Robert Cormack in Lifestyle, Publishers & Bloggers, Communications and journalism Creative Director • Robert Cormack & Associates Sep 12, 2020 · 5 min read · +700

The Mountains Grew.

How the president lost an election.

The Mountains Grew.

When my John Kerry prediction didn’t pan out in 2004, I smashed an egg on my face.” James Carville

Nobody considered them mountains at first, more like abstract granite sculptures breaking through people’s lawns. Meanwhile, seismologists noticed growing faults in the ocean’s floor across two continental shelves. As the mountains grew, the ocean levels dropped, causing what experts referred to as an “seismic anomaly,” possibly the result of volcanic activity at the Earth’s core forcing the harder granite rock to the surface.

People in coastal areas were particularly concerned. Wasn’t global warming supposed to be raising ocean levels? Why were New England shorelines six feet lower, exposing large amounts of refuse like a metal reef. Harbours that used to brag of deep moorings were now dotted with red buoys, marking areas where ships risked running aground or scrapping on old scuppered fishing vessels and sunken submarines.

A twenty car pile-up occurred just outside Atlanta when two granite spikes appeared on Interstate 20.

Further inland, granite horns broke through people’s basements, trees toppled, sinkholes appeared. Maryland reported a two-hundred-year-old barn raised off its stone foundations. A twenty car pile-up occurred just outside Atlanta when two granite spikes appeared on Interstate 20.

Soon water systems, septic systems, sewers, gas lines, all heaved out of the ground. Granite monoliths poked out of backyard pools. Light standards tilted, streets were deemed hazardous. A mining engineer in Utah blasted a rock formation coming through his garden. Days later, it had grown back like an animal’s new horn. In South Dakota, Lakota communities painted the granite spires with faces of ancient gods.

Across the southern Bible Belts, pastors and evangelists alike warned congregations to repent before the stone fingers of hell rose up and destroyed their fields and golf courses. The Ku Klux Klan marked white crosses on rock protuberances all through Macon, Georgia. A rock formation in a field outside Dearborn, Michigan, looked so much like Stonehenge, anthropologists were invited to determine if this, too, was some sort of ancient launching pad for extraterrestrial aliens.

In Washington, representatives wanted to declare a state of emergency, but the president said it needed ratification. Truth be told, he was waiting for interim polling results before the fall election. Three hurricanes in succession along the Texas and Louisiana coasts had already cost him dearly, even if disaster relief was working through the system. Telling the nation they were going through a colossus of bedrock eruptions wasn’t something the president — or anyone — wanted to talk about.

The mountains themselves appeared with no logical sequence, so short of dressing them up with the Stars and Stripes, everyone was, quite frankly, stumped.

Back in Washington, the president and Joint Chiefs of Staff debated the mountains, particularly how this would affect the election in the fall. Each department expressed doubts anything could be done. The mountains themselves appeared with no logical sequence, so short of dressing them up with the Stars and Stripes, everyone was, quite frankly, stumped.

Some members of Congress and the House of Representatives wanted to declare a state of emergency. The president felt it would cause panic, preferring to play everything down until after the election, or at least the presidential debates. For weeks, he maintained that the mountains themselves would go away, possibly in the spring when the ground was thawed. As he explained, “They’ll go back where they came from.”

When the National Institute of Seismic Activity disputed this, funding was cut, and many seismologists left the profession. What remained of the department dealt mostly with information gathering, which the government restricted as well. Eventually, the Ways and Means Committee deemed the department unnecessary, and what few staff remained were transferred over to The Department of Natural Resources.

As the election approached, press conferences turned into screaming matches. Journalists were being escorted out of the building, others the president simply called “nasty. He blamed the Democrats for exaggerating the impact of the mountains.

The Democrats responded with new facts and figures. Agriculture, in particular, was the hardest hit, with many farmers unable to harvest crops with the large granite protrusions. The Department of Transportation estimated that thousands of miles of highways were unserviceable because of large rocks breaking through the asphalt.

