Honolulu – Monsters!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2012 by tianfraser

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You ever make it to Hawaii? Vacation? Honeymoon? Conference? Nothing? You weren’t missing much. Overrated. I mean, views that could remind God why he got into this business, sure. But Honolulu? Same traffic and rednecks you find anywhere else.

Can any place that loves Spam this much really be where memories are made?

Anyway, it’s gone, so you don’t need to worry about it. Well, all the shitty parts are gone. Waikiki is gone and I-H1 is gone and the airport is gone. The North Shore is gone, but the beach is just fine.

You’re thinking volcanoes, aren’t you? Not a bad guess. Mauna Loa finally got sick of waiting for the next sacrifice at the luakini and blew her stack across the chain. Man cannot live in paradise indefinitely without tossing out a virgin every once in awhile. It would make sense, but it’s not what happened.

No, Hawaii paid the price for an entirely different form of hubris. Honolulu fell victim to being a giant-lizard’s swim away from Bikini Atoll.

I bet you just laughed. Oh, everything’s funny until you’re watching quarter-mile high lizards and praying mantises and three-headed lizards and enormous angry prawns and fucking moths – moths! – burning people with electric breath and crushing them under foot.

In addition to never having seen Hawaii, I’m guessing you’ve never actually watched a person get crushed under a foot, either. They don’t scream and hold up their hands and then disappear. They scream, hold up their hands, and keep screaming and waving as their organs fly out of the bodies. Then their faces shake like they suddenly got very cold. If both of you are really lucky – the viewer and the victim – then they’ve died.

People consumed by a radioactive blaze aren’t a whole lot better. Neither are drivers who have their vehicle picked up and smashed through a wall.

And we all know buildings don’t just fall over. They burn and collapse, and a lot of people go with them. More than 400 towers were brought low. Let that sink in.

Was there a scientist working on a solution in Maui? Probably. And then a goddam 300-foot wolfman destroyed his facility. If the military was ever involved, you wouldn’t know it. Apparently the attack was not well telegraphed. Another day of 72-and-sunshine, suddenly blotted out with massive wings and glowing red eyes. And when each footstep is a couple hundred feet, and there are however many prehistoric abominations literally going to town, 60 square miles doesn’t take long.

Still, I have a hard time believing Pearl Harbor got caught off-guard again.

Call them nature’s version of an atom bomb. Everything only sucks because we’re in the way. If you clear us out, the monsters aren’t angry. They’re playing in Eden on the level we wish we could.

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Atlanta – Pestilence (First Horseman)

Posted in Uncategorized on December 5, 2012 by tianfraser

Pick a disease. Pick any disease. I can describe it to you.

Ebola: rash, hemorrhaging, death. Bubonic plague: rash, hemorrhaging, death. Genital warts: rash, hemorrhaging, death. The common cold: snot, hemorrhaging, death. Hangnail: redness, hemorrhaging, death.

You follow any disease to its logical conclusion, it’s going to kill you. Serves you right for following a disease.

In Atlanta, I could see that logical conclusion everywhere. The Yellow Jackets suffered colony collapse. Leprosy sores mixed with melted vinyl on the sidewalks of Little Five Points. Face after contorted face, burst pustule after emptied bowel, the whole city has succumbed to whatever there is to succumb to.

To be honest, I only turned toward here because it smelled like kimchi.

There was no reason to hang around, so I started following the hoof prints that led out of town. A trail of corpses I couldn’t bring myself to look at pushed me out to the northeast, made a path up Clifton Road, through Emory, right where I thought it would go.

Pestilence rode a red horse with black eyes. He made the CDC his citadel, built his throne out of people he gave Stoneman’s Disease and placed on the roof. He looks small, microscopic, until he’s over you. Then he’s huge.

“Ah, the gourmand,” he greeted me as I approached. “Been sampling our work, I’m told.”

“I don’t know why, but I didn’t think you’d really ride horses,” I said.

“Wouldn’t you if you could? I mean, wouldn’t everybody like to be out riding a horse?” He sounded exactly like Paul Lynde.

“So this all seems … excessive.”

“It’s the only way you’ll ever learn.”

“A little late for lessons.”

“No, no,” he said. “Never too late for that. In fact, I’m just here as a reminder.”

“A reminder of what?”

“A reminder that you captured a disease once. It was early on, in the days before you knew there could be an End of Days, when your knuckles still touched the ground and the only thing that kept you from fucking in a day was if you’d just done it. One of you caught herpes.”

“I would imagine.”

“No, I mean one of you caught herpes. You made it your own. Herpes causes brain swelling. You took that as a good thing. You used it to build brain mass.”

“So you’re saying we could have adopted you, turned an enemy into a friend, saved ourselves from this.”

“I’m saying you’re a biological weapon. I’m saying you aligned yourself with disease. I’m saying this will always be your logical conclusion.”

It took me four more hours to get out of town. For some reason, I-75 was still a bitch.

Dallas – It Already Happened

Posted in Uncategorized on December 4, 2012 by tianfraser

Dallas is dead. The whole place. Everyone in Dallas died. No one could tell the difference. Dallas.

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Miami – The Fashionocalypse

Posted in Uncategorized on December 3, 2012 by tianfraser

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Was there anyone more prepared for the end than Miami?

I know what you’re thinking. “Don’t they love life down there? Isn’t that the shining palace of decadence that we all aspire to?” Yes, they did, and yes, it was. And it was exactly these characteristics that mapped out their own demise.

Do you know what tolerance is? Tolerance is when you’ve had so much of something that it generates no reaction any more. Miami had too much of life. The tolerance effect of life is ennui. Ennui can only be cured with cataclysm.

And they could have been patient little depressed club kids about it and waited for the sea or the constant thumping basslines to do it for them. But there’s is simply too much coke in Miami for patience, so they had to do it to themselves.

