes. Food delivery infrastructures are strained...

Excesses occur. Abuses are chronicled. Reactions recorded.

A global shadow economy emerges as if from a primordial woodland. These were dark days in the forest...

In one of the world’s hidden citadels of power...a long ago deal with the devil was coming due.

The earthbound signer of that unholy covenant knew any further deferment of the deal’s consummation was unlikely...

Contingency plans had long since been arranged. Both personal and professional. He had reached the end game. Still, there were moves to be made...

Like any despot, he had tools at his disposal. Personal charisma...he was lionized by his people as simply, ‘Pappy’ and the levers of power and communication were still firmly gripped within his hands.

He intended to use them.

He would move on two fronts...

On the popular front he would redirect his people’s anger and angst outward...away from him. His target was already selected.

On the political front...a brutal crackdown was to be orchestrated against all internal enemies and opposition. He was playing from the tyrant’s well-worn playbook...


"Strange Bedfellows". New Orleans Mardi Gras revelers pushing bed in neighborhood street
"Strange Bedfellows". New Orleans Mardi Gras revelers pushing bed in neighborhood street | Source

That Which Proceeded...

The alliance was one of conveniences. A mating of odd bedfellows...show business types...fringe element groupies...organized crime...drugs...wizards...governmental officials and Village Elders.

The alliance existed to illegally harvest illegal stuff using illegal slave labor for illegal purposes.

The previous sentence would prove too vague to submit to the District Attorney to secure a subpoena; however, the shear number of times I used a variation of the word ‘illegal’ should alert the alert reader that some bad stuff was going down. Truly...some dark shit.

Dancing with this crowd was glamorous under the pulsating lights of the nightclub...less so in the stark light of day. This was evident as they walked through the ‘milking shed’.

Those being milked were long since past crying out. The occasional low moan was all that indicated the horrors occurring deep in the woods...

“Your output is down twenty-percent and the purity is at less than a third!” Complained the celebrated rap singer. “It’s messing up the growers, Yo!”

His companion showed his frustration at, both, the situation and his partner’s tone...

“Outside sources are siphoning off our resources. I told you that! I have already taken the steps to alleviate the situation! The man fumed before continuing,

“The concern is the purity...and that’s YOUR department! These samples (he indicates those wretched occupants of the milking machines dismissively) simply will not do...I need pure extract...”

“The breeding program...?”

“Pointless! No...We need to return to our earlier plan...accelerated implementation of Operation Extract Extraction! Go organize the growers...get good samples...bring them to me.”

They discussed the details of their odious transaction before parting. The celebrated rapper walked back to his car singing snatches of a tune...

“...Headed down to the dungeon wondering...if they got some mooore...” He starts his car...the CD player begins bumping the same tune...”...continue on my mission fish’n...for the yum-yum...but I’m moooving slow...”

In a cloud of smoke and dust the car leaves the clearing and moves down the forest road...

The other man watches him leave before walking back into the ‘milking shed’. His cat follows him.

Inside he looked at the barbaric machines lining the walls. He coldly surveys the torment written on each face...torment...designed...to accelerate the milking process. No. They were inferior samples but he still liked watching them suffer.

Snatches of conversation can be heard...Sally Field and Dolly Parton??

Gargamel, the Wizard, turned to begin his part of the task...thus, eliminating the outside competition for resources. He needed to call in on ‘THE’ leader...’Pappy’. The buses needed to be delivered and the protestors organized...


Ankara Amusement Park
Ankara Amusement Park | Source
Photo from 1943 exhumation of mass grave of polish officers killed by NKVD in Katyń Forest in 1940.
Photo from 1943 exhumation of mass grave of polish officers killed by NKVD in Katyń Forest in 1940. | Source
Photo taken at the instant bullets from a French firing squad hit a Frenchman who collaborated with the Germans. This execution took place in Rennes, France.
Photo taken at the instant bullets from a French firing squad hit a Frenchman who collaborated with the Germans. This execution took place in Rennes, France. | Source

Fire in the Woods...

‘Pappy’ had blood on his hands. The crackdowns had begun the night before. Those deemed un-loyal to the regime were rounded up and simply disappeared.

His primary target had eluded the initial sweep; however, patrols had picked the traitor up about twenty-minutes ago and were bringing him in now.

In these situations it is always a good idea to destroy the intelligentsia. Towards that goal he ordered in the next batch of victims...

The four unfortunates were herded in. A couple of them had been badly beaten...their trousers were torn...dirty...if they were surprised by their newly reduced circumstances...they were too bewildered to show evidence of it. They were lined up in front of ‘Pappy’ and forced to their knees...

Papa Smurf stands up and roars at them...

FOR CRIMES AGAINST THE VILLAGE OF SMURFS...AND UN-SMURF-MANS-LIKE ACTIVITY...YOU ARE SENTENCED TO SMURFING!”

As his last word echoed throughout the chamber...Hefty Smurf walks up to each in turn and delivers a well positioned 7.62-smurfameter slug to the base of each skull. Poet Smurf, Architect Smurf, Finance Smurf, and Editor Smurf lay dead on the floor. The bodies are dragged away by Stinky Smurf and Sloppy Smurf.

Weepy Smurf bursts out in tears...he is dragged off to the ‘milking shed’...

Counter-Revolution is not for the faint of heart.

Papa Smurf quickly moved to the next order of business. Farmer Smurf and Miner Smurf were ushered in...

“Your farms are being smurfed and collectivized,” Farmer Smurf was informed.

“Also...the mines are to be Smurf-in-alized beginning now.”‘ Pappy’ told Miner Smurf.

“You are both to report to The Smurfittee of Quotas for your new priorities. Smurf-berries and Blue-clay are to be concentrated on in accordance with the new four-year plans!”

Farmer Smurf looked uncomfortable. He shuffled his wooden clogs before blurting out, “The Wartmongers have invaded the fields...the smurf-berries are turning in the dirt...”

Papa Smurf calmly pulls out a blue-clayed, smurfed-nosed .38 special and shoots him between the eyes.

“Will there be smurflems with the blue-clay?” He asks Miner Smurf coldly.

“Oh Smurf-NO!” Miner Smurf assures him as he rushes for the door.

Papa Smurf’s arch nemeses (for this story) is dragged into the room in chains...Brainy Smurf.


Source
German prisoners in a French prison camp. French Pictorial Service., 1917 - 1919
German prisoners in a French prison camp. French Pictorial Service., 1917 - 1919 | Source
Interior view of prisoners' house, 1936-1937 in Gulag
Interior view of prisoners' house, 1936-1937 in Gulag | Source
Water well for the Herkimer House in Danube, Herkimer County, New York.
Water well for the Herkimer House in Danube, Herkimer County, New York. | Source

Play for Power...

“Just what do you think you’re smurfing at??” Brainy Smurf called out indignantly after being pushed to the floor.

His glasses were broken and he was missing the traditional book of “Brainy Quotes” that he normally would be toting about.

“SMUCK YOU!” Yelled an enraged Papa Smurf. His beard quivered. His spit flew. “I am smurfleting the Revolution!”

