“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.”

–Aldous Huxley

Los Angeles, — I can’t stand it any longer! I’ve got to tell
somebody before they come. If, after reading this, you think I’ve
gone bonkers, well … so be it.

OK, here’s the deal. I believe that there’s going to be — within a
very short time — a total takeover of this city, and shortly thereafter
… the entire United States, and ultimately — the WHOLE WORLD!

The people involved in this heinous plot include gardeners, truck
drivers, garbage collectors, street repair people … and virtually
anybody wielding a vacuum cleaner in a public place.

Look, I know it sounds crazy, but please … just hear me out,

Oh my God! I don’t believe it! Right this very second,
directly outside my window, it’s starting. The horrible sound of … the
dreaded leaf blower!

It’s Jose (or Pancho … or whatever his name is) — my gardener. I
should’ve known he was in on it! I mean the guy’s been working for me
for three years now, but it’s clear that he’s in on it (the filthy

They’re all in on it!

Oh my dear sweet Jesus … we’re done for. It’s over. It
really is. …

Just think about it: every gardener in every single city in America
has one of those horrid blower things … those hideous instruments of
pain and torture that threaten to shatter your eardrums and fry your
brains until they bubble like overdone eggs! After all, no telling what
kind of changes that prolonged bouts of being subjected to massive
decibel levels are doing to our brains!

Uh oh! Here he goes.

It’s only a whine now, but in mere moments, it’ll turn into a
screeching, brain-numbing, howl that even my super-special,
extra-strength, $14.95 earplugs can’t withstand. It’ll get louder and
louder and louder until my skull feels like it’s going to explode, and
… good God! … here it goes. …


Agggghhh! I can’t stand it !

Got to get out of here. …

Flee. …


OK, it’s quiet now. A momentary respite at best. I’d better get on
with my story while I have time.

They’re coming for me. I can feel it.

I’m not sure exactly when it began. What I AM sure of, is that a good
many of my brain cells have been turned into matzoh balls by this point.
In any event, it went something like this:

About a year ago started noticing that every place I went — a
restaurant, a movie theatre, the gym, my office — it didn’t matter
where; within several minutes of my arrival — somebody
(generally of Hispanic descent) would materialize and, before I could
say “Conspiracy Theory,” the person (more often than not, the culprits
are male, though certainly females are involved in the plot) would start
vacuuming right at my friggin’ feet!

Time and again it happened. I’d go somewhere, and — BOOM! —
there they were!

The Vacuum Cleaner Guys.

As I tuned into the finer points of their activity, it actually
seemed like they’d go straight for me! I take that back. It didn’t
“seem” like it … that’s exactly what they were doing!

It didn’t matter whether I situated myself in the middle of the room
(in a restaurant, for example), or if I snuck over into a corner booth,
so as to be unobtrusive. There they were!

Initially, I wrote the whole thing off as paranoia. But deep inside,
I knew it wasn’t. After more research into the hideous phenomenon, I
came to understand the level of evil that was afoot!

Soon thereafter, they started coming after me at work (I was employed
by a newspaper when all this started). In order to avoid them, I began
going into the office late at night, when nobody was around. At that
hour, I figured, I could work in an atmosphere of peace and quiet. But
no sooner would I settle down at my computer, than some guy would appear
out of nowhere — vacuum cleaner in hand — and start whooshing
and shooshing the bloody thing in the exact spot I was in!

I tried coming in at different hours. I tried switching desks. I
tried everything. I swear on a stack of Bibles I tried. I really
did. …

No dice. Wherever I was, there they were.

Waiting. …

Recently, I moved to South Pasadena, a quaint little suburb known for
its peace and quiet. In that tranquil community, I figured, I’d be far
from the madding crowds, the noise pollution, the car alarms, the
freeway tie-ups, the mini-malls, the 7-11s … and mainly from
the dreaded gardeners and other assorted Vacuum Cleaner Guys that were
driving me out of my friggin’ skull!

The first morning in my new abode, I was snoozing peacefully, when I
was awoken by a horrible buzzing directly outside my bedroom window.

I looked at the clock. It read 5:30 a.m.

There it was again!


As carefully as possible, I peeled the blinds back and peered through
them Yep, there he was. Directly outside my bedroom window, I spied a
mustachioed Mexican, wielding a bizarre looking contraption that looked
like — I swear — a gigantic vacuum! The difference was that
this thing was about ten times bigger than a regular vacuum! I
mean, the sucker was straight out of a bad science-fiction flick.

As I watched in horror, the guy, who had now climbed up on a ladder,
was running this thing — which had a gigantic spinning wheel on the end
of it — over the walls of my condominium (which, for the record, was
brand spanking new).

Suddenly, he spotted me. He didn’t even bother to try and look
guilty. He simply smiled –revealing a mouthful of mossy looking,
brownish-green teeth.

“Buenos dias!” he offered happily. “I sand beelding!”

“Oh God,” I babbled, realizing even in my stupor that I sounded
exactly like the guy in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

“They’re here!” I croaked.

Please people … won’t someone listen?!


As the months passed, hazily, I began to see the outline of a plot —
a fiendish scheme almost too hideous to conceive.

