Blackhumouristpress's Blog

June 28, 2010

The Chinese Syndrome

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 7:46 pm
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 If you base human success off of one’s ability to accumulate more wealth than many nations of the world, Elmer Powell was the most successful man to have ever lived.  To date that is. A sixty year old man by Elmer Powell became the Elvis Presley of entrepreneurs.  Elmer Powell inherited the deed to land in Arizona from an uncle who had no other relatives but his sister’s son. Elmer discovered that his large tract of barren land was rich in Uranium.  Eureka!  If you’re keeping score, its atomic number is 92.  All you really need to know is that the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is identical to the charge number. Um…  A=Z+N.  So if the atomic number is Z, A is the total number of protons and neutron in the nucleus of an atom.  What it all boils down to is that A is the atomic mass.  Okay?

  This Uranium was the rare variety which accounts for .7711% of all Uranium in the world; Uranium-235.  In case you were wondering, the half life of Uranium-235 is 704 million years.  Half life is the amount of time it takes a substance to decrease by half.  Sadly now that I’m in my forties, I may have reached my half life already.  My life might have exponential decayed and I don’t even know it.  Sad really.

            At any rate, Elmer was able to get the backing of really rich men to help him build his first private nuclear power plant for a group of countries in the West Indies.  There it was on the island of Montserrat, this monster of a complex with steam coming up from the cooling towers where their clouds could be seen for miles and miles away in airplanes and other small Caribbean islands.  It may have cost several billion to get the first one up off the ground but the cost for the fuel was next to nothing.

            Elmer and company had the foresight to purchase the island that I have been told where it is somewhere in the Pacific but cannot tell you for fear that terrorists might learn the location and use the highly radioactive waste for dirty bombs.  They put 55 gallon drums of waste inside a stainless steel tomb that is eight feet in diameter and ten feet high that is leak proof or so I’ve been told.  These containers of containers are then put on a ship and shipped 8,000 or so miles away to an island that used to have inhabitants before the American military did tests there in the 1950’s.  Now picture men in space suits, moving mega containers onto a small island that looks like paradise, nothing but beautiful water for as far as the eye can see and mind could imagine.  In each direction, you could see the bend in the world and clearly understand why those previous to the great European explorers felt that somewhere off in the distance, the world was like a magnificent waterfall to hell or China or something.  Nobody really cares of all the behind the scenes stuff that goes into this sort of thing.  Okay some people do but most don’t.  And so the ones who never give the entire thing a good thinking over and just go with the thought that nuclear electricity is cheaper than natural gas or coal in the long run, opt to go with what is cheapest.   

Elmer and his investors operated under the premise that we are all going to die one day and maybe we will all drown from global warming or a third world nation will blow up the planet after acquiring nuclear technology and that worrying about the future is really sort of silly.  These things tend to work themselves out anyway. These men were all on the same page and this is how Elmer made his killing. 

            Over time, country after country that did not have federal regulations on private nuclear energy, allowed American Energy to come into their land and establish cheap electricity.  The richest man in the world, hands down was Elmer Powell.  The thing that bothered people too was that he drove a Dodge truck and lived in a four bedroom bi-level in the middle of nowhere Texas and dressed like a cowboy and quoted the bible frequently.  As the saying went, Elmer had more money than Jesus and when you take into consideration that Jesus asked people to give away their money and possessions and walk with him that took Jesus out of the running against Elmer.

            Lest you think that Elmer was a money grubbing, capitalist slob with no empathy for others less fortunate than himself and being the richest man in the world, this made everyone other than he and his immediate family less fortunate than him.  Elmer went to Namibia and built schools, hospitals, living quarters for homeless children, took pictures with the natives and left.  People asked why Namibia and Elmer replied; “It’s where my finger landed when I spun the globe.”

            The Tories in the United Kingdom had grown impatient with British Energy who had come to the government for a bail out.   British Energy had been supplying electricity to the United Kingdom without any competition. Wholesale prices of energy slumped and the Tories who were in power, voted to sell off operations to American Energy.  It was for the most part, unceremonious.  There were no black outs or brown outs and nobody wondered where their power was coming from when they flipped on a switch.  It just went on and that’s all we really care about anyway.