Papa Smurf walks around the prostrate and cowed Brainy in lazy little circles. The blue-clayed, smurf-nosed .38 special hangs listlessly from his hand.

It does not appear any less menacing for that lackadaisical handling, however.

“Do you really think the Revolution will be finished smurfly by throwing random “Brainy Quotes” at every smurfing problem?” Papa Smurf sneered. Smurfed? No...sneered...

“Why Brainy, brainy is the Smarty Party, party...” Brainy went on as he tends to do...

“You have been de-smurfed from the “Party” and in accordance with de-smurfing protocols," Papa Smurf screams at him. “You will be placed on Mushroom-House-arrest subject to imposition of your ultimate fate...death by smurf-icution!?”

Papa Smurf had him dragged off to Mushroom-House-arrest where he joined Grandpa and Granny Smurf who had been detained earlier in the day.

All three of them were symbols and, as such, required smurfle treatment.

He went into consultation with Alchemist Smurf about ‘sample purities’ and the latest experiments to garner a pure extract. Farmer Smurf’s corpse begins to attract flies. Those flies...come from Stinky Smurf.

No one notices Nosy Smurf leave the room...

Nosy Smurf was skipping through the village as he distilled these new developments. He was still distilling (and skipping) when he happened across Brainy Smurf’s best friend Clumsy Smurf. Clumsy was hanging out with Scaredy Smurf. Nosy relates what he saw...

Scaredy Smurf screams, smurfs himself, and skips off into the forest. Expected.

Clumsy Smurf was fired up with rage...

“We have to go save Brainy!!”

Clumsy and Nosy set off skipping...

Nosy begins shmurf-talking other Smurfs he knows (based on being nosy) and soon forgets about the mission...

Clumsy Smurf trips over a rock and falls down a well...

Both of these well-intentioned Smurfs were out of action.

Meanwhile...buses were being pulled up to the Smurf Administration Building.

In an effort to redirect Smurf rage and discontent against a shifting social landscape...Papa Smurf was aiming that angst against Corporate America...

The buses would ferry the Smurf protestors to Occupy Wall Street!!


Cultivation of industrial hemp for fiber and for grain in france.
Cultivation of industrial hemp for fiber and for grain in france. | Source
Blueberries...
Blueberries... | Source
The refraction of The Holocaust Memorial at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San_Francisco in a dew drop. It was a refraction in a dew drop, but to me it looked as a refraction in a tear.
The refraction of The Holocaust Memorial at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San_Francisco in a dew drop. It was a refraction in a dew drop, but to me it looked as a refraction in a tear. | Source

Operation Extract Extraction...

The celebrated rap singer, Ludacris, pulled into the grower’s compound and stopped the car. He had been under observation since before turning off the main drag an hour earlier and he was well aware of that scrutiny.

It was the nature of the business. It’s how they all stayed alive. There were no growers in evidence which was also standard operating procedure.

Ludacris got out of the car, walked around the front, and leaned against the fender.

The sun was banked low in the sky. It had been a long drive. He put match to blunt and began smoking the world famous Blueberry Yum-Yum bud. He waited. The growers would come to him.

This is what the growers grew...Blueberry Yum-Yum bud. It was awesome. What made it even better? The pure extract that came only from the ‘milking shed’ of the Wizard Gargamel...freshly harvested Smurf tears.

This was the bottleneck in supply. It is a little known fact that freshly harvested Smurf tears form the essential ingredient of all pure blueberry extract which, has many legal uses, and can be obtained over the counter in Canada and on the Internet.

What was once bountiful was now scarce, however. This was the reason behind Operation Extract Extraction which involved the wholesale abduction of Smurfs to be used in the milking process for their freshly harvested tears.

Attempts to formulate a substitute had failed. The bastard offspring of the occasional union formed by a gifted grower and saucy Smurfette didn’t contain the necessary purity...

Low rumbles and robust grumbles signaled the growers advance through the forest.In terms of space...suddenly...

(Grumble, rumble-Rumble, Grumble)

Where once they weren’t...suddenly they were...


Garden Gnomes - Floriade, Canberra
Garden Gnomes - Floriade, Canberra | Source
Christopher Bridges (Stage Name "Ludracris") attending the premiere of "Max Payne" - Hollywood, CA on 10/13/2008
Christopher Bridges (Stage Name "Ludracris") attending the premiere of "Max Payne" - Hollywood, CA on 10/13/2008 | Source
Photo of a raid taking place as part of the Drug Enforcement Agency's Operation Mallorca
Photo of a raid taking place as part of the Drug Enforcement Agency's Operation Mallorca | Source
Garden Gnomes...
Garden Gnomes... | Source

Garden Gnomes...

What separates a Garden Gnome from an everyday Gnome? Garden Gnomes grow kick-ass weed called Blueberry Yum-Yum bud. That’s what you need to know.

Oh...you should also probably know what a Garden Gnome knows...that Blueberry Yum-Yum bud...requires nothing gained from the ‘milking shed’.

This was not a sentiment borne of pity for the poor wretched Smurfs in the ‘milking shed’ that endured hours of eye speculum use and repeated viewings of Steel Magnolias...

No...It was a matter of pride in workmanship. Blueberry Yum-Yum bud required nothing gained from the ‘milking shed’...it was already awesome.

The Garden Gnomes were a quarrelsome and fractious lot as they neared the celebrated rap singer. Rather unpleasant was their mood...

(Grumble, rumble-Rumble, Grumble)

It was only the esteem, in which the Garden Gnomes held Ludacris, that got him out of this jam.

Face it...he had street creds and the Garden Gnomes respected that. Still, tempers flared and voices were raised...

“Yo, Yo, Garden Gnomes, Yo.” Argued Ludacris.

“Grumble, rumble-Rumble, Grumble,” Retorted the Garden Gnomes.

This went on for awhile. Eventually, Ludacris got in his car and took off down the forest path.

(Grumble, rumble-Rumble, Grumble)

In was then that the Government agents struck...

A dozen or more, government issued and equipped, S.U.V.s poured into the clearing.

The doors flew open and a good third of the beginning part of the alphabet piled out (with a noted bias towards vowels)...guns leveled...shouting orders...brandishing flashlights...

All the typical pageantry associated with such an event: A.T.F., D.E.A., and F.B.I. All of them.

Trailing these came...sirens blazing...sausages grilling...the Command Post R.V. and the I.H.O.P. Mobile Pancake Truck.

Above this bedlam C.A.M.P. helicopters circled menacingly.

They began rounding up those Garden Gnomes unable to make it to the forest...

Despite their best investigative efforts, however, the awesome Blueberry Yum-Yum bud remained safely secreted within the dark woods...

(Grumble, rumble-Rumble, Grumble).


Haystack Store
Haystack Store | Source
Protest Garden Gnome...
Protest Garden Gnome... | Source

The Ripple Effect...

The proprietress of The Haystack Store was unused to such supply disruptions.

In operation since 1928, they had weathered the Great Depression, World War 2, the Counter-culture of the 1960s, disco from the 1970s and, most recently, a Presidential run from Michele Bachman that people pretended had a chance...

Subtle signs really...delays in shipments...errors in packing...goods damaged upon arrival...odd warehouse accidents.

