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Elliot: Life in Kafkaville

BY BEAU ELLIOT | MAY 07, 2013 5:00 AM

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Turns out, there is a God.

You can imagine the shock that I, a longtime and forever atheist, experienced upon discovering this. (And discovering that “forever” is a damn sight shorter than we had thought. Especially we atheists, who weren’t exactly expecting forever but were kind of thinking about it — much in the way you kind of think about getting a kitten or writing your congressman but then go, Nah, the Red Sox are playing tonight.)

I’m going to blame black energy for this, which physicists don’t quite know what or where it is but do know it has nothing to do with African Americans moving to Iowa City or anywhere else short of the rings of Saturn.

No, Virginia, African Americans are NOT moving to the rings of Saturn, as much as some white Virginians might want them to.

Nor is anyone else, so far as I can tell. Oh, W.G. Sebald moved there in 1995, but it was a short-lived experiment. It ain’t ring around rosy up there.

Well, actually, Virginia, it ain’t ring around rosy anywhere, so far as I can tell, and no, Virginia, ring around rosy is not a coded reference to the Black Plague. (It first appeared in print in the 1880s; the bubonic plague ravaged Europe in the mid-1300s, in case you’re keeping score at home. And who is this Virginia who keeps bugging me?)

Nor is ring around rosy a coded reference to Barack Obama illegally seizing the presidency and driving this country into Muslim socialism while breaking the bank.

Though that would make a great movie script, as movie scripts go these days.

(Yeah, I know; most of them don’t go anywhere. I know this firsthand. I wrote a movie script once, and it went nowhere, albeit agonizingly slowly. It is now nestled in Nowheresville and living quite happily, I hear.)

Speaking of Nowheresville, not that we were, Congress …

Yeah, I know — that was way too easy.

But, as Gail Collins of the New York Times cheerily informs us, Congress (well, OK, just the House of Representatives; details, details) recently moved to save the country’s all-important helium stockpile.

And you thought Congress — especially the House — was just a bunch of gasbags.

No, seriously. As Collins writes, there is some animal called the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act, which protects the United States’ helium stockpile. Said stockpile was set to have all the air let out of it. Apparently, anyway.

What’s that? You didn’t know we even had a helium stockpile?

I was vaguely aware of it (I want to stress vaguely), but I was under the apparently mistaken belief that we kept our helium stockpile in the chambers of Congress.

Why do we have a helium stockpile in the first place? you ask.

Well, according to Collins, after World War I, the United States and Germany got involved in a dirigible race. Thus, a helium stockpile. Of course, we use dirigibles these days even less often than we use landlines, but it’s probably a good thing the House tried to save helium.

Of course, the Senate still has to pass the legislation, and you know how well the Senate and the House get along. The Israelis and the Palestinians get along better than our Senate and our House.

What the heck — my ex-wife and I get along better than our Senate and our House. (Of course, that might be because we never speak, but details, details.

What’s that you say? What about God?

Oh, He’s fine. Getting a lot of laughs out of these days.

His name is Kafka.


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