            The Tories gave American Energy the right to build a brand spanking new facility in Peterhead, Scotland.  Peterhead drew chuckles across the English speaking world due to the fact that it was a double entendre.  Things were coming to a head in Scotland where the people did not want nuclear energy and then there were the dickheads that were imposing this sort of thing on the people of Scotland.  Things were coming to a head in Peterhead.

            Now everything was going as it had gone at every other reactor built in every other country around the world and the money flowed like wine at a drunken party until one sunny summer day in Peterhead.  Nobody had suspected a meltdown.

            Despite the assurances that risk management was paramount to American Energy, corners were cut and money was saved at the expense of safety.  The prized Uranium heated up to temperature of over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit or about 40,000 kilometers or whatever the Metric conversion is that the rest of the world uses.  Men on fishing boats heard a rumble as if the Armageddon was taking place, the apocalypse, the rapture and all.  Plumes of smoke disappeared as the cooling towers sunk into the ground.  There had been a sudden output of energy and when those eating sandwiches and texting messages to loved ones while working at the plant realized that something bad was about to take place, they tried to shut down the whole operation.  Unexpected ruptures occurred while the cooling towers et al sunk into the ground like it was quick sand.  Picture a whole complex falling into a massive hole and then filling up with water.  The water in this massive hole bubbled angrily for months.  The British government moved everyone from Peterhead and American Energy set all the inhabitants of Peterhead up in new homes anywhere they wanted in Great Britain away from Peterhead.  Some opted to move to Nova Scotia and that was okay too. 

            American Energy built a massive sarcophagus around the reactor complex after more than ninety days of exposed radiation filled the water table and sky.  The British Government accepted partial responsibility for the disaster since it was determined that underground water had been responsible for the weakening of the land that created a sink hole.  What the government did not know or would not admit to knowing was that the power at the nuclear power plant that was designed to make power lost all power.  At the same time that they ground gave way, the power plant lost power.  The loss of power led to poisoning of the nuclear core by accumulating Xenon-135, an unstable isotope which is a product of Uranium.  In laymen’s terms; natural and unnatural causes teamed up at the same time to make a disaster.  The British Government and American Energy put a good face on the debacle.  People were relocated, compensated and a new reactor was built off of one of the remote Shetland Islands that never even got a name.  Everything was great again for a while.

            Now people started to die of natural causes, unnatural causes and cancer which is natural if you’ve been exposed to radiation.  Others began to get thyroid cancer and then one sheep farmer developed a wild deformity that landed him on television.

            P.T. Barnum would have loved to have this man at his circus.  Picture a thin man from the waist up with enormous legs and toes that looked to fit a man twenty feet tall.  An American talk show that usually hosted cheating boyfriends, wives, husbands and paternity suits, decided to take on American Energy with the help of an old sheep farmer; a can of worms had been opened.  The face of the man was covered so that all that was visible was the torso and legs of the affected man Taran Mac Kay.  A video accompanied the horrific images with bagpipe music.

            “In a small Scottish town by the name of Peterhead, a nuclear reactor was built to provide inexpensive electric energy for the inhabitants of the United Kingdom…  A small number of people paid the price for all who benefited…”

            ALL AH EVERRR WANTED WAAS TEW LIVE IN PEACE… RRRAISE MAH SHEEP, WATCH FEWT-BALL ON MAH TELE AN HAAV A PINT OR TEW… EET EEZANT TEW MUCH TEW ASK, EEZ IT?

