Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Cyclists Go Aquatic

Back when morning first turned to dawn, back towards the beginning of our recollection, whale spouts sparkled and glistened in the dawn’s early light like rainbow dewdrop geysers. It’s true, too – each whale geyser had a misty rainbow living in it, a rainbow that gave off all sorts of colors, transmuting and returning the gift of sunlight.

The whales make quite a spectacle as they huff and chuff their way up the Rio Grande, where we now find them, shortly after sunrise, north of the Picacho Bridge west of Las Cruces, New Mexico, heading towards Radium Springs and points beyond.

Our two cyclists, having been alerted by news reports to the impending arrival of the whales, decided to bike down to the river and greet their cetacean friends. It had been a long time since there had been whales in New Mexico, and the cyclists wished to provide a proper welcome.

The cyclists had already seen “Star Trek IV,” so they knew all about mind-melding with whales. The second cyclist in particular knew that it is possible to mind-meld at a distance. No need to get one’s feet wet!

The cyclists had already mind-melded with the Loch Ness Monsters, but let’s save this juicy bit of information until later in the narrative, shall we? Let’s just say that the cyclists had considerable mind-melding power. In fact, they had been practicing mind-melding for years. First they melded with each other, and then they moved on to family pets, livestock, and wild animals of all kinds, including once a mountain lion. But they had never mind-melded with whales, and they didn’t want to miss this unique opportunity to emulate Spock in one of their favorite movies.

The cyclists pulled up at the edge of the river, hopped off their bikes, and turned their minds to "scan" mode. They quickly made contact with the whales, and started mind-melding immediately. It was easy. The conversation went basically like this, insofar as telepathy can be semi-accurately translated into words:

Cyclists: Hiya, whales! On behalf of ourselves and all the other wildlife of this region, we’d like to welcome you to the Land of Enchantment!

Whales: Greetings, humans! We can tell by your good vibrations that you mean us no harm. May we all live long and prosper! How far is Elephant Butte Lake?

Cyclists: About 100 miles as the river turns.

Whales: Are Nessie and Willy doing well?

Cyclists: How did you find out about Nessie and Willy?

Whales: We have friends and fins in high and low places. Are Nessie and Willy doing well?

Cyclists: Very well! They hatched out 16 hatchlings this year!

Whales: Very good! We look forward to seeing them! Can you transport us over the dam?

Cyclists: There are two dams: Caballo Dam and Elephant Butte Dam. How did you get over Mesilla Dam, anyhow?

Whales: We jumped. But the two other dams are too high. Can you transport us over these dams?

Cyclists: With flatbed trucks, or what?

Whales: Whatever is necessary.

Cyclists: Why do you want to go to Elephant Butte Lake?

Whales: We have an urgent message for Nessie and Willie from the Whale Council.

At this point the writer must turn to his readers in disbelief and say: “What is this shit? Whale Council? Nessie and Willy? This is turning into a grade B or C sci-fi movie! Talking whales? What’s next? Bigfoot?”

Yes, undoubtedly... “The Cyclists Camp Out with Bigfoot.” In this tale, the cyclists trek deep into the gloomy dark forest of the High Cascades, and use their mind-meld powers to establish contact with our closest living relatives, the Bigfeet, who are intelligent enough to have successfully avoided contact with humans up till now. But the cyclists, being somewhat more than human (being mind melders and all), are deemed safe by the Bigfeet, who welcome them into the Bigfoot Clan. Seriously, is this any more far-fetched than the cyclists transporting the Loch Ness Monsters to Elephant Butte Lake in a giant pressurized tank... which they’ve already done, by the way? Of course not! Let’s get real here! With the cyclists, all things are possible!

As the mind-meld with the whales continued, the full story emerged. There were several good reasons why the whales were swimming majestically up the Rio Grande at that very moment. For one thing, thanks to the spectacularly heavy snowfall in the southern Colorado mountains the previous winter, the Rio Grande was running bank full from Colorado clear to the Gulf of Mexico for the first time in generations, making whale travel possible the full length of the river. The whales, as previously mentioned, wanted to carry a message from the Whale Council to the Loch Ness Monsters, Nessie and Willy, who had recently been transplanted by the cyclists from Loch Ness in Scotland into Elephant Butte Lake in southern New Mexico, U.S. of A. So the Whale Council decided that this would be the perfect time to visit their old reptilian friends, swap stories of ancient seas, and keep the genealogies up-to-date. The ultimate whale trifecta, in other words.

We must now refer back to our previous cyclist story, entitled “The Cyclists Build a Nuke.” If you have had the opportunity to read this delightful tale of human inventiveness and prosperity, you will recall that the cyclists ended up saving over 37 million dollars after taxes from their nuclear power plant before it became permanently clogged with nuclear wastes. The story ended with the enigmatic words, “Then they moved onto their new solar voltaic ‘energy farm,’ but that’s a whole other story.” Here’s the rest of the story: during the next five years, they prospered greatly. They did unbelievably well. Every investment they made paid off big time. They literally couldn’t lose, so they didn’t. Even though they were now “retired,” the cyclists were now clearing a cool 100 million dollars a year. So they had plenty of options.

