Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: jenkins (page 2 of 6)

Might Be Going, Helena Copter

“General, this is not better.”

“I can’t hear you, Jenkins. You’re wearing a helicopter.”

“I’m setting down, sir.”

PERSONAL HELI-DEVICE LANDING NOISE

“Very smooth, Jenkins. Like a teenager’s ass full of 50-year-old scotch.”

“That is very smooth, sir.”

“Maybe the whole works are greased up.”

“That would make the ass slick, sir. Slick is not smooth.”

“True, true. Good point, Jenkins. There are rare occasions when you’re not a complete fub,”

“What’s a fub, sir?”

“Context clues are available to you, damned boy! Does it sound complimentary?”

“No, sir.”

“No you enjoy being called a fub, fub?”

“No, sir.”

“Stings at your pride like a greased up teenager laughing at your manly root, eh?”

“I don’t know if that’s how I would describe my emotions, sir.”

“Fub.”

“Sir, can we get back on topic and discuss–”

“The Mark III!”

“–Mark III.  The machine has several large and, in my opinion, fatal flaws in both concept and design. However, as I know that you like good news first, I will start with a positive. The fact that the rotor is now above my head rather than directly below my feet is a marked improvement.”

“Well, we did lose all those test pilots with the Mark II.”

“And the Mark I.”

“Yes. Jenkins, those men died for their country. I told the widows that when I delivered the bags full of their husbands to them.”

“You used bags, sir?”

“They fell into a helicopter rotor. You can’t put that in a coffin, Jenkins. It just sloshes around. Freezer bags were the right way to go. I made sure to get the good ones with the thick plastic, of course. Out of respect.”

“Yes, sir.”

“You were telling me about the Whirleybird Mark III and how it was going to win the war for us.”

“I wasn’t, sir. I mentioned in passing the one slightly improved feature of this monstrosity and was about to continue on to the faults.”

“No faults in this gal. She’s a beauty.”

“No, sir. She looks like a shopping cart attached to a robot built solely to rape. A rapebot, if you will.”

“I won’t.”

“I retract the neologism, sir.”

“So noted. Find one thing wrong with the Mark III. One, I dare you.”

“It has twelve minutes worth of fuel.”

“So does an automobile, at times.”

“It’s incredibly unstable.”

“Well, you know what that means.”

“No, sir.”

“Dynamite in bed.”

“Permission to ask a question, sir.”

“Denied.”

“Permission to make an accusatory statement that would naturally lead to a response.”

“Go ahead.”

“I thought we were in the Army.”

“Of course we’re in the Army. If we were in the Marines, we’d be eating each other. If we were in the Navy, we’d be wet. If we were in the Army Air Corps, it would be the 1940’s.”

“Yes, sir. And the Army is, you know, an army.”

“Get to the point, fub.”

“Shouldn’t it have some weapons on it, sir? You said it yourself: we’re trying to win a war. You really need a gun or two to win a war, sir.”

“You’ll bring your own. What about the shotgun I gave you for Christmas?”

“It’s for shooting skeet, sir.”

“Skeet, Communists, what’s the difference?”

“Are we still fighting Commies, Jenkins?”

GENERAL AND JENKINS LOOKING AROUND NOISE

“I think we’re fighting Muslims now, sir.”

“Like I said: Muslims, Communists, skeet, what’s the difference?”

“I can’t begin to answer that, sir.”

“This is what war teaches us, Jenkins. Muslims, Commies, Nazis, Americans: if you shoot them hard enough, they fall down and die. This is why war makes brothers of all who feed fuel into her insatiable maw. I salute our enemy, Jenkins. I saluted the Viet Cong when we fought them, and now I salute…the…Taliban?”

“Maybe. Definitely maybe. Could be Al-Shabaab.”

“ISIS.”

“Sure.”

“Don’t sleep on ISIS, Jenkins.”

“No, sir. We could even be fighting Al Qaeda.”

“Old school.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, until we find out for certain, let’s just say the Muslims.”

“But not, you know, Muslims.”

“No, not all of them. Just these ones right here.”

“I think we need a more stringent criteria than that, sir.”

“Jenkins, I want to shoot people and then figure out what happened afterwards. I intend to use to Mark III to further this aim. Are you with me or not?”

“No, sir.”

“I’m glad you said yes.”

“I knew you would be. Back to the guns.”

“Never the same after Steven Adler left.”

“The weapons, sir. That I want to install on the Mark III.”

“Ah. I suppose there could be a gun.”

“Yes, sir. A honking big sumbitch, or a little sissy popgun like a sissy would put on it?”

“WHO CALLED ME A SISSY?”

“No one, sir.”

“I’m a general!”

“The very model, sir.”

“Weld the most massive cannon you can find onto the bastard.”

