The Dreaded R-Bomb and the Salt Marshes

January, 2013

Once upon a time, in the salt marshes East of Eden, there lived a proud people who distrusted their fellow marshlanders: a humorless, spiceless and pale race they called Los Piedros Blancos Grandes. The Edeneros believed that big, white feet were a laughable curse from God, but that the devil had taught the PBGs to use their Hobbit-like deformities to trip and block the way of the Edeneros from entering the Northern Wonderland of Wealth. But God had also blessed the Edeneros with an ancient secret weapon, the dreaded and cruel R-Bomb. Their board of leaders, Los Educanos, and their faithful stooges in the Coalition for Fairness, Equality and Freedom with Liberty and Justice for All, taught them that the R-Bomb would protect the Edeneros from their enemies if they ever stuck one of their piedros blancos in their mouths by saying hurtful things about them. At first it worked and the foul, insensitive attacks by the PBGs were held in check.

Soon, however, the Edeneros started using their new weapon against the PBGs whenever they said anything at all about them, whether it was kind or evil. The R-bomb had the power to turn long time friends into enemies and destroy their community. You see, in their hearts, their board of Educanos secretly hated the salt marshes, the PBGS and everything they stood for. They were jealous of their speed-bump-clearing cars, their language and their wealth. Jealousy turned into lawlessness and law breakers became heroes. They taught their children that it was better to hate the success of the PBGs than compete against them for degrees and careers. Not that the PBGs couldn’t be beaten at their own game, they certainly could, but their leaders didn’t want to compete, they wanted to divide themselves from them. They taught their children that every good thing the PBGs had built, and even the land they were standing on, rightfully belonged to their ancestors ever since they had stolen it from the Ohlones.

They even named their schools after horse thieves and murderers, just so the PBGs would know that the Edeneros wanted no part of their so-called values. Their men, women and children were given guns and R-bombs and taught to use them with great skill against the PGBs, old or young. Trespassing, murder and gang warfare were encouraged and rewarded throughout the marshes.

The leaders of the PBGs, for their part, didn’t know what to do. They were defenseless against the R-bomb and feared its use. The R-bomb was a powerful deterrent against any PBG who wanted to take a stand against the terrorism of the Edeneros on his sizable feet.  Not only that, but other PBGs would beg him not to say anything that would invite a flaming R-bomb into his front window.

But then something unexpected and incorrect happened. Fueled by blindness, distrust and rage, the Edeneros started turning the R-bombs against themselves for the silliest of reasons: his feet are too big, she’s wearing the wrong color, they go to the wrong church. Soon, the marshes were ablaze. Oddly, the same thing was happening in other communities, by similar meager-minded R-bomb throwers. Too many people were being hurt so R-bomb control legislation was proposed even though many lawmakers didn’t want to disarm. Elections were held, miraculously many of the evil legislators were thrown out. Enough PBGs and Edeneros, old friends after all, agreed that the R-bombs were doing more harm than good and R-bombs were outlawed. Fairness, Equality and Freedom with Liberty and Justice for All was reestablished in the land of the Salt Marshes and the Edeneros and the PBGs lived happily ever after.