Mon, 08/01/2005 — Rev. Ragu

So, I've got a bit of a gripe here, people.

The twisted radioactive hellscape of the post-apocalypse, quite frankly, sucks a west texas shlong straight up. I'm sure you watched Mad Max and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome and Water World and thought "DAMN, I sure wish *I* lived in the wild frontier of the aftermath of the Third World War!". Well, except when you watch Water World, then you just hope you die of radiation poisoning, as painfully as possible to hopefully cleanse you of the sin of watching Water World before you kick off and have to explain to St. Peter that you fucking watched Water World. But, you know, you think you want to be a leather-clad badass in tight, tight jeans, hand-cannon in one hand and the bloodied face of some toothless Australian in the other, drifting through the scorched remains of man's once-great tributes to his own mastery over nature, eventually coming to the sobering realization that man may have tamed nature, but never quite tamed himself. It sounds like such a badass life, you know?

Well, fuck that. The post-apocalyptic earth is just a dirt bastard. There's nothing to eat except those God-damned cockroaches, who are now giant, mutant, and disquietingly intelligent. The new mutated appendages might seem useful, but preclude you from anything but custom-fitted badass leather jackets, and it is a righteous blue bitch to find a good tailor when most people take simple jobs like "cancer sufferer" and "cannibal". Oh, and there's the slow death of the human genome, ninety-percent sterility rates, and the sad fact that a lady with at least one or two remaining teeth is considered a fantastic catch. Yeah, it SUCKS.

Basically, it's not the vast metaphor of mankind's hubris and pettiness that gives you excitement, adventure, and meaning in the post-apocalypse. Really, who gives a shit? No, it's the simple things. Like a good meal of preserved Spaghetti-O's. Like water that doesn't fill you with gamma radiation and give you the horrible organ-liquefying shits for a week. Like Shooting a Man in Reno Just to Watch Him Die. You know, Folsom Prison Blues? Johnny Cash? Everyone's wanted to do it since The Man in Black suggested it back in '56, but we had things like "law" and "order" and "morality" and "reproductive imperative" and "not completely crippling hopelessness". I heard that, due to popular demand, if you went to the Reno Police Department with a generous donation for the Nevada Policeman's Foundation they'd let you stab a homeless guy to death, but that's not *shooting* a man in Reno just to watch him die, and certainly it was only a rich man's sport that the rest of us could not partake in.

But now, it's the end of the world, and I got my chance. I could kill a man in the crudely reconstructed ruins of Reno, now known as New Reno, just to watch him die.

Well, long story short, you shoot a man in New Reno and he turns out to be a pimp. Pretty soon you have three dozen hookers coming at you with fists and sharp pieces of glass and then the local gangs get involved and a few drug addicts get caught in the gatling fire and there's blood and livers and disembodied extremities everywhere and even the shitty comedian gets a few bullets in the groin and long story short New Reno's a much littler biggest little city in the world.

Listen, New Reno, I'm sure there will be a lot more vagrants coming through New Reno to Shoot a Man Just to Watch Him Die. I suggest your tourism bureau get to work on this, and keep all the bystanders and lookie-loos out of the way. Because it's fun to Kill a Man Just to Watch Him Die, but after the sixtieth or seventieth dude to run headlong into your high-calibre anti-personel cannon, it gets a bit tiresome. How do you expect a guy like to stay for the gambling fun, or the excitement of a prize fight, or to stay in one of your luxurious, largely-mutant-rat-free hotels if every damn fool is going to take a run at me just because I killed a few dozen hookers and Jet addicts?

I would not recommend New Reno as a vacation destination in the post-apocalyptic hellscape. Head to The Den, they'll let you kill anyone you want, and the Jet's cheaper. It's not as romantic to Kill a Man in The Den Just to Watch Him Die, but New Reno turned out to be a big bust, so maybe Johnny was wrong? After all, from my experience, it doesn't seem all that tough to be a Boy Named Sulik.


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