Duct tape, schmuct tape! B.R. McEwen didn't win the gold, but The Spike liked his "mug shots."
Duct tape, schmuct tape! B.R. McEwen didn't win the gold, but The Spike liked his "mug shots."

The Living Dead

The Spike is no judge. The Spike is only an arbiter, an ambassador, a weapons inspector.

But you readers decided to write like a pack of damn dirty apes. A quiet little contest offering small bits of South African gold turned into a major pain in the butt because you responded en masse and seemed to really be trying to save your asses in responding.

The Spike would say "Get a life," but that's exactly what you were all trying to do. And you were great!

Like caged animals that write well, you wrote often and with furiousness about why you should be the last human to join us in the New Times bunker once the "Bushocalypse" comes, as one writer put it.

It's nice to see we appeal to a wide demographic. We had your usual writer types freelancers, unemployed English majors, some grossly polysyllabic philosophy majors, band guys looking for a cheap plug for their next show.

But we also had a brilliant 11-year-old girl who wanted to live life without dumbass sixth-grade boys, as well as military guys, neurologists, engineers, firefighters, city employees, college students and what we think might be the starting infield for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Now, to some better writing:

From 11-year-old Grace Cheifetz: "I hope I don't sound picky, but I don't like girls who are mean, rude, impolite, or have a problem with my personality, but I will put up with them. But boys are another story. I don't like boys who fart, burp/belch, or make weird noises in my ears, or on purpose. I just cannot live with them, unless they're in a different section of the room.

"As I mentioned, I'm smart."

Duh! Grace gets kudos for best writing by an 11-year-old E-V-E-R!

But sorry, Grace, after Dubya-Dubya-Three, prodigal children must be created, not included.

Oddly, and effectively, many essayists actually accentuated their negatives, not the positives. As New Times writers, we of course deeply appreciated the half-empty glasses:

"If we ever face an array of mutated, demented beasts intent on killing and consuming us, you can rest assured that you'll be able to outrun me," Matt Hudson wrote.

"Short, fat, non-drinking post-menopausal hypochondriac is now accepting invitations to join an Ultra Secure Bomb Shelter Group in case of World War III. Hurry! ONLY THE FIRST 100 INVITATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED!" Wendy Bederka's essay was so damn funny we almost forgot we couldn't breed with her.

"The day is fast approaching when the American eagle will croak its last proud, feeble cry as nearly everyone in Phoenix is annihilated. I should not be among those souls who must be sacrificed; I am too valuable because I am the last imaginative man in Phoenix, if not the entire U.S. It should be noted, too, that I am not French." God bless you, Robert Stevens, for being the best non-French contestant.

This from Larry C. Kay of Chandler:

"With a little up-front notice I'd even be willing to undergo surgical modification to become everybody's best friend in the back room: A hermaphrodite the best of both worlds!"

But what sort of citizen actually merits a one-fourth-ounce gold Krugerrand? A man who knows how to rebuild a strip mall and a homeowners' association once the Apocalypse has petered out.

After all, you must know what makes a city tick to make it rise again from the ashes.

Our nearly $100 in gold goes to Tom Lamoureux, a technical writer who moved to Phoenix four years ago from the Midwest. His winning entry also wins coveted news space below. Other entries, drawings and photographs will be posted online shortly. They are well worth your time.

Brochure for a New Tomorrow

Forget about saving a significant, symbolic, or indeed even a seed part of humanity. It is infeasible and it isn't fundamentally Phoenician. We do not save. We resurrect and we rehash. Certainly, it is a crying shame that humanity faces an imminent Apocalypse. But like so many previously doomed civilizations, present-day Phoenix can provide the foundations for a future city. It can pass down its abundant edifices as a means to inspire, and for us, no architecture is more predominant than the gated community and the golf resort. These familiar constructions shall spawn a New Phoenix that genuinely resurrects our values and our lifestyle. If I am saved a spot in the New Times bunker, duty and nostalgia shall compel me to push open the lead-lined doors, stoop upon the sizzling earth and lay the first beige cinderblock.

I will discard my gold Krugerrand, since metal objects tend to attract residual radiation. Then I will survey the site. New Phoenix will be a planned community of fortified homes centered around a modest, 9-hole course designed by a surviving celebrity. (Since we will be playing with wooden clubs, we won't be able to hit long. Most pars will be a 7 or an 8.) I will immediately sink a well and then, thanks to a rudimentary sprinkler system, divert the water table to the greens (in name only; predominant colors will likely be yellows and oranges). Our homes will be two- and three-bedroom, no-garage, below-surface haciendas. Tunnels will connect us. We will go topside periodically to forage and to tee off.

Our society will be governed by a quasi-democratic council, similar to a homeowners' association. Elections will be held every two years, or whenever a president drops dead. Association rulings can never be appealed. Scofflaws of the association will serve out their sentences on the contaminated surface, housed in a tent community overseen by mutant sheriff's deputies.

Amenities will be added as they become available. We look forward to achieving running water once the golf course has been stabilized, and we foresee the widespread use of solar paneling just as soon as the man-made winter dissipates. Hydroponics are a possibility, as is micro-brewing, but keeping a grass lawn will be forbidden; no exceptions. Xeriscaping will be the rule for all of New Phoenix; also state-wide; also planet-wide.

We regret to report that the gun laws must be amended. Due to the radiation effects mentioned above, ownership and storage of metallic guns would endanger the entire tunnel community; so all rifles and handguns shall be forfeit. Each family will be permitted to keep as many bows, clubs, slings, spears, stones, and darts as they wish for home defense or militia service, as prescribed in the Second Amendment, which we will otherwise retain.

In conclusion, if you wish to preserve all that we have established here in old Phoenix, put me on the A-list for the New Times shelter. Keep hope alive for an eternal, authentic New Phoenix.

And the rest of the entries...

Silence is Golden

Dear wise and attractive New Times Staff:

Adapting to a world filled with addled souls who've been squished worse than a record executive in a mosh pit, deprived of Oprah and Friends, and forced to listen to the same jokes for years is difficult business. You need a guide through the dark times, and a friend in the wee hours when you're considering slitting your wrists with the jagged metal lid of your 413th can of water chestnuts.

Let my recipes for Pigeon Salsa Stew and Cockroach & Capers Pate sooth your shattered palate, while I send your mind adrift with the sweet sounds of my best N'Awlins harmonica sounds.

And don't forget the many boxes of Aloe Vera I'll have on hand to soothe even the worst radiation burns or bio-toxin flare-ups. Also, you'll want to save a place for the man who saved his duct tape for more practical uses: gagging any fellow survivor who thinks their story about their drunk Aunt Moline gets better with each telling.

While my medical skills hover around the Boy Scout level, I could teach the merit badge class in back massages. If that doesn't work my extensive yoga training will keep even the most exercise-starved body ready for the challenges of the Burnt New World.

With a little up front notice I'd even be willing to undergo surgical modification to become everyone's best friend in the back room: a hermaphrodite the best of both worlds!

Finally, I'm handy with tools, don't eat much, and can think outside the box. That and my as-yet-not-so-profitable-history-degree will keep us all on the right track during and after the nuclear hootenanny. Plus, I can always hypnotize any scalawags with my shiny Krugerrand.

Sincerely, A. Larry C. Kay
PS: I masturbate quietly.

Anything But Boys

Hi, I'm Grace Cheifetz, I'm 11 years old and this is why I should live and others shouldn't. One of the reason's is I'm a girl, and I'm able to repopulate the Earth. Men can't do that! And although I'm young, it doesn't matter.

