They stopped off for lunch at a roadside mall. They’d passed scores of them since their journey began, hours earlier. Each mall was identical, featuring a McDonald’s, Subway, Popeye’s, with a sprinkle of Taco Bell. The crowd wasn’t too large, so they sat down and enjoyed their sandwiches. A TV nearby was set to a news channel. They watched a report of how Check had been bombed by Tiddly in response to a terrorist attack perpetrated by the insomniac militias of Iwalk and Isleep. The Check monarchy (known as the First Mate, or Mate for short) was calling for UZI (United Zones International) condemnation and sanctions against Tiddly. Tiddly’s Prime Minister, with one eye perpetually closed, decried the violence and pledged an investigation into how someone could steal their army uniforms and missiles. He denied all allegations and demanded an apology from Check’s Mate.
They spent the first half hour following lunch on an intercity highway. It passed the same as the previous hours, but then they reached the exit for Unsome.
“Remember to buckle your seat belt” said Flu as they entered the exit lane.
“Thanks. I have it on” said Obi as they decelerated to 15 miles per hour, exactly as the sign instructed.
“Do you think all those stories of Unsome are true?”
“That they are sticklers for rules and will arrest anyone, including the King’s best friend, for minor offenses?”
“Yes. I heard that also. Do you think it’s true?”
“I doubt it. I’m sure the famous poem is only propaganda.”
“It’s a poem?”
“Yes, we learned it in social studies class. I’ll tell it to you.”
Obi recited the famous poem of Unsome as they pulled off the highway and road the exit into Unsome.
I was sitting in the mud,
Waiting for that moment to come,
When I could join my friends,
In the land of Unsome.
I was exiled many years ago,
And now the years drag by so slow.
I was caught and tried,
For by the rules, I did not abide.
Life, the sentence would stand,
Yes, I would be totally banned,
From the land of Unsome.
From official to official I begged,
Please make the punishment end,
The answer was “nay”, I would have to stay,
With no hope for me to return,
To the land of Unsome.
Money was given as a bribe,
To erase my terrible crime,
But to no avail, my home was my jail,
And no way for me to return,
To the land of Unsome.
One day my friend became King!
My heart began to sing.
Now I’d return, to the land that I yearn,
The land of Unsome.
My friend said, “Sorry, no dice.
I just cannot be nice.
Your crime is a shame,
but I just can’t take the blame,
If we start having JAYWALKERS
In the land of Unsome!”
“Amazing” said Flu.
And then they both fell silent when they saw there was a roadblock and a soldier was approaching their vehicle.
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