Truly...it would have gone unnoticed except for the singularity of the bottleneck.

It was becoming increasingly difficult to obtain the pure blueberry extract needed to make her lovingly made, hand-crafted confection...The Smurf-Stack.

A number of factors combined to obscure the paper trail. Collectively, it was known as ‘The Ripple Effect’.

The proprietress of The Haystack Store liked to drink ripple. As such...her shipping paperwork was in disarray.

The bottleneck she tended to concentrate on was the working end of a cheap bottle of wine...rather than the lost shipping documents from a waylaid freight carrier...

Still...awesome Haystacks!

I don’t judge about the ripple thing. In fact...I’m legally bound (by a real Judge) to stop pretending that I am a Judge. A shame really. I believe my time on the Bench had a salubrious effect on the concepts of judicial activism in a post-agricultural and pre-apocalyptic based economy....


Founder's Hall on the campus of Humboldt State University, Arcata, Calif. Photo taken by John Baker in November 2003.
Founder's Hall on the campus of Humboldt State University, Arcata, Calif. Photo taken by John Baker in November 2003. | Source
The world record breaking photo for the “Most People Dressed as Smurfs” in San Francisco, United States, during the “Bay to Breakers” foot race.
The world record breaking photo for the “Most People Dressed as Smurfs” in San Francisco, United States, during the “Bay to Breakers” foot race. | Source
Men of the greek riot police (MAT) on standby for crackdown of an anarchist solidarity demonstration
Men of the greek riot police (MAT) on standby for crackdown of an anarchist solidarity demonstration | Source
Police with dogs at Waterloo station
Police with dogs at Waterloo station | Source

I enter this unlikely tale at this unlikely time...

I had driven from Reno, Nevada to Humboldt County, California in order to arrange for college transcripts for a prospective job interview. My options had been twofold; order them online with a credit card or in person with cash.

It was easier to get a car than a credit card so I loaded up a borrowed car and headed for Northern California. Internal CD player insisted on playing the theme song to, “The Beverly Hillbillies” for the entire fourteen hour drive.

Several times I had to stop Creative Voice from tossing him out onto the beautifully scenic U.S. 101 Highway.

My endeavors were successful. I love Humboldt State University. I briefly stomped the old grounds. Looked about...marveled at the changes. I headed home. I had to return the car and I had an additional stop I wanted to make...

For some reason...I had the munchies and the timing was propitious. I was passing the world famous Haystack Store. The parking lot was filled with bright blue buses and protesters. And Smurfs. A shitload of Smurfs...?

Ominously...Humboldt County Sheriff Deputies were setting up a defensive line established behind: Plexiglas riot shields, unreasoning hate, pure ignorance and the desire to use their newly issued billy-clubs...

An I.H.O.P. Mobile Pancake Truck pulls to the curb...

Normally, such a display of judicial force would have sent me scurrying along my legally constitutional way...not this time. The Haystacks were just that good.

“Are you kidding?!” Asked an alarmed Creative Voice. “What happened to the whole...scurrying about our legally Constitutional way? That’s always worked in the past...”

“Haystacks dude.”

Creative Voice had no argument. They were just that good. He eyed the police dogs nervously and began emptying his pockets...

“Oh shit,” I agreed, “Pockets...”

Cleansed of any potentially concealed “misunderstandings” we moved beyond the conventional and into the unconventional confectionary store. Were it not for the cotton-mouth...I would have been salivating.

We received jeers for our efforts from the protesting Smurfs...


Lots of Haystacks...
Lots of Haystacks... | Source
Haymaking
Haymaking | Source
Belgium
Belgium | Source

Who Cares about the Needle?We have the Haystacks...

As Creative Voice, Internal CD player, and I crowded into the store a small bell, hanging above the door, gave a discrete tinkle-tinkle to announce our entry...

It was like a magical world of Haystack wonderfulness. The tasty candies adorned the glass-enclosed shelves while ambient lighting occasioned a ‘fuzzy’ feeling. It was clean and smelled like a candy store...confections were being confected...

“Argh...” Creative Voice gave a strangling noise as he rushed to the counters...

Internal CD player switches on...The Doors...’Riders on the Storm’.

I observe the scene...

The establishment’s owner, The Haystack Store proprietress, was passed out in a chair behind the register. The discreet tinkle-tinkle of the doorbell proved unable to rouse her from...The Ripple Effect.

(Sleeping-snort, sleeping-snort)

There were two customers. They were drinking espresso and finishing off a plate of haystacks. Their gaze traced out the window as they watched the unfolding social upheaval in the parking lot.

I could tell they weren’t from around here. They wore Phrygian caps and talked Belgium...

(I understand that ‘Belgium’ is actually a country, staffed with Belgians, and not a language. I’m no philistine. However, that said...I was unable to distinguish if their patter originated from the northern Flanders region, where Dutch predominated, or if they hailed from the more southern Wallonia area where French prevailed.)

As such...I arranged for a simplistic mental construct to suit my needs. I’m an American. We do that. In my mind, they now... ‘talked Belgium...’

We got to talking...in fractured English. Their English was pretty good...mine looked like an 8thgrade math test (a fraction reference). In my defense...I was ‘tired’ from the long drive...

Their names were Pierre and Andre. Pierre asked to be called Peyo...


Two pancakes on a plate.
Two pancakes on a plate. | Source
Communistes
Communistes | Source
Portrait of Leopold I of Belgium (1790-1865)
Portrait of Leopold I of Belgium (1790-1865) | Source

Pancakes? A Poor Man’s Waffle...?

We had entered into a lively debate regarding the relative merits of various breakfast foods.

Creative Voice was systematically plundering The Haystack Store’s available inventory of prepared Haystacks.

He would bring us plates before retreating to an empty table to devour his portion of the snacks...at one point he was crushing up the Haystacks on the table and snorting them...

(Haystack abuse-snort, Haystack abuse-snort)

(Sleeping-snort, sleeping-snort)

Pierre and Andre were in town to apply for a job with the International House of Pancakes, as translators. Talk of unemployment invariably led to a discussion of the protesters outside.

As a just-right-of-center member of the Democratic Party, I noted the left-ier positions of Pierre and Andre as regards worker’s rights...and societal responsibilities...

“So, you guys are Commies?” I ask Peyo.

(I understand that Belgium is actually a Constitutional Popular Monarchy with a complicated blend of Parliamentary parties that would be best described as left of center and (hardly) Communist. I’m no philistine. However, that said...I was inadequately versed in the finer nuances of their party system to correctly ascribe them a specific partisan affiliation with any hope of accuracy.)

As such...I arranged for a simplistic mental construct to suit my needs. I’m an American. We do that. In my mind, they were now ‘Commies’.

“Ah, no! Mon Ami!” Andre laughed loudly .“You Americans...always are applying simplistic mental constructs to complicated problems. Alas...You are Americans...that is what you do! That is very funny my friend!”

We toasted one another’s health with cups of purloined espresso. I like to think that the Atlantic Ocean got a little less wide as a result of our interaction.

It was then that that the parking lot turned deadly...


