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2009-04-06 3:49 PM
Travelin Detroit Salt Mines
Those Wanderin' Detroit Salt Mines
The other night I was just falling asleep when I heard a muffled sound coming from below my house.
"Well," I thought, "so, who would be surprised at a sound being muffled when listening to a pillow?"
So, I lay there very quietly, muffling my breath, as it were, when it became relatively clear to me that there was something going on below me, very very deep down below, indeed.
I crept from my sleeping chamber (that's what you have, isn't it? a sleeping chamber?) and tiptoed down the steps to my poured concrete basement.
Now in Michigan we have salt mines beneath the City of Detroit and they say the mines go both deep and wide. It seems that the moisture from the Detroit River, or St. Claire, I guess, it's called up above Detroit, is what feeds the mines. It's also whispered that the mines have passed the suburbs and I wouldn't be surprised one little bit if they have managed to dig way the hell out thisaway, here in Mid Michigan, below the ground in East Lansing.
I wouldn’t even be surprised if they bump right dang into the steam tunnels below Michigan State University. That would really be something, wouldn’t it? Watching a half time show of the Michigan / Michigan State yearly rival melee in Spartan Stadium on tv and woops, up pops a steam tunnel and several half tons of salt? Flying up onto the turf?
Something else, indeed.
But, No! It sounded like a tink here and a tonk there, more like somebody banging around on some empty barrels or something down there, and I could hear someone shouting (it was muffled by the ground and the 6 or eight inches of concrete of my floor, but yes, there it was again, the sound of someone saying hoarsely as they shouted over the sound of an engine…maybe it was an electric engine…
“…back it up over there!”
I mumbled under my breath. “By god, there’s somebody down there! There’s lots of em!”
So, I ran up the stairs and grabbed the telephone.
But? Who to call?
The police? (On account of the noise happening after bedtime, when people aren't supposed to be so noisy?)
The Department of Land Use? (On account of they might know who has work permits near you to do tinking and tonking and banging about?)
As it happened, just as I picked up the telephone, there came a knock, knock, blam and tinkle at the door. I reached for my trusty riding crop, the one I always keep by the door in case of necessity or for horseback riding, whichever comes first, and then opened the door.
I don't mind telling you it's not easy to open a heavy wooden front door when one has a wireless telephone receiver in one hand and a riding crop in the other, especially when wearing bunny footed jammies that catch on the quarry tile in the foyer...plus having to hit the light switch...
but when the porch light trained down on the knocker-blammer- tinkler I wanted to rub my eyes with disbelief!
Right there before me was the neighborhood witchdoctor in full regalia.
Full regalia includes a bone in the nose, and this one looked like it was from either a big pork chop or a small t-bone steak, I had to look closer to see, but when I leaned forward he grabbed me by the scruff of my neck (I didn't even know I had one) and dragged me out to a waiting yellow cab!
Why, I was in quite a state I can tell you, already- - but there behind the wheel was a tall lanky dark-skinned cowboy with very frizzy hair and an exceedingly deep frown on his face.
Before I could say "How d'you do?" the cab took off with a peel of rubber that left a mark on the street out front of my house at least six foot long...though no one could see it very well because my street is paved with asphalt, as luck would have it, so I had no proof of my abduction for detectives to follow and decipher.
You'll never believe where they took me.
>Homeland security. Why, all those stolen jets and tank trucks could be stored >RIGHT UNDER YOUR HOUSE, Barbara. > >Karen > >
Luckily, I had my teeny tiny lap top in my pocket, Karen, otherwise I would not have received your cautionary suggestion. By the looks of the neighborhood witch doctor and his dark-skinned cowboy taxi driver we were in for quite a night.
The cowboy (named Tiny Tim, wouldn't you know? ...must be something to do with the fact he's a good 7 foot two if he's an inch) says, as he tears down the interstate to a back road behind a little known rest stop near Kensington Lake not too far from South Lyon, loudly, he says we'll be on time if he can just keep the "fuzz off our tail" (what me? first a scruff, now a tail? and a potentially fuzzy one, at that!?). On time? On time for what!?
Message 1 of 2
Subject: Re: sinister sub-plot
Date: 8/11/2004 11:13 AM Eastern Daylight Time
>> You'll never believe where they took me.
>Oh, but I will. Spill the beans. Tell the story.
This missive is being smuggled out by underground allies. Let me know if you are receiving.
Message 2 of 2
Subject: Re: sinister sub-plot
Date: 8/11/2004 11:20 AM Eastern Daylight Time
>This missive is being smuggled out by underground allies. Let me know if you
roger, wilko, ten forty good buddy, over and out
The country we carry in our hearts is waiting.
Message 1 of 1 Subject 1 of 3
Subject: smuggled missives
Date: 8/12/2004 4:20 AM Eastern Daylight Time
It's come back to me (just this morning) that there are turncoats among my smugglers, as if that were not bad enough news, there are others who are taking each and every one of my straightforward messages and trying to decipher code words and lo and behold they are finding and deciphering them!
Ouch! I bet you didn't know that decipherment hurts the erzatz cipherer! I'm sure I had no idea. Not that I intended to say anything besides the straight messages in the first place (most of which were queries and small quiet shouts into the cavernous spaces I have been amazingly able to be privy to) but...as it happens I seem to be in some kind of partial communication with certain entities who refuse to reveal their origins or their purposes. Needless to say I am working double time to bring them all into the light. All of them, their assistants, relatives, cousins and hirelings.
