Forty One

The next three days are breakfast, ski, board lessons for the girls, dinner at one or another restaurant, there are no shortage of places to eat and the food is varied and good. We’re just returning from another great meal, it didn’t occur that rainbow trout are available fresh, we had grilled with lemon butter and fat baked potatoes.
CC, ‘Don’t want to drag down the fun, but I need a day of nothing.’
‘Doesn’t hurt my feelings, you guys got through four days of lessons and yesterday you did blues, is that right?’
Zero, ‘Yes, take today off, we can go on our own from now on, there’s only so many things they can tell us, then it gets repetitive. If we can, maybe come back before the season’s over, it’s a huge area, there are runs we never got to.’
‘Catch any air yesterday?’
CC giggles, ‘Catching air is easy, landing is the problem.’
Z, ‘She went sailing off a drop and looked great until she hit, board got out from under her, skied on her back for forty yards. Nothing broke, she got up laughing.’
‘Good for you CC, you remembered.’
‘Yes, just stay loose and don’t fight it, it’s only snow, not concrete.’
‘You didn’t fall Z?’
‘A few times, just nothing so dramatic, we have two ski days left after tomorrow, and it’s supposed to snow like a bitch all day anyway.’
‘Have anything else you want to do?’
‘Yes, stay inside, keep the fire going, read, play with CC.’
CC, ‘My thoughts exactly, just go for dinner, trying different places is nice and we can go without being the center of attention, there are tons of attractive girls, we’re just two more.’
‘I thought you liked the attention.’
‘In bits, like the restaurant in St. Martin, or strolling the beach. There’s a limit, I’m glad we don’t go out much at home, you and Zero supply all the attention I need.’
‘Okay then, tomorrow book us someplace for dinner, we’ll have a big breakfast, nibbles for lunch, sound good?’
 ‘Perfect.’
The girls are quiet for the rest of the evening, easy to see they’re, if not exhausted, well on the way. Too tired for intimacies. I read on one end of the couch, the girls lay together next to me enjoy the fire and the comfort of each other.
I blink awake, not sure what time we went to bed, it wasn’t late, maybe ten. After morning ablutions, I crank up the coffee and stir pancake batter. Fried or scrambled? I’ll ask the girls when they get mobile.
CC comes from the bedroom, ‘Precious is moving, slowly.’
‘Scrambled or fried eggs? I have to fry bacon, eggs taste extra good fried in bacon fat and butter.’
A second voice, Zero, ‘Go for fried, we can pretend we’re rednecks on meth in the holler.’
‘Why do they call it a holler?’
‘Holler in Appalachia is a small valley between mountains. Looked it up when we watched Justified,’ Zero pours coffee for CC and herself.
‘I’ll go with fried,’ put strips of bacon in the pan, I’ll need to do another batch, turn on the oven to keep bacon and cakes warm while I deal with eggs.
Zero, ‘I’ll do the pancakes, need to soften a stick of butter too,’ she puts a stick in a bowl and microwaves it for twenty seconds.
Bacon done, I add butter to the skillet, fry six eggs and divide them onto three plates. Separate plate for the cakes, bacon stacked on a platter, CC pours glasses of diet cranberry, we dig in. Snow is dumping in buckets.
CC, ‘We wouldn’t have accomplished much on the slopes today, I can’t even see the lift or the gondola.’
Zero, ‘I’m reading Krishnamurti along with my Buddhism books, he said, ‘Positively to state what an integrated human being is only creates a pattern, a mold, an example which we try to imitate; and is not the imitation of a pattern an indication of disintegration? Conformity is not integration, is it?’
His questions always provoke, why are patterns disintegration, and why isn’t conformity integration?’
CC, ‘I often wonder why her brain doesn’t fry, who walks around thinking about this stuff?’
‘Krishnamurti for one.’
Zero, ‘Take it by steps. He speaks of a positive description of an integrated human being.’
‘So why does that create a pattern?’
