Chapter 2

Sharp Park part 2

By GREG MAFFETT | Published: August 10, 2010



Dave was literally clearing the cobwebs from his head as he returned to the picnic. Jane pointed to a spot he missed.

“Thanks” he grunted.

“So you were searching for spiders?”

“Nah, got a text that I needed to renew my credit card for Fastrak. Thought I’d put it on my Gold Card, but they wouldn’t take it.”


“Oh you know, PIN or the street address of the house we lived in 6 houses ago. Me and details...”

Jane smiled silently to herself.

“So what address did you give them?”

“2750 Clover.”

“Wow you were only off by one digit, it was 2755.”

“Wow is right, they should have authorized with that much, but it was a process dominatrix from LA I think.”

“Oh the land of our arch-nemesis!”

“No, not Los Angeles, Lower Alabama originally from the accent. Probably over in Oakland now from the idioms. Her name was Alima or Alimae or...”


“Who knows. Another detail that evaporated.”

“I can call over and fix that up for you, hon. You just need to know how to talk to women.”

“I’m not sure it was a male-female thing, you know the kind of people you get in Oakland...”

“Yes, the place really has changed since the election.”

“It has? Really?”

“Oh yes, all the ethnics have moved out.”

“Really, where to?”

“They are all in Law School now.”

“Oh so that is where all the ARRA money is going...but then just what is over there now? They still sound the same...”

“Heh, yes that is true. They look just like you and me, but sound like gangsta rappers.”

“So this was what Jefferson Davis feared?”

“Yep southerners of the future emulating the slaves. In short, he saw Eminem coming”

“Wow, what a visionary. How did they ever lose the Civil War?”

“Beats me. Anyway, I’ll call in and handle this one Hon.”

“Ah that would be great! I need to drive Gold up to Sacramento on Friday for testing, if you can get it fixed by then.”

“Easy peasy puddin pie, I’ll sweet talk that lil ole gal from Lower Alabama lak I was borned there!”

Jane really was the sweetest thing. No surprise that the kids turned out so affable, that is all her contribution to the soup. Never a foul word from her.

Gold is the same way, easy going child. Perfect hair, perfect smile, perfect posture. He was the first out of the surrogate and if I were to guess, he’s the one that will break 300 on the test. He has everything going for him and takes none of it for granted. I’d say he is the most creative of the three also. He is the one inventing new games or new gadgets every week.

We do have the guys in the southern half of this state who are thinking their project, I mean kids, will beat us to the prize. But everything is on track here. The exercises, the supplements, we have the formula and these kids are the raw materials to do it with. The proctored tests are a pain, but we need to do this in public, at least that was the original plan. I can change plans though, we can. Will see. Anyway, Gold is in the barrel this week for the testing. We can pretest him at home and see, he should be over 215 now. That would show the progress we are hoping for.


The bird left his perch and deposited a load of birdness that passed with one centimeter of Dave’s nose. As best as anyone could tell, he was completely oblivious to the near miss.


Sliver is the middle child, second out of the surrogate. Physically the easiest one to pick out, he is a full half foot taller, yet much thinner than his siblings. He was 2 inches longer at birth and has never looked back. Jane was sure she alone understood the significance of Sliver’s appearance, but was not sure anyone else picked up on it. There are some things only a mother knows.

Despite his awkward appearance, he does have the same coordination, same hand eye skills as the other two. That is the most surprising aspect of this child. Given his ungainly appearance, people expect him to be tripping all over himself. But he is quite poised. Watch.

Silver tosses a grape in the air, rolls his head back and score a direct hit on his mid palate, just like the other two. See? That’s my boy.


“Yes dear?”

“When will Dave be off the herbs?”

“About a week ago.”

Terry felt a snap at the back of his head. He turned to see Dave was no longer on the bench but standing directly behind him.

“What to fu-?”

“I got it Terry. I figured it out. It was the Sea Turtle in the movie that did it. I got it. We’re back on top!”