Petrograd, July 4, 1917. Street demonstration on Nevsky Prospekt just after troops of the Provisional Government have opened fire with machine guns.
Petrograd, July 4, 1917. Street demonstration on Nevsky Prospekt just after troops of the Provisional Government have opened fire with machine guns. | Source
A man runs over a fence in front of a van set ablaze by a group of rioters.
A man runs over a fence in front of a van set ablaze by a group of rioters. | Source
"Keep punching every day"
"Keep punching every day" | Source
Looter warnings post-Katrina. New Orleans
Looter warnings post-Katrina. New Orleans | Source

Flashpoint...Maple Syrup...

What was the actual trigger that started the Boston Massacre? The Shot heard Around the World? The Haymarket Riots of 1886? The Haystack Store Riots of 2011?

Pieced together; the surveillance tapes, inaccurate memories, and amateur cell-phone cinematographers caught the action...

The troubles appeared to start in the middle of the line for the I.H.O.P. Mobile Pancake Truck...

A Smurf got jostled. A cop overreacted.

Billy-clubs got used.

More than maple syrup was spilled that day...

We watched the melee unfold from the window while eating Haystacks...

(Crunch, crunch...Crunching, crunching)

Internal CD player...Black Eyed Peas... (From their breakout Elephunk Album)...”Where is the Love...”

Cops started punching Smurfs...Smurfs started punching cops...

(Punch, punch...Punching, punching)

(Haystack abuse-snort, Haystack abuse-snort)

(Sleeping-snort, sleeping-snort)

(Crunch, crunch...Crunching, crunching)

The two guys from Belgium began talking rapidly. In Belgium. I missed most of this as I continued to watch the carnage unfold. The I.H.O.P.Mobile Pancake Truck continued to serve breakfast...

Peyo turned to me and explained the situation...he was actually Pierre Culliford and his companion was Andre Franquin...creators of the Smurf franchise. They were going to talk the Smurfs down and end the riot...

“We have been hearing rumblings out of Smurf village as well,” Pierre confides. “Problems with Papa Smurf, if you can imagine that?”

I was surprised. Papa Smurf always seemed like a rock on the snippets of the cartoon I would occasionally catch on Saturday mornings. I was no expert. I had been in my twenties when the Smurfs rocketed to fame...I pretty much missed that train...

It was time to settle up with the proprietress of The Haystack Store before hitting that last stop. I still had to get the borrowed car back to Reno. Turning from the negotiations that were beginning in the parking lot, I surveyed the interior of the store...

The place was a shambles. Shelves were bare. Crockery was smashed. An old silver ornate samovar lay emptied on its side and dented on the top. Creative Voice lay passed out with his head inside it. Sugar crash.

I estimated the damage and gave what I could before dragging Creative Voice out to the car.

(Tinkle-tinkle) As we left...

(Sleeping-snort, sleeping-snort)

“Slpurpst...” She said as she woke up and looked around at her once pristine shop.

“What the fuck, Yo?” She gasped upon noticing the carnage. She notes the condition of her Grandma’s antique samovar...She notices the money. She counts it.

“What the fuck, Yo?” This was directed at the four dollars in her hand...


 Icon for Mushroom Observer User template
Icon for Mushroom Observer User template | Source
Marco Polo en costume tartare.
Marco Polo en costume tartare. | Source
Mangga gedong gincu, a cultivar of mango, Mangifera indica, from Tomo, Sumedang, West Java, Indonesia.
Mangga gedong gincu, a cultivar of mango, Mangifera indica, from Tomo, Sumedang, West Java, Indonesia. | Source

Short Detour to the Mushroom Patch...

It had been eighteen years since I last attended Humboldt State University...but I believe it was the third turn-off to the right...

Not that I was going to the University. No. I was looking for the mushroom patch that I used to frequent which made attending Humboldt State University such a fun experience back in the day. It was moving on towards twilight...

I located the turn off and moved slowly down the narrow bumpy trail. Branches brushed the side of the car...the bouncing wakes Creative Voice...

“We almost there?” He asks yawning.

“Yeah...couple more bends I think...”

The lights swept across a rock that looked like a bear and I knew I was there. The trail opened up into a wide glade. The glade was occupied...

“WOOT! WOOT! PUFNSTUF! YO, YO!” Hollers Creative Voice out the window...

Within the clearing stood Marco Smurf, Mango Smurf and, surprisingly...H.R. Pufnstuf...they looked to be conducting a weed transaction.

According to my research, Marco Smurf was the go-to-Smurf if you wanted to obtain, what was euphemistically referred to as, ‘spices’. In his Old English hat and British accent...he hinted at the larger world outside Smurfville...plus...he scored killer ‘spices’...

No one would know that fact better then the Smurf standing to the left of Marco and immediately across from H.R. Pufnstuf...Mango Smurf.

Mango had lived in the tropics for years and typically would be represented in the cartoon series as wearing pajama bottoms and sandals. He likes peace and quiet...thus his relationship with Marco...

H.R. Pufnstuf, of course, needs no introduction. Whereas I largely missed the Smurf phenomenon...Pufnstuf, Creative Voice, and myself go way back. We’re friends.

In fact...I recall many a time the three of us would be in my bedroom, on the northwest side of Chicago, (Mom...being a single mom...would be at work), and we would smoke the morning away before beginning my chores.

In a nod to the sensibilities of the creators of the Pufnstuf television franchise...Creative Voice and I would be getting high...Pufnstuf would be doing what he did on the show. He’s a professional. But after the show...


Remax Ballon
Remax Ballon | Source
German garden gnome
German garden gnome | Source
The United States Supreme Court in 1953. Bottom from left: Felix Frankfurter; Hugo Black; Earl Warren (Chief Justice); Stanley Reed; WIlliam O. Douglas. Back from left: Tom Clark; Robert H. Jackson; Harold Burton; Sherman Minton
The United States Supreme Court in 1953. Bottom from left: Felix Frankfurter; Hugo Black; Earl Warren (Chief Justice); Stanley Reed; WIlliam O. Douglas. Back from left: Tom Clark; Robert H. Jackson; Harold Burton; Sherman Minton | Source

I Get High With a Little Help from my Friends...

Introductions were quickly made with those Smurfs I knew only by reputation and Wikipedia research.

I was surprised to see Tracker Smurf there as well. He had been concealed behind Pufnstuf’s bulk when we pulled up.

Tracker Smurf was relating the various activities that had occurred in the forest that day. From the D.E.A. raid on the Garden Gnome compound to the brutality being waged behind closed doors in the Smurf Administration Building.

I added the information that I had gleaned at the world famous Haystack Store...which...I understand...is now closed for renovations...

Creative Voice and Pufnstuf moved off to discuss old times. They were reliving the rerun of Episode 14, Season two when they heard noise coming from behind a bush...

(Grumble, rumble-Rumble, Grumble)

(OH! OH! Stick to my blue like glue you dirty gifted Gnome!!) This from an obviously amorous Smurfette...

(Grumble, rumble-Rumble, Grumble)

Pufnstuf looks at Creative Voice and whispers, “They’re smucking...”

Creative Voice and Pufnstuf dissolve into giggles...

Internal CD player makes his choice...The theme song to the Beverley Hillbillies... stops...clicks...swirls... two more clicks...Luther Vandross...

