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 ....

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Appropriate Barking

Perry Winkle was reviewing his notes on the recent arrest of Marion Barry on stalking charges.  The City Council member and former Mayor had incurred his fair share of legal trouble over the years, but this appeared to be a new one.  Winkle had asked his Washington Post "Metro" editor for permission to do a larger piece on why Ward 8 could not find a better person to represent them on the Council, but the editor had shot him down with the comment "just the facts".  But what were the facts?  It wasn't the sort of thing that had a lot of eyewitnesses.  

One eyewitness was Sebastian L'Arche, but he hadn't commented on it to anybody except a cat named Lyndon (for Larouche, not Baines Johns0n), and Lyndon had only yawned, so that was that.  L'Arche was taking advantage of the Obama family's trip abroad to spend more time at the White House training Bo.  Today's lesson:  Introduction to Appropriate Barking.  Now this was the type of lesson you do not want to do when the dog's owner is present, or anywhere in the immediate vicinity, though the Obama clan would have to be incorporated into the intermediate and advanced lessons later.  Today, the participants were Clio (the White House butler), several Secret Service agents (who were eager to get Bo to stop letting out inappropriate howls and yelps), The Gipper (a particularly effective rat terrier), and Lucky Charm (a very special helping dog).  Only half of these participants understood that Bo's "inappropriate" barking was actually directed at the White House ghosts, so the training was going to be a delicate affair, indeed.  L'Arche could not see, feel, or hear the ghosts himself, but the Dog Whisperer knew from The Gipper and Lucky Charm whenever they were present in any particular White House room--and it was quite often, in the East Wing.  "Alright, let's begin."

A few blocks away, Dr. Ermann Esse was seeing a new patient, who would give no name except "Didymus".  At first Didymus had told the psychiatrist that he was the ghost of recently deceased Robert McNamara, but when Dr. Esse had expressed incredulity at this, Didymus had downgraded this statement to include "metaphorically speaking".  Didymus was preoccupied with regrets about Ford, the "McNamarization" of the Justice Department, and his tenure at the World Bank--but most of all, Didymus was preoccupied with regrets about his legacy of Defense Department lies regarding Vietnam.  "Many men in this town are carrying that monkey on their backs," Dr. Esse assured him.  "The important thing is, what have you learned from Vietnam?  How can you do things better in the future, and without lies?"  Didymus said it was too late, his career was over, he would never be at peace.  "Nonsense!" Dr. Esse exclaimed.  "In the 21st century, people can reinvent their careers as often as they like.  And you already wrote a book confessing much of this!  You are well on your way!  Why don't we start with something small:  tell me about one of the small, tiny regrets about Vietnam, something you still think needs to be rectified."  Outside his office window, a scaffold was lowered to his level and a Mohawk window-washer took aim at Dr. Esse's window panes.  As the glass cleared up, the Mohawk could see a bespectacled and bearded old man in a gray suit talking and gesticulating to an empty couch.

Several miles to the west, Charles Wu was ordering Belgian pastries and coffee from a scarf-covered maiden at Le Pain Quotidienne in Georgetown.  He couldn't stand to see a woman's crowning glory covered in anything, least of all a black scarf--which some would say was invented precisely because of lustful eyes like his, but that was a lie.  After all, it was invented in a place where every woman had the same black hair.  If they really wanted to hide a woman, they would cover up her eyes, the windows to her soul!  He handed her a twenty and told her to keep the change--which prompted a flicker of happy dilation in her pupils--then he headed out to the rear patio to meet "C. Coe Phant".  The State Department functionary was completely freaking out about the onslaught of Moslem Uighurs in violent battle with ethnic Chinese Han in the western region of Xinjiang.  It was not a coincidence that this was occurring so close to the Chinese base of Project RODHAM, but it was not directly related, either.  Wu had both mixed feelings about the bloody crackdown by Chinese soldiers and mixed feelings about how much to enlighten Phant about the situation.  Wu sat down at the usual table, used one of his napkins to wipe some bird droppings off the wood, looked up at the tree branches to scan for immediate danger, then slowly added sugar to his coffee.  This was going to be a tough one, and he wasn't even getting paid for it.

A few miles to the east, former Senator Evermore Breadman was staring out his Prince and Prowling window, yawning through another phone call from former Senator Mark Sanford.  "I can't tell you anything I haven't told you before."  The writing's on the wall, moron.  "You got busted doing something you said other politicians should resign for."  Nothing's harder to sell than hypocrisy.  "You need a major act of redemption, and even that might not be enough."  You better dedicate the rest of your life to fixing up South Carolina's "corridor of shame" public schools.  "If you can get better advice than mine, take it, but that's all I've got for you."  You went AWOL from being Governor of South Carolina--how hard is it to be Governor of South Carolina?!  Breadman usually liked ding-dong clients because they needed him the most, but he wasn't even getting paid for this.  Outside his window, a disappointed catbird screeched at him, and he tapped at the pane to make it go away.

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