            “Taran Mac Kay can no longer walk due to being exposed to the nuclear fall out from the Peterhead Reactor that occurred ten years ago today.  Mr. Mac Kay was relocated to tiny plot of land in Nova Scotia, Canada and now has to tend his flock with the help of his Border collie named Dorrie on a motorized scooter…”

            ALL THINGS BEE-IN EQUAL, AH DEW WISH AH KEWD WALK AGAIN…  AH MEAN AH DEED LACK WALKIN BOUT MAH PROPERTY.  EET WAS LAND THAT WAAS EEN MAH FAMILY GOING WAY BACK WILLIAM WALLACE… AH MISS SCOTLAND… LUCKY FORRR MAH THAR MORRR SCOTS HARE THAN EEN SCOTLAND… DORRIE!  YOU DOOM BASTARD! LOOK ALIVE!  AH GIVE THE DOG A HALF JOB AN EES ALWAYS SLEEPIN EEN THE SHADE…  A RRRIGHT LAZY ME BASTARD.

            “Who asks the questions for those who lived in Peterhead?  We ask the questions and we demand answers…”

            Elmer used his remote control to turn off the television as he sat in a cold room with florescent lighting and pictures of many nuclear reactors built by American Energy from around the world.  A half dozen men sat somber faced after watching as much of the interview as Elmer could stomach.  Elmer took a deep breath and exhaled as he looked up at the florescent lights and tapped his index finger before speaking. 

            “I have an island big enough to hold several thousand people in the Pacific… Enough to support all those that lived near that dang gawn Peterhead…  Now I wont you people to find the most persuasive people you cain find to sell every dang one them people who we relocated round Great Britain and that section of Canada and talk them into moving them all to this island… It’s a fabulous island…  Fact I was planning on retiring thar soon and live out mah days in peace.  Ah think this would be a better plan.  You git the dog gonnest best salesmen you kin find and sell all them Scots on moving to a place like Tahiti.  We pick up the bill an this whole thing goes way…  Watch y’all thank bout thaat?”

            All the men thought it was a great idea.  Move all the people affected by nuclear waste to a warm Pacific island and pick up the tab until they die.  One pensive member of the board posed a logistical question as others sighed a sense of relief and began to smile again.

            “So the heirs would not inherit any benefits after death?  Is that how we’d structure the contracts on this whole thing?”

            “That is correct, sir…” said Elmer.

            A smile broke out across the man’s face finally too.  He put his hands together and his body ceased to be tense any longer too.

            “We get the all these people to this Leper type island, feed them, take care of them and one day, a Tsunami destroys all the inhabitants after say a strong quake somewhere off the coast of Japan or something…  Is that the plan?”

            Elmer looked at the man with a furrowed brow and then a smile.

            “I think we just set it all up…  And leave it in God’s hands,” said Elmer.

            A few men jokingly said amen.

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June 15, 2010

My Black Wife and Family or I am Cuban

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 3:23 pm
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Lou had met his wife Gwen while they were in high school.  Lou was the high school football star.  You probably expected me to say that he was a leading quarterback, running back, wide receiver, safety or even a tight end.  Lou was none of those things.  After Lou’s father had studied popular American sports for years and years, he came to the conclusion that one of most necessary players on a team that is often over looked is the field goal kicker.  Lou’s father began to train Lou as a field goal kicker at a young age.

            Lou started on the varsity team his freshman year of high school and could damn near kick the football half the distance of the football field, into the wind, with complete accuracy.  His little private school north of Chicago and a mile or so west of Lake Michigan, had been so used to getting clobbered in football, season after season that they just went through the motions for football but really got behind the school basketball team.  After Lou arrived, the coach soon learned that if he could somehow play really good defense, Lou could win the majority of their games by kicking the ball five or six times a game.  In the four years that Lou played, his team only ran or threw four touch downs and one of those was a play where by the holder pitched it to Lou and he ran it into the end zone from fifteen yards away.  Lou had become the first and only athlete to receive a scholarship to play a sport from his tiny fine arts based high school.

            During high school, Lou’s stature was as high as could be.  Nobody laughed that all Lou did was kick a ball.  Lou had nerves of steel and three out of four years, his school had winning records due to Lou’s foot.  Lou’s face will forever be on the hallway of the main entrance to his alma mater.

