Brett Rants

Fun in the Sun

It all seems like good clean American fun until some hive minded Klick'it invader from outer space tries to eat your spleen.

Act I

Close up of some dizzying carnival ride, I like the flashing lights, the ambiance, it is very exciting to me, well, exciting is maybe the wrong word, I feel awake, alive, like being there is important, which means the adreneline is flowing, a good thing, loud noises, flashing lights, the roar of coasters, a concert in the background, and a throng of people

It's an old story... meaning I'm quite done daydreaming about it, as it left my mind some time ago.

A boy meets a girl (or who knows, maybe a girl meets a boy) and they have a whirlwind romance. And hey, is it just me? Or does copy like that (you know, the whirlwind romance part) just sort of cry out for some sort of carnival ride image to juxtapose it all (perhaps, like the one above).

Anyway, they met at the carnival (the girl and the boy). She worked at the carnival. Ah, these things are so... ah, what's that word? Right, serendipitous. It was all quite serendipitous. See, they'd known each other from long ago... perhaps high school, maybe college, who knows, maybe a few years earlier or later or at some other age. And here she was (again), travelling to the town where he lived, working her gig, a singer in a side show band.

Now, the beauty of all that won't make any sense to you (any of you) unless I explain that the picture I didn't take (or actually, did take but won't post due to copyright hassles) is an image of a giant gorilla playing an organ, some equally unlikely animal playing the drums, another on guitar, while fourth in the combo (not that I can be bothered to count the exact number in that-there combo) was a female singer: Rodentia.

No. That's not the interesting part. The interesting part (to me, at least) is that this was the exact same robotic puppet-master combo that was working in a pizza joint (installed as a permanent attraction might be more accurate) back in the day when I was working fast food and flipping burgers. So, of course, in my free time, I liked lounging in a booth, eating pizza, and watching the Trio (or Quartet or whatever it was) come to life every five or ten minutes (just like clockwork) and play some ditty.

Good times... or crappy times, seared into my conciousness from mind numbing repetition, week after week, I'd go there, they'd play, she'd sing... calling to me, that gal from my youth.

And of course, this particular robotic ensemble (out of however many they made, I mean, how many franchise locations did that pizza joint have) that I saw at the carnival was the exact same one as the one from my misspent young adulthood... call it my youth.

Eh, maybe it wasn't. But then, how many female rat singers (or was she a sexy-sexy mouse) standing four foot tall have a tattoo (BHP: green letters boldly centered in a red heart: ) on their left ankle done up in fading felt tip pen?

Well, one never really knows. But back in the day, the answer was one.

This would be a picture of that swing ride, were you sit in a seemingly harmless swing set harness at ground level and then they raise the thing up like a thousand feet in the sky and they whip you -- not me, not by a long shot -- they whip you around and around until you feel like puking and stop caring if you fall out of the blessed thing or not, also, clouds in the background, as this was a few minutes before they shut the part down, and maybe a few minutes, call it rides, after the manager started walking around telling everyone to shut it down, which they will, just as soon as the paying customers get the hint and leave, oh, and talk about a lighting rod, you do not want to be on that thing when lightning hits, me, I just do not want to be on that thing

Now, I've said it was a whirlwind romance, have I not?

It was intense? The sparks flew... though, that may be a premature reference (the bane of my existence, that premature part), owing to all the images of fireworks I have waiting in the wings. But whatever. It was wild. Like one of them-there (and I really have taken to them-there-those southern drawl slang constructions as of late, but not so much to) thrill rides.

Now, back in the Real World (or this part of The Real, who is to say where, exactly, the edges begin to unravel) I like to go to festivals. I like the crowds. I like to feel the energy, feel the pulse... and watch the inner workings of it all.

Have you ever watched a sideshow carnival sing-show all up close during the middle of the day? And then, really fallen into it (just having it seared into your conciousness and all) on account of the tornado warning, you know, all Wizard of Oz like, going off in the background? One minute you're listening to your childhood sweetheart sing, really belt it out; and the next, you are cavorting, walking on air (or praying silently to yourself on one of those thrill rides, as you fly around and around and around, waiting for certain death) and the next you are running for shelter together, wondering how long you have until the storm hits... and what kind of storm it will be?

