Subject: Manse Diaries: Braziliant
Date: 12 Feb 1999 00:00:00 GMT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mumthra)
Organization: RadixNet Internet Services
My commute was a little bit different today. Our lovely and vibrant
Beltway was operating at a comfortable car density, although it seemed
to me that entirely too many people decided to head toward New York at
the last minute.
I was only allowed to wonder about that for a moment before I saw that
an actual obstacle was ahead. My mother once hit a cinderblock on this
very stretch of highway..."Suddenly, there it was, and WHAM! there was
nothing to do but hit it and watch parts of my little car tinkle away
I wasn't facing a cinderblock, but something more unpredictable. Many
things are more unpredictable than a cinderblock, and this was one of
those. It was a very large sheet of plastic.
As I approached, a dozen or more cars veered and slowed to avoid it.
It dodged into this lane and that lane, wafting and spinning in a
stiff bit of natural breeze and the artificial breeze of the traffic.
By the time I reached the thing, it had moved to the right, so I
plowed straight ahead at about fifty miles per hour. At the last
instant, the sheet leapt in front of my car. I heard the gentlest
WOOF. I frowned at the rear view, but the sheet had disappeared.
There was no sign of the thing. It wasn't flapping in any way that I
could sense, but it seemed reasonable that it hadn't simply been EATEN
by my sad old car. The THING had to have been at least ten feet long
and five feet wide. I decided to feel lucky that it hadn't wrapped
itself over my windshield. Yet.
Naturally, there wasn't anywhere to stop for a few miles, and soon I
began to notice that I had the highway to myself because everyone was
giving me a very wide berth. No one else wanted to host the car-
It seemed likely that the THING had flown off of a dump truck or a
badly packed mattress, but I had to wonder WHEN. Maybe this THING had
traveled from a great distance, from the opposite coast even. What had
it done? What if it had originally been part of a really big
shrink-wrapped THING? Had anyone missed it yet?
Stopping as soon as I could, I spiraled around exits until I arrived
in a parking lot where I could make an inspection. Opening the door, I
felt like an idiot for stopping. Getting out, I was sure that the
THING wouldn't be under my car, but as soon as I bent to look, it
peeked out from under. Suddenly, the wind shifted and the THING was
instantly free of the car and wrapped around ME in a blinding froth of
thick, crinkly plastic of unknown origin.
I did not scream, but it was a couple of seconds before I collected
myself enough to start to hum "Brazil" and began to wrangle the thing
toward a dumpster. I was not ABOUT to put it in my car or just leave
it flapping around to attack other people.
As I pulled away, I realized my mistake. The dumpster was too full and
the wind was too strong. The THING was straining toward the highway as
I drove quickly away.
This was probably from Mumthra. Ordinarily non-contagious.
"So you'd have to take it on faith that it was in fact
a tentacle and not, say, a potato." --Jahweh Dave Lynch