The president continued to underplay the seriousness of the situation. until, in July, he was affected personally. While golfing at one of his private golf courses in Florida, his ball careened off a giant boulder on the back nine. He flew back to Washington, and a meeting of the Chiefs of staff was called the following day. The president sat with his arms crossed, looking at the front page of the Rapid City Journal. A large granite spire had risen from the rubble at the base of Mount Rushmore. It looked like it was about to go up Teddy Roosevelt’s nose.

Sitting at the end of the table was a scientist from The Institute of Seismic Activity. Dr. Maynard was a last minute addition. Nobody was sure if they needed an earthquake expert or not. Nothing appeared on the Richter scale, meaning the mountains appeared with little or no vibration at all.

“Mr. President,” Dr. Maynard said, “These mountains, as you call them, shouldn’t surprise us considering the Earth is essentially a ball of volcanic magma.”

“Well, Maynard?” the president said to him. “You’re the expert on this stuff. What do we do about these mountains?”

“Mr. President,” Dr. Maynard said, “These mountains, as you call them, shouldn’t surprise us considering the Earth is essentially a ball of volcanic magma. If we look at the topography of other planets, granite boulders, some as high as Mount Everest, are very common.”

“Who cares about other planets?” the president said. “I’ve got golf courses to worry about. And look at this,” he said, tossing the Rapid City Journalover to Dr. Maynard. “Teddy Roosevelt’s one of our most beloved presidents. And here he is with a rock practically going up his nose. I got an election coming up, Maynard. What the hell do we do about this?”

“To be honest, Mr. President,” Maynard said, “I’m not sure we can do anything. Based on the Earth’s composition — ”

“I’m not interested composition,” the president said, grabbing the Rapid City Journal again. “Look what it’s doing to Teddy Roosevelt. People aren’t going to stand for this, Maynard. We’ve got to do something before November. Can’t we nuke these mountains or something?”

The Secretary of Defence pipped in at this point. He said it would be a costly and not inconsequential if they detonated bombs. “We’re already dealing with lowering sea levels, Mr. President,” he said. “For all we know, nuking these things could cause chasms draining all our fresh water lakes.”

“Is this true, Maynard?” the president asked.

“Very possibly,” Maynard said. “Any sort of nuclear activity below ground would cause chasms. To what extent they’d drain all the fresh water, I don’t know. Quite likely, they would, though.”

“Okay, then,” the president said, “What do you suggest?”

“Mr. President,” Maynard said. “Considering what little we know about these eruptions — if we want to call them that — there’s nothing we can do until, well, they stop. That’s if they stop. Usually they do as the continental plates stabilize. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.”

“That’s a lot of maybes, Maynard,” the president said. “Look, either I tell the people something, or the bloody news media’s going to make up more fake news. What are other countries doing, for chrissake?”

“China turned one of them into a ski hill,” The Secretary for Foreign Affairs said. “Up in the Jiangsu province. Aerial reports are coming in now.”

“With all due respect,” Maynard said. “We don’t even know if these mountains are going to stabilize. The Chinese could be acting prematurely.”

“Why the hell didn’t we think of that?” the president said. “We ski more than the Chinese. How many mountains can we turn into ski hills?”

“With all due respect,” Maynard said. “We don’t even know if these mountains are going to stabilize. The Chinese could be acting prematurely.”

“Dammit, Maynard,” the president said. “I got the primaries coming up. What am I going to say during the debates? I can’t even turn these mountains into ski hills because my expert from the Institute of Seismic Activity doesn’t recommend it?”

“Mr. President,” The Chief of Foreign Affairs said. “Maybe we can use this to our advantage. Didn’t the Chinese conduct low-level nuclear tests at the Lop Nur site last year? We could blame them.”

“You’re right, Mort,” the president said. “They broke our arms agreement, now we’ve got mountains growing everywhere. Hell, I’ll even threaten to send them the bill. Works for me. What about the rest of you?”

“Should I include this in today’s press conference?” the press secretary said. “They keep asking, and I keep saying the president’s looking into it.”

“Tell them I have looked into it,” the president said. “The Chinese have been conducting low-level nuclear tests upsetting the whole — what are they upsetting exactly, Maynard? C’mon, give me some big words.”

