Thoughts on the Apocalypse: Blogs on a Stronger Tomorrow

Apocalypse: from the Ancient Greek/a disclosure of knowledge, a lifting of the veil or revelation. A disclosure of something hidden.   ...the Free Dictionary

In the Beginning


Terrifying dreams are nothing new for me but in the past few weeks sound, restful sleep has been elusive, to say the least. Normally, I experience only garden variety nightmares with the dark figure of an old hag creeping into my bedroom in the dead of night to sit on my chest like a giant black cormorant drying its wings. She fixes me with her eyes of death and squeezes every last breath of oxygen from my lungs. Eventually I am able to break the spell with wild screams that unsettle the entire household. The old hag plagued my father. After he passed away, the old hag set its sights on me.

But the old hag has been displaced. That's the bad news. My newest dead-of-night visitor is a formless thing with a smarmy manner, sincere teary eyes, and a mouth that expels words without movement of its lips. "Pillage and Rape," it screams as it wraps its pudgy pharmaceutical fingers around my neck like it is wringing out a wet dish-cloth. Another figure, on a pale horse, shouts, "Pillage and Plunder, Duhwite, for God's sake get it right. PILLAGE and PLUNDER!" 

"I'm sorry, Catherine," said the formless thing. "I didn't practice my soundbite."

The pale rider addressed me directly as I lay paralysed under the sheets. "We got your number, buddy. You're going to pay. Big time!"

"It's for a brighter tomorrow," said Duhwite.

Other voices broke into the nightmare as I woke up in a cold sweat. My radio is auto-programmed to get me up at six. A discussion on the impact of the cutbacks is in progress. The reporter on the Peoples' Network is interviewing a Mr. Diamond, CEO of the health board in the city. The CEO drips sincerity as he responds to a question. They are talking about food services at St. John's hospitals--a topic that immediately piques my interest.

"We are closing down the central kitchen at Pippy Place," said Mr. Diamond, "in favour of a 'cuisine centre', all the staff will be redeployed. Patients will be able to place an order for a meal, much the same as they would at a restaurant. These orders are transmitted to a central 'cuisine centre' where meals are made from frozen food and sent back. Microwave technology is then used to heat the meals."

Sounds suspiciously like frozen microwave dinners at Wal-Mart, I thought.

"Fresh food, cooked to perfection," said the CEO. "Ensuring all the taste and all the vitality, and delivering high quality, fresh and nutritious meals."

I found myself drooling as the soothing words eased me back into a deep slumber. I was in a bed at the Health Sciences Centre, whimpering in pain as I spotted someone looking my way. The CEO, dressed in a long white coat and green scrubs, introduced himself. "Good morning, Mr. Colbourne. I am your Maitre d' for the morning repas." He handed me the brightly decorated menu. "A Tapestry of Bologna," read the title on the front.


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