Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Twenty-third, fifth

Another one of these tag memes. I thought I'd get hit eventually. Thanks a bunch, Timmy G.

Here are the instructions, not, I notice, followed by all: Find your twenty-third post. Pluck out your fifth sentence. Then--write a short fictional piece with the sentence as the first one in the piece. And tag five more people in the blogosphere.

I tag:

Small Dead Animals

The Amazing Wonderdog


Cathie from Canada

Miss Vicky

My brief contribution:

Yet we are politically selective, if not outright cynical, in what we deem to be "terrorism." So I claimed at the campfire when we were into one of those late-night beer-fueled discussions, and I was holding forth as usual, not having a blog at the time, and I suspect I slurred my words a little. Al Caider, who lives just down the street from me, wasn't so sure, though. As far as he's concerned, the kid who delivers the papers is a terrorist, for spreading news of terrorism. The old lady next door to him is a terrorist, because she lets ragweed grow rampant in her garden. In fact, when you come right down to it, Al says, everybody’s a terrorist.

"Does that apply to you?" George Bouche quizzed him. "You don’t drink, you won't touch the hot-dogs--hell, you could be one of those Moozlims we keep hearing about."

"I don’t drink because I used to drink. And road-kill sausages aren't my thing," said Al.

George was unconvinced. "OK, what's that little rug you keep carrying around with you?"

"It's a toupee," said Al, sounding a little miffed.

That shut George down for a while. Then, being clever, "Got your Christmas lights up yet?"

"What's this, Guantanamo?" Al asked, stung beyond endurance. "This is supposed to be a barbecue, not Abu Ghraib."

The rest is a little hazy. A small knot of former friends bore down on Al. I remember corn cobs, shorn of their kernels, spilling off his paper plate. I remember cell-phones in use, I remember a car showing up...but I can barely remember Al, I can't even visualize his face, or his wife's face, or his eight-year-old son's face.

Our summer get-togethers aren't the same now. You have to go through a metal detector, we've got Men in Black types patrolling the perimeter, and, worst of all, my buddies have to go through a security check, every time, before they're allowed to get near the fire.

But, you know what? The hot-dogs taste as good as ever. And what else really matters at a barbecue?

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