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The Calivigs

It’s that time of the month again. Vigil candles are flying off the shelves all over America. If you haven’t bought up stock in the American vigil candle industry, you don’t know anything about investing.

Every time there’s a mass shooting(which is multiple times every month now), Americans love to congregate in front of churches and sit around with sagging faces and stare down with glazed, unseeing eyes at the candles in their hands. ‘Why oh why do ‘they’ hate us so?’ the expressions in their faces seem to cry out, in despair.

America – the home of the evangelical progeny of ultra-orthodox Christian puritan settlers who thought they had charted every pimple on their messiah’s ass. Despair, because they always thought they were the chosen ones, until they were mowed down by one of their own.

Invest in the Media stocks too. Mass murder is media goldmine. They might bleat appropriate, politically correct cliché-laden commentary, but make no mistake about it – the news networks salivate at mass murder.

While you are at it, don’t forget to invest in those ‘think-tanks’. A think tank is a typically American money machine that sucks in retired bureaucrats and college professors by the dozens – folks who love to hear the sounds of their own voices. After every mass shooting, they come out of the woodwork and let out enough hot air to fuel a zeppelin boom.

Me, I am thinking of starting a whole new industry segment altogether – the ‘moment’s silence’ industry. I will have lobbyists get legislation passed so that observing a moment’s silence after mass shootouts shall no longer be free. That silent moment will henceforth have to be purchased from a government authorized single-source outlet (me). If there is a shooting anywhere in America and you wish to observe a moment’s silence, it shall become mandatory for you to buy it from my company, ShutUpaMinute Inc.

This is America. You have to grab an opportunity when you see it, no?

And don’t bother kissing your dear ones goodbye every morning, before you leave for work. Chances are they’ll be heavier by the time you see them next – with all that metal in them.

Vigil candles aren’t like ordinary candles. They are made of sterner stuff. They are ingeniously designed not to go off easy, staying aflame even in howling cemetery winds and chill town square vigils and concert stadium vigils. They will be on even when the windbag pastor blows hard, on how your loved ones are right now ‘in the heavenly kingdom of God’. Your hat might blow off but your vigil candle won’t.

But don’t be mad at the gun makers. They are just honoring what America’s ‘phounding phathers’ have set in stone – the right to bear arms. They are doing business in a nation of ‘god-phearing’ pholks with a literacy rate of 99% plus. Surely, they know what they are doing.

And those folks just happen to love carrying guns. They love to go on living  in the days of the wild west even if all the injuns are now safely cooped up inside reservations.

Americans love the thud of rounds slamming into themselves, the spreading numbness, the sparkling bright tunnel and the light in the end. Otherwise they would be holding referendums to ban carrying guns, wouldn’t they? They would be kicking out those redneck puppy dog politicians who grovel At the feet of the NRA, would they not?

In the aftermath of the shooting at the Las Vegas Strip, this was the immediate reaction from the shooter, Stephen Paddock’s family….

His brother, Eric Paddock, wept as he reacted to the news. “We have no idea how this happened. It’s like an asteroid just fell on top of our family. There is no reason we can imagine why Stephen would do something like this. All we can do is send our condolences to the people who died. Just no reason, no warning.”

There never is any warning, is there? Hey, it is okay, trust me. Americans are simply getting what has always been coming to them. This here god-fearing, shoot-out country is made up of gun-toting kooks who have parents and neighbors that invariably had no inkling that this ‘thing’ was going to happen, because ‘Bobby/Fred/Tim/Burt (and now, Stephen) was always such a quiet, respectful man, loving husband and father who couldn’t hurt a fly.’

If you are a pathological candle-lit vigiler, you are a part of a new demographic that is growing rapidly, trying desperately to keep pace with the runaway growth of the fire-arm industry.  You have already begun organizing yourselves into a movement and you have decided to call yourselves ‘The Calivigs’ (CAndle LIt VIGilist). You love candles and you love sitting around clutching each other tightly with glum, dumb-struck, tear-streaked faces.

Besides vigil candles, there is the burgeoning flower industry that feeds into it. If the massacre happens in a blue collar borough, the hyacinth and the lily outlets will be booming. Lower-end white collar row houses and condos will see the rose and chrysanthemum guys having a ball. Gated exclusive neighborhoods with lawns and mansions will have orchid and gardenia  merchants laughing all the way to the bank.

Offended? You have no reason to be. Body-bag makers have been making a killing ever since the ‘war on terror’ began. This is America, where everything has to be larger-than-life and everything has a dollar value attached to it. And a mourning dollar is a recession-free dollar.

Back in the days, massacres were massacres. You had dramatic drive-bys and serial shooters on top of university towers with peanut butter sandwiches and coffee and radio blasting Kris Kristofferson, to sustain them while they went about the difficult task of gaining attention.

But this time? Just 17 dead. The Glock and Colt CEOs are in a huddle as I write. They had established a benchmark of 100 as being a decent month, though they figured they could ‘break even’ and be happy at maybe 60 a month on an average.

Oh, I forgot to tell you why the NRA is keeping a low profile. After Charlton Heston’s death, they are still looking for a guy with a reassuringly booming baritone like his, who will thunder over the airwaves, “You shall have to pry the gun loose from my cold dead hands!!!”

Quintus Arius should never have ordered Ben Hur’s chains undone.