They are the ones, I am told, who have been burrowing under my house. God knows what they are trying to either find or to hide. See, my smugglers tell me there are several small splinter groups in my own cadres who are looking into the splinters that are being found which are the true tip off as to the whereabouts of these extra entities.
They say that some of these may even be extra terrestrials, like crashers at a wedding, or uninvited and odd drop-ins at a dinner party. Why, it makes no sense. What are they doing underground? Why not just slip in amongst us and go about their questionable enterprises?
Hmmm. I wonder.
Maybe they are! Mayhaps they are also amongst us going about their questionable enterprises. Hmm. It may put internet trolls in an entirely new light. Hopefully gaslight, I say.
It goes without saying, meanwhile, that I am getting very little sleep of late, and of early, too.
Those who would assist me in my investigations into the subterrianianianian goings on seem to be partial to cell phone usage and they never tire of calling me up and regaling me with news of the latest splinters found as well as the directions the paths of the entities seem to be taking. They seem to have spread out.
More later. Shhhh.
Aha! Here's the scoop. They are building strip malls down below!
It's to be a shopping haven for the extra terrestrials, you know, boutiques for the ever burgeoning supply of children of them who are green --- maybe gals from the moon and men from mars. The first place scheduled to open in the Salty Cavern Mall and Strange New Stuff Shopping Center is a cinema complex they even have their own currency. Their coins are made of chocolate and their dollars are rolled, sliced and tucked recycled aluminum soda pop cans...which explains that whole industry's raison d'etre and stuff.
I have an appointment with the head honchos late tonight in an undisclosed location, I am to bring popcorn and plenty of butter, they say they will supply the salt.
Well, as to appointments in undisclosed locations, the reality is I am still in the clutches of the cowboy and the medicine man (he of the pork chop nose bone) so, ok. It seems that we got there just in time, after all. The ship heaved in the harbor, there were gale force winds expected. I am wearing a slightly damp and mouldy canvas straight jacket, complete with cinches that look like second hand dog leashes which they used to lash me up to the mast of the ship, where I have retched and groaned all night as the ship stole out of the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay at Elk Harbor.
The ship crept sloshily across the bay and accounts differ as to our ultimate destination, some say we're bound for Escanaba due west and a bit north, tucked up between Big Bay De Noc at the northernmost end of Green Bay (they said they knew a couple of the Packers, but I thought I detected a blowhard quality to their voices, though that may have been due to the high winds).
Others say we'll be passing under the Mackinac Bridge that separates Lakes Michigan and Huron, sisters to Lake Superior where the Edmund Fitzgerald went down deep in an also deep November night in 1975...you know, in the waters where "...the minutes turned to hours..." and about 17 miles from the mouth of the great Whitefish Bay... yes and the white caps chop about us in the moonlight as we have breached the span of the Mackinac Bridge 300 feet above the waters. The currents here are treacherous and ours would not be the first ship to crack asunder in a storm if the tides take a liking to the taste of it.
It was not until we shiver our worst though, as the fog hangs like a slimy shroud all about us that I learned that, not unlike the old broken Edmund Fitzgerald, we're bound for Detroit where the Ed Fitz had been going to deliver a load of over twenty-six tons of taconite pellets...and what are we supposed to deliver? No one said. Tied to the mast by befogged moonlight with foam dripping from my face I stopped asking questions after earning nothing but pointed barbs and nasty looks by the crew...
Well, I tell ya. Morning came creepin in like a milk snake, orange with white stripes; gleams of sunrise on the eastern horizon of Lake Huron. The new day came a'bubbling and a'simmering in muskelunge juice. Yes, it came so dawning, you might even say it overdawned. But I don’t care I'm just glad to be alive.
Glad enough for my life that even though lashed to the mast of the huge, groaning diesel-engined leaky mass of a Monster Ship that I hardly gasp too much. Not even when I learned that the Medicine Man who had abducted me along with his Dark-skinned Cabbie Cowboy so inappropriately named Tiny Tim. That Medicine man was was none other than the captain of this ship, Captain Mayday Morgan.
“Captain! My captain!” I have shouted around the red kerchief they have tied around my face. " Why are you keeping me lashed to this mast? And when’s breakfast, by the way? “ And where are we going with all those taconite pellets? Are we bound for China? Is it true they’re going to the Chinese? And if so, Why? China already has all our scrap steel!”
But only a yawning silence hangs in answer to my admittedly semi-gurgled pleas for information. My stomach began to grumle and gleep. It seems I would be forced to languish on at the mast so very much against my will.
We've come a long taxi ride away and a rough boat trip from the secretly planned strip mall undergoing construction below my home only just yesterday.
Sleeplessness at home was a far cry from the misery I'm feeling at the mast at the moment. Who knew that the salt mines had threaded their way all the miles below ground to East Lansing in Mid Michigan beginning at the salt caverns located mostly below Detroit and Melvindale, Michigan.
Here I am, on a ship in the midst of storm swaddled Lake Michigan, suddenly I hear a siren-like noise which seems to erupt from the guts of the great lake itself as the ship shudders mightily.
Oil spluttered up from below like someone had struck it rich down in the galley. I have strained against my now oil-soaked ropes, the fountain of oil surging into my eyes and up my nose. Writhing in fear, one of my hands came undone from the loops around the mast and as I scratched at the kerchief around my mouth and neck the other hand slipped loose. "Help" I shrieked hoarsely. "Someone, help me!" I drop to my knees so to untie the restraints around my ankles.
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