Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Category: Uncategorized (page 3 of 782)

The Road In To Little Aleppo

There is only one way into Little Aleppo, except for all the other ways. There was the harbor to the west, obviously. One might, with the aid of an industrial boring machine, tunnel one’s way to the Main Drag. There was no airport, but there was a dedicated helipad at St. Agatha’s with the big H painted onto it. A mathematically incongruous number of blimps had crashed slowly and humorously into the neighborhood. Parachutists, too, but they were to a man set upon immediately on landing and robbed of their silk, and also their fancy goggles. If you were willing to put in the effort, and probably die along the way, you could get to Little Aleppo from the west, or from under it, or from above it.

But if you were in America, then the Segovian Hills were in the way. They were not hills–they were called that because English speakers prefer a certain rhythm to their phrases and “Segovian Hills” danced from your mouth while “Segovian Mountains” stuck in between your teeth like peanut butter–there were sheer drop-offs and boulder fields and droopy soil that would slip-slide you down a thousand feet in five seconds. There were seven. Lincoln, Faith, Fortitude, Chastity, Pulaski Peak, Charity, and Booth. Left to right if you’re standing in the neighborhood looking east. They were jammed together and their junctions just as dangerous as their summits, except for the saddleback pass between Mount Chastity and Pulaski Peak called Christy Canyon.

Before there was a road, there was a trail bushwhacked by a man named Furlong Christy in 1861. He had surveying equipment, and he took careful note of all his observations in great big notebooks carried by two semi-free black guys whose names no one bothered to write down. They also carried the surveying equipment. Furlong laid out the switchbacks necessary to keep the route from becoming too steep. Trees were uprooted, and sagebrush burned. The land was made more efficient for transit and commerce. Sometimes, Manifest Destiny meant telling mountains to go fuck themselves.

The Pulaski had been using the pass for hundreds of years to trade with the inland tribes, but they did not keep horses and had no wheeled vehicles and so they did not need a trail; they walked over using any number of routes depending on how late in the day it was or how much stuff they had to carry with them.

But the Whites had carriages and wagons and pullcarts and mules and horses, and those things requires a trail.

“What is that thing?”

“The device on the tripod he’s looking through?”

“Yeah.”

“It’s called a…well it’s called a <theodolite> but there’s nothing to translate that to. I saw one in a book once,” Talks To Whites said.

Cannot Swim tried to say theodolite, failed, got past it.

Furlong Christy’s team had crested the pass that morning and for a moment, miles away and in the sky, the men were silhouetted against the sun with their equipment and their notebooks. No one in the village saw them at first, but no one saw Here And There standing in the middle of everyone at first, either. She was barefoot, and her black hair streaked through with gray was loose, and she was the shaman. Physical maladies were treated by Tall As The Sky, who was the medicine man, but spiritual remedies only came from Here And There. She lived south of the village, and kept her own fire. Sometimes, she would disappear entirely for weeks at a time, and other times she would appear right the fuck next to you in the middle of the night. Here And There scared the shit out of the Pulaski. She pointed towards the White man and the Black men on the peak of the pass, and the tribe looked up and saw them, and then looked back and she wasn’t there anymore. Everyone truly hated when she pulled that bullshit.

The elders usually took to the Learning Fire to make decisions, but did not need to this time. Cracked Smile said,

“You two. Go up there and find out what’s happening.”

Cannot Swim and Talks To Whites shouldered rifles and marched off towards the hills. They passed the Reverend Busybody Tyndale on the way.

“You know what that is?” Talks To Whites asked.

“What are we looking at?”

“The men on the pass.”

Busybody squinted, tilted his head, squinted some more.

“Boys, my eyes are not what they once were.”

“Helpful as always, Preacher,” Talks To Whites said, and clapped the small man on the back, and the two Pulaski cousins continued east, and then upwards until they were about 300 yards to the north and downwind of the foreign men. They could smell tobacco. Cannot Swim had led them up, picking through the wooded thatch that covered the bottom half of what would later be named Mount Chastity. Neither man had been in the hills for several years; neither had ever wanted to go back.

A tree had fallen onto a boulder, creating a window, and tall grasses had grown within the window. It was a perfect hunting blind.

“What is he doing?”

“Like, measuring the land. How far away things are, how much higher or lower.”

“Why?”

“It’s a White thing. They need to know exactly how far places are from each other.”

“Really?”

“It’s like a fetish with them. Oh, and building. You have to do this before you build anything.”

“We built our kotchas, and we did not need to do whatever the hell this is.”

“Big stuff.”

“Like what?”

