Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Upside Down

The Heurich Society was having its post-election planning meeting.  It was a beautiful day outside, and more than a few members would have preferred being on a golf course, but here they were--holed up on the top floor of the Brewmaster's Castle, plotting their course.  Condoleezza Rice had missed almost half of their meetings the past year, but she suddenly seemed intent on seizing the helm, and nobody had any illusions why.  The current agenda item was the Middle East, and she was outlining her action plan for 2009.  Henry Samuelson was eating a crueller and tapping his right foot on the floor, impatiently awaiting his turn to speak.  He had only spent 15 years of his life in the Middle East (under five different names)--what was that compared to Rice's 15 months of weekend trips?!  Samuelson still believed that nobody but the CIA could handle the Middle East.  Three members believed that the new election would require them to abandon the Moon Township Plan and move in another direction altogether.  A couple members with particularly bad stock market portfolios were already advocating for the Grated Cheese plan to move forward, while several others less enamored with capitalism were advocating a modified Turkey Trot plan to steer the U.S. into the right kind of socialism.  The Chair was growing impatient, and took advantage of a lull in Rice's delivery to interrupt her.  "Do any of you understand the significance of this election?!"  This was very insulting to the members, and he knew it.  "We need some radically new ideas!  This is not business as usual for the Heurich Society."  A mousy man at the end of the table cleared his throat.  He had been waiting for just this moment for two days, ever since he had found that trampled memo on the floor of Lynnette Wong's herbal shop in Chinatown.  And so it was that Charles Wu clandestinely planted in the Heurich Society the seed for the Ming Dung plan.

A few miles south, post-election planning was also underway at Prince and Prowling.  Bridezilla was in her office clearing out her wedding-planning drawer.  "My job is more important than ever!", she said in a whiny voice, echoing the speech she had gotten last night from Wince when he had again postponed their wedding day.  "The Supreme Court is more important than ever!", she grumbled, at an even higher pitch, as she tossed out eight catalogs containing last season's wedding gown couture. "I will be drafting opinions that need to stand for hundreds of years!", she whined, as she tore up sample wedding invitations.  "This will be the biggest year of my life!", she screeched, as she crumpled up sample menus containing 2008's trendiest wine and dessert combinations.  Then she pulled off her wedding ring and hurled it to the bottom of the drawer.  First it was the District Court clerkship, then it was the Appeals Court clerkship, and now it's the stupid Supreme Court clerkship.  "I hate Justice Prissy Face!!"

It was a nickname she had given her fiance's boss after learning of his preference for chamomile tea and ladyfingers, but former Senator Evermore Breadman knew none of that when he heard her hollering as he passed her door.  They never should have let women into this profession.  He walked past his Wall of Me (already rearranged to feature more photographs of smiling Democrat handshakes and fewer photographs of Republican ones) and shut the door behind him.  He opened his briefcase and pulled out the notes he had jotted down the day before.  His clients were besieging him with questions, and he had assured all of them that there are always ways to make money--anytime, anywhere.  The truth was, though, that the next few months had more than an average amount of uncertainty.  He took a gulp of the Ming Dung herbal tea concoction he had picked up in Chinatown on the way, and re-read his notes from the phone conversation with Charles Wu.  The Beijing office of Prince and Prowling was doing well, and Wu had some excellent ideas for expanding Breadman's piece of that action.  He took another gulp, and his intestines quieted down.

A couple of blocks away, Laura Bush had already started packing up her office.  She couldn't deny it anymore, not even to herself:  she was happy.  Washington had been nothing like she had expected, she hardly ever saw her daughters anymore, her husband had become an old man--but in Texas, she would be in charge of her own life again.  She was looking through the pile of books she wanted to read (which had somehow gotten bigger and bigger over the past eight years, even though she had originally expected a lot of free time), and pulled out a couple to keep with her as the rest got boxed up.  She threw the Candace Gingrich lesbian autobiography in the trash, and set aside several others for charity.  Satisfied with her progress, she sat down to clean up the piles on her desk.  She paused over a few photos of herself and Sarah Palin, then tossed them in the garbage can.  Caribou Barbie.  It had taken a very long time, but she had finally realized that she was more like Hillary Rodham Clinton than anybody else in Washington.  Not that they would ever be friends.  But sometimes she wondered--really wondered--what it would be like to sit down with her, share a bottle of wine, and talk.   And the new one?  She really worried about the new one--worried that a lot of people in this town would always view her as ghetto.  People in this town like to label you--that helps limit your reach and your power, keeps you in a box.  With a sudden jerk of her head, she realized that she was now going to be in the same box as her mother-in-law..., and she did not want to share a bottle of wine and a chat with her.  There was only one person besides herself that knew what she really wanted to do after being First Lady, and that was Dr. Ermann Esse, and the shrink wasn't talking.

Out in the backyard, Regina and Ferguson were playing with Barney in the bright sunshine as their mother watched from a distance, a knitting project in her hands.  Clio hoped she could stay on as White House Butler for the new First Family, but this new cough worried her..., and her fatigue was not getting better.  "Reggie!  Fergie!"  They were taunting Barney, trying to get him to snap at them, the way he had bitten the reporter a few days earlier.  "You play nice!"  The twins rolled their eyes, and Fergie threw a ball for Barney to fetch.  Their mother had already warned them that there would be new kids in the White House come January, but the warning had not had the intended effect.  They weren't giving up one inch of their play territory, oh, no!  Those Obama girls would be entering their world!  Hovering above them, the White House ghosts didn't know what to think:  it was like the whole world had turned upside down.  A flock of starlings took flight, harkening to the call of Ardua of the Potomac--who had her own post-election plans on the march.

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