‘When we describe, we limit, a person is this, this, that and that. The description makes the pattern, it also excludes all other possibilities. A negative description, what an integrated human isn’t, is a better approach to the truth. He said truth is a pathless land, you can’t build a road to, or make a pattern of truth.’
‘But why is it disintegration?’
‘Like truth, an integrated man will not conform to any pattern, thus, conformity is not integration.’
‘Does that mean conformity has to be disintegration?’
‘Yes, because it is only imitation, you aren’t being you, you are trying to fit a pattern, disintegrating yourself in the process. An analogy is the homogenization of America, the same stores in malls, or the replication of fast food outlets in every city, even across the world.’
‘People like it, in part because they know what they’ll get, a quarter pounder is the same in New York as it is in New Mexico. That’s not unique or creative, but replication makes the operation more efficient, keeps costs down, which means cheaper food.’ 
‘So people are quarter pounders.’
We laugh, CC likes simplicity.
‘And even though it’s possible to get one with or without cheese, or ketchup, it’s still a burger. People vary, just not by much.’
While we’ve been talking, I managed to get the dishes rinsed and in the dishwasher, now I’m disintegrating into a blob of nothing for the duration of the day.
CC reloads the fireplace, no music or TV, no internet. The tablets can take the day off. We sit and read, occasional coffee. Unlike rain, the thick snowfall masks any external noise without making any. We are shrouded in sublime silence.
Nobody wants lunch, the girls go off to the bedroom. They leave the door open, I hear muffled sounds of intimacy, then more silence. I go to the door, they’ve fallen asleep, under the blanket it could be one body with two heads, Zero’s face burrowed into CC’s hair.

Forty Two

We’re up, caffeinated and on the slopes for nine thirty. Blizzard over, it’s bright and sunny, still only twenty eight degrees. The groomed runs are packed with snow, some left full of powder. I’m not much on powder, not when it’s as deep as today. The back bowls are never groomed. I tried one on a former trip and it’s difficult, at least at my level of expertise. Skiing in snow up to my butt, I spent more time worrying about losing a ski than I did enjoying the experience. I later discovered powder cords, made for average skiers like me who don’t think digging through four feet of snow for a missing ski is fun.
We ski greens and blues together, the girls aren’t ready for any elaborate tricks, but they have the basics down. They can get from top to bottom without falling when they cruise. Of course, they can’t settle for cruising, they make attempts at jumps, which they mostly finish clean, but not always, they have a few butt plants. Always get up smiling, giggling at themselves.
I’m looking up a blue, Zero has reached me, CC is barreling down headed for a drop off at the edge of the run. We’ve watched several boarders hit it, sail and land ten feet down the slope. One did a three sixty. 
‘I think CC is going for the three sixty, she’s really flying.’
Zero, ‘If she breaks a leg, I’m going to break her other one.’
Zoom! Air. She spins like a figure skater, comes out of it late, lands and almost loses it. Then she’s standing on the board zipping across and up the hill with clenched fists in the air. She cuts to a stop, faces us and bows.
Zero and I applaud. The things kids can do when you don’t tell them they can’t.
We break mid-mountain for lunch, turkey and avocado on toast, shrimp scampi, I have just the scampi, the girls split the sandwich and a second scampi. 
We put ourselves back together, hat, coats, gloves, the girls have stretchy headbands tucked under their hair, covering the forehead and ears.
We take the lift up to the top of the mountain with the objective of a somewhat flat run that crosses the top to an easy blue on the far side of the mountain. Before we start out, I hear something familiar, a rifle shot.
I look at the chairlift, with skiers unloading, then follow the chairs down. About forty yards along, there’s a scream, then I focus on a man who clearly has a gunshot wound in his chest. 
Then a second shot.
‘Girls, somebody is playing sniper, playing for real. See the restrooms over there?
Get in between the men’s and the ladies and stay fucking put.’
Zero, ‘What about you?’