“We don’t have a word for it. <Bridges.>”

Cannot Swim turned to look at his cousin. He had been to the town that would one day grow into C—-a City once, and not for very long, and he did not wish to repeat the experience. He had only spoken to two Whites in his entire life; they may as well have been Martians.

“What is a…bidge? Budge?” He could not quite pronounce it. The hard R sound only comes at the beginning of words in Pulaski.

“<Bridge.> It goes over a big stream, which is called a <river>.”

“River,” Cannot Swim repeated. He could say that one. “How big of a stream?”

“Streams get fucking huge, dude. The ones that flow into the lake? Nothing compared to rivers. As wide as the whole valley.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah. And the <bridge> goes over that. They make them out of rocks or something.”

Cannot Swim kept an eye on the White man and the Black men. The device on the tripod seemed to require an inordinate amount of fiddling with. The White would adjust the dials, of which there were many of varying sizes, and peer into a little circle, and then adjust the dials again, and then he would shout at the Black men, who would pretend not to hear him, and he would shout again, and now they answered, and they brought him large notebooks that Cannot Swim could just about make out had drawings and sketches in it, along with small scribbles that he assumed were what Talks To Whites had said was called “writing.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why do they build these things?”

“So they can get over the river.”

“Why don’t they just live on one side of the river?”

“The Whites don’t live on one side of anything.”

The White man was yelling at the Black men again, and the two Pulaski were quiet. They were sitting cross-legged, and Cannot Swim pulled two peregrine leaves from his satchel. Handed one to his cousin. They both spat out the dried and flavorless leaves they had been chewing, rolled up the fresh leaves that were the size of a child’s hand and 13-pointed and waxy, and chewed anew.

“What’s he saying?”

“The White is calling the Blacks lazy.”

“But the Blacks are carrying everything.”

“It’s a long story.”

Cannot Swim’s tunic had a squatch embroidered on the front to honor his bravery during his Assignment, which was the Pulaski coming-of-age ceremony. He had been taken by one of the creatures, and had to fight his way out by himself. (And three other men with rifles and a pissed-off horse, but the tribe didn’t need to know all the details of his bravery.) Talks To Whites’ tunic had a half-dozen hummingbirds on it. He liked hummingbirds.

They watched the two Blacks talk with each other, motion towards the sun starting to droop in the west. They are ten yards off from the White, who was not paying attention; he was playing with his device. Now the Blacks speak to the White. The White hollers. The Blacks do not holler back, but they raise their voices and point at the sun.

“What’s happening?”

“The Blacks want to head down. They say it is getting late and they don’t want to be up here when it’s dark.”

“And what is the White saying?”

“He is calling them cowards.”

“But they’re absolutely right. It is dangerous up here at night.”

“Again, there is a lot of context and history going in between those two tribes that you just don’t get.”

The two Pulaski men sat there for only a few more minutes before the Blacks ceased talking to the White, turned their backs on him, and began ambling eastbound and down the pass. The White screamed after them, and then gathered up the black device on the wooden tripod in both of his arms, followed. Yelling all the way. When the cousins could no longer see their heads, they rose from behind their hide and walked west, into the sun and back home.

The Whites did not live in the mountains, which they named the Segovian Hills, for a long time after settling the valley, which they named Little Aleppo. Several men moved up there over the years, but they did not live up there for long, nor did they come back down. The Hausen Cabin is now a tourist attraction on Mount Fortitude. That was a family, and the neighborhood held out hope for a Tarzan, or perhaps Mowgli, type of situation; no sign of the child ever surfaced. Locals were angered by that one, focusing their rage not on the parents who brought a baby up into a mountain where monsters lived, but on the monsters. Hunting parties would coalesce in the taverns; rifles would be fetched; hills would be swarmed. But squatch are guerillas: you see them when they want you to see them, and usually that was the split-second before a humongous hand-paw shwopped your head off your shoulders. It was like fighting the Viet Cong, but if the Viet Cong were composed exclusively of Wookiees. No one made this observation, since it was 1889, but if you traveled back in time and explained the concepts of the Viet Cong and Wookiees to Little Aleppians, they would be all, “Yes. It is exactly like that. Did you really travel back in time just for this?”

The railroad could never defeat the barrier, not without multiple Hiroshimas worth of dynamite, and so for decades the only way in was the zig-zagging trail first surveyed by Furlong Christie. It cut brown back and forth up and then back down against the green. No grasses grew on the path, wildflowers and daffodils along the edges.  It was slow, but none of the vehicles of the time had brakes or a suspension, so it was advisable to go slow. There were drop-offs where you could see the bones of wagons that had tried to make good time; the bones of the men and horses had long been the vultures’ meal. Or the condor. California still had condor then, great stinking flocks of them. Travelers crossing the pass into Little Aleppo would use them for target practice.

