dontravis.com blog post #523
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Well, I received no offers of help with my followit problem, so will have to wing it alone.
Today, I’d like to go a little tongue-in-cheek flash fiction. Dark humor, I’d call it. Tell me what you think.
There is no Uncle Evan—at least in my life. I’m a seventeen-year-old named Marty Evans who made him up out of whole cloth and posted on Twitter @UncleEvan. After all, who pays attention to a high schooler?
Everyone tells me I’m smart as a whip, but I quibble with that because while a whip can smart, it’s nothing but an inanimate object. But I stray—one of my faults, they tell me. They who? Well, my mom and dad and my teachers, and….
There I go again. Anyway, I wanted to be heard, so I dreamed up this older, wiser—but probably not smarter—dude and started Twittering. Wow, was it easy! I started giving opinions on things and prompted some responses. First thing I knew, I had a thousand followers. So I started giving opinions on bigger things… like, for instance, what the hell are we doing with American troops in Germany. Haven’t we occupied them for long enough?
The next morning after that post, I’m eating my oatmeal and turkey bacon when my ears perk up at something on a newscast. Big Pudgy just announced he was withdrawing troops from Germany. Crap, I never knew the man and I never saw eye to eye with him on a single issue. Personally, I consider him a buffoon, but he was still the Buffoon in Charge. Made me wonder if he read my tweet. Nah. Impossible.
Right after breakfast, I sat down at the desk in my bedroom and booted up the computer. Not much else to do because we were all locked down by this virus crap. It’s a bunch of hooey in my opinion, and I said as much in a twitter.
The next morning… you guessed it. The Chubby Blond said it aloud in his daily news briefing on the pandemic. Now he’s said many times, the virus was a hoax. But he’d never said it was “hooey and a hoax” like he did today. Holy crap! Was the guy reading my tweets and quoting me?
Life suddenly became more interesting. And like a typical teenager, I went nuts over my discovery. I tweeted about the wall, and he said virtually the same thing. I expressed an opinion on the Ukraine, and it became his opinion. I said the COVID-19 virus would magically disappear, and his response to that one sent a chill down my back.
The Big Cheese stood at a podium, his fat fingers clenching the sides as if holding himself up and looked around the room with those eyes that don’t seem to have much behind them.
“One of these days,” he declared, “the virus will disappear. Like magic. Poof… and it’s gone. That’s what they say, you know. That’s what Uncle Evan says. You know him? He’s a wise man. A good man.”
My heart about exploded. Suspicions confirmed! He quoted me. As his source. Wise man that I was, I snickered and reached for my cell. I’d not told anyone about @UncleEvan, but this was too big to keep to myself. I called my best bud Jamie Hughes, and he flatly refused to believe me until he checked out the site for himself.
“Damn,” Jamie exclaimed over the phone. “What are you, his Secretary of Twitter?”
“Might as well be.”
Jamie frowned, and some of the exhilaration of the moment evaporated. “Maybe you oughta be more careful about what you say.”
“Well, like about the virus, maybe. It’s not hooey, you know.”
Impatient with common sense, I dismissed his caution. “He’d already said that a hundred times.”
“Yeah, but he’s quoting you as a source.”
“You’re just jealous ‘cause he’s not quoting you.”
Two days later, as I sat watching the evening news with my father, the reporter broke in with “breaking news.” That one always got to me. How did news break? It happened, and when it’s finished breaking, it’s still there whole and undamaged.
But I stray. The Talking Head said that four American troops had been killed in an ambush over in the Middle East by Iranian-backed militias. My dad turned red in the face and let out an oath that brought my mother running from the kitchen. She managed to get him calmed down, but although I didn’t say much at the time, I was impressed with the depth of his feeling about the attack. You see, he was a veteran of the Iraq War.
As I prepared to go to bed that night, I paused before shutting off my computer. Recalling my father’s reaction, I opened Uncle Evan’s twitter account and entered two words. “Nuke ‘em.” I paused for a moment before hitting the button to send the tweet. Big Buttercup would probably see it, but even he wasn’t crazy enough to take Uncle Evan seriously about that.
My cell went off at eight the next morning, long before I was ready to get out of bed and face another boring day.
“Marty, you idiot, what have you done now?”
“Whadda ya mean?” I asked through a cloud of sleep.
“Turn on the news!”
I did, and my heart about failed.
Never leave the future of the world in the hands of a teenager.