I get along great with others, and I can lead a group or project, if chosen. If I lead I don't tolerate any jokes that might be a hazard to innocent lives, but I also think jokes are a good thing to have when it's not too serious. Although I'm not that strong and I can't rebuild things, I can fix electric things, for example, many times I have fixed my Mom's computer and TV's. Also camcorders, phones and other household appliances have been taken care of.

I'm a great speaker and can make speeches, because I can project my voice. I'm skinny, about 70 lbs, and can fit into tight areas. I'm 5'1" so I won't hit my head on the ceiling. I'm also very smart. I'm a 4.0 (straight A) student and I'm in sixth grade. I skipped the 4th grade. I don't require fancy, expensive, cheap, hard, soft, comfy, stupid, smart, dumb, or any other kinds of items. I'm happy with what the world has to offer. I'm a healthy eater, I can live on fruit and vegetables. Although I admit, I'm an only child, so I haven't had much work in the sharing department, but I know I can share if we are low on supplies.

I get along great with both genders. I hope I don't sound picky, but I don't like girls who are mean, rude, impolite, or have a problem with my personality, but I will put up with them. But boys are another story. I don't like boys who fart, burp/belch, or make weird noises in my ears, or on purpose. I just cannot live with them, unless their in a different section of the room.

I hope I don't sound picky. As I mentioned I'm smart. I have been proven gifted in Math, and in English, I don't know about puzzles though. Well, I hope that this isn't over 500 words. I don't want to count. Oh well. Hope you pick me.

Grace Cheifetz

Duct Tape is for Assholes

Only now, staring at the pink-purple desert haze out of the windows of an abandoned and shell-shocked Taco Bell, can I happily reflect. Rows and rows of repeat Disney-desert landscape homes and blonde bobbed Phoemales pushing sunshade strollers have all been reduced to piles of smoking rubble. World War III has rendered the Valley almost livable for its sole inhabitant- yours truly.

I guess I always knew in my heart I would be the last man standing on this odd little planet. 115 degrees in July and I was the only person in the desert hunting the elusive Albino Javelina with slingshots and head full of mescaline. Those insanely hot and taxing days prepared my body for the ensuing heat blast from North Korea's missile launch. My neighbors cooked in their skins as I laughed and slathered on tanning lotion.

And I have a steel gut too I remember one sweaty two-day period during my college years when I consumed a purported 55 low-grade domestic beers in one sitting- changing position only to urinate and settle back into my indentation on the couch. The iron lining in my stomach was crucial to my ability to give testimony today. The Iraqis stuck those dastardly little capsules in the water supply and humans just keeled over dead at park fountains and office water coolers everywhere.

But the single most important factor preserving my proud and solitary life remains. What FEMA and Tom Ridge failed to tell the American people was where the duct tape really needed to be applied. It only takes a fifth grade comprehension of biology and chemistry to deduce it is thy own bunghole which needs protection from the micro-organisms of germ warfare and that is PRECISELY where I used my stash of the gray tape. Sealed my crack up with a wide strip from jewels to tailbone and those Al Qaedan spores bounced right off like pin-balls. Unfortunately the rest of the continental U.S. was not quite so well prepared. That nasty ending cleared the land of every other man, woman, and child lucky enough to have survived the earlier events. I thank myself for having stayed awake in science class.

As the desert wind whistles through this wreck of a fast food restaurant I realize it was righteous living and a strange attitude that saved me. The government's clichd and mass media propelled advice on doomsday preparations ultimately failed its citizens. I smirk and drift towards the oversized metal freezer and stoves here at the decimated Bell in what was once the Metropolis. I'm going to make my own burrito now and I'm going to put as much goddamn cheese on it as I want to because nobody is here to stop me.

Matthew Sartain

Cancer Schmancer

I deserve to be chosen because I'm a SURVIVOR!!!! I was told that I had Leukemia but it turned out to be Lupus. I was very ill but with determination I'm doing better than most. I then underwent major surgery for colon cancer. I endured IV chemo on a weekly basis for one year. When I completed the chemo, I was diagnosed with female cancer which was totally unrelated to the colon cancer. I received chemo on two different occassions followed by 3 surgeries. I'm not ready to leave this planet so please choose me as I can survive anything. Thank you.

Betty Ann Beraridni

Well Potty Trained

There are probably a million ways to determine the value of a human, but I suspect that none of them would conclude I deserve to live. Fortunately, I don't have to stand up and be measured; I just have to come up with 500 words of biographical beauty. I'd like to say that, push come to shove, I'd be more than happy to help reproduce our species, but I'm afraid that my little man is more opinionated than I am. His performances have been sporadic at best and lately he has refused everyone but the most quick-witted, attractive female (she'll be reading this too).

Consequently, I won't be able to respond dutifully in this arena, unless of course we've brought the appropriate scientific equipment and reading material to do otherwise. With that in mind, I'm sure you could find a more important use for me. It only took a few shots to convince me that it was a good idea to jump off the State Street bridge into the Chicago River, so when it comes time to calculate the quality of the air upstairs, I'm confident that a six pack of Guinness will ensure that I'll be ready to make a run for it as the first guinea pig. Furthermore, given the successful return-to-surface scenario, I'm a pretty slow runner. If we ever face an array of mutated, demented beasts intent on killing and consuming us, you can rest assured that you'll be able to outrun me.

Regarding my educational and employment experiences, I used to volunteer as an EMT, which means that I know enough to tell the average hospital-bound patient that they are indeed in need of medical attention. Beyond that, my education in the field of environmental science will be sufficient to determine that our precious Earth has, in fact, been contaminated. More importantly, my employment and subsequent unemployment as an editor will be helpful in advising others on the most productive ways to waste a day, including but not limited to sleeping, sleeping with other people, drinking, drinking with other people, and writing letters to the editor.

Let's see, what else? I'm well potty trained (except for an unfortunate accident involving undercooked seafood in Honduras) and I almost always remember to put the toilet seat back down. As far as hobbies go, I can crack my knuckles ad nauseam, but I can't breakdance. I have a fairly substantial music collection, although I must admit I'm an overplayer subject to listening to the same song repeatedly for several days in a row. Oh yeah, and in a fourth grade belly flop contest I managed a silver medal. I have to admit, living long and prospering has never been paramount on my to-do list, but given the opportunity I wouldn't mind sticking around for the end of the world party.

Matt Hudson

Bunker Pass

To think of what would get me into the bunker I must first think of who would be there and what they would need. At the fist sign weapons of mass destruction were heading our way security would escort senior management and the sales reps to the bunker. After they were safely situated the editorial staff and administrative personnel would be left to sort themselves out.

You can count on that to be a dog-eatdog melee. Sex would confer no natural advantage. Spite and vile come naturally to both sexes in the editorial staff and fighting tooth and nail to get in would leave many with wounds and contusions needing medical attention. The most severely wounded probably wouldn't have much of a say in who to let in so I will disregard any medical necessities.

People involved in the print media prefer liquor to drugs, drugs to sex, and their sex hard and nasty when they can get it. It comes as no surprise then to find out the first thing the New Times stocked its bunker with was an ample supply of booze. The next immediate need would be for drugs, but it can be surmised that the production staff that made it past the eye gouging would have certainly brought an ample stash of herb with them. Journalists are lazy so they are likely have a ready stash of crank to help them make deadlines.

Premium uppers like Yellow Jackets would not be in short supply. This is true with all weekly newspapers. They are needed to break the frequent cases of writers' block. That's inevitable when you must treat every hardened criminal and political activist sympathetically and hold in contempt anyone who acts like a responsible adult.