August 9th, 1903, was an auspicious day for Christy Canyon, and for Little Aleppo: first car to make the crossing. It was a bet between two drunks in C—-a City, one of whom a State Senator, and therefore rich enough to afford an Oldsmobile. The car was called a Curved Dash, and it was mass-produced. Cadillac and Duryea and Jeffrey made cars before the Olds Curved Dash, but they were relics. Hand-kitted like a carriage. This Olds, though, was the future. Men becoming machines to produce machines! My God, America was something, wasn’t she? That’s what the State Senator would say to his constituents when he bought them beers. He’d lead the men from their taverns to look at the car.

It was a leather bench on top of a wooden platform, essentially, and that was on top of a cast-iron suspension that rode on four sickly wheels–so skinny you wanted to feed them–with wooden spokes. In 1903, it was still possible to get a splinter from your car. The engine was in the middle, under the seat, and it made 5 horsepower. Steering was via tiller, which us like a rudder, but drier. The brake was a lever: when pushed forward, it would apply a wooden block directly to the wheels. The State Senator called the handle the Baptizer.

“If you ain’t a Christian before you push the damn thing, you sure will be once you do. I had me a Hindoo fellow in here not two weeks ago. Let him drive. Second he laid his hand on the Baptizer there, he accepted Jesus Christ into his heart. Now ain’t that a thing? True story, fellas. Who wants another beer?”

“I don’t want no beer, Senator. I want a ride home!”

This was at a joint called Limpy’s in C—-a City. Sawdust on the floor, pickled eggs on the bar. Regulars could cash their checks there, and they were a solid voting bloc. Women weren’t allowed in. It was a 1903 kind of joint.

“Wait, I do want another beer, too. I want another beer and then a ride home.”

The men all laughed and the State Senator called out,

“Who said that?”

Billy McGlory was at the end of the bar, and his sleeves were rolled up over his thick forearms; heavy boots, and a flat cap pulled down lowish on his eyes. He finished his beer, wiped the foam from his prodigious mustache, turned around to face the State Senator.

“I’m your man.”

The State Senator called for a beer for Billy, and shook his hand and said,

“Where you live, son?”

Billy McGlory hated being called son.

“Right over the hill in good old Little Aleppo, sir.”

Now the State Senator stopped smiling, but just for an instant. He was well-practiced at smiling through anything; the man had once gladhanded through his own tonsillectomy.

“Unless your new toy can’t manage a wee incline.”

Limpy’s was watching. There was an equal sentiment towards the State Senator winding up the hero or the chump in this interplay. He did buy quite a few drinks, and hand out quite a few jobs. On the other hand, the money for the drinks came from the kickbacks he required for procuring the jobs.

The bartender put a fresh beer in front of Billy, and Billy laid a $50 next to it.

“I says your buggy won’t make it.”

The State Senator had the best teeth in the bar, and a silken necktie, and a wallet that did not fold and so was twice the size of modern models. He withdrew it from inside his maroon coat and took out a $50 and set it atop Billy’s.

“Finish your beer, son.”

Sound travels faster through steel than it does through air, but sound travels fastest through a bar. Limpy’s erupted. A bet! It was 1903: there was no radio, no teevee, no internet. There were Mark Twain’s novels, the Bible, the morning paper, or you could drink. The past was far more boring than we’ve been led to believe, so when something actually happened, people went bugshit. Side wagers sprouted, and then wagers about the wagers–meta-wagers–branched off from these; the gambling became fractalized , and a fellow named Lonesome Jimmy became so over-excited that he ran straight into a wall, shit himself, died.

A crowd gathered, kibbitzed, judged each other’s clothing, tipped their hats, obviously there was more betting, street vendors picked off the hungry and impulsive, men ignored the exposed titties of the whores to sneak a peak at dignified ladies’ ankles, rootless preachers heckled Satan, more cigars and pipes than cigarettes, hats hats hats hats so many fucking hats, the Sheriff was so tall, and the State Senator was tall, too, but Billy McGlory was not–5’4″ or thereabouts–so he had to hop up into the Olds.

“What’s the time?” the State Senator cried out.

Someone shouted that it was just after one o’clock, and the sun’s nearness to the hills backed that up. He cranked the z-shaped lever at the front of the machine once, twice and BANGPOPOPOP the engine caught and rumbled, and now the State Senator is in the driver’s seat and he shouts,

“Who’s got a gun?”

And everyone does, and they fire into the air to mark the beginning of the journey; the State Senator shifts one of the levers–there are three in front of him–all the way forward and the car lurches ten inches and goes HOCKPLUH and the State Senator says,

“Tricky to get into first.”