There's a whole Wizard of Oz, Carnival Beauty, Throwback to Youth & Rewrite It All story in there... and not just in there, not buried deeply, but right on the surface, a dash through the rain, a shower to get warm, a recounting, a reliving... or do it right and let that moment of torrential downpour be the cue to flashback to youth, that day in the rain, running across a park, stopping in the middle, not caring, not a care in the world... and kissing, kissing for the first time, like it was the first time, like it was now or never, like something out of a movie... or a book... or a throwaway page in some seldom visited corner of the Internet, you know, something like that.

And just sort of fall into it and let it take you back in time... or at least, to somewhere else.

Act II

This and the next are the two keeper photographs out of who knows how many, along with the shadow image at the bottom, that were taken outside the Race Track where they shoot off works, it could be interesting to go inside some day, and as I am playing the ponies as of late, maybe will do, but for now, the show is easy enough to see from the sidewalk across the street We really did have to stand on tip toes, peeking through the vines, over the fence, it was the ground works that were the hardest to see, the sparklers, I am sure we ruined or interupted the view for some of the others behind, but come on, if you care, stand, cross the street, I do not like to block anothers view, but at some point, you got to stand to see the show

It's not a bad story... or it's a very bad story, but no worse that we've come to expect from the Modern Media Establishment. Unfortunately, the story never developed (or I never developed it) much beyond what I've written.

And then, you know, I watched the fireworks. Which is to say, it was not a tornado that closed down the carnival (quite obviously); but rather, the the air raid sirens, with bombs blasting in air, gave proof through the night... that $10,000 (or was it $20,000, I forget which) is enough to put on one heck of a show.

This display (above, the first of the season) was seen from behind a vine covered fence, standing on tippy-toe, hand in hand.

Back in story land, I think it's pretty clear that the aliens are attacking. I'll go with the Klick'its for this story. Mainly, because I was talking to their spokes-insect the other day. And he said, 'Klick'it! Klick'it! Klick'it!' Hence, the name. And which roughly translates as, 'I'm going to eat your spleen,' and I'm just going to assume he left off the part about how he was going to eat my spleen if I didn't start writing about them again. But now that I think on it, I think he just wanted to eat my spleen.

Anyhow, Klick'its!

They like spleens. You like foie gras (well, it's conceivable that you like foie gras) or some other nasty animal by-product. And Klick'its like spleens. They are connoisseurs of the organ, preparing it in a variety of intricate ways: raw, immediately upon removal, and while still in the body.

Huh! There's a certain theme to that list. And now that I think about it, Klick'its aren't so much connoisseurs of the human spleen as hungry man-sized insects (that look sort of like praying mantises... only more psychotic), who are none to big on small talk ('Klick'it! Klick'it! Klick'it!' roughly translating as, 'Stand still so I can eat your spleen'), and have decidedly one track minds. 'Spleens, now!' What else is there? Which sort of begs the question: How did they develop space flight in the first place.

Oh, right Klick'it, the Klick'it sage, said it best when he Klick'it'ed (or is that Klack'it'ed) the most famous Klick'it aphorism of all time:
If you're hungry, go where the spleens are.
For those interested in developing their knowledge of the Klick'it philosophical outlook on life, please see these other Interstellar Best Sellers:
Klick'it and the Art of Spleen Eating
A Klick'its Guide to Spleens
And my personal favourite:
Eat Spleens, Eat Spleens, Eat Spleens
The Klick'it equivalent to Eat, Pray, Love.

