Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Campaign Update

"I'm bleeding," she said.

"That's because McDougal just punched you in the mouth," I said. I didn't tell her I was sorry. I wasn't the one who punched her in the mouth. I don't suppose I really had any reason to be sorry. Other than that I was sorry for her ... for her existence ... for what she had already and was about to endure.

"That wasn't a punch."

No. No it wasn't a "punch." He kind of just cupped her a bit with the back of his hand. She wouldn't be conscious had McDougal actually punched her. She was in the back seat of a 2001 Ford Winstar that McDougal had won in a back alley game of three-card monty. The van wasn't actually ever thrown into the pot, but McDougal's got this thing where he won't handle money. He calls it "filthy lucre" and has grown fond of quoting anti-currency Bible verses -- you know, that one about the moneyhandlers getting kicked out of the temple. Only, in McDougal's version, they are not just money handlers. They are shapeshifters.

McDougal is convinced that there are only about 1 million people on the planet. 400,000 of them are shapeshifters, he said. And their sole purpose in life is to deceive the other 600,000 of us.

She made the mistake of asking McDougal WHY he thought this was the case.

Jesus Christ, you just don't confront a paranoid delusional maniac when he's on the tail end of a six day meth jag. Why couldn't she just keep her mouth shut?

"A billion people in India," McDougal said. "That's my ass."

I wished he'd look back at the road. That Windstar was wound up. The speedometer was broken, but based on the cars we'd passed, I guessed we were probably cruising at about 110. And McDougal hadn't looked at the road in at least two minutes. Granted, it was a fairly straight patch of I-40, and the traffic was light, but I was starting to get nervous.

I looked at the handle and once again considered the potential for surviving a tumble from a minivan at triple-digit speeds.

"So then how do the shapeshifters get from one country to another so quickly? Or are you implying that there are only like 30 or 40 of them in the U.S.? Because I totally don't buy that," she said from the Ford lounge chair behind McDougal.

When the semi ran over her flipping, rolling body, I could still see most of what was happening in my sideview mirror. It was definitely the front left tire that first crushed her, then it was her hitting the underbelly that ripped her limbs off and sent her flying in all directions onto the median. Then I lost sight of her pieces, and turned back to the radio.

McDougal wasn't exactly pissed, just incredulous ... indignant. "Fucking Ann Coulter."

"I don't think that was Ann Coulter, McDougal."

"No shit, Sherlock," McDougal said. "That's the point, isn't it?"

I didn't follow.

"Nobody's Ann Coulter. There is no Ann Coulter. There is no Bob Woodward."

"You mean Bob Edwards," I corrected him.

"No," McDougal said. "No Bob Woodward. Edwards is one of us."

"One of us?"

"He's not a changeling."

"Oh," I said. "I thought you meant a Democrat."

"Don't be a faggot," McDougal warned.

I wasn't.

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