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 17, 2013

Slow Simmer

[NOTE:  The climate rally today was held on the National Mall, but Washington Water Woman took poetic license and placed it at the White House.  For the real story, see, e.g.,:  http://www.wtop.com/109/3227635/Thousands-rally-on-National-Mall-for-action-on-climate-change]

Dr. Devi Rajatala was led to the front of the Forward Climate Rally outside of the White House--not because the National Arboretum scientist was a scheduled speaker but because of the crowd's enthusiastic response to Rani, her donkey, who was double-signboarded with the message "DON'T BE AN ASS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE".  It was Angela de la Paz's boyfriend, Major Roddy Bruce who had come up with the idea.  ("It's gotten so bloody hot down under, kangaroos are hanging around tree branches beggin' koalas to piss into their mouths!")  If Henry Samuelson were still alive--and in charge of the Heurich Society--Angela would never have had the nerve to attend a political rally of any sort.  But Samuelson was dead--not exactly gone, but certainly dead enough.  And after Angela's trip to the Clinica de Moron in Argentina, a climate change rally was the last thing on Henrietta Samuelson's mind.  "How is your friend Button doing?" asked Dr. Raj, while the crowd was awaiting the next speaker.

"I think she's OK," said Angela.

"I dunno," said Bruce, wearing a ski mask so that none of his coworkers at the Australian Embassy might recognize him on news feeds.  (And, in truth, the rough and tough commando was a bit of a pussycat when it came to cold weather.)  "I think she's on slow simmer."

"Well, it was her brother who was adopted illegally, not her."

"And you think she's happy about that?  I think she was hopin' you'd find a file on her.  Her brother's already in Buenos Aires giving his saliva to the DNA matching database:  he could have a brand new family any day now and leave her to deal with her father's legacy on her own."

"He's not gonna ditch her!  They've gotten closer since Henry died."

"I'm just saying, don't assume Button's grateful for your efforts in Argentina.  She's not one to overshare on feelings--who knows what's going through her head." 

"I agree with Roddy," said Dr. Raj.  "Don't make any assumptions.  But you've been a good friend to her."

Angela hadn't really thought of Button Samuelson as a friend, but more as a coconspirator in taking down the old boys' network at the Heurich Society.  Do I really have a boyfriend and two friends?

A block away, former Senator Evermore Breadman looked out from his Prince and Prowling office window and snickered with contempt at the so-called biggest climate rally ever.  "Get over it!  Oil's here to stay!" he said out loud, unaware that Bridezilla had just entered his office.

"Actually it's not here to stay," she said, as he wheeled sharply around (narrowly missing spotting Liv Cigemeier and her P&P Partner husband in the crowd).  "And we spend half a trillion dollars a year to maintain military forces in the Middle East in order to protect our oil allies.  Maybe it is time for us to move beyond oil and develop a national energy policy that will actually sustain our country at least until it's 300th birthday."  She dropped a file on his desk and left without awaiting a reply. 

Breadman knew this could only mean one thing:  she had a new boyfriend, and he was an environmentalist.  "Jesus Christ!"

"I heard that!" she called back from the hallway.  "Don't blaspheme--especially on Sunday!"  Bridezilla shook her head in disgust, having already been to church with her new boyfriend, Colonel Alexander Wolfbugler [a national security specialist--not the tree hugger Breadman assumed him to be].  She would see him again later for supper unless some emergency came up, but she had already noticed that sometimes he turned off his Defense Intelligence Agency beeper when he was with her--not that he wasn't dead serious about his job, but ten minutes here or there constituted a very nice romantic gesture.  She sighed, quickly losing herself in a reverie of remembrance about their first few dates--starting with their meeting at a Valentine's Day happy hour in Arlington.  He had already taught her so much about what was going on in the world--not at all reluctant to talk about his work (like all those self-important CIA operatives who thought they were God's gift to the world--but could never tell you why!).  She entered the handicapped stall in the ladies room, set her iPod to "Midnight Sonata", grabbed the ballet barre, regarded herself in the mirror, and started going through her elegant (and happy) positions.  Tonight Alex is going to explain to me what's wrong with Syria, she thought, and a warm fuzzy glow came over her, thinking about the tall, handsome man out there analyzing security threats to protect their loved ones.

Back at the climate rally, Glenn Michael Beckmann was pulling together a hastily assembled Hunter-Gatherer Society counter-rally.  He had originally planned to be at home in Southwest Plaza, blogging a bed-in (like John and Yoko Ono) with a live video feed, but the prostitute he had hired for the job had drawn the line at performing a live webcast, so here he was.)  "What do we want?"  ("Oil!')  "When do we want it?"  ("Now!")  "United, we drill!"  ("Drill!")  "Divided, we crawl around gathering twigs for firewood!"  ("Divided we--")  He cut off their confused repetition and motioned for his devoted followers to be silent for a few moments.  "Let us bow our heads in silent prayer for the men who have died to keep oil tankers coming out of the Persian Gulf."  (Some of the climate rally attendees bowed their heads, as well, sending Beckmann into a fury--a fury being monitored by Secret Service officers watching video screens in the bunker below 17th Street.)

At the other end of the crowd, the Warrior watched the proceedings carefully.  He had lived through 400 winters and 400 summers.  He had seen the great felling of the forests by the White Man, the devouring of the Chesapeake's once teeming shellfish, the damming and silting of the rivers (even the Great One), and the near disappearance of the buffalo.  He had seen the day the dried-up prairie gathered itself up like a hundred-mile-wide flock of ducks to fly angrily across the plains, and many days when the White Man smoke gathered over the Blue Ridge and rained acid on the trees.  But until now, he had not understood that the White Man was powerful enough to shrink the winter and grow the summer, that it was the White Man who caused flowers to come early and seeds to come late, that it was the White Man who confused the northern geese into forgetting their winter home in the south, that it was the White Man who could cause the hurricane of summer and blizzard of winter to arrive on the same day in the lands of the Poospatuck and Mohican.  Even his great hope, Angela of the Paz, could do nothing about this.  Surely it was too late for anybody but the Great Spirit?

Up in the attic of the White House East Wing, butler Clio was curled up on a couch under a blanket, looking out the window at the climate rally.  She had given her twin pre-schoolers permission to go with Bridge because there was nothing that delighted Regina and Ferguson more than large crowds; she didn't know they had persuaded him to take them up on the roof, instead, where Reggie and Fergie were planning to set off firecrackers to scare the sharp shooters.  Outside her window, a catbird on the sill was mimicking, "Drill, drill, drill, Drill," in an eerie voice that disturbed her greatly.  She gathered up her blanket and moved to another seat, wondering when the President would return from Florida.  Two loud pops made her jump up again, and she scanned the crowd anxiously to see what was going on, but a flock of starlings swirled outside and messed up her viewpoint.


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