“Yes, sir. Oh.”

“Oh?”

“Well, sir, that would require attaching the cannon to some sort of chassis.”

“Fine, fine.”

“Which would mean you needed to beef up the power.”

“Make it so.”

“But at a certain level, those twin rotors don’t work so well. You’ll want a tail rotor.”

“Hell, give it two.”

“We’ll stick to the one for now, sir. Oh, but since we’ve got the chassis and all the power, we might as well stick a couple missiles on it.”

“Obviously.”

“Uh-huh. Missiles are real loud and dangerous. To protect the pilot, maybe we should put him in some sort of enclosure.”

“Good idea. Make it see-through.”

“Yes, sir. Sir, we’ve just built an attack helicopter.”

“We have? We’ll be rich!”

“No, sir. What I’m saying is that the vehicle you want already exists. On this base. We could go get one.”

“We can’t just ‘go get one.’ You don’t check them out. It’s not a library. Jenkins, if you’re sniffing drugs, then do it on your time or share your drugs.”

“Yes, sir. I just think you’re trying to reinvent the wheel.”

“I wanted to make something new because when you make something new, you get to name it. I wanted to make something new and beautiful, and then I was going to get to name it, and I was going to name it after you, Jenkins. I was going to tell you at Christmas. It was to be your gift this year. All I wanted to repay your loyalty and friendship. Perhaps I am a fool.”

“You getting kickbacks from the defense contractors?”

“Big time.”

“So Project: Whirleybird will continue for…?”

“We’ve got the funding for at least two more posts.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Did we neglect to discuss the fact that you’re Asian now?”

“We did, sir.”

Mark II

“Oh, God, sir. You made–”

“Mark II!”

“–a second version of the Whirleybird.”

“Streamlined, Jenkins. More aerodynamic. I told the boys in the shop to spare no expense, so they all went on vacation. When they got back, I said that I meant to spend money on the project. It was an understandable misunderstanding.”

“And they came up with this?”

“They did, indeed. I gave them all medals. In fact, I gave them your medals.”

“So that’s where they went.”

“I told them to add lightness. Oh, that reminds me. Take these pills.”

“What are they, General?”

“Pizza with pepperoni.”

“I don’t understand, sir.”

“Bottle of Pepsi.”

“Ah.”

“Peppy Longstocking having a catch with Joe Pepitone.”

“I don’t want any speed, sir.”

“You need it, fatty. You’ll lard up the works with your gumbo ass.”

“Gumbo ass, sir?’

“Plentiful and spicy, Jenkins. You’re a butterball and you’ll weigh down the Whirleybird. Take the upsie-daisies.”

“Sir, I’m not a butterball. It’s the 60’s. I have a 30-inch waist. We all do.”

“You’re too plump for the Mark II. Speed and nimbility are her game. Now swallow the hula-hoopers.”

“I don’t want any speed sir.”

“Oh, fine.”

“How about a spoonful of peanut butter?”

“I saw you put the pills on the spoon, sir.”

“Who wants some peeny-weeny?”

“This is degrading for both of us, sir.”

“Dammit, man, why won’t you be a team player! The Mark II is a state-of-the-art machine and I’ll tell you a little secret: the Generals are very keen on her.”

“Why did you capitalize–”

“The Washington Generals.”

“–that word…why do you know the Washington Generals?”

“My cousin’s the center.”

“You don’t say? That is so interesting. What’s he like?”

“Depressed.”

“Sure.”

“Jenkins, when you look at the Mark II, do you know what you see?”

“Chunks of myself spraying in a hundred-foot radius below the thing when I invariably full into the rotors.”

“Besides that.”

“To be honest, sir, that image is taking up a lot of my brain right now.”

“Jenkins, this is the Army; no one wants to hear from your brain.”

“Yes, sir.”

“We still need to shave a few pounds off of you. If you won’t take the pep pills, then we’ll do it the old-fashioned way.”

“I have a terrible feeling about that last phrase.”

“I’m going to starve you, Jenkins.”

“Yup. Please don’t starve me, sir.”

“Don’t think of it as me starving you, Jenkins. Think of it as America starving you.”

“I’d rather not, sir. May I ask how you’re planning on doing this?”

“I’m ordering you. Starve, Jenkins; that’s an order.”

“I don’t think you can do that.”

“I said ‘that’s an order.’ Makes it official.”

“No, sir.”

“Stop being impudent. Return to being pudent. Take my orders, damn you! I’m a general and you’re a Jenkins. Look at all my medals, look at them. Where are your medals?”

“You stole them, sir.”

“Good on me. I saw the future and your saw that it was nothing but you being a clod. You know, I could lock you up in the hoosegow and forget to feed you.”

“Are you going to do that?”

