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, February 03, 2013

Groundhogged

Luciano Talaverdi was still recovering from his official date with Obi Wan Woman.  It was the first time the Italian economist had ever seen her outside of the Federal Reserve Board headquarters.  She had invited him to her condo to watch the movie "Groundhog Day" (because he had never seen it), and she had served him take-out Chinese food on the most hideous set of mustard yellow plates Pottery Barn had ever sold.  Her furnishings were a mix of Ikea, Georgetown Flea Market, Craigslist, Marlo, and maternal grandmother inheritance.  She had a large ficus tree in the corner of the living room, but it was fake.  Her artwork was a mixture of museum prints, Eastern Market originals, and jazz singer paintings purchased during a Federal Reserve conference in New Orleans.  The kitchen smelled like cilantro, and the bathroom smelled like pickled lavender.  The entire experience was so aesthetically revolting that he had been forced to make excuses in order not to see how dreadful the bedroom might be (and risk performance problems).  Now he was back at his FRB desk, admiring the timeless (but timekeeping) elegance of his Rolex, the tasteful artwork he had hung on his office walls, and the "Pagliacci" soundtrack playing in the background.  "No, she is a better woman in the Research Library," he said to himself.  "Our love nest is the round table; our muses, the musty books and ghosts of economists past."  He scratched the permanent rash under his cursed Rolex, briefly pondered making another appointment with his psychiatrist, and pulled up the latest figures from London.  "They are heading into recession again--just like that Bill Murray who wouldn't learn his lesson."  (Talaverdi had already reread all his 2008 emails about Lloyd's of London, Barclay's, and the Bank of England.)  "Those who will not learn from history will be condemned to repeat it."  Then he got an automatically generated message telling him that Glenn Michael Beckmann had just mentioned the FRB in a blog post, and Talaverdi pulled up the website to see what the latest threat was.  (So did Homeland Security, the FBI, the National Security Agency, and Ron Paul.)

A few miles to the south, Beckmann was blogging away in his Southwest Plaza apartment.  "Moreover," he continued, "today is Boy Scout Sunday, a day sacred to people like me--once a Scout, always a Scout."  (Beckmann was never a Boy Scout:  he just had confused memories of his father dropping him off in west Texas scrubland with a knife and compass, and telling him to find his way home.)  "Ben Bernanke--the Serial Creditor, Serial Predator--has already set in motion his secret plan to defeat the Sequester and bully the Republicans into going soft on defense.  He is spreading salt all over Washington in order to melt the snow so that the people don't see how much snow there is, so that the government can keep telling us global warming is real, so that the government can take away our cars and our guns, so that the government can force us to borrow more money."  He paused for a minute to reread his last few sentences.  (Sometimes his dizzying logic made him get ahead of himself.)  "Bernanke was never a Boy Scout."  (That was the point he had almost lost.)  "Bernanke doesn't know anything about truth, justice, and the American way."  (Beckmann stopped to shove the rest of his breakfast burrito into his mouth.)  "What good does it do to help a little old lady cross the street if her Social Security checks are going to be worthless because our President is a Moslem socialist?  The British have the right idea:  pull out of the European Union and go back to pirating on the open seas!  The Hunter-Gatherer Society is the only institution that will still be standing after everybody else falls, and we'll burn those useless dollar bills in our campfires when we're roasting the groundhogs and warthogs of Washington."  (Luciano Talaverdi, Homeland Security, the FBI, the National Security Agency, and Ron Paul continued to monitor Beckmann's blog for another quarter-hour, but Beckmann was finished for the moment--he had to go stake out a seat at Clyde's in Gallery Place six hours before the Super Bowl was to start.)  (John Boehner and Dick Cheney would soon be busy posting petulant comments on Beckmann's blog, but he would see those later, after he pulled out his laptop in the bar.)

Several miles to the west, Charles Wu already had his laptop open in the bar as he waited for his flight out of Dulles.  He stole a quick peek at his daughter playing with her toy groundhog under the watchful eye of Nanny Mia (12 feet away), then turned back to examining his bank account balance--something he freely did when a beautiful woman was seated next to him at a bar.  He was tired of people assuming that young Mia was his wife and the mother of Delia, and Wu was determined to score more action in the New Year.  He stole a glance at the beautiful woman next to him, but she was not looking at his bank account balance--she was winking and wrinkling her nose at Delia.  Wu closed the laptop and returned to his gin and tonic.  He was well aware that babies in general--and the astonishingly beautiful Delia in particular--were babe magnets, but he had no interest in hooking up with a woman who was going to want any sort of domestic relationship that would further complicate his espionage affairs.  Wu shook his head, already dreading the line-up of eligible brides his mother had undoubtedly lined up for him to celebrate the Year of the Snake with in Hong Kong.  He stole a glance back at the beautiful woman next to him and finally admitted to himself that if he hadn't solved his love life problem after a year with little Delia in his life, he needed to change his approach.

Back in the city, John Boehner was sitting stiffly on psychiatrist Ermann Esse's couch, wondering if he needed to change his approach.  "I don't know if this counseling thing is really for me, Doc," he said.

"Only one way to find out, Congressman," said Dr. Esse, agreeably.

"It's just...I feel stuck in a rut, like nothing ever changes, like I'm carrying the same burden every day and never getting anywhere."

"You are feeling like Sisyphus, hmmm?"

"I didn't say I feel like a sissy!"

"No--"

"It's like that 'Groundhog Day' movie," said Boehner.  "No matter what you do, tomorrow is the same as today."

"Yes--"

"Paul Ryan told me he had a dream that the Tea Party were the modern day Suffragettes, and they marched on Washington with Ryan atop a white horse at the front of the parade.  I tried to tell him, 'that's never gonna happen, son,' and then he asked why I was leading the party if I had no vision for it, and I realized, he's right, I have no vision for it!"

"Hmmm--"

"I'm like that kid in Amsterdam with the finger in the hole in the dike--is that all I'll ever be?"

"Well, that's an important job.  In fact, it's more important than riding on top of a white horse at the front of a parade."

"You're right!" exclaimed Boehner, pounding a couch cushion with his right fist.  'It is more important!  Why am I listening to that punk kid anyway?  What did he ever do?"

"Perhaps he reminds you of yourself when you were younger?" asked Dr. Esse.  "Sometimes young and idealistic people remind us that we used to have a different outlook on the world, but it is quite natural for your viewpoint to change with experience."

"But I feel like my viewpoint is changing now, but it's amorphous--it's in flux and won't take shape."

"You are in a transitional period," said Dr. Esse.  "Change can be frightening--"

"I didn't say I was scared!"

"No, no, of course not--you are simply impatient for the changes to become coherent and instructional."

"What about a National Day of Prayer for the national debt?" asked Boehner.

"Ummm...."

Out on the river, Ardua of the Potomac watched in amusement as The Beaver evaluated his own shadow to make a deranged prediction about the fate of winter.  "The fate is in my hands, you puny little runt!"  (The pink dolphins disagreed with the demon, but remained silent for now.)

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