Ted (merovingian) wrote,
Ted
merovingian

Three posts after a robot villanelle

I think I may have mentioned before that I'm putting together a team for a bank heist.

The wheelman I want to bring into the heist, Adam Threat, lives in Dorricksville, California, a sleepy little mountain town. Adam struck it rich on a big job in '97 and has sworn to drop out of the business. He owes me a favor, so I went to Dorricksville to convince him to come back for one last job.

When I arrived, I noticed the bumper stickers of Dorricksville.

"BAN ORANGE SHIRTS" read a sticker on a faded blue sedan.

I was surprised at the slogan, but I was even more surprised to see the next car, a white subcompact, with a bumper sticker brightly proclaiming "IF WE MAKE ORANGE SHIRTS ILLEGAL, ONLY CRIMINALS WILL HAVE THEM"

A few blocks down the road, I saw a spacious new station wagon. Its bumper sticker said "THAT'S ACTUALLY THE POINT. THEN WE'LL ARREST THOSE CRIMINALS"

I tracked Adam Threat down to his job at a news stand. I ask about the orange shirt thing, and Adam cheerlessly informed me that the town of Dorricksville was debating a ban on orange shirts. Dorricksville doesn't have a town hall, Adam explained -- most political debates are resolved with bumper sticker dialogues.

There was a big rack of bumper stickers nearby:


"ORANGE SHIRTS: CRIME OR MENACE?"
"NOBODY WAS EVER HURT WITH AN ORANGE SHIRT"
"YOU CAN'T HUG A CHILD WHILE WEARING AN ORANGE SHIRT"
"UM, WHY NOT?"
"YOU JUST CAN'T, OKAY? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!"
"THE NAZIS HATED ORANGE SHIRTS TOO"
"ACTUALLY, THEY DIDN'T. YOU MADE THAT UP, RICK"
"YOU'RE JUST JEALOUS BECAUSE MY BUMPER STICKERS ARE SELLING BETTER THAN YOURS, LOUISE"
"YOU'RE A HACK, RICK, AND YOU PROBABLY WEAR ORANGE SHIRTS"
"LOUISE, YOU CAN'T DRAFT LAWS AND YOUR BUMPER STICKERS ARE CHEAPLY MADE. GIVE IT UP AND ADMIT THAT ORANGE SHIRTS ARE A SMOKESCREEN."
"TYPICAL TALK FOR AN ORANGE-SHIRT"

I looked at the news stand guy, hoping for more explanation. Adam just kept drinking his steaming cup of coffee.


I sighed and watched the grey skies for a while, then finally asked him, "Is this supposed to be symbolic?"

Adam chuckled to himself. "No. Dorricksville actually banned facile political allegory six months ago. Bumper stickers sold like crazy."

I need to find a better wheelman.
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