Raert was on the radio. Raert was always on the radio, talking about radios and complaining about life and generally pissing on everyone’s ears with his whining. He had this knack for talkin’ and wheedling responses out of people so he always had a ham buddy on the line, usually it was Fabio on his way to or coming home from work, or 700 lb. Goliath, or Mr. Q – all refugees from reality in their own special ways.
Fabio was a roofer, and an anomaly for ham radio in that he was very articulate and well-spoken and especially, intelligent. He had no difficulty with any of the hamsters except for Raert, who would occasionally act out and get insulted by Fabio’s easygoing manner and cut him off of the communication network he had built up. Raert found Fabio’s IQ a bit intimidating and would have to pick a fight with him now and then in order to mask his feelings of inferiority behind a wall of silence. It was about the only time Raert was silent.
Goliath a mass of obesity (so was Raert) something not foreign to ham radio operators as evidenced at Ham Fests everywhere. You could see them all, with their butt cracks showing and their paunches hanging down below their waistbands on the obligatory blue jeans that were the uniform of hamsters everywhere, along with a plaid flannel shirt. Goliath had undergone gastric bypass surgery recently, and had the wealth of problems associated with such a serious, life-threatening operation – diarrhea in massive quantities was the most obnoxious side effect, but the inability to get through a day without pain and suffering meant that he merely survived instead of thriving now. He had lost weight, yes, and now was looking into surgery to cut the excess folds of skin flopping on his body like so much elephant hide. Goliath had the sub par intelligence and lack of education so evident in the majority of hamsters, and had a difficult time grasping the fine points, much less the gross points of daily politics, religion, and affairs of the day. His conversations centered on monosyllabic responses to Raert’s gruntings and groanings about the unfairness of life and all the great deals he’d been cheated out of and all the slights perpetrated on him by bank tellers and cashiers and any other unfortunate service occupation people that came into contact with him. So Goliath made the perfect partner for Raert’s rambling discourses on life.
Mr. Q was interestingly maladjusted. He had no concept of the connections that existed between your actions and the consequences of such. His education, while above average, was displayed in the usual corporate manner of political roundabout and a quick run to the men’s room in order to avoid any semblance of conflict. His abilities were slanted towards picking up a microphone and dialing up a frequency while performing the typical task of an hourly administrative assistant, all in the guises of running a mystery business. He, too, was a great partner for Raert’s ham fiddlings. Anyone able to listen and nod out an affirmation of life’s unfairness towards the poor and downtrodden made a good foil for Raert’s maladjusted sense of political inequality and the self-righteousness of the rich.
All of these characters and thousands more made up the network of hamsters operating on common frequencies throughout America, making up a vast chain of almost subversive perverts of all that made the U.S. a haven for the weak and the poor. Lack of education linked up so many of the ham radio operators that Oscar felt like an outcast on the air bands. Like Fabio, he had a superior intellect, and in addition he had the forces of a PhD behind his brain power. Able to ferret out the truths behind the propaganda foisted on the American public by the media and politicians, Oscar was capable of holding up both ends of a conversation and therefore felt like a freak on the frequencies frequented by the aforementioned hamsters. He was swimming in a sea of malcontented and less than average men. Eventually, the inequalities broke his spirit and he rebelled against the squad of squalor who took up his time and energy. Oscar divorced himself from ham radio by writing a little tome about the ignorance and poverty of intellect of hamsters, and was therefore made an outcast. Raert and Fabio and the others acted in unison to banish Oscar from their common forum, and lost the only outside viewpoint that could possibly drag them into the daylight of reason.