March 22, 2005

Million Words of Crap - Installment One

I have previously mentioned the adage that a writer needs to write a million words of crap before getting published. I know I have written close to a million words of non-fiction crap on the Internet over the last nine years (some here, some on Usenet and old Listservs), but I would like to experiment now with some fiction.

I'll count this short story I wrote as a first installment toward those million words. Here's the setup: what happens when a citizenry, with the best of intentions, has empowered its government to wage wars on drugs, terror, and lesser evils such as tobacco use? What do you think would happen if that same government were paying for everyone's health care? Don't you think it might take an interest in the lifestyle choices of its citizens?

Thus, the following thought experiment on that theme (very rough, but then it is part -- 671 words, to be exact-- of the million I'm supposed to crank out):

The War on ?The Food Police*

A loud banging sound reverberated through the small, dirty apartment. A rat skittered in panic behind the walls.

On the floor, a stack of girlie magazines teetered, supported by open boxes of two-day-old Chinese takeout and a layer of crumpled fast food wrappers.

In the corner, a recent-model computer idled, its screensaver showing a cheap rendering of hyperspace.

Behind the locked bathroom door, a dumpy, pear-shaped blob of a man desperately flushed his toilet. At just a half liter per flush (pursuant to the most recent eco-friendly conservation regulations), he was having trouble clearing the bowl of the incriminating evidence.

The front door splintered.

A squad of black-armored men and women crashed through the door and into the living room. The block letters "FDA" were stenciled on the back of their flak jackets.

From within the bathroom, the quivering mass of bad eating habits heard a muffled voice loudly stating "FDA! We have a warrant to take you into custody, and to search the premises."

Outside the bathroom, a trooper leveled her M4 at the door. "Open up," she said.

A desperate whimpering, accompanied by the sound of the toilet flushing answered her.

The trooper raised her boot and kicked the door, hard. Again. And again. And finally, the frame by the door knob shattered inward. The dumpy man fell backwards into the bathtub. The toilet bowl was filled almost to the rim. A few chunks of something yellow floated in the cloudy water.

The man in the tub emitted a horrible keening sound. His lank, greasy hair fell across his face, and a stain darkened the crotch of his gray sweatpants.

"Please God! No! Don't hurt me!"

The trooper roughly grabbed him under his left arm and attempted to haul him up out of the tub. As she staggered forward trying to overcome the inertia, she noted that the yellow chunks were some sort of spongy cake, oozing a creamy white filling into the toilet water. He tried to flush Twinkies down the toilet? Eeeeww! One last heave, and the suspect tottered up out of the bath, staggering out into the living room, the trooper backing ahead of him.

In the living room, the chief investigator was sifting through the oily detritus, placing different items in labeled evidence bags. As the trooper and suspect appeared in the living area, the investigator pulled out a pair of handcuffs.

As he bound the arms of the suspect, the investigator recited in a bored monotone: "You are being taken into protective custody for suspected civil violations of the Food Quality and Health Security Act of 2009. After we have determined your body mass index and performed a blood profile, we will notify you of your civil fine. Failure to pay the fine will result in your confinement to a federally-approved weight loss facility until such time as you have paid the fine, lowered your BMI, and restored your blood chemistry to acceptable levels of cholesterol and triglycerides."

"I want a lawyer! I have the right to a lawyer," pleaded the suspect.

"Well, no you don't. You see, this is a purely therapeutic proceeding, intended to prevent you from further harming your health. All fines and penalties are civil, and your custody does not constitute criminal imprisonment, so you have no Miranda rights."

As the agents dragged the overweight suspect from the apartment, the investigator looked around one last time for any remaining evidence. Then he saw it. A cellophane wrapper behind the TV. Telltale yellow indicated it was not empty, but contained a cream-filled treat he remembered well from childhood.

He glanced guiltily back at the door. A quick rip along the ventral side of the spongecake wrapper and the Twinkie was free of its plastic prison. He popped the entire snack into his mouth, chewed about five times, and swallowed. I wonder how soon until my next blood test, he wondered. I guess that means an extra 30 minutes of running tonight...

The End

(*) Title suggested by a friend. Thanks, Beth!

Posted by JohnL at March 22, 2005 11:29 PM

Great start! Too bad it's too close to reality.

Posted by: Ranten N. Raven at March 23, 2005 08:13 AM

"A quick rip along the ventral side of the spongecake wrapper"...that's delightful. And it makes me want to make a quick run to the 7-11. Looking forward to more. Cheers!

Posted by: Chan S. at March 23, 2005 12:51 PM

Heh, all set in an appropriately "Blade Runner" backdrop, I assume?

Posted by: Eric at March 23, 2005 11:49 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Save This Page