Rafters pulling out just beyond Thunder Rock Campground at the Wildwater Ocoee River Basin Adventure Center. Kimmie Lou, ” Do I have to repeat myself? This is a vacation AWAY from boating…..NO – you can’t go River Rafting!”
Howdy Myst, (Edited Version Available 2020)
When you approach Thunder Rock Campground from Highway 74 – you cross the river and the bridge drops you right on the Power Station #3 doorstep…..you almost hit the building, then go around back to the Campground entrance. We set up in the rain but it was good to be camping again (just making it past lunchtime was great). The Ocoee river was low, a neighboring Camper described how the upstream power stations will go offline and let water flow in – raising the water by several feet when it was time for Kayaks and Rafts to run the river.
The next morning we heard a synthesized honk siren for a stretch before they let the water go, “you know…..the one where the nuclear reactor is about to melt down.” We decide to watch the water sports later, after a ride into Ducktown for breakfast and our snitch call.
After days of deliberation, it has been decided…..we have to rat out the IVK. We promised to help Mistress Luscious Lasagna to find some way out of their next assignment, “not putting the Fuzz onto them man!” “Look, I don’t like it anymore than you do…..I mean if it was just a couple of isolated instances where they whacked each other’s family and that was it – then sure we could look the other way, but this network, it’s going to go on killing.” “Why does perpetual killing bother you…..our Industrial Military Complex and Global Financiers don’t seem to have a problem with it?” Kimmie Lou clears her carb, “as a machine I know I’m supposed to stay out of it, but let’s face it, if it has sound logic and is done in an orderly fashion then Machines are Pro – Kill. I hate to agree with Ryder here, but these guys can’t just keep going and going – they’re gonna get caught – so I say let’s spare Mistress Luscious Lasagna’s Karmic Debt.”
An Anonymous call to the FBI Albuquerque field office using a throw away cell phone…..what could go wrong? “Hello, we have information on 6 or 7 dozen murders, huh…..sure I’ll hold.” Somehow Ridicu talked me into letting him make the call, the thing about Ridicu is – Cops like him, don’t ask me why…..it’s weird. “Hello this is Special Agent Anger here, who am I speaking with?” “Oh, hello Agent….a…, could you spell that last name please.” “A-N-G-E-R, as in unpleasant, testy, (the guy went overboard with the thesaurus)……now who am I talking to!” “Very pleased to make your acquaintance Agent Anger, we are into anonymity – even those closest to us – only know us as Why.” “Why what? asks Anger. “Why what, why for, why where, why not – who knows?”
Generally Ridicu gets one of three responses to this kind of rap, 1. Amusement, 2. Strip Search or 3. All Out Police Brutality, but mostly it’s 1…..nutty right?” We hear laughter through the static, only it’s cold (good thing this encounter is over the phone). “Alright Mr Anonymous……I’m listening” “The other day we overheard people talking about a network where arrangements could be made to trim your family tree.” So far so good. “And you say there has been what, 80 or so of these murders?” “Our quick research is in that Ballpark.” We had surfed more than twenty six cases. “Son, there ain’t nuthin you can tell me about the IVK, I don’t already know…..fer instance – I can tell you where their weapons are stockpiled and where the money comes from – mostly Moonshine and Evangelical Racketeering Leagues.” “So then, you are close to shutting things down? We’re pretty sure there will be more hits soon.”
This phone is such a piece of crap, all we hear is more static, but then we realize it’s the agent laughing again – it’s really more two pack a day wheezing, than laughing except for his obvious joy. “Shut em down?” More wheezing. “Hell, all of us here at the Bureau and everyone at the ATF actually think these guys are onto something!” Ridicu doesn’t know what to say – which almost never happens. “Look fellas…..you are the dudes riding Kimmie Lou right?” Wow, they do know everything! “Never mind, just listen – it’s the end of the world – Serial Killers are pretty much just Canaries in the Coal Mines here, at least the IVK are addressing Population Control, hell – most of us have started to wonder why the Social Security Administration doesn’t pay for IVF……ONE EGG AT A TIME, it would save millions!
“Ahhhh…..don’t you guys take an oath to protect the public…..” More wheezing, “Public enemy #1 …..is the public! Ha ha ha ha ha – everybody’s gonna burn for this boys! EVERYBODY! We hang up and beat the phone to bits on the loading dock behind the Piggly Wiggly. “Handling murders regularly probably skews your perspective some…..after a while.” “Maybe…..or maybe it’s really just our perception that’s skewed!” “Whaddaya mean?” “I mean it’s us Blogging about this sick shit man……you ever wonder where this is gonna end, what kind of twisted crap is going to come back and haunt us?” “You did add ENTERTAINMENT into our Blog header right?” I chuckle a bit, then Ridicu guffaws…..by the time we get back to Kimmie Lou we are laughing so hard we are stumbling.
Kimmie Lou is unfazed when we relay our conversation with Agent Anger, “most machines know we should burn less fossil fuels, have cleaner emissions…..we accept that everything will end tragically one day.” “C’mon Kimmie Lou, you get over 50 miles to the gallon – you are pretty green!” German accent. “So delightfully Kawasaki green.” More laughs, “and what’s all this end of the world pissing and moaning shit…..can’t we just write our own fairy tale ending anytime we feel like it?” “Speaking of writing your own fairy tales, I looked closer at that RidicuRyder.org Blog that I can hardly remember writing.”
Kimmie Lou and Ridicu dance for a little while, trying explain good intentions strung together with a smattering of logic and 1/4 baked strudel. “Ya know, call me crazy, but I read that Blog and I think…..sure, maybe we follow this vacation with another nice retreat – to a psych ward where we are extra medicated till we are drooling into our socks!” “I was pretty unhappy with that last lobotomy…..could we get the ice pick over our left eye this time?” Kimmie Lou says “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could keep touring and writing and meeting new friends?” her voice catches a bit “and the Tasmanian has been such a good sport about it.” Ridicu and I almost always calm ourselves when she turns on the waterworks “Okay we can keep the .org, but we have to come up with something else for a Mission Statement……Promote The Acceptance Of Doom……isn’t going to go over well.
We get back to the river and watch some kayakers and a ton of rafters paddle through the rapids. The afternoon passes smoothly. Back in camp we spend the evening with other Campers, have some laughs – tell some long tales (Ridicu has some whoppers in case you haven’t noticed). At breakfast the next morning it is decided: no more doomsday shit, conspiracy theories or bizarre accounts from the tour of any kind. We’re just going to move on down the road with an everyday generic trip blog…..nuthin fancy.