            Gwen saw Lou as a winner and an achiever on top of being good looking and just a really nice guy.  Gwen was a type A personality who always had pursed lips, a wide eyed surprised look on her face, and quick way of speaking in a high pitched voice.  Lou liked that Gwen really liked to have sex.  Lou was amazed how much that his Gwen wanted to have sex.  As teenagers, Gwen came off as the do-gooder, the-girl-your-mom-approves-of type.  She was on student council and a cheerleader.  Gwen raised money at bake sales for poor children that she had heard about somewhere in those areas of Chicago that most white people never venture through.  When Gwen wasn’t doing all those really positive things that all parents hope that their daughter might do between the ages of 14-18, Gwen was devising a way to have sex.  Lou thought it was great because just about anything that Lou could come up with, Gwen was willing to try.  One day though Gwen drew the line as Lou became more and more risqué each day.

            “Louie…  No animals or feces…” said Gwen, with a perky smile as she lay naked on her family’s couch.

            “Um urine is okay though?”  Asked Lou innocently.

            “As long you don’t ask me to drink it and you don’t mind cleaning it up when we’re done,” said Gwen.

            For Lou it was the greatest thing in the whole world.  There he was a seventeen year old boy that was having sex with the prettiest girl in the school daily and sometimes several times daily, was the school athletic stud and was poised to play division III football on the east coast.  When you factor in that his parents were really rich and that he would one day inherit all their earthly possession since he was an only child, Lou had a great life.

            As time went on, both Lou and Gwen matured and their hormones evened out.  Lou found a job in a bank being a teller than a manager and then a vice president of the bank while Gwen played tennis, jogged, lifted weights, and raised money for poor children and so on.  Lou and Gwen must have had sex tens of thousands of times and Lou had to admit that his Gwen may not have been as tight as a drum like when she was sixteen but at thirty four, she sure looked good and although he had the same meal from the same menu all the time, the food was always good.

            Lou came home one day to find his wife crying and crying about the fact that after doing everything imaginable, there was no way that Lou could ever plant his seed in Gwen and hope to bear fruit.  It would be impossible for her to replicate her kind.  Gwen grew despondent and went through depression.  Gwen stopped exercising; she laid around in bed in the dark, got heavier but not fat and began to smell bad.  Lou had always marveled at his Gwen’s ability to smell as fresh as could be.  Gwen’s armpits, hair, vagina and ass came unflavored even on the hottest and most humid days that Chicago could ever offer in the summers.  Lou would joke that she should be that woman in a flowing white gown with the wind blowing against her with her eyes closed on those cliffs that they have somewhere in Great Britain.

            “You could be that woman to a T.  All you’d need to do is just stand there and smile with your eyes closed because you would know that there is never an occasion to question your freshness…  White gown and all.”

            That all disappeared and suddenly hygiene went out the window with just about everything that used to interest Gwen including sex.  Finally one day, Lou posed an idea that he was not fond of but was willing to go along with just to help her out of the dumps and be the bright, shiny, perky, sexy human being that she had always been since he met her.

            “You know…  We could always adopt,” said Lou.

            It was as if someone had opened the curtains.  Gwen’s face lit up and she jumped into Lou’s arms and kissed his neck.  She got on the internet and began to do her homework on adoption.  Gwen grew despondent once again but not totally.  Gwen was amazed to discover just how difficult it was to adopt a white child in the United States.  She thought about news reports of people locking children in cages for years or forcing them into prostitution or making them drink Budweiser while watching hockey games and not to mention those that were abandon at hospitals, truck stops, churches and police stations and dumpsters.  The truth was that there were millions of Americans who wanted children and could not have them and they all wanted white children first.  If not white then they wanted Asian babies or Hispanic babies and if none of those were possible within a reasonable amount of time, then black would be fine.  I suppose.

            Gwen was many things in life but she was not patient.  After reading up on adoption and networking with dozens and dozens of couples who had adopted, Gwen decided to take the advice of another wealthy woman from the woman’s club that she belonged to and go to Senegal in Africa to adopt unwanted black girls.  Not one but two.

            “Two…  I always wanted two and if I go all the way to Africa to get a child, I want two and I sure as hell don’t want to be going back to Africa twice for this…  There’s all kind of problems in Africa,” said Gwen.

