Home Read Features Thunder Pie | Idiots

Thunder Pie | Idiots

I’m sorry if I seem agitated. But also no, I’m not sorry.

“For a long time I had to fight against a feeling of aversion for my country; now I am beginning to accustom myself to all the horrors that make up the human condition… Fortunately, there is one salvation: morality, the world of the arts, poetry and human relations. There, nobody bothers me, policeman or town councilor. I am alone. Outside the wind howls, outside all is mud and cold; I am here, I play Beethoven and shed tears of tenderness; or I read the Iliad, or I create my own men and women and live with them, covering sheets of paper … ”
— Leo Tolstoy

Everywhere we go, it’s fucking idiots. You know what I mean? In the aisles at Walmart, bent over with their ass cracks hanging out. Old ladies mumbling to themselves as they finger cans of cat food. They peer into the side of the can with witchy eyes, with frustrated eyes. Probably because they eat the shit themselves these days. So long in the cat wasteland and you end up eating the same shit you feed the awful creatures.

Talking to the hateful beasts. They would just as soon find you dead in the kitchen, trust me. Cats don’t like you. Your cats cannot stand you. They only rub up against you to see if you are dead yet. Like your kids do. But given the chance, your asshole cat would absolutely gnaw your nose open to a gaping hole in your face if it found you stroked out on the linoleum.

I don’t know. We talk such trash. Be kind. Equality! Think about the children’s future. But in reality, we are all just idiots. People climbing up your rear end as you’re just trying to get home at the end of the day. Little sports cars and big gas-guzzling pickup trucks and soccer mom SUVs: all of them moving within inches of your bumper because they want to go faster than the 20mph over the speed limit you already do all the time.

I want to climb out my car car window in full driving mode, the Honda guiding itself for just a little while as I slip out the window and shimmy up onto the roof of the moving car and balance myself there in the rush of wind/ my eyes wild and free/ my mouth in a snarly curl/ like Elvis backstage getting laid/ and I want to hold my arms high and scream at the top of my lungs/ TIME TO MEET YOUR MAKER, YOU PIECE OF SELFISH SHIT!!!/ just as I launch myself into the air like Deadpool and come down crashing through this idiot’s windshield. The weight of me taking their head clean off. Both cars roaring off the road into a cornfield, end over end, exploding in a couple beautiful balls of fire.

Corn burning. Farmer standing in his kitchen counting his government subsidies, feeling so good about his lauded image, feeling so good about his patriotic standing in the hard-working world as we all turn a blind eye to what he really does. Because what he actually does is: he grows genetically altered corn for poison corn syrup to give you and your kids a swashbuckling dose of good old American diabetes.

Proud corn farmer with his hands all up the government’s miniskirt: oh, how he goes around talking about how the minorities just want a hand out, how the immigrants just want to come here and rape our daughters.

Bullheaded idiot.

Watch him right now, dumping the remains of his morning coffee down into his expensive Lowe’s farmhouse sink under his remodeled kitchen beams with rustic finishes! See how he notices the poor peasant’s Honda somersaulting on fire across his side yard! Right by his 80 foot high-tech RV! Skeedaddling right by his three (count ‘em, 3!) 4-wheel-drive Antique Trebark Camo off-road glorified golf carts (one for each American born grand-baby!)! Tumbling past the in-ground pool and the two brand new 2023 Ford pickups (Mama likes her creature comforts!), he watches my car coming like a herd of Hell Bison as he tips his American Farmer and Proud coffee cup with his weathered fingers, country boy smirk sliding off his face now, just in time to see the ending.

My car flipping along like a kicked can towards the side window he is standing behind right before it smashes into the house and decimates the propanes tanks just below the kitchen window where he is standing and pumping hot country piss out into his Carhartts across the long hanging moment of deep meditative silence before everything goes up like a bomb.

And the crows behind the barn don’t even fly away, or flinch.

Idiot. Idiota. ਮੂਰਖ. Fávitar. идиоти. Jelema bodo. 바보들. Fatui. Izilima. Fool, moron, nitwit, twit, blockhead, bonehead, cretin, dimwit, dork, dumbbell, dunce, ignoramus, imbecile, muttonhead, nincompoop, ninny, pinhead, simpleton, clodpoll, jerk.


Whatever you do, don’t leave your house. They will get you, boss. They are parked out front your place, waiting for you to come outside. There are teams of them in airplanes looking down at your tiny world. You are gonna pay big money just to get them to leave you alone for a couple days.

Rulers of the world. Kingdom Runners. Inventors of the Scam. Liars. Cheats. Greedy pissants sucking your flesh for everything you got. What’s your is theirs and what’s their’s is even more their’s.

