Tuesday, December 19, 2006


The last couple of weeks, Brother/Sister, have been nothing but headaches.

You start to understand why certain other predecessors (and present-day competitors) of mine built their strongholds and compounds on desert islands, or under the ocean floor. Just try to get any kind of significant construction work done in any modern-day nation-state, and it's headaches, headaches, headaches.

For starters, there's the local Zoning Board. Apparently the dairy-farm timeshare property is zoned "commercial/recreational." This because in the past it has served simultaneously as a resort property and a working, productive cheese distributor. Last week I got a summons to appear at a hearing down in town. Order To Show Cause Why Power-Mad Local Officials Shouldn't Totally Screw Over Phutatorius, or something like that. They all but guaranteed I'd be denied permits, because I hadn't certified that the property's new use would be commercial/recreational. World domination not fitting that description to the satisfaction of these piddling despots.

Lucky thing for me, as tried and tired as the "send a hot babe to seduce the local official, surveil the liaison with hidden cameras, then extort favorable and appropriate government action" gambit may be — and as much airplay as it gets on television and in the movies — it never fails with municipal zoning board chairmen. It never fails. In my lifetime I'm 14-for-14 with that tactic.

So for now, I'm free of government interference with the building project.

But then there are the unions. As some of you may remember from last November, I did a good turn for some Mexicans who wanted to roll the dice in the Land of Opportunity. They left names and emails with me, and wouldn't you know it? A whole bunch of them were willing to work construction details for me up here in Vermont — at quite reasonable rates. Not all of them were interested — some of them are sore at me over Loot the Church. But that's just the hardcore Catholics, and I can live without them. I'll give a broken soul a job, but if he's gonna find God and then put That Guy ahead of me on his priority list, he can go screw. The fellows I have, though, are fantastic. Not just workers, but artisans. I got one guy, gonna trick out Building 12 (Detention Center) in adobe. All the exterior walls, and if it takes, I just might have him work up the entire complex.

The catch is, I get picket lines. Like frickin' instantaneously. Big, fat, entitled white guys spring up out of the Earth as soon as the first Mexican trabajero sets foot on my property. It's not anything I personally can't deal with. A lot of background-noise chanting along the property line, anonymous threats on my answering machine, the occasional egg or two thrown at my garage door. Whatever. But my work crews are intimidated. They've been jumped outside local taverns. Nativist union goons are hassling their women. I have half a mind to put in a call to Gloria for advice. Figure my little Filipino Filly might be clued in to some unionbreaking strategies I don't know about. Until I can get in touch with her, though, I've got labor strife on my plate. Rightist paramilitaries cost money I don't have.

And on top of everything else, I've literally had a headache for going on eight days now. There are times I can't even sit up, and for the last two days I've been able to eat nothing but soft melon. Feels like someone's filled my sinuses with oatmeal and jalapeño. Condition's got PePe half scared to death. He thinks I've been poisoned, and he follows me around with a Geiger counter. (A clue, my Piper friend: radioactive isotopes may be a possibility these days, but arsenic works, too, and it won't give you a reading.)

Anyway, this is no way to go into the holidays, Brother/Sister. Would rest if I could but the World continues to flounder without a bona fide Dominator to run things. Bring on the Sudafed and Mucinex, rubber bullets and mustard gas. A guy's got to get some work done, against whatever odds. The New Year is coming, and I'm going to have to account for what I accomplished in the year 2006.

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