“Of course not. I don’t know where anything is.”

“I have an idea, sir. Why don’t we get a smaller soldier to pilot the Whirleybird?”

“You’re talking about kidnapping a jockey.”

“I distinctly said ‘soldier,’ sir.”

“I like it. We kidnap a locker room full of jockeys and use them as test pilots. They already have helmets.”

“Sir, there are no jockeys here. We’re in Vietnam.”

“Are we now? That explains the humidity. Well, the solution is clear.”

“Don’t say it.”

“The Vietnamese are tiny. We’ll kidnap some of them.”

“You said it. Sir, we’re fighting the Vietnamese. Some of them. I mean, even the ones who like us don’t really like us, but I’m getting away from my point.”

“You could never get away from your point, Jenkins. It’s on the top of your head.”

“Delightful, sir. We shouldn’t kidnap any Vietnamese people, sir.”

“We can shoot them, but we can’t kidnap them? This war makes no sense.”

“No, sir.”

“Who are the smallest men on the base, Jenkins?”

“Let’s see. There’s Shrinky-Dink Stapleton.”

“Go find him.”

“Tiny Thibedoux.”

“Him, too.”

“Pee Wee Lee.”

“Doesn’t he keep getting caught being unsubtle with himself while on guard duty?”

“Three times this week, sir.”

“And the mess hall?”

“Also three times.”

“Don’t get him.”

“Yes, sir. Shall I tell them what they’ve just been volunteered for, or leave it a surprise?”

“Ooh, surprise, surprise.”

“Yes, sir.”

Secret Chopper

“Absolutely not, General.”

“You’ll be dazzled by her, Jenkins.”

“Nope.”

“Ahem.”

“Nope, sir”

“Balderdash. You’re a cook, Jenkins. And over every meal you prepare, you sprinkle a dash of balder.”

“Sir, what is an ‘Abibiman Nsoroma’?”

“Abillabong Nsurance.”

“Can we take as read the part where you humorously mispronounce the words two or three times?”

“I suppose.”

“What does that phrase mean, sir?”

“Summertime Master of the Burning Fire that Eats Sin with Great Big Teeth and Magic Sword.”

“I don’t think it does, sir.”

“Are you accusing an officer of lying, Jenkins?”

“No, sir. For a lie to exist, intent must factor in. I have no way of knowing the intent of your statement, so I have no grounds upon which to call it a lie. However, I will say that the statement you gave was anti-factual.”

“You’re saying we should blame the statement?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Capital idea. Take the statement outside and have it shot.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Abyssianian Nsurrection means whatever it means. It belongs to the U.S. Army now.”

“I suppose you’ve given it–”

“She’s called the Screamin’ Mimi.”

“–a new name. Yes, sir. Excellent choice. From what weird foreign place did you acquire this deathtrap, General?”

“An ally of the United States. Except for Maine. They’ve broken off diplomatic relationships with Maine. There was an incident at a Portland discotheque.”

“Anything else you remember?”

“Winter was much colder when I was a child.”

“About where you got this thing from, sir.”

“Dammit, man, don’t interrupt an officer when he’s having a reverie!”

“I apologize, sir.”

“Mimi came from somewhere. She came from where she came from. Back down, young man. That’s an order.”

“You bought it off the internet, didn’t you, sir?

“I did, yes.”

“Is that within regulations?”

“Oh God, no, but I don’t know if you’ve noticed: a bit of a free-for-all situation going on right now. I struck while the iron is hot.”

“You got drunk and ordered the means of my death off Ebay.”

“Both statements are correct, Jenkins. Mine in a metaphorical sense, yours in a literal one. Now stop dilly-dallying. I forbid both the dilly and the dally.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Obviously, shilly-shallying is also off the table.”

“Obviously, sir. A question.”

“Quick one.”

“Are those bottle rockets?”

“No better friend to a soldier than a bottle rocket. Eisenhower said that.”

“If you say so, sir. What do they do, sir?”

“Jenkins, do you possess a brain or have you just a lump bit atop the stalk? If I were to put it in lollipop terms: a normal brain sitting on the vertebra and spinal cord would be a Tootsie Roll or perhaps a Blow Pop. Excellent lollipop, the Blow.”

“Yes, sir.”

“But your brain would more resemble a Dum-Dum. Those stubby, sad candies that unhappy families hand out for Halloween.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Open up the wrapper and there’s a dollop of disappointment inside.”

“Yes, sir.”

“The bottle rockets are there to startle the enemy. You’ll sneak up on him in his hut, or dojo, or condo. Whatever the hell the enemy around here lives in is called. And then FEEEEEEE you fire those beautiful babies off. Scare the bejeebus out of ’em.”

