Rudyard Percival was born in Bombay, India, and soon moved to Bristol with his parents, brilliant botanical espionage specialists who worked together on an experimental British Navy submersible vessel. Despite rumors that they were victims of a freak accident that involved US Navy Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) transmissions and a tray of genetically altered darlingtonia californica (a.k.a. the “cobra plant,”) Rudyard was told that they both died of severe melanoma. He was then sent to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and was brought up by his uncle, “Cappy” Dick, the chewing gum magnate, and an older cousin, “Bazooka” Joseph Percival-Smythe. Spending his high school years in Shanghai smuggling Maotai across the Taiwan Straits, Cappy became involved in numerous illegal “free lobster” actions and tried his hand at saltwater seaweed farming. He returned to the United States in 2000, intent on the twin objectives of solving the riddle of his parents’ deaths, and stealing from the rich to give to the poor.
In 2008, I vow to:
1. Donate to Common Cause
Once the president is elected ’ere November -- barring a final double cross by the turncoat Cheney -- we will finally be upwind of George W. Bush. At that point, either the president will be a Republican (and I will be shipping out with Barrett’s Privateers) or a Democrat. But here’s the rub. It can get better, but no matter who is elected, it won’t get a lot better anytime soon. So I’m working hard to sink those Republican poltroons ‘til the election, and then working hard to sink the corrupt campaign system starting the next day.
That’s because both parties are dancing to the same mick-ficking piper. It has been years since anyone spoke seriously about reducing military spending or restricting the sales of weapons by US corporations, about equitable funding of public education, about a universal health care plan that doesn’t preserve the prerogatives of the insurance industry. Are these taboo subjects? They are if you want to raise the money needed to contest a national office. Unless there is serious campaign finance reform of the kind that Common Cause stands for, these positions will remain outside the mainstream and the ship of state will stay on its present course, listing toward a hellish corporatist dystopia.
2. Lay siege to Waveland
I have tried for years to find the coordinates to Waveland, the place whose corrupting influence wafts into our lives like so many unregulated plastic factories spewing out chromium-6. My sextant has failed me, but that doesn’t mean it is not possible to cut off their supplies, and starve the arrogant seadogs.
This is just a little place, but it is an alternative port, and by using it you avoid paying the tariffs that fund Waveland. We’re a free port – as is Stump Lane and the other links that Chaplain Montag maintains. So that’s a drop in the bucket. But how do we fill the bucket? Can we set up an alternate internet somehow, just in case the sinister forces that want to impose another wealth-based hierarchy here succeed? Any suggestions?
3. Start a “Miscegenation Now!” movement
Did I mention race? It disentangles itself from the azure, gleaming before my prow like a snow-slide, new slid from the hills. I’m thinking of sailing from this country (where some 5% of marriages are “interracial”) to Brazil (where the population is closer to 50% classified as “mixed race”). For what reason do we preserve these racial borders, only to waste so much effort guarding them? Throw them open, methinks. And if we haven’t figured out how to do that in the century and half since the end of the civil war, it is time to obliterate them!
Mrs. Rudyard has helpfully started knitting a line of “My other child is a Quadroon” tees, which I hope to use to spearhead a guerrilla marketing campaign. Slogans, jingles, and other ideas welcome!
4. Avenge my parents
With the advent of global warming, carnivorous plants are poised to move north, like so many busily-photosynthesizing killer bees. In some lab somewhere, a team of crack military scientists is honing their knowledge of the effect of 76 Hertz waves on those vegetables of mass destruction, poised to unleash their genocidal potential on unwary citizens!
Sure, to them Drs. Fahey and Cunegunda Arroyo Percival were simply “collateral damage” in their quest to spread their ideology du jour across the hammy countenance of an unwitting porcine world. But they are on notice: revenge is a dish best enjoyed while watching Navy scientists unwittingly served to their own murderous plants! And Cappy Rudyard's just the old salt to season them.
What're your New Year’s resolutions?