Posts Tagged ‘TransAmericana’

Come-to-Jesus moment (according to the internet) – An epiphany in which one realizes the truth of a matter; realizing the true weight or impact of a negative situation or fact; acknowledgment that one must get back to core values; moment of realization; turning point; sudden regret at driving all the way to Nashville.

BAYOU SAINT BASIL, Fla

Habits turn into patterns and patterns create predictability. In my line of work (freelance skullduggery), predictability is best avoided*. It is rare for me, Vic Neverman, to habitually patron any given establishment, yet within crawling distance of St Bas Trailer Park resides a watering hole familiar to this horse. It doesn’t take the casual observer long to see why I might frequent said establishment: most notably the blonde behind the bar. Upon my entry on this night in question, her smile beamed at me like a Fukushima firefly** before her brow furrowed in faux suspicion, “I thought I wasn’t supposed to see you again until November.” To this, my mumbled response was more coy than sly, I got thirsty…

*Predictability is #17 in Vic’s Paranoid Guide of Avoidance, right behind #16 GPS Devices and ahead of #18 fondue restaurants.

**Ironically, the prison-style tattoo on her neck under her right ear might just be a radiated bug of some sort

The name of the blonde beer-monger is not Jade Thunderbrook, but Jade Thunderbrook is what we are calling her. Jade was curious as to what business had me away (almost until November) in the first place. As she poured me a pint of a dark menacing draught, I told her as much as I dared about my new line of work up in Tennessee. Her reaction was quizzical, incredulous even, “The ‘Jesus Business’? …You?” Yup. Me. Vic Neverman, soon-to-be apocalyptic evangelist.

Vic and Layla during presentation of True 1st Thanksgiving (between Vikings and Sasquatch)

Vic and Layla during presentation of True 1st Thanksgiving (between Vikings and Sasquatch)

It was a new racket, this Jesus Business, and certainly not one I had in mind when driving up to Nashville last weekend in search of profitable endeavors. Even the drive to Tennessee was an unexpected digression from our regular programming. This story has no clear beginning, but this particular chapter began to be fleshed-out a week ago when I was summoned to The Cheese Pit, a fondue restaurant under a freeway bridge somewhere on the east side of Orlando. The summoning was by a former employer, a woman as wicked as she could be saintly, Layla Santana Crow. She had a new job for me, “Drive Mom to Nashville.” That beast? I laughed over Layla’s cauldron of boiling cheese. Not a chance. Layla, a former South Florida weather-girl, has always had a knack for persuasion and this night was no exception. By the time my gut reverse-engineered the digestion of my under-seared chicken, I had agreed to join her plot.

There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.

-President George W. Bush

“Mom” was the 3 ton (curb weight) Ford Über-Truck that belonged to Layla’s husband, Cyrus Lee Hancock. The nickname was inspired by the curse I shouted at first glimpse of the four-wheeled locomotive, “Mother of Grendel!” The name stuck. The machine was designed to plow through whichever antagonists that came across her bow – hurricane, United Nation globalists, zombie outbreak, etcetera, etc., et al. You see, dear reader, Cyrus Lee Hancock and Layla Santana Crow were, in fact, “apocalyptalists” – essentially, apocalypse capitalists. They formed the OASIS survivalist sect (where I was briefly employed as a rescue diver (PADI certified)) in preparation for the 2012 Maya Apocalypse. The End Date of 12/21/2012 did not come with Armageddon, but it did leave OASIS with an empty bank account before the members could come looking for an End of the World refund. Where were the funds or the founders of OASIS in these post-apocalypse days? Layla had disappeared to Costa Rica while Cyrus Lee jetted off to Central Asia with the IRS chomping at his heels. 10 months later… Layla Santana Crow had returned to her favorite Floridian fondue haunt and Cyrus Lee Hancock had found asylum in the hills of Tennessee. Cyrus Lee wanted his toys back without having to risk a trip to Florida – which is where I, Vic Neverman, came in. I was to deliver to him his favorite toy of all, the monstrous truck, “Mother of Grendel”***.

Vic pulls Mother of Grendel into the parking lot of the future Church of the Revelator

Vic pulls Mother of Grendel into the parking lot of the future Church of the Revelator

***Each tire, which Cyrus Lee plans to upgrade, cost $315 with an extra $275 spent in bullet-proof rims. The exterior is painted in a metallic blue, giving Mom a shiny “bling” to assist in her extravagance. Mom also bears a tramp-stamp of a machine gun decal on her back window, which is of great assistance when attempting to merge into freeway traffic.

Leaving Bayou Saint Basil at the Hour of the Wolf...

Leaving Bayou Saint Basil at the Hour of the Wolf…

Other than a few moped casualties, blown away in Mom’s jet-wash as I skirted my way across Atlanta, the journey from Florida to Tennessee was relatively benign. Before setting out, Layla assured me the truck was street legal and was not transporting any contraband (guns, gold, girls, pills). I left my home at Bayou Saint Basil during the Hour of the Wolf, making the most out of the pre-dawn darkness while avoiding toll roads and other highways highly visible to DOT**** cameras. Cyrus Lee equipped the truck with a scanner that could pick-up Highway Patrol radar, Homeland Security drones and garage door openers. The resulting steady beep of the scanner detecting spook devices acted as paranoid musical accompaniment to the trip. Mother of Grendel moved north by northwest like a bowling ball: brute force and determined momentum crushing all asphalt in her path (along with the occasional moped).

