Boble VII: The Book of Palms, conclusion
Interlude: Bob Heavens
Binaca skidded into the main chamber, saw BOB on his throne pouting, and immediately headed towards him.
“What?” He muttered before she had gotten within ten feet of him.
“Werdna’s left about 30 messages…inchoate as usual.”
“Inchoate, great BOB.”
BOB stared blankly at Binaca, then said, “Um…okay. Yes. Inchoate.”
“Also,” Binaca continued, “One of the aposolites is on his way.”
BOB perked up a little, “Which one?” Then he shook his head and waved his hand towards Binaca before she could answer, “Never mind. They’re both the same.”
Binaca seemed edgy. She shifted from one perfectly formed pale bare foot to another and anxiously bit her pillowed lower lip.
“What?” BOB asked, this time a little more annoyed with his angel-minx.
“I think you should talk with the aposolite… I mean, try and get some of your old ways back – “ she made a fist with her hand and punched into the air, “The Old BOB! You know what I mean? You’ve been so dark and moody ever since – “
BOB raised his finger, “Ooh… Don’t say the name.”
“I don’t see what the big deal is anyway.” Binaca persisted. She tossed her red hair back from her perfect, almost child-like face. “I mean, you’re BOB. Kra – Uh… She has nothing on you. She can do this pagan revival thing all she wants but the truth is…well… The people believe in you. Well, maybe after the flood and the whole Tower of Bobel thing and the endless persecution of the Hebos and – “ Binaca stopped to suck in a deep breath and think about her words. “Well, anyway, maybe things have eroded slightly. But you’re still the boss.
BOB smiled gently, “Thanks, Binaca.”
Binaca tried to return the smile, then moodily backed away. Just then, the doors flew open and one of the great aposolites entered the chamber. Created back in the mists of the void and sent off to preach the word of BOB, the aposolites had never returned to Bob Heavens (where there is sausage really tired of constant editing). BOB and Binaca looked up and they both grinned as Sam Luscious stepped up towards the throne and kissed BOB’s hand.
BOB nodded, “How you doing, Sam?”
Sam shrugged, glancing at Binaca with a devilish glint in his eye. “I’m doing fine now that I’ve seen my fine Binaca,” he bent and kissed her hand.
BOB stood up, pulled the keys to the BOBmobile out of his pocket and stepped off the raised dais where his throne sat. “Let’s go get blasted.”
“There’s a lot of shit going down,” Binaca chimed in.
A Dark Alley, Somewhere in Bethesda, MD.
And, lo, it came to pass that Werdna, High Prophet of BOB in the modern era, approached the agent of the foul tax agency for which the Boble has struggled so hard against. The meeting had been scheduled for midnight, whereupon a substantial bribe would guarantee the return of the original, untranslated Palms – dating back thousands of years, and a vital Book of the Most Glorious Boble.
Werdna, in jeans, t-shirt and brown bomber jacket sidled along the wall of the alley. Dumpsters obscured the entrance from where he had appeared only moments before, and Charles Mulroney – high level IRS agent – found himself fearing this lanky figure. He turned away slightly, looking back out of the alley at the parking garage where his 1988 Datsun was parked. He could make a run for it, what could Werdna do?
But it was too late. The radical liberal, despiser of speed limits, enemy of the police, and famous misanthrope had long legs. He was in front of Mulroney before the agent could do anything.
“You have the item?” Werdna drawled, his strange speech defect sounding almost Southern. His voice was high, saturated with a bitter cynicism which writers could train so well. Each word an accusation, each one sounding practiced. Werdna was not the most gifted of public speakers, but he had been able to extract himself from countless sticky situations through his convincing speech. Unfortunately, he had become a dangerous psychotic over the years – a trait which was leading to his destruction. This whole tax incident was an example of that.
Mulroney nodded, “I have the item. You have the money?”
“What was it again?” Werdna asked, taking out his check book.
“Um, currently it’s $15,749.54”
“Fuck,” Werdna muttered as he wrote out the check, “you.”
“Make it out to Internal – “
“I know, I know!” Werdna hissed. He handed the check to Mulroney, who took it and handed Werdna a receipt.
“The item?” Werdna asked, taking the receipt.
Mulroney nodded towards the brick wall of the alley. A small, ancient-looking metal box had been carefully laid out on the ground.
Werdna crossed to the box and opened it slowly, peering into the darkness inside. The box was empty. The High prophet turned towards Mulroney, and found himself staring down the barrel of a 9 millimeter. “The hell – “
With the silencer, only a muffled report sounded out – barely travelling out of the alley. Three minutes later, Mulroney walked out of the alley with a happy grin on his face. He had done it. He had bested and eliminated the great scourge of humanity, the third antichrist, the man who affectionately referred to himself as the Richard the Third of the 21st century.
