"Yeah, it's, well they do bad things but then they do even worse things that you aren't supposed to know about. Like FEMA does a lot of bad things we know about, but like, like there are worse things we don't know about. But then certain things they can't do because even the bad people have to play by the rules. FEMA is not supposed to be put in charge of a nuclear bomb blowing up in a foreign country. They aren't playing by the rules anymore."
"Okay you lost me there," Cokey started wandering back to the third computer in the Action News Team 7 Weather Center that had become her unofficial desk.
"I've gotta post something about this!"
Dale opened Word and began hammering out a stream of consciousness rant on the development. It was mid afternoon and with Cokey's help he had already taken care of the five o'clock map and Doppler loops. She was giving him more free time than he could have anticipated and it was only her second day on the job. In fact the two were becoming fast friends and had bonded well over some low-card wraps at Subway and their mutual hatred of Chet.
Cokey sat down in her creaky chair and continued with her installation of Windows XP on the computer. She listened to Dale's frantic typing, glancing occasionally over at him to watch him work. He would stare intently at his hands as he typed whole paragraphs. Then he would look up and make sure that what his fingers had pressed matched what his brain had wanted. Cokey was quite a fast typist and considered offering to help him. For some reason the idea of volunteering to get sucked into his crazy world of FEMA and NASA conspiracies was not at the top of her list of things to do.
The installation XP was going to take quite some time so she turned to the number two computer in the Weather Center. Dale had told her during lunch about his web site and she figured that she might as well kill time by checking it out. She opened Internet Explorer and tried to remember what the name of the site was. It was something with FEMA, like a joke or something.
Cokey stared at the URL bar uncertainly, not wanting to tip Dale off to the fact that she was snooping around about him. From where he sat he could not see the screen of the computer, and even if he could she doubted that he would bother. It was "Female" something, she remembered, like a pun.
The site took several seconds to load, a sprawling mess of animated GIFs and huge background images that reminded Cokey of her first page. Only instead of cute cartoon characters and embedded MIDI files this site consisted of porno banner ads and a huge bold text announcement "ALIENS ON EARTH: PROOF!" That sounded like Dale alright.
She clicked the ling and realized it was an AVI file. She saved it to the desktop, an action that took only seconds for the small movie. Cokey opened the video file and her perceptions of Dale melted away.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
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