Half asleep I answered the door. Looking out the peephole I saw what appeared to be a wild man glaring back at me.
"Trosky," I shouted through the door, "What brings you out this fine morn?"
The man on the other side was not amused by my flippancy. Bulging grey eyes behind tiny wire rimmed glasses signaled this man was on a mission. Various books and newspapers fell to the ground as he continued to pound on my front door.
"For your information it's 1:30 in the afternoon and do not refer to me as a Bolesvik, you douche bag!"
The reek of 23% home brewed beer permeated into my abode. "Let me in, I have something urgent to tell you."
I sighed as I unlatched the door. I knew he would rush past me, go to the bathroom and stay for a long while. The I would be oliged to put on some soothing jazz music while he began his rant. Usually it dealt with black helicopters or jack booted storm troopers breaking down our doors in the middle of the night, whisking us middle aged actist types to some secret prison. He would scream and cry, call me names, (because I had a straight job), but would eventually settle down, fliush the toilet and some out. We would then while away the reat of the day at the Starry Plough playing darts over pints of Guiness.
But today was different, he stopped in the middle of the living room, dropped all his books and newspapers and shouted, "We're ****! Reactor 4 just collasped."
"What?" I responded with incredidualty.
"Earthquake hit early this morning, whole thing fell into the ocean."
"No!" I said, my bladder felt weak for I knew what he said was a very real possibility.
I whirled and turned on the TeeVee, on it were three or four happy, well groomed empty faces talking about some insipid movie that was coming out. Half unbellieving I switched to another channel where a trio of untalented young men pranced around on stage pretending to be singing. The overkill of pyrotechnics made the whole thing irrelevant.
"I'm nonplussed, not a single word," I said as I threw the remote into my fish tank.
"Worse than that," he dead panned, "it is a total media black out." Non chalantly he pulled out his pipe and loaded it with tobacco and lit it. "The powers that be do not want the sheep in this country to know, and when word leaks out they will down play it,"
I knew I had to play the staright man and ask leading questions so he could continue his diatribe.
"Gosh, why would they do that? I was sarcastic. "Because they are afraid it would usurp the election cycle?"
"This election was decided long ago, dum dum." He pulled out a geary rigged transister radio. He never was big on new fangled gadgets like computers. He fiddle with the dial for a moment before beconing me to come closer. A barely audible male voice was relaying how there was mass panic in Tokoyo, and yes there were deaths, no one knew for sure, perhaps thousands. The Premier of Japan and Parliment seemed to have vanished. The whole country was in chaos.
He clicked it off. "That was Radio Moscow, bet you can't get it on your computer there."
"**** me," not knowing what else to say.
"That is an understatement. A giantic plum of radioactivity is headed this way right now. Will be here in two weeks or less."
"Mass extinction event," I muttered feeling like I had just been lobotomized.
"Damn straight, we have very little time to get out of here. My van is outside, grab a suitcase, your computer and your stupid cat and let's vamoss."
"Go where?" Now I was whinning.
"South America baby, guarantee the place will be crawling with rich chicks." He opened the door and waltzed outside. "I'll wait downstairs, I want to make sure I don't get a ticket."
"Hey," I said as I picked up my cat.
"Can we stop by the Starry Plough for old times sake?"
"Sure, why not?" He paused as he emptied his pipe on a plant on the front porch.