Idiotics. Watching TV. Complaining about the weather. Picking up pennies on the ground. Smoking in the garage in secret. Touching their shriveled up nut sacks in the office bathroom. Imagining things they know are off limits. Idiots walking in the evening in their North Face coats. Walking their dumbass dogs, talking to the dog like it’s a human child. Talking to their children like they are lost dogs. Blaming everyone else for everything. Taking no responsibility. Living in paranoia. Questioning the moon landing. Thinking their grandkids are actually great when all they are are pint-sized apprentice idiots learning how to jab the meek people in the throat with icicles of frozen health insurance dipped in cold, cold pharmaceuticals.

I’m sorry if I seem agitated. But also no, I’m not sorry. It’s just that… I don’t know what is happening. How did I get so small? Where did my balls go? At one point did I simply lay down and let the sly crafty devils trample me on their way into the Phish concert?


I feel like throwing up.

Cherry Garcia all over the fucking rug.

Old cat lady in the afternoon/
Don’t you know she gonna die real soon/
Tabby cat under all that fat/
Chewing on the dead lady tit.


This isn’t what I want to write but try to remember, this stuff just comes to me from God. He puts the exact words into my hands like he’s loading Pez into a Sponge Bob dispenser. Always channeling the Truth through my Substack. Always having me be his mouthpiece even though I could care less.


This isn’t what I want to write, but it must be important because it is FLOWING outta me, dogs. FUH-LOWING OUT OF ME!!!

So there.

Electric can opener/ 4pm/ the smell of deviled large intestines squished into a slimy meat gel. Blue veiny rice paper bone fingers curled around a tiny oyster fork, scooping cat food from the can into some old crystal parfait cup. A small glass of pineapple juice. Some stupid show on the TV. No streaming. She is too old to stream. Eating cat food in the musty recliner. The whole house is sunbeams and silence peppered with odd creaks and creepy sounds.

A toilet flushes upstairs even though she is the only human living there.

She ignores it, edges a wad of Meow Chow off the fork with the back of her phony teeth. Watches the people on the news. People marching in the streets. People standing trial for murder. People handing out frozen turkeys and people running down the field, chasing the ball, chasing the essence that the ball represents.

The idiots, she says. Nothing but idiots left in this world.

The cat stares at her neck from across the room. Stares at her beating heart rattling her windpipe like a farmhouse mouse down in a sack of chips.

Queen of idiots, he purrs to himself. Licks his lips.

Soon, he assures himself.

Soon we ride.

No one wants to deal with a lot of these kids anymore. These kids who are ADHD or Autistic or they have learning disabilities or whatever, the teachers are tired. They want more help. They need more money. They deserve less of a load and better support.


There’s no help coming, can’t you see that? The government is frozen like a woolly mammoth in a massive ice block. Nothing can unfreeze it now except maybe Superman or someone like that. But all the superheroes are idiots too, so just remember that. They’re all mucked up with Hollywood gunk. It’s addictive, man, like old school blow. It’s electric tangy and it makes your gums feel like the sexed up walls of a disco back in the day. Free and easy. Sophisticated skeevy. Numb. Like cinderblocks slathered in black light paint.

Everyone is scrambling to figure it out, but I figure no one even knows what they are trying to figure out in the first place, so there’s also that to contend with. God. How sad and foolish and tragic. Sitting there rallying around this kid and sending a never-ending stream of emails home about this other kid. One kid is Autistic. One kid is ADHD. One kid has cheerleaders and teammates and the other kid has jack shit. Just a single teacher who cannot stand to deal with this.

She needs more help.

She needs the parents to step up their game and get this kid’s shit together.

She wants the weekend more than anything in the world when she can just be herself. Squeeze into her skinny jeans like a 60-year-old sausage and walk around the Harrisburg casino in her turquoise sweater. The one that makes her boobs look huge.


I want to get inside her slot machine.

I want to come sledding out with a crash of quarters. Wee coin man who unfolds when that weak-ass jackpot comes avalanching down into the white wine darkness of her precious “me-time”.

Good kids are being bamboozled by the very people they are meant to trust. I seen it with my own eyes. It’s heartbreaking.

Everyone is so sure of their sanctity.

(You guessed it).


Bands of idiots making songs. Playing loud. Playing quiet. Singer-songwriters playing the same guitar just like everyone else plays it. People using synthesizers or whatever you call them these days. Programming beats and laying down moody swirls on top of that and then singing real soft like you’re just waking up from a hot one night stand when you were very drunk but so was he and now it’s time for bagels and coffee.


But still.

I like some of it.

To read the rest of this essay and more from Serge Bielanko, subscribe to his Substack feed HERE.

•         •          •

Serge Bielanko lives in small-town Pennsylvania with an amazing wife who’s out of his league and a passel of exceptional kids who still love him even when he’s a lot. Every week, he shares his thoughts on life, relationships, parenting, baseball, music, mental health, the Civil War and whatever else is rattling around his noggin. Once in a blue Muskie Moon, he backs away from the computer, straps on a guitar and plays some rock ’n’ roll with his brother Dave and their bandmates in Marah