On the other side of the glade, the three Smurfs and I were engaged in more weighty pursuits...

Discussion of John Locke’s Two Treatise of Government and the demise of the Third Comintern, had transitioned into a feisty debate regarding the salubrious effects of judicial activism in a post-agricultural and pre-apocalyptic based economy. Eventually...I asked about the ability to score mushrooms on such short notice...

We were interrupted by a snatch of conversation...

Daryl Hannah and Olympia Dukaskis??


"A group of Gypsy prisoners, awaiting instructions from their German captors, sit in an open area near the fence in the Belzec concentration camp."
"A group of Gypsy prisoners, awaiting instructions from their German captors, sit in an open area near the fence in the Belzec concentration camp." | Source
One of 300 images declassified by the Finnish government in 2006 showing the Winter War and Continuation War against the Soviet Union from 1939-45.
One of 300 images declassified by the Finnish government in 2006 showing the Winter War and Continuation War against the Soviet Union from 1939-45. | Source
A map of Canada exhibiting its ten provinces and three territories, and their capitals. (Lambert conformal conic projection from The Atlas of Canada)
A map of Canada exhibiting its ten provinces and three territories, and their capitals. (Lambert conformal conic projection from The Atlas of Canada) | Source

Oh...the Horror...

We followed the voices deeper into the woods. The horrors we found will be etched upon my psyche until the day I die. I shouldn’t have been so quick to eat those mushroom caps given to me by Tracker Smurf.

It was shaping up to be a rough trip...mushroom wise I mean...

It looked like a big mushroom but it would probably be better describes as...a milking shed?

We entered. The walls were covered in wide-screened plasma television sets. High end shit. Each set was playing the same movie...Steel Magnolias. It was horrific. I eat another cap...

We gently released the captured Smurfs and removed the eye speculums. The D.V.D. player was shut off and the disk removed. This was done in silence. We moved further into the building...

We find Weepy Smurf in a locked room. Dead. Drowned in his own tears. We move further into the building. I eat another cap...and two stems...

Perhaps the worst atrocities we commit against one another are the atrocities we reserve for those who are different. We found evidence of this in the final room we entered...

In a cage...the rarest of smurf...the albino smurf who yielded the crystalline tear of pure T.H.C. and (not incidentally) a dandy substitute for pure lemon extract for those interested in that type of commodity...

It is a little known fact that freshly harvested Smurf tears (from the rare albino smurf) form the essential ingredient of all pure lemon extract which, has many legal uses, and can be obtained over the counter in Canada and on the Internet...


Berlin, Unter den Linden, crossing with Wilhelmstraße, begin of May 1945, Soviet soldier as traffic policewoman in front of the ruins of the houses Unter den Linden # 76, 74 and 70-72 (from left)
Berlin, Unter den Linden, crossing with Wilhelmstraße, begin of May 1945, Soviet soldier as traffic policewoman in front of the ruins of the houses Unter den Linden # 76, 74 and 70-72 (from left) | Source
Smurfing on the 11 cities tour
Smurfing on the 11 cities tour | Source
British soldiers queue for tea at NAAFI Mobile Canteen No. 750 beside the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin. This van was the first mobile NAAFI to operate in Berlin.
British soldiers queue for tea at NAAFI Mobile Canteen No. 750 beside the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin. This van was the first mobile NAAFI to operate in Berlin. | Source
Westland Lysander Mk III
Westland Lysander Mk III | Source
Smurfs in Sants, Barcelona, Catalonia.
Smurfs in Sants, Barcelona, Catalonia. | Source

The Failure of the Revolution...

The remnants of a tattered régime waited in a small clearing for their exit plans to come together.

When Peyo pulled into Smurf Village, at the head of the Blue Bus caravan...Papa Smurf knew the game was up...

He quickly published his political testament; thus, designating his successor...Pretentious Smurf...and activated his personal escape route...

In the madness that followed, papers were burned, artwork looted, and accounts closed.

Papa Smurf slipped out of the Smurf Administrative Building along with Alchemist Smurf, Stinky Smurf, Pushover Smurf, and Hefty Smurf.

Hefty Smurf had brought up the rear...

That had been six hours earlier. Stinky Smurf had, somehow, gotten separated and was hiding in a tree when he was found by an angry mob and torn apart.

It would be later revealed that the ever-present clouds of flies, which typically accompanied him, gave away his position...

The surviving leadership was on edge. The ‘Travel Agent’ was late. They were speaking in low voices when they heard the airplane. They all craned their heads skyward.

Call it an innate sense of survival...Hefty Smurf backs away from the group...

It was a cloudy night. Winds at higher elevations resulted in an ever shifting cloud patterns silhouetted against the illuminated moon...an illumination that was weak...

It was almost as if the celestial bodies were averting their faces in shame at the events they had witnessed this terrible day...

“THERE!” Cried out Alchemist Smurf.

Flying low, a Westland Lysander Mk III emerged from the clouds. The venerable aircraft, favored by British Intelligence during World War 2, for extraction of agents from behind enemy lines, was moving slowly with its Bristol Mercury air-cooled Radial engine straining for the effort...

Hefty Smurf slips into the forest...strips off his party uniform and is gone...

An object drops from the Lysander and falls a distance before a parachute deploys...

(A hundred yards away...the Wizard Gargamel’s cat, Azrael, hears the ruckus and begins to move in that direction...)

The moon glints off the slowly descending parachute. The three remaining Smurfs in the clearing: Papa Smurf, Alchemist Smurf, and Pushover Smurf had their attention directed skyward...

(Azrael stalks closer...)

The capricious clouds separated again and the weak moonbeam illuminated the parachutist...it was the ‘Travel Agent’...they could tell from the briefcase in his hand...

Papa Smurf had arranged with the Travelocity Gnome to flee the village in the event of a...

It was then that Azrael leaped into the clearing and shredded the disposed potentate and his rag-tag followers. The only thing remaining was D.N.A. evidence and a blue-clayed, smurfed-nosed .38 special...


The City of Chicago welcomes the three Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, Jr.
The City of Chicago welcomes the three Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, Jr. | Source
Ankara Amusement Park
Ankara Amusement Park | Source
John C. Woods in Nürenberg 1946
John C. Woods in Nürenberg 1946 | Source
Porträt Martin Bormann 1934
Porträt Martin Bormann 1934 | Source

Post-Script...Hero’s Made...Retribution Exacted...

A time of healing could only begin after the Smurfs took stock, reaffirmed that which was good and punished that which went bad...

Brainy was freed from Mushroom-house-arrest along with Granny and Grandpa Smurf.

In a historical coronation ceremony, he was elevated to the throne where he now reigns as King Brainy I.

Granny and Grandpa are named as regents.

Smurf Village adopted a form of government best described as a Constitutional Popular Monarchy. Yes...much like Belgium. Where they talk Belgium.

With so many victims, the Smurfs were at no loss for names and ideas when naming monuments and fountains. Two of the victims stand out, however.

The ‘milking shed’ was closed down, extensively renovated, and reopened under a new name... (And management) as...Weepy’s Water Park and Haystack Emporium!