****DOT is the Department of Transportation, which is in itself a puppet bureaucracy of Big Brother.

Hour of the Wolf +12, I arrived in Nashville.

Cyrus Lee Hancock helicoptering in the Himalaya

Cyrus Lee Hancock helicoptering in the Himalaya

“Welcome to NashVegas, the rhinestone buckle of the Bible Belt!” Cyrus Lee Hancock ushered me into the Nashville suburb-scape. He paused a moment as his eyes wandered lovingly across the frame of Grendel’s Mom, “God, I missed her.”

Compensation for my transportation of Mom to Cyrus Lee Hancock came with as many caveats as a traveler insurance policy. Cyrus Lee was broke, too broke to pay me for my cannonball run, but he did have the “Opportunity of a lifetime, no! The opportunity of an afterlife, an eternity!” I groaned, Oh, Jesus to which he confirmed, “Exactly. The End is Nigh, my friend. It is time we prepare for the Rapture.”

Within moments of arriving in Nashville, I met Cyrus Lee’s neighbor and apparent legal counsel, Dwayne. Dwayne, wine drunk as he was, happened to be a talent agent for aspiring “evangelical entrepreneurs.” Through Dwayne, we would establish our religious alter-egos, setup a commercial loan through local banks and begin shepherding our flock.

We? I asked.

“That’s right, Vic.” Cyrus Lee winked along with his salesman smile. “Or shall I start calling you ‘Reverend Bucky Swoon’? I don’t have a Tennessee State Driver’s License for you yet or a Passport in Bucky’s name, but I did manage to get your Clergy ID card as well as a Concealed Gun Permit.” He could sense I had my doubts. “Look, bro, Tennessee may have her share of Evangelical preachers, but they haven’t seen the likes of us, yet. Between your paranoia and my survivalist skills, we can take this Rapture idea to the next level! And let’s face it, ‘Vic Neverman’ is a little too… ‘Zionist’ for the likes of Tennessee. Your ‘Bucky Swoon’ persona is much more fitting. I even have an idea for what we are going to call our church. Instead of ‘the Church of Latter Day Saints’, we’ll be ‘Church of Modern Day Saints’. Just that, you know, we’re not Mormons. Unless you can convince Layla the practicality of polygamy, she listens to you more than me, so that’s all you, man.”

It took me a beer & a half to convince Cyrus Lee “Church of John the Revelator” was a better apocalyptic fit.

better to keep a good conscience with an empty purse, than to get a bad opinion of myself, with a full one.

– Davey F’ing Crockett, Tennessean extraordinaire

Dwayne, Cyrus Lee’s wino talent agent, went on to recommend certain business components necessary to take advantage of our constitutional right to Freedom of Religion. Cyrus Lee Hancock was already thinking about possible ‘End Dates’ when Jesus would return and begin the Rapture. “We need enough time to get the church established, but not so much time that we lose the scare factor.” Dwayne recommended getting started with complete assimilation into Tennessean culture. “Sweet tea and stock car!” Cyrus Lee raised his dismal can of domestic piss in a salud. “We need to learn how to become real southern gentlemen. You know: the kind of gent who is chivalric enough to remove his lawnmower-branded baseball cap before he is going to hit a woman.” Cyrus Lee followed his laugh with a frown when he saw my reaction. “C’mon man, I’m not advocating the hitting of woman, we just need to appeal to the fucking savages who would. We’ll be better than Robin Hood; we steal from those douchebags and feed the poor.”

“You’re qualifying us as the poor, I take it?”

“Dude.” Cyrus Lee grimaced. “I’m so fucking poor, my debt is larger than the GDP of Paraguay – if that is even a country, I am not convinced. Yeah, if anyone is poor, it’s this dude. On that note – do you have cash for a cab? We need to go downtown and start this assimilation.”

Gustave Dore's vision for Babel

Gustave Dore’s vision for Babel

After paying off our crook of a cab driver, we made our way along the downtown strip of “NashVegas”. The scene looked familiar enough, harking back to blurred memories of my past escapades in West Tennessee’s Memphis. Yet something was lacking here… where was the low-thrum of a bass guitar rattling my bones? It seemed the Blues of Beale Street was not present here; rather, it had been replaced by twangy popcorn country. The illuminated neon signs and the confusion of tongues made NashVegas a candidate for Cyrus Lee Hancock’s very own Babel, yet this prophet of doom was not looking for sinners to repent. As we approached a street corner where a handful of orthodox evangelists were insinuating my guilt through their bullhorn preaching and flier delivering, Cyrus Lee Hancock did not begin to march to their drumbeat. Nay. This dude grabbed their own game and beat them over the head with it.

