They Leave the West Behind

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All the way the paper bag was on my knee. — Lennon & McCartney

I met Leo and Station early last month. I have been given the OK by both of them to tell their story here. It involves a computer chip I found in my bar of soap.

Georgia’s always on my mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mind. — Lennon & McCartney

Leo is an international expert in cyber security, and Station is his live-in estranged gay housekeeper. Station is from the Philippines and his name means “stations of the cross” or something like that, but in English his name sounded too much like “crustaceon.” He maintains the look of the whole neighborhood: it explains all the papasan chairs in the trees. I’m not sure about the estranged part, but they never talk to each other.

Anyway, Station had been giving me tips on organic gardening: 1/3 perlite, 1/3 moxibustion, 1/3 chicken adobo — That kind of stuff. By the time he gets to the moxibustion, my eyes glaze over and I try to change the subject.

Me: “Did I tell you I found a computer chip in my soap this morning? It’s warm enough today for the pipes to unfreeze, so I took a shower, and in the last sliver of the bar, I found this tiny circuit.”

Station: “You should get another brand of soap. Nicer to your skin than computer chips.”

Me: “It’s free.  I won a contest on the internet a couple of years ago: I get a lifetime supply of Georgia Soap.”

By the time I said internet, Station’s eyes glazed over and he kind of wandered down the bluff and continued stringing english ivy in the tree-tops.

As I walked back to my digs, Leo came running out of their house toward me: “I hear you use Georgia soap.”

Me: “WTF? Yeah, How’d you know? I found a chip in it this morning.”

Honey, disconnect the phone. — Lennon & McCartney

Leo is kind of a celebrity in St. John’s: He always has a couple of bombshell ladies on his arm in public, but he never bring any of them back to his place. He speaks with a bit of a brogue, and is slightly pompous and hardly ever answers a question. He leaves for a few days every so often. Station will just sit outside the front door and wait till Leo gets back.

Leo: “But is the soap any good? Or is it a pube magnet?”

Me: “It’s soap. Georgia Soap. Soap with a goddamn computer chip in it!”

Leo: “Of course. Where you been? Oh, you didn’t read the whole Puritan Act, did you?”

Been away so long I hardly knew the place..gee, it’s good to be back home — Lennon & McCartney

Me: “Uh, no, uh, I was going to, but I never found time. Or needed to go to sleep that badly.”

Leo: “Georgia bought out the entire technology from Bogostan when the Soviet Union broke up.”

you don’t know how lucky you are boys — Lennon & McCartney

Me: “Soviet Union? Technology? They would use a Sledge Hammer to smash an atom. And there in no place called Bogostan. And what’s that got to do with the U. S. Puritan Act?”

Leo: “Forget the Soviet Union, I’m talking Bogostan. The Bogostani’s had electronic surveillance tricks that we are still trying to figure out. It’s a country that is so secretive, it erased it self completely from all historical record in 1992. It’s mind boggling how they did that, but Georgia owns the technology now. That’s why you can’t remember. Even now, we are still not sure if Bogostan really exists. That’s how good their technology is.”

Me: “Whattechnology?”

Leo: “The GPS body scanner chips. In the soap, dummy. Don’t you read the on-line user’s manual for your soap? You had 30 days from first shower, you know. It’s referenced in the U.S. Puritan Act under Appendix 23.A.21— “mostly fair use.”

Me: “GPS? What the hell for?”

Leo: “GPS, you know - Georgia Personal Surveillance – The soap maps out every square inch of your body as you shower. Tussaud’s had secretly leased the technology from Bogostan for their Wax Museum: That’s why their wax statues are so realistic. Nowadays, the scans are used to generate advertisements tailored to your body contours. I bet you don’t get any SPAM about breast enlargement, do you?”

Me: “No, I get lots of ads for Peni…” My voice trailed off as the truth hit me. They know. Everything. Every mole and freckle. And it’s in the soap!

Leo walked off down the bluff toward Station. He stopped halfway, awkwardly looked around like a cat trying to pretend he had other business and then ran back toward his car and left.

Station stood up, walked to the front door of their house and sat down outside.  That was over a week ago, and he has been sitting, silently looking up the roadway ever since. Station hasn’t done any work on the neighbor hood. The english ivy is still only half-way up the trees.

I didn’t get to bed last night, and now Georgia’s always on my mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mind.

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