“Huh, really Dave you haven’t been stoned for a week?”

“No, I came down a week ago.”

“And you have been doing what on the bench?”

“Working out market perturbations physically. They follow the exact pattern that a man would follow if he were riding on the back of a sea turtle. Every time the turtle kicks, a wave passes through the man on the turtle’s back. That is exactly how perturbations pass through the markets.”

“But why hasn’t anyone else-”

“Well it has to be plotted on log-log paper. It’s a truncated sinusoidal damped by a power function. That is half the reason. The other half is that there is only one of me.”

Terry suppressed an eye roll. It wasn’t that hard because in fact Dave was right. No one else could see this. So Dave had to get enough of this vision to write the paper.

“And the damping constant?”

“Depends. Here take a look, see? We’ll demonstrate.”

Dave grabbed Sliver and headed to the bench. He whispered something in his ear and Sliver started the Sea turtle ride on the bench. Slivers back reached the top of the bench. He excused Sliver and took over himself, only reaching halfway to the top in his undulations.

“So it depends on the maturity of the market?”

“Close.” Dave answered. He dropped to the ground and did a couple of backbends, then hopped back on the bench. This time he was able to peak 3/4 of the way up the bench.

“Ah its flexibility!”

“I’m calling it K for a stiffness factor. “

“And the K is related to?”

“Government intervention in the specific market. “

“You aren’t dredging up the old-”

“Laffer Curve? No, but Laffer was on the right path, just climbed up the wrong tree as I see it. This is an index play, if you want to monetize it. Any one stock in any one market will still be normally distributed about the mean, so that is a crap shoot. But you buy and sell an index after a perturbation...”

“So you can’t predict the stimulus, but when you see it...”

“Exactly, oil spill in the Gulf, peace in the Horn of Africa, whatever, it will ripple through the index just as I described.”

“Nice! But one thing Dave...why have you been on the bench pretending to be whacked out for the last week?”

“Oh, mostly I’ve been puzzling out the market constants.”

“But...” Dave raised an eyebrow.

“Well, I really would like to ride a sea turtle one day.”





The squirrel had been eyeing the tree next to it all day. It finally screwed up the courage to take a flying leap. It landed safely on the new tree, which, after closer inspection, was no better than the old tree. Still, it had to admit, jumping was a rush. So it jumped back and forth the rest of the day.


Bronze was the last of the boys. Actually he was slightly jaundiced at birth and that was all they needed to settle on a name. But since then he has turned out to be the most gifted tanner of the three. Most folks who have seen the three seem to think he is the boy least likely to bust the 300 barrier. Add to that he is the most favored by the fairer sex, and you can see that his prospects as a moldy intellectual are not all that bright.

But he is one of the three and it seems every family with at least three children has a third child who is destined to achieve less than even the lowest of expectations. In that regard, Bronze is perfect.

Bronze popped into the room carrying one of the new kittens, Spiffy. Spiffy was also a third born and they kind of bonded. Terry glanced over at the cat and saw the new device dangling from his neck.

“Bronze, is that an analog clock dangling from Spiffy’s collar?”

Bronze was unsure. “Gold made it, he says it’s a prototype. Watch!”

From a distance the clock appeared to have an analog movement. Between the 10 and the 2 were written “The Time is:” then the hands pointed at 5:15. The kitten was placed on the floor. It saw its reflection in the mirror and went charging off like any good third born and slammed headfirst into the full length mirror. It bounced back, turned to face the family and then the arms on the clock spun forward to read 8 o’clock. The words on the face now read with “Back at:” and the kitten then collapsed unconscious with the clock on its front paws.

Terry roared! “Oh that is brilliant! Gold figured out how to measure the duration of a concussion!”

Jane smiled silently. Every fucktard alive should have one of these around their necks.

Bronze giggled “Cool huh?”

Terry went off to congratulate Gold. He couldn’t track him down but remembered he had to call FasTrak again so he tried that in the hall before returning to the scene of the passed out kitten.

“They got me again.” He said as he returned.