Neverman in NashVegas

Neverman in NashVegas

“The End is Nearer than you think, friend!” Cyrus Lee Hancock sang as he climbed a bus stop sign like Gene Kelly dancing his way through a storm of frogs. With his Irish/Italian hybrid charisma and faunal carnality, Cyrus Lee quickly stole the attention away from the more Gothic & Orthodox Evangelists. Using his verbose doublespeak, the newly christened preacher, Cyrus Lee, singled-out the bullhorn-wielding ringleader of the street missionaries. “You! blower of false trumpets and sucker of the seeds of evil, You! are not doing the Lord’s work, rather you are working against Him!” Pedestrians in the carnival of transgression became charmed by this novel distraction as the missionaries were stunned into silence.

“Your hate and your spite and your contempt is not bringing people closer to God, it is pushing them away! You sew derision and you pave a path not to salvation, but to vulnerability. You trample the people under the weight of your elephantine guilt, leaving them susceptible to a master who will welcome them under his roof and will not admonish them for their nature. You are ushering this flock right into the hands of the Devil, himself!”

The missionary evangelist with the bullhorn looked around at his team, unsure of how to handle this unscripted development. Cyrus Lee Hancock, facing the growing flock of the curious, drew the attention to his opponent, “My friend here in the dark flannel says he is here to serve the Lord, but the only lord he serves from his knees is a dark one. Who is he, this stranger in generic branded jeans, who feels justified in casting sin down upon you, the children of the Lord? Who does he really serve? Not you! Who might I serve? Let me tell you: I am here to serve you!” Cyrus Lee Hancock shook his double entendre in the face of the public and they willingly reached for it and gulped it down. “I am here to serve the harlots, the misfits, the tramps. I will turn none away. Give me your undesirables and I will mount my army, I will mount them all against the coming of the Anti-Christ!”

Cyrus Lee’s opponent (or prey) reached for his bullhorn, “You are the Anti-Christ! You are the devil!” He was greeted by a chorus of boos from the pedestrian hordes who had gathered to watch Cyrus Lee Hancock perform. Even the bullhorned missionary’s celibate minions began to beg him off the soapbox.

“Man is inherently flawed, I am sorry to say.” Cyrus Lee Hancock shrugged to his newfound fellowship. “My friend with the false trumpet would have you resent your very nature. He would rather your life be one of darkness and flagellation. I beg to differ. The End is Near! But now is no time to turn against ourselves. Instead, let us prepare and become the leaders in the Second Coming we are expected to be.”

fireballThe converts lined up. John the Revelator never saw this coming in his sulfuric steam-bath hallucinations. Cyrus Lee Hancock had found his rock upon which he would build his church: cinnamon-flavored whiskey. It was baptism by Fireball. I did not partake.

“If I am going to drink whiskey, I am going to drink whiskey. I’m not going to dilute it with a breath mint.” I explained to Jade Thunderbrook, 44 hours after the baptism.

Jade Thunderbrook nodded as she digested all of the detail. “So, do you want to see a menu or are you just drinking tonight?”

We all see only that which we are trained to see.

― Robert Anton Wilson

Some people think there’s a conspiracy making our airport the center of a New World Order. Rest assured the story is definitely a myth.

– the official website of DIA, http://flydenver.com/doyouknowdia

Demonic Bronco

Paranoia is in the eye of the beholder. Behold: Denver International Airport, a seemingly innocent gateway to the Rocky Mountains, until, that is, you peel back layers of an ominous onion of such pungency your resulting tears could melt barnacles off a fishwife. A most sinister layover, if you know where to look. That is where I, Vic Neverman come in. I not only know where to look, I have looked, scratched and sniffed. Look, for example, at the mascot of DIA: the bloodthirsty blue bronco with the diabolical glowing orange eyes. This beast is pure apocalypse without the need of three other horses, let alone their horsemen. This beast is what greets visitors arriving at DIA. Should you leave… if you leave… you will be treated with a glimpse at the bucking bronco’s strained bollocs & arse regions. “Come back and see us some time” isn’t quite the message provided by the horse ass.

Backside of the Demonic Bronco

The thin mountain air reeks of more than constipated horse – the 52 square mile area occupies a stretch of land which may be cursed dirt given the high amount of plane-struck wildlife. The groundhog carnage alone must be appalling with the poor, little, curious buggers getting their fur jammed up in the landing gear. Then you have the buildings, themselves: the structures of Denver International Airport are littered with so much occult symbolism it has fueled a modern urban mythology so dark, so vexxing, so goddamn disturbing, I could not resist a vist.

Driving to the airport from Denver, there are a few things you will notice… First, are we in Kansas? The airport is 25 miles from the city, 19 miles further from the previous airport Stapleton (which had more gates and terminals than DIA when the latter was built in the mid-1990s). Second, what’s with all the dirt? The airport has been around for twenty-five years, but there are still massive dig sites underway. During the construction of DIA, 110 million cubic yards of earth was moved – approximately 1/3rd of the amount dug to create the Panama Canal – leading many to conjecture about the subteranean city that may be waiting under mountain. Third, rumors abound that different construction companies were hired for each part of the project and subsequently fired upon completion. In the 13th Century, the slaves that built the tomb of Genghis Khan were killed and then the soldiers that killed them were killed along with the caterers, the latrine hand washer valets, everyone involved in order to keep the location of the tomb secret. What secrets hide underneath the circus tent of Denver International Airport?

