600 words a day ... or something

Presenting a partly edited rendition of yesterday's copy, which (not surprisingly) sucks just as bad. Also a few musings on what it's like to go running in shorts with no drawstring, because, you know, why not?

Let's address the shorts question first.
I should level and say that I don't particularly even enjoy running. I do it to stay in shape. And during the fall, especially on days like today, when the air is crisp and there's a slight rain ... it's actually kind of fun.
Let's also level about one other thing -- I'm not the type of dude who goes all out and buys all sorts of running gear. Never have been. I wish I was one of those guys, but I don't have the money to put together a decent wardrobe for when I'm not exercising, so, you know, priorities.

I've been running in the same pair of shorts for about eight years now. I have many others that I wear, but I'll come back to Corporal Blackbottom (yup, named them a while ago. Shut up.) about once a week.
Back in high school I stole borrowed the shorts from the lost and found and never put them back.
Hey, the kid who had them obviously didn't care enough about them. And I've worn these damn things for 8 years now. I'm sure the shorts are happy.

Anyway, Corporal Blackbottom really isn't much for running. The shorts are more like pantaloons and whenever I'm running down a hill the sides will balloon out and nearly fall off.

They never really fit right. But I always had the drawstring. Until I lost it about 2 weeks ago. So now running with Corporal Blackbottom is more a test of how well I can hold the damn things up. And it's a challenge. I was running by a minivan today and the pair nearly fell off. The mother shot me a dirty look. But she just doesn't get it. I'm not ready to retire Corporal Blackbottom just yet.

I have a plan. I'll stop running. Fill out a bit. And then we'll be back in business.


“How do you feel about turning into a crow for a few hours?” asked Deputy Minster Anderson.
President Gorman paused and sat back in his chair. “There’s something about this my rivals are just going to love.”
“I know,” Anderson replied. “But look. We need this. Besides, it’s a short time. We’ll run cover on it.”
“And how exactly are you going to do that?” Gorman asked. “Remember Prime Minster Bilken? The Shawnee turned him into a whale two years ago. ‘Bilken Goes Beluga’ was in the headlines for weeks. And the cartoons …”
“Were unflattering.” Anderson said. “I know.”
“Do you?”
“Look, if you don’t turn into a crow, someone else will,” Anderson adjusted his tie and sat forward. “This is an arms race Mr. President, pure and simple. If we want to deal with the Shawnee those are the terms. And believe me, we want to deal with the Shawnee.”


Alexander Blu didn’t want to go camping with his son.
For starters, Jason asked too many questions. A camping expedition with him was like fielding press queries at a congressional hearing. And it was only slightly less scary.
Because when it came to camping, Alex didn’t know anything.
“The fire won’t start,” Jason said.
“There’s no kindling,” Alex said.
“What’s kindling?”
“What you need to start the fire.”
“Where do I get it?”
“The woods.”
“Why didn’t we just bring it with us?”
“Because then it wouldn’t be …
“Dad, what’s that light?”
“Over there, didn’t you see that?”
“Son I have no idea what you’re talking …”
Then Alex heard the boom.


The pair waited until morning to explore the wreckage.
Only there was no wreckage to explore, just four carriages and about half a dozen men and women dressed in carnival gear.
Three women set awnings over open carriages while two men fussed over a copper cylinder situated in the middle of the circular wagon train. The carriages looked altogether unremarkable, except for the strange series of glyphs pasted above what appeared to be several white sheep lounging in a pen.
“Heck of a place for the carnies to shack up,” Alex said. “Figures them making all that noise. They were probably shooting off fireworks all …
“What’s a carny?” Jason interrupted.
Alex sighed. “Never mind. Just follow me.”
The pair started toward the wagons. The carnies took no notice of them. The women continued to hang the awnings. As the women worked the men coalesced around the copper tube. One man knelt near the device, extending his hand while an other held up a gray stone. A bolt of blue streaked from the kneeling man’s head, sounding a loud crack as it contacted the device. The tube vanished.
“Dad … how?” Jason said.
“I don’t know.”
Suddenly one of the men looked up.
Alexander Blu just made first contact with the Shawnee.

Luckily, he was wearing his wool hat.

The Shawnee who looked remarkably human and spoke English in an accent Alex would later classify as slightly “Wisconsin” briefly glanced around the wagon train. “We could turn you into … that.”
“A deer?” Alexander asked.
“It’s … uh … complicated.” “But we’ll change you back. You just have to give us that.”
Alexander followed the Shawnee’s finger. It was pointing right above his head.
The horrifying revelation settled in. “You want to steal my brain?!?”
“Uh … no. That.”
Alexander grabbed his wool hat. “You want my hat?”
The alien nodded vigorously.

Alexander Blu would later describe the “deer experience” in his book Sharing with the Shawnee thusly:
It was an altogether incorporeal journey – the center of which I have no recollection. My human consciousness ebbed away as the reality of the deer’s mind pranced forward. My arms lengthened into legs as my feet kicked back, slamming my face into the ground before reoritneing my self in my new quadrapedal manner …”
Alexander wasn’t the world’s greatest writer. But he was the first human to experience a Shawnee transformation and that made him and expert.


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