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, January 30, 2011


Bridezilla was in her apartment kitchen rearranging the plates that Liv Cigemeier had put in the dishwasher. Liv picked up the orange juice pitcher and slowly moved to put it in the fridge, waiting for Bridezilla to give her instructions about where exactly to place it, but Bridezilla let this one slide since she was actually planning to dump it down the sink after everybody left (people could have exhaled germs into it). Their husbands were in the living room setting up the "Rock Band" video game that Bridezilla's boyfriend had brought over--it was his idea that Bridezilla might advance her career at Prince and Prowling by socializing more with her coworkers, and she had decided to invite over the Cigemeiers since Liv and her associate husband had been the only ones at the law firm's holiday party that she hadn't caught double-dipping or committing other germ infractions. Bridezilla washed her hands, moisturized them, then put on another pair of surgical gloves before the ladies headed out to the living room. "What's wrong?" asked Bridezilla as soon as she saw her boyfriend packing up the video game.

"It got corrupted--I'm not sure what happened. We'll have to do it some other time after I get my back-up CD. Why don't we have a bottle of wine and--"

"Noooooo!" wailed Bridezilla. "I've been looking forward to this all week!" Bridezilla had become obsessed with playing "Rock Band"--it was psychologically therapeutic for her to scream revolutionary lyrics (and occasional obscenities) at the top of her lungs while pressing the colored buttons on the fake guitar.

"Well, we can watch a DVD--"

"Noooooo!" wailed Bridezilla. "I need to sing! You know what a horrible week I've had!"

"Well, maybe we could find a karaoke place--"

"Noooooo!" wailed Bridezilla. "I'd have to re-do my whole outfit and hair, and change my make-up, and I don't want to sing in public! Why can't you fix it?" Her boyfriend was an extremely successful software developer, and she expected him to be able to take care of technical glitches immediately.

"Well," he said, looking abashedly at the Cigemeier's (who were pretending to examine and discuss Bridezilla's coffee table book on Nancy Reagan's housekeeping secrets), "I could go to my place to get the back-up copy--"

"Noooooo!" wailed Bridezilla. The round-trip would take ninety minutes, and there was no way she was taking a Prince and Prowling associate over to an apartment with pictures of Hindu deities on the wall and aromas of Indian spices permeating the atmosphere. "It's no use! I'm too stressed out! This is the only thing that can help me! I'm not good company right now! I'm sorry, but you're going to have to leave!" With that, she burst into tears and fled into the bedroom.

The Cigemeier's hesitated for a moment, unsure what to say and waiting for Bridezilla's boyfriend to go after her. "Well...." he said sheepishly, knowing it was now too late to suggest to Bridezilla he run to Best Buy and pick up a whole new system. "I'm sorry: she had a bad week. I should have brought the back-up copy with me." The Cigemeier's expressed their sympathies, got their coats, and headed out.

"Wow!" said Liv. ("Wow!" echoed her husband.) Liv had never exhibited that type of nervous breakdown (not even after the miscarriage), and her husband had actually experienced the exact same work stress that Bridezilla had experienced at Prince and Prowling this week. "Well," added Liv, "we already set aside a couple hours for this--let's find a karaoke bar!" Her husband smiled and kissed her.

Across the river, one Prince and Prowling employee who had never tried "Rock Band" was still toiling away: former Senator Evermore Breadman. Convinced that Charles Wu's fecal transplant had made him a new man, Breadman was determined to make more money in 2011 than he had ever made before. He already had eleven new clients lined up simply because of the Special Counsel investigation released earlier in the week reporting on Hatch Act violations by the Bush Administration prior to the 2006 mid-term elections. Not only had Republican National Committee operatives moved into the White House to coordinate campaigns, seven Cabinet secretaries were now accused of lying about the purpose of official business trips during that time period. Three former Secretaries seeking my counsel in the same week! He was well on his way.

A block away, President Obama was wearily letting go of another less than restful weekend and turning his thoughts back to...work. His poll numbers were up, his Arizona speech had enthralled the nation, and his State of the Union speech was well-received--but, like the snow patches that refused to melt in the White House backyard, cares and worries continued to pollute his view. Tunisia was fine, but Egypt? Nobody could tell him what to do: not the Egyptians chanting outside the White House, not the CIA reports, not the State Department briefings, not the Pentagon blowhards, and not the Facebook activists. The U.S. was responsible for a paltry $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt (one week of Iraqi war spending!), but somehow the U.S. was supposed to have the leverage to solve this? He stared out the window at the butler's pre-schoolers' throwing their last snowballs before being called into supper by their mother. He had relatives in Kenya who had never seen snow, but he was the President of the United States and was supposed to have seen it all.

Over at the Federal Reserve Board, the Camelot Society was meeting in the Research Library to discuss the report released earlier in the week by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. The media had barely seemed to notice it, though maybe that was because its conclusions had been forewhadowed by "60 Minutes", the documentary "Inside Job", Andrew Cuomo, the Huffington Post, Bloomberg News, and every other reasonable Wall Street investigation between the summer of 2008 and the close of 2010. But what all the other inquiries had failed to do, the FCIC's would: make somebody pay. (Right? RIGHT?) And the Camelot Society was determined that the Federal Reserve Board would pay as little as possible. (Because it wasn't their fault! Sheesh, the Fed may have been the "one entity empowered" to set "prudent mortgage-lending standards", but the Fed did not invent all those derivatives and collateralized debt obligations, and the Fed did not bribe ratings companies to gold-star that crap, and the Fed did not tell investment banks to borrow forty-to-one against assets, and the Fed was not controlling the SEC when it decided during the Bush Administration that the free market did not need the SEC to police Wall Street, and the Fed did not bankrupt Greece, and the Fed did not throw a hundred poinsettias into the trash without making any attempt to compost them!) (OK, the Fed DID throw out SOME poinsettias, but that was AFTER they emailed employees that they could come pick them up for rescue....) "AHEM." It was Obi Wan woman, and economist Luciano Talaverdi felt a warm glow wash all over him as she proceeded to outline how the Fed would restore its tarnished image, put its brilliant intellectual stamp on the financial reform regulations, survive all the subpoenas Congressman Issa and Senator Paul could hurl their way, and lead America--nay, the WORLD!--to a brighter economic future.

"What's the point of liquidity?" asked Chinese economist Fen Do Ping. Several gasps escaped around the table. "No, no...." He assured them he knew what liquidity was: he was just wondering, should the Fed continue to be value-neutral on what people borrow money for? Should factories be built for any old purpose? Should jobs be created for any old task? What if you created 600,000 jobs by building enough boats and fishing lines to pull every sea creature from the sea, and then there was never any more sea creatures in the sea? What if you borrowed 20 billion dollars to hire one million lumberjacks and cut down every forest from Oregon to California, and then built one million new dream houses? But then the forests were gone? "And what if--"

"I think he has the flu!" exclaimed Talaverdi, as he slammed Ping's laptop shut and pulled his colleague to his feet. "I'll take him to the hospital right away!" When they were not quite out of earshot (but Talaverdi thought they were), Obi Wan woman could heard Talaverdi exclaiming, "What is wrong with you? You wanna be a communist again?"

Several miles to the east, a flock of starlings gathered outside the Library of Congress to mourn their two brethren sacrificed earlier in the week to catch the stupid young hawk that had gotten itself trapped inside the dome. We would have taken over this city by now if humans did not keep helping out those that Nature had chosen to kill!

(With kudos to photographer Abby Brack, AP, and Library of Congress.)

Deep in the Potomac, Ardua heard the starlings' cries and nodded her demon head in agreement.


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