The next three are images of a high school, I think it was a high school, some sort of school, activity yard, taken over for the purpose of family amusement They had another carnival here, not shown, no real winning pictures of that, I am moving more in the direction of close ups than wide angle shots, and none of the close ups were any better than the blur at the top of the page The real important thing is that at this show, we got close enough so ash fell on our clothes, you could smell the gunpowder or cordite or whatever they use and the explosions filled a sizable portion of the sky... they were also quite loud

I think I mentioned (somewhere, maybe in the previous section) that the previous (over the fence) fireworks display was (only) the first of the season. This is the second one (the one, during which we were advised of the cost to the town of said display by a volunteer seeking donations); and during which, we got right up to the fence line, coming around from the backside, as we did, where there weren't nearly as many people as one might expect (a couple hundred versus a good ten thousand on the other side of the launch pad, so go figure).

It was intense. It was awesome. It was right up there with the fireworks I saw while driving down the highway (in Utah of all places), timing is just right (meaning, we got lucky), so the grand finale broke loose over our car. Now, that was surreal... and like being in a war zone... or as close to a war zone as I ever hope to be.

Suffice to say, Klick'its are fairly easy to kill:
  1. Bullets are remarkably easy to come by in America.
  2. And Klick'its (not being the product of some idiotic Hollywood's producer's idea of a compelling adversary) are easily killed by the things (i.e. flying projectiles launched at high speed from small caliber weapons).
Well, I say it's easy to kill a Klick'it. But when does a soulless creature really die? When its legs stop twitching? When its claws stop pinching? Or when you feel relatively safe standing on their heads and jumping up and down until you hear that satisfying crunching sound.
'Did you see what they did to Bob?'
That's supposed to be a Klick'it talking there. But there are a few things wrong there. First, Klick'its don't talk, they Klick'it (have you learned nothing). Second, Klick'its don't have names... and even if they did, I (for one) could care less what they are. And third (this being about as high as I can count, which is still two or three more than your average Klick'it), upon watching the demise of another Klick'it (notice how I did not call it a friend), I cannot see a Klick'it saying anything other than:
'Sucks to be Bob. Oh, well. More spleens for me.'
And this, of course, is why (to be a Patriotic American, Booyah!) one needs an automatic weapon... or two... or three, because reloading ain't the limiting factor here, folks. It's letting the barrels cool down in-between bursts, as those suckers get hot.

Anyway, it may look like the invasion is being fought off in the above pictures. But please note, the explosions are not occurring on the surface of some distant planet, in the heart of some (once again) distant nebula, or even in the upper atmosphere of our dear sweet Planet Earth. They are happening about a hundred yards off the ground (on account of the cost of fireworks, permit restrictions, and anything more powerful could probably, just guessing here, be used to take down an aeroplane, but I'm just guessing there, so don't go and try that at home). Of course, just between you, me, and a Hundred and One Hungry Klick'it Invaders, that's way too close for my comfort level.

I think this is from the same show as the previous three, I like firework pictures, these are more sparkly looking I probably waste too much of my time during events taking pictures, I do not know how many images I took on the three outings, but it was likely over five hundred, and what, I am keeping under ten, so it is not that many, on the other hand, experience has shown that three out of four pictures are fuzzy, and it is very hard to know a day, week, or a month in advance, three months for this project, which images are going to make the cut These three remind me vaguely of nebuli, which reminds me of how many projects there are outstanding in my mind, but I seem to want to do the easy ones first, it is difficult starting something new, especially if it is mentally draining, anyhow, space pictures from the hubble telescope or that new one they are building, forget the name, is compelling, but is it compelling enough, three hours of work on the day, and soon enough, I will have had it with computer time

Have we talked enough about Klick'its? I don't think so. After all, I still got more firework pictures to go.

In the above, I think we are on the second night of fire works, so July 3rd, same as before (as in, these last three pictures -- above -- are from the same show as the previous three-way set -- further above). And I'm viewing fireworks being launched from some school's exercise yard, which in turn, stood across the street (or across a barren field) from, yet another, carnival.

The girl (you remember the girl, a long lost love from yesteryear, who ran away to join the circus -- sorry, carnival -- and was singing in some sideshow act) had, for a while, dated the guy who ran the BB Gun Shoot Out the Red Bullseye Game, so she's a pretty good shot.

