There were strange things going on all over the world. The War on Terror wasn't working out the way it had been planned, and a lot of people were beginning to take notice. The problem was that our world leaders had refused to acknowledge anything was out of the ordinary. All they said was buy, buy, buy. Even the senator said things were better than ever, but you sure couldn't see it from where we were standing and our mountain top mansion gives us a pretty good view of everything for miles around.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Squash (P-E-T-S) were being quiet about their failed assassination attempts. THEY (This Harvest Eats You) denied any responsibility, and most of the politricksters agreed that mine and Veggie's claims were outrageous. Of course, everyone was unable to explain the live television footage of the cabbages attacking me so the media was blamed saying it was some sort of stunt designed to increase market share. At that point the Senator started talking about a bill to look into the possible manufacture of news events by the media but as you may well remember that congressional investigation never went any deeper than the bottom of the next bottle of gin they served at the Seedy Senate Lounge and Buffalo Grill.
It didn't help the media's case that THEY just happened to be in our house when the cabbages attacked, but being the media whores were buying the drinks and picking up the tabs at the Seedy Senate Lounge and Buffalo Grill, the Senate Investigators didn't spend much time investigating anything other than the rising cost of hookers in Washington, DC. The Dimlican Senator even suggested they enact a price and wage freeze on hookers working the capital grounds, but it was soundly defeated by the Republicrats who were looking at ways to tax and invest in the lucrative red-light trade.
With the mortgage on our mansion overdue it looked as if Veggie and I were on our own again-- slaves to the most intrusive and annoying sponsors we could find.
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Of course that's the way we had always expected things to turn out. The corporate sponsors were running scared because of the pressure Congress was putting on them, and the media seldom reported on us. And when they did it was almost always in a negative light. Even Veggie's own network broadcasts and Internet sites were constantly being jammed and blocked. The good part was that we were still drawing a ground swell of organic growth. The people needed heroes to lead them down the path to self-rule, liberty, and weekends off work. And the people had picked Veggie Head Stalker, and the Rebel Poet Laureate of North America, Billy Jones, to light the way for them. It was then clear that from that day forward I would have to be more than a scribe. Like it or not I was about to become a warrior...
I think that I shall never see
a food as lovely as a tree
all filled with peaches ripe, so sweet
with tiny hairs to tickle me.
And though they are so very high
I'll climb right up to get an eye
on each and every single peach
that's hanging there beyond my reach.
And so I climbed up through the limbs,
ate a peach, then ate again.
I ate those peaches all day long
until I felt it had gone wrong.
Was then I knew deep in my gut
an awful pain ran to my butt.
So now I'm squatting in the bush
trying to hide my big 'ol tush.
"Holly molly! Didn't anyone tell the Rebel Poet what overdoing the peaches would do? Is he going to get over his gut wrenching pain? And what's that smell? Will the Rebel Poet Laureate go on to stalk vegetables, or has fruit made such a mess of him that the Vegetable Stalker will have to go it alone? Stay tuned, and you just might find out."
I know the media all said I faced a tragic loss my first time in battle, but I knew all along what eating every peach on the tree would do to me. Besides, when Grandma got there with the castor oil she fixed me up in no time. I was fine by supper time. Veggie said he was proud of me. He said the peaches had been put away and wouldn't be a problem as we could then come back after dark and saw down the tree now that I had disarmed it.
That was the first of many battles I would soon face. Not all would be victories, but Veggie insisted some losses were necessary and that some of our opponents were too strong to put down in head to head warfare. Still, he explained, we had to square off and rattle sabers with each and every opponent in order to slow down their assault. My battle with the artichokes was one of those...
they're hanging 'round my neck.
If I were to eat an artichoke
I'd be dead as heck.
So I'll not eat an artichoke
even covered up in spices.
I'll leave the artichokes alone,
alone to their devices.
"Did Y'all see that? The poet ran away from the artichokes. I told you he was a wimp. Why even I could whip a prissy poet and I'm not even a soldier. Warrior my... Ouch! Billy hit me in the mouth again. Did Y'all get that on film? Wadda' ya' mean, no? Don't you ever get anything on film you stupid moron? Ouch! Now look at what you've done. My nose is bleeding too. Anybody got a handkerchief?"
Now the media was fighting among themselves. That camera man knocked the crap out of that loud mouthed reporter. I thought it hilarious myself. Sure, I backed down from the artichokes but that was the plan all along. While I was delaying their assault Veggie was getting the real attack ready to go but little did we know about The Vining Menace.