“Will you tell me a story, Pop pop?” the young lad said, looking up at his grandfather. The old man looked down kindly on the child sitting on his lap.
“Sure, which story would you like this time Henry?”
“Tell me about California.” replied Henry.
“Oh, California. What would you like to hear about that land of old? Its golden beaches? Its immense cities? Or maybe Hollywood, the doomed mecca of the most obnoxious and pretentiousness people the world has ever known?.” asked Pop Pop.
“I want to hear about the Second Civil War.” said Henry, ignoring his grandfather’s suggestions.
“The War?” asked Pop pop, obviously startled, “How do you know about that?”
“I overheard my dad talking about it on the phone. It seemed to be very interesting to him.”
“I do not think that would be a good story to tell.” replied Henry’s grandfather, “I’m not comfortable telling such a terrible and gruesome tale to my young grandson.”
“Pleeeeeease Pop Pop, pleeeeease. I can handle it!” whined Henry.
Pop pop replied, “I do not think your parents would like me telling you about a war, especially about such a brutal one in of that.”
“Please Pop pop! I won’t tell mom and dad!.”
“Well…” said Pop pop, mulling it over in his mind, “I guess it can’t hurt, you are a brave little boy.”
“Yes I am!” Henry replied enthused.
“Ok,” said Pop pop, looking into the distance, “It started long ago. The golden-maned God-Emperor had just been elected. His election brought great joy, and great sorrow. It brought much unity, and much division. The most sorrowful, the most angry, the most alienated place was California. Its people could not come to terms with the election. It ate away at them. It infected them. It consumed them in fear, and that fear turned to hate, and that hate turned to anger. Dissent grew throughout the state of California. The Californians began to think: ‘Why should we be part of the United States. Why should we be part of a county that elects such a foul, cruel, orange beast? Why should anybody else have a say but us?’”
“So then what did they do Pop pop?” asked Henry.
Pop pop began again, “They broke away. California seceded from the Union. The stage had been set. The U.S. could not afford to let California leave. Though how much every other American felt relieved that California finally left, the golden state could not be allowed to leave. Insubordination would not be tolerated, it would set a bad precedent. Swift action had to be taken.”
“Oh boi, this is gunna be gud.”
“What?” chimed Pop Pop.
“Oh, nothing, just excited for this part.” replied Henry.
“I don’t know if its a part to be very excited about,” continued Henry’s grandfather with a quick glare, “The fighting was brutal. The drone strikes came first. Predator missiles were launched across California. The Californians weren’t prepared. Smoothie bars, tanning stations, and yoga studios were hit the hardest, for good reason. The Californians sustained heavy casualties and their way of life was shattered in mere moments. Panic swept through the land. But the U.S. forgot the most important place in California. The seat from which the rest of the state was controlled and its influence sent out into the world.
“Where all the Indians are?” asked Henry.
“Wah, what? No. That’s Bollywood.” said Pop pop.
Pop pop continued with a huff,“Alright, of course, the U.S. had targeted the unholy enclave of crime and villainy in the initial bombardment, but they were lax in their assault. The pompous citizens of Hollywood had survived, cowering in the dark like cockroaches. And the cockroaches emerged. The elite of Hollywood were completely unscathed, hiding in their diamond-crusted fortress mansions. It was now time for California to strike back. The elite of Hollywood called their forces to them, from all across the state. They would create a mighty army to bring the war to the United States. And who better to do this than the old fake battle-hardened, fake war dog, and fake boxing champion, Sylvester Stallone.”
“Then what happened Pop pop?” said Henry
“Stallone gathered the strongest, smartest, and most tan Californians he could muster. All adept in the art of fake fighting, fake war. All important to the independence struggle of their great state. The Indispensables. Stallone knew he could not win an open war with the United States with his small yet elite force of fake warriors. They would have one opportunity to strike the United States, to hit them fast and hard. To win their independence with one fell swoop. Their target: the McDonald’s Headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.”
“Why was that Pop pop?” inquired Henry.
“You see Henry, McDonald’s was the life-blood of the American way of life,” answered Pop pop, his glare becoming harder then relaxing as he spoke, “All Americans ate McDonald’s, growing fatter and fatter. Yet McDonald’s was more than just food. McDonald’s was America. And Stallone knew that. Stallone and 20 of his best fake soldiers from his crew commandeered a replica B-52 bomber and piled in. The United States government was not expecting retaliation after their storm of drone strikes; they thought they had subdued California from the get-go. But it was not so. Stallone’s aircraft, now dubbed the Roaring Vegan, was able to bypass the little defenses that the U.S. had placed around the golden state. After that, the Roaring Vegan had clear skies to Oak Brook, Illinois. It took a long time, but the Californians eventually reached their goal. Now, the rest of the story is only legend. But, legend has it that the headquarters of McDonald’s were two giant golden arches. And Stallone, being the fake daring leader that he was, landed that plane right on top of a golden arch. Stallone and his fake warriors rappelled down the side of the arch and found an entry point. Again, this is all legend. After fighting through dozens of the most obese McDonald’s security guards, one fatter than the last, they found the key to ending the conflict that they had been searching for.”
“What was it Pop pop?” asked Henry excitingly.
“The secret formula.” uttered Pop pop. “McDonald’s drew all their strength and power from this one tiny document, enclosed in a glass bottle. The secret to the unyielding deliciousness of their food, the food that had become the backbone of America. The foundation on which the United States stood. And the foundation that Stallone was about to break. Though his small force of Indispensables had sustained heavy losses, Stallone and his remaining five fake warriors broke into the secret vault, and stole the secret formula. The fight was brutal on their way out as well, but with their intense training of the fake warrior arts, Stallone escaped with two men, and the secret formula.”
“What happened the-”
“WILL YOU LET ME FINISH THE STORY YOU INTERRUPTING BRAT!” screamed Pop pop at Henry. Henry sat startled and waited for Pop pop to finish the story. “Now then, with the loss of their secret formula, McDonald’s collapsed. Figuratively and literally. Their golden arches came tumbling down. You know that scene in The Lord of the Rings when Sauron is finally defeated. Yeah, just like that. Anyway, now with McDonald’s gone, Stallone knew that the United States could no longer wage a war on California and their independence was assured.”
“So, the Californian’s won?” asked Henry. Pop pop gave Henry a death-stare for interrupting again. Henry knew what he had done.
“No. Stallone and the other Californians forgot one important thing. That there were other franchises eager to take the place of McDonald’s. The Land of McDonald’s became the Land of… Burger King. The Californians were bombed into submission, which is why the California Wastes are such a huge tourist spot to this day, with plenty of places to get a Whopper.”
“Wow. That’s stupid.” said Henry, who was promptly hit by his grandfather.