‘Since there’s no SWAT team available in the immediate vicinity, I’m going to make a SWAT of one.’
‘Not while we hide you aren’t. Where do you think he is?’
A third shot, the lift personnel are hustling people off, the first victim is being pulled off the chair, which slows down getting the rest out of danger. All in all they’re doing what can be done, particularly in the face of exposing themselves to the shooter. Some riders still coming up decide to jump off and hope for the best when they land, figuring a broken leg is better than a bullet.
I’m studying the trees behind the run to the right, a fourth shot, snow crumbles from one tree, it’s got to be the shooter.
‘Come on then. Get to the tree line, I’ll lead, stay behind me, I’m going fast and will be making small turns, hopefully to make it harder to shoot me. Follow my track, stay right on my butt.’
We take off. The shooter will be focused on the lift still hauling riders. They’ve no doubt stopped anyone from getting on, but the people still coming up are wide open targets.
I ski hard, hear the scratch of the boards behind me, turn left, turn right, run straight, turn again until we’re at the tree line, giant Christmas tree shaped pines covered with snow.
Zero, ‘What now Commandant?’
‘He can’t see us here, the trees are thick and snow covered. The last shot made snow fall from one of the trees about twenty or thirty yards in, it has to be his perch. Unless he’s suicidal, he’s going to make a run for it when he spots snow cats coming up. Maybe they call in a helicopter, all of which takes time. Time people still on the lift don’t have. Zero, you go left twenty yards, CC you go right, then into the woods, keep your eyes open and up. Go from tree to tree, peek around, he’s in a tree, look up, if it’s clear move to the next one.’
‘We have to take off the boards.’
‘Yes, carry the boards with you and hold them like a shield. A rifle bullet will go through, but it will slow down. I don’t think it’s a problem, if he’s high enough to shoot he’s too high to see much beneath him. I’m going in directly towards the tree I think he’s in. Now go, and pay attention.’
After I’m in twenty yards, a fifth shot. I see snow clumps drop another fifteen or twenty yards further in. I spot Zero tree hopping, CC is to my left but I can’t see her. I hear sirens, if our boy is going to bolt, he’s going soon.
A lot of snow, then a thump. A man of indeterminate age is on the ground, he has a bolt action Winchester model 70 with a scope, likely shooting .30-06 rounds.
He slings it over his shoulder and starts running away from the run and lift. He’s better equipped for movement than I am, he got regular camo boots, I’m weighted down with clunky ski boots. He turns and spots me, uh oh.
He pulls the sling off, but apparently the magazine is empty. He pulls a second from his pocket and slams it into the receiver, pulls the bolt and chambers a round. I might get to him before he can raise and point, but it’s dicey. I can always take cover behind a pine and hope he decides to run rather than hunt.
As he starts to shoulder the weapon, I know getting to him isn’t going to happen. Maybe I can javelin a pole to distract him.
Then a board appears behind his head, Zero swings it flat side down, hits him on the back of his skull with the hard edge of the board. He stumbles in my direction, trips to one knee, then tries using the rifle to help him stand. He rises slowly, clearly groggy, a second board edge catches him in the throat, then the first board comes crashing down on the top of his head. He falls to his knees and face plants in the dirt. I test his pulse, he’s got one, barely.
‘Leave your gloves on, no prints, take his backpack, use the sling from the rifle to secure his elbows behind his back, tight.’
I pick up the rifle, eject the magazine, then pull the bolt and the chambered round pops out. I drop the rifle, with the magazine and the ammo a few yards from him.
‘See if he’s got more ammunition in jacket pockets and empty the backpack. I’m disabling the rifle.’
I take the bolt out, then unscrew the breech bolt sleeve and remove the assembly. Drop it and the rifle next to the bolt and ammo. I pull out my phone and get GPS coordinates for our location, then go over and check the sling.
‘Good job, he’s going nowhere. For insurance, take the strings from the boots and do his ankles with one and his wrists with another.’