Denver International Airport

Jesse Ventura, the ex-Governor/Navy Seal/wrestler, is so paranoid he now lives in Mexico (a natural choice for the Vitamin D deficient sociophobic conspiracy crowd) waiting to be invited onto the cast of The Expendables 3. Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory program suggests Denver International Airport is full of clues pointing to its role-to-be as a bunker for the world’s elite during the 2012 Maya Calendar end date. This suggestion seems to me to be fear-monger trailer-hitching to Maya Fever (the ever-popular 2012 end of world hysteria) in order to sell books/programming. Still… a bunker built into the mile high plains east of Denver would prove substantial for riding out the end of days.

The Children of the World Dream of Peace

Enter Cyrus Lee Hancock, a doomsday theory connoisseur, a bunker lifestyle aficionado and the world’s foremost hurricane survival expert. At my insistence, Cyrus Lee arrived in Denver to scope out the bunkerscape. I met him at the DIA arrivals gate with my research assistant, Bo Lynn Bell. After brief debate with CLH over whether Denver fornications qualified one for the esteemed “Mile High Club” and then after the Bo Lynn scolded us for discussing such matters in the presence of children (ignorant though they may be), we three found ourselves before the spookily colorful murals painted by artist Leo Tanguma when the airport was built 25 years ago.

“Artwork featuring dead children, nice.” Cyrus Lee admired the art with his cynicism. “Welcome to Denver.”

“The children are not dead. They are sleeping.” Bo Lynn Bell countered.

“Sure, I guess you can see them breathing. I can’t.” Cyrus Lee held firm.

“Call it a hunch.” Bo Lynn retorted. “The title of the art is ‘the Children of the World Dream of Peace’. Dreaming typically entails sleep.”

“Yea, well the title should be ‘the Children of the World Dream of Dead Children which is really Fucking Creepy’.” Cyrus Lee critiqued.

Elsewhere in Denver International Airport exists the Great Hall, where throngs of tourists and professional travelers are scoped, radiated, man-handled, pan-handled and searched by agents of the Transportation Security Administration. It is within this migratory passageway there exists the DIA capstone which seems to feature the square and compass of the Freemasons along with a reference to a “New World Airport Commission.” Could this be the hint of some Masonic conspiracy? To answer the enigma, I turned to the smart-assed lass, Bo Lynn Bell. She was not only my research assistant (on an unaccredited internship) , she also happened to be a descendant of a Texas Masonic legacy. It is also a matter-of-fact that the Bell Family, ever wise they may be, have forbidden their heir, Bo Lynn, from any further association with with yours truly, Vic Neverman: conspiracy theorist extraordinaire. Indeed. It bears repetition: Bo Lynn is forbidden to see me. In order to join me in Colorado, Bo Lynn’s twin sister agreed (via system of bribery) to pose as Bo Lynn’s doppelgänger back in Dallas in order to ensure no one suspected her absence. Even conspiracy theorists must conspire sometimes.

Masonic Capstone of the New World Airport Commission

Bringing my Masonic expert into the Great Hall, I asked Bo Lynn, “Can you identify this as a Masonic capstone?”

“Well, that is what it says it is.” She pointed out. “I bought my dad matching cufflinks.”

There you have it – Masonic ties to the construction of Denver International Airport. Could there exist some grandiose scheme to what lies hidden beneath our feet? Cyrus Lee Hancock belived so…

“New World Airport Commission.” Cyrus Lee read off the capstone. “Sounds a lot like ‘New World Order’, à la the commie assholes who are trying to take my guns, take my country and make me pay for someone else’s condoms.”

“New World monkeys can hang by their tail while Old World monkeys cannot.” I mentioned. “What conspiracy can you drawl from that?”

“That communist monkeys are bastards too.” Cyrus Lee diseffectedly surmised, his eyes scanning the horizon for a purveyor of some cognac or pinot grigio to dull out the pain from the mangling his legs took during whichever godforsaken mountain scaling he endured the week prior.

To complete Cyrus Lee Hancock’s introduction to Denver, we departed the airport via freeway and amidst a sandstorm. It was a fitting tempest, given the devilish nature of the place and the ungodly amount of loose dirt lying around. The following morning I somberly returned to DIA to drop-off  Bo Lynn Bell so she might return to Texas before anyone there became the wiser. A whiskey blur of two days and several mountains underfoot later, Cyrus Lee and myself returned to Denver International Airport in order to make our own departure. We made one last turn around the murals and then it was on to security screening where, to no surprise, I received some extra treatment.

