Big giant head


In Other News

A few unrelated items today...

The hoohah in Washington is sinking daily to newer, lower lows. It's disgusting, especially in light of Hyde's claims to be ignoring the polls -- and thus the will of the people, a solid 2/3 of whom don't want the president impeached. This stopped being about Right or Wrong a long time ago.

It's interesting to note all the Republican outcry for Clinton to apologize really sincerely and to admit that he lied. The implication being that if he'd only do that they'd call off the kangaroo court. Which calls the question, then, of just how weighty are these impeachment issues if a simple admission of wrongdoing can erase the need to impeach.

It's amusing to me to watch the Republicans grapple with this tiger they now hold by the tail. The momentum has built to such a level that now they have to vote to impeach whether they like it or not. They're not even thinking anymore, just following their party's self-destructive core impulse.

Frankly, I kind of hope they do impeach Clinton. If and when they do, all that hard work will have gotten them what? They'll still have a Democrat as President (Gore) and they'll have pretty well torpedoed any chance to put a Republican in there for the next round. (Of course, with Dan Quayle in the running they didn't have much of a shot to begin with.) This impeachment debacle will generate an anti-Republican backlash the likes of which they can't even imagine. Any vote that even borders on being undecided will, I think, go to the Dems by default for the foreseeable future, and a few years beyond that as well. They're shooting themselves in the foot, and the shotgun blast is going through the foot to blow a hole in the hull of their Ship of State to boot.

Beth is wondering why nobody has written to her after her guest column. I've explained that you folks are a reticent bunch but she still doesn't get it. So, okay, I don't mind if you don't write to me, but could you please write to my wife? Express your sympathy that she's married to me, tell her Zoe's beautiful, ask her how much coke David Lee Roth does, write her whatever you want but write to her or she may never write another guest spot. That means that I'll have to keep writing them all and I don't think any of us want that, do we? Do yourselves -- and me -- a favor, and write to her.
Zoe saw Santa Saturday. It was a much more successful visit than last year, when we forced her, screaming and wailing, into the old lech's lap and pinned her down while we got the all-important photo. This year she was looking forward to it. She climbed right up there, gave him a hug and told him what she wants: "A little bunny. A real one, not a toy one. I already have a toy bunny. I want a real little bunny."

I think she's going to be disappointed. I have it on good authority that Santa's not going to be bringing her a bunny, because if he did it would be Zoe's bunny for a brief span that might measure into days if we're lucky. At some point the real little bunny would become the big bad dogs' lunch, and that's a trauma we'd rather avoid. At least until next Christmas.


Monday - December 14, 1998
The Truth About Gummi Bears

Gummi Bears are evil. They're a satanic manifestation infecting the world with their sticky, wicked wiles and no good can come of it. Did you know that? Most people don't. But I do, and I have proof.

Let me tell you the story about the Gummi Bears That Killed My Fridge. (Danielle knows this story and can vouch for its veracity. She was there and witnessed the horror.) [Private note to D: Yes, I know I owe you email. It's coming, it's coming....but you of all people should know how bad I am about this sort of thing. Hey, could this private note maybe count as email? Nah....]

First some background on Gummi Bears. They're virtually indestructible. I know this because I've done experiments. Way back when in the days of yesteryear I had a job at a medical lab doing data entry on the night shift. I started at 8:00 pm and wrapped up at 4:00 am and there were long boring hours in between. When you're bored at 2:00 am, what better to do than try to mangle Gummi Bears? It was then that I learned the awful truth.

I lifted my desk off the ground and placed a Gummi Bear under the foot. Slammed the desk down, sat on the desk, bounced around a little bit, lifted the desk off the squashed Gummi Bear...and the Gummi Bear wasn't squashed. It was stuck to the carpet a little, but it peeled right off and seemed no worse for wear. It wasn't even dented. I then put the Gummi Bear's head into a drawer and slammed the drawer on it several times. Hard. This did produce a slight dent, but it only lasted for a moment before the evil power of the Gummi ploomped it out. I stepped up the violence, stomping on Bears, slamming them in doors, driving over them with my car, giving them rides in the centrifuge, dropping them off the building, etc. The Bears emerged universally unscathed. A few minor abrasions or dents, perhaps, but the hellish GummiPower healed them almost instantly. I'll admit it: I was scared.

Finally, I found a method to damage them: heat. I skewered a Bear on paperclips and suspended it over an ashtray, much as you would a pig over a barbecue pit. I arranged several matches beneath it in the ashtray and when I lit them I found a small measure of success. The flames licked the Bear, making it bubble and squeal. It began to melt. I laughed maniacally, certain I had found their Achilles Heel. But then I stopped laughing. Then I began to know the true character of horror. The Bear was melting, yes, but it was also dripping. Onto the flames. Dousing the flames. The Bear was losing its corporeal shape, but its Gumminess was still there, vanquishing my attempts to kill it. Broken but unbowed, the Gummi Bear was still winning.

I kept my distance from Gummi Bears after that. I watched nervously as their popularity spread through our society and I felt fear when I saw them mutating, spawning Gummi Worms and Gummi Ducks and all manner of things Gummi. I was the only one who knew the truth and I knew nothing could be done to stop them, so I tried to hide, tried to stay away. They came after me.

One day my mother gave me a 2 pound tub of Gummi Bears. Why? My mom doesn't give out candy as a rule and I can't imagine what would possess her to buy a Tub O' Gummi. Well, in fact I can imagine: She was under their heinous influence. The Bears knew that I knew, but couldn't get to me without help. So they possessed my Mom. Evil creatures, they are.

So now I had this Tub O' Evil in my apartment and I'll admit it, I was scared. Not just for myself, but also for my roommate Danielle, who didn't understand what they really were. No, Danielle thought they were neat, she thought it was nice of my Mom to give them to me. Clearly, I had to do something. I knew that fire didn't destroy them but rather freed them to reveal their true nature, so I decided to try the other extreme. Cold.

I took that Tub O' Terror and put them in the freezer. I took the Bears out of the tub and stuck them one by one to the sides and floor and ceiling of the freezer. It was covered with Gummi Bears by the time I was finished, a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, front-to-back and 'round the bend rainbow hued carpet of Gummi Bears. I could feel the evil baking off them as I stepped back and closed the freezer. For a brief, glorious moment I allowed myself the fantasy that I had won.

The next day the fridge stopped working. I looked in the freezer and my heart leapt to my throat. The Gummi Bears were still there, but now they were bigger. They had doubled, tripled, perhaps even quadrupled in size. And now the freezer was at room temperature, so the experiment had clearly been a crushing failure. Not only were they none the worse for wear, they had actually benefitted from the experience. They had sucked the freon out of the refrigeration system and had fed on it.

They can't be killed. They laugh off violence, heat only morphs them into a new form, they feed on cold. I submit to you that Gummi Bears are evil incarnate. I don't know what they want or why they're here, but nothing that is so indestructible or has such regenerative powers can bode well for the human race.

Why this long diatribe against the sinister forces of Gummi when they've let me live even though I know their secret? Why can't I leave well enough alone? Because they're coming after me again, this time through my own lovely daughter. Despite what I know of them, I slipped up the other day and bought Zoe a package of evil. She loved them, scarfed them up like nobody's business. And my terror sprang alive anew when, with a mouth stuffed full of Gummi Bears, Zoe gave me a little grin. A knowing grin. An evil grin. They're in my daughter now, God help her.

I just told Beth what I was writing about. Her response? "You know, I've been noticing Gummi Bears around the house lately. Where are they coming from?"

God help us all.


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Copyright © 1998
Chuck Atkins