by Peter Byrne
(Swans - July 2, 2007)
He: Have I missed anything?
She: Why didn't you make me a sandwich too?
He: I didn't want to miss anything. This is important.
She: They only blew up another bus.
He: Huh! Only! Did a suicider get inside or was it a car bomber?
She: That matters?
He: It's crucial. The enquiry will center on that. First they'll look for pieces of the bomb. They have it down to a science. It's amazing. They're very good.
She: Who collects the pieces of people?
He: Not the forensic squad. Locals, I suppose. You know, family and friends. It's probably like a wake before a funeral.
She: I have to say it was pretty neat. One bang and you just saw the frame of the vehicle. It was picked clean like one of those wrecks in the vacant lot down the road.
He: But they've been there since Ronald Reagan got in. Here you actually saw the before and after, like in a commercial. Lucky guy to be on hand with a video camera.
She: Well, you had to have your sandwich. You ought to think about your waistline. Anyway, they'll play the clip again on the late news.
He: Sure, but it will be stale. I like to see these things fresh off. It means something to be close to events. Then you get the feeling. These are trying times.
She: How do you mean?
He: There's a war on, scatterbrain. In fact there're several wars on.
She: You mean those terrorists?
He: I'm ashamed of you. Of course we're fighting terrorism. But it's a theater big as the world - you heard that general last week. By the way, was the bus in Kabul or Baghdad?
She: I'm not sure. But the women wailing had their heads covered and the men waving their arms didn't have slant eyes.
He: Middle East then. That means smuggled Iranian arms.
She: The only thing they could blow up here is the water tower.
He: So? You think water isn't vital?
She: They've been talking about putting in another system for years. That tower ought to come down. It must be filthy inside. The water's brown. If anyone wants to blow it up, they'd better hurry before it falls down on its own.
He: I seem to remember you complaining about living in a crumby, back-of-beyond suburb. What did you call it? Dudsville? Now you see the value of being safely out of the way.
She: Of the army?
He: We're defeating them over there so you can be safe here.
She: In Dudsville?
He: That's not funny. Dodgeville men -- and women -- are risking their lives overseas to defend the Department of Homeland Security.
She: It's usually the chumps under those dirty blankets that get killed.
He: Can't be helped. They clashed with civilization. Don't you want to defend civilization?
She: Not at this time of night. The noisy kids next door have gone to bed. And if I were you, I'd defend my blood pressure. You're too old for this military life.
He: The least I can do is to keep informed. Why don't you try the other channel?
She: It's that reality show with all those schmucks. Really dumb.
He: Well, we can't be serious all the time, even in wartime.
She: What do you think all those soldiers are watching on TV now?
He: They get the same stuff. It's a small world now. The marvels of science and all that.
She: It's a small world and a big theater. I'm going to make myself a sandwich.
He: I left you some ham, but the Swiss cheese is finished. Bring me a beer.
She: I think our four-footed buddy wants to do some leg lifting.
He: Forget about the pooch. I've already missed the day's top video. I'm sitting tight until the late news comes on.
She: He's started that nervous quivering.
He: Let him wait. I have to see the bus explode. It's part of history.
She: Okay. I'll tell him to make an effort. These are trying times.
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