I'm a pretty good shot, too. For one, I really loved that BB Gun Shoot Out the Red Bullseye Game as a kid, not that I ever won, but it shows where my interests lay. And for two, I shot guns... like a lot. I was good at it. I would have made a great sharpshooter... because I am psychopathic, have low empathy, and like winning.

Eh, maybe that's all a lie.

The way it isn't a lie is like this. I am psychopathic... in regards to Klick'its. I wish them all dead. This pretty much means I have low empathy, once again, when it comes to Klick'its. And finally, I like winning... to the point of being a bad sport, which doesn't have that much to do with Klick'its. But if you think I am going to wait until their (or your) transports land (or your children grow up to hate me) before blasting them out of the sky {water, or desert wasteland}, you've got another thing coming.

Oddly (as I assume it will be a little odd to you, maybe less so for me), I don't actually want to push the story forward any more than that in this section. Instead, I want to talk about The Constitution... or more accurately The Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, which I'll get to after I post my final deuce of firework photos.

looking over the marina at the fireworks in the distance, boats in the foreground, a sparkly fire-burst, it was not a very good view and next year, if there is a next year, if next year lands me in the same place, I will view from a different location and/or angle Red at night, sailor is under fire, boats, red sky, more fire works, after the show, the rain began, probably going to forget about that in story, as I already have, and I doubt I will rewrite it that much, anyhow, the show ended, the drops began, and within a few minutes, the deluge began, if I knew how bad it was going to get, I would have taken a head start, as it was, I tried to wait it under a tree, then under a tent, but I was already soaked through and through by that point, ringing out my shirt repeatedly

I was recently in a fancy restaurant eating lobster bisque (so, in story, feel free to imagine the girl and I -- or the girl and the boy, if you prefer -- eating cheese and sardines raided from some store... or more likely, to wherever some, now dead, hoarders took it... or even better yet, sitting around some fire roasting the head of a Klick'it drizzled with olive oil) and I was discussing with another (which means, I was arguing loudly with another, as we punctuated our remarks with bits of a fine artisanal roll that we were throwing at each other, whereupon the maitre d kindly asked us to leave, but we didn't because 'Freedom of Speech, M*** F***' and can we please have some more of those delicious Olive & Herb Rolls, which he said he would bring if we stopped behaving like Spoiled Millennials and began composing ourselves more like the Dignified Baby Boomers he could only assume we were, which we -- being the Dignified Baby Boomers that we are -- agree to do; whereupon, we began discussing in more hushed and conspiratorial tones) the total meaninglessness of 'Constitutional Rights' in the modern era.

Um, actually, that's not what we talked about at all. This other (call them a poor misguided fool) was arguing for 'a strict interpretation of the constitution' or some such nonsense. I mean, hey, don't get me wrong, I'd be happy to go back to brass tacks (they are much better than tin tacks, as any upholsterer knows) and some sort of conservative interpretation of the constitution. But however you phrase the desire, the statement is meaningless.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to have both Free Speech and Obscenity Laws.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to have both Freedom of Religion and Morality Laws... and pretty much every law is a Morality Law.

And the purpose of the Second Amendment (remember to capitalize that phrase kids or your teacher will mark off points to teach you some respect) is to arm the citizens so they can form a militia and be able to fight off a freaking Klick'it invasion that is going to happen any frick-fracking day, now, you communist flip!

Or in other words, if I can imagine having better weapons than a hunting rifle to fight off alien invaders (call them Klick'its, everyone else is) then my Second Amendment Rights are being VIOLATED!

Which is about when I lost my cool, flipped over my lobster bisque (or more accurately, tossed said bisque -- it really wasn't that good, anyway -- into a nameless other's face), and proceeded to laugh at how silly they looked with a lobster claw dangling from their ear.
'Ha! If you could only see how silly you look.'
'That is it! I am going to have to ask you to leave! Now!'
Um, which is to say, before I return you to your story (already in progress), you might want to imagine one of the lead characters (smoking hot girl and/or sexy-sexy boy, ripped beyond belief) laughing hysterically (as only near death experiences can make you laugh, don't believe me, come mountain climbing with me someday, tie your rope to mine, and I'll show you fear: 'Geronimo!') as the other is covered from head to toe in Klick'it innards and goop.

