It’s in the News
By Mike Downs
I read the news today.
Undiscovered microbe eats Gulf oil spill. New York City infested by bed bugs. Half a billon eggs recalled.
The oil eating microbe headline conjures up images of the old blob movie. The one from the 60’s with Steve Mc Queen. A mysterious oil-eating microbe emerges as the huge black blob. It is coming ashore to devour the unsuspecting citizens of a small beach town on the Gulf. The thing is rolling in on the tide with its lopsided tumble, like an under-inflated beach ball. Clearing a swath, the now plainly visible undiscovered microbe strikes fear into the hearts and minds of all before it.
Who will save us? The myriad government agencies cannot decide who is responsible. There does not seem to be anyone home at homeland security. Meanwhile the blob rolls on. Men, women, dogs, cats, all vanish as the blob consumes everything it encounters. Its size grows to huge proportions. Reporters and news vans rush to the scene. The blob seems to have an appetite for news reporters and their vans. The world cries in horror. Where is Obama? Our representatives from both houses have taken their families and gone underground. OMG, OMG, we need a super hero.
A tourist from New York strolls along the beach looking for shells. He pauses frequently to awkwardly scratch his back. He has some ugly rashes that itch incessantly. The man is camping out farther up the beach, and has no access to the news. He has not been feeling well; he thinks his camping stove could not generate the heat it needed to cook the bacon and eggs he had for breakfast.
The blob is returning to the sea to get a sip of good old salty, oil-polluted water. The last news crews have left it with a bad aftertaste. The tourist stops his scratching in midstroke; he hears something crashing through the underbrush. The blob smashes through palm trees and is now wobbling heavily off center. No doubt caused in part by the cement truck it rolled over still mixing and flopping around the blob’s interior. The sand on the beach flies as the lumpy mass of changing colors approaches the sea. The various items it has consumed tumble around inside the beast like rocks in a dryer.
Mr. Tourist, riveted motionless by the sight of the beast, retches violently. The blob pauses and, as if disgusted by the tourist’s retching, changes course to wade into the surf. A sound akin to a deep sigh oozes from the blob as the surf roils around it. For a few minutes, the blob shivers and shakes like jelly. It forms a mountainous peak and the cement truck erupts from the precipice. The still rotating mixer soars high into the air and splashes down a thousand yards out to sea. The blob flattens and lets the sea cover it. It then expels a noxious cloud of steam that contains a fine spray of metal parts. The glossy black color slowly returns.
The worldwide warning has gone out for news crews to stay away. The blob does not take to the bright lights and cameras. A bevy of TV station helicopters darkens the skies. Several crash into each other and fall into the sea. Two choppers close on the blob and hover low overhead. With a well-aimed spit, the blob sends a partially digested news van into the sky. The van strikes one chopper’s tail rotor and it spins wildly. The tail of the stricken chopper crashes into the second chopper. The copters disintegrate in mid air, the flaming pieces fall toward the sea. The blob forms a graceful cup and devours the pieces as they fall.
An eyewitness reporter from far out to sea records the remarkable events for the anxious public on the six o’clock news. No pictures of the beast are in any news coverage, the cameras that were close enough, the blob ate. The only footage the news cameras have is of rescue teams pulling the crews of the downed helicopters out of the sea. One fuzzy long lens shot shows a lumpy shape in the surf. As night falls, the blob slides completely under the waves and vanishes from sight.
The next day, trim and refreshed, the blob emerges from the sea. The slick shiny black mass oozes across the beach and follows its earlier path back through the ruined palms. The deserted town with its boarded up windows along the main street looks like an old ghost… nothing stirs. The blob slithers from one side of the street to the other as if it wants to find some sign of life. A news van turns the corner at the far end of the street; it stops with the tires screeching on the pavement. The blob reacts with a surge of speed and races toward the van. The passenger in the van scrambles to aim his heavy camera as the driver slams the gear lever into reverse. The camera smashes through the windshield and is the first item on the morning menu for the blob. The chase is on; the news van travels backward as fast as the driver can go. It crashes through the front door of the hardware store and sends lawn tractors and small gator boats flying. The driver jams the gear lever to drive and floors the gas pedal. The blob, having digested yesterday’s feast, is quickly closing the distance on the van. Clouds of smoke pour from the van’s rear tires. The driver is panicked by the terror of the looming blob. The passenger flies out of the seat and tries desperately to get out of the van. Tape cans and electronic gear block the way to the back. The passenger door has an outboard motor stand jammed against it. The van’s burned down tires finally find some traction and the van shoots forward.
The driver fights to control the careening vehicle. The sudden acceleration has proved to be more than the overwhelmed driver can manage. The blob arrives in time to snatch away the rear bumper from the fishtailing van. The van jerks sideways from the force of the bumper’s removal. The driver’s eyes bulge to the size of saucers. His fingers grip the steering wheel so forcefully that he cannot manage to turn it with any accuracy. The driver now has a straight path and he stomps the gas pedal. The end of the street comes up too fast. The already frantic driver now has to make a decision on which way to turn. He pulls the wheel to the right and jumps the curb, the van careens down the road on two wheels. Miraculously it bounces back down on all four wheels just as the road turns to the left. The passenger along with all of the equipment that was stored on shelves in the back of the van, are like carrots in a blender.