CC does wrists, Zero ankles, tests the knots.
Zero, ‘He going nowhere twice as slow now.’
‘Cops will be here soon. Get to the run, put on your stuff and head down, I’ll be behind far enough so I don’t appear to be with you. It will be crazy, people aren’t going to pay us much attention, they don’t know if the shooter is still active.’
Zero goes first, we wait a few beats, then CC goes, a few more, I follow.
Lights flash under the lift, I don’t hang around to watch them handle bodies, and help the injured. It isn’t clear the patrol knows where the shots came from, doesn’t look like it. I need to get to my SAT phone in the condo.
There’s chaos at the base of the slope, too many people to stop and ask what they saw or didn’t see. It doesn’t hurt that I’m with two young girls, what sort of sniper runs with two kids?
In the condo, girls deconstruct, I call the Vail police directly, there’s no getting through to 911, if I wasn’t on an encrypted SAT phone, I may not get a connection to anywhere.
‘I know where the shooter is.’
‘Uh huh, who am I talking to?’
‘The guy who knows where the shooter is, take down these coordinates,’ I read the numbers to her.
‘Sir, I need a name.’
‘Did you write down the coordinates?’
‘No, I need your name and location, sir.’
‘Quit fucking around and take down these numbers, then get off your ass and give them to someone,’ I read out the numbers slowly, ‘You have it?’
‘Yes.’
‘Read it back, I’m not calling again.’
She does.
‘Good job, shooter is immobilized, his rifle inoperable, go be the hero.’
I disconnect. 

Forty Three

The girls are wrapping a shower, I strip and get in when they get out. Quick dry, then Zero opens wine and makes my drink.
‘You did splendidly, he may never be able to either think clearly or speak again.’
CC, ‘I remember your lesson about the vulnerability of a throat, Zero couldn’t hit his throat, she put a dent in the back of his skull then another on top.’
‘Kept me from having to hide behind a tree, I had my knives of course, my next trick was to throw one into his chest. That’s risky, I’m no knife throwing expert.’
Zero, ‘We should practice that.’
‘Good point, no pun intended, we’ll work on it at home, I also have shuriken, the throwing stars, but I’m out of practice.’
‘Two things to work on then.’
‘We should go out to dinner, let the waiter or whoever tell us about the horror on the mountain. Maybe not, I have no idea how the cops will handle this, bound to bring in the FBI. If anyone asks, we’re shocked to learn about the incident. In the unlikely circumstance someone has video of us, we went to the woods to hide and when the shooting stopped, we came out and went down. We don’t know anything, we didn’t see anything but scared people like us. Stick with the story, don’t elaborate, just daddy trying to protect his two innocent daughters.’ 
They laugh, CC says, ‘Good thing nobody knows us, they’d never associate us with innocence.’
We decide to walk the area, see if restaurants are even open. It’s too soon for the message to go out that the shooter has been captured. 
Zero, ‘What do you think is going on up there?’
‘I have to assume the woman I spoke with gave the coordinates to someone in charge. They will contact the officers on site, eventually figure out where the shooter is. They find him dead or alive, do a search of the area. They’re going to see boot prints and the ground disturbed from the run to the body site. Then a discussion, why would someone, or someones, disable the shooter but leave. Most people would want the notoriety. Some crack detective will think the shooter had accomplices that turned on him.’
CC, ‘We left them with a speculative nightmare.’
‘Yes, it will all die down eventually. Americans read about shootings every day. Dead children or massacres like Las Vegas float out of their minds, this will too.’
‘Should we leave?’
‘I’d wonder if an early checkout would be suspicious, but I doubt it. All kinds of visitors are going to leave early, we’d just be three more. Let’s see if they open any of the mountain tomorrow. If they do, we finish our last two days. If they shut down the whole place, no reason to stay. Alternatively, we go to Beaver Creek, it’s only ten or fifteen miles west, but lots of other people will do the same thing. Could be crowded.’
