I sat down on the ledge near the metro station just a couple of blocks away from Ben’s Chili Bowl. I was deep into the pleasure of a spicy half-smoke when I noticed someone (or something) plopping down beside me. Once more, my old friend Slimey appeared out of nowhere. For a 7′ tall reptile, he was able to move unbelievably silently and without drawing the attention you normally would expect from someone of his size.
“Greetings, friend” he hissed through his snout.
“Slimey, it has been far too long. What have you been doing with yourself?” The last time I had seen Slimey, he had taken a position with a lobbying firm where he was trying to promote a fully-automated abattoir, aimed at eliminating the human interaction with the meat supply. I marveled to myself at how prescient that proposal was in light of the coronavirus outbreaks at meat packing facilities. I asked Slimey, “Are you still with your lobbying firm?”
Slimey slowly shook his ponderous head. “No, I was unable to sell the idea about an automated slaughterhouse to the agencies. Imagine. The deep state actually thought humans were needed.” He closed his eyes for a moment. “But in my new position, this idea has become really valuable”.
I took a bite of my half-smoke, then asked. “What is your new position?”
Slimey’s face assumed an air of supreme satisfaction. “I’m working for Q now. I’m in charge of their next big assault into the public sphere.”
I shuddered. Q-Anon had grown in popularity by leaps and bounds, especially during the pandemic when so many folks had far too much time and far too good access to the internet where they could descend into innumerable rabbit holes. Finally, I could avoid the question no further and I asked, “What is the new Q theory?”
Slimey smacked his mouth a couple of times, then began. “There’s a new thing that Q will be reporting on. That thing with abducting the children and the elite distilling their blood to come up with their youth elixir? It just wasn’t revolting enough to draw in enough people. But this one, this one is a doozy.” Slimey settled back onto the ledge, one enormous paw holding up his prodigious girth.
As often happened in my encounters with Slimey, I became aware of how vulnerable I was to a sudden swipe of his razor-sharp claws. Still, I summoned the courage to not be a species-intolerant person and continued the conversation. “What could you imagine that is worse than child abduction and harvesting?”
Slimey chuckled for a good half-minute before replying. Finally, he said “Imagine this. Instead of children being abducted, it is those who are wearing MAGA hats that are swept off of the streets. Once they disappeared, they are transported to one of my automated slaughterhouses, where they are stripped down to the bone. The meat? It goes to make certain sausage products.” He nodded towards the remains of my own half-smoke. “I’m not gonna say one way or another, but you may be surprised by where we will claim this meat is going.”
I took one more look at my half-smoke, shuddered a bit, then laid it down on the ledge between us. I had to satisfy my curiosity, though. “Why do this? Why go onto such ridiculous extremes in order to keep the Q thing going?”
Slimey was glad to fill me in. “Of course, it’s the money. Do you know how much we are raking in with the social media posts? And then there’s the merchandise. Those Q posters and foam Q’s are just money plants, plants we keep on harvesting. None of this has to be true, it just has to be plausible enough to keep the clicks coming.”
For the first time in my encounters with Slimey, I found my anger and revulsion rising. “Do you mean to tell me that this entire Q thing is nothing more than an effort to make those at the top rich?”
“Why certainly. What else would it be? You don’t think any of us believe any of this crap, do you?” Slimey looked offended, tensed his limbs, and once again I took stock of the vulnerability of my position.
“I had hoped that was the case. I can’t believe that anyone with a lick of rationality would believe any of the stuff being posted in Q’s name, but after the events of the last few years, I have come to doubt my own sense of right and wrong.”
Slimey looked satisfied with my answer. He seemed to relax back into leaning against the concrete ledge. He said, “It’s only been a few years since I moved out of the swamp, but it is amazing how much of a swamp I still find around me.
All I could do was nod in agreement.
He looked over at the remains of my half-smoke. “Are you going to eat that?” he asked.
“No. It’s yours if you want it.”
The remains of the half smoke were inhaled in that enormous snout with the reptilian teeth, paper wrapper and all.
The last episode with Slimey may be found here: evenabrokenclock.blog/2019/04/08/if-you-cant-beat-the-swamp-join-the-swamp/