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 ....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Frustrated Helpers

Sebastian L'Arche was walking carefully into the National Zoo bird facility beside "John Doe", a frontal lobe epileptic learning to use Lucky Charm as his helping dog. Not only could Lucky Charm sense when Doe was about to have an epileptic seizure, Doe knew that Lucky Charm could see the visions and ghosts that Doe saw. Doe was also hopeful that Lucky Charm would someday understand Doe when he spoke in tongues. They stopped in front of the flamingo enclosure, where a new flamingo mother was absent-mindedly regurgitating crop milk onto her sated and sleeping baby, whose feathery back was quickly covered with pink goop that looked like a spilled strawberry milkshake. L'Arche looked carefully at Doe--who had told L'Arche that "primal" scenes often prompted him to have seizures--but apparently a misdirected maternal feeding was not primal enough.

Over at the White House--where strawberry milkshakes, strawberry smoothies, and strawberry SlimFasts were all flowing--a Rahm Emanuel wannabe was presiding over another round of "not good enough to be an Obama political appointee". "Look," the wannabe said sternly to nobody in particular. "This is a clear violation of Rule Five: you cannot trust people who use clown font."

"It was only in his email--not in his resume," protested the applicant's advocate.

"NO! Next?"

"Here's somebody to, umm, bolster the team at Treasury." The nervous staffer proffered a cover letter and resume from a Stanford-educated M.B.A. with experience at the World Bank and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. The staffer knew that their last appointee at Treasury--a thirty-year-old with years of experience campaigning for Barak Obama and not doing much else--had apparently prompted some ugly gossip about Obama's handling of TARP funds.

"Did she work on the campaign?"

"She donated the maximum, and volunteered for the campaign in New York."

"Are you kidding me?! That's not even a battleground state!"

"Sir," the staffer cleared his throat again, then spoke in little more than a whisper. "There are some career people at Treasury using the K-word."

"Kickback?"

"No--"

"Kismet?"

"What?"

"Kangaroo court?"

"NO! Katrina! Hurricane Katrina!"

The wannabe put down his pink stuff. "Huh? Why are G-Men talking about Katrina?"

"You know--are qualified people in charge in case a hurricane comes along--metaphorically speaking. I'm not saying that, but there are career people there who are." The staffer's left eye was twitching, and the other staffers fidgeted nervously.

The wannabe's face turned red. "You have the audacity to compare Obama's political appointees to that joke at FEMA?!"

"Not me!" protested the staffer. "But career people there--you know, they just want to see more bankers and lawyers and people that, umm, have more relevant background.

"The PEOPLE are running the Treasury now!"

"Sure, but some of the people could be bankers and lawyers--"

"Next!" The wannabe put out his hand and waited for another file to be placed there.

Over in the East Wing, President Obama was proofreading another speech while Bo gnawed contentedly on a chew toy nearby. When men take by force what they cannot take by reason.... Obama looked over at Bo, who now knew almost as many state secrets as Obama did--but not as many as the White House ghosts. Truth will spill out like emotional lava.... Obama had already invoked the state secrets privilege to hide some of the very things he had previously complained were hidden by President Bush before him. The age of the mugwump will never return.... Obama didn't like being told his Administration was becoming Nixonian in the White House and in the Pentagon, but he was the Decider now, and the voices whispering ideas in his ears never stopped. death to America.... He blinked his eyes, surprised to see a terrorist chant in his speech draft. ...death to Americans without health insurance.... He again glanced at Bo, who was now baring his teeth (for no apparent reason) at a ficus tree in the corner. The ghost hovering above the tree vanished, Bo went back to his chew toy, and Obama went back to his speech.

Several blocks away, Atticus Hawk was in a good mood: he was almost finished with his brief on the White House's updated state secrets privilege doctrine, his past as a DOJ torture expert was better protected than he previously thought, and Jai Alai would soon be leaving the zoo and heading downtown to pick him up for dinner. Who knew you could be reasonable? Hawk mock-saluted the photograph of President Obama on the wall. Maybe these terrorist trials in New York will be fun!

Back at the zoo, a crowd (including Jai Alai and her son) was gathering around John Doe--who was lying on the ground in a catatonic state. Lucky Charm was sprawled over Doe's legs, but this was for comfort, not restraint. Periodically, Doe would speak in tongues, then lapse into silence, then speak some more. The crowd was debating whether to call 911, but Sebastian L'Arche continued to reassure them that it was simply an epileptic seizure. A bored Calico Johnson took his date by the hand and urged her to continue their trek to the Amazon exhibit, but Lucky Charm had just figured out what Doe was saying--haunted Rolex!--and Lucky Charm leapt to her feet and lunged for Johnson's wrist. "Lucky!" L'Arche grabbed the dog's leash in the nick of time and let Johnson continue on his way (after a few choice words on Johnson's part). A minute later, Doe woke up, remembering nothing, and not understanding that dogs can get frustrated, too.

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COMING SOON: "Chloe Cleavage owns no apron", "the house is on fire", and other Thanksgiving tales!

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