A Glibertarians Exclusive – The River I
Sunday: Three days until impact
Astronomers had named the space-going rock 4292-Arawn, after the Celtic god of the underworld. It carried this name because it was a world-killer, almost nine miles across, and it was on a collision course with Earth.
Most people simply called it the World-Killer. Nothing on Earth was expected to survive, not even cockroaches; the impact and its aftermath would reduce Earth to a smoking, molten ruin.
4292-Arawn was scheduled to make impact in three days. Ground Zero would be in Alabama, just east of the small town of Pollard, smack dab on the Conecuh River.
The locals in Pollard, accustomed to being ignored, suddenly found themselves the center of global attention, and were somewhat nonplussed.
Not the least of these was twenty-eight-year-old James Earl Davidson, who lived in an elderly Winnebago parked in the vacant lot he owned on the edge of town. Up until the news of the World-Killer, James had worked as a janitor and maintenance man in the Pollard-McCall Junior High School a few miles away. The school was closed now. Local parents saw little point, most wanted to spend the remaining time with their children.
James had no family. He was spending his time as he had always spent his non-work hours: In a lawn chair, either in front of his Winnebago or, as now, on the sandy banks of the Conecuh, usually with a bottle of Rebel Yell Bourbon or, if he was feeling like indulging himself, Jack Daniels.
James was a man of no real ambition. But now he had set one goal for himself: To enjoy the best front-row seat for the end of the world.
This Sunday morning, hot and humid as only southern Alabama can be, found James parked on a sandbar watching the Conecuh and half in the bag from Rebel Yell bourbon. He had just lifted the bottle for another small snort when he heard footsteps behind him.
“’Morning, Ty,” he said, without looking around.
“Jim,” his old childhood friend, Tyrone “call me Ty” Hoobler replied. “Sure is a good old hot day. Ain’t it?”
“Your Ma made you go on to church again this week?”
“You know it.” Ty placed his own lawn chair in the sand next to James. He sat down. James wordlessly handed him the bourbon bottle; Ty took a good drink. “Yeah,” he repeated, “You know it. She reckons its time to get ready for Judgement Day, you know? Says we ain’t got but a few days left.” He handed the bourbon bottle back.
“She might be right.”
“What if she is? Ain’t no Jesus getting us out of this. Your Mama would have said the same thing.”
“I s’pose she woulda.”
“Well,” Ty leaned back in his chair and looked up at the blue sky. On clear evenings, he had read, the World-Killer was now visible to the naked eye. He hadn’t looked. He didn’t want to see it until the last moments. “We sure as hell got front-row seats.”
“Best possible,” James agreed.
“What’d y’all do while I was in the church?”
“Didn’t sleep last night,” James answered his old friend. Nobody was sleeping much of late, so that was no surprise. “Went for a walk about sunup. Walked out to the highway, had some breakfast at the truck stop. Surprising how much traffic still on the highway, you know? Truckers still haulin’ stuff. The truck stop’s still open. Ol’ Sally Young, she’s still in there scrambling eggs and slingin’ hash. Anyways, once I’d et, I went back the house, got my chair and my bottle, and come on down here.”
“Funny, how folks just keep on doing what they do, what with all this. You’d figger people would be a bit more panicky about it. I’d say, ‘life goes on,’ but I guess it ain’t this time.”
“Women and children hardest hit,” James chuckled.
“Yeah,” Ty joshed, “Y’all’s white privilege ain’t gettin’ you outta this shit, is it?”
James snorted. “Some privilege. It done got me a double-wide trailer in Pollard and a job as a janitor.”
“And a meteor in the face. Black or white, ain’t nothing now.”
It was a common line of repartee between the two old friends, one white, one black, friends since kindergarten.
“Shoulda brought a fishing pole,” Ty said.
“S’pose so,” James replied. “Maybe tomorrow.”
“We’re fast runnin’ out of tomorrows, buddy.”
James looked up at the sky with a suspiciously narrowed gaze. The World-Killer wasn’t yet visible in daylight, but that wouldn’t last. “Maybe it just don’t feel real yet,” he offered.
“What? The meteor?”
“Yeah. Like I said, all these folks just going about their business. Hear tell there’s riots in some of the big cities, but out here? Folks just keepin’ on keepin’ on. That seem right to you?”
“What else?” Ty reached for the bourbon bottle and took another hit. “Panic? Run ‘round hollerin’ about the end of days? May as well go out with a little dignity. Wouldn’t you say?”
James took the bourbon bottle back. “May as well go out with a good load on, is what I say,” he replied.
“I’ve heard ideas I liked less,” Ty chuckled. “I’ve got some Jack Black at the house. I’ll bring it along tomorrow.”
“Good deal,” James said. He looked up at the sky again and took another hit of Rebel Yell. “Ain’t no sense in saving it for a special occasion or nothin’.”
The two old friends slumped down in their lawn chairs. In front of them, the muddy Conecuh flowed on.
What’s the matter with me
I don’t have much to say
Daylight sneakin’ through the window
And I’m still in this all-night cafe
Walkin’ to and fro beneath the moon
Out to where the trucks are rollin’ slow
To sit down on this bank of sand
And watch the river flow
Once again you’ve got me eagerly awaiting next Monday. This is another good one.
“James looked up at the sky with a suspiciously narrowed gaze.”
I like that you’re basing some of your characters on some of us Glibs.
Does that cloud look Punny to you?
Kinda looks like the ass end of a skinny cow…
The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred. /disclaimer
You know, in case any lawyers are reading this.
This was my favorite: “Women and children hardest hit,”
I think drinkin’ and fishin’ until impact might suit me just fine.
Was expecting Its the End of the World.
How do you feel?
I’m sitting on my ass while someone I’m paying is installing doors. So I feel fine.
You just need to get to Greenland.
Been meaning to watch that. Is it any good?
(never mind that it would be worth it anyway because Morena Baccarin…)
It was on this past weekend. I saw most of it.
Good? Eh…I watched it…
I dropped one on DC.
Jeez, give a guy some warning next time…
It killed millions. Sorry about that.
Then I dropped one in WY. Death toll: 3
I do understand. But if you nuke DC, I’m taking it as an invitation to crash at your place.
Absolutely. Happy to put you up.
Me too. Same with the nuclear explosion simulator. Now I’m on another list.
I dropped one off the coast of CA. I shows me the size of the Tsunami but not the damage on shore.
I was trying to replicate Lucifer’s Hammer.
Hot Fudge Sundae came on a Mondae this time, hmm? (Yeah, The Hammer is what always leaps to my mind for stories like this, though that one was too small / too little cohesive mass to be a World Killer and all).
I wonder if Bezos or Musk or anyone has an escape rocket in case of something like this? Of course the whole launch procedure would have to be automated. I can’t imagine you’d find people willing to help you escape and then stay on earth and die.
Bob’s Big Boy.
I’m frickin’ freezing.
Unless you actually had a Mars or Lunar colony with some chance of sustainability, I wouldn’t think they’d bother. Better off investing in a deep, deep bunker you might be able to stock enough to survive until the biosphere settled down and you could try to rebuild. Space actively tries to kill you outside of world killer asteroids, after all (and if you’re trying to just stay in LEO for a while, you’d risk adjacent debris hitting you or knocking things into you with little chance to evade).
If Animal’s folks had enough time (I have to assume not), a full fledged *real* Orion (not the capsule crap) would be the best option. If nothing else, get up enough speed and slam into the damned thing to throw it off course if you could. If we knew the ecosphere was screwed anyway, there’s a lot of mass we could lift in a hurry.
Niven did it.
Speaking of which, an updated version of Lucifer’s Hammer would make an excellent streaming series.
So many of those from Niven and others. Footfall, The Legacy of Heorot, Hammer’s Slammers, Ringo’s Posleen series, Northworld…
None of it woke enough and/or the authors refuse to let them make it woke.
Niven didn’t completely destroy the world, just made for some great surf.
Bear completely destroyed it, and wrote about the mood as it became obvious. One of the most melancholy books I’ve ever read.
Speaking of which – a redneck version of Melancholia, without a topless Kristin Dunst?
I love Forge of God. Depressing though. The sequel is shit.
One of the most melancholy books I’ve ever read.
You haven’t read The Road, have you?
Or pretty much anything that dude wrote.
Blood Meridian still gives me chills.
OT: Because I’ve taken the questionable step of occasionally sharing photos online via the Imgur app, I now get regular nag-o-grams from them. They just pestered me to clean my desk and post a picture of it.
Imgur can go pound sand. 😒 /rant
switch to onlyfans
How does that savor on the current rubric?
Does that up her traitor score or strike a blow against the patriarchy?
Score, not savor. Though I’m sure some here would savor such things lol.
I use their service regularly and they don’t bother me. I didn’t make an account, though.
Curious – do you use it strictly via web browser or do you use the app? Only way to use it on my phone is with the app, AFAIK, and it’s the app that harangues me.
Browser, even on my phone and iPad.
Your Web fu is strong! 🙂
Same. I’ve had no issues.
When you believe your beliefs
I usually don’t watch much comedy on YouTube, but that’s on point. Sadly.
I want the hat.
It’s been crappy couple weeks here on a personal level here in NJ. I’ll take it.
They just want you to be safe, Sensei!
But she didn’t say “legitimately elected”!
Howard Kurtz: “Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimately elected President?”
MTG: “Of course Joe Biden is the President. That’s always a silly question.”
Brandon is in the office. But someone else is pulling his strings.
PSA: The movie Zardoz takes place in 2023. This year is going to be brutal.
I’m sure Zardoz will look out for us.
Close enough, for government work.
Don’t worry. I can straighten all this out on the last Thursday of the month when ZARDOZ is our special feature.
IIRC, that was the number 1 song when I was born. Ugh.