Please bring all meat (and/or extraterrestrial Klick'it innards: a.k.a. goop) to an internal temperature of 165° for thirty-five minutes prior to consuming in order to ensure all interstellar parasites, extraterrestrial viruses, and praying mantis like insectoid eggs have been rendered harmless.

So, yeah, it's probably me (sucks to be me, it always does in these stories) who is the one standing there with Klick'it goop running down their face. And to make light of the fact (and/or otherwise steer the conversation away from my newly soiled pants), I lick my face, swallow some goop, and quickly change this-here farce into a zombie flick.... because, you know, Klick'it goop, toxic as... something.

Only, no.


Can you see the camera in this picture, can you, are you looking, or was this picture taken before there was a camera in this picture, soon enough there will be, you know, in the meantime, it is a streetlight, bottom up view, which has a vaguely Martian Attack vibe to me, and it is here that we switch to the third act and why Klickits ever made it into this story in the first place

Does the above image remind you of one of those eyes from War of the Worlds?

Well, it does to me!

And they got those things all over town!!!

So really, considering my sensitive mental state (I have triggers, they are many, and I will be suing you shortly for damages and permanent mental impairment; thus) you can imagine what a quagmire (and/or minefield) walking through town (Any Town, really) is for me.

So, don't be asking me what's happening in Story Land, as I've got enough on my plate at the moment. Still, if you must, I believe: some boy has been reunited with his (please choose one) {elementary, high school, college} sweetheart, the circus and/or carnival where she works is being hit by a Class IV Hurricane (like I have any idea what that means), the Civil Defence Sirens are working overtime (clearly, the Klick'it's are invading), and these little guys are suddenly popping up (not to mention, make a delightful popping sound whenever you step on them) all over town.

No, it is not, but close enough for government work, it is a cicada or some other insect type, not a bad close up, if I do say myself

I don't even know what you call them!

Some sort of Creepy Crawly. Sure, call them cicadas if you don't want to sound like some paranoid sissy boy who has trouble crossing busy streets all by his lonesome. But Real Men (there must be some in the audience) recognize them for what they are: Reproductive Klick'it Breeding Queens!

Oh, yeah!

And you thought it was safe to go out at night, maybe light a citrine candle or something, snuggle up with a glass of wine, realize that beauty of yours must shake her {something or another} on stage when she sings, so position the lawn furniture just so, pour her an extra drink, and let her go at it!


I love those scenes in movies (or at least, did, back in the day) that revolved around little more than a hot young thing (or old, I'm told some of those erotic nasties were centuries old) dancing away, gyrating as only a B-Movie (possibly Vampiric) Vixen can, while we, in the meantime, take an interlude (call it an intermission) as we lie back and watch the beauty shimmer and shake in our own backyard.

So, yeah. You can gaze at the night sky. Me? I've got my eyes firmly planted on the chick, who is incorporating the lawn furniture into some sort of modern dance number, whose main expressive purpose seems to be showing off how limber she is.

A light on the side of a concrete building, it is at a train station if you must know, but that will not do you any good, just a light, shining downward, against a brick backdrop, call it art, but if you really need these tags to tell you what the picture is about, maybe you would be happier to imagine a sexy-sexy girl dancing it up on a trampoline in the backyard, I know I would

Good going guys! We blasted those Klick'its right out of the sky!
Oh? Did you?

At fifty feet high in the upper... I mean lower... I mean, basically at ground level, shock troops disembarking for that last quarter mile, because, you know, Klick'its are pretty much OK with pushing other Klick'its out the door just to get a better view of the landing site.

And you think that because you and your friends... or that Hollywood Hero... or me and some dazzling beauty, who have so much better things to be doing with our last few moments on Earth than shooting at some make-believe insect horror... but whatever, just because you, he, or we (because it gets complicated and I don't really know who is doing what anymore) blew up a few alien space ships over their (your or our) small, little, no where, podunk town (and I'm pretty sure that's the name of a real town somewhere in Iowa... or should be), the invasion has been thwarted, the menace averted, and all is happy in Blissville, Oregon: Population: One... meaning you, Big Boy.

