Small ears that hear everything
By Clyde Edgerton
Moby and Medley are moles, sitting at a table in the Sandbucks Coffee Shop, where they meet once a week to talk about life underneath and around the Yardley home. They hear a lot of what goes on up above among the humans and human media. They don’t see, of course, and their lives are relatively dull, same-o same-o. Dirt, roots, dampness, clay, dryness and darkness.
MOBY: What’s the latest?
MEDLEY: I’m writing an important report on Republicans and Democrats.
MOBY: How do you know about all that?
MEDLEY: I can hear. You know, don’t you, that Mr. and Ms. Yardley, up above, are split?
MOBY: They’re getting a divorce?
MEDLY: No, no. I mean one’s a Democrat and one’s a Republican.
MOBY: Seems I remember something about that.
MEDLEY: My report is getting reviewed in The New York Times and at Fox News.
MOBY: Those organizations don’t like each other, right?
MEDLEY: Right. They see news differently.
MOBY: But isn’t all news the same?
MEDLEY: Oh, goodness gracious, no. There’s red news and there’s blue news.
MOBY: I thought there was only true news.
MEDLEY: Not anymore. Everything is either-or. Left or right. Up or down. Black or white.
MOBY: I’m just glad I can’t see. What color are we?
MEDLEY: I’ve heard that we are some shade of gray more or less. And did you know, the blues think all the reds are idiots.
MOBY: Really? What do the reds think of the blues?
MEDLEY: That they are all idiots.
MOBY: It’s a shame, isn’t it? Do they ever talk to each other?
MEDLEY: Not much. They holler. And they acted that way right before the Civil War, too.
MOBY: Oh, mercy. Do you think there will be another Civil War up there?
MEDLEY: No way.
MOBY: I wonder how the Yardleys live together — you know, one red and one blue.
MEDLEY: I think they talk only about sports, music, the weather and Naked and Afraid. They avoid politics.
MOBY: What’s politics?
MEDLEY: “Naked and afraid.”
MOBY: Oh. What about that Second Amendment thing?
MEDLEY: Have you read it?
MOBY: I just keep hearing about it.
MEDLEY: If you live in one of the 50 states it keeps you safe.
MOBY: Really? That’s what it says.
MEDLEY: That’s right. It says, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
MOBY: That’s all it says?
MEDLEY: That’s the whole amendment, every word.
MOBY: That’s a load off my mind. Who could be against that?
MEDLEY: Nobody, of course. It’s common sense. The blue and reds agree on that one. Without that amendment we just couldn’t feel secure.
MOBY: Is there an amendment that lets us buy cars?
MEDLEY: Oh, yes. That’s the Third Amendment. And the Fourth Amendment lets us buy refrigerators. You can’t own something unless there is an amendment for it.
MOBY: How did you learn all that?
MEDLEY: Google. You can hear Google now, so people don’t have to read.
MOBY: So, what’s the title of your report?
MEDLEY: It’s called “Equality, Fair Play, Guns, Cars, and Refrigerators: Security in America.” I also wrote some stuff about globalization. See, the more guns that get into the little states around the world, the more secure they will be — just like in the U.S.
MOBY: That’s a load off my mind.
MEDLEY: Mine too. How about another cup of coffee?
MOBY: You bet. That’s good coffee.
MEDLEY: Seventh Amendment: “Good coffee is necessary to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” OH
Clyde Edgerton is the author of 10 novels, a memoir and most recently,
Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW.