Posts Tagged ‘Secessionism’

A Postcard from Nepal

“Victor!” began the drafted email message that had been sitting in cyberspace, rotting here, waiting for me like a crow carcass left by a loyal retriever. “My long lost friend, how the hell r ya?”

Could it possibly be? The picture could be of him… of anyone… Was this a trick – a lure placed before my hiding place to bring me out of my hole?

Greetings from the Himalaya: Cyrus Lee Hancock

Greetings from the Himalaya: Cyrus Lee Hancock

I had already wandered outside my safe confines to be here. There are many hotels in Central Florida and many of these many have courtesy internet lobbies for their guests. Such lobbies also work well for anonymous conspiracy bloggers looking to sign-in to mysterious email accounts and read the saved drafted messages left by fellow paranoids. Consider my Neverman ass planted in one such lobby. Before me on this day was an unexpected message from beyond that my eyes scanned frantically. At my back the sound of faux waterfall urged my bladder unnecessarily as the high-pitched spiel of the front desk girl bounced off the neo-post-modern retro-deco plastic blocks that made up the computer station. Could it be that what I was looking at was an actual message from Cyrus Lee Hancock?

“Enough of the fucking small talk, mi amigo. The time for my vindication is nye neigh nigh here. I may be hovering over a mud hole where thousands of strained shits have been taken and frozen at 20,000 feet, but I am not too drunk on altitude and the smell of vomited beer to miss the current events taking place back home. That bitch at the IRS is toast. Or as we say in Himalaya, ‘she’ll make a nice addition to a Yeti’s quilt’. Just like a couple of fucking South Africans I buried yesterday. I buried them, Yeti will fucking dig them up, sew them in, just like Sherpa Jerry says. And Sherpa Jerry don’t lie.

“You need to put the word out. Tell my story, hombre. It is time to negotiate; I am ready to come home. But I am not going to acquiesce until I get some guarantees.”

And so it was clear: Cyrus Lee Hancock had re-emerged onto the grid to take-on the vulnerable IRS that had pursued him to the ends and the heights of the Earth.

He listed his demands to reclaim citizenship of the United States:

  1. I want a full apology hand-written by whoever new is in charge at the IRS.
  2. I want the apology framed. A nice frame. No Target bullshit.
  3. I want the next 10 years off from being taxed by the Federales.
  4. I want my bro-in-law pardoned. Actually, I don’t give two shits, but the wife does.
  5. I want February 29th to just be a day that exists every year. I just got my first gray hair and I have only had seven birthdays – leap day blows.
  6. When kids study the constitution and they read about the 2nd Amendment, under ‘Regulated Militia’, I want there to be a picture of me, my guns, my dog and my Chinese stars.
  7. I want the IRS abolished, once and for all. I might be able to compromise on this one. Exile is okay too.

Cyrus Lee finally concluded, “OASIS and the Hancocks have long endured oppression of the Internet Revenue Service the IRS and if our Kenyan leader in the White House does not step down and allow the rule of the people, then it is time that we rise up like 1776 all over again and stop paying the tea taxes and start taking back our rights as Christian human beings. Or, I guess, just ‘Christians’. Isn’t ‘human’ implied? Unless they baptized Yeti. Fuck if I know. Sherpa Jerry would be pissed if he found out, he’s one of them Hindi Buddhists. Anyway, peace bro, CLH out!”

Prelude: the Emergence of Bucky Swoon

No story just exists in a tightly-packaged 26 month vacuum. How did we get here? What was the fallout? How did I, Vic Neverman, become entangled within the paranoid realm of the survivalist apocalyptist, Cyrus Lee Hancock, and the collection of his minions that were the group known as OASIS?

Circa 2011 of the Common Era: I had a fresh sunburn after relocating from Portland, Oregon, to the cheap plastic wilderness of Central Florida. Without the Dude Collective, my Oregonian commune of drunken philosophers, I quickly found myself lost within the twisted façade of civilization that is this tourism mecca. Parallel to the Arabic Mecca, the space rock that landed here that has fanatics circling like vultures is Space Mountain, or more specifically, Disney and the theme parked madness that followed.

A stranger in A Small World After All, I reached and struggled to find genuine intrigue and conflict in a place where it was all manufactured for consumer consumption. I developed a new alter-ego, Bucky Swoon, and infiltrated the Florida Secessionist Tea Party Movement. I spent a lot of time in North Florida. I wore a ball-cap I had to run over with my car several times to create its perfect shape. I drank cheap swill and allowed myself – err, my alter-ego – to be videoed riding a mechanic bull. I grinned and bore it as they made fun of manatees and manatee wake zones.

And then the Arab Spring arrived.

The Occupy Movement would follow.

Prepping for the Inevitable END: Neverman and Cyrus Lee

Prepping for the Inevitable END: Neverman and Cyrus Lee

Bucky Swoon volunteered to infiltrate the Occupiers as another alter-ego (name since forgotten, hard to keep track). I infiltrated. I returned to tell the Tea Party Secessionists about how ridiculous the Occupiers were and how they were led by a lovely dread-locked girl in a Guy Fawkes mask. Meanwhile, I told the lovely dread-locked girl in a Guy Fawkes mask about how I had infiltrated the Tea Party and how ridiculous they were. I was a double-agent. Or triple, since I was really just working for myself.

Bucky Swoon, who is praised for going undercover as an Occupy Orlando activist by growing a beard, wearing torn blue jeans and not washing his hair (ironically, the same way I infiltrated the Florida Secessionists), was presented with a flier to attend an “Anti-United Nations Paintball Rally sponsored by Cyrus Lee Hancock.”

The rest is history. Or at least some of the rest is in the next paragraph.

OASIS and the IRS

Cyrus Lee Hancock and I became fast friends. He saw through the mirage of Bucky Swoon and we came to grips about our antithetical co-existence. We were Spy Vs Spy, White Hat/Black Hat, Jekyll and Hyde… quasi-Canadian gun-enthusiast paranoid (him) and the neo-beatnik pacifist paranoid (me). I furthered my connection by bringing him whiskey on the rare Leap Day of 2012 and by being respectful of his wife, the beautiful enigma that is Layla Santana Crow. Well, I was respectful outside of the debates she and I endured in regards to the existence of dinosaurs. I was, clearly, in favor of the existence of dinosaurs. She, sweet Layla, was not. She, as always, was persuasive, though.

Cyrus Lee Hancock was the purveyor of Hancock Ranch, a survivalist compound where he held corporate retreats preparing suits for the end of the world, or, at least, another Democratic President. Cyrus Lee was also the founder and president of OASIS: the Oviedo Army of Survival, Intelligence and Security. It was a tight-knit suburban commando unit that met every Tuesday night to whatever surprise casserole dish the wives presented. Wine was drunk as preparations for The End were made.

The Future for Cyrus Lee Hancock and OASIS was clearly rooted in The End. Apocalyptoism was all the rage in 2012, especially with an election pending and the hysterical misinterpretation of the Mayan Calendar ending on December 21st. Donations and applications began to pour in from those who wished to join OASIS and have a front row seat to Armageddon from the safety of Hancock Ranch. Cyrus Lee Hancock was to reinvest those funds by increasing his arsenal and packing away enough foodstuffs to feed the loyal survivalist army. OASIS officially filed as a not-for-profit with the IRS as a means to reduce tax payout. Cyrus Lee even, at one point, insisted OASIS was a cult that followed the dinosaur-denying high priestess, Layla Santana Crow, and that the Freedom of Religion should exempt them from having to pay taxes.

Then the Maya Apocalypse occurred.

Post-apocalypse, everyone was pretty much left standing. Everyone pretty much had to go back to work. Everyone pretty much wanted their refund, or at least their share of Cyrus Lee’s arsenal and refried bean collection. Yet, Cyrus Lee Hancock was nowhere to be found. Hancock Ranch had been sold to some Vegan collective from Ohio. OASIS was no more, the Army disbanded with their post-apocalyptic hangover. The IRS arrived, but arrived too late.

The last I saw of Cyrus Lee and Layla was in an Olive Garden. We shared some cold calamari and a lot of salad. It would not be long before these mysterious two evaporated into the mystery dust of the cosmos.

Cyrus Lee Hancock buried his guns away in some rent-a-shed and sent his bride to some Costa Rican nunnery where she could forage with the orphans. His whereabouts were a mystery. A mystery until the downfall of the IRS finally brought him out of hiding and seeking his due justice. Now he wanted his vindication… and a framed apology.

Cyrus Lee Hancock and some Sherpa Dudes in the Himalaya

Cyrus Lee Hancock and Sherpa Jerry and Sherpa She-Bop in the Himalaya

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This is a mournful discovery.
1)Those who agree with you are insane
2)Those who do not agree with you are in power.

― Philip K. Dick, VALIS

Have I gone too far?

Vic Neverman

Having spent a day being chased by paintballs in an effort to win the confidence of a doomsday survivalist, I am left with many a welt. There are wounds in addition to the welts: tens of dozens of miniature gashes brought on by the insectual hordes feasting upon me in the Florida scrub over the last month. I am beaten, dehydrated, cramped and I itch like a sailor leaving port.

You might think paranoids have it easy. After all, when you’re prone to expect exaggerated worst case scenarios, you are also frequently relieved with the more likely and less severe outcome of events. Optimism is for fools, pessimism is the true key to happiness. To expect catastrophe and receive the mediocrity of the status quo – it is rather the delightful surprise. It is all in the math. Yet, life as a paranoid is not all that it is cut out to be. It certainly is not for everyone. The weak of bowels, for example, should not follow this path.

Oft times, the paranoid, especially those who have their toes testing the temperature of open dissent against established authority, need to bug-out and get off the Grid. The Grid is the common machinations of society – mass transit, automated teller machines, liquor stores, internet pornography, air conditioning, fast food, social networking sites and/or the constant surveillance of the Police State – all the trappings of first world comfort. In Florida, the Grid is everywhere. Nearly. To be off the Grid down here, you must succumb to the wilderness.

When I relocated back to Florida, I was leaving Oregon where the autumn, winter and spring seasons were varying shades of temperate gray with the heat of summer coming and going like a five-day hybrid-car sales-event at the local farmer’s market. There was no long cruel summer. Oregon just happens to be a paranoid utopia. You could be in Portland city limits and still exist completely off the Grid. There is a barter economy and no one thinks twice if you arrive in a bar wearing a Sasquatch mask. Privacy is guaranteed.

In the Portlandian Utopia: dress like an ape-man and everyone loves you

And in Portland, there are no bugs. Not like here in the Florida scrub, where I nurse all sort of bite. I’ve had tick, chigger, brown recluse… I once killed eleven mosquitos with a single slap of the palm against my blood-let shoulder. There is DEET as a repellent option, which is a sort of preventative chemotherapy for mosquito affliction: No fucking thank you. My wind-weathered, sun-leathered, salt-lathered skin is beginning to callus thick enough to keep the mozzies from penetrating my hide with their prickish proboscis. Even vampires aren’t asshole enough to regurgitate toxins back into your body when they are through with supper. Mosquitos are.

Welcome to Florida

brought to you by the Chamber of Commerce.

I lead with such notes about my continued hunkered-down existence in my palmetto bunker in order to fully disclose that my words arrive on this page already dripped in antagonism fueled by the Brazilian fire ant bites between my toes. When the insects speak Portugese, you know you are in trouble and right now my toes can’t help but forbidden dance against each other in a strange ecstatic agony both emotionally satisfying and physiologically detrimental.

I wonder, do the wounds of insect parasitism fuel the paranoia or does the paranoia feed the itch? What isn’t psychotic about clawing yourself into non-existence, one finger nail of flesh at a time?

Spring to Summer, What Happened to Winter?

Tropically Depressed at the crawfish festival

It was a brutal start to the summer. The last weeks of spring brought a tropical depression to Florida, drenching the dehydrated phallus of a state with violent storms twice, sometimes thrice, daily. I returned back to the Grid to find that the world had revolved beyond where I had last left it. My NeverKin had left for the higher ground of Colorado. My old ally Raz Kelly had gone on walkabout, uncertain if she was ever to return back this way again. Raz’ brother, Doc Kelly, gave me the once over and prescribed fish oil to cure my mental ills (I now take two spoonfuls before bed and burp up cod in my sleep). I found a girl I once knew, but she didn’t know me anymore. I saw her again at a crawfish festival, a bad idea, a terrible event, on a day the heavens opened-up and drenched the crustacean enthusiasts with the tropical depression. The girl I once knew smiled teasingly, “you’re soaked.” I replied, eagerly, that she was not much better (but she was; the rain suited her well). She explained how she would be interested in my invitation, accompanying me to the beer tent, however, “I didn’t hear from you, and…” Yes, yes, I had left the Grid and she, she did not hear from me and promptly found a replacement. A replacement for me. How does one, being a full-fledged paranoid, explain to the uninitiated “the Grid” and the necessity of occasionally leaving it behind? I, Vic Neverman, need not bother you, dear reader, with the further details. Alright, maybe a little bother… My replacement was a full head over my six foot stature and was run-of-the-mill Florida Jetski-Douche with an armband tattoo of rollicking waves symbolizing his spiritual passion for hot-tub fellatio. Judging by his clownish shoe size, he was replacing more than I could have filled. Beyond him, this replacement of mine, at this crawfish festival, were thousands more typical run-of-the-mill Jetski-Douche, falling off the conveyor belt faster than Lucille Ball could stuff them down her blouse. If it was not to be him, it could have been any of them. Jetski Douche is Legion and I… I had missed the boat.

The tropical depression passed. A couple days later, the sun came out and burnt everything back to a crisp.

The Quickening

Glynis McCants, the Numerologist, said 2012 was to be a fast year and I’ll be damned if it isn’t almost half over. This was to be the year leading up to the great END OF WORLD: Mexico Edition event, yet the months have passed so quickly the Mayan Calendar will be flipped to the next era before we ever realize it.

Should the END be more noticeable, I will likely be more prepared. I am, as it happens, affiliated with a local small-town political movement of doomsday prepper survivalists. I am sure I will have more on this story as the group practices and prepares for the hurricane season. The group is OASIS (Oviedo Army of Security, Intelligence and Survival) and while it might have its origins in Florida militia secessionism (I found them while posing as my alter-ego, Tea Partier Bucky Swoon), it is really a community organization that meets to play paintball and drink Dark ‘n’ Stormys (actually, I introduced OASIS to the Gosling’s sponsored rum drink, which was, in turn, introduced to me by my government contracted spook of a brother-in-law – a conspiracy unto itself) while discussing various SHTF (shit hit the fan) scenarios. As the resident conspiracy theorist, I was named the official archivist of the organization, mostly because my apocalyptic library is the entirety of the group’s archives.

Have I gone too far? Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious by the sun of York goes the Shakespearean line from Henry III. I consider this season as the summer of my discontent, soon to be behind me as we are hurtled ever faster into tomorrow. Forget the impending Maya Apocalypse (just another excuse for rum drinks); my spirit is plagued by the current ineffectiveness of democracy in this country. My last blog was a rant on the subject. This current blog details what wear and tear a paranoid suffers as he hides in the shadows of his own fear.

Good Luck and Godspeed America.

Vic Neverman and Cyrus Lee as the alpha-dog Apex Apocalyptics of OASIS (Oviedo Army of Security, Intelligence and Survival)

Sometimes the most trusted ally is a proven antagonist. It is more important to know a man’s intentions than to agree with them. A familiar rival is often more forthcoming than a fellowship of strangers. Look at Jack Kennedy and Nikita Kruschev, these rivals chose a diplomatic stalemate over the proposals of their hawkish generals who would sooner see mass extinction of the species. Kennedy and Kruschev avoided all-out war by finding the lowest common denominator: survival. In similar fashion, I, Vic Neverman, broke bread (or more literally cracked open beers) with the ever-devious, Phineas Crux. Over a compromise of mutual survival, we two enemies had joined a common cause.

And now the bastard has gone missing.

Despite our longtime opposition, I had employed Phineas Crux into my ever-expanding Neverman Network Of Spies (NNOS). As a political elitist in the Oregonian state capital, an expert on Trans-Pacific foreign policy, and an erstwhile spelunker in the Portland Underground, Phineas Crux is a unique resource to report back on West Coastal stirrings. Most recently, Phineas has been keeping an eye on the Occupy movement in both Portland and Salem, Oregon. He’s made comparisons of the Occupy organizational structure to that of the anti-Franco communists of the Spanish Civil War. He’s mentioned that the homeless seem to have a large role in the local movement, but since the hipsters of Little Beirut (as Portland was called by the 1st Bush Administration) often blur the lines between fashion and destitution, it is not easy to separate the true vagrants from the trustifarians. In perhaps his most startling revelation, Phineas Crux’s espionage uncovered recent research Occupation participators have conducted to learn more about prior secessionist movements in California, Oregon and Washington.