Thousands of Years Earlier ( or whatever): A Small Pub in Brampton, England
“So Kraal is back in action…” Luscious stared at his pint of Guinness. The pub was quiet, only a few locals at the bar and a couple of Americans in the corner booth. BOB looked grimly at the Americans: Unshaven youngsters, backpacks at their muddied feet. Hikers, probably trying to skirt the distance of Hadrian’s Wall. He could hear their shushed whispers: ‘Is that BOB?’ ‘It looks like BOB.’
The Great Deity sipped from his glass of whiskey. What kind was this? Earthy… Something from the South surely. He had forgotten, having spent much of the night sampling a dram of each whiskey in the pub. That was preceded by a few pints of bitter. Of course, being the Supreme Being, BOB had not eaten all day and the alcohol had gone right to his head. Binaca was drinking something blue with an umbrella in it. She had to go behind the bar and make it herself after about ten minutes of yelling instructions at the flustered barkeep. Whatever it was, it stank so heavily of rum that BOB thought he was getting an extra buzz.
Binaca leaned back in the booth, the leather creaking under her revealing angel-minx uniform (a short black skirt and a blue halter top with wings glued onto the back). “Yeah, Kraal has a great idea too. She’s buying into the neo-pagan thing…hell, she’s started it.”
Luscious made a low sound in the back of his throat. He swallowed his Guinness, an unusual action denoting extreme worry, and then pounded the table until the barkeep began pulling another pint. Luscious turned to BOB, “This pagan thing is strong – “
BOB nodded, finishing his whiskey. “It’s bad, too. Kraal has faeries, Goddess Earth-Mothers, and Tori Amos B-sides out the wazoo. She’s selling herself on the internet like gangbusters…”
“We have a web page – “ Luscious said. “Well, sort of. Anyway, look. This pagan thing can only go so far, and it’s centered around women anyway – “ they both looked at Binaca, who shrunk slightly into herself. “Anyway,” Luscious continued, “The only thing you have to worry about is controlling the women.”
“How do you control women?” BOB asked. Binaca flashed him a lopsided smile. She was so in love. What a hunk.
Luscious shrugged, “The old fashioned way. Religion.”
BOB shrugged, “Already well in place.”
Luscious smiled grimly, “Well, yes, it is. But there’s one slight problem.” He paused while BOB looked anxiously at him, “Bobism is boring.”
“Oh come on – “ BOB began to protest, “I mean…I… I’ve given them floods, I’ve knocked down towers, I’ve – “
“You’ve oppressed them, boss.” Luscious said. “No offense, of course. But those poor bastards want something new. Think about it. Why the pagan thing?” Luscious began to wave his hands about as a young maid brought him another pint of Guinness, “You’re in a green wood, surrounded by all the little faerie creatures, and it’s okay if you have to go to that stupid fucking job tomorrow because you owe ten grand in debts because the faerie people will always believe in you….” He looked levelly at BOB, “See?”
“Wow,” the waitress said, “We have faeries out back. Maybe I should talk to them…”
Luscious turned on her with a red face, “I’ll crush your faeries if you don’t bring us a bottle of whiskey!”
She scurried off as the aposolite grinned widely. “So the people want something softer, kinder…”
BOB nodded, “I can be soft and kind. I can cut out the sexual harassment, I can love everybody… That’s easy.”
Binaca looked doubtfully at him.
Luscious shook his head, “Again, I don’t mean to question you, great leader… But we’ve tried that circuit before. You break down, people get on your nerves, you use up all your vacation time before Valentines Day. You’re a misanthrope.”
“So I have an idea. Something that will make religious insanity spin out of control for thousands of years, set civilized man back into the Stone Age, and – thus – control women.”
Binaca said, “What’s the idea?”
Luscious turned to her, “A messiah.”
“A what?” BOB asked as a bottle of whiskey was placed before them.
“A messiah,” the young barmaid said, taking Luscious’ empty glass, “a savior, a professed or accepted leader, a deliverer.”
“Leave the glass and go!” Luscious shouted viciously. The barmaid scurried away.
“Give me the details,” BOB said, leaning forward.
Luscious nodded, smiling. “A son of BOB, born unto Man. He’ll die some tragic death simply because he teaches about love, peace and harmony. The end result is a paranoid, schizophrenic religion which warps his teachings into a dogma of control and evil. A religion which eventually permeates the greatest empires of the Earth and shatters them into barbarism, then infects the barbarians as they drift further and further away from education. The next thing you know – bam! – holy wars, dying for the messiah, and apocalypse faiths. Now, here’s the best part – “ Luscious glanced around the pub, then whispered under his breath, “We incorporate pagan elements into this religion, so even Kraal’s little girls don’t know what’s going on.”
