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, January 05, 2013

Gold gets deposited; shit gets thrown.

Congressman Herrmark popped the champagne bottle--though he was in little mood to celebrate.  "Here's to my new Chief of Staff, Ann Bishis!"  His twin bodyguards (Ann's cousins from Greece) and a few other staffers applauded--though they were irritated their boss had made them come back to the office on a Saturday.  "She was an excellent Interim Chief of Staff, and with another successful election behind me, I am pleased to be able to offer her the position permanently!"  Now full champagne glasses were lifted up.  "But first, a moment of silence for our still missing former Chief of Staff."  The staffers stopped smiling and quickly lowered their hands.  (The moment passed.)  "To Ann Bishis!"  ("To Ann!")  Herrmark swallowed down his glass of champagne rapidly, then retreated into his office to fume about how NASCAR got an earmark out of the "earmark-free" Congress--at a time when the entire country (if not world!) was tuned in to see Washington pull up short of the fiscal cliff.

"He still misses her?" asked their new legislative correspondent, who had never met the former Chief of Staff (a zombie).

"No, he's still upset about the budget," said Bishis, who was starting to feel the weight of her position.

A few miles to the east, staffers at the Federal Reserve Board were also still upset about the budget.  "Can you explain the NASCAR thing to me?" asked Luciano Talaverdi, pulling up his pants as Obi Wan woman re-draped her cloak around her still heaving body.  (The research library was too cold for prolonged nudity.)  "I need to understand that before the Camelot Society meets."  (He also didn't like the mocking emails from his old friends in Italy, comparing the United States government to, alternately, (1) a Greek chorus of morons or (2) the last year of bread and circuses before the fall of the empire.)  "My friends think Julius Caesar is borrowing money from the Chinese to put on gladiator contests!"

"It doesn't matter," said Obi Wan woman, reapplying her lipstick.  "What's important is the percentage of the national economy which is taken up by national debt."

"You think I don't know that?" asked the Italian economist.  "Don't insult me!"

"Honey, please!  I know you know that."  (The man's ego was too fragile for their relationship to get anywhere, and she had already broken her New Year's resolution about it.)  "You left your watch on again," she added, scratching her back where his cursed Rolex had irritated her skin.

"I'm sorry!" he said.  "It was a quickie!"

"That's a good metaphor for the budget negotiation!  That's how you should think of it:  it was a quickie, and somehow the NASCAR subsidy got left in."

Talaverdi frowned.  She thinks I'm stupid and insensitive!

A few miles to the west, Judge Sowell Ame (also considered stupid and insensitive in certain quarters) reluctantly poisoned his Saturday by opening up his bulging briefcase to pull out the stack of cases his clerk had singled out as the easiest for the lazy man to remove from his docket this year.  Brazil for Carnival, Mediterranean cruise in July, Australia in November:  I am using all my vacation time this year!  He pulled the case from the bottom of the stack (just to be contrary to his clerk, in his own mind) and plopped it on the center of his teak Edwardian desk (picked up for a song at the Georgetown flea market).  "I saved the funniest for last!" said the post-it note from his clerk.  Sowell Ame growled and opened it up.  Plaintiff Libra?!  Defendants Marcos Vazquez and Golden Fawn Vazquez?  What is this--Indian law in the District?  Hippies?  Rappers?  He flipped to see who the plaintiff's attorney was.  John Doe?  Another post-it note from his clerk:  "This is a brain-damaged attorney who insists on going by 'John Doe' until he regains his memories."  That's not allowed!  Ame indignantly refused to read anything further, slammed the folder shut, slapped a piece of his personal stationery on top, and wrote to his clerk:  "Schedule oral argument on summary judgment."  You'll be lucky to escape without a sanction, Mr. Doe!

Back in Foggy Bottom, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope was frantically preparing for Hillary Clinton's return to the State Department.  He considered it an honor that he was left to "keep the home fires burning" while other people of lesser importance (Charles Wu?!  C. Coe Phant?!) had been asked to visit the Secretary of State in her New York hospital room.  The real question was:  would Project R.O.D.H.A.M. be folded before she made way for the new Secretary of State?  He had heard rumors that the funding for it was so cunningly squirreled away that she could keep running the mission for years to come.  The A.D.A.f.H. also suspected that the Chinese guy was funding part of the operation, but he didn't know why.  (Actually, he still knew far less about Project R.O.D.H.A.M. than he thought he did.)  The A.D.A.f.H. sighed, expecting very little sleep until after John Kerry was sworn in and his own position was reaffirmed.  Or should I tell Clinton I'm willing to go with her?  Could I win back Eva Brown that way?

A mile to the north, the Special Investigator for MENSA checked into his hotel room at The Fairmont with his own mission:  purge the membership roles.  Never in the history of MENSA had there been so many petitions submitted to remove plainly apparent morons from the ranks as were submitted in the last three months.  Doctors complaining about MENSA members at the National Institutes of Health;  lawyers complaining about MENSA members in the Justice Department and the Superior Court; journalists complaining about MENSA members in the White House Press Corps; teachers complaining about MENSA members in D.C. private schools; and, most alarming, nearly three-hundred separate petitions to remove nearly one-hundred Members of Congress from the MENSA rolls.  The Special Investigator heated up the hotel room iron, unpacked his suits, and sat down to organize his paperwork.  Was there something about this place that made people become stupid?  And why did so many MENSA members in this region feel a need to tell everybody they knew that they were members of MENSA?  Since when did geniuses feel such a need to brag? He looked at the orange "miscellaneous" file:  chauffeurs, baristas, nannies, contract attorneys (contract attorneys?) going around town bragging about their MENSA membership.  Then he looked at the second fattest file (after "Members of Congress"), "lobbyists", which might be the most challenging because, in spite of all their detractors, Washington's lobbyists had scored some real acts of genius in the past decade.  (NASCAR versus the fiscal cliff?  Really?!)

Out on the river, Ardua of the Potomac gave permission to the ducks to fly away to warmer waters--or, at least, to the downtown parks where breadcrumbs and circuses were plentiful.  She had not seen a river rat in two weeks, as these had fully abandoned the frigid river in December.  For now, the demon was alone--alone, but not forgotten.

NEXT WEEK:  Home Sweet Home.


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