California Blat is a spirit running free
He’s crazy as a loon
He’s riding down to the Grand Canyon now,
To meditate beneath a desert moon (oh yeah)
To seek the truth beneath a desert moon.
Having eluded the Moment Men’s roadblock on the outskirts of Las Vegas, California Blat might have gotten away altogether - but he just couldn't resist being the center of attention. When he reached Grand Canyon Village and saw the crowds of people in Market Plaza, he climbed onto the back of his red-white-and-blue GMC Sierra, and began haranguing them:
"I preach LOVE! LOVE!! LOVE!!! AMERICA-LOVE! FREEDOM-LOVE! TROOP-SURGE-LOVE! TROOP-REDUCTION-LOVE! BOMB-THE-SHIT-OUT-OF-IRAN-LOVE! SUCK-ON-THIS-TED-NUGENT-LOVE!!" He took an empty plastic bag out of his pocket and began pulling out handfuls of M&Ms-flavored trail mix, which he threw into the ever-growing crowd. "RAPTURE!!! God shall wipe away the tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death. Nay, neither any bird flu nor high cholesterol nor erectile dysfunction. Not with VIBE vitamins, the cure for every ill. RAPTURE!! VOTE FOR RALPH!! HE NEEDS TO GET LAID!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!"
Now, if his audience had been local people, the Moment Men would never have heard of it, because Blat has become quite a folk hero in the desert. But these listeners were tourists, and as a result the news reached his pursuers’ ears so swiftly that he will still in mid-tirade when they roared into the plaza parking lot. "Oop! Gotta go," he said abruptly, leaped into the driver’s seat and gunned the truck onto the highway with the Moment Men right on his tailpipe.
Down Desert View Drive they flew, with the South Rim of the canyon on their left. They had gone about ten miles when the BlatMobile took a curve too wide, spun out of control, fishtailed across the highway and came to a stop at the very edge of the canyon. Blat crawled out to find the Moment Men and their sawed-off shotguns surrounding him, and a five-thousand-foot drop at his back.
"You gotta surrender now, Blat!" shouted Hiram. "You ain’t got no place else to go." But Blat merely laughed.
You ain’t gonna take me back to Crazy Ralph.
You ain’t got enough I.Q.
And where I’m goin’ you can’t follow me.
Good-bye and may the world be good to you (poor boys).
Good-bye and may the world be good to you."
Then he took a step backward and disappeared over the edge. The Moment Men ran as close as they dared and looked down - but the valley below was empty except for a very large vulture flapping lazily among the rocks.
They decided to go down, hoping to at least bring some of his shattered remains back to the Candidate. But they hadn’t gone far before Eustace Whazzup slipped, rolled downhill until he fetched up against a rock, and couldn’t get up again.
Eustace is now in traction at the Flagstaff Medical Center. "The doctors say he got a shattered femur," says Hiram. "Funny, I thought it was his thigh bone." They managed to get hold of RALPH, and the news of Blat’s disappearance cheered him up considerably - the distraught Sonny Brothers had just arrived with news of Lephari’s hideous fate. Searchers are still combing the bottom of the canyon for traces of California Blat, but so far without success. Meanwhile, the Moment Men have other concerns - since Eustace has no health insurance, what are they going to do about the astronomical hospital bills he’s accumulating?