With all the mean-spirited drunks in the bunker sex would be hard and nasty like they like it so there isn't much of a bargaining tool in that regard.

Based on the evidence I would have to go with a jar of Quaaludes as my pass to the bunker. The pills would render the takers senseless to what was happening around them but still conscious enough to be part of the scene. Not only would the Ludes make the time spent in the bunker slip away memories of the time spent would be whatever anyone wanted them to be. Yes, that's it. I would bring a jar of Ludes.

Ed Dravo Jr.

Ass Kisser

Ah,Krugerrands! We found out on a recent Wallace & Ladmo clip that Gerald is a big fan of them. And who can forget Uncle Duke? And all the protests in front of Deak Perrera in the 80s? But, why me? Well, after the apocalypse, the only subject you'll have left for the New Times is me. And I'm the most interesting person in the Valley. Just poll your entire readership after the Apocalypse (i.e., me). And in the spirit of scratching each others' backs, I'll vote for you as Best (surviving) Local Newsmagazine in the Best of Phoenix competition. Finally there will be time enough to read...wait!!! my glasses!!! MY GLASSES!!!

M.C. Dornan

Pass the Gas Mask

When 'Spike' asked for entries into a contest as to "Why I Should Live," I HAD to give it a try. You may ask, Why should Scott Hume join the New Times staff in their mid-city 'bunker?' When (fortunately, IF) the crazily jealous third world nations spray or nuke us to death, I would want to help rebuild Phoenix.

I'll fit right in, because I'm a free-lance writer on the side with a slightly perverse sense of humor. Spike and his fellow staff might actually tolerate me. Besides, I'm a hard-working community volunteer who enjoys bicycle riding, so I be wanting to get all that pollution back up from all those ridiculous single-occupant vehicles. And, you guys did mention a "fully stocked bar" as well as "a small pocketful of South African gold," didn't you? Thought I heard that. Sure would make weathering the war-torn storm a little easier...except the morning after. Pass the gas mask and cheers!

Scott Hume

I can say the whole Betty Botter tongue twister in 8.64

In the event of the Apocalypse, and in honor of David Letterman, here are the top ten reasons you should choose me to join you in the bomb shelter:

1. After several years of teaching in one of Arizona's recently labeled under performing schools, I have learned how to get by with very limited resources.

2. I know all kinds of logical consequences for bad behavior. For instance, if the guys are fighting in the bathroom, they will only be allowed to go in one at a time, and if someone isn't doing their assigned task, they'll have to miss the evening recreational activity.

3. Speaking of recreational activities, I know a lot of vocabulary games and I can say the whole Betty Botter tongue twister in 8.64 seconds. Oh, I almost forgot, I can play both parts to Chopsticks.

4. I have a box of band aides in the top drawer of my desk and I can handle just about any emergency from head lice to regurgitation. I can spend an entire rainy day in one room with 25 fourth graders, keep them all busy, and maintain my sanity.

5. I'm a non-smoker, but I will gladly bring along the contents of my liquor cabinet if you ask me to join you.

6. I'm the one in my household who deciphers those little booklets that come with the AV equipment. I can even program the VCR! I'm left handed, too. (I know that's two reasons, but I had to mention it).

7. I know how to sew and have saved a lot of fabric and patterns over the years. I even have some polyester double-knit, which will never wrinkle. Maybe someone on your staff has a leisure suit pattern.

8. I'm from Kansas and I saw "The Day After."

9. I'm not great at cooking, but I used to backpack a lot. I can work wonders with non-perishable foods. Anything that comes in an airtight bag and says, "just add water" fits right into my cooking repertoire.

And last, but not least, reason number 10.

I'm not born again, but I used to be so there's a good chance I would take up only half the space of the typical non-believer left behind after the rapture.

Now, I haven't had a small pox vaccination in 35 years and I don't have any duct tape or plastic sheeting, but don't hold that against me. Whenever I go to Home Depot I get side-tracked by silly things like ceiling fans and toilet tank repair kits. Please don't think I'm frivolous though, I've actually found good uses for those items.

I was kind of hoping all of this would come to a head before school starts in August because my under performing school is losing three teaching contracts. Classrooms could get pretty crowded with hungry kids who will no longer qualify for the free lunch program. You can see the urgency of my situation. Please call soon! 1-800 I'm da bom.

Sue Azizi

Sterile, sober and funny?

10. I've been trained as a mechanic for vehicles up to 5 tons. This training also included power generation. This may be useful to you as you come out of your alcohol-induced haze from deep underground and try to jumpstart an '89 Ford.

9. I'm a funny motherfucker. I'll poke fun at myself just to get a laugh. This could be helpful during the tension-filled times ahead.

8. I've worked as a teacher. Not everyone has the personality to fulfill this role well. This will come in handy when the wee ones start to arrive later.

7. I'm a decorated U.S. veteran of an elite force. Thus, I've had ungodly amounts of training in the use of firearms and assorted other weapons. Not to mention the proper use and care of chemical and biological gear. You never know what we might face when we come up to the surface. Be it a chemical or biological agent or an attack of the blob, I'm your man.

6. I've been trained by 2 Hawaiian Kahunas in the arts of herbal medecine and massage. I'm also self trained in acupressure. Granted, the only herbal medecine I know is Hawaiian herbs, but hey! If we decide to hop on a boat and sail there, we'll be all set!

5. I have O+ blood, thus am a universal donor. I don't know how much thought you've put into this aspect of survival, but if a birthing mother needs a transfusion - I can provide it! If someone gets injured defending the group from those horrible green things with 8 legs and 6 arms with the face of your mother and needs a transfusion - I can provide it! Just remember to withdraw less than 6 pints at a time.

4. I'm an accomplished fisherman having fished by land, by boat, scuba and skin. This might come in handy if all the land mammals have been either killed off or transmutated into horrible green things.

3. I'm well versed in the art of hunting - be it with a gun or a bow. I know how to clean the carcass and cut it up for easy packing back to camp. If there are some land mammals left that are fit to eat, this would come in very handy once all the canned goods are gone and all you city people who were in the bunker with me look at a deer and say 'Bambi'.

2. Did I mention the fact that I'm sterile? Now this may be looked upon by some as a detriment to my survival. However, with the population so low and no real doctors around (or large quantities of antibiotics either), having sex without having to worry about an unexpected surprise would be a real treat for the women in your group.

And the number one reason why I Want To Live is...

1. I'm a non-drinker. You wouldn't have to share any of the booze with me!

Rick The Almighty!

I picked up The New Times this week and noticed your essay contest. I am amazed that someone thought up a way to get people to write essays without the usual threat of expulsion from college.

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Rick the Magnificent, formerly known as Rick the Great, and soon to be known as Rick the Almighty. I am an adventurer, philosopher, musician, and locksmith!

It's interesting that you refer to Revelations in the Bible. I was always somewhat confused as to its meaning until your article cleared it up for me. I now know that those ancient writings mean that only a few New Times staff members and myself will survive past Easter. If you check another part of the Bible, Isaiah 3:18, the correct interpretation prophesizes the coming of myself, Rick the Magnificent. So, of course, you'll want to do your best to ensure my survival.

I do believe you should take a good, hard, realistic look at what it will take to survive this thing. With a small space and limited food, it will be best to limit entry to myself and those members of your staff who are small, slim women who don't eat much.