Cyrus Lee Hancock, waiting near the security gates

“Is this your bag?” a garden variety TSA agent inquired. I agreed to allow her to check through my carry-on as Cyrus Lee watched from the perimeter. I, Vic Neverman, am a well-seasoned traveler: before I turned twenty-four years of age I had downed a pint of Guinness on four different continents. I knew how to pack a carry-on. Unless… Ye Gods! Could I have been setup? It was my foul-minded government-contracted spook of a brother-in-law who had dropped me off at the airport – might he have sabotaged my baggage, planting some contraband upon my belongings to undermine my passage homeward? Or could this be an agent of the airport itself, scorned by my scrutiny and determined to have my cavities fully searched? I desperately awaited to find what false flag the TSA agent might find.

Lo! Behold: the found contraband was indeed my own. Definitely mine. I, uh, failed to pack a certain tube into my checked luggage. Said tube was of a variety, err… affiliated with enhancement of certain carnal pursuits. In my carry-on, there was, if you will, what you might call a “pleasure pocket” full of latex apparati and this tube of petroleum jelly. A tube much grander in scale than the maximum liquid volumes allowed, courtesy of Homeland Security.

Garden variety TSA agent eyed the tube and having not seen the accompanying apparati which would provide some context, she was, perhaps, unsure what exactly it was that she held. Until she read the directions on the back of said tube. Her TSA comrades, standing aside, snickered as they immediately recognized what she had found. I remained silent, awaiting my punishment. Just beyond the security lines I catch sight of Cyrus Lee appearing perturbed at my hold-up. Ay dios mio! I jerk my head at him, “leave!” I jerk my thumb, “go on!” This was the least opportune time for he to associate with me. But no, pretty-boy stands there hands-on-hips, glaring at the Transportation Security Administrators. Garden variety TSA agent’s comrades note the contraband and my handsome companion and, drawing conclusions entirely outlandishly im-fucking-possible, they resort to a level of snickering beyond what is generally accepted as casual. I was doomed.

Vic puts the contraband back into place after finally passing through security

Garden variety TSA agent appeared forlorn. She had a moment of hesitation before she announced the inevitable, “I have to test it.” Her co-workers, at least those “supervising”, danced with glee as they watched her uncomfortably take the tube of petroleum-based jelly wonderfulness and squirt a dollop of lubricant onto litmus paper, or so I assume the stick represented, to test what sort of chemicals might be contained within the gelatinous goo and whether they might have some drug or explosive compounds. Cyrus Lee stamped impatiently from the sideline.

“You’re okay.” Garden variety TSA agent announces without a sign of relief as the litmus test confirmed she was dealing with exactly what she did not want to be dealing with. She repacked my bag, told me I may go on and immediately disposed of her gloves. I calmly took the backpack and advanced out of the security check-point to where I could hiss at Cyrus Lee, “Just keep moving, but don’t walk next to me until we are out of sight of security?”

“What was that all about?” Cyrus Lee asked.

My face was contorting into a smile, my chest shook with laugter, “Why didn’t you just move along! They found my bottle of lube and had to test to see if it was an illegal substance.”

Cyrus Lee cackled with laughter.

Denver International Airport. This place is definitely cursed.

Seventy miles north by north-nowhere of Amarillo, we coasted into an agricultural crossroads running on nothing more than fumes and downhill momentum. It was hours after dawn, yet the dreadful atmosphere of a day refusing to climb out of its preternatural sleep made the morning seem impossibly early. The police state spook sitting shotgun was monitoring his satellite communications device and by the time he announced we should be entering the town of Hartley and there should be a petrol station ahead, I had already read the town name on the walls of the forlorn grain mills and pulled to a stop at what may have been the only gas pump in all of northern Texas. We are here, I stated, turning the ignition off. “No…” His eyes never looked up from the techno-gadgetry his spy mercenary overlords afforded him. “In 3, 2… okay now we are here.” At his realization, I was already pumping gas out of a relic still dirtied from the Dust Bowl. Somewhere in all of the devices, he must have been granted permission from the Pentagon to urinate, because that is exactly what he set out to do, entering into the gas station/diner/town hall.

I surveyed Hartley. Moistened by a forgotten rain and dismal. Both highway and train tracks had the same idea, setting a parallel course to get the hell out of town. I didn’t see much residence that looked like it might have been occupied since the first Bush administration. Inside the gas station/diner/town hall, a handful of gnarly dispositions sat around tin mugs of what one would assume was horrible coffee. My government contracted spook of a brother-in-law exited the building, his fingers already tied up in an urgent text message of dismay (or so I read from his tense brow). I asked of the quality of commode. “It’s serviceable.” He responded, entering into the SUV and into a phone conversation with one of the gumshoe peons who poorly serviced his demands. In short, my brother-in-law seemed distracted. I had no idea what sort of trap I was walking into.

I walked past the grisly yeoman chewing their coffee, hoping my bearded and flip-flopped presence would barely resonate on their radar. I walked past the aisle of expired grocery items and in the direction the “restroom” arrows pointed. I passed a room where elderly women did the town’s laundry and before me heard what I thought was a running shower. I arrived in the men’s room to find a flood nearly biblical. The toilet, recently occupied by my departed antagonist, had overflowed and the levy had broken. I hopped through the waves and tried my luck at shaking the flush handle free. No such luck. Perhaps I had found the culprit to Hartley’s moistened appearance. I stood atop the toilet seat to avoid the running waters and finished the business I had arrived to do.

