Thursday, March 29, 2007


It was a feud that went back many years. For it to be pin-pointed to a specific year was less than easy and exact to do. Both sides most would say had their good and bad points, but neither side ever seemed to look beyond this and reason some kind of agreement or truce. All attempts, did in fact, go up in smoke. Moderators were brought in from a few underground groups set out to try and quell the ever-perpetual decline in the feuding parties' ability to reason and simply work things out to a sappy medium. This frustrated, in addition, many others outside the aforementioned underground who also tired of hearing about it when so many other problems seemed abound in their lives. If things continued the way they were presently going, lives would be lost. Homes would be burnt down. Disease would spread undoubtedly. The quality of the air would be depleted. People would cry.

Conversely, if things changed, freedoms would indeed be lost. All persons would be manipulated into paying another replacement tax (because things that are taxed never go away, and if they do, the elders that be, find another, a most often more ridiculous thing to tax. One such proposed surrogate tax, if the other side won, was being labeled the Sex Tax, and already people were burning up about it) that only one side had paid before. Furthermore, a loss of one personal freedom surely would lead to another, and so on. Although some of the moderators found this to be an invalid slippery slope argument, chances were that further subjugations wouldn't subscribe to subsiding. The personal freedom camp claimed with vehemence that people died for their freedoms all the time, and that's why life is so expensive in the first place and inflation is always gaining. Some saw this as very flawed.

The two sides were the smokers and the non-smokers of the land Retmusch in the territory of Pholoxix. The smokers said the non-smokers were uptight and elitist hogs...the non-smokers said the smokers were stained yellow and blinded like moonstruck cows. Both were right. Both were wrong. Both were Pholoxixians of Retmusch. Many moderators and underground Pholoxixians had set up a contest for the sides to compete in a test of wills, with a possibility of triumph and glory. Moreover, contractually they were both obligated to come to a truce agreement of some sort guided by the outline in the contract's small print- as it always is. In a game played on a shiny court that only the most gifted of Retmusch's zesty inhabitants could participate, it all came down to this. This game symbolically representing years of struggle, now, possibly coming together in accord. However, there still was a chance the Retmusch body of elders could veto the proposed bill regarding the game and its out coming agreement proposed by the Pholoxixians, although it was thought unlikely by the general populace.

As the three moons of the land set, game time was set to start one day in late summer. The non-smokers planned to wear yellow jerseys and just as fitting the non-smokers planned on the white jerseys. They trained and consumed hearty healthy diets. The smokers still smoked, but swore by its enhancing capacities. New research in fact coming away from the smokers' camp was that smoke may actually be good for you. Not surprisingly, the nons thought this to be a jaded and biased study, straddling badly the line of ethics and the whole scientific process. It wasn't known then exactly why, but the smokers kept up with the nons just as well on the running track. In addition, in all other physical facets of and relating to preparation, the smokers always kept up and sometimes they far outdid their counterparts. In fact, some nons converted and started smoking, but were not near as good at blowing those smoke ring things. Whether the former nons performance improved it is not known as the empirical process was sabotaged, leaving behind only unsupported hypothesis and opinion. The nons denied any knowledge of this on any level what-so-ever.

As it always does, the time came before they knew it. Fall was approaching soon, indicated by the three moons' positions in the high sky. Pregame warm-ups were taking place. The smokers coughed. The non-smokers scoffed. The moderators were proud. Years and years of a divided society teetering towards inevitable destruction and chaos would all be stomped out tonight. The stadium was filling up more than was to be expected.The organizers and moderators were worried the stadium's capacity wouldn't suffice the interest and monumentality of the event. The line went up off into the distance over a nearby grassy hill. Sure, some off the incoming didn't have tickets and were crossing their toes on the chances of coming across a scalper. It was said the tickets were insanely priced, but the money was put back into social welfare programs benefiting Pholoxixian youth (although, it was thought filtered and some elders seemed to take a little off the top).

Before the giant game was played the crowd was on its feet clapping insistently, waiting and watching just as intently. It was told later the roar of the crowd was almost unbearable, albeit the anticipation delightfully distracting them. They played the Retmusch anthem and some cheered and some hollered. Then a representative from each of Retmusch's territories, including one proud Pholoxixian, strutted the Colors of the Territories quite gloriously. A noticed lift in decibels arose as they paraded...for the Retmusch people were proud of their Colors and what they stood for, irrespective of what said territory or if they really meant anything at all anyway. Anticipation continued to build, as echoes continued to bounce, and the contestants (combatants) were full of smiles and pride.

Obviously both sides had something to prove. Some seemed nervous, some seemed happy, and finally some felt relieved that the day was here (there). The whistle went off. It was as if time had stopped as everything went really fast. The sound of the crowd continued to crescendo, as the tension of the warring teams reached ultimate gamely conflict. There was concession stand; however, no one had time nor attention for such insignificant buttery or sticky details. What they were watching unfold in front of them was all at that time they really cared about at all. Even the usually staunch upper-administrative elders seemed to be enjoying themselves. Some of the elders were smokers, but their position(s) of power made the issue of smoking or not smoking outside the proverbial ashtray, so to speak. Players in both teams dropped out from unrelated events having none to do with their smoking or non-smoking. By games end the floor was less than shiny, littered with blood, sweat, tears and cigarette butts.

In the end the smoking or the non-smoking was of no consequence what-so-ever to anyone. The game's outcome only the participants and the crowd truly knew and saw (although it was rumored still years later, that the smokers had won). The smokers and non-smokers had spent so much time together training, sweating and sharing with one another that they actually took the time to get to know one another, and from getting to know one another, began to understand and see where each were coming from. The social problems associated with smoking actually had nothing to do with smoking at all--it was said and proven due empirically later that smoking was only not bad for you, but was actually good for you. Certain molecules of the smoke were found to repair and strengthen the mitochondria of the cell and further the biochemical process of things such as muscle contraction and energy storage (by better hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate to adenosine diphosphate in the cytoplasm of the cell and vice-versa) (and this is a biological facet and not a social-biographical one, or are they the one and same?).

Useful programs were created in preventing homes from burning down. The non-causal relationship between smoke and disease, led to a new law regulating the fuel and lighting-devices in Retmusch. Fumes inhaled from these fuels within lighters and such were the causes of imperialist cancer cells, and citizens of Retmusch were done with colonialism so microcosmic holocausts were slowly ushered out as ignorance associated with such words were becoming quite antiquated. Diseases dropped and the conflict eventually dissolved (the Sex Tax was created as a new paradigm in the land's evolution of taxation, but was dissolved after riots and social uprising ensued. It was also pretty costly to regulate). Smokers became non-smokers and a fair opposite just the other way. From the understanding garnered through spending the time together (some joked it was a case of the Stockholmlox Syndrome, and that the non-smokers simply led the smokers to identify with them by mentally being taken hostage), the land had become more peaceful and enjoyable for all. The moderators' years later were placed on the commonly crinkled currency spent all over. Ultimately, it was understood that it took all kinds to make the land of Retmusch go 'round (actually, up then down, and then again). Silly something so simple took so long to figure out.


  1. What a trippy story! I'm not much of a reader or critic of sci-fi inspired writing, but you've got some interesting conflicts brewing here.

    Thanks, also, for the comments on my blog. It's nice to have a local readership. On that note...what happened to Noctograph?

    Keep writing!

  2. Whacked...good writing...but whacked...