‘Or maybe people just go home, it’s scary.’
‘So we wait and see.’
Most places are closed. Stands to reason, cooks and wait staff will be leery of showing up, the streets are relatively empty compared to ordinary evenings. Cops are all over the place, people don’t want to be questioned, names taken down, subject themselves to the possibility of follow up interviews.
‘Let’s get back, before some eager beaver cop decides to question us.’
In the condo, ‘We have enough stuff for a makeshift dinner, cheese, crackers, cold cuts, breakfast things for tomorrow.’
Zero fiddles with the remote, clicks on the TV, local news has a report, but nothing live on site.
‘I suspect the police are keeping the press at bay for now. I notice there were no reporters or cameras outside. They sure as hell aren’t going to let them up the mountain.’
CC, ‘Look, a shot from a helicopter, cops and more cops, they must have moved the people, maybe someplace to be interviewed.’
‘Or most wound up doing what we did, down the slope and gone. It’s still too early for announcements from the police, everything on the news tonight will be speculation.’
She clicks it off, ‘We were there, whatever they say, we know what happened.’
We can find out tomorrow if we killed the guy or he made it. From our perspective, it doesn’t matter, we kill people frequently for no reason we care to explain.
A quiet evening, then sleep, we wake to another cold day, it must have snowed overnight, not like the day before, but I can see things freshly covered, it’s overcast but no sign of impending snow.
‘The gondola is running, I’m guessing they closed off the one run for today but kept the lower part of the western mountain open, if so, the runs to the east will be open as well. We won’t have to go to Beaver Creek.’
Zero, ‘Let’s do quick breakfast and get going, we have today and tomorrow and I’d like to get in as much board time as I can.’
It’s a plan. Since we’re not accomplished skiers, or boarders, using the lower half of the mountain suits us fine. And it’s less crowded, the cautious have either gone to Beaver Creek or the east side of Vail or packed up and went home.
The run where CC did her three sixty is open, the girls want to go there, give it another shot.
We get up on the gondola, take a warm-up green, then up again to the run with the natural jump. I ski down to the lip, move out of the way, CC comes first, makes the leap but doesn’t twist, she does get good air and lands smoothly, cuts the board and waits to see Zero.
Zero pushes off, she’s screaming straight down, hits the edge and lands a bit farther out than CC.
We cruise down, the girls turning frequently, get the muscle memory sharpened for controlled turns. They’re happy, grinning with their accomplishment. 
On the next trip, CC lands a good three sixty, boards her way across the run and waits. Zero comes down, makes the jump and under-rotates, call it a two seventy, but lands clean enough to avoid a spill by leaning over and tapping the snow to regain her balance. It almost looks like she meant it to come out that way.
I join up with them on one side of the run.
Zero, ‘Close, got to get at least one complete before we leave. CC seems to have it down, any tips?’
CC, ‘Maybe just blind luck. I do one thing, before I push off, I take a second to visualize it, up to speed, hit the edge, jump, twist, land. What I don’t do is think about it once I start the approach. I’ve mentally instructed my body before I start, I leave it up to my body to carry it off.’
Zero, ‘Let’s make another run.’
This time they both make it, looking sharp while they’re at it. They do enough tumbling and hand walking at home to be comfortable in the air. Both of them can do standing back flips, and the tumbling thing where they run, front flip using their hands, sometimes twisting in the air and landing backwards. 
‘What if I got you a top grade trampoline for the backyard?’
CC, ‘Oh yeah!’
Zero, ‘That is an excellent idea, tres cool, thank you for thinking of it.’
‘Find something top grade, and see if there’s a cover so it doesn’t sit and bake in the sun. If not, I can get a tarp.’
CC looks at Zero, ‘We are going to be awesome.’
I smile, ‘You’re already awesome, you’ll be awesomer, ultra-awesome.’
Zero, ‘Let’s find lunch, then a few runs this afternoon.’