Seriously, if they had waited a month, the water would have been up their ankles for about 12 hours a day everywhere and that would have been enough to shut the whole place down. What was left of the Everglades would have stopped giving up fresh water. And of course you can’t have a power grid when you’re knee deep. Key Biscayne and Coral Gables and the whole skyline of South Beach would have had to pick up the party and move it to Bell Glade, and the party never would have survived Bell Glade.

Now you’re thinking, “So it was the zombies, right? The bath-salt-face-eating zombies.” Son, do you have any idea how long it would take to kill a city with this many high rises by zombies? Get real.

It was Donatella Versace.

The pressure on fashion designers to push boundaries is enormous. Imagine for one second that you worked in an industry that long ago abandoned any idea making people comfortable or look good or happy and was instead focused entirely on not being the same industry every four months. There are limits to the fabrics we know. So Donatella – rest her brother’s soul – gave up on the fabrics we know and introduced the line called Other People’s Blood.

They spilled most of the homeless onto the runway models, but it’s amazing how much those people’s blood looks like … well, they did. So they moved on to using non-Cuban Hispanics. And finally the makeup artists.

Perry Ellis got wind of what she had planned and, not to be outdone, launched Razorblades. “Why wear someone else’s blood?” was the tagline, or would have been if the copywriter hadn’t been given a free Razorblade corset in payment.

Estaban Cortazar came out with Bandoliers of Grenades With the Pins Pulled on Them. And Rodarte went straight to Fire.

It was the box store knock-offs that took out most people. Salesgirls trying to fold flaming miniskirts and hang bandoliers of grenades, pull the pins, and run away, but never fast enough. Piles of bodies of people searching through the Broken Scissor racks at Target. Clubs got anyone who managed to struggle into these garments and wear them for more than two hours.

Now, you might suspect that some people did not succumb to the fashion monster. Some people have been happy in jeans their whole lives, thank you very much. But the food of Miami is an irresistible temptress. And the latest in haute cuisine was food trucks that serve broken glass and pieces of metal shoved through rabid animals.

Still these mechanisms proved too slow for the Million Dollar Sandbar. Eventually a string of boutiques opened up just off Ocean Avenue. They went by different names, but they all advertised the same way. “Lose 8 lbs. in 40 seconds!!!” Even after everyone saw it was just a guillotine, the lines went around the blocks.

The whole town was dead by Art Basel, which didn’t keep it from happening. Some billionaire sheik came, saw the carnage, offered the nation of Bahrain to have it relocated to his penthouse, and was outbid by 20 million seagulls who had acquired a taste for human flesh.

What’s weird is that I don’t think anyone will mourn Miami. We spent the better part of the last century trying to pretend that their contributions to culture didn’t exist. The whole town was a velvet rope, reminding us to lose 30 pounds. So anyone left out there would probably say they got what they deserved. The problem is you all bought it while you scorned it.

You can’t have your styrofoam plate of broken glass and eat it too.

Orlando – Carmageddon (the Hummer Prime Directive)

Posted in Uncategorized on December 2, 2012 by tianfraser

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You know how in every screen representation of the apocalypse, all the major highways are littered with a nation-wide installation art project on gridlock? Patient Zero is the intersection of John Young Parkway and Sand Lake Road in Orlando’s southwest tourist midlands. Who knows who ran which arrow, but apparently the people behind the crash were tired – permanently – of waiting. Everyone from every direction, many of which did not have official roads leading into the intersection, dove headlong into the accidental sculpture and before long the whole city had joined in. All the cars on all the streets have been firmly accordioned.
The resulting shockwave took out a rather spectacularly precise set of supports from the few tall buildings downtown. The hospitals, condos, banks, and government offices all leapt off their foundations at the third floor, then fell backward as very heavy dominoes.
As if all this wasn’t bad enough, the accident occurred during the middle of several of O-Town’s admittedly frequent monster truck rallies. The clang of this carnage was a mating call to the hick drivers of those 30-foot behemoths. They turned their big wheels out of the arenas and stadiums and unpaved carnival grounds and began an epic romp across the tops of the new forever traffic, assuring a right squishing for the average commuter. They used the toppled structures as ramps and crushed craters into pavement and park alike until they overturned and, having been masters of their own paradise for six or seven hours (meaning they each refueled at least a dozen times), let the carbon monoxide fill their cabins.
Carmageddon is the natural extension of Walt’s grand dream. In the retro-future, no one would have to work on anything important, and so, in Orlando, no one did. The city was an animatronic Potemkin monument, shuffling its citizens on an archaic system of streets in an effort to look busy. Orlando: Where 300,000 people live, work, and play and drive all the goddam time.
Add to this the fact that their whole economy runs on British tourists and old people from New York who’ve never had drivers licenses. Maybe a few more left-turn arrows would have helped. Maybe not so many lanes that end only at certain times of day. Maybe a grid system.
Given this, the autocalypse was inevitable. Musical chairs finally collapsed into the commute simultaneous from and to Hell.
There you have it. What were the survivors going to do, walk out? First of all, you don’t walk in Florida except for brief spurts in October/November. Secondly, these survivors couldn’t walk out of anywhere.
See, anyone left holed themselves up Orlando’s most famous eateries: the Darden chains. Darden food has a salt content ever so slightly higher than the Dead Sea. So it will last some scrappy human remnants for quite some time, but it will also ensure that they don’t remain scrappy very long. Two weeks of feasting on Red Lobster cheese biscuits and Olive Garden alfredo mix while waiting for the power to come back on meant a minimum of 50 new pounds per person and arteries that could cut glass.
So goodbye, Orlando. The swamp will soon take you back. I hope the alligators appreciate a good thrill ride as much as we did.