Is laughter is the only sane response? I’m seeing heartfelt pleas for sanity in the face of the virus from officials who know, and from people in Europe who know, and from patients in US hospitals who know. And then I see the stuff spewing out of Fox and on Facebook and wonder, are we all in the same universe? And I see that effective distancing is six feet minimum and then see the photos from O’Hare and Dallas airports with hundreds of unhappy souls jammed up shoulder to shoulder for six, eight, ten hours because of Administrative actions, having come from European locations well-supplied with the virus, and I think how many hot spots are going to start all over the country as a result. It’s as if our nation is made up of a number of bumper cars with no ability to communicate.
REALISTS. I’m sorry, but we wrote this sucker in 2001, and it’s actually funny, though terrifying. We inagined that there was an election, not many people voted, and an incompetent fascist was elected, then re-elected. Bud Pert, his name was, and his slogan was “Get Real.” Later it was “Give it to ’em. Hard.” The party was called the Realists, and that was the name of our novel. The Realists, in league with Big Pharma, declared dreaming illegal and mandated universal dosing with dream-suppressants (except for the elites), administered through the public water supply. Pee tests were required regularly. Of course people went nuts. Reality fragmented into sub-units and nobody could communicate with somebody who wasn’t part of their own sub-unit. Does this sound familiar?
A group of unrelated folks, designated as terrorists by the feds, are lured into a high-rise office by the promise of tax rebates. As they attempt to flee in an elevator, the encircling CIA and FBI shoot, severing the elevator cable, and everybody’s gonna die. Except for this: the predictions of a military physicist are right, that if you confine dream-deprived people into a tight space and subject them to stress, the fabric of reality splits. The group doesn’t hit bottom, they ricochet onto a westbound tour bus called the Blue Terrapin (inspired by the actual Green Tortoise). From that point they’re on their own, and it’s up to them to evade the black helicopters.
Well, yes, this is ridiculous, but then look at your daily news feed. Our hapless passengers succeed in creating community, banding together for survival, and discover that magic is possible. Can you imagine the terrified group stranded on a Badlands mesa called Stronghold, about to be blown away by massed military aircraft, and suddenly herds of ghost buffalo appear and wipe the airborne goons out?
If you don’t have enough suitable entertainment for your self-quarantine days, Realists is available for $2.99 on Smashwords or through our DamnedFool website for a hard copy, and no mattter how cracked it sounds, it’s funny. I may even start reading it again myself.