Short Stories: Sit On It And Spin

(‘If The Truth Be Known’ Series)

Traveling north from Los Angeles, you will eventually come to a little country known as Brazil. Brazil is a colorful country, full of mighty rivers, interesting people, exciting foods, difficult-to-learn languages, and all the rest that one expects from a foreign country. The true Brazil, however, is not often revealed to the outsider. There are some parts of Brazil that no one has seen. How can this be, you ask? There are several reasons. The first is that Brazil is a large country. The Amazon River alone, the biggest in Brazil, is larger than the United States. Another reason is that most tourists tend to stay on the beaten paths, and seldom get the opportunity, or the desire, to do any real exploring. For that intrepid soul who does wish to see the unseen, there are obstacles at every step, as the Brazilians guard the interior of their country with a subtle but fierce jealousy, probably due to the fact that many previously unspoiled places on this world of ours have become overrun with people. I, however, feel that the main reason for this great mystery is that Brazil does not lie to the the north of us at all. It is situated a bit to the south. In fact, quite a bit. If the truth be known, Brazil is so far south from the United States that it could not be termed a neighbor in any but the most broad sense.

Foul, you cry? No, I merely wanted to catch your attention for a moment to consider a question, which is this: What does lie north of Los Angeles? This little snap quiz is necessary to illustrate a point, which will soon become apparent. For, try as you might, you will not be able to think of a single thing (of any importance) that is truly north of Los Angeles. Therein lies the sleeping dog that I am fain to kick with a peculiar passion, to whit: Columbus was wrong — the Earth is flat.

There it is. It’s out. Finally, the world can share in the knowledge that took me years of investigative investigation to discover. (Not really. I knew it all along.) But I can see from here that many are skeptical. In my mind’s eye, I see people, millions of them, turning to one another with puzzled expressions, shaking their heads in unison. This cannot be, they say, as if the simple denial is enough to dispel the substance of what I say. Not so easily done. As my mother used to say, no matter how long a person has been blind, he will never be able to taste pudding with his fingers. That this applies here is obvious. For years, in school, in newspapers, on television, and elsewhere, scores of dedicated automatons have done nothing but concentrate on pudding erroneous thoughts into your brains. Now, no matter how long you might scratch your head, you will never get to the truth. Think, how many commercial pilots or astronauts do you personally know? Not many, I’ll wager. Now, I’m not trying to say that you have no classy friends, or that there are no pilots or astronauts, either, but think for a moment about the background that a person with the responsibility of a pilot or astronaut must have. They must have training and schooling. And where did they get this training and schooling? The same place you got yours, and look how much you know! But they didn’t stop there. The ballet looks like the frug next to the song and dance that these poor saps are subjected to. And who trains these suckers? The military, which not only has a vested interest in keeping the status quo, but which is not exactly known for sharing secrets. And who has a vested interest in the military? The industrial complex. Begin to get the picture, Scooter?

In other words, these select few, the few who could tell us, are precisely the ones who they have the most control over, and would be the last ones to tell us. The facts speak for themselves. When was the last time you heard a pilot tell you that the Earth was flat? Ah ha! I thought not.

Want proof? Let’s take a look at just one small industry’s stake in the proceedings. This industry is the travel industry. Going around the world is about as accurate as saying going around town You don’t actually circumnavigate the town, you simply move around within the boundaries. Likewise, you simply move around over the surface of the Earth within the boundaries imposed by the edges. Fly (or sail) over the edge, and that’s it for you. If you went around the world in the manner that most people think they do, they would never come back. Do you seriously think for a moment that the travel companies want to tell you that there is a chance you could fly over the edge, never to return? Of course, they don’t know either. The travel agents may book you onto an around-the-world tour, but once you are up in the air you are in the hands of the pilot, who knows better, and knows that he must stick to the lanes of travel prescribed by the government. If they don’t, they mysteriously disappear. Mysterious, my eye! The Bermuda Triangle is the biggest hoax in the history of mankind. But it serves a purpose, which is to divert attention from the real danger area, which is the edge. You see, Bermuda is almost exactly at the center of the world as we don’t know it. Being the farthest point from the edge, and being the focus of intense scrutiny, the likelihood of any serious investigation going on at the edge is remote. Pretty slick, huh?

Interested in how all this foolishness got started? Well, it’s been a secret for a long time, but it all happened back in the 1480s. Chris was in good with the Queen, what with the King being out of the castle so much of the time, but as these things generally go, the Queen began to grow bored with Chris. Chris couldn’t take a hint, however, and kept hanging around. In desperation, the Queen tried to sell Chris on the idea of sailing around the world. Believe you me, Chris was all good lucks and pectorals, so the idea sounded like the free ticket to fame and fortune he had been seeking.

