The Secret Life of Preston Smith


“But I lived in a world where you could never want what you wanted out in the open.” –Tayari Jones

At a very early age, Preston Smith (an only child), learned not to tell his parents the truth about everything.

It was pointedly apparent that he not talk about the animals he killed, and how much fun he had when doing it.

When he did, he got into lots of trouble.

That set the stage for the other Preston who was allowed to think or do whatever he wanted – no rules – no lectures. Total freedom. The older he got, the other Preston demanded more time.

Preston was always a good student and got great grades. College came easy for him. He lived on campus, but had no interest in fraternities. Not that he wasn’t social. He had a girlfriend.

She, Laura Lee, even fell in love with him. The other Preston didn’t like her however.

Still, they dated until he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. To celebrate this accomplishment, the other Preston took over and viciously murdered her a week after graduation.

It took Preston two years before he had his own successful practice. His reputation for helping people grew every year. Former patient referrals and word-of-mouth kept him very busy.

At first, both Prestons settled into a comfortable routine working like a well-oiled machine. They delved into patients inner fears like miners in search of gold. It was refreshing to Preston to know he had an excellent reputation.

No one ever linked the bad things that happened to some of the patients to Preston. Why should anyone have reason to be suspicious if one of the nuts killed themselves? If, on a rare occasion police did come by seeking information on a deceased client, Preston always cooperated.

One thing troubled Preston; the other Preston had established complete control when nightfall fell four years into the practice. During the day it was still a joint arrangement. This slow dawning of facts (unequal hours) told him the other Preston was making a move for complete control 24-hours a day.

He knew he was going to die soon.

His father and mother always wanted him to tell the truth. He reflected on his 34-years and what goals he accomplished. Preston wanted to be like normal people, even after he slaughtered his parents, two aunts, and a friend in a night of horror.

It was about freedom. Wasn’t it?

As It Stands, I was shocked at the carnage that one man, Stephen Paddock, created in Las Vegas recently. It made me wonder how many other people are leading “secret lives.”

‘And The Alien of the Year is…’


Coming to you live from Alien Arena in downtown Mars City is the 2,386th annual Alien of the Year Awards.

“Hi! I’m your host, Jet Tomay, and have I got an exciting list of candidates for you this year! 

“Oh look! the first contestant is coming down the Golden Path already. Meet Babba Hunz, a journalist for Star Sight newspapers in Jupiter’s capital city of Zeenz. Hunz’s scathing editorials against racism has him in the running for the top award this year.”

Suddenly there was a loud roar of approval as the next contestant ambled out on eight legs, carrying the flag of Pluto in one of his four tentacles. Guta Humda was a crowd favorite because of his vibrant personality and ability to make people laugh.

“This is Guta Humda’s third nomination in three years. He’s considered the funniest comedian on Pluto and is known for his philanthropy,” Jet announced.

Loud ominous music broke out as the next contestant slowly, imperiously, walked out on the runway. He was dressed in a black uniform with silver and uranium medals decorating his chest. A silver Death’s Head medallion glittered on his shiny black helmet.

Lord Huntoon, lifetime dictator of Uranus, is a contestant every year. The citizens of Uranus always unanimously nominate him for the Alien of the Year. As he walked down the Golden Pathway there were loud hisses and boos.

“Our next contestant, Alo-Ha is from the great planet of Venus. She’s here today for her healing powers and social karma. Alo-Ha didn’t want the recognition, but her followers insisted she come.”

The lights went dim for a moment, then loud rap music flooded the airways as the contestant from Neptune, Junz Iona, broke out into some fancy dance moves without twisting his three legs up.

He was the most famous entertainer on Neptune, and this was his first appearance at the awards ceremony. His positive energy kept Neptunians dancing, even in the hardest of times.

The judges, who are from a different solar system, are totally unbiased. Their picks have never been disputed.

From the planet Earth, we have Ernie E. Einstein (a distant relative of the great Albert Einstein) for his work on wormholes, teleportation, and social constructs leading to lasting peace on Earth,” Jet announced.

“And finally, we have Mercury’s nominee, Sa Sa Bem, the most famous actress on the planet. Sa Sa spends her spare time helping out the homeless in the streets of Mercury’s capital, Arn Hem-Do.”

Sa Sa Ben waved her flippers in acknowledgement of the cheers that broke out when she slithered down the Golden Pathway.

It took the judges two hours to agree upon a winner and to give Jet the results.

“And the Alien of the Year is…”

As It Stands, who do you think should have won?

Moe The Manipulator, or Whatever You Want To Call Him


In the absence of facts and truth there is a void, an alternative universe.

It’s parameters are loosely defined by physics subject to change daily. In this universe you can find Moe the Manipulator.

It’s his job to hold reality at bay. He’s the guardian of the gullible. The Gatekeeper of Gall. Nothing is too far out for Moe. He can be the Master of Disaster, or your Daddy. He’ll take up residence in your brain without pain.

Once he’s riding your cerebrum you can sit back and watch. He’ll introduce you to your frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe. It’s a wild ride when Moe hits his stride.

Some say he is the devil. It could be true, but who knows for sure? Whatever he is, he’ll try to get inside of you. If you give in to greed, hate, and power you’ll be devoured by the void.

Moe has nothing good to say. He spends his time trying to lead you astray. He’s a clever character who reads you like a book. Can’t take detours with Moe. Ya Gotta drive him out of your cranium like a NASCAR driver on his last lap.

He’s crazy with a capital C. He’ll make your brain burn like a dried-out tree. No sympathy. No hope. Moe will get you hooked on dope. You’ll be buzzing like a stoned bee bumping into eternity.

It’s best to just stay away from Moe. Ignore those little voices and don’t go there. He’s a bedbug that will burrow into your brain. He’ll happily drive you insane.

He goes by many names, and likes playing nasty games with your life. Hate, vengeance, cruelty and bigotry. He’s the harbinger of strife. His goal is to ruin your life.

Look around you. How many people do you think have Moe the Manipulator embedded in their skulls? Has Moe gotten to you yet? If not, then spread the message; Love conquers hate.

As It Stands, despite the fact that many people carry Moe around like a medal, I believe there’s more good people who aren’t afraid to stand up to him.