The Smart Bomb (Part Two of Four)

The Smart Bomb (Part Two of Four)

Status: Finished

Genre: Science Fiction

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Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Science Fiction

Houses:

Summary

Peter Pretzengegglar, high school physics teacher, was proud to say he had the highest IQ around. But even that, he would soon discover, was relative. And what would it really get him?
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Summary

Peter Pretzengegglar, high school physics teacher, was proud to say he had the highest IQ around. But even that, he would soon discover, was relative. And what would it really get him?

Content

Submitted: June 23, 2011

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Content

Submitted: June 23, 2011

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My head throbbed now, and by the time the discussion groups ended and we were called back to the primary table, I began wishing I had never come at all. Be it the weighty content of the subject matter, or the surly 'make a scene to be seen' mentality of he who brought me, or perhaps both, suddenly I was very much just hanging in there.It was already a trying affair, but how could I possibly have braced myself for what was coming up. Feeling faint, and the lights in the room suddenly seeming very strong, the next words I remembered hearing from Slurn were the introductory ones for the evening's renowned guest.

"...And Mr. Moon will present his stunning and compelling testimony of extra-terrestrials, and his own shocking, and, might I say convincing, story of abduction. Members of MENSA Boston, I have the great honor to present to you this evening's keynote speaker, a man truly out of this world, Mr. Cedar Moon!" Applause. Standing ovation. The renowned guest of honor, Cedar Moon made his way to the podium.

Once settled back in their seats, the ruffling of notebooks and pens past, the man of the hour exhaled with deliberation, quickly scanning the crowd that enclosed him. Through my pained temples I sized him up, fortunate or unfortunate enough to be seated in front. I was not a tailor or clothing merchant, but the sight of a sports coat on any man that depicted the night sky with random flying saucers stitched in rather scolded my poor head, and I found myself soothing it more than once. Tawdry thing. The man himself, Mr. Cedar Moon appeared regular enough, however, for all one had to do was to disregard the rather bad toupee atop his medium frame. Looking past the cosmic coat, I tried to concentrate as he moved beyond the icebreaker stuff of who did and did not believe in extra terrestrials, and on to his personal accounts.

"Extra Terrestrials are real," he told the audience vibrantly. "I am living proof of that. There is technology they emply on humans. There is human to alien breeding. I know because I saw it aboard the ship." He went on to explain that many UFO's were in the traditional flying saucer shape, and that with the use of special alloys, the ships could attain breakneck speeds faster than light and defy all known laws of physics.

It was then I witnessed it. The green orb. Bouncing in the air up there by the podium, I took it to be some kind of visual floater. Pounding the side of my head, I closed my eyes, and counted to ten. Opening them, I told myself I would nownot see such nonsense. But it was there. Green. Round. Orb. Around the head of Mr. Cedar Moon as he rambled on. Amazed, I turned to Pretzengegglar, evidently unaware of the thing, simply looking appalled. Looking around the room at the others, there was nothing to suggest they had seen it, either. The thing might not have gone away, and I may have stayed in my hypnotic stupor had it not been for the hysterics that happened next. Like a wayward jack-in-the-box, Peter Pretzengegglar leapt up from his seat beside me, and I only barely heard the closing invitation of 'any questions?'

"If these guys exist," ranted Pretzel, "why doesn't master alien come on down and show his gray ass for all the world to see. I just don't see any real convincing evidence here."

It struck me as odd, listening to this profound diatribe, why a man like Pretzengegglar should be associated with a support group whose cause he didn't support. Then it hit me. Always the devil's advocate, Peter Pretzengegglar must have found greater exhileration defending his own stance--not conforming, than simply jumping onto the bandwagon. Here clearly was a man who had tipped over more thanhis share of bandwagons.

"Well, sir, there is undeniable proof, it's..."

"I don't see it," Pretzengegglar broke in belligerently. "Fifty years of talkin' this shit now. I'm not seein' it!"

"Mr. Pretzengegglar," the voice, an admonishing tone, was Slurn's. "Need I remind you Mr. Pretzengegglar, of Section C, Part E of our MENSA Constitution, where it clearly dictates that necessary sanctions may be imposed to members who commit any act inimical to MENSA. Your behavior, sir, I believe hinges on inimical. Now, are we going to watch ourselves, or are we going to have to be escorted out?"

Rolling his eyes, the perpetrator said he would behave and apologized with mock sincerity to Moon for the outburst.

Leaving the place, or should I say sneaking out, I was surprised to find Pretzengegglar seeming to confide in me as we walked to the Volkswagon. "I'm going out of town for a few days," he said. "To Chicago." The statement had a finality to it,a finality that gave me the impression I would be heading up class, taking care of business for awhile. I was right. He told me about the things I'd have to take care of at school, and that he'd probably be back by Wednesday next.

I had no problem commiting to the responsibility--it was Friday, and more than anything else at this point, I had the weekend locked into my mind.

Groaned Pretzengegglar as we reached the car: "I'm starting to think I'm outgrowing this outfit of imbeciles. This world needs a lot more intelligent people. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one in my class," he boasted, and for a moment, still mentally whipped from the MENSA experience, I didn't realize he was referring to Boston High. "Like at school. Consider Dean Neirson," he allowed the space of an inch with his forefinger and thumb. "Tiny brains. Tiny brains."

Nodding, I made reference to the expression that says that those who think they know it all are annoying to those who do.

Pretzel, of course, was visibly irked. "Don't use cliches, Archer boy. It's weak and unimpressive. It's jejune."

"What's..."

"Go look it up, pea brain."

Life had always had a way of presenting her wilder side to me, and from that night on, it was only to get wilder.

******

...Standing there, by the side of the road, in the grass, by the side of the school---like some traffic watcher more interested than anybody had a right to be, I turned my head in synchronicity with the lone car apporaching me on the interstate---fast at first, and then in a kind of impossible slow motion, I saw in the car, in the passenger seat, the spectacled night sky blazer adorned with its thousand points of light, worn by an amicable and waving, smiling, Cedar Moon. In the slow motion he seemed to wink and then---no, that couldn't have been, reached to his head, removed his toupee, tipping it in my direction as if it were a hat. The car zipped by then, I, feeling utterly alone in the grass---out on recess perhaps. Then, my head still turned in the direction the car had zipped off, I could make it out, somehow, impossibly coming back toward me---once again fast at first and then slowing down---my head turning with it, dreamily, slowly---I could again make out the prominent passenger, that prominent blazer, I could make it out---no---I felt myself struggling to breathe in the gusty wind, and then it happened---s-l-o-w-m-o-t-i-o-n Moon stood up in the moving car, his back to me. and from inside the window he seemed to wiggle his fingers at me, beckoning, before clutching either side of his pants, along the waste line. And then down---my mouth agape, sucking for air---a gray ass---pressed against the inner car window. A tiny, alien gray ass. Mooning me...

"Oh my God!" In a cold sweat, I jolted awake with a start to the sound of cocks crowing. My wife had apparently heard me for she was suddenly embracing me, consoling me. I looked at the digital clock. It was just after six a.m. that Saturday morning. In her gentle arms, I forced new images into my mind---images of our happy marriage last year, images of the bliss and serenity we enjoyed here on the farm.


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