He shifts the lever, which is wooden, forward again. Slower, and with his right hand turns the dial controlling the choke, and HOCKPLUH ten more inches.

“Y’know what? Fuck it: we’ll pop start it. Everybody! Push!”

Everybody pushes and once the car hits around five miles an hour the gear catches and there is a sound like THROPTHROPTHROPVRRRRRRRREEEEE and the Olds Curved Dash is pulling away at what is, even given the year, not a particularly swift pace. Now there is more gunfire, this time in celebration. The two men yell at pedestrians to disinhabit their path; they make it to very nearly 20 miles per hour by the time they leave C—-a City.

It was almost dark by the time the two hit Little Aleppo. The front wheels had lost their rubber entirely, and one of the rear suspension leaves had collapsed; both men had needed to piss in the radiator; a horse, spooked, had thrown itself off an embankment at their presence. Coming up, Billy had leapt down from the seat–the load needed lightening–and he almost rolled under the contraption and then caught her up–the Curved Dash was making just about a walking pace–and then he hopped back up for the descent, the application of the braking mechanism during which causing a small fire in said braking mechanism that both men needed to piss out.

But they lived. August 9th, 1903. First car over the mountains.

“There was something about a bet?”

“That there was, Senator.”

Billy McGlory handed the State Senator a banknote as they puttered towards the Main Drag. Locals cheered them on from the sidewalks, and kids tumbled out of doorways to gaze in wild wonder. The car was filthy, and so were the men.

“Is there a hotel in this neighborhood?”

“Couple of ’em.”

“Are any not completely disgusting?”

“One of ’em.

Dogs ran alongside the Olds. The automobile was an outside-context problem for a dog. It had not heard stories about rich people buying horseless carriages, nor seen pictures in Collier’s magazine. The dog could not intuit that this was merely a horseless carriage, because dogs have no innate sense of technological evolution. The universe is as it is, and them WHAMMO and holy shit that is an entirely new thing. With new smells and new sounds, and maybe I can eat it? The dogs nipped at the tires. No, I cannot eat it. What it is, I cannot tell you. I will bark at it. The dogs barked at it. The car did not respond. I will bark louder at it.

The cats of the neighborhood showed no obvious interest.

“The Norwegian’s a real swanky place. Every room’s got its own toilet.”

“You don’t say.”

“They got carpets and everythin’. It’s like you died and went to heaven.”

“Point the way, son.”

Billy smiled.

“You can’t go like that. Neither of us can. We’re covered in half the fuckin’ hills and two tons of horseshit. We could do a minstrel show.”

The Olds, having no windshield, kept none of the dirt of the trail from them; the muck had coated their clothes, and made their faces so dirty that they resembled blackface performers.

“And you know the Norwegian ain’t lettin’ that type in.”

“It’s segregated?”

“No, they don’t admit actors.”

“Standards are everything.”

“We’re gonna stop at my house, wash up. My ma’ll brush up your clothes and my da’ll get us both drunk. Then, to the hotel.”

The State Senator could not argue with this plan, so he followed Billy’s route to a brick two-story on Moran Street. It was like Dublin exploded outwards when they pulled up: redheads girls appeared from the windows, and pale men who did not talk about their emotions from the door; good God, the State Senator thought. There weren’t enough potatoes in the world to feed them.

“Clarke.”

“Mm?”

“You spell it with an E, right?”

“Yes. C-L-A-R-K-E,” State Senator Clarke said.

“Thought so. My ma’ll probably want to write it down. She takes pictures, and she writes down all the names and whatnot. It’s like she’s gatherin’ intelligence or somethin’. Mothers, right? Come on in!”

Billy usually gets the credit for stealing the first car in Little Aleppo’s history, but technically it was Liam. Having no idea how to start the Olds, he simply hitched it to a horse and rolled it away in front of every inhabitant of Moran Street, none of whom saw anything. State Senator Clarke never made it to the Norwegian, and when he woke up with a monstrous headache the next morning in the Verdance, he found that the $50 he had won was gone, and also the rest of his money and shoes.

“We could shoot them.”

“Maybe we should try other options first.”

“Sure, yeah. But I’m just saying that shooting them is on the table,” Cannot Swim said.

“I just don’t know if that’s going to produce the desired result.”

Talks To Whites threw another blackberry into his mouth. The cousins had come upon a tree heavy with ripe bunches of the tiny, sweet fruits and they had both snatched handfuls to put in their satchels. They ate them like popcorn as they came out of the rolling, gentle foothills of the mountains. The sun had just set, but it was light out still. It was the time of day that fireflies call home.

