“What are you doin’?”

“I am just here looking at the volcano. Watching it live on the Internet. It’s really quite beautiful.”

“Beautiful! Are you crazy, Cantrell? It’s got air traffic all screwed up. Don’t you know that people all over the world are stranded?”

“Might as well enjoy the show, Booger. Look at all that smoke and lava and ash coming out. It’s throwing out rocks and boulders and sh-sh-shards of glass, too. It’s kinda neat from a geological perspective. I am trying to see if anything useful gets thrown out of there, like maybe a flat screen TV or something.”

“You know, Cantrell, you are nuts. You really are. Everybody says so. I’m your best friend and I try to defend you, but all those people are right.”

“Which people say that, Boog?”

“All of ‘em.”

“You know that those people in Iceland just aren’t handling this thing the right way, though. I suspect that they are nice people and all, but I think that a more American approach to this whole thing is what’s called for. You know, ‘laissez-faire.’ ”

“’Laissez-faire’? That’s not American; it’s French.”

“No, laissez-faire is what we do in America. You know, figure out how to profit from everything. especially adversity. The recession hit Iceland especially hard, you know.”

“That’s not exactly what ‘laissez-faire’ means.

“It’s close enough”

“For instance?”

“Well, the first thing is that they need to change the volcano’s name. They’ve given it the name  ‘Eyjafjallajokull’ or somethin’.  Who the hell can pronounce that!? Even if they’re sober. If this was an American volcano, we’d hold a contest to name that sucker. Personally, I think the name ‘Ashley’ would be…well, elegant. ‘Acne’ is a good name maybe. A bad joke maybe, but a good commercial name. Makes one think of those facial eruptions we had as teen-agers. I also like Shirley.’


“Yeah. You remember how my cousin Shirley went berserk when she found out that Chester was cheat’in on her. Remember how she threw all of his stuff out of the front door onto the lawn. Smoke comin’ out of her ears, hair on fire and everything. Remember how she went on for days?”

“I remember. It wasn’t a pretty sight. She threw out ALL of Chester’s stuff. Then she threw out Chester! She was really mad. I remember that the police had to taser her. And didn’t the FAA have to stop air traffic over Shirley’s house?”

“See. Same thing.”

“Another thing that we would have done by now, Boog, is that we would have sent some dumb newsperson directly into the mouth of the volcano by now.”

“Like maybe that Ann Curry on the Today Show?”

“Well, personally I was kinda thinking of sending that revoltin’ woman on Headline News, Nancy Grace. Just make her sky dive right into the volcano’s…er, Shirley’s mouth. Another thing is that this volcano has been going on for a week now. If that happened in America and especially in Atlanta, somebody from the City government would have figured out a way to levy a big fine against Shirley for impeding traffic or air pollution or something. You can bet that those City people miss NO opportunity to increase revenue.  Remember when that tire factory over on Boulevard caught fire? You could see the black smoke over in Alabama, I’m told. Those tire people got a personal visit from the mayor…and the police chief. The fines that they had to pay were awfully high.”

“Well, I do understand that volcano could go on for awhile, for a couple of years even.”

“See, if this was an American deal, a couple of years would be more than enough time for us to put up a theme park near the volcano’s mouth. Six Flags Over Shirley, maybe. Probably even throw up a laser – lava light show of Elvis at the base of the volcano.”

“I’m going home. It’s late.”

“Booger, you know that if the volcano were in America, the TV evangelists would have already gotten into the act by now. One of those charlatans would have said that the volcano was a sure sign that ‘the end is near’ and that everybody better repent NOW…as well as increase their tithes and offerings by fifty percent”.

“Cantrell, you’re just wrong for that.  Just wrong! You know that you’re going to hell don’t you?”

“I’m just sayin’ Boog…besides I’m just waitin’ any minute now for Pat Robertson to come out and say that the volcano is prima facie evidence that the Icelandic people and the people in western Europe people made a pact with the devil three hundred years ago…or maybe blame it on the people in Myanmar.”

“Myanmar? That’s way on the other side of the world.”

”I don’t think that would stop Pat.”

“I see your point. You’re probably right too. But you’re still going to hell.”

©Copyright 2010 Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell (a pseudonym) is a writer, storyteller, and explorer of the milieu of everyday life. An aging Baby Boomer, a Georgia Tech grad, and a retired banker, Cantrell regularly chronicles what he swears are 'mostly true'  'everyman' adventures. Of late, he's written about haircuts, computer viruses, Polar Vortexes, identity theft, ketchup, doppelgangers, bifocals, ‘Streetification’, cursive handwriting, planning his own funeral and other gnarly things that caused him to scratch his head in an increasingly more and more crazy-ass world.   As for Will himself, the legend is at an early age he wandered South, got lost, and like most other self-respecting males, was loathe to ask for directions. The best solution, young Will mused, “was just to stay put”. All these years later, he still hasn't found his way but remains  a son of the New South. He was recently sighted somewhere close to I-285, lost, bumfuzzled and mumbling something about “...writing' his way home.” Of course, there are a lot of folks who think that “Cantrell ain't wrapped too tight” but hope that he keeps writing about his adventures as he finds his way back to the main highway.