And that is the last we’ve heard of our wayward antagonist.

Has Phineas gone so deep underground he cannot sneak off to a nearby internet cafe to send a short message without being overseen by oppressive forces, be they of the fascist police state or the anarchist pitchforked public? Or has Phineas Crux been more violently silenced – muzzled in some Shanghai Tunnel or buried beneath the snows of Mt Hood? Or could this be the work of a jilted former lover, a scorned ex-flame who wishes to see Phineas finished off (just less pleasantly than times past)? Certainly, there is one such anti-Crux femme fatale that comes to mind… An obvious suspect, she… She who called me, Vic Neverman, in an endless rant of a letter “naive” and “idiotic” (the gall!) for my trusting Phineas Crux. In her defense, however, one must always be cautious when dealing with Phineas. I, Vic Neverman, could trust Phineas Crux precisely because I knew he was untrustworthy. As I mentioned previously, it is better to have a man whose intentions are clear than to have one whose agenda is clouded by their sycophantic agreeableness. Crux is definitely the former.

Portlandian Secret Society "The Dude Collective". Phineas Crux is on the far left, Vic Neverman on the far right.

I first came to know this character, Phineas Crux, in Portland when I and the warior-poet, Ginger Hustle (whose been featured in previous Occupy blogs), entered into the surreal realm of a Jim Morrison shrine off the eastern banks of the Willamette River. Within this Temple of Doors, the warrior-poet and I became acquainted with Phineas Crux and we would later be initiated into a cultic brotherhood of sorts, which I have referred to before as the Dude Collective. Despite being fellow philosopher-monks in the Collective, rivalry and sabotage ensued between Crux and Neverman. When my play, “Operation Smoking Dragon” premiered in Lincoln City, who was it streaking through the audience with just a tube sock covering his nether-parts? Phineas Crux. And then in the aftermath of a great blizzard, “Sno-pacalypse 2008” as the local news called it, lines were clearly drawn for a final battle between Phineas with his merry men and Ginger Hustle and I, Vic Neverman, on the opposite side. Perhaps the only thing keeping us from mutual annihilation was the holiday spirit contained in the seasonal craft beers we had been gulping down… poisonous remedy it could be.

The zenith of the antagonism between Neverman and Crux was reached when each of us, under different pretenses, found ourselves in Southeast Asia suspecting the Other as a saboteur. The dusty jungles of non-monsoonal Vietnam and Cambodia were the devil’s playground for our dance of intrigue. One positive aspect of traveling in corrupt states is the ease with which I bribed the Saigon police with the help of my guide Now True Van Wasted (“now true” being a brutal anglicization of her name Ngoc Truc). I used these bribes in an effort to recapture my stolen passport and visa (courtesy, one would suspect, of the devious Phineas Crux) and to further hinder the plans of he, my nemesis.

Showdown in Siem Reap. From left to right, Mr and Mrs VanWasted, Phineas Crux, Vic Neverman, and hovering over the scene, Phineas' 7 foot goon, Q-Ball

It wouldn’t be until both Crux and Neverman found themselves in Cambodia before we would actually meet face-to-face for the first time since Portland a month earlier when each saw the Other off, like two racers revving engines at the starting line. It was in the crossroads of the “White Market” in Siem Reap, among the pedicure-by-goldfish stalls and the sickeningly capitalistic vendors of land mine souvenirs, that Neverman and Crux met with our teams in tow. Phineas suspected me of wrong-doings I was absolutely innocent of. I, in turn, accused him of nearly blinding me by poisoning my contact solution in Ho Chi Minh City (I was sporting an eye-patch for a while there) and then later hiring a local goon to mug me of my traveling papers (if it weren’t for an ever-present and surprisingly helpful Mossad agent, I would still be hitchhiking my way out of Indochina). Our mirrored sneers became snickers and our ricocheted paranoia brought a cynical levity. With so much in common, our friendship was quickly renewed.

