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Deal 1000: Matchups

The “greatest contest of all time!!!!!” they billed it. With enough exclamation marks to fill the page, to boot. Enough to fill the arena in any case. Poor typography aside, people from all walks of life had realized that something unusual was up, and rationally or not decided to attend.

The warm up bouts were clearly designed to disguise the true purpose. Sure, they were amusing, but that was all they were.

Moose vs. Squirrel could only end one way, and the bout was indeed predictably short. Squirrel won it decisively and swiftly, flying in all directions at once, and leaving Moose in a confused heap at the center changing quietly “this time for sure…”

The Stooges needed no help at all to tie themselves in knots, and then end the bout in a draw. At least that one was fun. Nosed got painted. Sticks were used vigorously on everything except heads. At one point they were moving so fast and rhythmically it was almost a Morris dance of silliness.

Finally they could put it off no longer.

The main bout was all that was left, and the crowd was wild with anticipation.

After the spectacle so far, what could possibly be waiting in the wings for the top billing?

It was announced as Mac vs. PC.

The crowd was stunned. Even more so when the two beige boxes rolled into their corners. Sure the Mac had its following, and its crisp style spoke of decades of efforts to make its design fresh and appealing. And the PC, no amount of voodoo in the world could make its lumpy beige box become interesting. Then the transformation happened before our eyes, and it became clear that this was all a proxy war between Jobs and Gates, seeking to resolve some kind of personal vendetta. The crowd was on the edge of its seats. Not just with excitement, but also with some sort of let-down feelings. After the long build-up, there was no possible match that would have satisfied their blood lust.

Possibly save for Coyote vs. the Acme Company’s R&D department.

Oh, who one the big bout you ask?

Well I’m certainly not telling. You’ll have to buy the pay per view and watch it yourself to see the answer!

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Deal 965: Who?

The club had a happy vibe, patrons moving to the music provided by a combo in one corner playing an eclectic blend of jazz, blues, and pop covers and originals. The combo was playing loud enough to enjoy, and yet quiet enough to hold a conversation. The short bar in the far corner produced the usual assortment of craft beers and mixed drinks. Somehow when a drink needed shaking the music was suitable and the bartender always kept the beat.

In another era the room would have been filled with smoke from patrons and musicians alike. Today, everyone knows better, and those who dare light up are quietly ushered outside. The atmosphere is better for that, although occasionally the ushering is done at the hands of a self-righteous bastard who also needs to be shown the error of their ways.

I aim to run a happy joint, and won’t allow overindulgence in most things. But especially not in pious blustering.

Tonight the only smoking was the smoking hot lead singer, crooning the sorts of smoldering torchy ballads you only hear in film noir. She was backed by keys, bass, and a drummer pulling an extraordinary range of sounds out of a simple kit.

The room was full, the crowd was thirsty, and I had no complaints.

Then he walked in.

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Deal 946: Why did the chicken?

In the back woods on a lonely highway, I saw the chicken crossing the road.

I stopped for a moment to think and observe. Here was this monster rooster strutting across the highway like it was his own private drive. I thought briefly of asking him why, but then came to my senses and drove on.

And on. The highway extended across the flats as far as the eye could see, in a nearly perfect line. It undulated just enough to be unsettling if you drove too fast, but not enough to do away with the sense that it extended to infinity, and possibly beyond.

The chicken crossed the road.

Again.

Same chicken as an hour ago. That seemed more than a little strange, as I was really sure I had made not turns, and had been zipping right along. My headliner had the dents from my head to prove it too. And yet, I’m sure that was the same bird except it cannot be.

Still, I won’t get any answers from the chicken, and now I’m beginning to worry I’m late, and worse, lost. I’ve seen the movies. I know what happens to city folk who get overconfident on lonely isolated country roads. Like this one. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve seen a single other living soul aside from that chicken—

The chicken that just crossed the road again.

This time I thought I heard a faint cackle in the distance, something like an old hag amused at her fun and games.

But aside from that nut that tried to feed me that strange herbal tea at breakfast, I haven’t offended any old hags…

Damn. There goes that chicken again.

Now I’m sure even the trees are mocking me.