It was truly evil — a work of pure genius, in fact — in its very

Gardeners, housepainters, truck drivers, garbage collectors, janitors
— anyone wielding a machine or a vehicle that has the ability to make
noise — they were all in on it! Not one iota of it was
accidental! No siree! It was all part of … The Plan!

But what is the purpose of this “plan,” you ask.

Simple. To create discord, confusion. To cause you and I to abide in
a constant state of nervousness, fear, panic, stress and anxiety — so
that when the time is right, they can simply come in and take over.

Don’t bother. I can hear your next question already:

Who are they?

Hell, I don’t know! I mean, does it really matter?
Somebody or rather, some group of individuals — is orchestrating
this thing! What difference does it make whether it’s the
extraterrestrials, the Bilderbergers, The Skull and Bones Society, the
Illuminati … or Satan himself! The point is we — you and I — are
being fattened up for the kill!

Look, maybe I’m nuts. Maybe I’m gonna wind up standing on a street
corner flailing my arms about and screaming at innocent pedestrians.
Maybe I am totally, 100 percent, stone-cold, whacked
out-of-my-everlovin’ mind!

But let me ask you this: does the fact that I’m crazy make what I’m
saying untrue? Or … am I crazy because it is true?

Oh no! I can’t believe it! They must know I’m about to spill
the beans.

It’s starting again! Right this very second.

Directly across the street, my neighbor’s gardener is cranking up
that ghoulish instrument of his.

Hah! You’re not fooling me for one single minute, pal. Uh uh. I’m
onto you — you filthy, slime-sucking spawn of the devil!

No, no no. Don’t even go there. In fact, if you’re smart,
you’ll put a lock on it and stash it somewhere (I’m talking about the
.45 — always loaded with hollow points — that I keep in my top
right-hand desk drawer).

That’s all I need. I can just see the headlines: INSANE MAN KILLS

Oh yeah, they’d love that. Anything to take the spotlight
offthem and what they’re up to.

Sorry, it ain’t gonna happen. I mean, I must have been “chosen” to
spread the word — to expose them — so I’m not about to take myself
out. Not just yet, anyhow.

No. Right now, I’ve got to keep my wits about me.

The thing is, I’m gonna do whatever it takes: Write about it. Yell about
it. Stand on the street corner wielding a vacuum cleaner and handing out

All I need now is just one person — one lone soul out there
besides myself, who’s willing to back me up on this thing.

If I can pull that off, then maybe — God willing — we can
turn this thing around before … it’s … too … late.

Uh oh. I think I hear something.

Yep, no doubt about it.

Footsteps. Coming up my driveway.

I mean, it just could be those bloody Jehovah’s Witnesses that are
always banging on my door (I have a new tactic for these guys by the
way. I invite them in and try to “convert” them into becoming members of
The Stu Cult.)

Works every time. Boom. Immediate one-eighty! So long pal … see ya
next time!


Uh oh!

Peeking through the slats now.

Oh man, I’m a goner. …

Standing on my front porch are two guys in black trench coats. Both
of them are wearing the blackest shades you’ve ever in your entire life!

Good Lord, how could I have been so bloody stupid? No doubt they’ve
had my phone/fax/computers tapped for weeks now!

What do I do?

Gotta try and make a break for it. …

Look people, if I disappear from these pages, this is all I ask:
Somebody please get this story out to the world. I’m telling you,
If you don’t, we’re all goners!


This is it! Time to bail. …

Oh yeah … one more thing. For God’s sake, keep your eyes open! And
should you see someone — anyone — wielding a vacuum cleaner …
remember: you have the legal right to protect yourself if you believe
your life to be in immediate danger …

A word to the wise. …

Alright, say a prayer for me, people.

I’m outta here. …

GOLDMAN HOOH HAH: Hey look, just because I might be knocked
off at any moment doesn’t mean I’m not gonna take two seconds to hype my
stuff. Wish I had more time, because we’ve got all sorts of great new
stuff happening on The Tongue. But for right now —
in response to the thousands of letters I’ve gotten asking me how to
become a member of The Stu Cult — here’s the scoop:

Anyone who purchases our Special Super Snooper Discount Package
weekend will AUTOMATICALLY get a FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP to the Stu Cult
for a period of three months!

This is over a $50 value!

I’m sorry guys. … I wish I had more time to tell you what Stu Cult
Membership will get you (if you check some of my older columns, you’ll
find just a few of the many “perks” you’ll be privy to as a member of
our happy little family). I’d tell you myself, but I’ve got a little, er
problem on my hands here … y’know what I’m sayin’?

I’m telling you folks, if you miss out on this opportunity, which we
are offering THIS WEEKEND ONLY, you’re truly foolish. Not only do
you get the No. 1, best-selling series of Spy Manuals (a three
book series which will literally enable you to get “anything” on
“anybody”), but you get to check out the most elite cult in the entire
world! In fact, because I’m feeling so generous right now (panic does
strange things to one’s mind), we’ll even give you the trial membership
(when you buy the package), even if you’re a vacuum cleaner salesman
(that is, if you promise to give your five-day notice to your

Vat a deal, eh?

And now, I’m outta here. …

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