Both men had filled out since they were teenagers, even though neither had been a teenager because the concept did not exist in the Pulaski culture. Cannot Swim was taller and wider than Talks To Whites.

“We need to find out what they’re doing.”

“What they’re doing is building one of those things you talked about.”

“A bridge.”

“Yes. That. However the fuck you pronounce it. Their language is an insult to my ears.”

“You’ve mentioned.”

“They’re building one. Across the mountains. You said it yourself. They want to live on both sides of the river.”

“They won’t want to live here. Why here?”

Cannot Swim did not look at his cousin. as they walked side-by-side across the grassy outlands that surrounded their village. Their satchels bounced against their hips.

“You affection for them makes you stupid.”

“Fuck you.”

“You buy the rifles for the tribe.”

“Yes.”

“With what? What do you use to buy the rifles.”

Talks To Whites’ stride did not break, and he nodded. Threw a blackberry in his mouth.

“Real early tomorrow, we should get everyone to go to the streams and pick out all the gold and hide it.”

“Gosh, y’think?”

They did not speak the rest of the trip. It was the time of the fireflies.

President Trump Examines His Military Options

INT. OVAL OFFICE – RIGHT AFTER FOX & FRIENDS

“Lemme see hands. We’re gonna vote, even though I’m the President of all the people, even the blacks. We’ll vote, but maybe I’ll just do what I want. Who knows? We could do voting, we could do my idea, we’ll see. Okay, voting. All in favor? Opposed? Beautiful, wonderful, the ayes have it. We’re getting cheese in the crust. General?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Where’s my General?”

“You’re literally making eye contact with me, Mr. President.”

“General?”

“Sweet Jesus, take me now.”

“General! There you are. I thought the Deep State got you. General, make the call. Cheese in the crust, which was my idea. I called up the CEO of Pizza Hut, told him, he did it. Millions. Millions, this guy made from jamming cheese in the crust. I told him to do it. Great guy. You should see his yacht. Call for the pizza, General.”

“We’ll get to the pizza, sir. But, once again, who are these people in the Oval Office?”

“Good friends of mine from Mar-A-Lago. It’s a membership perk for the real winners. Unlimited cocktail shrimp, plus you hang out with me for the day. Watch the greatest president in US history from up close. In many ways, these spectacular people are the real historians of our age. Great, great, wonderful folks. Some of ’em don’t speak English, but they’re rich, so it’s okay.”

“Have they been vetted?”

“Vetted, shmetted.”

“Holy God.”

“Are we doing the God bit now? Let us pray.”

OVAL OFFICE FULL OF RICH PEOPLE BOWING THEIR HEADS NOISE

“No, we’re not doing the God bit, sir.”

“I pray very well. The Pope told me that. Better than him, that’s what he said.”

“Sir, we have a meeting scheduled with–”

“You hear that, everybody? Meeting! Very exciting, wonderful, okay, great.”

“–General Mattis to discuss…sir, it’s top secret. We need to get the civilians out of the room.”

“You heard the General, folks. Sorry. Let’s go. C’mon, I’m gonna show you the Lincoln Bedroom.”

“Not you, sir. You’re not a civilian anymore.”

“I knew that. I was testing you, and you passed, unlike the slimy James Comey, who didn’t even see my hands. I never showed him my hands, not once, and in fact never met him in person, so his book must be fake news. Excellent work, General.”

“Okay, out.”

RICH PEOPLE EXITING OVAL OFFICE NOISE

“Very forceful. Strong. You’re the best general, General. Can I promote you?”

“No, sir. I retired from the Army, so–”

“You’re promoted. Bing bong. Done, there you go. You’re not just a general, you’re a major general.”

“That would actually be a demotion, sir.”

“Bing bong.”

“Whatever. Listen, Mattis is here.”

“Ooh, great. General sandwich. All my generals in one place, and I have the best generals that anyone has ever seen. They’re all tall, really sharp. The best generals.”

“Yes, sir.”

KNOCK KNOCK

“Oh, here he is.”

“Is that the pizza?”

TALL MAN OPENING THE DOOR FOR ANOTHER TALL MAN NOISE

“John.”

“Jim.”

“How’s he today?”

“He’s a gibbering fucktard incapable of even the most basic thought.”

“So, the usual?”

“Yup.”

“He’s gonna call me Mad Dog, isn’t he?”

“Yup.”

“You want a xan?”

“Yup.”

TALL MAN GIVING ANOTHER TALL MAN A XAN NOISE

“Muchas Garcias, brother.”

“Where you headed to?”

“Gonna get shitty in the Treaty Room. Got a bottle of Cuervo stashed in there.”