“Transcontinental plate shift caused by nuclear disruption?” Maynard said.

“Yeah, go with that,” the president said to his press secretary. “And tell’m we’re working on a solution to save our farmers, our marine industry and, hell, I don’t know, forestry? Are these stupid mountains destroying forests? Throw it in, anyway. Make sure the emphasis is on the Chinese. They’re skiing while I’m saving the economy.”

“I’ll get right on it, Mr. President,” the press secretary said. “What if they ask how much we’re billing the Chinese?”

“Still going his nose,” the Secretary for the Interior said.

“I don’t know, billions — trillions,” the president said. “They won’t pay, anyway. I’ll throw an embargo in, too. Any update on what’s happening to Teddy at Mount Rushmore?”

“Still going his nose,” the Secretary for the Interior said.

“Get some jackhammers up there. I can’t lose South Dakota.”

“Dynamite might be faster, Mr. President.”

“Good thinking, Mort,” the president said. “Get the plane going and call in a camera crew. The sooner we get that rock out of Teddy’s nose, the sooner we can turn this election around.”

“Yes, Mr. President. We’ll get on it right now.”

As the primaries, neared, the president attacked the media, complaining they were paying more attention to Washington’s ear than the fact that Teddy Roosevelt didn’t have a rock up his nose anymore.

The following day, a blast occurred at Mount Rushmore, being heard as far north as Rapid City. When the dust settled, Teddy Roosevelt was clear of all rock protuberances, but closer examination showed Washington had lost an ear. As the primaries, neared, the president attacked the media, complaining they were paying more attention to Washington’s ear than the fact that Teddy Roosevelt didn’t have a rock up his nose anymore.

“I was trying to do something good,” the president said in a text, but it led to a landfall victory for the Democrats that November, and the president retired to Florida where the mountains continued to grow, and he was caught on camera, beating one of the boulders on his golf course with a nine iron.

Robert Cormack is a satirist, novelist, and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Skyhorse Press or Simon and Schuster for more details.





Fay Vietmeier 7 d ago · #11

#8 @Ken Boddie
This is why you are "Bard"
... taking geology for granite
... fake news about sham rocks (quite good)
... make Trump a little boulder

"Only you are you" ~ Mr Rogers

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Fay Vietmeier 7 d ago · #10

#4 @Robert Cormack

A "log" (a speck) in the eye" IMPAIRS vision.
People may close their eyes ... but the log is still there.

https://www.bebee.com/producer/@fay-vietmeier-pennsylvania/unfit-vs-hypocrites
This one thing never changes:
People see what they want to see & hear what they want to hear.

Truth is not the Standard.

Rather it has increasingly become human opinion. Finite & flawed.

People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to. This is being self-deceived.

People do not seek Truth or see Truth because they have already made up their minds. This is called "chosen blindness."

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Robert Cormack 7 d ago · #9

A little boulder, Ken? You must've thought about that one. I like it. I don't tend to groan this early in the morning, but I'm going to list it as my favourite pun.#8

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Ken Boddie 7 d ago · #8

Well, Rob, you really hit rock bottom with this one. You’re taking geology for granite. I’d be blaming the Irish rather than the Chinese for this fake news about sham rocks. It’s all guaranteed to make Trump a little boulder before the election. 🤗

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maria gusto Sep 13, 2020 · #7

User removed

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maria gusto Sep 13, 2020 · #6

User removed

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#3 That's exactly what happened. I forget if his name was Porter or Putnam--Putnam, I think. His daughter, Ann was the chief accuser. And anyone he wanted to be gotten rid of, went under her finger.

There was another scandal concerning the Ingersolls. It was obvious if one can read between the lines in PEM records. I wrote about it here:
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@joyce-bowen/salem-sarah-and-death. It's an interesting city that markets a deadly period as a tourist attraction for the entire month of October.

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Robert Cormack Sep 13, 2020 · #4

#2 Yes, I guess Abraham Lincoln could have had a split rail in the eye. Thanks for reading, #Fay Vietmeler.

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