By four we’re heading to the condo, pleasantly pooped, a good day. We took mostly greens, the girls wanted to try boarding backwards, that is, going forward, then a hop and twist so they are facing uphill while sliding downhill. It’s hilarious, the first few times it was butt plant, then a few yards, then maybe twenty. Far enough, they do have to be aware of other skiers, not to mention obstacles, like trees. By the end they could hop to backwards, then hop to forwards. They laughed at mistakes, high five successes, screech and giggle. Proof of the adage, psychopaths can have fun too.
Clothes in the washer, then the girls in the shower, then me. Celebratory Champagne when we’re dried and dressed.
‘Restaurants are open, for me another steak night, what do you guys want?’
Zero, ‘Sounds good, I’ll pick a place.’
We wind up at a restaurant connected to the Four Seasons hotel. Twenty ounce rib-eye for me, the girls split a twenty four ounce t-bone. The veg options didn’t appeal so we have a spiced beet salad to accompany the steak.
Back in the condo, I’m having a vodka nightcap, the girls curl together on the couch and watch a movie until they fall asleep.

Forty Four

Our last day goes smoothly, the girls pressed a bit, and crashed a bit. If you don’t screw up occasionally as an athlete, you aren’t trying hard enough; you will never exceed yourself. That doesn’t mean be stupidly reckless, nor does it mean you must exceed yourself all the time; if you’re having fun, good enough is good enough.
Final dinner, this one pan fried trout, preceded by shrimp cocktails, cauliflower au gratin as a side.
CC and Zero have worked themselves into a frenzy flirting with each other, go off to romp in the bedroom. I work on a vodka nightcap, enjoy the fire, there’s light intermittent snowfall. I fall asleep on the couch.
Zero taps me awake, ‘Coffee’s ready when you are.’
Then it’s a short drive to Eagle County Municipal and home.
CC, ‘Good to be home, I need a vacation from vacation.’
‘We all do, we had a rather active stretch, almost three weeks.’
Zero, ‘I’ll search for a trampoline, figure out if we buy one here or order it. By the time we get it, maybe we’ll feel more like using it. Right now the last thing I want to do is exercise.’
‘I need to get to the store, we need basics after being gone so long. Suppose we have pizza for dinner, keep things easy.’
Yes and yes.
‘Stack the laundry things, I’ll get to it later.’
Zero, ‘We’ll do it, you getting it from a pizza place, or make you own?’
‘What do you want?’
CC, ‘Those premade crusts, what’s the name?’
‘Boboli?’
‘That’s it, the thin one.’
‘One veg, one pepperoni?’
Zero, ‘Perfect, and simple.’
When I return from errands, Zero has been checking the dark sites, ‘We’ve been contacted for a conflict resolution, I’ll put the groceries up, take a look and see if you want to pursue it.’
I look over the message, it’s a few days old and vague, maybe the guy got someone else.
I reply, ‘If you are serious, send full description as outlined on the site.’
The girls come from the garage, Zero, ‘What do you think?’
‘That we need more information, which I asked for. Now we wait.’
‘Ready for your drink?’
‘Yes, got salami as well as pepperoni, and mushrooms you can put on either one or both. Red and yellow peppers, tomato sauce of course and shredded mozzarella.’
She brings my vodka, ‘We’re going to shower first, then put together the pizza.’
While they are in the shower, a reply appears on the tablet, I hadn’t closed out the site.
‘Thought you might be fake when I got no reply.’
I type, ‘Had a bit of downtime, back now.’
A longer message, woman’s name, photo, no job, make of car and plate number, home address. He must be serious, may not be a he, we have no idea who hires us.
CC walks past with towels, one wrapped around her. To the garage, when she returns the towel she was wearing is gone.
She stands next to me, peers at the screen, ‘A woman, interesting.’
‘Women have conflicts too.’
‘Ever kill one?, oh…wait…sorry, if it happened, it was before we came along, never mind.’
