“So, we put beans in the water to wake up.”
“Why beans? You have the miraculous gift of water and you put beans in it?”
“We have to wake up.”
“Were early humans plagued with sleep disorders?”
“Yes, but that’s an entirely different topic.”
“The only motivation we need to wake up is escaping the laser ants.”
“Yeah, they come at 4:30 in the morning and destroy everything.”
“Sounds like a terrifying alarm clock.”
“What’s an alarm clock?”
“It’s a machine that wakes us up. It makes loud noises.”
“The laser ants do that too. Also, the children screaming… you should really be glad the process is automated.”
“I wish there was something we could do in the past for you.”
“There is. Live every day like it’s your last. And avoid promises from experimental humans promising ant-like powers.”
“Why would anyone want ant powers?”
“They don’t look it, but they can really dig trenches between the U.S. and Mexico. Or as we know them, McWasteland and the Smoking Sombrero Heap.”
“We don’t have racism in the future.”
“Yeah, we’ve been charred beyond all recognition. I kind of miss it.”
“I’ll tell you what. Let’s try coffee. You might like it.”
“Does it require annual tribute in sugar cubes?”
“Of course not. They take green paper.”
“Paper!? What rubes.”
So, I drew a comic…
Since everyone is doing it, I thought it right to detail my plans for the end of society. What’s that? Of course, it’s vogue. If there’s one thing it’s Ben Ditmars knows, it’s what’s vogue. And if there are two things I know, it’s probably how off-putting third-person portrayals can be. Regardless, in the events that follow, I will have a full-proof survival strategy: unless Pet Rocks arrive from the ’80s with revenge in their hearts.
- Zombie or Large-Scale Epidemic
Assuming the Umbrella Corporation buys Dow Chemicals or acquires a massive government contract, we can expect human experimentation that will lead to murderous monsters. It’s just good business. And my chance at living out the future my adolescence prepared me for. How would I survive? There wouldn’t be near enough bullets or hedge clippers to go Tallahassee from the movie Zombieland. I would have to improvise and cure all the deformed hippies being vagrants in my yard. First, I would go to the medicine cabinet and find the rubbing alcohol. Then scream about cotton balls. Why are they never where I left them? Once I tore the bathroom apart like the undead monsters I want to re-kill, the alcohol goes on the cotton balls. Then, BAM! I stand on the roof and huck them at passing brain Nazis. You know it will work, because rubbing alcohol is good at killing bacteria – and probably the T-Virus.
- Asteroid or Comet Collision
There aren’t many places you can hide when the earth has angry sex with a space rock. My initial reaction might be to seek high ground as the oceans engulf my last hope for Chicken McNuggets (I don’t miss them now, but I know after the earth has descended into eternal darkness I will want the flavor only processed meat dipped in ranch dressing can provide). My best bet? I’ve long suspected the highest setting on my ceiling fan has a greater purpose than shaking the walls like a demonic helicopter. Obviously the creators of this contraption never intended any mere mortal to pull the cord three times. If I so dare (an am worthy of this Zeus-like power) the upward force of my fan should push the asteroid to another unsuspecting solar system, preferably without fans of their own.
- Trump Becoming President
The Donald receiving the Republican nomination for President of the United States is scary enough, let alone him actually fitting his hair into Oval Office. There is an easier solution than living under a demagogue bent on denying basic freedoms to Muslims and women. Mexico pays to build the wall… around Trump. Think about it: Trump gets to rant all he wants and we don’t have to hear him speak. His supporters can hop in Cask of Amontilado style as we brick them in. They can even go down in the manner of Pharoahs with their life-size love-dolls of David Duke and copies of Mein Kampf.
5 billion years old and 5 billion years left.
Traded its cool sunglasses for Aviators.
Passed over for promotion to “regular star” at work.
Telling planets to “get off its lawn.”
Complains about low-H.
Naps during solar flares.
Recovering from bad divorce with Alpha Centauri.
Insists pulsars turn down “infernal” frequencies.
Exchanged asteroid belt for sweatpants.
Calls Neptune when it wants Pluto.
2015 has all but come and gone. Let’s take a look at some of the headlines that made it happen:
10. Adele is the Oprah of music. (I see the Adele Network in her future.)
9. Gwen Stefani realized for the first time since she hated me that she used to love me. (Because Used to Love You has Ben Ditmars written all over it.)
8. Secure servers do not refer to beach volleyball. Politicians should not shout their personal information across the court while playing. (Yes. That means you, Hillary.)
7. ISIS is a terrorist organization. The CIA suspects its supporters enjoy Faygo and responding to, “whoop, whoop” calls. Please report any and all insane clown activities.
6. Muslims ban all billionaire blowhards with fake hair. Oh, wait.
5. Bruce Jenner becomes first Kardashian woman with accomplishments. The world quickly implodes.
4. The Force Awakens… as do Furries with a Wookie fetish.
3. Despite recent Supreme Court decision, Katniss does not marry Greasy Sae in Hunger Games. Peeta rejoices and bakes bread.
2. The Dab and Nay Nay continue to perplex older white men.
1. Clemson coach Swinney refuses comment on demon butcher accusations. (But we all know he served more than pizza to the fans.)
Have you ever been on a date you felt really well about, but it turns out the other party did not? I might be the poster child for this feeling. Honestly, why am I surprised when a girl drops off the face of the earth after one, two, or even three dates? Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder what happened. I think it’s human nature to seek closure. So, I’ve collected the most plausible explanations for why my last date (I’ll call her Hermione) has not responded to texts or phone calls for the past week:
15. She was abducted by aliens who periodically update her social media accounts.
I don’t try to be a creeper but a guy notices after he’s seen someone for a while. And if the History Channel has taught me anything it’s that the most logical explanation for any uncertainty involves probing and interstellar spacecraft.
