- The human hand has five fingers.
- There are five fundamental forces in the universe: electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, gravity, and the inexorable approach of death.
- There are five states of matter: solid, liquid, gas, plasma, and candy.
- The body has five sacred organs: the spleen, the left kidney, the pituitary gland, the appendix, and the phleugma.
- Human history is divided into five Great Epochs: Deep Antiquity, Near Antiquity, the Dark Ages, the Enlightenment, and the Time of the Great Doom and the Dissolution of All Things.
- Fnord has five letters.
You want the truth? I mean, you really want to know what’s going on? I can tell you, man … because I’ve seen some shit. 19 years in the U.S. Army, seven as a Ranger, and you get in the thick of it. They’re hiding things, man. Bad things.
On October 25, 1983, 7,300 U.S. troops, with Air Force and Navy support, parachuted into Grenada under the pretext of freeing the tiny Caribbean island after a military coup. Rumor had it that Cuba was backing the new regime and the country would go communist. It was two days after the Beirut Marine barracks bombing that killed 241 servicemen. Tensions were high. President Reagan gave the order and Stormin’ Norman Schwartzkopf himself led the ground assault.
All of this was big headlines for all of a weekend. The shooting was over in less than 48 hours. The U.N. Security Council voted to condemn the attacks, but the resolution was quickly forgotten.
Lost in all of that noise was the true purpose of the invasion.
What is Grenada’s chief export? Spices. Specifically, nutmeg. Grenada is the world’s largest exporter of nutmeg.
In 1983, stockpiles of nutmeg in the United States were at all-time lows. It was October: Thanksgiving was right around the corner. What’s more American than Thanksgiving? Nothing. And what’s Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?… I think you can see where this was headed.
The fear was that military strongman Bernard Coard would leverage his country’s nutmeg-exporting power to force the US. and its partners in the region to abandon military bases in the Caribbean, making way for a Soviet presence. In covert circles, this was called the “Nutmeg Gambit.” And it damn near worked. When Coard threatened to burn the nutmeg stockpiles in the event of an invasion, our hands were temporarily tied.
But thanks to the Navy SEALS who disabled the cargo ships in St. George’s harbor, and Army Rangers like me who captured the silos where the spices were stored, the crisis was averted. The real mission was covered up and the American public never knew how close we came to having Thanksgiving without pie. And the government began to build a strategic reserve of nutmeg—and other spices as well—to make sure no foreign power could ever use our love of seasoning against us again.
Anyway, it was a crazy weekend. I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but … who would believe you, anyway, right? I should go. Stay safe and enjoy the pie.
“Sir, the last item for your consideration this afternoon is this declaration of war.”
“A declaration of war.”
“Ervin, I’m the mayor of Buck Snort, Tennessee. Who’s declaring war on this town?”
“Let’s see … the Free Sons of Our Patriotic New American Republic of Liberty.”
“Who in the hell is that?”
“As far as we can tell, Mr. Mayor, it is one Judd R. Wenthel, who lives out on Country Road Double-T.”
“This can’t be serious. Did you read this already?”
“Yes sir. In summary, he wants you to cede all the lands east of Parker Avenue.”
“You mean, the gas station and the Save-a-Lot?”
“Seems so, sir. He claims he needs this territory to ‘feed his people.'”
“Is that all?”
“He would also like to establish diplomatic relations by setting up an embassy.”
“An embassy? Where?”
“In your office, sir. By the fax machine.”
“This is moronic.”
“That’s a fair description.”
“And what if we don’t agree to this lunatic’s demands?”
“He will, and I quote, “bring to bear all the force of the FSOOPNARL military, including one 12-gauge pump-action rifle and one .22 calibre repeating rifle, both oiled and in excellent working condition.”
“I don’t have time for this idiocy. I have to get back to the dealership by 4:30 to close up.”
“He also claims to have weapons of mass destruction.”
“Now that’s just too much to swallow. ‘Feed his people,’ huh? Tell you what … here’s a gift certificate I got last week for a free fruit basket. Call them up and send something nice out to the poor nut. Maybe he’ll back down if he gets some free pineapple and oranges.”
