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 ....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Presidential Pardon

Please pardon Washington Water Woman for being remiss in her blogging, but she has been very busy rigging the presidential election for Newt Gingrich's Moon Colony. (Spoiler alert: Sarah Palin is going to win after a stealth write-in campaign by the Hunter-Gatherer Society!)

And if you need some Washington satire before I return, please try http://planetwashington.com/

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Get Off From This Ride

The speed of a Kalashnikov bullet is 800 meters per second. If a Russian is at a distance of 3,200 meters from a mujahid, and that mujahid aims at the Russian’s head, calculate how many seconds it will take for the bullet to strike the Russian in the forehead.

Angela de la Paz looked up from the textbook at Charles Wu, but he said nothing. She picked up a different one, again translating the Pashto into English as she read aloud.

Jim [is for] Jihad.
Jihad is an obligation. My mom went to the jihad. Our brother gave water to the Mujahideen…

Dal [is for] Religion (din).
Our religion is Islam. The Russians are the enemies of the religion of Islam…

Zhi [is for] Good news (muzhdih).
The Mujahideen missiles rain down like dew on the Russians. My brother gave me good news that the Russians in our country taste defeat…

Shin [is for] Shakir.
Shakir conducts jihad with the sword. God becomes happy with the defeat of the Russians…

Again she looked to Wu for a comment, but he said nothing. She picked up a different textbook.

A boy returning from war was asked, “What did you do in the war?” He answered, “I cut both legs off an enemy at the knees.” When asked why he did not cut off the enemy’s head, the boy answered, “Someone else had already cut it off.”

Angela closed the textbook, one of several that Apricot Lily had brought back for her from Afghanistan. "Education Center for Afghanistan," she said, "in Pakistan".

"Designed by the Central Intelligence Agency," replied Wu. "Printed at the University of Nebraska with money from the U.S. Agency for International Development."

"Why are they still using these books in Afghanistan? The Russians are long gone."

"Because that's what today's adults grew up reading: everything is about jihad. The CIA thought it could turn on fanaticism like a hot water tap and then turn it off again later. The Taliban was taught jihad in elementary school, armed by Ronald Reagan, and trained by the CIA. After the Russians were gone, they looked for new targets."

"Whose side is Pakistan really on?" asked Angela.

"Which Pakistan? The only Pakistan that matters is the military dictatorship, which will do anything to stay in power. They use their nuclear bomb for extortion. They gave it to North Korea so that North Korea could use it for extortion. What does arming North Korea have to do with jihad? Nothing--it has to do with a military dictatorship which will do anything to stay in power: blackmail the United States, play the Taliban both ways, keep Al Qaeda weak enough not to overthrow Pakistan but strong enough to justify continued military aid from the U.S."

"This is all crap!" exclaimed Angela. "What does anybody want from Afghanistan anyway? If they're all going to destroy it, why don't they just nuke it to death and get it over with?"

"Because radioactive fallout travels, and if it blows east, that means India and China, and that, my friend, means World War III," said Wu.

Angela bristled at the word "friend" and got up to look out her hotel window. "I don't care about any of that," she finally said.

"The world is a big, scary place, Angela."

"I'm not scared," she said.

"You need to choose your allies carefully in a world like this. Sometimes you need to compromise on smaller things to achieve bigger things," said Wu.

"You keep acting like I care about any of this: I don't, it's just a job."

"The job you're doing for the Heurich Society you could be doing for somebody else."

"If you want to hire me, you need to offer me a lot more money," said Angela.

"And what is it that you want to buy, so I can have some kind of idea about how much money you're looking for?"

Angela said nothing and started putting the textbooks back into the bag Wu had brought them in. She was thinking about something one of her teachers had said in middle school: The power to destroy is exercised by people who have no other power.

A few miles away, economist Luciano Talaverdi was also stuffing books into a bag: he wanted to bring everything to his meeting with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke. He scanned his desk one more time, then threw in his lucky Pavarotti bobblehead for good measure. The bobblehead had been sitting on top of a flyer someone had left him about tonight's Kennedy Center concert on the Millennium Stage: something about somebody's friend Doug Bowles and Depression Era songs. "Oh, my God! Is that supposed to be funny? It's not funny!" He snatched up the purple flyer and stuffed it vehemently into his desk-side shredder. "We're not in an era of any sort!"