There was a long moment of silence. BOB and Binaca simply stared at Luscious, who sat back in the booth with the air of a man who knew and understood his genius.
“I’ll be fried in my own fat…” BOB muttered. “How come I didn’t think of that?”
“Technically,” Binaca chirped, “You did. You created him, so his thoughts are yours.”
BOB clapped his hands happily, “This is brilliant!”
A voice from the far side of the pub brought a screeching halt to BOB’s excitement. From out of the shadows, the thin form of Kraal appeared in all her beauty.
“Not quite as brilliant as you think,” she said softly, her voice travelling the length of the pub and dancing like crystal music around BOB’s table. She marched up in her flowing skirts to the table and sat down, backwards, in a chair. She rested her arms on the chair back and winked at Binaca, who grimaced in return.
“Damn,” Luscious muttered, “You really are one hot Earth Mother.”
BOB nodded sadly, “Blood Mistress. Fucking in shape, if you know what I mean.”
“I do.” Luscious replied.
BOB continued. “She always had something.”
“I thought the Earth Mother was fat.” Luscious taunted.
Kraal pointed a slender finger at Luscious’ face. “I can be whatever I want: Maiden, mother or crone!”
“But isn’t this stunning appearance representative of a masculine-generated and sustained archetype…?”
Kraal bristled, she sneered at Luscious. “Remember what happened to the Nile when Hathor transformed into Sekhmet?”
BOB and Luscious stared blankly at her.
“I know!” Binaca piped up.
“Enough!” BOB barked, clawing painfully at the wooden table while he regained his composure.
Sensing a potential confrontation, Kraal changed the topic. “So this Son of BOB thing…”
“Sweet idea, eh?” Luscious interrupted.
“Okay,” Kraal nodded, “Squeeze me out by reinforcing the male archetype, oppressing women, and continue for a few thousand years more bickering with your Eternal Freshman –“
“Where is Rob, anyway?” Luscious asked, interrupting again.
Binaca, watching Kraal and Bob stare at each other, answered. “He had a bit of a breakdown after that whole Jobless business. Last I heard he was trying to incite a war between the Celts and the Romans.”
“He what?” Kraal seemed genuinely surprised.
Luscious and BOB laughed.
Kraal turned bitterly back to BOB, “Anyway, you can’t kill the goddess. I’ll be back: feminism, witchcraft…you name it. I’ll be back.” Kraal put a finger to her lips and playfully smiled, “Oh, wait… If there’s to be a son of BOB…then there has to be a mother of the messiah, right?”
Luscious looked confused for a minute, “Well, I – “ he looked at BOB, who was staring darkly at him. Then, with a Cheshire grin, Kraal vanished in a puff of vanilla-scented smoke. “A sect!” Luscious said finally, “That’s the best she can do! Don’t get upset boss!”
“Yeah…” BOB muttered.
“He’s right,” Binaca said, “Maybe in 1000 years things will pick up for her again. Maybe in 2000 years women will get back on the scene and start fighting for their individual rights – “
“Why not promise the return of the son of BOB every 1000 years, then?” Luscious suggested.
“Damn,” Binaca said, “where do you get these great ideas?”
“I am a genius.” Luscious replied, brushing her bare, perfect shoulder.
With the millennial concept settling in, BOB started to get worked up again. “I’ll be damned! It can work!” He stood up, the pub dissolving into the busy front office of BOB Heavens (where there is secretarial sausage). Nervous, peppermint-scented, red-headed angel-minxes snapped to attention, knuckling their foreheads.. BOB spun around, shouting at all the angels, “Luscious has a plan! I want spreadsheets, diagrams, powerpoint presentations, outlines, mailing labels, full color copies, the works! Now!”
The angels scurried in all directions.
Flanagans, Tuesday night
“So what good is faking your own death?” Zosish asked Werdna.
Werdna took a long drink of his Bass (Bass night, $1.75 a pint!). “It gets the IRS off my back…. For the quarter, at least.”
“Shit, man.” Zosish checked his watch, “Well, I hope it works. Anyway…” he tapped his watch and smiled politely.
Werdna nodded, “Right, we’d better get to that dinner.”
Flanagans was unusually quiet this Tuesday night and the two friends walked out and up the steps to the sidewalk.
“Say,” Zosish asked as Werdna opened the doors drunkenly and squinted suspiciously at a passing cop. “You ever get Palms back?”
Werdna shook his head sadly, the two friends heading for the towering parking garage. “Nah. Never got it.”
“So all those nice poems and songs and what not are lost forever?” Zosish asked.
Werdna shrugged, “Poetry’s over-rated in the end,” he waved his hands in the air and mockingly said, “’BOB is my bartender, I shall not want…’ Now who wants to read that shit anyway?”
Zosish grinned to himself and kept silent the rest of the way into the parking garage.