Marijuana and Guerrillas
"We probably have only one minute to broadcast," she said, referring to the satellite transmission they would upload instantaneously to the television station's website. "Then they'll grab the cameras and cut off the satellite feed."
"But we're not actually doing anything illegal?" asked her cameraman, again.
"The legal counsel cleared it. It's a public sidewalk. Ready?"
Her crew nodded, and they exited their van and sprinted over to the bomb-proof planter where the marijuana plants had been spotted outside the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"Holly Gonightly, reporting live from FBI headquarters in downtown Washington. Will marijuana plants deter suicide bombers? Did the General Services Administration authorize this landscaping? Or was this a gift left by lifestyle guru Giuliana Sunstream's guerrilla gardening crew earlier this summer?" She beckoned a passing pedestrian to come take a closer look. "Ma'am, do you know what these--"
"Hands in the air! Nobody move" And with that, another FBI smackdown began, and another FBI smackdown video took flight into cyberspace.
Meanwhile, a few miles north of the White House, Sunstream's former boyfriend and conspiracy blogger, Glenn Michael Beckmann, was passing out marijuana seeds at the biggest rally he had ever put together. People had come from the Hunter-Gatherer Society, the local anti-government militia, Beckmann's Bad Asses clientele, Beckmann's Floral Cushions clientele (they were the most baffled...), Iraq war veteran circles, Justice for Darja supporters, Cuba haters, and Donald Trump haters. They stretched out on the 16th Street sidewalk all the way from Euclid to Fuller, with Beckmann planted squarely on a milk crate right in front of the newly reopened Cuban Embassy. The FBI, DC police and Secret Service agents were encircling the group to stop them from spilling into the street or, worse, trying to get over the fence, but for the moment, the crowd was hot, sleepy, and eyeing each other suspiciously.
"It's all connected!" began Beckmann, shouting into a megaphone. "Donald Trump doesn't think I'm a hero because I got captured in Iraq?" (This was a figment of his imagination.) (Several hisses from the crowd.) "I was serving my country while he was building dens of thieves in Atlantic City!" (Cheers and applause.) (A few FBI officers found themselves nodding in agreement.) "I was invading Commie Cuba while he was getting into bed with Saudi petro dollars and Eurotrash hookers!" (More cheers and applause.) "I was feeding myself with my own two hands while Trump was another NBC parasite feeding off the hard work of interns!" (This was the comment that got the best reaction from his Beckmann's Floral Cushions clientele.) "I was killing illegal aliens while Trump was hiring them to clear-cut trees and build a damned golf course for Wall Street swindlers and bribed politicians!" (More cheers and applause, coupled with raised eyebrows among the law enforcement officers.)
"It's all connected!" Beckmann hollered. ("What about Darja?" somebody shouted.) "I haven't figured out yet who killed her, but I've narrowed down the suspects! It might even be a Cuban terrorist I've seen around town. We have to stop all these un-American people!" he exclaimed, pointing at the Cuban Embassy behind him. (More cheers and applause.) ("What are we going to do about it?" someone else shouted.) Beckmann, who was not entirely insane, eyed the police presence encircling his rally, and began speaking in code. "We are going to assemble poplin and muslin with buckwheat filling into the best cushions this town has ever seen, and then we'll embroider daisies and petunias alongside the hibiscus until those floral cushions are delivered to the jackasses and burros and ragheads bringing our country down!"
The dozen people who had quickly translated that speech in their heads burst into wild applause, and the rest joined in so they wouldn't feel stupid. The FBI commander and Secret Service chief of mission were both talking on cellphones with their bosses, explaining that they were still uncertain if Beckmann had directly threatened anybody, while the DC police lead detective was talking to his boss about whether he should bring Beckmann in for questioning about his claim to have killed illegal aliens. All of them knew that Beckmann had been under federal surveillance since threatening to blow up the Federal Reserve Board, and the instructions were simply to put it into the reports.
Inside the Cuban Embassy, curious VIPs were gathered at upstairs windows to watch the rally.
"Ese tío está loco," said the ambassador, who turned to Prince and Prowling's interpreter to confirm his opinion.
"Yes," nodded Paul. "A complete lunatic."
Bridezilla (a Prince and Prowling junior partner) smiled at Paul, who had been by her side at every Cuban Practice Group event the entire week since the embassy's flag-raising ceremony on Monday. "Ladies and gentlemen, why don't we get back to the presentation? The best way to counter extremism is to show that Cuba is open for business, and American business is going to be there to out-compete all comers!" (She giggled at the word "comers" because having a secret affair with a contract attorney she was with day and night made her prey to frequent dirty thoughts.) "Prince and Prowling is lobbying diligently in Congress to lift the restrictions, and you could be the first with commercial agreements in place to take advantage of the return of the Yankees to Havana!"
The Cuban ambassador handed another rum-and-Coke to Paul, who had repeatedly assured him that Prince and Prowling was not a CIA tool--just a firm that was truly willing to make money anywhere. "Viva la Revolución!" Paul said, clinking glasses with the ambassador.
Back at FBI headquarters, the Director had bigger things to worry about than Beckmann's latest rally or even the marijuana smackdown video going viral: Barbara Hellmeister had seduced and/or hypnotized her guard and escaped federal custody. They knew she wouldn't dare return to the CIA, but the question remained: where was she? Outside the Director's window, a catbird sat on the ledge, mocking him with imitated walkie-talkie sounds, and he threw his stapler at it to make it fly away. The catbird flew off but returned quickly, and this time it simply stared until the livid Director finally walked over and closed the blinds.
COMING UP: The haunting of the Reiki Triplets.