I left the geyser in the men’s room and quickly hurried through the gas station/diner/town hall, my wet flip-flops squeaking to announce my hurried pace. I did not make eye contact with the men of the mill, instead made a bee-line for the truck, cursing my brother-in-law under my breath. I got behind the wheel and sped out of Hartley. My government contracted spook of a brother-in-law finished his rampage of a diatribe against his lousy underlings at about the time we entered into a New Mexican snow flurry. I asked him if he noticed the waterworks back at Hartley. He had not. In fact, if his techno-gadgetry didn’t affirm our former whereabouts, he would’ve doubted our brief presence there ever took place.

No matter, after forty years of wandering the wilderness we were out of Texas.

  
…the sheer wanton delight in killing, of adding my distinguished head to his trophy room, of proving his mastery and seeing the fear in the eyes of a beaten opponent at his mercy – I know all about it…

– Flashman and the Tiger, George MacDonald Fraser

I once lured my opponent into a trap – a meeting in Austin, TX, where I was to befuddle him with booze and lead him quietly into oblivion. It was a well-orchestrated plan to rid myself of this government contracted spook who was not only monitoring my family, but had plans to steal away the NeverSister (sure, she was a willing theft, but how willing really when the wool of the wolf’s sheep coat was over her eyes, blinding her to the tyrannical ruthlessness of this agent of some fascist antidisestablishmentarian agenda?). He was a threat to me and my family. Even if my paranoia was wrong (which it rarely is) and he wasn’t assigned by his overlords to derail my endeavors or affirm my mortality, the existence of this outspoken element (me) of the ‘lunatic fringe’ (or so we conspiracy theorists are so endearingly termed by the District suits) as his future brother-in-law would bring grave threat to the sound construct of his spy merc career. In short, even if his superiors didn’t ask for him to eliminate me, it would still be a pretty good idea for him to do so. So call me proactive. Or don’t call me at all. I was to rid me of him before he rid him of me. Unfortunately, as it is prone to do, Austin disemboweled my bearings and my plan backfired after a trip to Juan in a Million for a breakfast burrito. The spook has had the upper-hand ever since, especially after he seized the NeverSister’s hand in marriage and created the ‘Spy vs Spy’ (black hat/white hat) hybrid that is the NeverNiece by merging his Holy Roman Empire blood with that of the heathen barbaric horde of the Nevermen. Yes, my great antagonist had gotten the best of me by far.

A Loose Truce is found by Neverman and his government contracted spook of a brother-in-law as they explore Abita Springs Brew Pub in Louisiana

Years later, we are speeding in his government sponsored SUV, back towards Texas.

The game has changed, however. My momentum was building after I foiled his little plot to sink me into some central Florida jail cell (see TransAmericana2: the Shamrock Shakedown). As our journey began, I openly accused him, my government contracted spook of a brother-in-law, of framing me of a mystery crime. How does he react (behind those eternally dark sunglasses)? The wolf snarls his version of a smile. It is all one big joke to him. This trickster god, he, this Old Man Wolf who stole the moon from Sun and sold it to Sky. He laughs.

And so we drive. In Mobile, we stop. Then we drive again. As we neared the Mississippi border, a badged thug in a Alabama sheriff’s deputy car pulls parallel with us as we head west on I-10 going 75mph. The government contracted spook behind the wheel of our SUV turns to his left and makes some sort of unspoken communication with the deputy in the squad car who then turns on the afterburners and accelerates from 75 to 100 mph in less than 5 seconds. Just another example of the web of the police state keeping an eye on its own. A collective eye, as the badged thug was likely just one of many. Who knows how many spy blimps, satellites and killer drones were monitoring the progress of their golden boy and his ne’er-do-well brother-in-law, Vic Neverman?

Where the fuck did he think he was-in some friendly Civics class? Hell no, he was in Florida, arguably the most vicious & corrupt state in the Union…

– Hunter S. Thompson, from “The Fix Is In” column, 11/27/00

Central Florida breeds some unsavory character. If New York City is a melting pot, then Orlando is genetically modified meatloaf gone horribly wrong. A cow town grown to prominence overnight by selling outsiders on a ‘magical’ facade: in existential terms, this town is utter bullshit (if only bulls had udders to shit through!). The population recipe includes the rednecks who were here the longest (discounting the natives whose burial sites were paved over), the later influx of scoundrel merchants looking to benefit on the loose change of the tourists and then the transplants looking to move to paradise to seek out eternal youth by turning their flesh into mummified beef jerky courtesy of the oppressive sun and margarita salt. It is a psycho-meatloaf with the binding agents of delusions of grandeur, sociopathic entitlement and overall intolerance. I, Vic Neverman, have wandered the globe and have never found a higher asshole quotient than here in Orlando. Grade A, top notch, douche-baggery. Ahh, yes… and it’s home.

