March 1999

"Drunk Pilot seeks drunk copilot for unsuccessful Trans.-Atlantic Flight." Box #214

Kept thing. Keep the weapons warm. The monster I am, the monster I planned has lost control. And so go the slow days in the rubber house. I'm all whacked out on spooky pink pills and this thick stuff that tastes like glue. I'm back in grade 2. Prison was a whole lot more fun than this lonely coloured palace of bottomless pits. There ain't no video games here. Just pop-up picture books about the outside world. They get you thinking after a while that it doesn't really exist. That it's just this fantastical place where the weather is controlled by pulling on little paper tabs. A place where a curious monkey and a tall man in a yellow hat live in a castle made of marshmallows guarded by bubble gum sentries. Where the wild things are is where I am. Subdued in wolf armor and a tinfoil crown. I got an army you see. The army's just me. And like Dr. Seuss I am rhyming for no reason, with the Dooers and Peepers, the Klingdanglers and Creepers. It's quite safe to say that I am well beyond thunder dome says everyone. There's no place like home. Fuck you Dorothy. Fuck you indeed. In the bushes, in the tress, where the lions like to feed.

So this is it. This is the funniest of farms. Far removed from the realm of cruel people, it's just us animals. One size fits all and all that. I was thinking about being a smart-ass when I came up with the plan. But now I'm not sure what the plan was supposed to be. It had something to do with the little people I think. I often dream of their tiny village when I sleep. It rains Star Burst Fruit Chews there. They hurt. When it rains candy it hurts. Cause they're hard, unlike myself. So you've got to wear a special hat when it rains. It doesn't hurt as much then. Just on the shoulders, just on your knees and feet. But when it's sunny it doesn't hurt cause there ain't no candy falling from the sky. Just a permanent rainbow stealing graceful through the deep blue. And the little people don't work when it's sunny because their entire economy is based on collecting rain-candy (which they then export into world of the big people who pay for it through the teeth). So when it's sunny they just sing their little people song and do their little people dance. And sometimes, not often, they bake enormous pies made of licorice and whip cream. But that's usually only then they have special visitors, like myself.

So that's where I go when my body gives out. To the land of the little people. Sometimes I'll wake up and realize that I'm right in the middle of doing something like having a shower or brushing my hair. That's when the whole thing gets a little dicey. It's dicey because I only see the little people when I'm asleep. And if I'm asleep I can't be brushing my teeth you see. So it gets a little dicey and I have to have a bit of a nap. Just so I can calm down. But besides the little people there isn't much happening here. Sometimes I talk to Herbert about the little people. Herbert is a skeptic. He doesn't believe that the little people exist. Sometimes I show him my bruised feet to prove to him that candy-rain really hurts. And sometimes he gives me the juice to even out the black and blue. What're you gonna do? Argue? The juice is God when he's angry they say. So I don't like God much. He hurts more than candy-rain.

But it ain't so bad really. Mostly I just shut up about the little people and read the pop-up books about the outside world. I pretend I'm God and control the weather by pulling on those little paper tab things. It doesn't rain candy in the outside world, so mostly I just keep it gray. A little water rain, now and again, for the trees is okay. But mostly I just keep it gray. Gray is an even colour and when you're even you don't get the juice. I used to do something before this though. I can't remember what, but they say it had something to do with the little people's song. I'm not quite sure what the words to that song are. I don't speak their language. It's like luggage their language. Actually it's not, I just wanted to see what those two words looked like in the same sentence.

One thing I can say is that I've come to understand where people go when they're all out of the good stuff. They come here. And mostly they just play Perfection and Scrabble. You come across some interesting words when you play Scrabble in here. Words like Moto-go-go and Air Plane-pong (which is a game somewhat like ping-pong only with declared destinations). Once in a while you get to go into the immediate outside world and walk around in a field by the freeway. It's a bad place to lose your footing, so mostly I stay up top by the gate. It's my dream to someday make a run for it out there. There's bound to be something on the other side of that freeway. Mostly it's shrouded in mist, but sometimes, on clear nights, you can almost make out some definition. They say God lives on the other side of the Freeway. So I guess the juice is over there too. But I'll take my chances. I can run fast. Maybe even faster than the juice. I dunno. Mother told me to be something, so I'm afraid. Enough to stay wide awake.

There's a man in the basement. The white-coats call him the Bury-man. They call him that cause he's the one that sends you to heaven after they squeeze you with the juice so hard your eye balls pop out like they're Jiffy-Pop. He's got this big shovel that he uses to put you into the fire. And then you're gone. No one ever hears from you again if you go down to see the Bury-man. No one hears from you again if you get on the elevator and go below the M. Past that there's just the sub basement and I hear there's people down there that don't even get to look at the pop-up books. They just sit in the dark until it's time for the juice and that's it. Maybe that's where the Bury-man is too. I dunno. I've never been. I don't want to go. They use words in this place that make no sense. Words like friend and help and better. I like better the best. Better means that you get to go to the other side of the freeway and they don't give you no juice. They say that God lives on the other side of the freeway but I ain't so sure about that. Cause God's in here dolling out the juice. And if everyone's wrong and there ain't no juice on the other side of the freeway then I see no reason for God to be there. It must be a magical land though. I wonder if Moto-go-go counts in Scrabble over there? I dunno. I've never been. But I'd like to know. I've been putting pennies in a jar cause I heard you need them over there. Bad, bad pennies for your bad, bad cares.

So that's the way the day dissipates. Playing make-believe word games in a make believe-place. Some of the nurses bring their kids by once in awhile when they can't find someone else to look after them. And it's funny cause they don't seem to think my stories about the little people and candy-rain are all that strange. If anything, they just nod and smile. Like they wished they could come with me to the village and eat licorice-whip-cream pies. And I know how they feel. No one believes the things they say either. But I don't think they get the juice. Only animals get the juice, that's what Herbert says. I'm an animal, not some cruel person. There's a difference you see. One is just a thing by chance and the other is a made thing. I still got some smarts up there somewhere. And when I find them I'm gonna make Herbert's ears bleed. Maybe just enough so he can't hear me tell him about the little people. Then he won't have any reason to give me the juice and I'll be juice free. 'Fuck-you Herbert!' I'll say, and I'll dance around the room making funny faces and laughing at him. If victory is measured in the smallest of increments then that's one point for me.

I had a dream last night. But it wasn't about the little people at all. It was about the other side of the freeway. I dreamed that I could fly and I leapt from the window and flew out over the grass. Everyone woke up and stood at the windows looking at me flying. They all just stood there with their hands pressed against their heads like someone was ringing huge bells inside of them. And as I flew further from them everyone began to shake like they shake when the juice is moving through you and your body turns to concrete and jello all at the same time. And in my dream I almost go back, because I know they're all getting the juice cause I've escaped. But then I see the land on the other side of the freeway and I think to myself 'I'm going to go over there and prove to everyone that us animals don't need the juice so much. That us animals ain't what everyone says we are'. So I fly towards the freeway. And that awful humming sound from the juice gets louder behind me. And as I fly towards the freeway I begin to see myself flying. And the closer I get the bigger I get. So I keep flying and I keep growing until I'm huge and right in front myself. And then I stop suddenly and look myself in the eyes. And I realize it's just a big mirror. A big mirror. And then I dream that another version you and me is on the other side, like it's a big trick, one way mirror. And we're being pelted by candy-rain. And we're loving it.

Your Questions. My Answers. Dial 1-900-Idiot-Savant.

Due to Mr. Good's absence this section of the Manifesto will be temporarily turned off. We apologize on his behalf and hope that it does not cause any ill-will. Thanks.


Christi Thompson.