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Empire on Ice #21: Vomit Feast and the Lamentable Death of Eric Garner

[In Josh's house, he and Galavar are sitting together at a desk looking at the computer. They're reading the news.]

Josh: Look at this. Now the conservatives are saying that taxes killed Eric Garner.

Galavar: Rather than the police officer who put him into a chokehold?

Josh: [Reading the story.] Apparently cigarette taxes are high in the State and City of New York, about five dollars a pack, so there's a thriving black market for untaxed cigarettes smuggled across state lines.

Galavar: Go on.

Josh: A police officer suspected Garner of selling these cigarettes, which is why he approached him in the first place.

Galavar: And…?

Josh: According to the right-wingers, the liberal politicians who passed these taxes into law demanded that police officers enforce these laws rigorously, thus constraining the police officer—Justin Damico—to apprehend Garner, killing him in the process. Ergo, taxes killed Eric Garner.

Galavar: These people gave up on the semblance of logic a long time ago, didn't they?

Josh: So, if you've lost track of the tally, first obesity killed Garner.

Galavar: Okay.

Josh: Then his respiratory condition killed him.

Galavar: Right.

Josh: Then "Obamacare" killed him, because apparently the Affordable Care Act means you can't go to see the doctor anymore.

Galavar: Yeah.

Josh: And now taxes have killed him!

Galavar: Pretty much everything except excessive force wielded in bad judgment by authority figures who ought to be held to a higher standard?

Josh: Exactly!

Galavar: Next I suppose they'll say that black people killed Eric Garner.

Josh: I think they already did. "Black culture gets black people killed." That's a common refrain in right-wing circles.

Galavar: That's pretty offensive.

Josh: That's the sort of shit racist people come up with. It doesn't matter what physical condition Garner was in. It doesn't matter how high the cigarette taxes are. It doesn't matter whether black culture is messed up or not—and if we got into a discussion about why black culture is the way it is, the conservatives would not come away from it looking very good. All that really matters is that a police officer killed a person for no good reason, against a national backdrop of strong racial tensions. The officer killed him inadvertently, we have to assume, but Garner is dead all the same. These things happen; maybe there's room to show Officer Damico lenience. Maybe not. That's the sort of thing for a court to determine, in full view of the evidence. But there isn't going to be any trial, because the powers that be determined that apparently the circumstances don't merit one.

Galavar: Are you going to turn this into an Empire on Ice sketch?

Josh: I wouldn't know how to make it any more ridiculous in fiction than it already is in reality.

Galavar: What if you added fart noises and vomit jokes?

Josh: Touché. It is, after all, literally impossible to fail to improve a comedy piece by adding fart noises and vomit jokes.

[The doorbell rings. Josh and Galavar go to answer it.]

Deliverymate: Vomit delivery for you, sir.

Josh: Excellent!

Galavar: You ordered vomit?

Josh: The real McCoy, too. None of that synthetic rubbish.

Galavar: Why?

Josh: I'm rigging the Internet with smell, touch, and taste capabilities to go along with the audiovisuals. Once I complete a rather large series of tubes, I'll be able to pipe vomit—and other fluids—to any computer in the world.

Galavar: Even mobile devices?

Josh: Yes! I'm using a fleet of blimp tankers for delivery and collection gutters for collection.

Galavar: What about the Space Station?

Josh: Prepackaged freeze-dried barf and regularly schedule vomit retrieval pods.

Galavar: As usual you've thought of everything. But why are you doing this, tell me?

Josh: Well, you know how common it is for people to report on the Internet that they've thrown up from reading or seeing something, yes?

Galavar: Yes.

Josh: I haven't put all the pieces together, yet, but I'm pretty sure there's a solid idea in there somewhere.

Galavar: How much vomit did you order?

Deliverymate: Sixteen million tons, sir.

Galavar: How the $%@& did you collect that much vomit?!

Josh: You might say that I… [Puts on sunglasses.] …pulled it out of my ass. [Farts loudly.]


Galavar: Do you remember how earlier I was complaining that I don't get to be in Empire in Ice more often?

Josh: Yeah.

Galavar: I withdraw my objection.

Josh: Too late! Muah ha hah!

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!