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Archive for September, 2010


Since I won’t be able to poste tomorrow, I thought I should write this early.  Remember DC hears the voice of the universe through the toilet. Now if you seriously hear the voice of the universe through your toilet, you can’t really use it for its intended purpose. So now, poor DC is a regular visitor at the corner gas station. I imagine his visits might go something like this –

“Hey, Bubba.”

“Hey, DC,” the man behind the counter said, without looking up from his newspaper.

“Brought my own,” I said, waving a roll of TP, a long stream threading the air after me.

“Good boy. Weathers good today,” Bubba continued, with his soft southern drawl.

“Hey, do you have any red rhino?” It was my favorite power drink.

“Got a shipment last week.”

“Can I get a case?” I yelled from the men’s room, flushing the toilet.

“Sure. Planning a road trip?”

“Yep.”

“Voice of the Universe?”

“Yep.”

“Beef jerky, you need beef jerky for a road trip,” he stated more than asked, as I came to the counter case of red rhino in hand.

“No… Yes… No… Twelve Slim Jims.” I finally decided.

“Good choice.” Bubba loaded the beef jerky into a plastic bag. “Get the details before you leave,” he yelled, as I was leaving his face back in the paper.

“What?”

“Get all the details from your toilet. You never know when you’ll find one that resonates with the right frequency and wavelength. So get all the details before you leave.”

“Oh, yea thanks.” I started out the door. “How …?”

“You think you’re the only one who’s ever heard the Voice of the Universe.”

“No, I guess not.”

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Since there is a non-believer out there, I will continue with the idea the Voice of the Universe speaking through a toilet. I imagine this book would be in the style of Terry Pratchett of Discworld fame. In the previous installment, I explored the kind of character who would hear the voice. Here is DC talking to the toilet.

I sat in the bathroom floor at the appointed time, notebook and sharpie in hand waiting for the voice of the universe with his instructions.

Minutes ticked by. The minutes turned to hours. In an act I can only expain as boredom, I drained the water from the toilet and began drawing. The voice of the universe should have a face. Two eyes, a nose, the mouth was well obvious, and a moustache. I was just finishing the beard.

“I have a beard now? Seriously, the voice of the universe has a beard? What do you think I’m ZZ Top?” A rumbling voice echoed from the toilet.

“You’re late,” I replied.

“So I’m a few minutes late.”

“Minutes? Try hours.”

“In the span of the universe, you’re lucky I got here this decade. You think the voice of the universe doesn’t have things to do? A train wreck in Nepal, a tsunami off of the coast of New Zealand, the merger of Google and Yahoo, and that’s just on planet. Meteors colliding, suns burning out prematurely. You think  I don’t have things to take care of?”

“Yea, okay. I’m sorry.” I felt like self center bastard. “Which was it?”

“What?”

“Train wreck, tsunami, meteor, sun, what?”

“I was playing botchy ball with the Guardian of the Moon.”

“What?”

“I was down by two.”

“And so I waited?” I was tempted to flush.

“You think the voice of the universe isn’t competitive? I’m very competitive. It’s how I got this gig. Now, let’s get down to business. I don’t have all century here.”

I imagine poor DC would be sent on some adventure to save the world or perhaps the very universe.

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I have an idea for a story where the voice of the universe talks to a guy through his toilet. So what kind of guy would hear voices from the toilet —

I’m sitting here waiting in a cafe because the voice of the universe spoke to me through my toilet. I know it sounds crazy. My name? Now that’s a story. My father was a hippie. My mother was Native American, Comanche actually. When my mother was pregnant with me, they went to the medicine woman, who told them they must name me after the place where I would be born.

They planned to be in Phoenix, Arizona when I was born. I was going to be named Phoenix Arizona, kinda cool. Instead, when my Mom was seven months pregnant, they decided to go to a peace march in Washington. I was born in Washington, DC. So my name? It’s District of Columbia, District of Columbia Campbell or DC for short.

I’d like to think my parents were dropping acid, smoking a little too much ganja, or at least on a three day bender, but  they say they were high on love.

She also told them I was twins, girls, but they didn’t think to ignore her just because she was wrong on number and sex. No, they followed her instructions to a T. I’d like to kick the ass of a medicine woman about now.

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Growing up poor in America, though I heard of the streets of gold, I had never actually seen them. In fact, I lived so far from those streets, I didn’t know anyone who had seen them. I remember the year I first saw those streets where money seemed to grow on trees. It was Christmas and my Mother was taking us to the nearest city to see Christmas lights. We drove up and down the streets of Highland Park and University Park in Dallas. It seems the cities with streets of gold were in parks. I remember seeing grand two story houses with large lawns. These houses had lights on the outside. We only had lights in the window, illuminating the foil wrapped TV antenna. 

I remember seeing perfect trees through the windows, not like the lopsided tree we had cut from the back field. They not only decorated the trees inside their houses, they decorated every tree outside too. These children wouldn’t be getting used clothes their Grandmother mended and hemmed. They wouldn’t be getting used shoes that were too large. They wouldn’t know the thrilil of removing the tissue paper or newspaper in spring when they had grown enough to fit their shoes. These children made lists and Santa really brought them things from their lists. I never asked for anything because I already knew Santa didn’t bring children like me what we asked for.

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I met a man in ’84. He wore tan, dickie work pants and well-worn, leather shoes. He owned a metal salvage yard. I remember him shuffling around the piles of discarded metal. He was quiet, but he seemed kind enough. I don’t even remember his name.

Later someone told me when he was a boy he’d been imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. He was Jewish. I don’t know what country or which camp or how long he was there. But when he was about 12, he escaped.

He was making his way to Israel, the promised land, when he was captured by the British and placed in what was little more than another concentration camp. Now being a man of 13, he escaped, stole an airplane and flew it to Israel. He managed to land safely. The plane became the first in Israel and he became known as the father of the Israeli airforce.

When he was 16 or 17 he was sent to the U.S. to become a pilot. Here he met a beautful young Jewish girl who could never leave America. So if she would agree to marry him, he would agree to stay here. And that is how I came to meet him many years later, the quiet man who never said a word. Just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by its cover, you never know what’s locked inside.

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