I am also a guitar player in a hot, new, all-original rock band. We are considered by many to be the top rock band in the greater Apache Junction area. You don't have to take my word for it: You can check us out at MP3.com. Search for "The Simian Report". You won't be disappointed.

I feel that I should let you know that very credible sources have told me that all the other essays are being ghost-written for Sheriff Joe and any pictures are actually him in disguise. It's his last, desperate bid for survival. So who do you want to spend your time with in the shelter? A rock star who loves to party . . . or Sheriff Joe?

You might as well choose me. I am a locksmith. What are you going to do? Lock me out? I'll get in anyway.

So when the Iraqi convoy of trucks full of weapons of mass destruction starts rolling down I-17 toward Phoenix, give me a call and I'll come running.

And when we finally emerge from the shelter, I may even spend part of my gold for a kegger for us survivors.

Rick Dyer

A New Times Phoenix Rises from the Ashes

The day is fast approaching when the American eagle will croak its last proud, feeble cry as nearly everyone in Phoenix is annihilated. I should not be among those souls who must be sacrificed; I am too valuable, because I'm the last imaginative man in Phoenix, if not the entire U.S. It should be noted, too, that I'm not French.

In a nation where so-called "sane" leaders in our government, our police force, and our workplace cannot be relied upon to create anything remotely useful or interesting, it is those like me, the imaginative, who have historically taken up the torch that lights the way to enlightenment. I feel that to deny remaining humanity a touch of true creativity is to condemn it to a boring existence. Hell, Phoenix is too serious as it is—why perpetuate such seriousness beyond the apocalypse?

I've no dangerous imagination like George Bush, Saddam Hussein or Hitler, but a fun-loving, creative imagination like Hunter S. Thompson, P.J. O'Rourke or Salvador Dali. Their important role (and indeed my role) in history and the advance of civilization is to make life interesting. An engineer is interesting after the first bridge, then becomes boring; a mathematician could calculate the distance to the moon, but what's the point? Who needs them? And who wants more boring, politicians to live on after the holocaust when they're the ones who've created this mess in the first place? Sure, there will have to be some sense of organization among those of us who remain, but there's no reason it shouldn't be fun. Face it: the government we're leaving behind is a drag.

An intelligent, imaginative person, I am a frequent source of entertainment while contributing new, exciting ideas from a topsy-turvy carnival of lunacy running around in my fevered brain. Alcohol, caffeine and narcotics sometimes intensify this characteristic, and I wink at the non-destructive use of mind-altering drugs by others.

I am ready to contribute many new ideas and inventions for the new society to rise from the ashes—the New Phoenix. My ideas should work because I don't stop to consider that they won't, and went they don't, it's usually funny or amusing. As new director for Safe Exercise of Creative Society, or SECS, it will be my duty to reinstate and advocate the lost society of Free Love and Grooviness from the 1960's, punctuated with tons of sex, recreational drug use, bizarrely hypnotic music and art, and total disregard for authority. In fact, as director, I openly invite others to usurp my authority.

Last of all—and perhaps most daring—I shall lobby for the throwing out of the presidency, Democracy and the Constitution. Who are we trying to kid? They never worked for the people in the first place.

In closing, if you let me be among the New Times crew to survive the apocalypse, I'll buy the first round of margaritas to celebrate.

Robert Stevens


Short, Fat, Non-Drinking, Post-Menopausal Hypochondriac is now accepting invitations to join an Ultra Secure Bomb Shelter Group in case of World War III. HURRY! ONLY THE FIRST 100 INVITATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED.

Okay, enough of the soft-sell humor, let's cut to the chase: you need me.

It's all planned, right? When WWIII begins, you'll grab the sexy co-worker you've been ogling for months and swing that perfect postapocalyptic mate off to submerge with the rest of your group; half of whose members have done the exact same thing. Your survival group will then consist of assorted ad hoc pairings, each composed of A) one semi-kidnapped person who's a 10, and B) one person hoping that their 10 will find them sexually irresistible under the circumstances.

You have limited food, limited space, limited privacy, limited chances of success, and probably very limited stocks of essentials like deodorant, toilet paper, and breath mints. Plus limited alcohol, desperate, stress-stimulated sexual/procreative competition, and no way to predict your partner's physical responsiveness after months of living with other unwashed bodies in a confined space.

Oh, Possums, this doesn't look good.

Think! How will you know when the war's over and it's safe to leave your shelter? How will you survive the months or years till then? Will you have the skills needed to survive in the New Stone Age world that's left? Will your Perfect 10 reproductive people willingly do dirty or dangerous tasks to help the group survive? (Clue: No.)

I'm the perfect solution: too old for reproductive competitiveness, too young for senility, and just right for cooking, shelter cleaning, post-holocaust food-gathering, safety-testing, and other onerous chores. Since I'm short, I can tuck under a table or into another inconspicuous storage area when not in use. I won't eat your food or deposit its remains in your shelter because I carry my own pre-eaten, pre-digested energy supply with me in the form of bodyfat. I don't drink alcohol, so the stocked bar is ALL YOURS. Plus, there's no need to endure living with a real doctor while I'm around: This genuinely compassionate hypochondriac has memorized the entire MedLine database; symptoms, diseases, treatments; and my personal First Aid Kit would make the Mayo Clinic salivate with envy. Also, I've been tested for everything and found to be perfectly healthy; when emergencies arise; no raincoats needed.

Most importantly: as a non-reproducer, I'll be dispensable in the depopulated world that's left after World War III. Don't waste our fecund people on dangerous or everyday tasks; I'll risk my neck assuring the holocaust is over and fighting off rival survivalist groups. I'll hunt, fish, clean, and cook, leaving you free to concentrate on (ahem!) the Post-Annihilation Repopulation Project.

And if that means the brave new world gets filled with beautiful, strong babies genetically predisposed to promote creative arts such as writing and graphic design instead of war...

We've all won.

Wendy Bederka

Who Gets the Juice?

We Americans live in a very complex culture and we face many complicated problems. We stand at the brink of a war, which seems to be very unpopular with the rest of the world. Here at home we stand poised at the operation dream sickle level of alertness. People are wrapping themselves in plastic and duct tape just to go out to mow the grass. The United States has been accused of being a warmongering bunch of bullies by Hollywood and people who live in caves half a world away. We have only ourselves to blame for the recent debacle where France and Germany stole a round of applause during the show at the UN. The French have not gotten over Euro Disney. We should not be surprised anytime they take a shot at us. Besides, who really cares what the French think. Let them have their day in the sun. It's only a matter of time until those charismatic Germans grow weary with having to apologize for the misunderstanding they had with the Jews in the late 30's and early 40's, (it's been over 60 years for the love of god) and decide that France needs a landlord who can put an end to the long lunches and cause the trains to run on time.

Our president, George W. Bush has every right to be angry with Saddam Hussein. You would be angry too if Saddam had threatened to kill your dad. The biggest difference between the president and the rest of us is that we don't control the entire armed forces of the United States of America. A couple of years ago someone stole my vehicle, took it out to the desert and trashed it so badly that my insurance company declared it a total loss. If I had control of the armed services I would have used the assets of the CIA to uncover the thug that committed this heinous act against me and declared war, using the full force of naval battle groups, tanks and commandos (I was very upset at the time). On a scale of 1 to 10 when some world leader threatens to kill your father I would rank that around an 8-9, having your vehicle stolen and wrecked is maybe a 4 (in this case it was more like a 2-3 because it was a gently used vehicle with 60,000 miles), so I can understand where Mr. President is coming from. The problem with this line of thought is our form of government does not allow a person to use the publicly held establishments, like the military, for personal vendettas (unless of course you happen to work for the IRS or you are a building inspector).