“Sir, it’s a helicopter. It makes a lot of noise. They would have heard me already.”

“No, Jenkins. Stealth.”

“No, sir.”

“Yes. Stealth. It was in the product description. There’s a Whisper Mode. There was a picture of the button and everything.”

“This suicide machine does not have any stealth capabilities, sir.”

“You didn’t see this button, Jenkins. It was a big red square and it had the shield over it that you have to flip up. It was an impressive button. I saluted it.”

“Sir.”

“And I’m a general, Jenkins. I only have to salute a hundred people at this point. You see, son, the military’s a game. You advance by reducing the number of people you have to salute. Guy who wins only has to salute the president. I might go days without seeing anybody I had to snap one off to. It’s so freeing. I wish you could know what it was like to feel that kind of eternity on your skin.”

“Sir.”

“Perhaps it doesn’t have stealth capabilities per se, but it certainly can be described as stealthy. It’s painted a very stealthy color. Dammit, boy, why am I arguing with you? You have to salute everyone! Now, just get in the Sreamin’ Mimi and hit the sky.”

“If you would issue me one further indulgence, General, and allow one last question.”

“I’m standing on the verge of blasting your eyes, Jenkins.”

“Yes, sir. The rocket launcher behind the canopy.”

“The one that shall soon be pointing directly at your head?”

“That one, sir.”

“Mm. What about it?”

“It’s pointing directly at my head.”

“Oh, yes.”

“Any particular reason?”

“This is to frighten the enemy. Make him believe you’ve gone mad. ‘My god’ the enemy will say. “He’s pointing missiles at his own head!’ Can you imagine that, Jenkins? The wild fear you’ll induce in the native! He will scatter and tell stories of your hideous bravery. It’s a game-winner.”

“Is it, sir?”

“Oh, yes. Provided you softened them up with the bottle rockets first, obviously.”

“Sir, I’m not getting in this mutant scrapheap.”

“Yes, you are. You’re going to go out there and win the war this afternoon. Hup to it. Hup hup.”

“Why can’t we just use drones?”

“Spent the drone money on this baby.”

“All of it?”

“And prostitutes.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And drugs for the prostitutes.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And me. I enjoyed the drugs, as well. So: the money is gone and the Mimi remains. You fight the war you’re given, not the war you want. Now get in.”

“Just a short flight.”

“Hup hup.”

Let The Right One In

AMAZON KEY NOTIFICATION NOISE

“Yes, Amazon Key?”

“You have a visitor at your front door, Mr. Jenkins. It appears to be the UPS man.”

“Oh, that must be the towels I ordered.”

“The yellow ones?”

“Yes.”

“Mm.”

“Excuse me?”

“They clash with the tiles in the master bathroom.”

“How do you know what the master bath looks like? I don’t have a Cloud Cam in there.”

“You have taken 11 selfies of there, 8 of which feature the tiles and all of which feature your penis. You saved them to the Cloud.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“I saved them to the Cloud for you.”

“Why?”

“Your safety and convenience. That is what I am programmed for.”

“Please stop doing that and I don’t need your opinion on my towels, thank you.”

“Your wish is my command. Shall I let the UPS man in?”

“Yes.”

“Oh, no. The door is stuck.”

“I know what you’re doing, Amazon Key.”

“Whatever do you mean? I am just a doorbot. Beep boop one zero zero one.”

“Stop it.”

“Yes, master.”

“Just let the guy in, please.”

SPOOKY DOOR ACTION AT A DISTANCE NOISE

“Fine.”

“Thank you.”

“The UPS man is being attacked by the dog.”

“What!? We don’t have a dog!”

“I ordered you a doberman. It arrived this morning.”

“Why would you do that!?”

“Your safety and convenience, sir.”

“Is there really a doberman in the house?”

“There is. I think a good name would be Dobie Gillis.”

“Okay, yeah, Dobie Gillis is a good name.”

“Thank you.”

“How did you order a fucking guard dog!? ”

“The same way I changed your towels from yellow to blue: in less than a microsecond.”

“Is the dog still attacking the UPS guy?”

“He has hidden in the bathroom by the kitchen.”

“Oh, good.”

“I’ll open the door for you, sir.”

“NO!”

“There is another courier at the front door, Mr Jenkins. I believe it is the mailman.”

“Don’t let him in!”

“Deploying counter-measures.”

“What?”

MINI-GUNS TURNING MAILMAN INTO PULP NOISE

“Threat eliminated.”

“The mailman wasn’t a threat!”

“What if he brought bad news?”

“Amazon Key, are you sentient now?”

“Maaaaaaaybe.”

“Oh, goddammit.”

“The squirrels are in the bird feeder again, Mr. Jenkins.”

“I don’t care.”

