I met an old sea dog, name of Quig. I saw him from my window,
approaching the Seaside Inn. He had a patch over one eye, a peg
leg, and a large parrot was perched on his right shoulder. He
entered the inn and called loudly for some ale. I shuddered as
he approached my table.
Says Quig: China White in Montana? It's bogus, matey.
Says I: How so?
He sat himself down.
Says Quig: It's thievery. I had that story first, in Arizona.
Black Dog Paulsen stole my story, and put it in Montana.
Says I: What about this Paulsen?
Says Quig: I know this guy so well. I was the editor of
Grapevine. I published 60 articles. Black Dog *never* published
anything. He's put his name on things that Fletcher Prouty
wrote. And people wanted to believe that he's some kind of
scholar. But there's nothing there.
Quig's parrot kept squawking, "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!"
Says I: People have been wondering what happened to the Free
Speech web site. And understandably, they're worried. Because
they think maybe something bad happened to Ron Paulsen.
Says Quig: The Grapevine newspaper was set up by the core of the
newsletter editors for the Mensa society of greater Phoenix.
They wanted to benefit the homeless people of Phoenix. And I
became their editor. We published 60,000 papers per week and it
put $40,000 per week into the hands of the desperately needy
Ron Paulsen was homeless when he was taken in to operate the
computer. And the computer had all my work in it. And Ron was
getting an agency fee and he posted my stuff on the Internet.
And he, unknown to the publisher of the Grapevine, registered
their domain names in his name. And he did the same thing with
Ron found this kid who borrowed $2600 from his mother's
boyfriend to buy the computer where all my work was. And with
that, they said, "Oh now *we* own the newspaper. *We* own the
web site." And he's got the domain name registered in his name.
Quig quenched his ale, then diverted into a dark tale of Vince
Foster being a strong stand-up guy behind "Lefty" Bill Clinton
and how Foster had been eliminated by somebody who wanted to
weaken Clinton's hand, "somebody that was already controlling
The comely lass of a barmaid brought Quig fresh ale. He grabbed
out at her, trying to steal a kiss, but she evaded his grasp.
Quig went on. He hinted that Contras had infiltrated the
militias and that the whole movement was not as it seemed. He
then claimed that an inexperienced Paulsen had been taken in by
CIA-linked sharpsters peddling wild tales to gullible neophytes.
I cut in, breaking Quig's rambling account.
Says I: But what happened with Paulsen then? He just suddenly
Says Quig: He ran out of money. He didn't pay his bills. He's
now a homeless and penniless drunk, on the street.
Says I: I'll just give people the gist. I don't want to take
There was fire in Quig's eyes as he boomed out, "I am just
absolutely amazed at how many people have to be morally neutral.
Can't you make a fu**ing decision!?"
Says I: I'd have to hear Black Dog Paulsen's side of the story.
Says Quig: There *aren't* two sides to this.
Says I: I'm not gonna take sides.
Quig looked ominous as he suddenly rose. Before I knew it, he
had grasped my hand and held it tight. Says Quig: Yeah well you
know what? Dante says the hottest places in Hell are reserved
for those who remain neutral in a moral crisis.
With that, he shuffled off, into the twilight. I ordered fresh
ale. After quaffing the brew, I was horrified to notice
something on the palm of my hand -- THE BLACK SPOT!!
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