Rock the Boat
"It's hotter than tarnation out here!" exclaimed Rep. X, wiping his brow again with the Hilton towel he had wrapped around his neck.
"It must be global warming!" laughed Rep. Y with a wink, tossing back another ice-cold American beer.
"Can I get your attention, please?" said Congressman Herrmark. "I want everybody to have a good time today, but there is something very important that I want to talk to you all about."
"No, no, I can't hear another word about the Patriot Act!" groaned Rep. Y. "My constituents all want it to expire, but those spooks keep telling me we desperately need it! What's a man to do?"
Senator Rand Paul opened his mouth to speak, but Congressman Herrmark cut him off. "There's a greater threat to this nation than terrorists or the police state." (Several gasps were heard.) "Ann, start passing around the photos."
Herrmark's Chief of Staff, Ann Bishis, began handing around photos of the zombies her small team had so far killed on Capitol Hill, complete with close-ups of the maggots crawling out of their skulls. (Sometimes she missed the old days, when the wildest thing she did was charge money to let constituents have sex on Herrmark's desk.)
Rep. X promptly fainted, and efforts were made to revive him. "I'm alright! I'm alright!" he exclaimed toweling off the water they had just poured on his face. "It's the doggone heat!" he insisted.
"These are zombies, my friends," intoned Congressman Herrmark. "They are in both branches of Congress, and we don't yet know how many there are. We have affirmatively identified both junior and senior staffers, and we suspect some Members of Congress are also zombies." (More gasps.) "I am ashamed to say that my former Chief of Staff was a zombie, and I did not even know it. It's quite likely she ate my summer 2010 intern, who disappeared without a trace. (More gasps as Herrmark crossed himself.) "More importantly, she persuaded me to vote for a lot of bone-headed bills which, in hindsight, I suspect were written by the Zombie Caucus."
"The Zombie Caucus?!" exclaimed Rep. Y.
"Oh, yes," intoned Congressman Herrmark. "It exists. My current Chief of Staff and her late boyfriend discovered it meeting in a secret room behind the Congressional tunnels. The zombies killed that young man, who saved Ann's life by pushing her away even as the demon hordes descended on him. They also killed the brilliant dog who sniffed them out."
"This is absurd!" protested Rep. Z. "You don't believe in global warming, but you believe in zombies?!"
"I have slaughtered them with my bare hands!" exclaimed Congressman Herrmark. "And we strongly suspect that Congressman Boehner's Chief of Staff is a zombie: that's why he brought a vote to repeal Obamacare 834 times. Zombies like to prey on the weak, people who are not healthy enough to run away or fight back. They also support all the National Rifle Association legislation, because guns can't kill zombies. We need your help investigating more Congressional delegations. We can't trust the FBI with this, and we can't let the other two branches of government know that Congress is harboring the equivalent of a domestic terrorist cell. We have to take care of this quietly. Ann and I have selected you all because we think you are the right people for the job." He nodded to his Chief of Staff, who texted her cousins (Herrmark's twin bodyguards) to bring up the prisoner from below deck. "I'm gonna show you something today you will never forget as long as you live."
Nick and Costas brought up the large Samsonite suitcase they had stuffed Senator James Inhofe's hog-tied Chief Counsel into, opened it up, and a wriggling Hefty bag spilled out. Nick pinned the zombie down, and Costas cut its head off with an axe. (Gasps and screams.) Then they pulled the plastic off to show their audience the maggots rushing out of the zombie's cranium.
"This man will terrorize the U.S. Department of Interior no more," said Congressman Herrmark. (A couple people threw up.) "I know this is horrifying, but this is the ugly truth about Congress. Some of our people have maggots for brains. It's time to take back America's House!"
"I'm with you, damn it!" exclaimed Senator Rand Paul, and several others chimed in with their now enthusiastic support.
Then they cleaned up the deck and did a limbo contest, waving cheerfully at other boaters enjoying the first day of summer on the Potomac River.
Ten feet below them, the demon Ardua laughed at this puny attempt to clean up Congress, reached her tentacles up to the hull, and sent evil energy into the drunk Euchre player who had just urinated into her river.
A few miles away, Bridezilla was not minding so much not being out on the Potomac. It is true she still resented Prince and Prowling's banning her from publicly campaigning with her fiancé, Wince, but it would have been a hot day on the fundraising cruise, and it's not as if she could have gotten away with wearing a bikini to an event like that! And since SOTA-BUNK was still shuttered until it could re-open under court-mandated conditions, the law firm had hired a few project attorneys directly: and the handsomest one was currently in her office asking for clarification on his foreign language document review. And even though she knew he was really a temp, and would be laid off in a few months, he just did not seem as lowly as the contract attorneys usually seemed to her. For one thing, he had traveled all over the world! He spoke three foreign languages. He had a Spanish haircut, a Brazilian muscle shirt, and Italian shoes! And he was wearing French cologne.
"So this one didn't have any Spanish," Paul said. "Just a Latin quote in the signature block, 'carpe diem.'"
"Tag it Other Foreign Language," said Bridezilla, resting her head in her right hand and staring dreamily into his eyes.
"Um, okay," replied Paul, pulling out another document. "This one just has a standard email disclaimer written in both English and Portuguese."
"Tag it Other Foreign Language," said Bridezilla again, smiling.
"Um, okay," said Paul, pulling out another. "This one was apparently flagged because it has the name of a French company: see, those words are just the name of a company."
"Tag it Other Foreign Language," said Bridezilla again, still smiling.
"But it's just a name--like Prada or Hyundai. It's not really a foreign language."
"We're not producing anything but English or Spanish," said Bridezilla, still smiling.
"But the email is in English--it just has the name of a French company. It's like the name Chanel or Givenchy."
"I don't make the rules," shrugged Bridezilla.
"You are really withholding these documents from the other side?" asked Paul, disgusted and incredulous.
"It is what it is!" said Bridezilla, sweetly. Now, if this had been a mere contract attorney emailing her from the State-of-the-Art Review Bunker, she would have recognized this as a provocation about her legal ethics, and she would have been furious! But this was a fellow Prince and Prowling attorney, sitting in her office! And he had cheekbones to die for! (And Wince had been out campaigning a lot lately.) "Do you want to have lunch with me at the Daily Grill?"
"Um, okay," said Paul, looking nervously at the engagement ring on her left hand.
Back on the Potomac, Charles Wu was giving his three-year-old daughter, Buffy Cordelia, her first sailing lesson. She was brilliant as well as physically gifted, just like her father. "Tack it!" he said, and she pursed her little lips in determination and pulled with all her might. "Good job, Delia!" He scooped up some more river water and splashed it on her face to cool her off. She giggled and shook her wet hair at him.
Ten feet below them, Ardua of the Potomac glided closer. She knew that the Hong Kong triple agent was perfectly balanced again between good and evil, and it annoyed her to no end. His life force was massive, and Ardua could not afford to lose him to the light...and she sensed a lot of light from that little girl.
COMING UP: The Diary of Ghost Dennis.