M F U
MOST FUCKED-UP PERSON ALIVE TELLS ALL
At first it was difficult to sleep outside of prison, and when I finally did, I'd always dream that all the Hall-of-Famers and all the MVPs of World Superbowls and World Cups and World Series, were all lined up along the inside of a radiant tube of pure light, cheering me as I passed between them and slapping me on the back to pump me up.
Then, at the end of the line of heroes and stars, at the point where all shape and boundary disappeared and only light remained, I was suddenly (but gently) touched by a finger of what appeared to be the hologram of the #1 most valuable player of all time, across all disciplines and genres and across all games.
The spirit of this most exalted player, or the hologram of this spirit, which was, of course, beyond gender and beyond serotonin, then clasped both my hands and softly explained everything to me in a microsecond of massively parallel data that must have happened subatomically.
When it had finished, it looked at me.
"Please," it said, quivering -- in a modality I couldn't name (but it wasn't sound) -- "Please, return to life and destroy the world -- for us.
And, with that, its arm of pure energy directed me back to the assembled forms of all the prize-winners and record-holders and top vote-getters and most successful and most-likely and lifetime-achievers and number 1s with-a-bullet, from all places and times, and from all human history and geography.
And they all looked so helpless and defeated as they eagerly smiled and shook their heads and drooled in abject agreement.
"Please destroy the earth -- for us," the sad faces behind their masks seemed to beg, though they'd, long ago, been stripped of any feeling or desire.
And, so -- since these were the beings who most deeply and most intensely understood the meanings and possibilities of neuro-chemistry-in-the-world -- how could I refuse?
There are many cheapshot ways to destroy the earth, but these are not the ways that the top guns of all mankind had in mind when they commandeered my dreams to plead their case for the greater good of the cosmos.
Because there is one pure way that everybody knows and respects and that even the most saccharine fascists and cloying humanists cannot belittle or negate with their sophistries.
And even your worst enemies will turn around and love you -- if you can destroy the world WITH JUST A SINGLE WORD.
So I moved to a town at the border of Nicaropia and Ethiragua and leased a place there for a month, figuring it'd take me about 2 weeks to come up with the right word, and then another week to deploy it, and then one more week to watch and celebrate while the destruction of the world played itself out in real-time on both my vid screen -- and my nearby, local, neighborhood streetcorner.
There was, of course, a vast network of like-minded people all over the planet, all trying to destroy the world with a single word, and so, like everything else, it had become some sort of competition among them -- with a prize for the one to do it cleanly, completely and first.
A panel of experts had even been set up to make sure there was no cheating. It guaranteed that no one could, say, sneak out one night and hire whole truckloads of self-destructive hit men, or become a charismatic leader and do the nuclear thing.
Or go out among the people and backslap them into world revolution, or world culture boycotts, or more world infrastructure terrorism.
And, because of the panel, no one even dreamed of doing things like bribing crews of adults to bomb power stations, or hiring crews of small children to shoot down communications satellites with vinegar and baking soda personal, interplanetary, video-seeking missiles.
Everyone involved in trying to destroy the world was always bragging about just how close he was to doing it, or how astonishingly simple or clever her techniques were.
"One more thing falls into place, and I'm there!" was a common refrain heard on the nets that linked these people in their isolation and ambition and in their competition and their anger.
Still, though, the world remained aggressively undestroyed. And many different single words were spoken each day, to no effect.
Of course, everybody knew that the chaos caused by one tire -- rolled down the right hill, at the right moment, into the right flow of traffic -- could quickly domino out to all the rest of world traffic -- abruptly terminating the food chain and leading to the kinds of fist-fights and local, small arms shootouts that usually escalate, quite naturally, into World Thermonuclear Civil War.
But, since the name of any hill is always at least 2 words, anyone who tried to win by finding out the right one and then broadcasting it to the masses, would be immediately disqualified.
