Southern Girl.

Long ago, there was a young girl who lived in a quiet Southern town where the only entertainment to be found was found in delights such as cow-tipping, blueberry picking and reading tabloids on fly-infested porches. Unfortunately, the girl was an outcast because her father was a broke street mime and her mother was invisible.

One night, the girl won a pair of air tickets to a monster truck rally in New Jersey in a cheap tabloid raffle. With her father pretending to be in an invisible box and her mother crying somewhere, she left home to watch big cars crush smaller cars.

The monster truck rally proved to be a life changing experience. The little bits of crumpled metal excited her in ways that depressed cows, squashed berries and guns to her brain couldn’t. The thrill was too much to handle! Before she knew it, she was flying back home daydreaming about her future career. She told her grandchildren many years later that it was there that she found her calling in life – to work in a can recycling plant.

She blew away the rest of her life not in the waste of time and mind that was her little Southern town, but the waste of time and mind that was the rest of her life. But she was happy, and who are we to judge her for anything else? After all, her fate is like my fate in that fate is preset – but you and I merelyfeel like everything is at stake.

I don’t think she ever read Brian Aldiss living in that little podunk town – and its too late for her now – his heavily determinist work is mostly out-of-print and I don’t feel like lending my torn, overused copy of the 80 Minute Hour out. She might recycle it.

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