“Save some for me. Gonna need some when I get through with Momma’s Special Angel.”

“Mad Dog!”

“Fuck, he saw me.”

“Courage.”

TALL MAN WITH A RUINED REPUTATION SLINKING OFF TO THE TREATY ROOM TO GET SHITTY NOISE

“Mr. President.”

“Mad Dog! Where’s my Mad Dog?”

“Standing in front of your desk, sir.”

“Mad Dog?”

“Not out the window.”

“Dog? Mad Dog?”

“I don’t know why you’d look in the wastepaper basket, sir. I’m clearly not in there.”

“General Mad Dog?”

“Now you’re just staring at the ceiling. Right here, sir.”

“Mad Dog! There’s my dog! What’s up, dog? The blacks say that all the time, and then they make the rap gestures. What’s up, dog. You ever meet Ludacris?”

“I haven’t, sir.”

“Good business mind. You know, for what he is.”

“Sir, I’m here to talk to you about the situation in Syria.”

“Add more milk.”

“Not cereal, sir. Syria.”

“Very bad. Obama started that war. Personally. May have also been born there. He kind of looks Syrian, right? Many people who know Syrians have told me that Obama is definitely a Syrian, and these are real smart people. Winners, sharks, my very good friends. Obama was Syrian.”

“Uh-huh, yeah. Sir, we have a plan ready for your approval to bomb selected sites within Damascus that we believe may be key to the chemical weapon program.”

“They can’t do chemical. This is what everyone who knows anything says. Shooting? Bing bang bang? Sure, go ahead, shoot your guns, whatever. Sometimes these things happen. Bing bang. But chemical? No, not chemical. Very, very bad. Chemical. It’s a big deal.”

“Yes, sir. Now, there may be blowback from the elements backing Assad.”

“Fuck ’em. Bomb!”

“Such as Iran.”

“Fuck ’em. Bomb! Bomb, bomb, bomb.”

“And Russia.”

“Excuse me?”

“Russia is backing Assad.”

“Fake news.”

“No, sir. Everyone on the planet knows this information.”

“Maybe we should wait. Two weeks, kick it around. Maybe we should see what Hope thinks. Hope!”

“She quit two weeks ago, sir.”

“Hopester!”

“She is in a different state, sir.”

“Hopey!”

“For fuck’s sake.”

“She’s probably in the bathroom. Amazing control on that girl. She goes when she wants to. Holds it in for days. It’s a miracle.”

“Sir, the conflict with the Russians might be ameliorated by, through back channels, alerting them to pull their troops from the sites we intend to destroy.”

“Good idea.”

CELL PHONE DIALING NOISE

“That better not be who I think it is.”

“Mr. President!”

“Da. Is Putin. Hello, The Donald.”

“You gotta be fucking kidding me.”

“President Putin, everything in America is going so, so, so beautifully. The jobs, everything. Trade deals are being made, but I get no credit for at all, but America is winning again and it’s a real compliment to me. How’s the weather in Moscow?”

“Is snowing.”

“Great, snow, the skiing, gloves, wonderful. Listen, Mr. President, we’re gonna shoot some rockets at Syria in a little bit. Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, who knows? Anyway, your men should duck out of the way.”

“Vhere vill you shoot these rockets?”

“Syria.”

“Is big country. Vhere exactly?”

“You ask the best questions. I got no idea. I’m the big picture guy. All the details, I leave to my staff. Hold on, let me put the Mad Dog on. He can tell you the locations.”

“Holy shit, do not put me on the phone with fucking Putin.”

CALL WAITING NOISE

“Mr. President, we’re gonna call you right back. My pizza’s at the front gate.”

“Vith cheese in crust?”

“Bing bong.”

Who Says A Basic Bitch Can’t Play The Funk Music?

We’ve found it, Enthusiasts. The 800-pound gorilla of Sincere Acoustic Covers; the silverback that turned Dian Fossey into a woman; an ape whose cape King Kong wouldn’t tug upon. We have ourselves a winner, folks, and yes the song is not truly all acoustic, but it does have whiteness in spades, and whiteness is truly the most necessary component of the SAC.

Is it breathy? Oh, it is breathy.
Is it slow? Slower than a dead turtle.
Are there banjos? Fetch Granny her girdle, thar be banjos.
And does Taylor mean it? She means it, maaaaaan.

I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic, but this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to black people. I am including slavery and that time the Urkelbot ran amok in Indianapolis. They are owed reparations for this bullshit here; the song may in fact be a hate crime.