Then, a small team would be sent out to totally neutralize anything he'd done -- so that, when the fucking world finally was destroyed, for real, at some later date -- it would be at the hands of someone who'd played by the rules, and destroyed it fair and square.
When I finally got down to work, I found that it wasn't hard to come up with many 2- and 3-word combinations that could easily destroy the world -- but coming up with just one word that did it gracefully, was hundreds of orders of magnitude harder.
Clearly, it was gonna take resolve and will and focus and mental toughness and dedication and sacrifice and devotion and concentration and shit like that, in order to achieve the goal -- and so I re-committed myself to pushing past the human limits of exertion and stamina and emotion and exhaustion.
Or, at least, I would have -- if I hadn't, like, had a headache that day, or, like, didn't have to wash my hair that day, or if my dog or paternal mother hadn't, like, just died that day.
Fortunately, in place of resolve, you could always just go visit the Hall of Fame that honored the heroic people who, like you, had tried to destroy the world and failed.
Inside, the walls were covered with the plaques and parchments of a thousand different credos and manifestos regarding "appropriate methodologies of destruction and the right word."
All of which, despite their differences, shared one common idea, expressed in exactly the same words in the final paragraph of each.
You know, the one about how no amount of repression or intimidation or outright murder could ever crush that most fundamental drive of Man -- to destroy her stupid world.
Finally, a month had passed and my money'd run out, but I still hadn't come up with the word.
In desperation, I went to see my career guidance counsellor, Dr. Zero.
"I had come here to destroy the world," I said to her, all excitable and anxious, "But I underestimated how hard it would be and didn't reserve any money to get out of town on, in case I failed."
She looked concerned and said she'd just be a minute.
She motioned me to sit down in a chair across from her desk, while she placed a long distance call to an old friend she hadn't spoken to in years.
They started talking about old times and updating each other on the intervening decade, then started reliving old football games, play by play, arguing about what went wrong and why, and what could've been done to prevent it.
I went and sat on the stoop of a place I'd lived once, and lit up a Sony Lite, but the filter broke off.
I stared up into the tree across the street, ignoring the people that passed by, less than a few inches away from me.
I thought, "If I could just come up with a programming schedule that would single-handedly fill all the satellite time in the world. Maybe then...."
So, first, I'd start the day with some kind of intimate confession show where I'd dredge up all the filth that hung in my heart and say every ugly little thing I could think or feel at the moment, cloaked in only the flimsiest metaphor.
Then, after that, would be "The Free-Form Hour," where I'd do whatever I wanted: make noises, jump around, do body contortions -- anything that could be done without props or talent.
Then, of course, there'd be The Neural Activity Hour, where I'd just sit there and let my neural activity take over, and then there'd be the Breakfast Show, where I'd just sit there eating cereal, regardless of time of day.
Then there'd be some futuristic shows like "The What I'm Gonna Do As Soon As I Get My Tax Refund Show," or "The What I'm Definitely Gonna Do First Thing Tomorrow Show."
And that was easily enough for 2 days worth of programming right there and, while those shows were running, I'd certainly have enough time to figure out and produce enough other shows to fill out the rest of the week.
And while those ran, I could fill out the rest of the month, and while those ran, the rest of the year.
And that's not even counting re-runs.
So, you see, it really is possible for one person to single-handedly fill all the satellite time in the world -- and without all that much effort.
On Workmans' Consolation Day, to show solidarity with organic matter everywhere, I attended the game between the Green Babe Packets and the Monroe-Dean Glovebox Wastes.
Somehow the Packets' manager, "Dusty" Our, had spotted me way up in the stands, and when the going got tough for him, instead of getting going, he just sent someone to beg me to come down and help him out.
Of course, by then, I was famous for coming up in the bottom of the 9th of all kinds of situations, with 2 outs and the bases loaded and trailing by 3 runs.
According to legend, I'd always run the count to 3 and 2, and then foul off about 30 or 40 pitches, while I figured out my strategy and/or solved cognition.