Our president does need to keep in mind that when his father had the job he did kick the shit out of Saddam's army and had Mr. Hussein on the ropes. If the old man had just kept at it for another couple of days he could have ended the chapter on Saddam, very likely leading to his re-election as the main pimp-daddy for the good ole US of A. This would have saved our nation from having to live through the fallout of Bill Clinton spraying the entire White House with his sperm. For god sakes the man was the president and he was acting like a hillbilly during his first stay at the Holiday Inn. The ensuing Ken Star circus cost the American taxpayers roughly three to four times the reward amount that we are currently offering for the capture of Osama Bin Laden. I just can't get it out of my head that Osama Bin Laden sounds more like a name for a cup of noodles than it does an evil terrorist.

One becomes numb in disbelief when you realize that while the people of this nation were transfixed and hypnotized by the Ken Star presidential pecker track inquisition, which led to the impeachment hearings, that our religious leaders were driving the love bus while their branch managers joyfully violated the orifices of our young. It seems that both priestly and presidential pressures cause a potentially dangerous build up of sperm. I think it is time to give the ladies a shot at running our major institutions.

Speaking of which, that leads me to the rationale behind this essay. I have an idea that will kill several birds with one stone big birds at that. I also think it will really piss of the French which is also a major reason to do it. Michael Jackson has been upsetting a lot of people lately. Evidently many Americans are highly suspicious that Mr. Jackson has taken his relationship with young children to a place that is usually reserved for our religious organizations and the Boy Scout jamboree. The theme park, pajama parties, plastic surgery and dangling the baby over the balcony have instilled a shadow of doubt over Michael's fitness to be a parent, companion and chaperon to the young. We must keep in mind that the baby-dangling incident occurred in Germany, which may explain why they chose to gang up on our great nation with the French during that whole UN orgy of the impotent.

In a perfect world people do what theyre best at. In Michael Jacksons case that was singing and dancing. I think he got bored with this and thought it would be more fun to try his hand at being a wacko. You have to admit he has gotten a lot more press since he has become a full-on, galvanized freak than he did when he was simply odd. It is in the best interest of all affected parties that we remove any and all children out of Mr. Jacksons full range of motion. He wants to spread love. He needs to be able to do that (just not with the kids). Lets make him the official ambassador of these United States of America the Ambassador of World Love. His Dream Ranch-molestation center can become another Camp David (it would be called Camp Michael). Our traditional approach to the current situation with Iraq isnt working. It has never worked. We had our chance 10 years ago and blew it. Here we go again, huffing and puffing while the French, Germans, Iranians, Chinese and all the other incidentals that make up the rest of the world talk about puppies, walks in the park, and letting the inspections continue and we end up looking like the bad guy. We have to get over the fact that we saved the world during the period of human history that took place between the time that Germany borrowed Poland and Hitler took his gasoline shampoo. We (along with the English and Steven Spielberg) seem to be the only ones left that really care to revisit this period of world history (the Germans and the French just as soon forget that entire sordid affair).

We have to maintain the appearance of being nice and this is an excellent way to show the world how much we care. France and Germany only offer flowery talk; we on the other hand, check the math, recalculate the figures to our liking and then do the heavy lifting. This is the plan we send a chartered fun jet to Iraq, pick up Saddam. We add a short layover to North Korea and pick up their crazy bastard. I will continue to refer to the leader of North Korea as "that crazy Korean guy" or "that crazy Korean bastard" because I dont remember his name. If you want those kinds of details watch CNN, but dont expect to see a plan as simple or as creative as this one from any of the established media bureaucracies.

Once the gang arrives at Camp Michael the healing begins. Michael spends the first weeks establishing a relationship with the crazy Korean and Saddam. He becomes their funmeister, taking them on the carousel, roller coasters, go-carts, the choo-choo train and all the other trust building diversions. After years of torturing, gassing, and generally abusing all the people they have come in contact with, these two swingers may take several weeks of gentle, fun rides and bushels of cotton candy (hold the anthrax please) to get in touch with and explore their inner child. After Michael develops a parental bond with the gruesome twosome the process will be accelerated and taken to the next level through "sleepy time therapy". This is where Ambassador Michael teaches the serious, life changing stuff, utilizing the "bed of forever lessons". Michael the Ambassador becomes Michael the Doctor of Love, and instructs his students in his style of family dysfunction, bonding and hyperventilation intensified orgasms. Their spiritual growth will have no bounds as the three amigos get drunk on milk, cookies and other cream based substances, rolling around during their nightly sleepovers like a bunch of freshman college girls that have just left home for the first time. The softening and reshaping will continue as Michael teaches Saddam and the crazy Korean bastard the fine art of submission, making them want to hold and pet his monkey while they stare spellbound at the sight of Michaels oyster like nose. It will be a pretty picture for the world to behold. America turning to love instead of war. Michael, Saddam and the crazy Korean bastard, high on elevated levels of oxygen and the feel of their freshly shaven and deeply oiled bodies. The final stages of therapy for the two evil despots will be needless cosmetic surgery. It is the last leg of their metamorphous: sculpted noses, high cheekbones and stunning breasts accentuated with dazzling and highly sensitive nipples. They will be more beautiful than 10 bitches.

To fully Americanize this experience the Fox television network will televise the entire "peace process" with the same level of coverage that the industry devoted to the OJ trial. In fact maybe OJ can be part of this. If the surgeries go as well as expected we could develop the first international, reality TV show. The winner gets to marry OJ. Will it be Saddam or the crazy Korean bastard that wins the love of the Juice? We could call the show WHO GETS THE JUICE or THE JUICE JUICES THE JUICERS or better yet THE JUICE LOVES THAT CRAZY KOREAN BASTARD WITH THE FINE TITS. Maybe we move the whole group to Utah and they all get married. Goddamn, Im ready to join up with this freak show myself. This will be good for at least 2 seasons. We follow up with the entire peace delegation spending 16 explosive episodes with Dr. Phil to work out any petty differences and issues stemming from transgender mutilation. We give the world the television program that brings us all together, Live on Fox! The rights and residuals will generate enough money to rebuild both Afghanistan and Iraq and more importantly it will put our country out in front of the love race instead of leading the pack of jackals in the arms race. Lets give love a chance.

Next weeks installment: I love my SUV & relocating Israel to Iowa (hey, they both begin with an I).

Nick Brunacini

I love J-Lo and Sean

- Ill take "Mankinds Greatest Achievements" for $500, Alex.

And the answer, there, is: "To find some conceivable way to sleep with Jennifer Garner."


- Alex, the question is: What is the best incentive to survive a nuclear, biological, or chemical holocaust?

The very best part of my week came on Friday night when I was finally able to redeem my Caffe Boa Christmas gift certificate. I convinced my girlfriend that my Soho Sandwich would have tasted equally as good had I paid for it, out of my pocket. Still, there is some intrinsically sinful aesthetic pleasure to the simplicity of a guiltless account like dining on someone elses dollar. Then again, simplicity is an endangered discipline. Oh, well. One can always remain optimistic. Maybe the time of simplicity did not expire the day Seinfeld aired its last episode and Survivor premiered.

