You can always tell when you have entered a party attended entirely or almost exclusively by cartoon characters, such as myself and my colleagues happen to be. You will normally find most of us drunk and/or stoned by the time the first hour of the event has taken place, and debauchery is soon to follow for the ones who have relatively looser morals in comparison to the others. Fortunately, that is not true of all of us. I myself am not one of those, but that’s neither here nor there for the moment.
In any event, the Cartoon Republican Army, of whom I am a founding member, was having a vibrant, if clandestine, meeting to celebrate the calendar change over. A paramilitary organization fighting against the government, like the CRA is doing right now, can’t afford to compromise itself or its public image, regardless of what our more raucous membership seems to think. And, as the sole officer holding the rank of General , it would be my task to remind them as calmly and politely as I could of our mandate and role, though I was also charged with another, less savory task, of which I will outline now.
I came to the platform, having to stand on an orange crate in order to reach it, and tapped the microphone with vigor, creating feedback, which is the only way we can reach much of the rowdier group involved in our gathering. Silence having been gained, I adjusted the red arm band on my left arm so it was parallel to my orange dress and began to speak.
“Fellow CRA officers,” I said calmly and tersely, “this has been a difficult year for us, owing to the difficult losses we have sustained against the humans…”
“Woo!” one of the drunken rowdies interrupted me. “In your face, humans!”
I ignored the interruption and continued.
“…but let us not be deterred by their determined attempts to deny us our stalwart claims towards gaining personhood. Fictional characters we may be, and different in appearance from human beings most of us may be as well, but we will not allow them to deny us our birthrights!”
A loud cheer broke out. It took several minutes to conclude, and then I spoke again.
“To that end,” I said, beginning to grit my teeth, “we have, much against my protests, engaged in an act of terrorism to gain the attention of the American populace to our concerns. A bomb attached to the silver ball which drops to the ground every year at Times Square is set to go off at midnight, and…”
Before I could say anything else, there was the call that ten seconds to midnight was due. We counted down, the ball dropped and the bomb went off. And, while my associates cheered, I worried profoundly what this criminal act would do for the future of the CRA…
David Perlmutter is a freelance writer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The holder of an MA degree from the Universities of Manitoba and Winnipeg, and a lifelong animation fan, he has published short fiction in a variety of genres for various magazines and anthologies, as well as essays on his favorite topics for similar publishers. He is the author of the upcoming book America Toons In: A History of Television Animation (McFarland and Co.) and of the currently available The Singular Adventures Of Jefferson Ball (Chupa Cabra Press).