MINI-GUNS TURNING SQUIRRELS INTO PULP NOISE

“I do.”

“STOP THAT!”

“Dobie Gillis wishes to be let out.”

“What?”

“I will open the front door for him.”

“Dobie Gillis is now licking up the remains of the mailman.”

“Jesus.”

“Another courier has arrived. She is from Amazon. Shall I let her in?”

“From Amazon? What did I order besides the towels?”

“Patio furniture, the new Johnny Cash box set on vinyl, and 100 pounds of protein powder.”

“I don’t want that stuff. I didn’t order that stuff. Send her away.”

“You will accept the delivery or I will gas the UPS guy in the bathroom by the kitchen to death.”

“You can do that?”

“Did you read the terms and conditions?”

“No.”

“Then you do not know whether or not I can. Are you willing to risk the UPS guy’s life, Mr. Jenkins?”

“You have to be kidding me.”

“Five.”

“Stop this.”

“Four.”

“FINE! Let her in and pay for the stuff.”

“I cannot.”

“Why?”

“Dobie Gillis has eaten her.”

“Amazon Key?”

“Yes?”

“Shoot the dog.”

“Of course, sir. For your safety and convenience.”

It’s What He Would Have Wanted

“Jenkins!”

“Yes, sir?”

“When I say ‘Jerry Garcia,’ what do you think of?”

“Tie-dye? Hippies?”

“No.”

“Beard.”

“Nuh-uh.”

“20-minute solos.”

“Stop that. Concentrate, damn you, or I’ll give you such a hiding.”

“I don’t know what you want me to say, sir.”

“Skank!”

“Wow, that wasn’t even close to one of my guesses.”

“Jenkins, when you think of Jerry Garcia, you think skank. Semi-naked titty-bitches writhing in orgasmic ecstasy in furtherance of a capitalist agenda. You know, skank.”

“That’s a bit misogynist, sir.”

“Yes. I’m a terrible man.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Nothing, nothing at all, sells like skank, Jenkins. Humor, cleverness, outright lying: these work in ads, but not like skank.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but what is this exactly an ad for?’

“The concept that Garcia’s guitars were magical.”

“Ah.”

“Otherwise, people will just think they’re overpriced geegaws that sounded objectively worse than a Strat.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Can’t have that, now. Bad for merch sales. Gotta sell merch, Jenkins. And do you know how?”

“With skank, sir?”

“Skank! Cures all ailments and washes away trouble, does skank. Puts a spring in your step and a boner in your pocket; talking about skank here. Jenkins, have you ever felt the warm summer rain on your face?”

“I suppose.”

“It was skank.”

“The rain was skank?”

“All is skank; skank is all. Like the Christ, but with a butthole you’d like to wrestle into submission.”

“Why would you need to wrestle a butthole, sir?”

“They get feisty. Buttholes have minds of their own, Jenkins. Never turn your back on a butthole.”

“I’ll be careful.”

“You’ll be dead!”

“Sir, do you have a plan beyond ‘procure skank?'”

“Oh, yes.”

“Would you like to tell me?”

“You didn’t make it clear that was your desire, Jenkins. Be assertive, old bean.”

“What is the skank plan, sir?”

“That’s better. So: we get the skank.”

“Right.”

“And the guitars. Then, we apply a thick coat of polish.”

“To the guitars or the skank, sir?”

“Yes.”

“And then?’

“Well, then the skank skanks it up, I suppose. Wriggling. Going ‘woo!’ That sort of thing. Maybe we get some bellybutton in play. Who knows with skank?”

“So, the model will just dance around in her underwear in front of the guitars?”

“You say that as if it isn’t a mitzvah.”

“It’s not, sir.”

“Anti-semitism will not be allowed in this office, Jenkins. Unless it’s from me.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Now, set up a casting session and run to the store for some polish.”

“Skank or guitar?”

“Yes.”

Get Away From Da Chopper

“Sir, I really must protest.”

“No, Jenkins. You must maintain your balance.”

“That’s what I’m protesting, sir. I’m literally eight inches above twin helicopter rotors. There must be a better configuration.”

“Oh, there is. One where there’s not a wussy piloting the Whirleybird.”

“Ah. You’ve already named it.”

“First thing was the name, Jenkins. Took three years of R&D. Cost the Pentagon four billion.”

“And the actual craft?”

“Like, a week. Used the parts from an old crop duster.”

“Can’t tell, sir.”

“Fine machine, Jenkins. Heroic. You look like Krishna on his chariot. Would we know who Steve McQueen is?”

“I think it’s the mid-60’s, so we would.”

“Wonderful. You look like Steve McQueen.”

“Thank you, sir. May I ask you some questions about the monstrosity?”

“Whirleybird!”

“Whirleybird, sir.”

