Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Man From Branford (cont.)

August 4th, 2007

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Alt-Historical Continuation: this continues the Man from Branford story that we began a couple of days ago. If you would like to see more of a particular story, email us. Also send us email with alternate birthdays for me, (August 14, 1965), and Steve, (November 22, 1967), for our birthday contest!

We checked the man into a hospital once we got into Austin, and I spoke with the doctor in charge at the ER. “He's delusional, possibly from the injuries, but it's also possible that his delusions are what put him out on the road. Do you think the burns he's suffered are from exposure?”
The surgeon shook his head. “No, they seem to be some kind of chemical burns, and they're all over him, including under his skin. It's very odd.”
“It was odder seeing him on the highway. I'm used to strange things here in Austin, but this...”
The surgeon smiled. “Thanks for bringing him in.” He extended his hand to shake mine, and I felt a little reluctance letting responsibility for this patient go. I looked over at Francine, and she was obviously impatient to get back to our long weekend. We had done our good deed, and now the man was in the hands of people who could help him.
I shook the doctor's hand and said, “If you need any psychiatric help, here's my card.” I took out my wallet and handed him my card.
He took it, but not with any real enthusiasm. “We have psychiatric staff, of course.”
“Of course, of course, I understand.” Francine was standing now, my cue to leave. “Good luck, doctor.” I walked over to her and put my arm around her shoulder.
“Couldn't let go of the patient, could you?” She was half-accusing, half-laughing at me as we walked back into the warm Austin sunlight.
I kissed her on the cheek and we steered towards our car. “Strange cases like that are what they make books out of, dear. Now, some staff psychiatrist here gets to make a movie of the week.”
“That's all right,” she said, squeezing my hand where it draped over her shoulder. “I'd never see you if you were working on a book in addition to your regular case load.” She jabbed me in the ribs. “And, I hear those Hollywood starlets can't resist their doctors.”
“That's right,” I said, feeling my mood lighten up. “Let me back in there!” I turned part of the way back and she yanked me toward her to plant a big kiss on my lips.
We spent the rest of the day as we had planned – light lunch from the health-food store, a romantic walk around Zilker Park, some secluded time in a dark nook – it was delightful and invigorating. But, the entire time we were there, a small portion of my mind kept thinking about Mr. Johnson from Branford, and on the drive to our hotel, I asked Francine if we could stop by the hospital and check on his condition.
She sighed at my preoccupation. “Still thinking of those starlets, eh?”
“There's only one starlet in my life,” I said, winking at her.
She smiled and relented. “All right. But, let's not stay too long, OK?”
“Of course not, dear.” I didn't realize how badly I was lying then.

So you resigned yourself to failure, my friend
And I emerged the chilling stranger, my friend
To eradicate the problem, my friend
Unsheathe the blade within the voice
MarillionI am the assassin
I am the assassin
And what do you call assassins who accuse assassins anyway, my friend?

~ Lyrics to Assassing - Click to Watch Sample
Wikipedia entry for Jimmy Hoffa's hit by the mob ~

In 2003, the FBI searched the backyard of a home in Hampton Township, Michigan formerly frequented by Frank Sheeran, Second World War veteran, Mafia hitman, truck driver, Teamsters official and close friend of Hoffa. Nothing significant was found.

In 2004, Charles Brandt, a former prosecutor and Chief Deputy Attorney General of Delaware, published the book I Heard You Paint Houses. The title is based on a euphemistic exchange apparently used by hitmen and their would-be employers. "I heard you paint houses." "Yes, and I do my own carpentry, too." House painting alludes to the splatter of blood on walls, and "doing my own carpentry" to the task of disposing of the body.

Brandt recounted a series of confessions by Sheeran regarding Hoffa's murder, and claimed that Sheeran had begun contacting him because he wished to assuage feelings of guilt. Over the course of several years, he spoke many times by phone to Brandt (which Brandt recorded) during which he acknowledged his role as Hoffa's killer, acting on orders from the Mafia. He claimed to have used his friendship with Hoffa to lure him to a bogus meeting in Bloomfield Hills and drive him to a house in northwestern Detroit, where he shot him twice before fleeing and leaving Hoffa's body behind. An updated version of Brandt's book claims that Hoffa's body was cremated within an hour of Sheeran's departure.

Trouble was Brant was told that Sheeran received orders from the Mafia by telephone. This was only partially correct. Both the mob and the White House had organize the execution, and naturally they had turned to their trusted allies, the Tralfamadorians. Kurt Vonngeut had described likened the aliens to Plumber's friends. Which was a good call. E. Howard Hunt and the White House team of Plumbers had forged a winning partnership with these fourth-dimensional beings.