The Haystack concession was granted in deference to the unauthorized use of Smurf trademark(s) in The Haystack Store’s naming of ‘Smurf-Stacks’. Which are yummy by the way.

Clumsy was found only after the water got really nasty. He was dead. He was not alone. The well had apparently served as the mass grave for the Papa Smurf Regime.

The bodies were left in place, the well sealed, and a new well drilled. Clumsy earned his share of bridges and municipal building named in his honor...

The trials were conducted quickly, brutally, and behind closed doors. Pretentious Smurf, Sloppy Smurf, and Pushover Smurf were tried, convicted and executed.

It was pointed out at the trial that Pushover Smurf was actually killed by Azrael and killing him again would be a bizarre form of double-jeopardy.

It was generally agreed that since he was ‘Pushover’ Smurf they could kill him as many times as they wanted...

Scaredy Smurf was executed and buried in an unmarked grave based on testimony supplied by Nosy Smurf.

All in all...small fries...

Hefty Smurf was tried and convicted in absentia.

Although he was seen leaving the Smurf Administration Building...the trail goes cold shortly after that.

His Party uniform was found in the woods...he may have hooked up with a saucy Smurfette...he wasn’t known as ‘hefty’ by the ladies for nothing...

Some reports placed him at Lehrter Station, outside Berlin, with Martin Bormann as that dirty regime burned down. These reports came from Nosy Smurf so they were largely discounted...

The Wizard Gargamel and Azrael retreated to the former’s godfather’s castle. Hidden behind Balthazar’s strong walls and protected by a moat-monster...they were untouchable.

Shortly after landing...the Travelocity Gnome was detained but with his corporate connections he was allowed to leave...William Shatner posted his bail...


Taken a few meters down from Balea Lake, on the northern part of the road. It shows the curvy lanes going down through the glacier's valley. Luckily the clouds were on their way to Sibiu so the view was clear. A section from what Top Gear called the
Taken a few meters down from Balea Lake, on the northern part of the road. It shows the curvy lanes going down through the glacier's valley. Luckily the clouds were on their way to Sibiu so the view was clear. A section from what Top Gear called the | Source
A car accident.
A car accident. | Source
Coast Redwood Sequoia sempervirens. Rockefeller Forest, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California
Coast Redwood Sequoia sempervirens. Rockefeller Forest, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California | Source

Post-Script, Script...

I honestly don’t remember the ride home. I remember being responsible enough to designate a designated driver. I’m not sure my choice was responsible, I picked ...Creative Voice.

He doesn’t have a license. Also, he was driving angry...I had eaten all the mushrooms we got from Tracker Smurf.

It wasn't as if I had a choice really...I was whacked out on Smurf mushrooms and Internal CD player’s legs are entirely too short to reach the clutch.

I remember we hit a rock that looked like a bear. Several times. Once...there was a bear...that looked like a rock...chasing after us and throwing ice cream at the car...

I awakened to the roommates standing over my bed...I squint at them...

In an excellent example of the utilization of the journalistic rule of six...(plus a muffin), my roommates woke me with a barrage of questions, quizzical looks, and a muffin.

The muffin was good. Lemon... Their questions were confusing. My answers would have even more so...

Who brought the naked Smurfette that’s passed out in our bathtub?” From Erika.

What happened to my car?” From Jaime.

When did H.R. Pufnstuf start randomly sleeping on our couch?” From Erika.

Where did you get a D.V.D. of Steel Magnolias?” From Jaime.

Why are Ludacris and his lawyers on our porch?” From Erika.

(And sometimes) “How...did you go to Humboldt County and NOT bring back any Haystacks??” From both of them...

I was entirely too out of it to adequately explain...I had Internal CD player explain...

He thinks about it...(click, click)...His choice is a good one. He chose Canada's power-trio rock-group, Rush. Perhaps best characterized as 'The Thinking Man's Rock and Roll Band'. "The Trees" begins to play...

I lay back...close my eyes and munch on my muffin as Internal CD player relates yesterday's events...

"There was unrest in the forest...there was trouble with the trees..."


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Comments 46 comments

kimberlyslyrics 5 years ago

TS

Man can you write! I am blown away by the quantity but more so quality of work here!

Honestly, this is award winning work, hands down

Keep on Hubbing!

Cheers

Kimberly


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Hi Kimberly...

I have a tendency to use twelve words when seven will suffice...hence the quantity...the 'quality' was a surprise and nobody is happier, than I, about that development!

Thank you, dear, for your kind words...I guess I will keep Hubbing until they drag me out the door...which will probably be the result of the NEXT story...he he he...

Please come again as you are always welcome here, my friend!

Thomas


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

(In my best British accent) Dito on Kimberly's comment + zipper, zipper who's got the zipper?

As always I was entertained throughout this lengthy little story. I'm even somewhat sure what you're talking about, but not sure enough to run a comment. By the way, neither is Sweet Kimberly. Like me, she is sincere in her love of your writing though.

Halfway through this I decided to level the playing field. You ARE my bro. I've got a small amount of high breed I found when my son moved out to take a job in Chicago. A small amount of foil and a toilet paper roll should put me in the game. You ARE my bro once again, and I'm obligated to do this.

(Doing my awesime George Patton impersination) YOU-ARE-ONE-SMOKED-OUT-SMURFING-GENIUS, YOU BEAUTIFUL BASTARD!

JIM


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jim...

Well...I am still laughing at the reality of the situation as regards Sweet Kimberly...you are correct...she's probably scratching her pretty head and going, "What the F..."

Honestly...this story came at me from a number of different directions and I chose to exercise absolutely no discretion and just included it all in. I mean...how many stories are going to involve Smurfs? ...gotta 'milk' it for what it is.

Recent research has indicated that smoking off tin-foil is a bad idea. Still, I am impressed with your MacGyver-like skills in fashioning a suitable tool. On that day when we meet...I shall make a present of a 'real' one for you...in the spirit of field leveling purposes.

Thank you my friend for your (kind?) words! I feel as if I have just set the 'Just Say No' movement back about six-months or so...oh well...I am clearly not above going after the lowest common denominator.

Thanks!

Thomas


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Thomas,

Hey pal, you're moving a lot of things backwards and a lot of things forward. As far as the just say no, we know that's a joke. That's like saying to a homeless person, "Just make a million bucks!" You just helped the planet by moving that back ten years pal. What about, "No means no!" No it doesn't. No doesn't mean no, unless it includes the F Bomb along with "you perveted bastrd." If they're going to try to educate people, they need to get it right. Hold on, my carburetor back fired .. (choke, caugh)

Dude, I can't wait for you to get me the right tools. Also, it took forever to get this sucker burning with this flynt rock crap, and pinched the end of my milldle finger banging the rocks together causing a small blood blister. Perhaps I should offer my toilet paper roll to Sweet Kimberly. She's very nice and is looking at it. (the toilet paper roll I mean)

jim


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jim...

Even at the rather confused age of nineteen or twenty (and stoned to boot), I recognized the implausibility of the "Just say No' policy...ahh...those were simpler times...

I have also made a mental note to bring you (what is called) a Bic lighter. It should help. You may have to meet me on my side of the border as I am not entirely sure your good state will have me. I've heard things about that crazy sheriff in Phoenix...I don't care to meet him...

