Wednesday, May 25, 2005

No. 10 Will Come Again
Everyone left the theater, still chanting on their way out, "Remember Abu Ghraib."

The riot guys surrounded me on stage with daggers in their eyes. "Hey, Mike, you creep." I didn't know that was my middle name. "You better pay up."

"Yeah, we're all expecting those freebies you promised on our search engines."

I wanted to tell them that Google could sell them a product to do it better, but didn't think this was the best time.

"Don't forget, bub," said the Nike GI Joe. "You owe us," he said, putting down his toy Uzi. "Man, how I want to get out of these clothes."

They all left, leaving me on the stage with my chin still balanced on the parquet floor.

"How could you?" asked the woman with the video recorder.

Clearly, the cinema's janitorial contract didn't include sweeping the stage. I dusted myself off. "What do you mean?"

"Excuse me?" She was easy to look at, one of those gym nut types with trim biceps and rounded calves, a sleeve of tatoos ran down one tanned arm and ended with a rose. She kept waving those biceps , making her hair move in a smooth brown curtain. "You pull off this hoax and you ask me what?"

"No hoax. I was being dramatic."

"Great. You're more out of your mind than I thought. My name's Lulu," she said, and extended a hand full of painted red fingernails.

"Mike," I said.

She was packing her video recorder into a leather satchel. "So explain. What were you doing?"

"I was trying to build a mass movement."

"A mass what?"

"I figured everyone was busy all the time doing nothing because we didn't know what to do about anything. So I wanted to find something we could do together."

"Like what?"

"Convince Osama bin Laden to call for world peace because if he steps up to the plate, then the rest of the big leaguers will have to play ball with him."

She shook her head. "You call that a strategy?"

"You got something better?" We were almost out the front entrance. "But now I've ruined everything. I've got all those people mad at me for being a fake. I can just forget everything."

"But don't you see?" she said. "You got everyone to start chanting around the theater. It worked."

I hadn't considered that. "You're right!" I said. "Will you help me to build a mass movement?"

She swung the satchel over her shoulder. "Sure," she said. "I don't have any contracts right now."

"The economy's been in the toilet," I said as we walked out together.

She asked, "You in high-tech also?"

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