Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Looming Fog of Discontent

If you're wondering just the deal is with today's title, I just thought I'd keep with yesterday's theme of pseudo-literary titles with only a vague connection to the actual post. I kind of like it that way. Actually, yesterday's title had a lot to do with the post because it pulled a theme from the day's skit and used it to create the title, but today's only pulls a piece of imagery from the post and runs with it. Runs with it a lot like a Special Olympian going for the gold.

Yesterday, as I headed into town on my way to work, I noticed that the buildings in the distance seemed to be glowing. I live several miles outside of the city limits and most of what lies between my house and the housing project, softball fields and the Wal-Mart that mark the edge of civilization here are cotton fields and pine tree plantations. On this particular day, I had walked out of the house to find a heavy fog. I kind of like the colors on overcast or foggy days. It's kind of like the muted palette of the X-Files, except that the greens seem to pop and become more vibrant and rich, somehow, in the midst off all the smoky grays. It wasn't until I broke from the trees onto the straight, flat stretch of four paved lanes of the highway that I realized that this fog was a little strange. I could see the angelic glow of the used car lot/junk yard owned by the guy I punched in the face in seventh or 8th grade, which is not exactly its normal appearance. It usually has an air more of a distinct disregard for his neighbors on either side and the churches across the street than anything saintly. He and his dad converted their front yard into a car lot while we were in high school and after graduation he bought the house next door and the car lot expanded. Sometime while I was in college or living elsewhere, they also bought the house on the other side of the original family abode, tore it down and converted the space into a junk yard. They really aren't that strict about zoning laws around here.

Just as I passed the lumberyard, I started to realize just what made this fog strange. So far in my trip, it had been overcast and gray in all directions, but as I closed in on the edge of town, I realized that this fog just ended instantly right about the city limits. It was like driving through a wall with very low viscosity as I rolled out of the mass of fog and into the clear blue skies and annoyingly bright sun of what lay beyond. The view in my rearview mirror was that of a storm cloud having fallen from the sky and crawling on the ground madly punching at the Life Alert medical assistance pendant. I could almost hear the ghastly cries of a billion water particles gasping out "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!"

Of course I assumed the most logical explanation for this odd weather pattern: The Large Hadron Collider underneath Switzerland was turning into a miniature black hole after all and I'd be dead by morning, crushed by the infinite gravity of my species' arrogance.

My worries weren't eased when I got to work and read the news that one of the computers working on the collider had been hacked by Greeks over the weekend.

Unfortunately, I woke up this morning to not find myself compressed into the space of a single molecule. It's rather disappointing, actually. I would have really liked to have known that the way I died was a side effect of a man-made cosmic phenomenon.


Mickey said...

Did you hear about the girl in India who killed herself because she thought the LHC would cause the end of the world? What a dumbass.

Julie said...

I appreciate your sense of humor when I read things like the emergency medical alert reference.