            Truth to be told, there are all kinds of problems all over the world but in Senegal, many infant children were abandon due to rape of women in tribal and religious battles that were taking place across several countries in the region.  A few other women on the north shore had adopted children from a Belgian orphanage run by nuns.  Upon corresponding with the nuns for a period of one week, Gwen received photos of twin girls who were age five.  After discovering that the whole adoption process could happen rather swiftly, Lou and Gwen were on an Air France flight from Paris to Dakar within a week.

            Lou didn’t know how he felt about being a father and a father to not one but two girls who only spoke French and were black.  His first thought was of going to get coffee on Saturday or Sunday mornings and having all the patrons stare at them as they waited for their extra shot, one pump vanilla, skimmed latte.  The immersion happened suddenly and before he knew it, they were back home and his wife was speaking all the French she learned in two months, to her two new daughters.  Gwen spoke loudly and slowly to the girls as if they were deaf.

            “BON JOUR MES PETITES FILLES…  JE SUIS VOTRE MERE… JE M’APPELLE MOMMY. »

            The girls didn’t smile and didn’t respond.  They had a secret unspoken language between them and never left each others side.  They were trying to get used to the fact that all the children that they knew in Senegal, were gone as were the nuns and now they couldn’t understand anything anyone was saying.  Gwen had a plan.

            Gwen saw a sign on a building that said African hair braiding.  Gwen parked her car and locked her doors and scanned around herself in all directions before scurrying into the beauty shop for black women.  Once inside, there were several women getting their hair done by several women while a radio played in combat with a television.  Everyone stopped and looked at the pale, thin, blonde, smiling figure that stood inside the front door with clasped hands.  A heavy set black woman asked her if she could help her.  It was a polite way of asking, “What in the fuck could you possibly need all up in this place?”

            I’m so glad I found your shop…  I have two adopted daughters from Senegal who I would like to get their hair braided…  Now, I was thinking braiding through out and then have it come up into a bun… Now, they don’t speak any English yet as they are from a French speaking nation,” said Gwen.

            “You don’t need to worry bout that…  Monique here works on weekends washing hair.  You bring the girls round on Saturday and Monique will talk to them… You from Jamaica, right Monique?” Asked the owner.

            “Haiti…”

            “That’s right… Why I say Jamaica?  Anyway, you bring the girls round Saturdays when Monique work here.  She cain speak to them no problem.  We gone take care them,” said the owner.

            “I’m so happy I came this way.  I usually never come to Evanston but needed to meet one of my girlfriends for tennis by the lake and well… Gosh, I’m sure glad I came down this way,” said a gleeful Gwen.

            It was a damn good thing that Gwen found the black women’s hair salon.  The two young girls were beginning to look like Buckwheat.  Gwen threw headbands over their hair that went everywhere and anywhere.  No matter what Gwen did to their hair, they cried and it just looked crazy.

            In time, Monique was hired to take care of the girls on a full time basis.  Her job was to speak to them in French and try to teach them English.  She also took them to ballet class, fed them, and washed their clothes and so on while Gwen ran, lifted weights, took spin classes and played tennis.  The girls really took to Monique and slowly warmed up to Gwen and Lou.  Lou understood that taking them to the park and to get fast food, was what they seemed to like most.  The girls liked Lou because he seemed indifferent and not at all frantic about having a relationship with them.

            All of Lou’s life, he had never really had any sort of relationship with anyone black.  His small school in Vermont had one guy from Africa that went to the school but Lou never interacted with him.  Lou had seen blacks in downtown Chicago who panhandled and played music in the subway but none worked in his office.  Other than the blacks he saw on television, in movies and on various athletic teams, Lou had no interaction with black people.  Monique was his first.