‘No sweat, yes, once, I’ll skip details, you don’t need to know what you don’t need to know.’
She giggles, ‘Sounds like a self-help book title.’
‘Kind of does, what sort of self help would it be?’
Zero comes in, equally undressed, sits on the stool next to me. I know what she wants, I compliment her curvy legs.
She smiles, ‘We have you well trained. The book would be about the unnecessary, people clogging their brain pipes with useless information or gossip.’
CC, ‘Applicable to half the world, maybe three quarters, the rest are just too stupid to absorb much. Look at all the news stories about royalty, people absorbed in minutia about William and Kate or the other two, who are they?’
‘Harry and Meghan.’
‘Yeah, them.’
Zero, ‘Come on CC, people are fascinated by celebrity, compared to their petty little lives, names in the news seems exciting, exotic.’ 
‘Do we have petty little lives?’
‘Everyone has to some degree. If our lives were tracked in the news, most people would call us everything from scary to perverse. The rest would be fascinated. Almost no one would approve, or wouldn’t admit it if they did.’
‘Good thing we don’t require approval or crave acceptance.’
‘No, we don’t, but we aren’t much different from socially approved assassins, like the military, or cops. Or for that matter the sugar liars. They kill people all the time, cold bloodedly cranking out biased studies that claim calories are calories. I’d like to see the sugar lobby live on fifteen hundred calories of sugar a day and nothing else.’
I add, ‘That would make an interesting test. If they really believe what they say, they should be required to feed their families nothing but sugar, in fact, should be happy to prove their point.’
Zero, ‘They’d only equivocate, claim they don’t advocate living on it, rather use it in moderation.’
‘Then they have to explain why so many products are sugar loaded, particularly soft drinks and juice. When sugar is in practically everything, how is one to eat it in moderation? Do they think the average fatty is going to count up the grams of sugar in every box of cereal, and all the other food they buy?’
‘Hardly.’
‘To make it worse, frauds like Weight Watchers sell prepackaged food reputed to be low calorie. If you read the label on Weight Watchers ice cream bars, they have the same calories and sugar per ounce as a regular bar, but Weight Watchers is smaller by a third.’
‘That’s cheating.’
‘It gets worse. They also know that ninety seven percent of people who lose weight gain it all back and more within three years. That means Weight Watchers has a cadre of perpetual dieters.’
‘Why’s it so hard, to lose weight I mean?’
‘You go on a diet after ten, twenty, thirty years of overeating. You do it by smaller portions and keeping an eye on sugar, congratulations, good job. What people fail to understand is, they have to keep eating those smaller portions and less sugar forever. Go back to your old ways, here comes the flab. Apparently only three percent of the dieting population manages to stick with it.’
‘Oh, seems obvious, that you can’t go back to the bad old days of face stuffing.’
‘For many, it isn’t. Or they’re in denial, a common human condition. Talk to some fatties, they say stupid stuff like, I don’t eat that much, or I don’t eat dessert. Apparently guzzling sugar loaded sodas and juice flies right through their brains, failing to realize most of what they eat is dessert.’
‘Do you think the food industry wants people to be slim? They sell food, fat people eat more. A win in their book, obesity is money in their pocket.’ 
Zero, ‘That folds in with what we were saying earlier, people would frown on us being assassins, ignoring the fact that there are assassins all around them, even funnier, the fats are helping the people killing them.’
CC laughs, ‘Soldier assassins, cops, processed sugar manufacturers, soda companies, juice companies, candy companies, doughnut and pastry companies, the ice cream people, all killing people for profit, no different than a mercenary, or us. We’re like poster kids for Corporate America, at least on the death end.’
‘The Chamber of Commerce should give us an honorarium, at the least an awards banquet.’
Zero, ‘We’re a public service, maybe we should recite the Pledge of Allegiance, sing God Bless America, hand out paper poppies on Veterans Day.’
Dream on porcine patriots.

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