I would be lying to say that I have an agenda to fulfill before I part from this place. Sure, a guy like me has unlimited potential. Still, dont judge me on the things I have not done in life, or even the things I aspire to do in life. Rather, consider my case because I am perfectly content with the normalcy of my life always. I find it reassuring to wake up each morning, snuggly nestled in my perfectly functional dysfunction. Youll find no delusions of world domination here. You wont find 30 (or even ten) notches above my bed for each girl Ive waxed in the sack. And, as much as I admire the machismo bravado of an H2, I find my 1990 Honda Accord simply adequate. Indeed, I happily serve my little community in Mesa. I am proud to have thoroughly enjoyed all eight of the women Ive been with (thats eight women only two drunken one-night stands amongst the whole lot, if youre keeping score). Moreover, I still get giddy whenever my odometer breaches 400 miles on one tank of gas. Its true part of me would love to steal Ben Afflecks identity, his good looks, and his charm just to spend five minutes with J-Lo. My better judgment, though, contends that after five minutes as Affleck Id probably be compelled to beat myself senseless.

I am a simple man, a proud American. I take my domestics in a bottle; I live for football on Sundays (dont care much for twins); and I drool when I see a 1968 Dodge Charger. So, if I am not so fortunate to burrow safely underground, I say "Bring it on, man!" Maybe Phoenix will be lucky enough to host a Justin Timberlake (yeah, Im an insecure male) concert the day the goods are dropped on the Valley. As for me, simplicity is the order of the day. I like this world, with all its foibles and friction. I treasure my God given right to bitch about the Cardinals. I delight in the enthusiasm with which Sean MacLaughlin feverishly delivers the forecast (40% accurate, on average!). I perk up anytime I see that guy, Howie, kick up his heels and "shoot down the competition." I boycott Starbucks and curse all the pretentious pre-teen Abercrombie zombies. So, what do you think? Am I worth your consideration? If not, would it be too late to appeal to your sense of sympathy for a future law school student? I thought so.

Kelly James Roman

Bring out your dead, bring out your dead.

The nation will finally give credit to the incredible screenplay and immortal words of Kareem Abdul Jabbar in Airplane. As Tom Ridge moves the nation in to "Hot Pink" status, Billy Bob runs to the local market for duct tape.

Providing Mr. Ridge carried the two, I postulate that duct tape is the wrong ends. Dont get me wrong, these are not trivial times and precautions should be had. But the idea that a well taped house will deter Mustard gas is as intelligible as the South Park proposition to "duck and cover" in the presence of on coming lava. Or for that matter, the idea that hiding under a desk will shelter you from nuclear wrath (confused - ask your parents).

Understanding this proposition narrows the prospective applicants for salvation to a couple of hundred and arguably excludes Arkansas.

The question then becomes who is the fittest of the rest? Some will use the following prongs to bolster an argument: wealth, looks, family history, "shoe size" or other applicable measurements, or education. I, on the other hand, believe that the ability to entertain one self will be the determining factor.

Due to the fact that the hypothetical only allows for one survivor, the tangible and intangible qualities of ones character are mute points luck for some of us.

Thus, the most viable applicant needs only to be able to sit in a room and hold a conversation with him or herself. Reading, writing, and arithmetic have little place in the after-apocalypse society (?). This is not to say that you cannot pass the time drawing, doing long division in your head, or reading old "funny papers."

In preparation for the end, I have begun to have practice conversations with myself, sing a lot, walk in circles, and stockpile old crossword puzzles. This alone places me well into the 90-ith percentile.

Moreover, I am currently pursuing a degree in Law with a Chemical Engineering background. I would challenge that no one could have better credentials for arguing with themselves about long-winded, monotonous subject matter.

This penchant for pondering, delusional self-babble, a bottle of Jim Beam, and my knowledge of stupid movies makes me the foremost applicant for post-apocalypse survivorship.

Brad Donovan

I am a Chicken Hawk

Greetings. A confirming hard copy of this communication and a current photo is in the mail. You will give me gold and offer a place to hide because having me will enhance your chances of survival and enlightenment.

Here's why:

1. I am psychic... but since I can't prove it, you'll have to trust me on this one. However, as a demonstration as to my abilities, I'll predict that I will win this contest.

2. I am an economist and a thinker... and suspect you bought a Krugerrand becaue it was cheaper than comparable bullion coins that are minted in other countries.

3. I am a skeptic... because I have serious doubts as to the size and scope of your bunker, if you indeed have one at all.

4. I am naive... because I believe the world would be a better place without politicians, lawyers, governments, and all that goes with it, and I further believe that many of the sheep who presently keep the system(s) afloat have the capability to believe as I do if they just put their fears aside and took the time to think it through.

5. I do not embrace any of the Creation theories... because there is no confirmation for any of it (what came before that, where did He come from, blah, blah, blah), yet I show respect for those who do, whatever their view happens to be. I believe in observation, not inspiration, but since we really should believe in something, I chose to believe that when I die, I'll report to whomever or whatever science and/or God reports to.

6. Survival TV is boring and irritating... because I attended a government-sponsored survival school and was on my second tour of duty in Viet Nam when I was 19 years old. In addition, I was being paid to write articles on survival and improvised defensive weaponry before many of these bathing suit-wearing celebrity wannabees were even born.

7. I am a Chicken Hawk... I have never killed anyone, I would never start trouble, and want none in return. In fact, the only thought I have that is more repulsive than my harming another person is the possibility of another person harming me or those I care for. As such, I would use all of my knowledge, strength, education, intelligence, experience, and resources to annihilate anyone who overtly threatens to upset my tranquility. That aside, I'm a pussycat.

8. I am old... a relic of the Vietnam War. But because I am old, the young males among you would have no anxiety of my being in competition with the young females. This could be important. But I should note that I am as healthy as I was at 25, and have a lifetime of wisdom and experience to share. As such, if there were any young females who did not view age as a factor and considered being my personal friend, I would embrace the offer. But I should caution that since I do not yet know my future partner, I would have no way of guaranteeing the journey would be a rewarding one. However, I can promise that I would have a ball, and that in itself is half the equation that is necessary in any healthy relationship.

9. I am not afraid of anything... and while there are quite a few things that I would not want to happen to me or my loved ones, to say I am afraid of them is not true. I'm acutely aware of the alleged medical implications associated with someone who would make such a statement, and because of this, I challenge my detractors to write an essay in which they outline ALL the things they are afraid of, and then explain why they are not the type of person they are accusing me of being.

My medical history for the last 20 years consists of a touch of the flu and a little nervous breakdown when I quit smoking cold turkey without taking medication. I haven't missed a day of work in 10 years and I consume alcohol for effect rather than as a social tool, although with the passing of time I now prefer quality to quantity. I have a bit of an issue with authority, in particular when it is exercised without purpose, and this has held me back in life. That aside, I've never committed a felony or misdemeanor, and I've never been to jail. I'm a friend of the environment and an enemy of the universally accepted concepts of crime. Since we are not yet an endangered species (quite the contrary) I support individual freedom of choice in whatever form it may take, as long as the actions do not put others in harm's way. I prefer real butterflies to butterfly knives, butterfly bombs, and butterfly bandages, but I would not hesitate to make full use of any of them in the name of survival. I am not superstitious. I'm good at gardening, stringing beads, and using sticks and stones. At different times I've been a tinker, tailor, soldier, spy, doctor, lawyer, but not an Indian Chief.

There is at least a grain of truth in everything I've said, and that's about it. Please advise about my payment in gold, and provide details as to your bunker arrangements, if they do exist, and I'll decide later as to whether I'll take you up on that end of the offer.

Best wishes to all of you for a long, healthy, and happy life.

