From the Journal of Melvin P. Wurster. Washington DC. The year 2032.
April 1. Hired! Got a job with the National Park Service. I knew my degree in Multi-Cultural Sensitivity would finally come through. Interviewer seemed impressed with my coursework in Italian Fascist Fashion and Soviet Summer Camp Education. Now you will get hands-on training, he remarked. We had a good laugh together about that. Great sense of humor. Nice guy, but seemed to shout all the time and talked a lot about his recent hiking holiday in Austrian Alps wearing tight leather shorts. Whatever. Important thing is I am now employed and can start paying off my 2.3 million dollar student loan. Job starts tomorrow. Very excited.
April 2. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork! I am official Park Ranger, third class, with 10% off at the department cafeteria! New uniform. I especially like the shiny black boots and the truncheon. Promotion to second class in 6 or 7 months if I do well and meet my arrest quotas. Hopefully! Second class scores you the full body armor, sidearm, light machine-gun training, etc.
April 3. Orientation class this morning. Instructor is named Commander Luigi. Highly inspirational. Said we must defend the parks from the American people. Keep them pristine and unspoiled. That way, the future can enjoy them. New hire next to me, Bingley, asked if tomorrow was the future and, if so, would people tomorrow be allowed into the parks. Commander Luigi said that was an excellent question and therefore Bingley deserved to assist him in truncheon demonstration. After medics came to take Bingley away, Commander Luigi explained that hitting people over the head is actually improper technique, but he wanted to demonstrate it so we know what to avoid. Instead, must aim for fleshy parts of body. Said truncheon is purely decorative unless being used.
April 7. Have been assigned to World War II Memorial in Washington DC. Feel honored to get this posting. Not sure what World War II was about, as it wasn’t mentioned much in history class in school. Something to do with Russia liberating the rest of Europe from grip of evil capitalists. Or was it from the Canadians? Whatever. Arrested 6 elderly people who tried to approach the monument. Thank goodness I had plenty of zip-ties! I love serving my country.
April 10. Great breakfast at the department cafeteria of organic egg material, simulated pork soy sausage, and orange juice made with 5% genuine reconstituted citrus by-product. Bingley sat at my table. Had a sob story about having to do his own suturing at the hospital. Whatever. I am nourished and ready to work! Went out the Memorial and enjoyed a brisk spring morning of truncheoning citizens. Recalled Commander Luigi’s lecture on clubbing seniors. He’s so right. Their bones are very brittle. Saw my first bluebird of spring!
April 13. Red letter day. Saw President-For-Life Obama! Well, didn’t actually see him, but saw his motorcade drive by. Impossible to see through those tinted windows. Happy and fulfilled working for Parks but those Secret Service guys have it made. Big guns, fantastic suits, great sunglasses.What a job! Their legs must be tingly all the time. Lots of people cheering and waving little flags on the route. Like a parade. The police lined up behind them to make sure they were cheering had little flags too. Very patriotic scene.
April 17. Washington DC really is the center of the country. Speaker of the House-For-Life Nancy Pelosi is coming to our department tomorrow for a ceremony! Wait until I tell Dad. He’s always had a thing for her. Drives Mom crazy. She claims it’s because he’s been a mortician all his life, which creates unnatural urges. Whatever. Had a free-trade tofu sandwich for lunch. 10% off!
April 18. Nice ceremony at the department today. Speaker Pelosi gave speech in honor of Ranger Walter Stanson and his recent wounding in line of duty while arresting 53 women tourists from Iowa. He would’ve got 54, but the last one embedded her knitting needle in his calf before escaping in her wheelchair. Speaker Pelosi looks great for being 120! Big entourage. Her chief of staff sort of rude. Sat behind her during speech, typing on his computer and mumbling to himself all the while. Apparently he’s some kind of hot stuff. Huh. I’d like to see him tackle a tourist from Montana. Bingley leaned over and told me the guy used to be a robotics professor at MIT and, if that wasn’t enough, is also a world-class ventriloquist. Whatever. Bingley’s an easily impressed jackass and I wish he’d stop whispering in my ear during Speaker Pelosi’s speech. She projects really well, even though it looks like she doesn’t move a muscle in her face. She’s amazing! Stanson got up to receive his award. A manila envelope covered with impressive looking seals. Speaker Pelosi first tried to hand the envelope to the potted fichus plant next to the podium, but then finally seemed to notice Stanson standing beyond it. You figure her chief of staff would’ve helped her, but he was just typing like mad on his computer and sweating hard. Speaker Pelosi told Stanson he would have to open the envelope to find out what was in it. Everyone clapped and then had free complimentary bottled water and small soy wieners on toothpicks. Very tasty.
April 25. Opportunity for advancement! Memo was circulated in the department about night classes starting next week. Basic Bone-Setting, Angioplasty For Beginners, and Liver Transplants Made Easy. They all sound interesting. Commander Luigi says Park Rangers willing to undergo certification can then earn additional bonus salary working three days a month at Walter Meade Memorial Hospital. Bingley says they are a little short on old-fashioned doctors there, even though the hospital’s custodial staff have taken over the neurosurgery and gynecology departments. However, the Everyone Is A Doctor Now Because We Say So bill that Congress recently passed has gone a long way to solve the doctor shortage across the country. I’m going to sign up for the Liver Transplants Made Easy class. Liverwurst and brown mustard is one of my favorite sandwiches.
March 2. Kids these days! Schools just aren’t raising them the way they used to. Apprehended a girl this morning with a 32-ounce soda. Brazen! She must’ve got it from a dealer. I’m afraid they’re starting younger these days. Sad. Called the juvenile department and they showed up fast. They’ll get her on medication and hopefully back on the straight and narrow. Then, if that wasn’t enough, two little boys went running past me, shooting each other with their fingers. At a War Memorial of all places! Nabbed both delinquents, but have to admit it was a sprint. Left me breathless. Zip-tied them back to back and phoned the juvenile department again. They were pretty irritated to get called back so soon.
March 7. Bought my brother a home appendectomy kit, half-price, at the department commissary. There are some serious perks when you work for the government! Dropped it off at the post office. He’ll be jazzed. I hope the pint of whiskey doesn’t break in the mail. Marched back and forth in front of the memorial thinking about my paycheck. Need to start saving for a car. Maybe the new all-electric two-door Honda Short. Driving range is somewhat limited, depending on how long an extension cord you can afford. But, hey, renewable energy is awesome. Like Dad says, it gets the chicks. If you have a defibrillator, Mom always says. She always has to be a downer! Sort of reminds me of Bingley. Whatever. Beautiful day. Brisk wind, but bright blue sky. The only thing to mar it was a small group of tourists huddled on the sidewalk. Happily, they scurried away at the sight of my truncheon. I love my job!
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