Seriously, have you not watched a Horror Flick? The bad guy wins. That's what makes it a Horror Flick. And it's all good and dandy that you killed a few grown-up mature Klick'it warriors (because, let's face it, they are a bad lot through and through, those Klick'its, each of whom would like nothing better than to eat your spleen), it's not like killing a few hundred-thousand (million-billion) of them will stop the invasion.

I don't think anything will stop the invasion!

Plant leaves infected by some virus, I could not be bothered to remember the name, or Spanish Beetle, or something, leaves eated clean, just the skeletal outline remaining

The planet is dying! If the end does not come today, then tomorrow! If not tomorrow, then the next day! Look! My calender is free. I could do it the week after next. Whatever! I am a patient man! The Klick'its, not so much. They're always in a hurry to eat your spleen. But me, I am a patient man. I walk the streets, whistle my tunes, and watch the world burn, doing its dance, as it comes crashing to the ground in a slow motion death spiral.

Great! It will take a hundred years. Does that make you happy? Or fifty? Or ten?

Of course, it's all a lie.

The sun is peeking through the clouds, it may or may not have been taken before and or as they shut down the carnival

After all, as the lyrics to that song go:
It's the end of the world as we know it.
I have no doubt.

But planetary invasion by a bunch of silly insects, who haven't widened their culinary intake to include hearts, lungs, livers, and brains ('Argh! Tasty-tasty brains!') is not the calamity that is going to do us in.

Nor is a little tornado. I mean, sure, sucks to be on that Tilt-a-Whirl when those hundred mile per hour winds come roaring through and rip the ride off its tracks. Seriously, stuff like that makes you think twice about eating carny food, I'll tell you what.

But with every degree warmer the Earth is getting, girls are wearing skimpier and skimpier outfits, until:
'I could eat you right up, here and now. Yeah, I'm looking at you, missy.'
Do your remember me? I remember you. Sure, we went our separate ways. People often do, but here we are at this little carny and it looks like they are going to close things down for the night, so why don't you let me buy you dinner. Oh, I know just the place, serves a highly mediocre lobster bisque and the maitre d (or whatever those fools are called) is a bit of a snob. But one way or another before the night is through, I am sure I can lay so much Blasted Salami on you, you will not know which way is up.

You're wondering about the girl? We lived happily ever after.

You're wondering about the planet? It died a slow painful death; but luckily, everyone who cared about it died first. Going on a couple thousand years ago, by my reckoning. But I'm sure some Buffalo Killing Indian with a Tear in His Eye will beg (come on, get a job, already) to differ.

But you see, the thing is, we're all just trying to live the good life... which is all the Klick'its want... well, yeah, that and to eat your spleen, but you're focusing on the wrong part. By now, you should be asking yourself:
'Self, what about the Klick'its?'
It's a loose end. It needs to be tied up. Sure. Sure. Explain it all away as a bit of story time to pass the storm and seduce the girl, you know, the random musing of a madman... however sexy and buff he might be.

But you know that's not all there is to it. You can still smell the cordite, after all. And don't be telling me that's from some fireworks display. And that goop in your hair. Come on, you're not a Reality TV Star and you know how to bring spoon to mouth.

So, what about the Klick'its?




You see...





And then summer was over, the first frost hit, killing all of the hated Klick'its (I mean, it's called a Killing Frost for a reason), and they lived happily ever after.

The End

Now, go to sleep, Cassidy.

a shadow picture of the boy and the girl taken at the first fireworks display

But is it really The End?

As a pair of vigilant lovers look to the night sky...

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But seriously, how are we going to fight off the Klick'its when even the poles no longer freeze?

© copyright 2018 Brett Paufler


Klick'its don't want you to know that they exist. And truth and fiction are mixed interchangeably throughout the text (call it a story) to the point:

It's All One Great Big Lie!

Yes, I really exist.

But can you be sure of anything else?