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, December 26, 2010

You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Henry Samuelson was on Yelp.com writing a blistering review of Eatonville--which had served him the worst fried okra he had ever tasted in his life, and at twice the price fried okra should be however fancy the restaurant is. And how could they insist it was a fine dining restaurant when bizarre murals of poets covered all the walls? And how dare they tell him to put away his Economist because "patrons could not have a fine dining experience if other diners were reading magazines, typing on laptops, or playing boardgames"? "There is nothing more repugnant," Samuelson typed slowly (hunt-n-peck method, old school), "than a pretentious restaurant misappropriating the literary, sociological, and culinary traditions of the South to advance an elitist dining event calculated to impose a financially discriminatory and culturally incorrect experience on its unprepared customers." He paused to rest from the effort, which was one of his finest on Yelp.com ever. "Your attitude is full of spiders, there is garlic in your smile, your appetizer is a greasy black banana peel, and your entree is a sauerkraut/toadstool sandwich with arsenic dressing." (He was liberally borrowing from Dr. Seuss now--the holidays always had strange effects on him.) "Bah humbug to you!" With that he hit the submit button, then read how the entry looked posted on the screen. (His screen name here was "JuliaChild'sSpyRevenge".) He looked over at the Christmas tree his daughter Button had come over to decorate three weeks ago and wondered how long he had to keep it up. He switched back to cnn.com to see if there were any more Christmas bombings or natural disasters.

Several miles to the south, Dizzy was cursing the snow shower--which was just enough to keep fair-weather people away from the Mall but not enough to bring out the snow-loving photographers, sledders, snowman builders, and cross-country skiers. He shivered and put away his trumpet, contemplating whether he should try for a shelter tonight. He counted the money he had collected since Christmas Eve, and decided it was enough to bribe the Subway manager on 20th Street to let him crash there overnight. But what would he do this afternoon? A motorcade of city police officers and VIP limousines began passing him on Constitution Avenue, and Dizzy instinctively held up his middle finger--something he had done to every limousine he had ever seen since moving to Washington. "Drop dead!" he shouted for good measure, because he was poor and homeless and they were powerful and limo-borne. (And truth be told, he had gotten it right almost 50% of the time.)

A few miles to the east, Becky Hartley was ready to help Sebastian L'Arche with the after-Christmas onslaught of abandoned pets. She had told him she would end her family festivities Christmas afternoon in order to fly back from Dallas to help him, but he was still in shock when she had showed up bright and early in a bright red tracksuit, brown cowboy boats, and a hybrid Santa/Stetson hat. "Merry Christmas, y'all!" she called out to the high school boys in the backyard trying to get the dogs and puppies to expend as much energy as possible before it got too snowy . "I've got pralines and fruitcake, and this is my momma's Texas fruitcake, so y'all will love it!" (The fruitcake actually came from a Trappist monastery in South Carolina, but her mother had been buying it for thirty years and re-wrapping it in tin foil and ribbons.) She shut the back door again and looked at L'Arche. "So what's the skinny?" He told her he still had fifteen pets he was watching over the holidays, and then ten more had been dropped between two p.m. Christmas Day and now: mostly puppies that parents wouldn't let their kids keep (after jubilantly receiving them from aunts and uncles), a boa constrictor that a six-year-old's single mother could not believe her boyfriend had brought over as the "greatest Christmas gift ever", a parrot that had sworn like a sailor for several hours before its new owner realized that was the reason it had been re-gifted, a baby deer some hunters had orphaned during their annual Christmas afternoon hunt in Anne Arundel County, a $500 endangered species tropical fish imported illegally from Guyana and dropped off after it ate a third of the collector's other tropical fish, and a picture-perfect Golden retriever that a certain divorced lobbyist had bought to impress his children while they visited for Christmas (he would just get another one next Thanksgiving when they came back from Australia again). "What are we gonna do with Bambi?" Hartley asked when L'Arche showed her the orphan pacing nervously in the bathroom she had been temporarily relegated to. He told her he didn't know much about deer, but she was plenty traumatized by the taking of her mother, and wouldn't even take bottled milk. "You leave that to me," said Hartley, who had learned quite a lot from apprenticing with the dog whisperer this year. "I guess you're my baby until we can take you to Rock Creek Park, hon!" And L'Arche stood and stared in amazement as the foundling quickly came to the bottle Hartley had held out after sitting on the edge of the bathtub. "Just needed a woman's touch!" said Hartley, and though L'Arche suspected female pheromones actually were the magic elixir, he continued to be amazed at Becky Hartley.

Up near the National Cathedral, Atticus Hawk stared out his apartment window at the swirling snow, still in shock. Yesterday, he and his fiancee Jai Alai had hosted both their families at her home in Maryland for the first time, and all Hell had broken loose. Too many cocktails, too many loud video games, too many political arguments, too much racism on both sides--it was hard to say how it had all gone so badly, but before the day was over, plates were smashed against walls, the Christmas tree was knocked over, the smoke alarm was shattered with a baseball bat after screeching its warning about the overdone turkey, Alai's father had a broken wrist, Hawk's brother had a black eye, a visiting Dachsund bit Alai's son, and Hawk's father declared, "You're marrying into this family over my dead body!" Though Hawk protested and assured Alai that nothing would stop him from marrying her, she folded immediately and said she would never marry into a family that did not want her, and so she was setting him free. She even took off her engagement ring and stuck it on his pinkie finger before he left. He picked up the phone to call her for the fiftieth time, but it went straight to voicemail again. After telling his family to go to Hell, was he really going to be without his fiancee, too? He cursed his father under his breath, wildly wanting to take revenge against him in some fashion he could only vaguely contemplate at this moment in time. He picked up a framed photo of his family and flung it against the wall, shattering the glass and denting the plaster. Then he jumped up and down on the shattered glass to make it crack into even smaller pieces. Then he got his car keys and coat and headed out into the cold, gray day to drive over to the federal penitentiary, where he would use his Justice Department badge to get in for a visit with some terrorist detainees and scream bloody murder at them for an hour or two.

A few hundred feet below ground, Glenn Michael Beckmann thought he also needed to detain a terrorist as he stared suspiciously at a turban-headed Sikh sitting across the aisle from him on a Metro train. When the Sikh began rubbing his hands together to warm himself, Beckmann was sure he saw a fuse running to an underwear bomb. Beckmann ripped the knitting needles out of the hands of the woman next to him (that was faster than pulling out one of his own concealed weapons) and lunged across the aisle to double-stab the surprised Sikh. "Get him!" he heard somebody yell, and was glad that others would help pin the terrorist to the floor, but then a couple guys grabbed Beckmann and hurled him to the floor. Women were screaming, children were hollering, and nobody seemed to hear Beckmann telling them they were grabbing the wrong guy. Finally Beckmann wrestled his way free and ran out the train door when it opened in the Van Ness station.

Over in Potomac Manors, real estate mogul Calico Johnson reviewed the court papers he would be filing on Monday to evict 300 tenants across the city of Washington for non-payment of rent. This process took a really long time in D.C., and chances are he would drive them out in some other fashion before the judicial process worked, but he was always willing to give a judge the chance to do the right thing. Meanwhile, the real estate demon living beneath his porch dozed contentedly in the face of the wet and cold wind and dreamed of evil past and evil future.

Washington Water Woman is heading out of town this week and expects to blog again in two weeks. Coming up in 2011: Congressman Herrmark turns against hydrofracking, Angela de la Paz gets her first mission, Eva Brown gets a wedding proposal, one of the good guys dies, and Ardua's baby daddy is revealed. Happy New Year!

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