But I don’t hate you. Cleanse your palate with funk:

Just Hold My Hand While I Come

I don’t know if this one of them sad-sounding happy songs, or one of them happy-sounding sad songs. But it fits the night, I suppose.

And I Said Bow, Mickey Bow

“Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face.”

Stop it.

“Drums to fill my dreams.”

That’s not even the line.

“I’m thinking about getting a velour suit with runes all over it. Something spiffy for the summer tour. Can’t let Josh be the only clotheshound out there.”

Cool. Why haven’t you?

“Well, I keep going to the merch table looking for a velour suit to yoink, and every time the kid there is like, ‘We don’t carry size 36 Regular velour suits, Mickey.’ And I usually punch the kid.”

You gotta be you.

“No one else wants to be. Wanna know something?”

You also use the bow for sex stuff.

“How did you know that?”

Just a guess.

“Wow.”

More Scott Pruitt Demands

  • Big bag of money in a sack delivered bi-weekly to his office. (Sack MUST have a dollar sign printed on side.)
  • Sniper riding the roof of the car shooting out traffic lights as to get to Chipotle quicker.
  • The P in EPA? That shit stands for Pruitt now, muchachos.
  • Intern with the sole task of finding out how the Muppets rode bicycles in the first Muppet movie.
  • Get Ludacris to stop by and spit some truth for the fools, maybe over lunch.
  •  Bulletproof secretaries.
  • 30 or 40 more desks, and the biggest ones you can find.
  • When Scott Pruitt becomes weary, Scott Pruitt will enter the nearest private home and be billeted there.
  • Rental (or possibly co-ownership) of the Starship, the plane that Led Zeppelin used to fly around in.
  • Goons all dressed in matching outfits like on Batman.
  • Make Condoleeza Rice respond to my dick pics.
  • Find out if there’s anything better than the Four Seasons, like a Five or even Six Seasons Hotel, then book an entire floor.
  • Tanning bed (for security purposes).
  • All flights including domestic short-hops will be booked on Qantas.
  • Four well-bred Lipizzaner stallions.
  • Hay for the horses.
  • I suppose I’ll need a stable, too.
  • Turn one of the cafeterias into a stable for my fine steeds, for I am Scott Pruitt, the Secretary of the EPA, and my will is divine!
  • Not the cafeteria where the hot Dominican cashier works, though.
  • The other one.
  • Next intern that looks me in the eye is getting shanked.
  • One of you shitstains better get me a Wonder Woman outfit pronto.
  • Scott Pruitt will also require a shopping spree and someone to draw him a bubble bath.
  • I AM A LIVING GOD, AND MY NAME IS SCOTT PRUITT!

Seriously, read this bullshit. 

Bullies

“Look! It’s Nick Offerman!”

Nope.

“Ernest Hemingway?”

No.

“Mariel Hemingway?

That’s Teddy Roosevelt, Mickey.

“Where’s his top hat and wheelchair?”

Did you even go to school?

“I mostly just drummed on my desk.”

Sure.

“History is not my strong suit. Wasn’t that hot at math, either. Or science. Used to skip gym class. Honestly, I just drummed on my desk until they gave me a diploma.”

No doubt. You’re at the Planetarium?

“The Hayden Planetarium in New York City! Never played here before. Very exciting. We’ve already been banned from ever coming back.”

Who is “we?”

“The Dead. I brought everybody. Bobby’s at the bar. Billy’s at the bar. Brent is, well, he’s at the bar, too. Everybody’s at the bar.”

Could you stop using the Time Sheath to bring dead keyboardists to your gigs, please?

“No.”

Okay. What did you guys get banned for?

“Bunch of stuff. You know that Neil DeGrasse Tyson guy?”

Yes.

“We have been calling him Branford all day.”

Not cool.

“He has virtually no sense of humor. Plus, Pigpen stole one of his fancy little vests with all the stars and comets and shit on it.”

You brought Pigpen?

“Big fan of astronomy.”

What else did you guys do?

“There’s been a lot of ‘Uranus’ jokes.”

Can’t be blamed for that.

“Road Crew had a cookout in the main theater. You know that big doohickey that the lasers come out of? Looks like a double-sided dildo?”

I do.

“Turns out if you up the amperage, you can flash-fry a lobster in ten seconds. And, obviously, you set some seats on fire.”

Why can’t the Grateful Dead be taken anywhere nice?

“We’re hooligans.”

Yeah, okay.

