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, May 19, 2013

The War on Error

"You got rid of the Jack Diamond Morning Show without consulting us!" protested the former chair of the Heurich Society.

"It's not my fault you missed the meeting!" retorted Henrietta ("Button") Samuelson, whose recent attempt to shift Heurich Society meetings to weekdays had met with mixed success.  "And what do you care about Mix 107.3, anyway?"  (She almost slipped and added "you old coot" at the end of the sentence.)  "I did it for Angela de la Paz--she couldn't stand one more day of him, and her boyfriend couldn't stand him, either!"

"We are the Heurich Society!" harrumphed the former chair, grape jelly-donut jelly dripping from his mouth.  "We don't sully ourselves by wasting our influence and resources on petty matters like radio programs!"

"Well, sometimes small measures can improve daily life in a big way," retorted Samuelson (who also happened to be making a large realtor's commission on the sale of Jack Diamond's house).  "You know, it's not all about money and power!"  (Stunned silence, many eyes staring out the window of the Brewmaster's Castle upper meeting room.)  "OK, moving right along, which one of you keeps feeding the media lies about Benghazi?  Really?"

"Really?" asked Congressman Herrmark, a few miles to the east.  "You don't think it will work?"

"The watchdogs are killing us," said Ann Bishis, his Chief of Staff.  "They were all over the water bill, and now they're all over the agriculture bill."

"I've whittled it down to twenty million dollars!" wailed Herrmark.  "I cannot believe we can't find a bill to slip that in!"

"It's Taxpayers for Common Sense and all these other bean-counters," replied Bishis.  "When dozens of legislators slip in their earmarks--"

"It's not an earmark!"

"--it adds up.  And the creative math tricks aren't flying under the radar anymore."

"How many times do I have to vote against Obamacare before John Bonehead does something for me and my polluted state?!"

"I wish I knew," sighed Bishis, who was thinking that, after all this time, perhaps the fracking chemicals which had blown up his parents' vacation home had now trickled downstream five-hundred miles away from their home state.  "Anything else?" she asked, nervous about the time because she was expecting another tourist couple paying $500 to have sex on a Congressman's desk--this was how she made ends meet with the tightened operational budget they had under the Sequester.

A few miles to the west, spy Charles Wu was discussing the State Department's Sequester budget issues with the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope (AKA "Point Person for Blunt Pragmatism").  "The thing is, Charles," said P.P. Blu-Prag, "the Secretary of State is rethinking your attempt to use the White House petition process as a cheap forum for fomenting Chinese subversiveness."

"It was his idea," replied the triple agent, defensively.

"Yes, yes, of course," said P.P. Blu-Prag, "but he thought you would do a few strategic petitions that would get the leadership's attention--"

"--I did."

"--and now everybody in China is airing their grievances on the White House website, and it's become an embarrassment for President Obama."

"Well, I can take down the ones I placed, but I can't take down the ones originated by others."

"Naturally," said P.P. Blu-Prag, who noticed he was sounding more and more like his stodgy old man every day.  "The Secretary is hoping you might actually be able to resolve a few of the grievances...through your contacts in Beijing."

"I'd be happy to," replied Wu, "but I'll need to give them something in return."

"Naturally, naturally," said P.P. Blu-Prag, putting his glasses back on to consult his notes.

"The Chinese would like support for their Middle East peace proposal," said Wu.  "I realize it might not be a very original proposal, but they believe they have the kind of neutrality to actually broker a deal."

"Then why ask for U.S. support?"

"They are asking for a very particular kind of support," said Wu.

"I'm listening," said P.P. Blu-Prag (who did not voice his suspicions about the alleged neutrality of China in the Middle East).

Back at the Heurich Society meeting, Button Samuelson finally arrived at the last item on the agenda.  "Gentlemen," she said (forgetting Condoleezza Rice was on the conference call via speakerphone), "it is time to move the paradigm beyond the War on Terror."  (Horrified gasps.)  "Our new mission will be the War on Error."  She paused for dramatic effect, and sipped her coffee.  (This was actually something dreamed up by Major Roddy Bruce, Angela's Australian boyfriend, but she wasn't going to tell the others that.)  "Incompetence is ruining our country and our future--we can only be strong and safe if we are smart and efficient."  ("Is this about the lightbulbs again?"  "Shut up!")  "This is about using our [pointing at her own head] instead of our [making a fist] to advance our best interests--and only that after we use our [pointing at her own head] to accurately ascertain our best interests."  ("Finally!  We're shifting our allegiance back to Iran!"  "Shut up!")  "I'm giving you all a homework assignment:  each of you has to write a one-paragraph essay naming three best interests."  ("Fossil fuels."  "Deregulated banks."  "Put the entire Pentagon staff under the direction of the CIA.")  "No!" Samuelson exclaimed.  "Not off the top of your heads!  Go home and think about it."

Two-hundred feet below them, Fearless Leader opened debate on whether the Dupont Down Under community should lend their support to Tommy Wells in his bid for Mayor of Washington, while Ardua's river rats watched quietly from the darkest shadows of the underground tunnels.

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