“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Friday, May 16, 2008

it was one of those weeks

In the summer of 2038, something happened in Bushville, Texas (formerly known as Amarillo) that had never occurred before. At approximately 3:41 in the afternoon, the wind simply stopped blowing. Until just before that hour, the wind had been gusting to around 78 m.p.h., as was typical for Bushville. At 3:40, the atmosphere coughed a few times like a car running out of gas, and then a minute later, the winds stopped forever.

The initial reaction of most people was to blame climate change (formerly known as Global WarmingTM), but the Bushville Globe-Republican had just that morning published a hard-hitting exposé exposing climate change as far left-wing propaganda. The exposé was written by Mary Cheney, Jr., CEO of ExxonConocoChevronPetroChina, and Cheney explained that the banana trees which had sprouted in Antarctica were perfectly normal if you took the long view of history, and how were the new water taxis supposed to work, anyway, without the canals that now flowed down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan?

Soon enough, the true cause of the sudden lack of wind was identified. Thirty years before, one T.B. Pickens (formerly known as Scrooge McDuck) had thrown up hundreds of windmills near Pampa. Having first stolen the reputation of the local university, and then the waters of an entire aquifer, he had now managed to suck the Panhandle dry of the very wind.

Back in 2008, there had been no shortage of blowing hot air in that part of West Texas. In the high profile trial of Potter County Shurf Mike Shumate (formerly known as employed), visiting District Judge Quay Parker had sent out a questionnaire to determine whether Shurf Shumate could get a fair trail in Potter County. Parker (whom some accused of trading on his name's resemblance to a famous Comanche chief in much the same way that perennial Democratic candidate Gene Kelly worked to be confused for the famous dancer) asked 1,000 Potter residents about their knowledge of the case and of Shurf Shumate. 130 apparently claimed total ignorance. That was about what you'd expect in Potter County but claims that the prospective jurors didn't know them any Shurf Shumate caused jaws to drop across the High Plains. To say that Shurf Shumate had a talent for self-promotion was like saying that Internet trolls sometimes fib. Since the 1990s, Shurf Shumate's picture had been plastered across billboards, television and the print media. At one point, Shurf Shumate had purchased all of the space on the triangular grocery checkout line dividers in all of the United Supermarkets in the area. He had imprinted the dividers with the words "Shumate! Shumate! He's our man! If he can't get Bubba, no one can!"

In the end, however, Potter County jurors' purported ignorance didn't really matter. Judge Quay Parker—his courtroom attire alternating between Comanche tribal clothes and a morning coat with an umbrella, pocket watch chain and derby—pointed out that the Bozo-the-Clownish Shurf Mike Shumate—who had worn a Dilbert's boss hairstyle before there was a Dilbert's boss—who made his name fighting crime through homoerotically-charged paranoid rants about a prisoner named "Bubba" who performed deviant sex acts on all the new prisoners—who was formerly known to threw bizarre and legendary parties at which lawmakers and law-enforcers were rumored to break every law they made and enforced—someone this batcrap crazy could hope to seat a jury of his peers only in Potter County.

It was one of those weeks.