Can you blame me for anti-social behavior when society is represented by this lot? Can you blame me when I had Casey Anthony living 15 minutes down one road and George Zimmerman 15 minutes in the opposite direction? I try my damnedest to avoid the cretins of this town, but I occasionally make an appearance I would later regret. The weekend of the Daytona 500, there were two South Dakota farm hands in town for the races that I single-handedly (literally one-handed, my other was holding a slice of pizza) saved from being mutilated by a local crowd of territorial mini-thugs (like fire ants, they might be small but numerous and they will stab the shit out of your shins) who didn’t like the way the taller/stronger Dakotans were looking at them (NOTE: nothing good happens downtown after midnight). The boys from Pierre were dumbfounded by the revelation that the shorter Hispanic dudes would bring knives to a cow-tipping contest, “but that ain’t fair fightin’.” No shit. Welcome to Orlando, the City Beautiful.

And then came St Patrick’s Day 2012, when I stood accused of a crime I not only did not commit, but didn’t even know what the accusation was to begin with. While I am no stranger to Irish stout and whiskey, St Paddy’s is amateur night (along with Cinco de Mayo, Valentine’s and all the other ‘liquor me up’ holidays sponsored by Hallmark) and I tend to stay home. This year I should have.

The facts from March 17th are quick and easy – I was in Oviedo (imagine a tick burrowing into the leach embedded in a jackal that is munching on the carcass of Central Florida) with friends and friends of friends at a sports bar where everyone was intoxicated and winding down as the clock reached midnight. I was hovering over the pool tables with some very loose acquaintances when an employee of the establishment charged our group with starting trouble “outside”. The accusation by the bartender was so spontaneous, our reaction was mixed. Puzzled, we were unclear of what exactly happened outside when a member of our accused party called the female accuser a word so foul, so uncalled for, so far removed from my lexicon I am uncertain how to even spell it here (but it rhymes with ‘runt’). It was at this point, the River Styx overflowed the dam of the damned and all hell broke out. Cry Havok! and let slip the dogs of war! This sports bar establishment suddenly became the 38th parallel in Korea: a demilitarized zone where drunken patrons spat at drunken patrons, where dish boys stood confused, where waitresses cried bloody foul and all with Victor Neverman standing in the middle.

Obviously, one ponders at the crime… What was the scene like out the side door? If I left to seek the truth, would I burst into the open just to trip over some decapitated skulls as the Oviedo police squad cars illuminated me with their headlights? I couldn’t take the chance to investigate further. Instead, I attempted to diffuse the situation by escorting the fork-tongued offender out the front and to his car. Still, within the establishment conflict loomed with no resolution in sight. Fortunately, at my side I had my trusted sidekick Raz Kelly, whose sobriety and acceleration was able to speed me away to freedom before the arrival of any local authorities, badged or otherwise.

Knowing what we know of central Florida, these events seem to just be another day at the office, a stroke of ill-fated luck in a town full of bad omen. Let us not do ourselves a disservice, however, by putting the realm of conspiracy out of mind. What if I was setup? Who would try to set me up? The list is long: envious fellow conspiracy theorists, former tennis doubles partners, Newt Gringrich, jilted ex-lovers, IKEA, that guy from the Korean bbq taco stand… but, of course, there is my government contracted spook of a brother-in-law.

It just so happens, the next day the spook in question was to arrive (that is, if he wasn’t already in town pulling the puppet strings) back in Orlando to commence the cross-country journey that would deliver his mongrel horde to Denver where the NeverSister and NeverNiece were already relocated to. This journey was to include not only my brother-in-law and his dogs, but (much to the chagrin of said spook) yours truly: Victor Ulysses Neverman. Was Shamrock Shakedown 2012  an event of his planning in order to have me detained by local authority and unable to leave the state? Worst case scenario for him, I would be gutted by a lobster fork at the sports bar brawl and the spook would get to cash in on the million dollar bounty he put on my head via life insurance policy benefitting the NeverNiece.

How could my government contracted spook of a brother-in-law possibly know which bar I would visit on this amateur night holiday? The answer is simple. Through his agent provocateur, Layla Santana Crow. A month ago, my sister and her spy merc husband introduced me to an eccentric couple at a dinner party. The husband was your typical Mainer: an outdoorsy survivalist who hosted corporate team building challenges within his survivalist Hancock Compound. His wife, the aforementioned Layla, had a smile that would put a standard wattage light bulb to shame. You might detect hints of her sly-fox-like brilliance shrouded beneath faux bashfulness. Even her courtesy laugh, a forced exhalation of false air to appease the ego of the target, was a delightful spring rain upon a barren soil. She was, for all intents and purposes, a refreshing smack across cerebral cortex. And she was nothing but menace.

I suspect Layla Santana Crow because of a simple rationalizing principle of the conspiracy theorist: cui bono, which is Latin for “who benefits?” If her groom Cyrus Lee Hancock and Vic Neverman became embroiled in small town disturbance of the peace that found themselves imprisoned, there would be two benefactors: my crooked spook of a brother-in-law for my absence and Layla Santana Crow who would be able to inherit her husband’s Hancock Compound and turn it from the survival camp and into the Resort Spa she always envisioned. The Spook and the Crow were likely allies and co-conspirators, thus the targets of my preposterous assumptions.