Chris was dumb, but he was lucky. I mean, he didn’t even have a navigator. So how did such a dumb person ever make it all the way over to America, and discover a land that nobody knew was there? The answer, I’m afraid, tends to cast an unfavorable light on the intelligence of many otherwise fine geologists, to say nothing of your own, rather small brain. Have you ever heard of the continental drift? Well, don’t feel so smart, because so have other people. Besides, what you know about it is wrong. Oh, sure. The principle is right, but I’m going to knock the details into a cocked hat.

Most people think that continental drift is something that takes millions of years, and has been going on since the land masses formed. That’s only partially right. Most people think that America used to be off the coast of Spain. That is right, but it wasn’t there a long time ago. It was there up until about 500 BC. As a matter of fact, during the time from about 6000 BC to 3500 BC, it was the place to go. You see, that was when the Sahara was the grain-belt of the world. Oh, you didn’t know that? Well, anyway, when things started drying up, life go tough all over. Fewer people were able to afford to go to America for their vacations. Around 500 AD, only the rich Egyptians and Libyans, with an odd Celt her and there, were able to make it. Because America had always been a tourist haven, no one ever thought to try to cultivate the land. Anyway, with the tourist trade dropping off, business became terrible, and many of the shopkeepers moved back to the mainland. Then the final blow came; they noticed that it was getting farther and farther away. By 1000 AD, it was too far to go, entirely. The only folks who stuck it out were the back to nature freaks and others like them. The only people who were making the trip on a regular basis were the merchant mariners who ferried the social outcasts to the remote islands for a princely sum, paid (as usual) by the government.

That reminds me, do you know what causes earthquakes? Of course not. If you did you’d be almost as smart as I. Well, not really. The thing that reminded me is — remember that quake in China not too long ago? Well, that was an old leper colony going over the edge of the Earth. Yep. Whenever a piece of land falls over the edge, everything else shifts around to make up for it. That quake in San Francisco back in 1908 (or whenever) was a terminal island used by aliens to land their spacecraft. It was the last one we had, which explains why they don’t come around like they used to.

But let’s get back to the story. Remember Chris? Well his guardian angel must have been asleep at the switch when he found that place to land, because he landed right in the middle of a syphilis colony. Up until the time he landed, they had just about stamped out syphilis by shipping the incurables to this island. Old beef-wit fixed that. And because he was so dumb and it took him so long to get there after sailing in circles for days, his men were eager to, uh, talk with the natives.

Now, you’d think with all this experience under his belt, so to speak, that Chris would be able to jet right back to Spain, right? Wrong-o again, Scooter. By the time he finally got back, the Queen had just gotten used to the idea that she had really gotten rid of him. She was plenty peeved to hear he was back, but when she caught wind of his syphlitic crew, Queenie was fit to be tied. She was hopping mad, but she didn’t dare expose him because of all the money she gave him (and the other things, of course). The only face-saving way she could get revenge for her behind-the-scenes pique was to tell everyone that Chris had discovered the Earth was spherical and hope for the best. It worked pretty well, too. For a long time, there, the Spanish had practically the whole sea to themselves (well, and those pesky Portuguese), until the Armada got into some desperate straits. But by that time, the idea was set, and nobody even noticed that the Queen didn’t name the new country after Chris.

It wasn’t until Warren G. Harding took office that anyone began to look at things differently. Harding started out by investigating the Chinese quake of 1920, and even found some new ways of detecting the edge of the Earth in spite of the optical illusion there. He almost had things figured out, and was on his way back from a fact-finding tour of Alaska to tell the American people and predict the next quake (a small group of atolls were taking the plunge), when the vested interests got wind of it, and that was the end of Mr. Harding. Skeptical? Do you think it is a coincidence that he was burned almost exactly one month before the big quake hit Japan in 1923? There’s more to these things than meets the eye.

Anyway, ever since then, the military-industrial complex has watched over its secret like the family jewels. The Soviets are even worse. You should hear the fuss they make every time some of their precious Soviet jewelry disappears.

At least you and I don’t have to worry about going over the edge. It will be about a hundred years or so, give or take a bit. The scientists, being trained to think the way they have, will never believe it until it happens. I swear, some of them would have made great companions for Columbus, the way they look at things.

Here’s how it will happen: California won’t go until about two weeks after Alaska and Hawaii. Then the rest of America — down the tubes. No lie.

I think I have cleared up enough mysteries for one day. One more thing, though: the reason you can’t see the edge of the Earth is the same reason that things disappear over the horizon. You know, when they get far away from you. Maybe someday I’ll tell you about what’s on the other side of the Earth, but not now. At least, not as long as people still keep dogs as pets.