The blob has zeroed in on its prey, and is stretching out to overcome the speeding van. The blob rises above the van, the wind billowing it like a curtain. The driver of the van freezes when he glances in the side mirror, the van crashes through the side of a huge warehouse. Boxes of recalled eggs fly into the air, the van completely out of control slides helplessly on the smashed eggs. Crashing through the far side of the warehouse the van goes over a pier and into a river. The last sighting of the van is the back end of it bobbing with the current heading down river.
The blob also crashes into the warehouse. The van gone, the mysterious microbe blob is busy slurping up the entire egg content of the warehouse. The blob has to pause a moment to find room for the mountainous feast. Having grown to even greater proportions the blob staggers away. The remainder of the warehouse building rides on the back of the undulating mass.
The blob travels for a short distance and begins to wobble. The color is changing from the glossy black to a dirty brown. The blob begins to shiver, the metal roof of the warehouse shakes apart and the panels fall to the ground with a sound like thunder. The blob changes course and heads back to the sea.
Mr. Tourist having escaped the clutches of the blob returned to his station wagon and threw everything out of it until finding a gallon bottle of ole rotgut. He drinks a good deal of the bottle’s contents and staggers back to his tent. A trail of bed bugs from the scattered junk thrown from the station wagon, dutifully follow the man to his tent.
The blob makes the beeline for the sea; it needs the soothing waves to wash away a bad feeling it has. It stumbles over a tent just yards from the welcome of the sea and without stopping pulls it in. The quivering mass begins to turn a kaleidoscope of colors, it reaches the sea but before the waves cover it, the thing retches violently. Fragments spew far out to sea; the blob disintegrates itself to which it came.
The crew of the news van washes up on a riverbank. Panicked the two men fabricate a fantastic story to tell their boss. The loss of the van and the entire load of equipment will not play well for them. Their editor, not only needing a big headline, but also not wanting to be responsible for the loss of the van, makes a quick decision. Even without pictures or corroboration of any kind, he clears space on the front page for the story.
The two newsmen rent a camcorder and set up on the beach. With sea as background, the reporter gives his story and ends the tale with a shot of black speckles washing up on the beach. The reporter looks gravely into the camera and says, “It wasn’t the bed bugs, it was bad eggs that killed the beast.”
The local news that evening reports the sighting of tar balls on the beach. The news anchor’s feature story is the infestation of New York with bed bugs. “The whole state is lousy with’em. You can’t walk on the ground without crunching them under foot.” he reports. “And don’t forget to check the bad eggs that the big stores buy from out of state too.”
The Bed Bug Army
The bed bug army continues the relentless march across the nation.San Francisco is the latest major city to fall under the mighty heels of the feared bloodsuckers. Fresh from their victories in New York, the bad news bugs march onward with renewed confidence in their quest to conquer the nation.
Who can stop them? The best exterminators New York could throw at them failed. Will they rule the earth as we know it? These are questions that all of earth’s people must answer.
Could this be another Bin Laden terror plot? Think of the tiny beasts loaded with belts of high explosives. Hundreds, thousands, even millions of them, tiny suicide bombers climbing into your bed tonight.
City officials from a small town north of San Francisco have reported an oil slick on the Petaluma River.
Homeland Security officers are quickly on the scene to scour the river for the unknown oil-eating microbe.
The fine people of Homeland Security hope that the blob that inadvertently saved the Gulf coast will be the answer to the bed bug terror. They are gathering the world’s foremost scientists to try to coax the blob from the unknown microbe.Petaluma becomes the world headquarters for blob research. News correspondents rushing in with their vehicles and crews now outnumber the citizenry of the normally small quiet town.
In a related news flash, fear is spreading that the stinkbug recently reported on the rise could unite with the bed bugs to form an undefeatable scourge. Humankind trembles with the thought.
Stay tuned to this site for important future updates.
The Story continues....
As recently reported to the quivering public the Bed Bug saga marches on.
Homeland Security was unsuccessful in its attempt to resurrect the blob from a Petaluma oil slick. The Bed Bugs were free to take over the San Francisco
hotels. However, the bugs found the treatment by the hotels most discouraging. The leading hotels, unlike their New York
counterparts, reacted by burning the infected bedding and disinfecting the rooms. The enraged Bed Bugs decide to leave San Francisco. Large groups of the bugs find good hosts and hitch a ride to the airport. To the poor bugs’ horror, many get fried when their hosts pass thru the new full body scanners. Others suffer the indignity of exposure in pat downs. Mortified the remaining bugs find trains and buses toMiami where they can coerce baggage handlers to help them on planes to Paris, France.
The bugs are not strangers to Europe
but they find the attitude of the French deplorable. French men and women find themselves scratching furiously in the most embarrassing places. Other Frenchmen immediately brand these frantically scratching people as foreigners.
Stay tuned for the future adventures of the marauding menace as world news presents the events.