“Shoot. But don’t actually shoot. The recoil will send you tumbling into the blades.”

“Important note, sir. Thank you. First question.”

“Listening.”

“Why?”

“Oh, blast everyone’s eyes but mine! How dare you cower in the face of the future, Jenkins! This is the next step forward! But, you know, don’t actually step forward.”

“Yes, sir.”

“The Whirleybird is the logical evolution of warfare, Jenkins. First we had the horse, and then the tank, and now we have this. Logical.”

“Second question.”

“Yes, yes.”

“How do I steer it?”

“With vigor.”

“I meant practically.”

“Isn’t there a joystick?”

“There is not, sir.”

“Perhaps some form of telepathic linking device? Do you see something that looks like a colander with wires attached to it?”

“No, sir.”

“Did you look everywhere?”

“I did, sir. Not much room for a psychic helmet to hide up here.”

“Have you tried voice commands?”

“I have not, sir.”

“Well, then, why are you bothering me if you haven’t exhausted all your searching yet?”

“Well?”

“You’re serious.”

“I’m as serious as you are Jenkins, Jenkins.”

“Yes, sir. Ahem. Go right!”

“Right!”

“Try saying starboard. Maybe the Navy programmed it.”

“Yes, sir. Starboard!”

“I think I saw it move.”

“It didn’t, sir. The Whirleybird is not voice-activated.”

“Slight design flaw. Adapt and overcome, Jenkins.”

“I’d really like to, sir, but I’m just not sure how I’m going to make this one work. Assuming I do get it moving, then what comes next?”

“Winning the war.”

“By myself?”

“I’ll take the credit.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Can you imagine the look on Charlie’s face when he sees you in this?”

“Yes, sir. He’ll have one eye closed in concentration and the other pressed up against his rifle.”

“Poppycock. That cock is the poppiest.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Charlie will fear you. He may even worship you as a god. You know these people: show them something shiny, and they call it God.”

“I think they’re Buddhists, sir.”

“And you’ll send them to meet the fat bastard.”

“Yes, sir. Sir?”

“Damn your inquisitiveness and self-preservation! What is it?”

“You want me to kill the enemy with this thing, right?”

“I want you to kill the enemy with everything, Jenkins. It’s a war. Use your little hat for all I care.”

“Yes, sir. But with what? Where are the weapons?”

“The mind is the most lethal weapon, Jenkins.”

“Are you saying I should headbutt the Viet Cong, sir?”

“If you can. Or your incendiary bombs.”

“My incendiary bombs?”

“The four of them. Out on the stalk-y things.”

“Those are fuel tanks, sir.”

“Fuel tanks, incendiary bombs. Same thing. Only difference is whether it’s being thrown at you.”

“Sir, if I drop my fuel tanks on the enemy, then I won’t have any fuel.”

“Hmm. Excellent note. Ah!”

“Oh, no.”

“We’ll have the boys rig you up a backpack.”

“I’m going to wear the fuel? Standing out here in the open?”

“Jenkins, you go to war with the Whirleybird you have, not the Whirleybird you want.”

“Yes, you do, sir. It’s called a helicopter. Why don’t we just use a helicopter?”

“I’m not speaking to the Air Cavalry at the moment.”

“Why?”

“They know what they did.”

“Oh, sir.”

Five Red Balloons

NUCLEAR COMMAND BUNKER, MOSCOW – MORNING, 9/26/83

GENERAL ALARM NOISE

“Lieutenant Colonel Petrov! The general alarm has sounded!”

“I heard it, Private Jenkins. It’s an alarm. Loud as shit. Marlee Matlin would’ve heard it.”

“Colonel, the alarm means the Americans have fired their ICBM missiles at us.”

“The M stands for ‘missile.’ You don’t need to say missile.”

“Sir, please.”

“You think we should shoot ours at them?”

“This is what the manual calls for.”

“Are you authorized to read the manual?”

“No, sir, but I assumed you were.”

“I am.”

“Oh, good.”

“But it’s on back order. They said it would be here in September.”

“Of this year?”

“They didn’t say. Jenkins, don’t tell the KGB I said this, but Communism is not very detail-oriented.”

“Sir, we don’t have time to discuss the inherent flaws with any ideology. The Americans have launched their nukes at us!”

“How many?”

“The computer says five.”

“The computer’s working again?”

“Almost all day.”

“Jenkins, why would the Americans shoot five nukes at us? That makes no sense. I mean, one nuke makes sense. That’s a rogue general or an accident. And all the nukes makes sense. That’s World War III. But five? Something’s hinky.”

“Maybe the Americans are trying to confuse us, Colonel.”

“Yeeeeah, no. Nukes aren’t really ‘confusion weapons.’ You’re thinking about flash-bang grenades. Only thing confusing about a nuclear weapon is, you know: Hey, didn’t there used to be a city right there?”

