I’ve got a beautiful terrarium next to my computer with a crazy cool suspension bridge I built out of popsicle sticks. The bridge crosses a river of real water with a mossy bank I keep gorgeously green with twice daily mistings. When I look up from the computer, I can see the top of the George Washington Bridge with all of the phonies streaming into Manhattan, and I smile because the odds are I have personally taken down dozens of them, especially celebrities and phony do–gooders. Also the terrarium’s mossy bank has real rocks, and under the rocks are live pillbugs. And I’m PillbugKing80.

My economically useless history degree helps keep me king. It’s not that ignorant fools can’t look things up to catch up to my knowledge, but when you’re mixing it up in a hot comments thread, you want to strike fast and hit hard, and the ready knowledge in my head lets me do that. Plus, I’m prepared.

Example. Last night I took down a bunch of Thomas Jefferson apologists with a riff on his slave mistress Sally Hemmings and their six children by quickly accessing a hundred–and–eighty–page bank of my past comments that I have meticulously indexed, complete with links to legitimate authority. They were dead on the ground in the flash of a musket.

Once I went after “the great Abraham Lincoln,” as one admirer slobbered, by talking about how he slept in the same bed as his roommate, Joshua Speed, planting the seed that the great man was gay, heehee, though my gun misfired because gay is in, and the Lincoln fans all thought that was cool. So I talked about his depression, but that’s so last millennium nobody cared. So I dropped the A-Bomb, that the “Great Emancipator” didn’t even want to end slavery, haha, using the (admittedly out–of–context) line in the Greeley letter `if I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it’ bla bla, and sat back smoking an entire doob with a pillbug in my hand while some guy wrote a hardcore FIVE–HUNDRED WORD rebuttal with all the arguments I’ve heard ten million times. To which I replied, “Man, you’re so in denial” with a yawn emoji, because that’s what you do, you hit `em hard and melt into the jungle. Tweaking these tail–chasers is the best!

When nothing else is happening it’s fun tweaking Elizabeth Warren fanatics with her phony `I’m a Native American’ meme, and it’s especially fun tweaking black icons since the PC police will kill you if you say one thing against black celebs in the open. I’ve taken down Al Sharpton with the Tawana Brawley hoax, and Jesse Jackson with his Jew–baiting and his jailbird son, and The Saint himself, Martin Loser King, a proven plagiarist and big time adulterer. “Reverend,” gag.

Of course JFK, that goes without saying.

Phonies, all.

Which Holden Caulfield called everyone, correctly. Which he would even call his own creator if Holden was real, a sexually predatory hermit who drank his own piss. You can practically feel his idolaters breaking down crying in front of their screens!

Of course I’ve shredded Mother Teresa, the “saint” who furnished substandard care to the sick and proselytized them to her cult of suffering by calling pain the “kiss of Christ.” And Christ, yeah, I’ve brought down the Prince Of Peace himself many times on historiographical grounds.

And César “Santo” Chávez, qué facil — he called illegals “wetbacks” and partied with Marcos!

They’re all of them phonies, white, black, and brown. Sanctimonious bullshit artists who cannot fool “all of the people all the time” because the PillbugKing is on the job!

And I’ve got a Special Projects file for the toughest nuts to crack. Paul Newman’s a cold case because I’ve never found anything on him except a weak–sauce divorce. Jack Benny, Jimmy Stewart, and a few more of those “Golden Age” Hollywood icons are cold cases too, though who knows what was hidden under their rocks in an age when you could still hide your dirt. Maybe some grandchild will sell some private letters.

For now, my number one Special Project is Malala Yousafzai. Got shot in the face for going to school, check. Crusades for education for girls, check. Nobel Peace Prize winner, check. And with the Nobel, a half share of the $1.1 mil prize money, plus a lifetime of dining out on the dingus, plus foundation perks and hordes of sycophants who’d do anything for her. It’ll be hard to penetrate the fortress built around her by her PR handlers, but a great hacker may do it one day, or a paparazzo might catch her showing some skin on the Costa Del Sol, or kissing a girl through an uncurtained window. Or someone with an iPhone might catch her buying gold jewelry with her do–gooder’s loot. Or some bitter coworker will leak that she’s hired some idiot cousin to work at the Malala Fund. Or she’ll be caught on mic throwing down some Jew–hating. Because she is young, and life is long.

And I’m watching.



JON SINDELL wrote the flash–fiction collection The Roadkill Collection (Big Table Publishing, 2014) and the long–story collection Family Happiness (2016). He curates the San Francisco–based reading series Rolling Writers and is a fulltime personal humanities tutor. He used to practice law.