Then, at the peak moment of drama and tension, I'd suddenly either come through in some inconceivable, unimaginable, meta-miraculous way -- or else just say "fuck it" and erase all history at that point, so no one who ever lived would ever be able to find any trace of it in any physical record or human memory.
And, having placed his total faith in the random output of my PR machine, that's exactly what Dusty expected of me, now.
I reluctantly agreed to help, and while a time-out was called, I strode boldly across the field, with my jacket slung over my shoulder, oblivious to the crowd of 20 million in the stands, who sat there hushed in anxiety and awe.
I arrived in the dugout to many high-fives and tearful bear hugs and Dusty just blissed out and wouldn't let go of me -- because he loved me so much and knew I would save his world for him.
I sensed, right off, that most of the players on his team had already seen to the end of desire, and the rest of them had already seen through to the end of the future. And in this state, only major neuronal transplants and transfusions could help them at all, and I told him that.
"Whatever it takes," Dusty said, solemnly, resigned. Because he knew his team was even more fucked than their sport.
I went and explained things to the umpire, and he looked at me and immediately granted us an emergency extension on our time-out, for as long as we needed.
"Fuck the fans and the other players," he said, "They can wait."
I took the team into a room off the dugout for a meeting. Hitler and Stalin and Reagan and Pol Pot were already waiting there for us, as were Nixon and David Bowie and Sting and Al Haig and the Ventures and Linda Ronstadt.
I had assembled these people, from the complete history of world possibility, to help me out at those intense, critical moments when it all comes down to just one last play, or just one last detail of one last play.
"Gentlemen," I said, and I filled them in on the status of the game underway on the field: who was on, who was up, how many out, how many balls, how many strikes.
Then, when everybody seemed to have digested it, I looked straight at Hitler and said, "OK, so what should we do?"
He smiled at everybody and said a word or two I didn't understand, but then his voice broke and he just stopped and looked down at the table and made a sidelong glance over to Stalin for some help.
But Stalin pretended not to notice and wouldn't meet his gaze.
Pol Pot finally spoke up forcibly, without anybody pressing him, but after his first few sentences were translated, he just trailed off and, shrugging meekly, turned to Reagan.
Reagan looked around the table and said, "Too bad Mussolini's not here," and, apparently, he thought that was enough.
At that point Krishnamurti burst in late, bringing Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt and Gurdjieff and Baba Ram Dass with him. He apologized and said he'd brought them along even though they hadn't been invited, and hoped I didn't mind. I didn't say anything and they sat down. There were no more seats at the table, so they sat in bridge chairs against the wall.
Hitler looked at his watch and said he had to make an important phone call and was sorry he couldn't stay and help me and the team win the big one, in this last desperate moment.
"Nobody leaves here till all this fucking karma's been erased, once and for all!" I said, pretty firmly, and that stopped Hitler cold (and made everybody else perk up as well), and he went and sat back down without protesting. Gandhi looked a little pissed cause he hadn't realized he was getting himself into this kind of scene.
Then the room fell silent, and everybody was suddenly engrossed in playing with one of her own bodyparts and avoiding everybody else's eyes.
"You fucking lamos!" I finally screamed at them, in desperation. "You can't do shit for me!" and I grabbed the phone on the table.
I made a conference call to Picasso and Bodiddly and Cher and Andre Gide and put them on the speaker phone and the wall video screens.
They all exchanged a few quick words of recognition and greeting with the people in the room. Something about how much they all respected each others' work, no matter what it was and no matter how filthy or stupid or violent or pandering or lame it was, and regardless of how much they hated each other personally. And vice versa.
But still, we were making no progress.
So I got on another bank of phonelines and called Jesus Angleton and Kissinger and Kennedy and Carol Doda and Warhol and Mozart.
I called DeGaulle and Patton, and the Maharishi. I called the Jarmells and Sade and Dion and Fabian and Pat Benatar and Priscilla Presley and Vanna White and Refrigerator Perry.