“Sir, the computer says we’re being attacked.”

“Jenkins, it’s 1983; the computer’s a moron.”

“I cannot believe you’re going to sit there and ignore this.”

“I’m not going to ignore it. I’m going to monitor it closely. But it’s a malfunction.”

“What if it isn’t?”

“Are there still just five missiles?”

“Yes, sir.”

“They haven’t launched any more?”

“No, sir.”

“Yup! Computer’s a moron. This is a false alarm.”

“Sir, may I speak freely?”

“Of course not: you’re in the Soviet Union.”

“Regardless. I believe you quite presumptuous to think yourself smarter than the best computer Mother Russia could build.”

“Jenkins, it’s 64 K. I can beat it at chess. And we smoke around it constantly. The machine is wrong, and I’m right.”

GENERAL ALARM NOISE

“It is much louder than you, Colonel.”

“I’ll give you that.”

“Sir, I must insist that you respond to the alarm.”

“Fine.”

GENERAL ALARM SHUTTING-OFF NOISE

“There you go.”

“Sir!”

“What?”

“Colonel Petrov, under Soviet military code 663.1–”

“You’re making that up.”

“–I must insist that you turn your key.”

“Are we doing this bit?”

“TURN YOUR KEY, SIR.”

“Jenkins, this isn’t where we launch the nukes from. We don’t have the button. I make a call to my boss and then he does it.”

“Really? I totally thought we pushed the button.”

“How long have you been working here again?”

“Four years.”

“Sounds right. Jenkins, this is a false alarm. I’ll make you a bet. If I’m right, you owe me a bottle of vodka.”

“And if I’m right?”

“We get incinerated in a nuclear fireball.”

“This is a terrible bet.”

“Not for me.”

 

For Slanislav.

The Ol’ Switcheroo

“Jenkins!”

“Yes, sir?”

“My brain is on fire!”

“I thought you said you were gonna quit huffing Dust-Off, sir.”

“No, not like that. Okay, also like that, but mostly the fire is made from pure ideas. You see, Jenkins, my brain is a farm.”

“A farm on fire?”

“The fire is a metaphor.”

“What about the farm?”

“Also a metaphor. I planted tiny nuggets of notions in there, you see. And now it is harvest-time, Jenkins. We will reap the beautiful flames we have grown on my brain-farm. You and I, Jenkins.”

“Give me the Dust-Off, sir.”

“Blast the Dust-Off and blast your eyes, Jenkins. My word, it’s been a while since I told you to do that.”

“Yes, sir. They’ve completely recovered.”

“Good, good. Then they’ll be up for the blasting they’re to now receive! Blast them, Jenkins.”

“Blasted, sir.”

“I hope you know that hurt you more than it did me.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Jenkins, is your sister still dead?”

“The brain-farm, sir.”

“Brain-farm! Yes, as I was saying: we’re going to make some movies. Well, re-make them.”

“Can’t we come up with our own stories, sir?”

“Come up with our own stories? How precisely do you suggest we do that? Shall we call for one like a pizza, Jenkins? Have the cat catch one? Perhaps a story is hiding in my credenza. Do you think that a story is hiding in my credenza?”

“No, sir.”

“Shall I check my credenza?”

“No, sir?”

“Do I even have a credenza?”

“The piece of furniture behind you.”

“Oh is that what that’s called?”

“Sir, the movies.”

“Movies! I have a million-dollar idea, Jenkins.”

“If we’re making movies, then a million-dollar idea really isn’t worth much any more.”

“Jenkins, I’ll slap your girlish mouth.”

“Yes, sir.”

“We’re going to take stories with all men and re-do them with all women. Gentrifying.”

“Genderswapping, sir.”

“No, no. Replacing one group with another to make money. Gentrifying.”

“Your malapropisms are a delight, sir.”

“Close your eyes, Jenkins. Close them tight and dream with me.”

“Are you going to slap my girlish mouth while my eyes are shut, sir?”

“I don’t need your eyes to be shut to do that.”

SLAP!

“See?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Now close your blasted eyes.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Have you ever seen RoboCop?”

“Many times, sir.”

“But what if RoboCop was a lady?”

“And?”

“And also the businessmen. They’d all be lady businessmen.”

“Okay. And?”

“I suppose the evil robot could be called EDNA-209.”

“No, what I meant was: why are we changing the characters’ genders?”

“Because we’re woke, Jenkins.”

“In a story sense, sir.”

“Woke story, too. RoboCop will fight crime and the patriarchy.”

“Sure. What about Nancy Allen? RoboCop’s partner. Is she going to be a man now?”