14. I was sucked into a parallel universe where we never dated and Donald Trump wants to be President.
It kind of feels that way, when things are going good and you’re really into someone. It suddenly stops and you’re left thinking reality has disintegrated in some fashion. Trump talking on the television does not help matters.
13. Hermione is actually a superhero trying to protect me from an assortment of villains.
Now, if I could believe any of these, it might be this one. I have seen A LOT of superhero films and I would feel comfortable knowing she had my safety in mind. Plus, the Green Goblin freaks me out.
12. Her Hogwarts acceptance letter came and she chose magic over being a Muggle.
Building on the last, I can totally understand the desire to perform spells and spontaneously appear places. I’m a pretty sweet guy, but I can’t find you a real unicorn.
11. Doctor Who enlisted her as a new companion.
Zipping around the galaxy? I really think we could have done this Amy and Rory style, Hermione.
10. A higher power called and she’s building a MySpace page for Jesus.
Pamphlets will soon follow.
9. She’s joined the Borg collective.
Ironically, she never tried to assimilate me.
8. She’s secretly a cylon.
I didn’t get a chance to check her programming, but earth might be in danger.
7. The internet absorbed her like the TV in Poltergeist.
If she’s avoiding the light, it would explain her reluctance to return my texts.
6. George R.R. Martin named a character after her and now she’s dead.
Martin really does kill everyone. Women you go on dates with are no exception.
5. Spontaneous vacation to Alderaan. Oops.
I tried to tell her the Death Star was ready, but she stopped responding.
4. She volunteered as tribute in the Hunger Games.
But, hey, she’s happy with Peeta. I just need to find my Katniss. Or Luna Lovegood.
3. She’s on the run from Terminators.
I can forgive her for this lapse. Clearly, we’ve all been on the run from murderous cyborgs. Most of us just call them bill collectors.
2. A vindictive dinosaur took her captive
Unfortunately, I’m not a plumber…
1. Ganon has the Triforce.
Holy shit. There’s only one option when Hyrule is in danger. Get on Epona and ride!
I published two short plays last year involving wannabe outlaws Vince and Thrash. They usually try to break the law and become infamous in the process. It never quite works out and last time we saw them they were arrested for domestic disturbance. This is the next chapter in their saga: Prison Pact.
County jail cell with a bed and toilet.
(VINCE sits on the toilet holding a Pogo stick.)
VINCE: We’ve done it now, Thrash. It’s the Green Mile for us.
POLICEMAN: You’re not in prison. It’s a jail cell.
VINCE: Won’t be long now.
THRASH: Do you think we get a last meal?
VINCE: Hopefully, it’s something sweet like the outside air.
THRASH: The sweet air of freedom. Heavenly, ain’t it boss?
POLICEMAN: You’ve been in here less than an hour for domestic disturbance.
VINCE: But it feels like years weighed heavy on my soul.
THRASH: Sinner’s never prosper, mama used to say.
VINCE: And we’re the sinners, never prospered.
THRASH: Amen, Vince.
(Vince starts playing harmonica.)
POLICEMAN: Where on earth did you get a harmonica? I searched you before you went in.
VINCE: It’s just something us lifers take to.
THRASH: I’m starting to feel old, Vince.
VINCE: Do you think we should join the Aryan nation? Or convert to Islam?
THRASH: I don’t know. We could ask that gentleman on the bed.
VINCE: He looks deep in contemplation.
POLICEMAN: He was arrested for drunk driving. He’s passed out drunk.
VINCE: Or he’s slowly using a rock hammer to bust out.
POLICEMAN: By the time he wakes up, he’ll want to use a hammer on his own head.
THRASH: I think we could bust out.
VINCE: It could work. We didn’t make it as famous artists or murderers.
THRASH: Unless, you count that squirrel.
VINCE: We will send his mother acorns after we break out.
THRASH: But, how? The bastille is impenetrable.
VINCE: I learned some tricks watching Mythbusters. We casually ask the guard for some salsa and BAM! In five to twelve years, we’re through the wall.
POLICEMAN: I can hear you plotting. Perhaps you could talk quieter?
THRASH: No thank you. We want this breakout to be infamous.
VINCE: You’ll have the honor of telling our story.
Policeman: Oh, Lord.
(Policeman stands up.)
Maybe I should check on you two.
(Policeman approaches to find two mannequins and an empty jar of salsa.)
© Ben Ditmars 2015
You’re breaking up with me!? I just killed friggin’ Voldemort! Remember that? Peeves sang Voldy’s gone moldy, and everyone hugged. It was like the best moment ever and we totally shared it, dude. The only thing missing were ewoks, but I could have conjured those too, because I’m the Elder Wand. See what you’re missing? You ain’t never had a friend like me…. Please don’t put me back in the grave. It’s creepy. I can change. I didn’t even kill anyone the last time I switched owners. Psychologists call that personal growth. And it was all you, buddy. Why don’t you sleep on it? It’s not like anyone knows you have the most powerful wand in the world. Except for the entire castle and soon-to-be convicted criminals you told. But, hey, why sleep when I can turn pincushions into penguins? It won’t even be hard. You just say pincushion, penguin and it’s there, babe. Let’s go for a magic carpet ride and sing Aladdin songs. I can totally make Disney movies come to life. It’s true. You don’t like how Bambi’s mom died? Boom. She’s alive again. Maybe you want to see Finding Dory a couple years early? Hey, I’ll summon a Tardis. There’s nothing we can’t do. Unless you want to cure hiccups. I mean, I can try, but you’ve still got to hold your breath or get scared.