A few miles to the west, there was more enthusiasm for tonight's Kennedy Center concert at the Arlington group home for the mentally challenged. Theresa and Melinda were upstairs trying on different dresses while Buckner pretended to be their gay best friend. ("Oooh, that's fierce, honey pot!") Brother Divine of the International Peace Movement was making up rhymes about John F. Kennedy. ("Ask not what your country can do for you: ask if your country is in deep doo-doo! I am a Berliner! I am a winner! Who's that sinner? He's an absolute beginner!") Social Worker Hue Nguyen was in her office confirming the van driver for the trip across the river to the free concert. And in the living room, Cedric was playing old songs on a tinny piano, accompanied by surprisingly good vocals from Larry. ("And the world...will be better for this...that one man...scorned and covered with scars...still tried...with his last ounce of courage...to reach...the unreachable star!")

Cedric put away "The Impossible Dream" sheet music and picked up the theme from "Valley of the Dolls".

"Hey!" exclaimed Larry. "Why is 'Condoleezza Rice' written across the top?"

"Because I traded her my 'Pippin' score for it. She lost her 'Pippin' on a visit to Afghanistan." (Actually he had stolen both "Pippin" and "Valley of the Dolls" when the CIA had infiltrated her moving truck crew, but he wasn't supposed to talk about CIA work.)

Larry was pretty sure that was a lie and that Cedric was secretly in love with Condoleezza Rice, but there's no accounting for taste! He shrugged and began singing. ("Gotta get off, gonna get, have to get off from this ride. Gotta get hold, gonna get, need to get hold of my pride....")

"The ride is over, ladies and gentlemen," Congressman Herrmark said to the staff assembled in his legislative office to discuss the new S.T.O.C.K. law. He waited a moment as his chief of staff (whom some believed to be a zombie) passed out a written memo. "No more insider trading," Herrmark said. (Many would later say he had winked at the end of the sentence, but others thought it was just a muscle spasm.) "Congressmen and their staff can no longer capitalize on insider information they glean from the Hill." (He used air quotes for "capitalize".) "Please read the memo and let us know if you have any questions."

A few minutes later, a young intern raised her hand and started to form a question, but an icy stare from the bloodshot eyes of the chief of staff made her back down with a quick "never mind". (Everybody knew that their chief of staff was the last person seen with Eric Cantor's legislative correspondent before his sudden disappearance last week.)

"Excellent!" said Congressman Herrmark. "Back to work!" (For him, that meant heading out for a 3-hour fundraising luncheon.)

Over at McPherson Square, the remaining OccupyDCers munched on sandwiches and discussed the Justice Department's fraud settlement between forty states and several mortgage lenders, while the Shackled flitted restlessly above.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Troll Life

Glenn Michael Beckmann sat stiffly on the McPherson Square park bench, dressed in several layers of winter clothing topped with a waterproof hooded parka. He was using his Amazon Kindle Fire to read the latest news stories on the eviction of OccupyDC campers. (Ever since that Jewish girl had thrown Coke in his face when he was holding Mein Kampf in his hands, he had learned to load his reading material into the hidden recesses of his reader.) Beckmann had planted lice, bed bugs, e-coli, staphylococcus, salmonella, and giardia around the camp, so he was disappointed to read that only rats had died. There must be a cover-up. He looked around at what remained after the filthy bedding materials and vermin corpses had been removed, and he was disappointed to see protesters, tents, and signs still in place. I've gone soft, he thought. I should have massacred them in cold blood! And I shouldn't require two pairs of socks when it's forty degrees out. Soft! He browsed a couple more stories, then pushed the reader inside his coat. I should have ordered some small pox on the web, or measles, at least! He caught sight of television reporter Holly Gonightly a hundred yards away and impulsively ran over to confront her. "You're a reporter!" he yelled, as several protesters laughed. "Don't laugh at me!" he screamed at them, approaching Gonightly, whose cameraman was still filming. "You spied on us!" he exclaimed.

"Yes, I did," replied Gonightly, thinking fast. "I've been preparing a piece on unsung heroes of Washington, D.C."

Beckmann chewed his lip and pondered this for a moment. "Well, we don't WANT to be sung about, lady! I'm warning you!" He jabbed his index finger into her clavicle. "You better not!"

"As you wish, good sir," she said.