Fred Bilello

President of the Known World

Well, in the first place, I know things. A lot of things. Those ancient pre-tech skills like building meals from raw materials that may or may not grow on trees or bushes. I can also build a fire to cook on, or use the sun to cook under. If you've had a good breakfast, the rest of survival can seem a whole lot easier. I also know which way is

North, which will be essential come summer if we haven't figured out how to get the A/C going by then.

I'm short, so I don't take up much room. This can be important in any situation where hiding from wild animals may be involved.

I'm not some 20-year-old bimbo that only wants to lay around the compound and whine about the lack of frozen microwaveable dinners and that her phone won't workthis may count against me, but then again maybe not. I'm not much good for breeding purposes but I jolly well do know how to run things and get things done. After the initial dust has settled and the few other lucky inhabitants of the world emerge from their bunkers/caves/whatever, somebody will need to be able to be the leader and get things organized.

That would be me. I'll start by appointing myself Queen, though maybe I could settle for just President of the Known World. I'll write up a set of simple laws based on the original Ten Suggestions everybody pretty much knows about anyway, and we can all go about our business establishing the New Civilization unhampered by things like Departments of Anything that seem to mostly get in the way. This President business will only be a part-time job, since the rest of my time will be taken up in addressing the basic needs of survival like anybody else. That, and teaching my ancient skills to everybody that needs to know them. I also know tons about what we now I figure I've got about 40 years left, so that ought to be enough time to re-invent the Internet, come up with a mode of transportation that runs on a renewable resource, and bring back ice cream. The arts won't be based any longer on mass popularity related to who 's got the biggest promotional budget, so I'll also establish a university/performance venue for writers, artists, actors and musicians. They'll have to teach each other, because I'm mainly a writer, but I bet they'd come up with some cool stuff!

Yes, the world needs me. If it wasn't for ideas, we'd all still be living in caves and the New Times would be carved into a big rock at the side of the busiest trail. And that doesn't sound like much fun to me.

Trudy W. Schuett

A Toothless Gurgling Cough

With the apocalyptic end in sight, the horizon merging red with fume and flame, there seems to be no other alternative. I must go underground. Other homes are sealed tight with duct tape and plastic sheeting. I had acquired some of my own, but I had to use it to cover the gaping holes in my shoes. Seeing how my feet are so large it took almost the whole roll to cover the ulceration in the canvass and the rubber soles. The rest I had fashioned into a clear poncho. You can still see what I didnt have one before through the plastic.

I can feel the heat bristling up from the ruptured city of Los Angeles. The cactus spines are wilting, and on the sidewalks a thin layer of carbon is forming. Theres not much time left if I expect to survive.

I twist my head in panic. To the left. To the right. A small group of people come tumbling out of the broken liquor store window on the corner. Several cases of beer are carried out as well as a number of loose bottles of the worst whiskey available. I easily recognize the people for who they are. Theyre you! A bunch of late for print, rag-tag journalists just trying to stay drunk enough to fuel perversion.

"Hey!" I shout out. "Where ya going?"

"The shelter! The shelter!" you answer in a high bomb like whine. "Come on!"

I push my shopping cart across the street. Jumping through the jagged circle of glass, grabbing a few cartons of cigarettes and a couple of forties, I am back on the street and following you. I fall in line behind the men's flamboyant jogging and the jiggling rear ends of erudite women. My shopping cart's wheels clickety clack in the cracks and potholes of the street. Two lefts and a right, and we are in front of the bomb shelter. You all file in and a few of you glance back at me with hesitation. I take the pause and push my cart into the interior of the concrete bunker.

"Nice digs," I say. "My name's Jasper." I select a forty ounce from the cart and crack the top, take a drink, wipe my mouth with my dirty shirt sleeve.

Sniff. Snort. "How about this catastrophe. Pretty exciting, huh! I remember one time back in '56. I was just coming off a five day bender..."

"Is there a point to this story?" a small nervous sparrow like man piped up from the corner.

"Well kids, maybe so, maybe not. One thing's for sure though, by the time all this here radiation clears out, you fuckers are sure gonna know how to drink. You'll be learning from the best! Thanks for inviting me, even though I don't deserve it."

I laugh a toothless gurgling cough and close the door behind.

Jesse Brown

Pick Me, Pick Me, Pick Me

O.K., don't look any furthur. I'm the girl your looking for. If these dusty, musty rats do bomb us then afterwards we'll need to reproduce. And you not want to go doing that with some of these girls given their track records. Their likely to be carrying a chemical warfare in their panties alone. Don't forget the idea here is to reproduce not kill.

That's where I come in. I'm a 20 year old virgin clean from mouth to well, you know, and I'm waiting for the one, my husband, if anyone is left. Besides, with all that duct tape everyone else will probably be getting their very best freak on and on the other hand I'm always free. (No one seems to like virgins these days...)

Hey, just think about it, what better way to start off humanity than with a black 20 year old virgin. It just screams affirmative action and clean, danger free genitiles.

Chelsea P. Wiley

From the Desk of Millennium Bob...

Hot damn, the minute I saw what you young fellas was doin' at the New Times for this I-wanna-Ivanna-Trump-n-Live-contest, the more I wanted to be one of the chosen few in the shelter. You may remember me from the last near end-of-time disaster on January 31, 1999 at the Downtown Tempe Millennium New Year's Block Party. (I wuz tha one with the crowd of ASU COED disciples seekin' the last minute carnal knowledge of tha times-yet-to-be... N' since the world was gonna end in 1999 like the guy what used-ta-be-called-Prince sand about... and money would be no good to no one no how... I figured that folds would justa soon let me help spend all that useless green stuff before the Apocalypse...but when 1 January 2000 came at 00:01 a.m. and my digital TIMEX wuz still tickin'... and we wuz all still here, I went damn near crazy till I found out that when some fool Pope screwed up the Julian Lennon Calendar with the reformatted Gregorian Chant Calendar and all of MANKIND lost about 12 years, 90 days and some change... well to get everyone up to speed, my new prediction is that the world will end near as I can figure it... bout March 10th of 2013when the bulge of tha Baby Boomers hits the Preverbial Social Security Fan and all those 3rd Worlders eating free at the U.N. Caf want theirs' too (FAT CHANCE)... maybe this IRAQ thing is gonna start them 4 horsemen of Notre Dame killin' and maiming and raising gass prices... maybe not... but I don't wanna see it any-hoo... them folks eat rice-n-Fish-Heads fer CHRISSAKE... so I'm putting in my reservation for a space on that there refugee Time-Life Capsule of yourz in tha bunker off Jefferson Street. Let's get on board and do it, I got my Ramen Noodles, Perrrier, Saran Wrap and Duct-Tape... I'm ready and rarin' ta go... (Seeing as how we are so close to Van Buren, maybe we can Squeeze in a Workin' Girl or 3... they can sit on my lap)...

Yer Pal Fer Eternity, Millennium Bob

I know that the future will be better Tomorrow...Vice President Daniel Quayle (An Actual Statement Made By An Actual Person)

P.S. I don't Write or Count so goood no more so if'n I went over 500 words... sue me...

Shameless Plugs

Dear New Times,

Yes, Yes, in regards to your essay contest. Nothing would please me more than to have a "permanent vacation" from the other 99% of the population. Of course, in reality it would be quite overwhelming to realize that my family, friends, confidants, lover, all the other beautiful girls my favorite actor/actresses, bands, artists and sporting legends would be gone. Poof. Gone. On the other hand, in this sad state of affairs it seems its everyone for themselves. So, hope you all enjoy the ride. I bid you farewell and give you boots with wings on your journey.

