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, June 15, 2014

The adventures of Petro Pig!

Petro Pig was back in D.C., his owner having finished her house-sitting gig at Bruce Springsteen's house.  The pot-bellied pig was carefully licking the leftover ciabatta crumbs and scrambled eggs off the plate placed on Luciano Talaverdi's kitchen floor by Helen Yellen.  Talaverdi lost his appetite for the rest of his own brunch, and placed the rest of it on the floor, too.  Petro Pig looked up in gratitude, but Talaverdi looked away.  "So you really want to keep it...as a pet?"

"Of course!" cried Yellen.  "He's so sweet!  I know P.P. will grow on you."

"I'm not sure about that nickname," said Talaverdi.

"You reject every nickname!  I'm just going to go back to calling him Petro, then."  (Petro looked up at the sound of his name, smiled, then resumed eating.)

"How big will he get?"

"I don't know," said Yellen.

"Don't you think it's important to find out?"

"Where's your spirit of adventure?"  Talaverdi's idea of adventure was hiring a whiskey-breath Greek sea captain for a cruise of the Aegean, not this.

Petro Pig, on the other hand, had a tremendous sense of adventure, and was thrilled to be back in Washington!  He had fond memories of being smuggled into the Rayburn House Office Building to do satirical lobbying on behalf of Exxon and British Petroleum; his squealing karaoke rendition of "Maniac" sitting on the lap of his former owner, next to Yellow Man and Sonia Sotamayor, at Muse; his frequent Capitalism Hill walks with Sebastian L'Arche (a great conversationalist!); his hunger strike outside the American Petroleum Institute to raise ironic awareness that there were actually at least a dozen Congressmen NOT taking money from King CONG (coal, oil, nuclear, gas); his sojourn outside the Ecuadorean embassy in mocking support of Chevron's international arbitration regarding epic oil spills in the Amazon; and his crashing of the 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll, with his pot belly painted "Keystone XL" on both sides.  He loved his new owner (what a great belly scratcher she was!), but she was always broke, and always scheming for new ways to make money--she was too busy for politics, protests, and performance art.

"I had this idea for a restaurant chain," Yellen said to her boyfriend, who raised his eyebrows encouragingly.  "It would be a chain restaurant called Hogwarts.  We could put them in every city.  They would be dark and decorated like Hogwarts, of course.  They would have long tables.  There would be a game room arcade to attract middle-schoolers.  There would be lots of merchandise for sale.  And the menu would have a lot of spooky, silly things on it.  Every kid in America will want to eat at this restaurant!  And just think of the Harry Potter birthday parties!"

"But you don't know anything about the restaurant business!" protested the Federal Reserve Board economist.  (Yellen made a pouty face.)  "Well, I can see it's a good idea, and yes, lots of kids would want to go, but the restaurant business is tough, and you would have to pay enormous licensing fees to J.K. Rowling."

"I thought you would be more encouraging that I am trying to build a financial future, instead of floating from one gig to another."

"I am!"

"I think if we brought Petro to the meeting with Rowling, and put him in a little wizard robe, we would win her over!  We could put the first one in Trump's new hotel in the Old Post Office Pavilion."

"You will never get a meeting with Rowling!  You would be lucky to get a meeting with anybody that works for her."

"But it would make her lots of money," faltered Yellen, her lip trembling.

"Amore, don't cry!  I will give it some thought, I promise!"  The Italian economist pulled her close, with a mixture of annoyance and a little macho thrill that he might have to take care of this feeble creature for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, over on Capitalism Hill, Congressman John Boehner (no stranger to photo bombs with Petro Pig) was hitting the sauce after another round of testy media interviews about Eric Cantor's shocking loss in the Virginia Republican primary.  "I will never surrender to the Tea Party!" he cried out to Solomon Kane, a spy and assassin who wasn't yet sure why he had been summoned today.  "I'm sick of being attacked from the Left, the Right, the Lamestream Media, and that evil blackmailer."

"I have a few leads on the blackmailer, sir," said Kane.

"Oh, shut up!  You don't have any leads!  But now you're actually going to do something useful for me."

"Yes, sir!"

"Get all the dirt you can on this Dave Brat.  I don't trust him!  The man thinks God is on his side.  99% of the people in the House think God is on their side!  Explain to me how that math works?!"

"Um--"

"Shut up!  Fundamentalist Christian upstart of a nobody!  I need to own him!"

"Word on the street is that everybody is swooping in now--the American Petroleum Institute, the--"

"I don't care!  Find me some dirt on that guy.  I'm gonna own him!"

"He's not actually elected to Congress yet-- shouldn't you be supporting him, as a fellow Republican?"

Boehner looked up at the ceiling in confusion.  "Oh.  Um...."

Not far away, the Holier Than Thou Caucus was also discussing Dave Brat over brunch.

"You don't think it's really the anti-S-thing, do you?" whispered the Congresswoman from Missouri.

"Anti-Semitism?" asked Congressman Herrmark (whose bodyguards had once prevented Petro Pig from taking a dump on his shoes).

"Sh!" cried the Congressman from Florida.  "Not so loud!"

"I don't think that's it," said Herrmark, a little lower.

"If he's elected," said the Congressman from Texas, "and we invite him to join our caucus, we'll be under intense media scrutiny."

"Aren't you getting a little ahead of yourselves?" asked Herrmark.

"We need to decide now about campaigning for him," said the Congresswoman from Missouri.  "Yes or no?  If we don't do it, somebody else will, and he could be led astray by wolves in sheep's clothing--God knows what he'll be voting for by the time he arrives in Washington!  He wouldn't be the first good Christian man to be wined and dined and prostituted by lobbyists."

"How do you know he's a good Christian?" asked Herrmark, but he was met only with blank stares.

Not too far away, the American Petroleum Institute emergency Board meeting had already tabled the discussion of how much money to pour into the Dave Brat run for Congress, and was in the midst of a heated debate about Iraq.  "This new war is good for us!  Prices are already rising!"  "Are you out of your mind?  The American people won't stand for another military action in Iraq!  They've already rejected action in Syria.  I think our best shot for military intervention is still Libya."  "We can't just let Iraq spiral out of control!"  "It was never in control!"  "I say as long as prices are rising, we do nothing."

"Gentleman!" shouted the Chair of the API Board of Directors.  "I just received a disturbing text message.  The sighting was confirmed:  Petro Pig is back in town."  (Loud chorus of sighs.)

Back in Luciano Talaverdi's neighborhood, he and girlfriend Helen Yellen were taking the pot-bellied pig out for his afternoon walk.  "I'm going to start a Twitter account in his name," said Yellen.  "Attract a following.  That's the way things are done these days, right?"

"Oh, my God!" squealed a summer intern from Texas, bending down to pet him.  "He's so cute!  What's his name."

"Petro Pig," said Yellen.

"Petro, like petroleum?"  (Yellen nodded.)  "I don't get it."

"Of course you don't," said Talaverdi, yanking the leash.

But the Shackled did get it.  The slave ghosts of Washington floating above Petro Pig knew in their phantom bones that this little pig's destiny was not yet complete.

"Still, how much can one little pig do?"

"He'll do his part."

**************************************************************
COMING UP:  "Spy!", the musical!  (And the launch of @PetroPig!)

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