All the lines were lit up with their voices, and all the screens were packed tight with their images. All the airwaves and microwaves and fiber lines and satellite feeds were bristling with the pure, electric power of the presence of these giant world historical personalities, brought together here for the first time just to solve the single, insignificant, little problem I had taken on, in place of life.
But where were the sparks from this high-octane assemblage, this high-potency collage?
Like, there weren't any.
Not a sound or a thought (once the schmoozing had died down) and not the first word of an idea. Just the random noise of restless, nervous shuffling and unintentional bodysounds coming from a buncha losers who wanted nothing more than to simply get the fuck out of there.
After a while, I couldn't stand watching them fidget anymore, as they struggled for some semblance of cognitive process -- so I slid off my chair and curled up on the floor, in a little fetal ball, under the table.
Then I took off my camcorder tie-pin, pointed it at my mouth, and hit the world satellite uplink button.
"This is Mr. Afrasia," I said into the micro-cam, as hunting stations all over the airwaves started locking onto my signal, "And I have come to speak to you tonight about cold, logical, unconstitutional love."
I gave out my toll-free, satellite, shirt-pocket-phone number, and within milliseconds, the incoming lines started lighting up. I thought I'd take the calls live, on the air, but suddenly remembered my guests, especially Reagan and Pol Pot and Indira Gandhi.
So I put the camera on "standby" and got back up into my seat and apologized to them.
"I'm very sorry about this lapse of etiquette," I said, rubbing my head to indicate confusion, "But, as you can probably guess, I seem to be having a near-death deja-vu acid-flashback waking-dream past-life regression, or something -- a state with which, I'm sure, many of you are not unfamiliar."
They all smiled and nodded across the room and across communication-space, and were all so clearly moved and cowed and awed by this revelation, that I was able to slide back down to the floor under the table and return to fetal position there, completely assured, now, that no one would dare leave the room -- knowing the kind of deep cerebral shit that was going on, only inches from their toes.
I still needed to talk to someone about things, and Stalin was the only one I trusted. But I knew if I took him aside, the others would get jealous and then there'd really be problems.
Finally, I just called him on his personal scrambled pocket phone, so he'd automatically cup his hands around it when he answered, and nobody'd hear what he said or know it was me.
"Stalin," I said, when he finally answered after maybe 20 or 30 rings. "Look. You're the only one who can help me. I mean, like I don't trust Pol Pot and, ya know, I think Hitler's just another loser."
He was very understanding and said he thought the only thing I could do was just blow this whole scene and get on board the Human Shuttle. It was just about to depart from World Homeland International.
I'd heard all about the Human Shuttle before, so I didn't hesitate to take Stalin's advice. But when I got to the airport, everything had somehow changed.
I forgot why I was even there, and to try to remember, I had to go back and start over from the first motivation of pre-history, and then work forward from that, one species and one motivation at a time.
Fortunately I'd learned long ago that when the going gets tough, the tough first kick over a few tables and chairs, and then get going.
So, as soon as I ran out of furniture, I boarded Kissair Flight 264.
This was known as "The Mystery Flight," because its destination wasn't decided until long after takeoff, and because the amount of jetfuel in its tanks was determined by purely random processes, totally unrelated to any distance it might actually have to fly.
Once on board, I took my seat without incident, but at some point, when we were in the air, I started having this intense phobic reaction. Somehow, my physiology simply couldn't tolerate being just another passenger.
And the only thing I could do to relieve the stress of this, was jump out of my seat, burst into the cabin, shoot the pilot in the head, and take over the plane.
As I was getting myself acclimated to the instrument panel, the co-pilot made a move for me.
I held up my palm, and that froze him.
"Just chill out," I said to him, confidently -- and he backed off and swallowed his suicide pill.
"Let's see," I said, and I got out my glasses and put them on and started examining all the dials and buttons in front of me. I jerked the wheel around a little but nothing seemed to happen.
