Greetings from the Ridge.
Herb and I are always looking for a new adventure, an excursion to some place we've never been and although I've usually got to do most of the planning, this time Herb himself was the inspiration for our trip. "Herb! I have chosen our destination! It's a place you've been talking about for two years but we've never actually visited!" Herb selected an expression from his vast catalog of dumbfounded looks and I laid it on him. "Honey, we're going to The Deep State!"
Ever since the last presidential election Herb and his ilk have proclaimed the existence of The Deep State, a nefarious underground organization of liberals in government and the media who secretly controls everything from who runs for office to the price supports for cabbage farmers. These Deep Staters are supposedly all around us, but like Buffalo gnats we aren't aware of their presence until they sting us.
Herb was stunned. This is not an unusual state of mind for him, but this time he was truly flummoxed. "We're–uh–I mean, where are we gonna find it?" I told him that according to the news networks that he watches, The Deep State is everywhere so it shouldn't be hard to locate. Sure enough, when I Googled it I found the place marked Deep State so I packed a couple days' worth of underwear and denture cleanser and off we took into the wild blue conspiracy.
Turns out the local office of The Deep State was just a short drive from our house and it was easy to find with the sign, "You are now entering The Deep State" in deep blue neon–flashing–in bold print. Herb said, "I had no idea it was this easy to find." I reminded him that those who talk about the Deep State all the time claim that it's everywhere and omnipresent so it was no trick to discover its whereabouts. "This is the place, Herb. The place where all the dark liberal plots are hatched–you know, the real seat of government." And our investigation was made even easier when we saw the notice, "Guided Tours Given Every Hour."
It was just our luck that the next tour was about to depart so Herbie and I climbed onto the little Dark State Trolley as our guide picked up his microphone. "Welcome aboard, folks! I'm Donnie! I'll be your tour guide through the deepest secrets of the Deep State. Any questions, feel free to shout them out." We'd not gone but maybe a hundred yards when Donnie pulled to the curb and pointed to a glass-walled building on our right. "This is the department of elections. They're the folks who determine who'll get the most votes in all 50 states. You can vote all you like, but the Deep State makes the decisions. Is that just grand or what?"
The guide told us that we had so many stops to make that we wouldn't have time to get out and take pictures. "The Deep State is really deep," he said as he let out the clutch and Mr. Trolley trollied onward. "Now look at the tall building on your left!" I peered out from the trolley's little blue canopy and spotted a 12-story building with thousands of wires coming from each floor. "This is our legislative tower," he said. "In this tower we have a direct line from the Deep State to every progressive legislator in every state and Washington. Then the yellow lines are connected to the pentagon, the silver to the FBI, the red to the CIA, as every branch of government gets its orders from this one building. We cover the world. Sort of like Walmart." I was totally impressed and Herb's upper plate dropped into his lap.
"I'll have to slow down a bit now," he said. "We're driving over an underground bunker. It's the Dark State Media Cave, the place where we control most of the mainstream media. Just one word from deep inside the cavern and we can tell every network, newspaper, and website what to say. Is that efficiency or what?" The he grinned, "We have every sort of media critter under our control–that is except for the Fox."
Then just as we turned a corner we came face to face with a huge round globe resembling the Epcot Center. "Is that supposed to be the Earth?" I asked. "You mean the Dark State goes to other countries, too?" Donnie gave me what I thought was a bit of a condescending grin and said, "Ma'am, we control the entire planet. This is our international headquarters."
The tour was nearing its end and I couldn't help myself, I had to ask. "Uh–excuse me, but why in the history of the world hasn't even a shred of proof been found of the Dark State's existence?" Our guide looked at me, checked his watch, and said, "I hope you've enjoyed your tour. Now hang onto your seats. We're going through a swamp."
You ever in Coonridge, stop by. We may not answer the door but you'll enjoy the trip.
In real life, Freida Marie Crump is Ken Bradbury, retired teacher, author, musician and playwright who hangs out in Arenzville.