Sadly, Rush did not write a song about ZARDOZ. Other people have though. There is even a band named Zardoz.
Mike Oldfield unavailable for comment.
Well fuck me. I should learn not to trust powerline memes…
You can only get your crowdsourced truth here!
Isn’t it Soylent Green that takes place in 2023?
That’s next after Network, if all goes well. I still need to write that up. And I don’t remember. Probably.
According to this poster it was 2022
Riddle solved: Why was Roman concrete so durable?
“Previously disregarded as merely evidence of sloppy mixing practices, or poor-quality raw materials, the new study suggests that these tiny lime clasts gave the concrete a previously unrecognized self-healing capability. “The idea that the presence of these lime clasts was simply attributed to low quality control always bothered me,” says Masic. “If the Romans put so much effort into making an outstanding construction material, following all of the detailed recipes that had been optimized over the course of many centuries, why would they put so little effort into ensuring the production of a well-mixed final product?”
Both can be right. If you were “sloppy” at mixing a batch, but the results worked really well, and every other method was much less durable, then you would standardize to the sloppy method. It doesn’t mean they understood what they were doing, just that it made a superior product. The same reason they used volcanic ash from one source, it worked, so why change it.
“Do not overmix the batter/dough.”
By the way, it is really cool. similar to Wootz steel. Some “magic” based on the luck of superior source materials and trial end error to make a amazing product. Progress due to trial and error across hundreds of years can be amazing. I’m sure designed experimentation has been learned utilized and forgotten more times that we could believe.
I read that too.
Also that they are testing a modern version for use.
I am wondering about patents. Will they be able to get one, or will prior art in the form of the Romans prevent it.
They would need to add new pixie dust to the formula or create a new method for putting it all together. But a straight up description of how it was done in the past would not be novel and not obvious (not that a non-lawyer is actually allowed to decide that).
But do we know for sure that is how the Romans did it, or can they claim since no one knows for sure, this is a “new process”?
Just ask Sean. As long as he avoids Volcano Day, he should be able to report back.
Big Concrete must be trying to hold this down, because they’ve been talking about it for over 20 years.
Probably – they don’t want buildings and roads that last forever any more than big pharma wants permanent cures.
Eh, all you need to one company. If you make enough money pouring eternal concrete, why would you care for your company to last forever?
It has more to do with the way concrete source materials are delivered than anything else.
And concrete mixes, while highly local, are long-standing recipes. The redi-mix plants don’t like changing things much because it introduces liability.
It’s an interesting discovery because densification of concrete has typically focused on the free silica end of the equation.
The Roman concrete is providing free lime. What I haven’t ascertained is where the silica is coming from unless it’s also bound up in the limeclast.
Hydraulic portland is typically lime + pozzolan + water
Additionally, free silica in concrete is not necessarily a good thing. ASR (alkali-silica-reaction) can cause concrete to mechanically destroy itself in the presence of water by growing gels in the pores that expand and crack the structure.
Thanks Animal, this should be in the non fiction, we just don’t know when.
Jack Black sounds like the exact thing these boys need tomorrow, if tomorrow never comes
That’s some bullshit right there. I don’t care if Cruz was uninjured, that was clearly criminal behavior.
Fuckery by the DA, IMO.
And the judge allowed that?
Or the DA overcharged and here we are.
How about just assault. And not assault with a deadly weapon. White Claw vs 9mm.
Fuckery, no matter how you look at it.
DAs do this for various reasons. Among them:
1 To get them off
2. To make political points
3 They feel against all obvious facts they are such a legal genius they will win.
He was spending his time as he had always spent his non-work hours: In a lawn chair, either in front of his Winnebago or, as now, on the sandy banks of the Conecuh, usually with a bottle of Rebel Yell Bourbon or, if he was feeling like indulging himself, Jack Daniels.
Not a bad idea.
This will be my last Project Steering Committee Meeting. WooHoo!
… Wait… biweekyl? there’s another one before my start date?!
Thank you Animal! I am looking forward to the end of the earth. Will the cities burn as people go all Star Trek FESTIVAL, while the country side remains intact? Will it end up this was all a prank from Bill Gates? I look forward to the next episode
Joe Biden swaps war stories with a Salvation Army officer. “I spent some time with the Secret Service in Poland and in Ukraine.”
I’m surprised he didn’t claim he founded the Salvation Navy.
Without checking his prior itinerary I’d say if he’s ever been to either of those countries then yeah, he spent some time with the Secret Service while over there. Much the same as he’s always spent time with them ever since he was VP. I mean they are assigned to protect his person.
Eyepatch McCain takes the L.
Although Horton reminds us that it may just free him up for something even worse.
New Twitter files drop:
They suppressed known to be true at the time information that natural immunity was more effective than the shots, and that there was low risk to children from the virus.
I ordered a bunch of shit from Amazon. I have prime. Everything ships for “free”.
I just received notification that Amazon has shipped a single pair of shoelaces by UPS.
I don’t see how anyone makes money off that transaction.