May 23 2007


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“How did your parents die, anyway?” asked Brigid.

Greg didn’t respond for a moment, then finally said in an unusually cold tone, “A truck fell out of the sky on them.”


“They were riding down the freeway when a great big 18-wheeler came flying off an overpass in front of them and they couldn’t stop in time to avoid it. My mom, who was driving, was killed instantly; my dad lingered on a few days but never regained consciousness. Which may have been just as well, considering.”

Brigid winced. “Yikes,” she said.

“In a word,” Greg replied. “What forensics they could do on the driver didn’t turn up anything untoward; their best guess was that he fell asleep at the wheel. No doubt the jolt of going over the guardrail woke him back up again, but by that time his only feasible course of action was to plunge thirty feet to a fiery death.” Brigid nodded, and Greg continued, “So it’s not like there’s anything that could be done — the one person I could get mad at was just as dead as they were. The middle finger of God again, as I say from time to time. I’ve put up with a lot from God over the years without complaining, but in that particular case it’s always seemed to me like He was just being a jerk about it.”

Brigid found herself feeling unusually awkward. She managed to say, “Wow, that sucks,” which was wholly inadequate but the best she could come up with. Greg simply nodded, and went back to his scribbling.

-The Gneech

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