Did the goon squad of my government contracted brother-in-law and his ally Layla Santana Crow arrange for my downfall? Or did I just step in some happenstance shit in a town full of bull? Either way, I, Vic Neverman, stand (sit, actually) accused of some dastardly crime, be it bestial, manslaughterish, peace disruption, treasonous, larceny, arson-y, or conspiracy to commit murder. I am still unsure of the very crime I am suspected of! Should I turn myself in to learn the mystery behind the accusation? Or Should I do what Nevermen do best – flee, dispersing into the ether, disappearing down the rabbit hole? Yes, I believe this Neverman is due to get out of town and I just happen to have a road trip in mind.

TransAmericana

“They are smarter than you. You think you have something They haven’t seen before? You are wrong. They know each move you make before you make it because They know how your mind works. That is why you must not just run, but run like a mad man. Run like plastic bag caught by the wind. Leave your spine behind and dance like a jellyfish. If you do not know what your next move is, then They will not know what your next move is.” – Old Man Neverman (suspected as being D.B. Cooper)

For those unfamiliar with the saga of Victor Ulysses Neverman, allow me to begin this tale of voyage with some quicks facts from my past.

FACT: I lived in Chicago before being squeezed out by the oppressive Machine regime. Yeah, Chicago is the “city that works” alright. And if you try to stand in the way of one of the Machine’s cogs, you will be crushed.

FACT: I left Chicago to hide out in a safe house in Southern Milwaukee where I drank strong kraut beers at airport lounges and chased dimwitted midwestern women at the various gin joints. But Milwaukee just wasn’t far enough from my windy city troubles.

Basil, half-dog, half-Olympian. Waiting patiently the Boss to grab a pint at his favorite Portland watering hole


FACT: I relocated to the hills of Oregon where me and my paranoia could live in peace. I established an idyllic lifestyle amongst a community of hipsters, artists, trustifarians and their pets. I even had a dog, Basil (Baz-Il, not Bay-Zul like the herb). Basil is the demigod-dog resulting from the mating of Zeus and some Aussie Shepherd bitch.

FACT: The Neverman family became imperiled when my sister began to be courted by a government contracted spook. From the start, I informed my sister of the security industrial complex, how the NSA is watching all of us and how her new romeo is likely a spy himself, monitoring our notorious clan of ne’er-do-wells.

FACT: My sister married the spook anyway.

Vic confronts the government contracted spook of a brother-in-law

FACT: Upon returning from a freelance journalist assignment to the Golden Triangle of SE Asia where I was confronted by my Never-nemesis, Phineas Crux, I learned the NeverSister was NeverKnocked-up by my government contracted spook of a brother-in-law.

FACT: Just as Bodhisattva denied himself enlightenment in order to help guide the rest of the droles out of the cave of Plato’s parable (everything you think you believe is just the shadows dancing on the cave wall from the light of the fire behind you, aka ‘the matrix’), I too denied myself metamorphosis into divine light in order to become an uncle to this new NeverSpawn to ensure the NeverNiece doesn’t succumb to the house of lies built by her government contracted spook of a father. So I relocated to Florida.

FACT: As soon as I relocate to Florida (or at least within the first two years of my relocation), my government contracted spook of a brother in law decides to move my family (sans Vic) to the Rocky Mountains where he is overseeing the Cheyenne Mountain military base where the Illuminati will hide away during the upcoming Mayan predicted apocalypse (NOTE: this is my conjecture on his true job, though I know for certain the Mayan calendar does not predict end times).

Escaping into the western wilderness: Nicco, the NeverMonkey; 'Rain Dance', the NeverNiece; and Vic Neverman


FACT: I used my security permissions at the NeverNiece’s day care to pick her up (after passing the biometric tests proving my identity as the NeverUncle). I had one of the day care workers demonstrate the diapering procedure. I then put the NeverNiece in a car seat and drove away… I was going to take her back to Oregon and raise her amongst the hill people. I was going to change her name to ‘Rain Dance’ or ‘Omaha’ so she would fit in with the other children of the commune. I was going to raise her in peace, yet with an understanding of the evils of the world outside. I was going to teach her how to hunt elk, kind of like that girl from the movie ‘Hanna’ where I would be play the Eric Bana quasi-paternal role and Rain Dance would totally be able to kick people’s ass.

FACT: My NeverNapping abduction didn’t get as far as the first diaper change. I figured Rain Dance might actually be happier living in the matrix with the NeverSister and the spook.

The movie, Hanna: What I envisioned for 'Rain Dance's' new life

FACT: Then they all moved out to Denver.

I think that catches us up to where the story of this journey begins. My government contracted spook of a brother-in-law had to drive his pet mongrels cross-country to Colorado, a trip my sister did not want him to do alone. He begrudgingly asked me the favor of co-piloting this voyage. As my last chance to see my family before this spook hides them away in some under-mountain bunker, I agree to this trip.

So begins TransAmericana.