Transmissions from the alternate universe

Residents of Smithereens sick of all the debris

Posted by oldancestor on August 22, 2010

“Where’s our telethon?” – Pinky Middleton, angry resident

By Eric J Baker

Guinevere Stovepipe, 40, displays the four skulls and a jawbone that have landed in her yard this year

SMITHEREENS, IDAHO – Mary Jane Trouserpocket is like a lot of Americans. She lives in a ranch house in a small suburb. She drives a Honda. She has a husband and a crystal meth habit.

Unlike the rest of us, though, she has to live in constant fear of exploded debris falling on her head.

Mary Jane lives in Smithereens, Idaho, the destination of most ash and shrapnel produced by America’s biggest, least-expected explosions. She, like other residents of the town, has been forced to set up a canopy over her house and pay a local landscaping company to remove the gray powder from her driveway and yard once a week.

“It’s bad enough that the dusty bits get in my clothes,” she says, “but we’ve had some pretty big chunks come down. The people across the street lost two cars this year to falling metal. The insurance company won’t pay.”

After pausing to wipe away tears, Mary Jane adds, “We moved here from Timbuktu to get away from these kinds of problems.”

Scientists studying the phenomenon are at a loss to explain why so much detritus ends up in the town and surrounding hills. Steven Offal, a geologist from Detroit University Online, has been taking core samples for the past two weeks in the hopes of accomplishing something.

“These core samples are useless, as far as I can tell,” he says. “I have this cool core sampler thingamajig that the university paid a lot of money for, so I might as well use it.”

Offal is confident of one thing, however.

“There is going to be a massive explosion somewhere, and it is imminent. This town MUST be evacuated!”

Nonsense, says David Dross, the mayor of Smithereens and owner of the local saw mill. “The annual town fair is this weekend. Everyone is going to be there, and I will not cancel it. In fact, I’m going to have the sheriff, who’s also my brother, run that geologist out of town. Imagine, these fancy city folk coming in here and telling us how to manage our affairs.”

Will everyone in town really be at the fair? Don’t expect to see Mary Jane Trouserpocket there.

“I don’t want to be standing there eating cotton candy in the middle of a big, old field when all that flotsam comes raining down. I’m packing up the Honda tonight and clearing out.”

But where will she go? The nearest town, All Recognition, is 40 miles away, close enough to be considered the edge of the debris zone.

“No,” she says, “there’s another town beyond All Recognition. It’s called Burnt.”

Indeed, the people of Burnt seldom experience the bizarre phenomenon that regularly afflicts their neighbors in Smithereens, but records do show an inordinate amount of intense fires.

“I’ll take my chances,” says Mary Jane, as she loads two lidless, five-gallon containers of gasoline into the cargo area of her CRV and lights a cigarette. “I just don’t want run out of gas as I flee the falling debris.”

15 Responses to “Residents of Smithereens sick of all the debris”

  1. This might be my last post for a while. Enjoy.

  2. Alexandria Beaverhousin said

    Look, I’m from Burnt and I don’t appreciate people looking down at us. Sure we have continuous fires, but that comes in handy in the fall and winter. Smores, anyone? Yeah, I see you begging to toast your marshmellows.

  3. Mmmmmm. Smores.

    Reminds me of that guy who lives near my sister who makes smores on Halloween.

    You know the one.

  4. jeanie said

    Your last post….NOOOOOOOOO.
    Say it isn’t so.
    The Anvil is my reason for getting up in the morning.
    I have 2 choices: kill myself now or drown myself in s’mores.
    I’ll keep you posted on my decision.

    • Not my last post ever. I’m just cutting back, because it’s getting in the way of other writing projects. That and I don’t get enough traffic to justify the amount of time I spend on it.

      • jeanie said

        Ok, so I threaten to kill myself and you complain about your writing schedule?
        My decision is made.. I’m definitely killing myself, unless the s’mores have extra marshmallows.
        Seriously, get to your other writing projects.. i want to be able to say ” I knew you before you were famous”

  5. tsuchigari said

    Cutting back on posts happens to the best of us… sniff … but you better promise to at least do one every once in a while so we know you are still alive. I lived in Boise which is fairly close to Smithereens but contented myself to move a few miles from the Kennecott Copper Mine instead – which I’m told can be seen from space with the naked eye. On a clear day you can hear them detonate.

    • You love the smell of dynamite in the morning?

      Wait, that sounds familiar…


      I’m still going to try to post once a week, probably on Sundays. I started this blog when I wasn’t working, and now I’m out of the house almost 55 hours a week. Something has got to give. Plus I plan to tackle some short fiction and try to get some publishing credits. All for the sake of getting attention for my novel.

      Tell me why people write again? It certainly isn’t for fun.

  6. Paula said

    Just when I get started, you slack off…I’ll try not to take it personally – assuming you tired of my witty repartee! Below find something to chew on (besides s’mores) while writing other trivial, less important stuf:

    TIME Announces New Version Of Magazine Aimed At Adults

    • Ahahaha. That what fake news looks like when you have a budget. Still, my cheesy marker drawings have their own charm.



      Never tired of your wit. I can always visit your blog when I need more. As I mentioned to our mutual friend above, stop by on Monday mornings and you’ll probably see a new article.

      • Paula said

        Riiiiigghhht! (Uh-huh) Actually I rather enjoy their non-arty artiness 😀 They sort of remind me of one of my all-time favorite cartoonists – Roz Chast. If you’ve never seen her stuff, then look her up! (That sounds lewd – but hopefully you know what I mean!) Rather amusing video on my latest post. I do have a humorous (I hope) post coming up soon on the subject of ambiguity…I keep running across it, and I don’t mean in my car, nor trampling it under my feet and crutches. . .

        See what I mean? And by what, what I really mean is. . .

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