And then, at that precise moment: that’s when the trouble really began in earnest. 

Of course, looking back on it now, there were plenty of signs, if one cared to look. 

But one did not care to look, did one? Why would one? After all, it was so much easier to pretend it didn’t matter; to pretend everything would work out ‘somehow.’ 


Was there any word in the English language so destructive or at least so self-delusional as ‘somehow’? 

Because ‘some’ is not your typical ‘how.’ A typical ‘how’ is a plan put together by knowledgeable motivated people and executed by knowledgeable motivated people. Some such plans are more detailed and some less so. Some have very well-defined responsibilities and some do not. But none of the real ‘how’s that I have ever seen happened by accident. 

‘Somehow’ is too rare; too unreliable; too fickle to pin your life on, and way too fickle to depend upon for the life of your kids and grandkids. 

Rely on ‘somehow’ and here is what you get — multiplied by a billion. 

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“Come on, Margery, look at me. It could have happened anywhere. Come on! You think I’m not devastated too? He was my son too, you know. I loved him too, you know.” 

“Why, Jim? Why? It didn’t have to be this way. It really didn’t. People have known those chemicals were carcinogenic. What were they thinking?”

“I know, Marge. I know. So many innocent lives lost.”

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“Nothin’? Nothin’ for you either, George?” 

“Nothin’! Again! I’m tellin’ ya Lennie; it ain’t like it used to be. Not at all. It’s not bad luck. It’s no luck. There is literally nothin’ out there, Lennie. Well, leastways, nothin’ edible.” 

“Just may be that it’s time for the likes of such as us to find us somethin’ different to do. Ya know?”

“Lennie, don’t be startin’ again about a rabbit farm. I done told you that already. Fishin’ is what we know and it’s all we know.” 

“I know. I know you’re right George. But just — there ain’t no fish any more. That ain’t good if you’re a fisherman.” 

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“They’re so beautiful, Daddy! Can we go see some real stars some day, Daddy?”

He bit his lower lip. He sighed. How had it come to this? “No, darling. We could go to watch a car race though!” 

“Mmm.” (Softly). “I’d rather go see some real stars. Why can’t we?”

(Sighs). “I’m sorry, sweetie. There’s just too much … “stuff” … in the sky to see the stars. Except for our sun, of course. That’s a star!” 

She bit her lower lip. “Daddy, is that the same “stuff” in the air that killed all the bees, and birds, and butterflies?” 

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“Another down day for the dow, breaking down below 5000, but an up day for Air Quality Kills. For the first, time, world-wide, the EPA says we’ve finally broken the 10K per day barrier. Details at Five at Five on at Five. 

“Now, back to the international women’s lingerie no-holds barred jello wrestling quarter finals. In the pink, …”

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“So. It’s come to this. I never believed it would happen, Ahmed.”

“Nor I, Saul; nor I. But, it’s not like we weren’t warned. And, even that it would be about water.”

“I know; but still. Nukes? Really? What’s the point? No-one can live in the whole region for centuries. Who won, Ahmed? Who won?” 


[The following passage is translated from the original Arcturian. It’s a “literal” translation; or, at least as “literal” as any translation can be when the target language is English.]

“Blue Hike Candle, Please to report scan results of not-so-very-far-away gray brown rock planet.” 

“Amber Saddle Wave, Please to report scan results of not-so-very-far-away gray brown rock planet as:

No evidence of intelligent life.”

“Mauve Crest Bucket, Please to report recommendation action of not-so-very-far-away gray brown rock planet.”

“Amber Saddle Wave:,Please to report recommendation action of not-so-very-far-away gray brown rock planet as:

Ignore and revisit in 50 millennia rather than the run-of-the-air-turbine 5 millennia. The tailless monkeys are learners of many silly tricks. But they still sewer-stinky most of their time and energy and [Here, on the recording wails an untranslatable cross between the percussion of a jack-hammer and the trumpet of an elephant with a sad whale song weaving in and out of counterpoint]  trying to steal from each of the other of the other of the other.”

“Mauve Crest Bucket, Please to report recommendation action of not-so-far-away gray brown rock planet as ignore and revisit in 50 millennia accepted. NEXT!”

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Ah Wilderness

The Forest 

Skirting the Turtle 

Math Class: Who are you?

Don’t they realize how much better off they are now?

You Must Remember This

Screaming out a Warning

Roar, Ocean, Roar

The Teeth of the Shark 

The Walkabout Diaries: Life Will Find a Way