            Lou was struck by how polite and calm Monique was in general and with the twin girls; she was like a black Julie Andrews.  Those twins learned to sing all sorts of songs in French with Monique.  Gwen eventually grew despondent again over the fact that her adopted girls had taken more to Monique than her.  As time went on, Gwen grew more and more resentful of the girls and their relationship to Monique.  Gwen grew combative with Lou for the first time in her life and just about completely withdrew as a member of their family.  Gwen began taking trips for weeks at a time, leaving Monique to be with Lou and the girls fulltime.  Lou would take the girls and Monique out to dinner, to amusement parks, ice skating, the zoo and so on.  Lou began to notice that people would look at the four of them and smile.  There was the pretty young black woman with braided hair and the two young black girls with braids and the handsome young white man.  They were a handsome looking family albeit not what most people expected.

 Lou found himself becoming more and more attracted to Monique as time went on.  It was like playing house.  Lou would go shopping with Monique and the girls and eat with them and so on while Gwen traveled around the country trying to find herself.  Gwen had told Lou that she was going through a crisis and needed to find herself.  Lou never questioned it as he understood to be lost was not a fun thing and if Gwen needed to find herself, he wanted her to be found or discovered or whatever would bring peace to her soul and his life ultimately. 

As time went on, the sexual tension between Lou and Monique grew stronger and stronger.  They would sit on the couch after the girls went to bed and watch a movie together and came dangerously close to making contact physically.  Monique would get up to get a drink of water or something and would put her hand on Lou’s hand or leg before asking him if there was anything he may want.

“Is there anything you want?” Monique would ask while looking into his eyes.

“Um… Not right now.  But thank you for that…” Lou would respond.

Now the question and the answer had more than one meaning and they both knew it.  Lou was fighting the immense itch inside him that begged to be scratched with vigor.  Monique was completely drawn to the man who was fifteen years her senior who was as nice, calm and attractive.  She never had a thing for white men because most of them seemed really dorky to her.  They were stiff in their approach and seemed oblivious and selfish.  Lou was none of those things and she suspected that Lou was a hot bed of passion and could not wait to find out.

Monique was respectful of her role and did not cross the line while Gwen was still apart of their lives.  That was until one day that Lou shared an email that he received from Gwen.

Dearest Lou,

                     I had always believed you were my soul mate and life partner and as I grow older, I am realizing that this is not the case.  I thought adopting the girls would make us closer as a family and I see now that they have driven a wedge between us at best.  It’s my fault as I know that you never wanted children in the first place.  I see now how attached they have become to both you and Monique and I believe with Monique’s help, you will provide for them.  I have found what it is that I really want and need and as much as this may hurt you to hear, I have found a man that I met in San Diego who is a widower with two young girls.  I have fallen in love with this man and his girls and feel that fate brought me to them.  You may hate me for a while but ultimately understand that what I’m doing is the best for all of us.  I wish you all the best.

With love, Gwen

            Lou thought about being the one left holding the bag as the saying goes.  When he showed the letter to Monique who studied the words with a furrowed brow, Lou sat at the kitchen table looking out at his finely manicured backyard while the girls watched a video of Madeline in French in the family room.  Lou wondered what would be next.  Lou wondered to himself, “What in the fuck am I going to do?”

            Lou decided if he was going to change his life, he was really going to change his life.  He packed up his twin girls with Monique and moved to Miami.  In Miami Lou understood that nobody would look at him crazy like a circus sideshow when he drank a latte.  In fact in Miami, Lou told people that he was Cuban but that his parents only spoke to him in English and the Cubans accepted it even though they thought it was a damn shame to be Cuban and not speak Spanish. 

            For Lou’s fortieth birthday, Monique surprised Lou by inviting all of Lou’s new friends in their new city in the backyard of their new home on a hot humid night.  A Cuban Salsa band played in the backyard while a hired bartender crushed mint leaves for Mojitos.  Nobody at that party knew that only five years earlier, Lou was an average white guy, living in an all white suburb with no children and an overactive lily white wife.  One of Lou’s good friends, a Haitian man who owned several car washes and did very well for himself, lifted his glass to Lou as Lou watched his ten year old adopted daughters dancing with their adopted mother in their adopted city in their adopted state.  In a strong English accent, his Haitian friend said to Lou while lifting his glass and putting his arm around him; Life doesn’t get any better than this…

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