We would both return to Oregon for the last months of the Dude Collective before the brotherhood would geographically fracture, separating members by continents and oceans. It was just as well, going on double-dates with your arch-nemesis and a pair of unsuspecting girlfriends was getting awkward. By the end of the year, Crux left Portland for the state capital and Neverman was in Florida.

But through the web – specifically the online forum Zoey & the Zeitgeist – the misaligned alliance remained… until now.

Now, Crux is gone…

I have a strange pride, albeit accompanied with a sense of humility, at being the only victim of a manatee attack in recorded history. Yes, I, Vic Neverman, was once attacked by a manatee. In all my international misadventures – being physically tortured beneath the streets of Istanbul, almost losing my eye in Saigon, winning a ‘Fully Monty’ dance-off in Northampton – one of the most chilling memories was this attack by a manatee in what was literally my backyard in the bays north of the Everglades.

I say this to admit there is never any love lost between Vic Neverman and them daggone dugongs. In fact, should society collapse and there be a shortage of food, I will harvest manatees like sea cattle. Sure, I have swam with them half a hundred times and they seem harmless enough, but they are ugly, slimy, and what others won’t tell you – they will attack. Hippopotamuses look awful cuddly too, until they crush your skull in jaw.

If there is to be a defender of manatees, I would not be your logical choice. And yet here I stand, in defense of the mer-beasts against the citizenry of Florida. It seems the Citrus County Tea Party has found themselves someone their size to pick on, taking aim at the manatee ‘no wake’ zones as evidence the Fish & Wildlife Service is a part of a One World Order Government plot.

http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/07/florida-tea-party-secret-manatee-conspiracy

This is nonsense. Who better to seek out these tea partiers than my alter ego Bucky Swoon, the Florida secessionist and mechanical bull rider? And so, I devised a letter…

July 14, 2011
Edna Mattos
Citrus County Tea Party Patriots

Dear Miss Mattos,

May I call you Edna? I read the St Petersburg Times and have been sent your alarming emails by my many, many, many friends of the Tea Party. I gotta emit, you got my belly burning with fire and I ain’t had mofongo in days now. I think you’re like a Joan of the Ark, cause not since her has there been a lady voice like you talking about animals. I mean, when you said we’d all be living in Jurassic Park if them environment groups had their way with them dinosaurs, I cried a bit (wet my britches a little squirt too) cause I realized you got the voice I always wanted to be in my mouth. Much prettier in your mouth, tho, or so it looks me looking online and all.

By not letting us ride our jet skis as fast as we want through Kings Bay, your right, there elevating the rights of the sea cows over the rights of us people and that is exactly what are Founder Fathers fought for against the Queen of England about. This elevation of mammals over people is, like you say, against the Bill or Rights and against what is said in the Bible! I am glad there is as much angry people as I am. It ain’t right, ain’t right at all.

I done thought it were just something smelly (other than manatees!) that the Fedrule Government was doing, but then I heard what you said about the United Nations and there Agenda 21 being about making what is good for nature and what is not good for people and how they is wanting to get rid of us people because they like nature more. Idiots! But scary tho, right? These people are on all sides of the water and they want a one world government and it all starts with rules about slowing down my jet ski, My Jet Ski! Like I was driving down the road on it or something. Yes, it starts with jet skis and then they come taking away are jet skis and are guns, and then they is sticking needles into are kids, and then they is taking our guns and putting barcodes on are foreheads and putting us into prison camps without are guns.

So, I am with you, Edna, if I may call you Edna, that is. And I have captured a manatee, a real life sacred sea cow. I have it in my tub. Don’t worry, I am hosing it down to keep it wet so it don’t die cause we need to put the death on youtube I think in order for more people to see it and I got a hockey mask and a samurai sword I got at the pawn shop when I traded in my old four wheeler and I am going to do one of them terrorist videos to show them crazy one world government types what we think of there beloved manatees! That’ll soil them shorts. Ha!

So I extend this invite to you Edna to come on over, have a couple of beers, and watch me sleigh this stinky, slimy, beast.