“Who? Thought you were looking for Gold”

“Oh, yeah, no luck there. I’m talking about the call rejecters at FasTrak.”

“Same M.O.?”

“Same tone of voice, if you get my drift, but different M.O. This time I had all the details. So every time I answered correctly they pretended not to hear me and asked for another piece of data.”


“They finally asked me for the transponder number, which was of course in the car. So when I went to get it they gave me the “You have to have all that data ready before you call, we have a high call volume!” and hung up.

“So basically...this is workfare program for dunces who leave Alabama.”

“I’m sure President Lincoln had the noblest intentions in not wiping out every last secessionist.”

“But the road to...oh I can’t say it, but I did say I’d call for you dear, let me ring them up right now.”

“Thanks, I really do need to finish this paper, Dave and I are back on top once we publish!”

Terry headed back into his study and calmly latched the door behind himself.

“Hello, this bay area Fastrak, how can I help you?”

“Oh, you are speaking English.”

‘Sorry I’m the manager filling in while the staff is on Lunch”

“Oh, I doubt YOU can help me, my husband called yesterday and spoke with an Alima or Alimae or the like.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry. Not another complaint. Ah, what did Elly May do now? Did she ask your hubby to squeal like a Pig?”

“He didn’t mention that.”

“Oh good, it’s not a sexual harassment complaint. If she finds a guy who can squeal like a pig the rope is off her jeans before you can say vittles. I tell you that gal is hot to trot. Or maybe I shouldn’t be telling you..”

“Oh, no, do go on. So these are the new folks that are moving in from the deep south?”

“You know it. They are a force to be reckoned with, I’m telling you.”

“but I heard they were not very bright”

“true, Elly is dumb as a stump, horny as a hound dog and pretty as a porcelain doll.”

“How is that a force, America has millions of Bimbo’s”

“Ah here is the deal, she speaks fluent Ebonics. We can’t get a lick of work out of her. She is protected.”

“protected as what?”

“Well there are lots of lawyers out of work now...the figured they there not many people like Elly Mae around, so they..”

“No! You’re kidding me, please say this isn’t so?”

“It’s true They are protected under the Endangered Species Act.”

“This can’t-“

“It can and is. I hear it will be Bodine for President in 2012!”

“Oh goodness, well put me through and I’ll see if I can make any headway.”

“Better you than me, here you go.”

“FasTrak, Elly Mae, how may I assist you?”

“Hi Girlfirend, It’s me, Jilly, Jilly the Thrilly, from da hood!”

“Huh? Jilly?”

“C’mon girl, you know me, tokin and taggin Oak-town with our thongs hanging out...”

“Oh, Jilly! Sho ‘nuff, where you at girl?”

“Oh, I’m big city now, I went under the bay and came up the other side!”

“Oh lawdy, you in san fran now girlie?

“You know it! living the life!”

“Hey girl how is the smoke over there?”

“I hate to say, it be shee-it. You better over there. But we have us some real fine nose candy over here.”

“Go on!”

“Oh yeah, finest kind, you should come over!”

“Oh no way I’m going under that water, nuh huh!”

“Das OK, I’ll be back in the old hood in a few months.”

“This stuff that good?”

“Oh nothing bettah!’

“You still know my crib?”

“Wuz you over on 27th?”

“Yes’m, 5685, apartment F fo’ freak!”

“Ok sister lemme fix you up, I can sen you over a sample. You can get to the mail before your mama?”

“You know I will...”

“Ok sister, hang tight!”

“Oh, I squeezin for a pleezin while we be breezin”

“Later girl”



Jane already had one envelope ready, addressed and stamped for a prominent local politician.

She addressed a second envelope, this was a get well soon card. She tossed a thin plastic bag of white powder inside the card and added two stamps just to be sure. The return address on this envelope would be the same as the delivery address on the second envelope. That was done. Done, done.

Oops, Jane thought, I was supposed to be hanging out with one of the kids, the third one. Where did he get to?

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