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, July 02, 2011

One if by Land, Two if by S.E.A.

Dick Cheney rarely opened up his house to outsiders, but he knew that nobody else in Sense of Entitlement Anonymous would do justice to a 4th of July weekend meeting, so there they were, all seated on Martha Stewart Living chairs in his backyard, surrounded by red roses, white petunias and blue bonnets (planted Memorial Day weekend by the Mexican day laborers he had picked up outside the Home Depot), sipping Wyoming iced tea (sweetened with high-mountain honey, ground-up cheatgrass, and cherry liqueur), and eating an endless parade of snacks carried from the kitchen to the backyard by Lynn Cheney. (She had wanted to go out of town for the holiday weekend, but the doctor had ordered him and his heart not to fly.) Red, white, and blue balloons danced in the background, tied to his gnome-sized statues of George Washington, General Patton, and Henry Kissinger. A Marine band CD was playing from the boom box at the center of the antique rifle crate they were using as a table at the center of their gathering. A cherry incense stick was burning next to it because cherry was an American smell. Steaks were sizzling on the grill, and several Al Qaeda leader pinatas were hanging from the nearby oak tree for target practice later.

Congressman John Boehner looked around in puzzlement that there were so many nobodies here, and felt very disappointed. On the other hand (and this thought cheered him up), since he and Cheney were the only important people here, he would get a lot of respect. (He didn't recognize former Senator Evermore Breadman, who had happily stayed out of the limelight since his Congressional days long ago.) Boehner gulped his tea and waited for somebody to begin the meeting.

"I lost my Rolex!" blurted out Calico Johnson at last. "Nobody's reported it to the police! What kind of world is this where people will not come forward and admit they found somebody else's Rolex?" (He had forgotten by now that he had also come to own it accidentally.) "You try to have a little faith in your fellow man, but NOOOOO!" (He had been in terrible withdrawal ever since losing the cursed Rolex, waking up repeatedly in the night in a cold sweat from conscience-driven dreams about the hundreds of evictions he had made on houses he had picked up at foreclosure auctions.) "It's probably been sold already to some scumbag drug dealer! (Sometimes the nightmares were about the people he had evicted from the 13,000 rental units he owned around the Washington region.) "It's enough to make you want to give up on the human race!" (His right eye had started twitching again, and the cramps in his toes were driving him insane.) "And people say, 'Just buy another one, Cal! That was an old one, anyway, Cal! Treat yourself to a newer model, Cal! You could buy the one that Donald Trump has, Cal!' But mine was SPECIAL!" (He looked at the pale, flaccid swath of skin on the trembling wrist where his demonic Rolex used to lay, then he sighed.)

John Boehner was impressed by the smooth and organic manner in which the man had managed to insert his own name into his discourse repeatedly, and made a mental note to attempt this strategy in his next floor speech in the House of Representatives. (He was under a lot of pressure to put together a rebuttal to the economic diatribe Senator Bernie Sanders had unleashed on June 28th. He started drafting something in his head: And people say, "John, we can't balance the budget on the backs of the poor, sick, and elderly!" And people say, "John, we can't let our country turn into a banana republic where one percent of the population control 80% of the country's wealth!" And people say, "John, we can't give more tax breaks to the super wealthy while the middle class sinks into poverty." And I say to myself, "John, you cannot let people be pulled into class warfare! The truth is--")

"Nobody's gonna have Rolexes if we don't restore liquidity in this country!" It was new S.E.A. member Luciano Talaverdi, and everybody's eyes popped open wide at the sound of his foreign accent. (Personally, he thought Rolexes were overpriced bangles, and wouldn't be caught dead in anything but a luxurious Versace watch housing a Swiss timepiece, but the Federal Reserve Board economist was trying to make a point.) "Why are Americans so ignorant about this?" (A lot of eyes now narrowed at this.) "Nothing happens without investment, investment does not happen without liquidity, liquidity does not happen without strong monetary policy, strong monetary policy does not happen without fiscal responsibility, fiscal responsibility does not happen without deference to authoritarian mandates of the highest order!" (Dick Cheney was holding a Cheese-Whiz covered biscuit an inch from his agape mouth, wondering if he had a real, live, Italian fascist sitting in his backyard.) "You people have NOOOO idea!" (Talaverdi was whispering now, and Bridezilla's heart was melting at his sexy accent and compelling charisma.) "Corporations are the lifeblood of the world, and we have to keep the vampires away!" (Judge Sowell Ame tuned out at that point, as he always did when conversation turned to vampires or werewolves or zombies.) "Liquidity! We are entitled to liquidity!"

Former Senator Evermore Breadman discreetly glanced down at the tape recorder tucked in his polo shirt pocket to make sure it was running. (He was here to check out the organization for a high-profile client who had heard about the group from Bridezilla and was interested in joining but wanted to get a second opinion on it first.) Maybe I can triple-bill this. (He was thinking about a couple new clients that came in yesterday--one who wanted to set up a SuperPac just like Stephen Colbert's and the other who wanted to set up a SuperPac to destroy Stephen Colbert.) The flow of money. Breadman was cracking pistachios and throwing the shells down on the patio. Citizens United. He spit a bit of shell onto the patio. Money equals free speech. Liquidity equals money. Liquidity equals free speech. Constitutional right to liquidity. FEC advisory opinion means corporations have a right to lobby Congress on fiscal policy because fiscal policy affects monetary policy and monetary policy affects liquidity and liquidity equals free speech. Breadman smiled in euphoria at his brilliant legal analysis, wondering if he would remember it or if he needed to break his cool and pull out a pen to write it down.

Meanwhile, John Boehner was mystified by Talaverdi's remarks and decided it was time for him to change the subject and speak up for the first time at Sense of Entitlement Anonymous. "We are also entitled to energy! Why are there so many people in Washington trying to send us back to the stone age, like the Taliban?!" (Oops! I forgot to use my name.) "People are telling me, 'John, the Federal Trade Commission has started investigating the oil and gas industry for price manipulation and other anti-competitive activity! John, what are you going to do about it?' And I tell myself, 'John, the oil and gas industry has already been attacked by the EPA and by the White House and by those communist ecological syndicates and by the Department of Energy, and you, John, have got to put a stop to this once and for all!'" He saw several nodding heads around him, and felt a warm glow roll over his nicotined body. (Sweet, thought former Senator Evermore Breadman, I can bill this to fifteen more clients now!) "The oil and gas industry has suffered enough!" said Boehner. "We are entitled to freedom, just like everybody else!" (Boehner was startled to see Lynn Cheney winking at him just then, but nothing turned her on like politicians' defending the oil and gas industry.)

A few miles away, Atticus Hawk looked down at the Potomac River as his taxi crossed the bridge: he was heading to the airport for a long vacation after the conclusion of the Justice Department's two-year special investigation of possible criminal abuses at Guantanamo. Hawk (the formerly self-proclaimed torture specialist) had successfully steered John Durham away from most of the torture evidence, and the Attorney General was only going to proceed with criminal probes on two detainee deaths. Hawk knew he was not entirely out of the woods yet, but he was on the edge and could see a meadow full of sunshine within reach. Deep below him, Ardua of the Potomac grinned mischievously and reached up to give him a demonic poke in the gut, just enough to keep him uneasy until his return to Washington.

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