With that, Beckmann stalked off, still wondering if he should have killed her for the honor of the Hunter-Gatherer Society.

"Who was that?" asked a protester.

"He's secret troll hunter from Norway," Gonightly joked.

A few miles to the north, Chloe Cleavage was stuffing Pierre's OccupyDC bedding down her building's trash chute. How could you bring this crap to my condo?! Ugh! She peeled off the sweatshirt she was wearing (which had come in contact with the bedding) and pushed that down the chute as well. Not cool! She walked back to her apartment, slammed the door in hopes it would rudely wake him up, and hopped into the shower. When she got out, he was still asleep. After dressing and packing her bag, she sprayed Lysol and anti-microbial Febreze all over the place, opened a window to let the fresh air in, then headed off to Prince and Prowling. You better be working on your resume by the time I get home, "Pierre"! She slammed the door on the way out, almost wishing he would just leave instead so she would never have to know he was some kind of unemployable troll named Tom, Dick, or Harry.

Meanwhile, over at Prince and Prowling, former Senator Evermore Breadman was meeting with a constitutional law expert. "So the Supreme Court says foreigners still can't spend money on elections, but corporations can?" (The expert nodded.) "Do the Supremes understand that half the companies incorporated in Delaware are actually multinational corporations?"

"They don't care."

"Do they understand that we have foreign CEOs running a lot of corporations here in the U.S.?"

"Probably not," said the constitutional law expert, carefully examining a gold-plated, rose-quartz pen holder he had picked up from Breadman's desk.

"So my clients, even if they're foreigners, can have their Delaware corporations use foreign money to contribute to SuperPACs or whatever they want to?"


"And a foreigner can use his money to set up a Delaware corporation, and then the corporation can spend money on U.S. elections?"


"Great! Just wanted to confirm that I've got it straight," said Breadman. "Could you put that into a memo for me? I mean, something a little more formal."

"Sure thing," replied the expert, standing up with hand outstretched. (He hated everything Breadman stood for, but getting closer access to Breadman's client information could be very useful.) "Just shoot me a list of the clients' names and so forth--"

"Uh, no, I would prefer an advisory opinion, just something generic," said Breadman.

"Sure," replied the expert, "but it would be stronger if--"

"Oh, I understand," said Breadman, "but there's no need for it to be that strong. Some of my clients are patent trolls and other sunlight-averse types, shall we say."

Back at McPherson Square, Federal Reserve Board economist Luciano Talaverdi turned back for one more look at the reformed OccupyDC assembly before heading into his psychiatrist's building. What if they're right? He shook the thought off indignantly, anxious to get his head back on straight. A few minutes later, he was lying down on Dr. Ermann Esse's couch and telling the shrink about his recurrent nightmare that trolls have taken over the library, cafeteria, and board room, and they won't leave the Fed until unemployment hits 25% and every major city in the country is wracked with riots. "How do I get rid of this nightmare?" asked Talaverdi.

"When did you first see these trolls?"

"After the State of the Union address," said Talaverdi.

"No, before that. As a child in Italy, perhaps?"

"How did you know that?!" exclaimed Talaverdi.

"Because grown men are not afraid of trolls, but little children are."

Several miles to the north, Angela de la Paz was standing on the edge of Wyoming Avenue, looking up at the Syrian Embassy. Anti-Assad protesters had just attacked and damaged seven Syrian embassies around the world, and the beefed-up embassy security staff stared menacingly at Angela. She was only a couple miles from where she had grown up, but under international law, the embassy was considered foreign soil--or something like that. Still, she knew how to get in and out in 20 minutes--then on her way to Rock Creek Park--but nobody had asked her to. The Heurich Society had spent some time explaining the Sunni/Shiite split in the Middle East, but it bored her. History bored her. If people wanted something to change, it should change...and if that didn't work, it should change again. She turned around to head downtown, where a Saudi sheikh was staying at the Ritz Carlton. She was supposed to deliver a package to him and seduce him for "Project Troll", but since the Heurich Society refused to give her an explanation for either action, she was thinking of taking it to Charles Wu instead. She stopped, sat down on the curb, ripped the package open, and smiled contemptuously at the sight of the cursing embassy guards ducking and covering because they believed her to be a suicide bomber.

Over in the river, Ardua of the Potomac gray-bathed under the overcast skies and contemplated six more weeks of winter.