Now back to the business at hand. Yes, my shameless self promotion. My resume, if you will:

First and foremost I am a healthy, humorous, honest and helpful human being. Mix with good values and throw in a bit of a realist as well.

So I won't need anyone to tuck me in with my teddy bear and get me another tissue while I ponder over not being vaporized or having my innards turned to jelly at the same time some bacteria's having a feast on my skin. And then just to fall down in my own fecal matter made up of that jelly that used to be my intestines, kidney and beautiful liver.

And then finaly die. Hmmm, not gonna happen.

Secondly, I just happen to be a very experienced bartender (10 years worth) from Boston to Ft. Lauderdale/Miami to California to right here in Phoenix. Currently I'm one of the few and proud at the new Nita's Hideaway and before that it was at Alice Cooperstown (more shameless plugs). So, not only am I a hard worker and mix a good drink, I moonlight as a diplomat, psychologist, psyciatrist, pharmacist and doctor to your woes. That within itself is a pretty good deal right there. I think you would probably need more though.

I am also musically inclined. I can play drums, guitar, a bit of piano and I studied some classical violin at A.S.U. How good it is is up to the individual listener but I can make the violin not sound like a pig being butchered.

Finally I've been known to be athletic to some degree. Baseball, basketball, hockey, ranked by the U.S.T.A. at age 15 and up for a scholarship at U.N.C. for soccer.

I still have the rejection letter if you don't believe me, yes it has my full name and U.N.C. letter head. I'm certified in CPR and first-aid. I can build a fire. I cook and clan as well.

I'm not saying I'm the best of the best, but sometimes a jack-of-all-trades is better to have.

In closing, I would hope you can find these few qualities important enough to accept me into your three-foot-thick-titanium-reinforced-fall-out-funhouse to eventualy go repopulate whats left of our beautiful Mother Earth.

I'm certainly not claiming to have all the answers. Anyone who thinks they know it all is confirming they don't. Wisdom is knowing how little we know. And maby, just maby we can get it right the next time around.

Thank you for this opportunity and I hope this resembles something on the lines of what you were looking for.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. More like A.S.A.P. Times awastin'.

Joe Furber>

P.S. Please forgive any gramatical or spelling discrepancies, I was under strict time restraints.

Too Much Star Trek

It is with emotionally tampered significance that a genetic quirk will propel me to be the only other humans to survive the Phoenix apocalypse. Why? Let me tell you.

Everyone I know, including relatives, have a strong mind-body link resulting from favoring cultural acceptance. Therefore they don't have original genetic metamorphic capabilities because they are fashionably controlled through social engineering. I, on the other hand, prefer to stand outside the social norm and will not submit to propaganda control. Although I am in the minority, I do sleep better at night knowing that I am no being led blindly to the edge of an abyss not of my own design. My firm attitude on this issue probably stems from when my cousin convinced me that Donald and Daisy Duck really don't need genitalia.

For several lifetimes I have been refining my conscious ability to adapt to planetary transitions that occur within a 75,000-year cyclical pattern, which is governed by the galactic center, known as Kolob. I have calibrated my cellular and DNA spectral geometry to resonate with the long-term precessional orientation of the Earth's axis as it aligns perpendicularly with the galactic center... which will occur on December 21, 2012 A.D. Awareness of this fulcrum of long-term cyclical improvisational dynamics is a nodal point that can be mathematically proven to be a space-time implosion fidelity in which past self, current self, and future self converge as a single entity beyond your current ability to even speculate upon. This is, of course, is suppressed information known by the socio-religio-politico controllers of your current civilization, and is based on commerce mentality, rather than beauty, compassion and common sense.

My personal genetic transference capabilities will breed a generation of entities that are aware of the earth-plane as nothing more than a "mirror" of the true creative process. Therefor, the Earth, with all its complications and synthetic agendas, appears to manifest in a reverse order. That which I see in the world is actually my inside out.. this of course translates into the military, corporate and political world as polyps, zits and gas.

If one is to build a mental model of the world or the universe, you will eventually realize that your model world and universe will always be incomplete because it can only ever contain the combination of your knowledge and your ignorance, which changes from minute to mintue. That is when you realize that even the Absolute' changes... This also explains my uncle in Arkansas who married a chicken.

Shape-shifting crafts and morph-genetic dynamics are in reality the ability to consciously alter self-perceptions that more readily align with "service towards others" rather than the destructive formations of "service toward self." The globaliztion of awarebness that each entity is another myself has been a difficult task for this planet when intellect surpasses humanitarianism. Fear not, for the flame and breath of existence is carried on relentlessly, for what else is there? And, as Bob Dylan would say, "Death Is Not The End."

Duct tape, shcmuck tape! The "Holy Jumpin' Jesus-Mohammed Metamorphic Medicine Show" is coming soon to a neuron pattern within you soon. (I know, "promises, promises.")

B.R. McEwen

W, meet my four year old

I've been teaching my son about money. For example, every week or so we go shopping in a toy store or thrift shop. He is allowed to spend a small amount of money -- an amount arbitrarily set (by the guy with the wallet) at the cost of his favorite fruit snack.

It took several weeks for my four-year-old to grasp without tantrum that he can just ignore those eye-catching mega-vehicles in the box the size of Rhode Island. He is also beginning to understand the mysteries of "Buy toy A, and you cannot also get toy B."

I've encountered backsliding and am ready for other setbacks. But I am serious about teaching him the survival skills he needs to cope with what we still quaintly call the marketplace.

My parenting efforts come to mind as I ponder one of the remarkable exchanges in Pres. Bush's press conference. I'm thinking of the journalist who reminded the President of his oft-repeated comments about respecting American citizens' ability to make their own choices about how to spend their money -- and since W's advisors have certainly estimated in detail what we might spend on various War scenarios, when was the President planning on sharing that information with the American public? Bush's response: That will be in the Supplemental Budget Request that I'll send to Congress.

I find this deeply troubling.

First, that will be after the war is over. Isn't that like my son handing me my empty wallet after the toy he wants is rung up and we're outside?

Wasn't the journalist's question explicitly about respecting American citizens enough to tell us the potential costs beforehand, so we can make an informed decision about whether to go to war?

Members of Congress report being told regularly there isn't money for all kinds of worthy things like helping states about to kill crucial education and social programs. They're told: the tax cut and war with Iraq make any help impossible. Even for programs the great majority of citizens support.

I have to tell you, my son has long since picked up the concept, "That's not fair!" He already grasps the rudiments of "We citizens have a right to know if war A means No to services B, C, D, E, and F." In a couple years he'll be able to comprehend that A is sixty or two hundred times larger than B, C, or D.

David Corn recently observed: "If a doctor handed you a strong medication -- saying you had no choice but to swallow it -- but didn't talk to you about the host of new ailments and problems that might be caused by the medication, that would be damn irresponsible. Well, meet George W. Bush, M.D. He has been claiming the United States must take the most extreme measure -- war -- to keep itself safe and healthy. Yet he has refused to address the knotty post-op complications that will follow in the wake of war."

Corn's article in The Nation magazine concludes that "informed consent is not part of Bush's prewar plan." Which amounts to dereliction of duty -- presidential malpractice.

I've watched other parents long enough that some of their children are now adults. Those about whom I've thought, "That's how I want my son to turn out" are without exception the young people who were respected enough to be given the chance to make choices and the information to do it right. Good parenting. Also an essential core of democracy.

W, I'd like you to meet my son. We citizens deserve as much respect.

Glen Gersmehl

Spike us! E-mail spiked@newtimes.com or call 602-229-8451.


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