When the cyclists decided, on a lark, to communicate with the Loch Ness Monster (everybody thought there was only one), money was no problem. Their motto was: spend whatever it takes to do the job right. Their expedition was funded to the max. They brought special sonar devices and a huge pressurized tank to haul the Monster home with them (if he or she wanted to go, that is), and a giant cargo plane to fly the whole kit and kaboodle across the world. But their ace in the hole was their mind-meld power. They hadn’t mind-melded with anything bigger than a mountain lion up to that point, but they were confident of their powers, and were feeling ambitious. Why not, they reasoned, attempt melding with so-called “mythical” creatures of all kinds: Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, extraterrestrials, and the Loch Ness Monster? Why not, indeed!

Since the cyclists literally couldn’t lose, they hit paydirt on their very first try. Not only was their Loch Ness Expedition their first attempt at contacting a “mythical” creature, their first attempt at mind-melding on the very first day of their expedition brought forth a sluggish exclamation of sharp surprise from one very startled Loch Ness Monster! The cyclists quickly established a basis of communication with the friendly reptilian. Before long, its mate joined in the conversation. There were, as it turned out, two Loch Ness Monsters -- a male and a female, as luck would have it -- named Nessie and Willy. As far as they knew, they were the last of their kind. They were thousands of years old, being kept in a state of suspended animation for most of each year by low water temperatures. Only during the brief summer months did the Loch waters warm up enough to permit a measure of activity. It was, however, too cold to breed. They felt kind of stuck in a nowhere place, living a nowhere life... kind of like living in America, actually.

But America is where Nessie and Willy would be going, if they wanted to leave Loch Ness. The cyclists painted a vivid mind-meld picture of the delights awaiting the Monsters in Elephant Butte Lake: warm waters, fat bass, sharp rocks for scratching their backs, beautiful blue skies, gorgeous sunsets – a perfect place to raise the family they had been postponing all these millennia. How could Nessie and Willy refuse?

So they eagerly gallumphed into the special pressurized tank that the cyclists had thoughtfully brought with them, and rode across the Atlantic on the cyclists’ special cargo plane, happily eating salmon and basking in the warm infrared rays of the tank’s special heat lamp energy distribution module.

As soon as Nessie and Willy agreed to move to New Mexico, the cyclists activated their satellite insta-link and got to work converting Elephant Butte Lake into a Loch Ness Monster preserve. To do this, it was necessary to change the designation of the lake from a State Park into a special new category. To do this, it was necessary to – and let’s be delicate here – “influence” numerous New Mexican officials, from the Governor all the way down to the Sierra County Commission. In some cases, a generous campaign contribution did the trick. Or maybe a nice new doublewide trailer, or a pickup truck. It all depended on the individual. Fortunately, the cyclists had already “influenced” key members of the State Legislature, the New Mexico Parks Department, the Fish and Game Commission, the editor of the Albuquerque Journal, and dozens of other key officials. After all was said and done, the cyclists essentially took over the entire State of New Mexico at a cost of less than four million dollars! It’s amazing how cheap these officials really are.

Basically, the fishermen, waterskiers, and recreationists were kicked out of the lake. From now on, it was to be used only by Nessie, Willy, and their hoped-to-be progeny. The cyclists bought hundreds of acres overlooking the lake at strategic vantage points, to serve the needs of the anticipated tourist trade. They also started work on a resort hotel and a chain of shiny new convenience stores. Once the story hit the front page of the National Enquirer, Elephant Butte Lake would become a global tourist destination on a level with the Grand Canyon and Graceland Mansion. The cyclists intended to turn the sleepy little tourist town of Elephant Butte, NM into a quality venue worthy of the Loch Ness Monsters’ noble lineage.

They managed to land at the El Paso International Airport without drawing attention to themselves, but they knew that their secret would quickly be exposed. The Elephant Butte Lake bass fisherman, in particular, were a feisty bunch, and were already protesting being kicked out of their favorite lake. As soon as people started noticing the familiar reptilian heads poking out of the water, the media would go crazy. The Monsters would need protection. So establishing a security corridor around the entire lake was the highest priority. The cyclists were nothing if not thorough.

The rest of the story is entirely predictable: huge crowds, armed guards, restricted airspace, photo-ops with the Governor, interviews with the cyclists, interviews with Nessie and Willy. A hidden nest back in the cattails; the first sightings of the hatchlings; “name the hatchling” contests. And right in the midst of all this hullabaloo, here come the whales, with an urgent message from the Whale Council. What could this message possibly be? If I were them, I’d want to talk about taking over the planet, wouldn’t you?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jacques Conejo said...

You're a trip Gordon! I don't quite understand how all these words and pictures come out of your mind. I guess I haven't realized how much fantasy you're capable of.

I looked at this posting, scrolled down and thought - "Huh - this is going to be a lot of reading". Then, as always, I started reading and paragraph after engrossing paragraph disappeared into my much entertained mind and before I knew it, I was bemoaning the end of the story... It was over too soon... You're a trip!

Thanks for sharing your curious multi-dimensional perspective...

Truly delightful.

Peace...... Jacques

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11:54 AM  
Blogger Gordon Solberg said...

I take no credit for this... I just do what the voices in my head tell me to do.

7:19 AM  

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