Scott, Paul, and Takoma the Dolphin

A dialogue.

Paul: What a mess.

Scott: If Vladimir Putin invaded the seaboard hoping to unseat the non-elected dictator George Bush, even though I hate our so-called president with a passion I usually reserve for conceptual artists working in vaseline, LED lights, and dead frogs - if Putin invaded, I would line up for my gun and helmet and head down to Washington on the Fung Wah bus to protect mother America.

Paul: I too would militarize my fat self to protect the land of Applebee's. But we are shocked and awed when Iraqis don't like a bunch of marines blowing up vans with their daughters inside.

Scott: It was more subtle than that, you typical knee-jerk scared little liberal. The marines also gave out candy.

Paul: “Here comes the van with some little girls in it. Let's give them some candy. Here, it's in my Military Phrasealater. `Candy taste good, here candy.' Just hit the buttons and it shouts in Arabic.”

Scott: Of course, you're an 19 year old from Bourbon, Kentucky, so you hit the “Take off your shirt and lie down on the ground with your legs spread!” button. But you don't know that and you can't understand what they say in return.

Paul: “No! They don't want candy! They kept driving!”

Scott: Only one choice left, soldier.

Paul: “God steady my hand as I do your duty.” Boom. I cry out! I fall to my knees! “Why do they hate us? They hate our freedom!”

Scott: It's because we have tamed the mighty dolphin. With even sea mammals on our side, it is obvious that we are God's army. They cower in fear that bottle-noses will come for them in the night.

Paul: But the Moroccans have offered 4000 monkeys to the Iraqis to clear land mines. Who will be the victors? And what is next? Chemical-weapons-enhanced Jack Russell Terriers? Nuclear whales? Napalm llamas? I was so glad when that dolphin went AWOL, before it came back. Because I imagined it hanging out with other dolphins, saying, “No Iraqi ever called me Flipper.” And I figured it had found its higher porpoise.

Scott: Paul, this is a time of national crisis. Show some respect.

.  .  .  .  .  

The author is going to Cocoa Beach, Florida to visit with his father and brother (this is known as Operation Steel Manatee), and will be back next week, at which pt he will try to care about something enough to write Ftrain again.




Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

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