The lyrics are available at at Official Marillion Web Site
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

Love is a danger of a different kind
To take you away and leave you far behind
And love love love is a dangerous drug
You have to receive it and you still can't get enough of the stuff
It's savage and it's cruel
And it shines like destruction
Comes in like the flood
EurythmicsAnd it seems like religion
It's noble and it's brutal
It distorts and deranges
And it wrenches you up
And you're left like a zombie

~ Lyrics to “Love is a Stranger” - Click to Play Sample
British Musical Duo
In 1980, the founders of Eurythmics Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox retreated to Chalk Farm in London, using a bank loan to set up a tiny 8-track studio above a picture framing factory, giving them freedom to record without having to pay expensive studio fees.

They began to employ much more electronics in their music, collaborating with Raynard Faulkner and Adam Williams. They continued to record many tracks and play live using various line-up permutations. However, the three singles RCA released for them that year ("This is the House," "The Walk," and "Love Is a Stranger") all flopped on release in the UK.

The band's state of affairs became critical — although their mode of operation had given them the creative freedom they desired, commercial success eluded them, and the responsibility of running so many of their affairs personally (down to roadying their own equipment) was exhausting. Lennox suffered at least one nervous breakdown during this period, while Stewart was hospitalized with a collapsed lung. The Eurythmics were finished and so was the duos relationship - Lennox and Stewart decided to discontinue their romantic liaison which had created the magic between the two. The lyrics are available at at Stllyrics
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 1991, S.M. Stirling published The Charge of Lee's Brigade. The American colonies never broke away from the British Empire, its 1854 and Robert E. Lee leads a Virginian brigade in the Crimean War.

Since 1832 Viceroy's Commissions in the forces of British North America had been theoretically equal to the Queen's commissions in the British Army proper. “Old School” Commander Lord Cardigan seemingly had not heard this news having a vocal contempt for all colonials. Sent into the Valley of Death, the four regiments of American cavalry were decimated by Russian artillery, witnessed by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

So moving was the senseless slaughter, and angered by the use of the colonials as sub-human cannon fodder, Tennyson penned the immortal lines Theirs not to reason why / Theirs but to do and die.

The poem became a freedom rallying cry in the southern states. For the first time in almost a century, independence was talked about openly. The decision was free Americans, or sub-human colonials, and really, it was a no brainer that was settled very quickly. Within five years, Lee was sworn in as Confederate President in Richmond, whilst the Northern states remained within the Empire. Triangulation pressures emerged as one of the many causes of the War of the States that broke out in Lee's second term...

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 2009, the TV networks presented episode twenty four of So What If?. After defeating Washington, Lord Cornwallis struggles to put the American Revolutionary genie back in the bottle.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

QueenIn 1983, the drummer of the band Queen Roger Taylor said "Let's give them the works!". The result was the recording of eleventh studio album, "The Works" at the Record Plant, Los Angeles, California and Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany. Marking a partial return to their rock roots, with a much lighter approach the album also had the heaviest electronics amongst all group albums. Quite simply an awesome piece of musical genius, "The Works" was yet another milestone in Queen's forty year dominance of the music business.
~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1935, Officer John Bruce of the Tank Corps Regiment revealed that Text II of the "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" was far from "substantially complete and accurate" as Colonel TE Lawrence had falsely claimed. Text I was a sincere record of Lawrence's capture at Deraa in November 1917, yet Lawrence lied, saying that it had been mislaid or stolen whilst changing trains at Reading Station in November 1919.
Clouds Hill CottageBruce revealed that after Deraa, Lawrence had suffered such terrible nightmares that he had ripped five pages from his war diary in shame. That had not worked either, and then he had turned to John Bruce to suppress the darkness within him, to expidate the disastrous loss of integrity he had suffered that dreadful night.
Lawrence's Woodland Retreat
John Bruce helped Lawrence to suppress the darkness, but it took him ten years.

~ entry by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

Elimina Castle
Elimina Castle
In 1482, the sun set at St. George El Mina Castle on the Gulf of Guinea. The long night of six hundred years was about to begin for the child Kwame.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1931, little known counter-historian Winston S Churchill combined fiction and fact in his publication “If Lee Had Won The Battle Of Gettysburg” and indulged in the quaint conceit of imagining what would have happened if some important or .. Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
.. unimportant event had settled itself differently. In Churchill's far-fetched world, the Union and not the Confederacy wins the War of the States and the world is much changed. Using a clever coda technique, Churchill finishes the story with an alternative version of his American mother's upbringing in a victorious United States of America with the story being dictated in 10 Downing Street.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1917, Tsar Nicholas II and the magician Grigory Rasputin were locked in a truly Faustian bargain. Rasputin was sleeping with the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna at the Elysees regencia hotel during the Paris Peace Conference. From the same august location, he was also sparing the precious life of Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich ..
.. of Russia from a terminal blood-related condition known only to the Russian Royal Household. Blood Sucking vampirism.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1991, Kim Stanley Robinson published his masterful short story Lucky Strike posing the question What if the Enola Gay crashed on a practice flight? The "Lucky Strike" is selected to bomb Hiroshima, .. Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson
.. but its bombardier is a sadist excited by the power of the atomic bomb. He diverts the plan to Tokyo, creating an even more horrific human catastrophe.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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