Thomas


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Joe?? Na .. we keep him juiced up on Dilata suppositories and let him do some media stuff once in a while. He's harmless other than he's got a thing for pink male briefs. Actually I look pretty good in them, but I can't tell my wife. She's got those crazy hang ups about certain things. No, you would find yourself quite at home here. Remember, half of us are old California surf bums who made a couple of bucks inspite of ourselves. (Inhaling and holding it) Here..

jim


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jim...

That is comforting to hear my friend! I am currently undermining Nevada's conservative base (by my mere presence) but I will be please to dip below the border to see what is up!

Keep a light on.

Thomas


jhamann profile image

jhamann 5 years ago from Reno NV

H.R. Puff-n-Stuff just leapt up off the couch and took off with our car. What can you do. Great time getting through to the end. Had to split it up into two reads. Can't wait until the next one.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

jhamann...

oh oh...sorry about the car...but...let's report it stolen. I'm very glad you liked it! I hope there were some surprises tucked away for ya.

Thomas


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

I dare somene to make a book report on this masterpiece with out dumping down two hits of Purple Micro Dot. I did three hits and this damn hub is better than "Of Mice and Men." Almost a religious experience. Now where's Kimberly? I want to show her my toes.

jim


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jim...

I was laughing at the mention of a book report because this tale was actually (one element of it anyway) born during a drinking session of history graduate students following a seminar.

One of us had put forth the notion of using Smurfs in place of real members of the Third Comintern and it was a discussion that has been in my head for 15 years or so...until now. It has been released.

Smurf secretions, of course, have always been theorized...

Thank you my friend!

Thomas


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Thomas,

The smurf thing caught me off guard. It was beautiful. After experiencing this, I'm developing some degree of trust with smurfs. When I was about nineteen, I happened upon a bunch of drunk smurf bikers up at Humble Park in Omaha. They were the "Comanchero" club smurfs. After a while, one of them recognized me and blew the lid that I'd been selling pot to the Hells Angels smurfs. The smurfs were drunk and got very angry as they were at war with the Hells Angels smurfs. They beat me for over two hours. Finally the head smurf hit me with a pipe and fractured my skull. They thought I was dead and left me up there at the park. Some cops found me at some point. After a while I got well, and went to a couple of Hells Angels smurf buds of mine, and they went ahead and bombed the Star Lounge which was the Comanchero's official club house killing two smurfs,and seriously injuring several more. After that, the Comanchero smurfs tossed the colors and blended in with the other smurfs. I was able to sell my pot unabaded (sp?) until I got a real job.

Well, that's my smurf story. I will go on record swearing the whole thing is fiction, of course. Now where's Kimberly? I still want to show her my toes!

jim


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I am the right age to have been a child when the smurfs were first popular. I found out later-in high school- that some children had been told that they were Satanic and dangerous. Excuse me? None of the children I knew had been told that.

Anyone with the name Pierre talks French, not Dutch, so there should be no confusion

I have been reading this off and on since you published it and only finished it now-This is a NOVEL. I couldn't read it all in one sitting.

I am not familiar with this blueberry extract. And exactly was William Shatner doing in this? Quite the references to Canada in this story about Europeans.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jim...

There should have probably been a warning posted that there was a 'Smurf Crossing' coming (for those with bad prior bad Smurf experiences. BTW...I was sorry to hear of those travails).

It's easy to get caught up in the glamour...but the cost on the street is very high (as is Mango Smurf) ...sad.

As for Kimberly...I actually met her this morning...I do not know what her position is on strange's toes. Perhaps I should talk with her first. Her awesome work, however, can be found (if I do it right) at this link

http://hubpages.com/@kimberlyslyrics

Thomas

PS...awesome Smurf story!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Hi Flora...

I found references to the Satanism when I was reading up on them for this write-up. I declined following up on those leads because...yeah...it was already running towards the longer side.

I have to say that the highest compliment that I can think of...is that you kept coming back. Thank you.

(I believe that in order to get any actual sense for how many people have read it...I will need to take the Overall views and divide by five, huh? That's quite a bit of math)

I am most excited about your questions...OK....1) I was once dragged by the Haystack Store Proprietress to seven different stores...maybe more...maybe 300...it was a lot...in search of this blueberry extract. No dice.

Above said Proprietress eventually obtains them over the internet. That got me to thinking. What else can you get over the internet...prescription drugs. Where else can you get prescription drugs? ...Canada. (this should be like question #2 answer...)

That my friend is how your fine sovereign nation got dragged into this sordid tale. Please apologize to any Canadian you may know...I'm pretty sure you know more than me.

OK...I'm going to stop numbering...I'm all messed up....NICE job nailing Pierre's linguistic pattern based on surname! Would the same apply for Andre?

I like to think that the I.H.O.P. Mobile Pancake Truck helped add to the 'International' feel of the piece.

William Shatner. I know two things about Travelocity ...they got Gnomes with briefcases and their pitchman on TV...is William Shatner. That places him on the scene. I understand that it is a simplistic mental construct...

I feel as if I did the same thing to you with this comment as I did to you in the story. Still...I certainly don't wish to be the cause of severed relations between our two nations...that would suck...well...clearly...all I'm doing is rambling...

Thank you again.

Thomas


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

How ironic: there's a bible ad next to the pic of Lenin... don't ya just love it Thomas. OK, dude your take on revolution, collectivism, mass murder, etc. along with the smurfs metaphor(am I anywhere near right on that?) is simply stunning. Mightily impressed- staggered is more like it. Ha-ha..just read the comments..pass that blue-berry yum-yum Mr.Sandwiches! Marvelous! PS- gotta come back n check out that Finnish Defense Forces link. Super job on those pics too Thomas.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Alastar...

I can't help but think Lenin would be bummed by the bible ad. (Laughing).

You are absolutely correct...this is my take on the madness that came out of the Russian Revolution, (oh...and some other stuff, I guess). Thanks for catching that one! Also...this is probably the reason I shouldn't write 'actual' history.

I was going for big and epic in terms of the emotions I was attempting to elicit. (sigh).

Thank you on the picture collection compliment. I understand that my imagery went from Lenin's Kremlin to Hitler's Fascism...narrative need!

Thanks,

Thomas


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Big and epic, entertaining and deep, are the emotions your incredible screed elicited here Thomas. TMWNP is right...you be genius son.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Alastar...

(laughing) ...TMWNP certainly has a way with words! I actually started this as a 'straight' history piece...then a Smurf showed up...and I had to switch gears. Probably a good thing I did...

I am very glad I was able to entertain!

Thomas


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

OMG....I laughed, I marveled, I was tickled, I kept thinking the adventure/story was almost over, only to be pleased that it continued. Boy did we get our money's worth. What a ride! The sixties, Smurfs, drugs, political satire, modern music, terrific blend of insanity and creativity. Great stuff. Theresa


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

hi Theresa...

Your very kind words are indeed an endorsement of what I was shooting for when I started this one.

That said...it does get a bit abstract at times. I am very glad you liked it!

Thomas

PS...so you think I should raise the tour price?