“Food for peace? Well, it worked with North Korea. I’ll get right on it, sir.”
Gather around children, and I’ll tell you a story. Long ago, in the 1990’s, when classic computer game Civilization was only in its second iteration, Sid Meier and Firaxis released a far-future spinoff of the game called Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri.
This new game envisioned the colonization of a distant planet by a … Continue reading
843rd Annual Grand Conclave of the Bavarian High Illuminati
with Special Guest Mel Tillis
May 20th, 2015
Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau, Germany
- Opening procession
- Human sacrifice
- Invocation to Te-Amun-Jehovah, The Merciless One, He Whose Wisdom and Power Know No Bounds
- Coffee and complimentary Dunkin Donuts™
- Introduction of new members
- Execution of prior members
- Revise schedule for World War III
- Lunch break
- Mind control workshop
- Raffle (top prize: Belgium)
- Tax records bonfire and marshmallow roast
- Blimp rides (pants optional)
- The stand-up comedy stylings of Michael Winslow
- Cocktails and buffet of roasted endangered species
- After-dinner orgy
- Planetary alignment
- The rising of the Ancient Ones
- Special midnight screening of Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
“Broga, I don’t want to ruin your day, but …”
“Well, my crew chief called in sick, so it’s already ruined, Hamar. What?”
“It’s upside down.”
“What’s upside down?”
“The stone circle.”
“Nope. Here’s the sheepskin with the plan.”
“Okay … right, here’s the standing stones, here’s the stones on top.”
“No, the king wants it to look like a crown. Flat stones on the bottom, other stones pointing up. See this stick figure here for scale?”
“Stick figure? I thought that was a camel.”
“There aren’t any camels in Britain, Broga. You know that.”
“Well, shit. Why didn’t anyone tell us before we lifted those stones? You know how long it takes to get those frickin’ things up that high? Wasn’t the head druid supposed to come down and inspect?”
“He fell in a bog.”
“Oh, that’s right. Well … wait, the king’s really sick, isn’t he?”
“Yep, he’s knocking on the door, if you know what I mean.”
“Maybe if we drag this out a couple more months, he won’t live long enough to complain.”
“If you want to handle it that way, that’s your funeral. Just make sure you have the circle done by Autumn, or the harvest festival is going to suck.”
“Look … let’s make this easy. We know you’re a spy. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble if you just tell us who you are and why you’re here.”
“Your security is tighter than I thought. How did you work out I’m an agent?”
“It’s hardly an usual manner of dress—”
“We don’t see many tuxedoes at the water park, sir.”
“Correction: a cleverly disguised Russian submarine facility.”
“If you say so, sir. Will you tell us why you assaulted Opie Otter near the cotton candy stand?”
“My cover was blown, I had no choice but to take him out.”
“You gave Alisha a concussion. The children were disturbed when the character’s head came off. That’s why you’re being held until the sheriff’s department gets here.”
“You can’t let them take me! If they do, I’m a dead man!”
“I don’t think assault and battery charges carry the death penalty in this state, sir.”
“You don’t understand … if I don’t get this tux back by 8 a.m., I’m out $700!”
“Colonel LeMays, do you have a minute?”
“Certainly, lieutenant. Just finishing lunch. What’s on your mind?”
“I learned something this morning that was slightly disturbing. Jensen is circulating a rumor that the game we’re playing might not be a simulation.”
“The one where we pretend we’re flying robot planes and blowing up bad guys. You know the one.”
“The thing is, we usually compete to get the highest score, so that means blasting every target that comes up. And if I was actually shooting at people, I think I’d feel pretty bad about not checking to make sure they’re bad guys. Heck, we sometimes take pot shots at the military vehicles or each other. I once kamikaze’d a hospital like we sometimes do in Grand Theft Auto.”
“Son, don’t worry about it. It’s just a video game.”
“Thanks, sir. At first, I wasn’t sure how I was protecting my country by playing video games, but it’s pretty fun, so I guess I don’t mind.”
“That’s the spirit, lieutenant. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got a meeting. Don’t forget to finish your Brussel sprouts!”
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