Sincerely,

Bucky Swoon (I am waiting for you to accept my facebook request)

The irony of having to wear camouflage to blend in fashionably was not lost on me. I was in North Florida – the deepest South you can get in the mosquito state – at the fried food extravaganza known as the Blue Crab Festival. Spread out along a stretch of the St John’s River this Southern spectacle takes place within the ceaseless, senseless, heat of early summer where the swarm of gnats are as thick as the humidity with no sign of rain to wash our sins away. The stench of spilt beer, over-fried crustacean, spat tobacco, sweat from under-bathed bodies, and the portable latrines did properly compliment the scenery – a collage of mulleted, mid-drifted, jean-shorted, Americana.

Yet there was a current of something very un-American just beneath the surface of this redneck revelry. There were rumors – whispers at first, then cynical jokes that became subtle threats until there was a strong body of angered enthusiasts in favor of a radical idea: Florida’s secession from the Union. I had traveled here from my more metropolitan habitat to gauge for myself how popular the sentiment was. I had not come, though, as Vic Neverman. I had come as my alter-alter ego, Bucky Swoon. Guiding Bucky through these strange locales, was a native to these river lands and an old ally, Tusc.

Expert spook that I am, I know how to adapt to my surroundings and in this case I adopted a slight twang to accompany my new moniker. My plan was this: impersonate an extreme right tea partier and ask around about the treasonous antics of the underground militia and secessionist movement to see what kind of feedback I get.

After a weekend of haunting the beer tent, listening to confederate rock tribute bands, and speaking with the locals, I learned the following:
– 3 out of 4 rednecks believe Obama is a Muslim
– 1 out of 5 rednecks are in favor of Florida secession
– 1 out of 2 rednecks agree TSA agents are Federal molesters and FEMA’s ready army. This same group is also apt to believe the “Baby Blue Dawn” scenario, which is like the Patrick Swayze movie Red Dawn, just with dutch boy UN soldiers in their baby blues parachuting from the sky to take over our cities and highways in favor of the New World Order.
– All rednecks believe the Federal Reserve and the IRS should be abolished
– 7 out of 8 rednecks believe if Florida does secede, Miami should either be left behind or the Cubans should be sent home
– 1 woman asked for more lax animal husbandry laws

A danger of a high quantity of beer intake when undercover is forgetting what the damn cover was to begin with. At one point, a local nurse – a feisty irish lass – doubted my story, “Your name is not Bucky Swoon, but that’s okay, I am not really named Stacy.” While the crowd listened to my drunken extremist drivel, it was this fellow anonymous one, “Stacy”, who remained skeptical with her hazel-eyed smirk. I pegged her as one to look out for.

With time, I wasn’t just accepted amongst these people, I was lauded. Hero worship set in and my followers led me to my steed – a mechanical bull. I told my fans that my riding days with over. Stacy pointed out that with a name like Bucky, my riding days were never over. I acquiesced. Six times. Six times I rode the bull, six times my inertia was undermined, six times I was launched from the bull, six times I hit the floor like a jellyfish dressed up as a rag doll. My duty served, I climbed off the platform and shouted “God Bless America!” My fellow secessionists eyed me with confusion, so I changed my story, “Uh, I mean, Viva la Florida! Viva Revolution! Florida Libre!”

As is common in these sort of festivals, fights began to erupt. My paranoia growing with the building static energy of an imminent hangover, I soon found myself preoccupied with the stares of these country folk and without the protection of my guide, Tusc, who had wandered in search of alleged bastard sons. The only plausible ally left was Stacy, who let me hide out on her front porch until 3 am when the streets were clear.

It was a late walk home, but a fine and sobering one as I made the trek smoking a Cuban cigar. I didn’t uncover any grand conspiracy*, only the typical prejudices existing in the rural south. The next morning, Tusc quipped as he slapped away gnats, “Well, if there wasn’t a secessionist movement before you arrived, there is certainly one now.”

“I am a catalyst for the truth, Tusc.” I explained. “Even if the truth isn’t there, Vic Neverman will find it.”

Post-Script:

*There actually was quite the scandal, however. Tusc comes from a local family of championship dog trainers. They had a budding star on their hands, but this handsome canine never grew into full manhood with a second testicle refusing to drop. Since a full scrotum is essential in judging a show dog, Tusc took the canine to a black market veterinarian to perform an illegal medical procedure to procure the second nut. Despite the operation and Tusc’s subtle handling over the next weeks to attempt to position everything into place, it was a failure. Rather than take this conspiracy public, I will only mention it here and allow the internal embarrassment be enough punishment for my old buddy.