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I think this Hub is strong evidence for raising the tour price. :)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Theresa...

Duly noted and raised. $5.00 and $7.00 respectively! Perhaps you can introduce this into your history curriculum? Shake things up...really confuse students...

Thomas


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Excuse me good people.

Leave the marketing to the marketing guy. That's me.(giant cigar sticking out of my mouth) We're going to raise the prices gradually over a period of say 6 months up into the neighborhood of $34.95 and $49.95. This is about where the market fails bear. Hold it there for 30 days, and take the loss. Then we drop the price to $17.50 and $19.95 for 30 days. The market then makes a rush establishing a set demand. Next we reluctantly agree to stabilize the price at this level for one year, then re-tool the program introducing a third product.

Genius? Of course it is. You owe me $25,000.00 dollars or 10% of the increase in revenue. (puffing heavily on giant gigar sticking out of my mouth and doing my best Scarface accent) .. "Es time espand Frank"

jim


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jim...

(Laughing pretty hard). You are good at this and your marketing plans seem to match the directives issued under the latest 4-year plan.

I was thinking of introducing a third product...'quality' writing.

Let's do some expanding...

Thank you my good friend!

Thomas


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

(More Pachino) "Qualty wryting Frank? Are hyou focking kiddning me?" (scratching my chin) "Maaybe hyou ghot somting there .. Thas jus crazy nuff to whork."


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

Oh my goodness ... you have done it again ... and I'm really not sure what it is. I read it and think I have it and then it turns into something else.

I think I will have to let it marinate ... no, make that smoke ... a while. When the smoke clears a little, it become something altogether different again.

I haven't thought about H.R. Pufnstuf in forever. Oh my goodness ... we are dating ourselves here ...

Now, who's scratching their head with Kimberly ...


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Homestead...

Well now...It has occurred to me that you are probably thinking that I am completely insane. I, in fact, have no defense.

We are dating ourselves with good ole H.R. Pufnstuff and I had not thought of him in years either...until I was pulling into that forest glade. It occurred to me that once you find yourself committed to committing an illicit drug deal with Smurfs...throwing H.R. into the mix is not that far of a reach. That is what is so disturbing.

Let it marinate...let it smoke...it may turn into something else...hopefully...an idea for another Hub!

I love your visits and comments...please come back any time!

Thomas


nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 5 years ago from Serbia

Thomas... I found some time to read this til the end, as I read the first half when you published it.

The wealth of information in this hub amazed me, not to mention the number of unexpected characters...

Well done, I voted the hell out of it, as this story can even be seen as useful in some situations :)

Great work, my friend!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

boskov...

I am laughing at the notion that this might prove 'useful'? Perhaps as a cautionary tale to blue-would-be dictators?

There were a lot of characters that popped up out of the wood-work to help me push the story along. I would like to thank those imaginary characters for their efforts. I would like to thank you for your efforts in getting through this tome and taking the time to leave such an awesome comment and votes!

Thomas


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

Oh no, ThoughtSandwiches. I was reading the posting above from nemanjaboskov, I read ... "I found some time to read this til the end, as I read the first half when you punished it ..." I got tickled and read it again, and saw that I had misread it. I knew that you would probably be tickled at this also. LOL


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

homestead...

I think any 'punishing' would probably involve the poor hapless reader...just saying...

You are correct...hella tickled!

Thomas


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Thomas - my goodness. You never cease to amaze me! Those characters alone - Pappy - the Smurfs getting their heads blown off? OMG Thomas! Violent! But I am always amused by things that are just wrong.

Blueberry Yum Yum Bud? Now that is a first...and I also loved the nice imagery in the photos:) lol


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Kelly...

It was actually hard killing that first Smurf. It weighed on me while suggesting a dark literary path ahead. I cranked up some gangsta rap and took that dark path. This is what resulted.

You are right to be amused by things that are wrong. That is right.

Thomas

PS...It gets pretty easy to kill Smurfs after you've killed that first one. Obviously...


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Aaah Thomas - and THIS right here is why I adore you! That amazing mind of yours is the stuff movies will be made of in the future (not now because you're like those people who have brilliant ideas but the ideas arent recognized as brilliant until the person is dead because the thinking is way too advanced). Lucky for me I will still be around when you are beyond popular and I can tell my grandkids "Hey, I used to know that guy. The things he would write..."

Stop hiding on HubPages and get some books published my friend!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Ardie...

And here I thought the adoration was engendered by the wet, pink dog nose.

Your words are so kind that I want to replicate them and put them up on billboards around my neighborhood! Someone else used those exact words "hiding on Hubpages" earlier this week...interesting that.

I'm most thrilled by the prospect that I will really make it big after I die...this is something to look forward to. It would be cool to get a thing like that guy in the hockey picture (you remember) did before the whole dyeing thing happens though...

Hugs and kisses,

Thomas


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Thomas,

You know my adoration of you has no limit! However, you are in competition with that cute nose. Truman is my boy.

I felt sorta bad saying you wouldn't make it big until you die - but it was just my way of saying how cool I think you are :D I do remember that hockey player sign (haha)


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 4 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

I am reading this hub. There is no mention about "where" this happens in the first few paragraphs of the hub. To alleviate the large empty gap in the left side of the hub, why not delete some of those photos as they seem unnecessary, and you can easily fix the hub layout problem.

I found this both profound and intangible. Pure dope. But that's the point, right?


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Ardie,

I understand on the Truman situation...the nose knows.

I like how you say you just feel "sorta" bad about waiting on my death prior to my impending commercial success. That said...the statement is a reflection of how cool I think you are. Brutal in your death prognostications...but cool!

Thanks for the Hub love!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Astra,

Although a work of fiction...this tale is nominally set in my head and Northern California.

Profound and intangible/pure dope...that's awesome! Thank you for your kind words as that was, indeed, the point.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jim,

So I was cleaning out my spam folder under comments ---because of all the spamming that has been going on...anyways...the last comment in that pile was your from seven months ago that I had never seen. That said...thanks for the comment and I'm sorry I blew ya off!

Thomas


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Man on man... Now, I have to say I am a pretty alert hubber and when I started reading this I immediately became alert that trouble was brewing and then suddenly the smurfs entire and garden gnomes.... well needless to say, it was obvious that this was a pure result of those college times!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Stacy...

Allow me to begin by thanking you for giving this one a little Hub love! Also, your wonderful Hub was the inspiration for including the garden gnomes! Finally...this explains (pretty well) why it took me 12 years to finish college!

hugs and kisses!

Thomas


cyoung35 profile image

cyoung35 4 years ago from Corona, CA

I started the read and wasn't sure what I was getting into but I had to keep reading to see what was going to come next. I loved it, definitely something different and it kept me interested. Some of it made me think, some of it I actually got and Some of it made no sense at all to me, but all in all it was very entertaining and made me really dig down deep. Great hub!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

cyoung,

Hi there and welcome to this crazy mess of a hub...lol! In terms of losing track of the story...yeah...it's like it went completely off the rails at times and then, surprisingly, landed unharmed on another completely different set of rails, huh?

I'm very glad you liked it and I thank you for sticking it out to the end. It's very nice to meet you!

Thomas

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