Tuesday, August 12, 2008
As he surveyed the wreckage town council President, Marcus Hailey, expressed regret at the decision. "The day started off well enough. Everyone got the whole 'stop on green, go on red' thing," explained Hailey, holding an ice pack to his left temple. "But it all fell apart so fast. Mark my words, we will not be doing this again."
It appears trouble started not long after the sun rose, with simple daily greetings being fingered as the culprit. While the "hello/goodbye" juxtaposition took root without incident, substitutions such as "Have a nice day" with "Fuck you" were received with considerably less goodwill. The same could be said of warm handshakes and hat brim tips being replaced with open-handed slaps or kicks to the groin. According to Big Horn County Sheriff, Joseph Marble, the plan was doomed from the start. "We're traditional folks here, with traditional values. We can't have the rules reversin' themselves, even if just for a day. The trash collectors were dumping refuse on people's lawns, the cattle were penetrain' farmers in the dead of night, and I didn't arrest a single Mexican all day long."
“There was some real confusion,” recalled car dealership owner, William Nisbit. “I saw someone on the street and instead of waving to him, I flipped him off, figuring that’s the opposite. Then he crossed the street and socked me square in the mouth. I wasn’t sure what that was the opposite of. Maybe a handshake? So I drilled him right back and told him to go eat his mother's corny shit. He hit me again and I was both confused and bleeding. I thought, since when do people shake hands twice? Or is twice the opposite of once? Turns out the guy was just passing through on his way to Cheyenne and had no idea what was going on."
Sadly, by that point it was too late, as passersby had seen the exchange between Nisbit and his unnamed acquaintance/assailant. Thus began what was quickly deemed the "Punch Hello," a popular feature of the day's baffling violence.
Nowhere were the negative side effects of Opposite Day felt more acutely than in Greybull's business community. Initial estimates show only about 3% of town employees reported for work yesterday, much to the chagrin of owner, and on this fateful day, sole employee of The Grundle Diner, Pearl Dalton.
“Serving breakfast for dinner and vice versa is easy, but what do you do about lunch? What’s the opposite of lunch? I was just putting bread in between pieces of meat and serving salad instead of chili. People were remarking how good it was, which really hurt. I couldn’t even zing ‘em with my trademark sass. What’s the opposite of biting sarcasm? Good natured sincerity, I guess? All I know is by 2:00 or so, I was spitting into cups of soup two at a time."
One goateed man was tackled to the ground and nearly strangled by another who was ranting and raving that he had "captured one of the evil ones" from a purported "mirror universe," and that he had to stop the incursion into our timeline. Otherwise, claimed the audibly pale man, our way of life would end. When asked why he had chosen to include Star Trek rules in Opposite Day, the man replied, "What is Opposite Day?" before being subdued and arrested by volunteer firemen.
Apart from three riders who were crushed under the weight of 2 thousand pound bulls at the Haber Memorial Rodeo grounds, the greatest amount of disarray stemmed from the anti-violence march inexplicably scheduled for the same day by all fourteen members of the University of Wyoming Young Democrats Club. Quick to pick up with the basic parameters of Opposite Day -- there are those who claim the UWYD deliberately planned, in concert with The Jews and Subterranean Socialist Conscientious Objector factions, the march to coincide with the town's event -- the protesters became imbued with the shoddy spirit of this horrible day and fanned out through the town square, attacking everything in sight with crude, hand-made weapons. In accordance with the town council's declarations, lifetime residents did not shoot anyone.
“Looking back, it seems kind of stupid,” said U of W comparative literature sophomore, George Ramsey, from his hospital bed. “But taken in context, I believe observers will take one look at the body count and understand how much progress was made toward a more peaceful and tolerant way of life in this country.”
Late in the day, an equipment malfunction flooded parts of the town's pumping station. Unaware that Opposite Day had no impact on the laws of chemistry or physics, the employees manning the station reportedly set fire to the entire complex in an attempt to "put the water out." The station eventually burned to the ground, as the two sheriff's deputies tapped to handle firefighting duties were unable to operate the hose. As of press time, most of Greybull is still without water.
Fortuitously, Opposite Day stalled when a linguistics professor from the local community college explained that any declaration of Opposite Day constitutes a logical paradox, as its creation inherently prohibits itself. This point was argued amongst the town council for several hours until the clock finally struck midnight. This colossal jugfuck of a day was finally over as broken logic, circular reasoning, and the initial symptoms of concussions ringing in the ears of each citizen.
When asked afterward if he wished to confirm Hailey's declaration of no more Opposite Days, town council member Ed Vincent slyly raised his left eyebrow and said, "I can't not promise that we won't not have another Opposite Day again." Vincent then winked and produced crossed fingers from behind his back, as Hailey began digging a shallow grave immediately behind him.