Second Set

  1. Touchstick/Catface/Olympic Muff
  2. Timpani Ladle
  3. Hacky Sack on the Long Island Expressway
  4. Deep State Pizza
  5. Deep State Secret
  6. Deep Jewel Staite.
  7. Smoky Gong
  8. Bandit Gong
  9. Hong Gong Fooey
  10. Picnic Explosion
  11. That Fucking Squirrel Again, Doris
  12. Beyoncé
  13. Lucy Liu
  14. Rain Drops
  15. Drop Tops
  16. Coffee Break at the Orphanarium
  17. Ding Dong Dash
  18. Henry Mancini’s Left Nipple Go Boom So Loud
  19. Steel Vagina>I Need A Miracle

We’re Going Straight To The Dark Side Of The Moon

So who went to see Mickey at the Planetarium tonight?

Maggie Haberman Was Just Fooling Herself If She Thought This Call Was Not Forthcoming

CELL PHONE NOISE

“Gosh, I wonder who this could be. Hello?”

“Baberman! P-Dog here!”

“Speaker Ryan, it’s three in the morning.”

“Prime time, dude! You should stop by the house. It’s me and Zippy and Rosey and Big Mick and Little Mick. Dude, we’re raaaaaaging! Little Mick just fuckin’ Iced Zippy. It was legendary.”

“I’ll bet.”

“You know what Icing is?”

“Sadly, I do.”

“You slam a bottle of Smirnoff Ice down in front of your bro–”

“I said that I knew what it was.”

“–and he’s gotta down that shit. No matter what he’s doing! Rosey got me once when I was plowing the intern with herpes.”

“What?”

“It’s cool. Not like I can get it again, y’know? I go raw on that chick.”

“Wow.”

“I go raw and I go hard.”

“I need to get an unlisted number.”

“You see me give all those old fuckers the finger this morning? I let ’em have it, man.”

“You resigned via a carefully-worded letter.”

“I’m the fucking MAN!”

“You said you were going to spend more time with your family.”

“I am. My bros are my family.”

“Uh-huh.”

“I would DIE for my bros, Maggie!”

“Uh-huh.”

“Hold on, Mags. Dude! Dude! Dude! I can’t handle anymore 311. Put on the Sublime record. Hey, I’m back. Gotta ride herd on these boys.”

“Much like you failed to do in the House.”

“That place sucked. All I wanted to do was take Social Security away from the country. And all those dickweeds in there were like, ‘How?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know how, just do it.’ They just sucked.”

“Did you accomplish anything in your almost 20 years in Congress?”

“I got, like, a warehouse full of office supplies. I could totes open up a Staples.”

“Anything else?”

“Oh, dude, I got sooooooo fucking rich. Folks were lined up to give me money. And check this out: do you know who writes the rules about what to do with the money?”

“You.”

“Me! So, like, I kept a fuck-ton of it.”

“But what did you do for the money?”

“I asked for it. It’s like you don’t understand how politics work, dude.”

“Sure.”

“Can you keep a secret, Sugar Mags?”

“Don’t call me that.”

“You wanna go see Dead & Company this summer?”

“Concentrate, Mr. Speaker.”

“Oh, right. Can you keep a secret?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Ah, fuck it, I’ll tell you anyway. I’m nine MGD’s in. We–the Republicans?–we are gonna get fucking CURBSTOMPED in November. I’ve seen the internal numbers. Well, I had them explained to me. Anyway, we are going down faster than the intern with herpes.”

“I’m sure she has a name.”

“I’m sure she does, too. I just never bothered to learn it.”

“Wow.”

“She has less status than me. Why should I care about her?”

“Just continue.”

“Dude, blue wave? It’s not gonna be a blue wave. It’s a fucking brown wave. You know what that brown is?”

“I do. You don’t have to–”

“Shit, Maggie. A shit tsunami is headed our way. A tshit tsunami. We’re losing the Senate. I’m gonna be as far as I can from this and let Fuckhead and Turtle Boy take all the blame. Let the tshit recede. Then? 2024, maybe 2028? Ryan for President, baby.”

“You think so?”

“Yeah. I do. Turns out Americans are fucking ‘tards.”

“Not false. What are you going to do now?”

“Ah, dude, that’s a good question. Thinking about me Rosey buying a van, seeing the country. Maybe Europe? Like, take a year and just see all the history and shit, fuck some hairy chicks. Or maybe move to Portland. I dunno. The future is wide open.”

“Do not quote Tom Petty at me.”

“Nothing but blue skies, Magzilla.”

“Paul, out of all the Speakers of the House this country has ever had, you’ve certainly been one of them.”

“WOO! The white man’s A-minus!”

“I’m hanging up.”

WHAM!

“Did you just Ice me?”

“Drink that shit!”

“It doesn’t work over the phone, Paul.”

“Pound that shit, dude!”

DIAL TONE NOISE EVEN THOUGH PHONES DO NOT DO THAT ANY MORE

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