I got more and more hyperactive with it, spinning it 10 full revolutions one way, then back 20 or 30 revolutions the other way, standing up on the seat and pulling it as far out as it would go, then falling on it to push it back in as fast as it would go, all the while making noises like car engines and electric pumps and vacuum cleaners and power drills and other ragged, high-speed, destructive, whining, human tools.
Then I started flipping every switch on the dashboard and screaming things into the headset like: "Uhhh, Roger, tower, that's uhhh Tango, X-ray, Foxtrot, one-niner, niner-zero --- uhhh -- do you copy? -- Over."
By the time we ran out of fuel, I had figured out flying enough to be able to make a textbook, 1-wheel, "controlled-crash" landing on some unknown, clandestine, international airstrip.
"Sorry about that," I mumbled distractedly over the PA system, once the grinding, screeching sounds of metal and flesh had stopped, and I'd completed a quick personal inventory of gashes and abrasions.
As I de-planed, I looked at my pocket planner and realized that this was the day the mind could no longer hold up the body anymore.
I felt sure I was now, finally, on the Comeback Trail. But as I passed through customs, somebody came up and shook my hand and congratulated me for being firmly back on the Scumbag Trail.
Of course I had left my credentials and my resume in another life or another dimension, and the only job I was able to get here was as Commissioner of Massively Fucked-Up Baseball.
MFU Baseball was an advanced form of the game that'd been played widely in the old American homeland during the years before Repartition, then discontinued and kept alive, by rumor-only, in the small American refugee camps scattered throughout greater CanaMex and Nuclear Nervada.
The inventors of Massively Fucked-Up Baseball had simply taken the old, original game and turned all its knobs to Max -- for a better fit with a post-Repartition kinda' world population.
In an MFU Baseball game, for example, every pitch was always thrown as hard as possible at the batter's face or genitals, and always swung at, regardless of count or situation, with a full-force, 360-degree, roundhouse swing that always ended with the bat slipping out of the hitter's hands and flying out into the field of play, threatening infielders, pitchers, umpires, base coaches and fans, with serious physical injury.
Every fielding play, no matter how routine, was always made diving, falling, rolling over, and throwing from mid-handspring or from a two-and-a-half backflip, and every baserunner slid as viciously as possible into every base, with the sole intent of killing whichever fielder was closest, regardless of whether the ball had been hit, or a pitch even made.
And, every few minutes, when things got slow, the manager would always come storming out of the dugout (even in the absence of anything to bitch about) and kick dirt and feces and garbage on the umpire and call him by every filthy name in the handbook of human obscenity -- and then get suspended from this and all future games for all eternity, each time.
But, after only a few games as Commissioner, even that quickly became too boring for me, so I went looking for a job as a National Fucked-Up League Quarterback.
Since they were still playing the same old NFL football, it was up to individual players to blow the game apart, and I was signed immediately by the first team I tried out for, because the only play I knew was a faked punt, double-reverse Hail Mary -- which I'd have no choice but to call on every down -- regardless of score, standings, or salary.
I was given a 6-year or 6-picture deal -- I forget which.
In order to keep my teammates motivated, every morning I stood in front of them and made them watch me do the slow burn, for several hours.
This is done by keeping the feet firmly planted and the arms fairly stable, while the rest of the torso writhes around in-place, slow and microscopically, in a pre-explosion rage, which forces everyone nearby to do a quick reassessment of your danger to the world and to them.
Where, before, they might have seen you as just some asshole or just some dickhead -- once you enter slow-burn mode, they suddenly become aware that what they're really dealing with here is a time-bomb of an asshole, or a time-bomb of a dickhead.
Though my career in the National Fucked-Up League started brilliantly -- with many sweet spirals intercepted by spectators rushing out of the stands onto the field, and hundreds of graceful tosses into random broadcast booths, injuring play-by-play announcers and statisticians alike -- I was, nonetheless, asked to take early retirement from the game, for either personal or political reasons, or both -- I forget which.
In the press conference I called to announce this decision, I tried to explain my quiet acceptance of the situation.
"You see," I said, to the assembled reporters, pushing and shoving each other to get a better look at me, "Once you're a part of the official game, you become obliged to act like a pro and wait quietly and politely in line, for your turn at the Superbowl -- which could be years or decades or even lifetimes away -- or never! They don't tell you in advance.
"And, of course, while you're waiting, you have to keep constantly blowing everybody, at every level of the game, whether you're destined to make it or not.
"But, once you're outside the sport, and back to being just a simple, drunken, drugged-out, pissed-off, psycho/sociopathic, maniac again -- then, for the first time, you realize just how miserably the game has wasted your life -- cause if you're truly a fucked-up lunatic, then EVERY DAY is Superbowl Sunday, no matter what some organization or commissioner or media says and does to try to make it be the opposite."
I went to live in a nearby stadium because, I guess, you can never truly get Sport out of your soul, once you've been a star of it.
Ironically, the game they played here was one I'd invented myself, many years before, but never marketed, because I'd realized too quickly how incredibly stupid it was.
Apparently, it had been ripped off from me only moments after I'd designed it, and taken by some slimeball and popularized to the point where, for a brief period, it'd been the number 3 highest income-generating activity of all human history.
But who gives a shit.
Play went like this:
The team on offense was deployed from 1st base to the 50 yard line, while the team on defense couldn't go past the top of the key. The team that lost the coin toss had to be hooked up to saline IVs for the first 2 periods.
Then, a 3rd team, acting as a mediator/peace-keeper team, had to march out onto the field carrying a small handheld device or a software pellet or an access module. After a demo, which could take several hours, all 3 sides would get into vicious fights about the features it lacked, or about its real utility, or safety, or about quality assurance and wear-and-tear over time.
At the end of 9 innings, whoever had the most points got to do a penalty kick into the other team's goalbox.
If the kick failed, the other team could now win if its outfielders threw 3 consecutive touchdowns to the goalie. The first touchdown had to be done with a Molotov cocktail, the second with a running chainsaw, and the third with a small child.
An inning ended whenever there was a penalty called for roughing the shortstop, but if an infield-fly-rule penalty was called first, then the inning had to be replayed.
Despite its initial success, the game quickly fell from popularity and grace, and now this stadium could only keep its attendance up by letting squatters live in it full-time.
In exchange, the squatters were obliged to, occasionally, glance down at the field and scream something and pretend to care, regardless of whether they actually did or not.
Since the players had worked so hard their whole lives to get to this place, and came out here and played their hearts out everyday, no one really wanted to be the one to tell them that the crowd was only cheering because it needed a place to sleep.
The dugout area was strewn with gene-processing peripherals, networked to a central intelligence and used to compute, predict, and synthesize unique and original organisms, during the quiet time between innings.
Every few minutes, some hot-shot, rookie, southpaw linebacker would jump up from his terminal, tear off a printout, and rush up to the manager, screaming something like, "I got it! I got it!" Then start wildly scribbling formulas and semantic network diagrams on the blackboard, slamming down on the chalk, at certain points, again and again for emphasis, saying "This is it! Right here! Right fucking here....This is fucking IT!"
While the manager, arms folded, looked on skeptically.
By the time the sun went down, my first night there, play was still only in the eighth inning of the first quarter of the 4th set.
Since there were no floodlights, and since the random infrared flares that shot by overhead weren't regular enough, the game had to be lit mostly by the players, coaches, management and umpires striking one match after another -- holding each till it burned flesh, before striking the next.
This process of light and pain continued till sunrise, but did not slow them down or detract in any way from the game or their anger.
After about a week, stadium security did a sweep of the stands, and I was roughly escorted out to the street and told not to return.
Apparently, my all-night wailing-and-moaning and sleep-talking mea culpas were keeping distant galaxies awake, and their neighborhood black holes had complained.
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