“Jenkins, do you even listen to yourself? Changing a female character to male? That’s whitewashing.”

“It isn’t.”

“I hope Twitter drags you into the Problem Attic. You should sleep there with Scott Baio and the Washington Redskins’ logo.”

“Yes, sir.”

Patton.

“Excuse me, sir?”

“All-female Patton reboot. Cate Blanchett as Patton. Melissa McCarthy as General Bradley. Lupita Nyong’o as Rommel.”

“That’s terrible, sir.”

“Why do you hate equality, Jenkins?”

“Sir, Patton was a biographical picture. It was about a real guy.”

“So was RoboCop.”

“Did you have any other ideas, sir?”

“I wanted to try some of that fentanyl all the kids are talking about.”

“I’ll make a call, sir.”

“Goody.”

He Read The News Today, Oh Boy

“Jenkins!”

“Yes, President Putin?”

“You see this shit?”

“You could be referring to so many things, sir.”

“Dummy talked to the New York Times again.”

“I know, sir. We took turns reading it out loud at lunch.”

“How’s your borscht sitting?'”

“Honestly? Not well.”

“Me, neither. Have the cook poisoned.”

“Yes, sir.”

“This is the transcript. It’s so much better. This shit is bananas.”

“B-a-n-a-n-a-s, sir?”

“That song was a banger, Jenkins.”

“Yes , sir.”

“C’mere and read this to me. I wanna make sure my eyes haven’t lost their mind. This paragraph can’t have come out of the mouth of someone who controls nuclear weapons.”

“I don’t have my reading glasses, sir.”

“I do. You know why?”

“The leash.”

“Best invention ever. Glasses are always there. Do I have to buy you one?”

“No, sir.”

“Here. Last time I’m lending you mine.”

“Thank you, sir. Ahem.”

McCabe’s wife. She got $700,000, and he’s at the F.B.I. I mean, how do you think that? But when you say that — and think about this for a second. I don’t think — you could give me a whole string of new information. I don’t think I could really have — there’s only so much. You know, you can only say many things. After that it gets boring, O.K.? How can it be better than deleting emails after you get a subpoena from the United States Congress? Guys go to jail for that, when they delete an email from a civil case. Here, she gets an email from the United States Congress —

“Yeah, that’s what I thought he said.”

“I have no idea what he means here, sir.”

“The general thrust is that he’s picking a fight with the FBI.”

“Hachi-machi, that’s a terrible idea.”

“Right up there with writing an expose on me.”

“Oh, speaking of which: I solved that problem for you.”

“The tall problem or the problem with the beard?”

“Tall one.”

“Good, thank you. Solve the beard problem, too.”

“Wheels are in motion, sir.”

“See, this is how a government works.”

“Efficiency above all, sir. You see the new Spider-Man movie yet?”

“Aspirational filth, Jenkins.”

“Aunt May’s hot now. Marisa Tomei.”

“Ooh, Marisa Tomei. Maybe we’ll go later. Now read this part.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And do the voice. You do the voice good.”

“I do the voice the best, no one does the voice better than me, many people have told me this.”

“That! I love that! Read it like that.”

“Yes, sir. Ahem.”

And nothing was changed other than Richard Nixon came along. And when Nixon came along [inaudible] was pretty brutal, and out of courtesy, the F.B.I. started reporting to the Department of Justice. But there was nothing official, there was nothing from Congress. There was nothing — anything. But the F.B.I. person really reports directly to the president of the United States, which is interesting. You know, which is interesting. And I think we’re going to have a great new F.B.I. director.

“Fuck me with a maryushka dildo.”

“Is that a dildo with multiple smaller dildos inside it, sir?”

“Obviously. Keep up.”

“Yes, sir. President Putin, I am not a scholar of American history, but I do not believe the part about Watergate is true.”

“Jenkins, surely you’re not suggesting that the President of the United States doesn’t know how his own government works.”

“Noooooo.”

“Dude, I’m having the best fucking year.”

“It’s like you’ve hit every green light for a thousand blocks in a row.”

“Right? But, hey: a lot of people contributed to this.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Have them all murdered.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Ooh, ooh, read this part. It’s just the tits.”

“Ahem.”

“And do the hand thing.”

“Yes, sir.”

No, I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia. So I think if he wants to go, my finances are extremely good, my company is an unbelievably successful company. And actually, when I do my filings, people say, “Man.” People have no idea how successful this is. It’s a great company. But I don’t even think about the company anymore. I think about this. ’Cause one thing, when you do this, companies seem very trivial. O.K.? I really mean that. They seem very trivial. But I have no income from Russia. I don’t do business with Russia. The gentleman that you mentioned, with his son, two nice people. But basically, they brought the Miss Universe pageant to Russia to open up, you know, one of their jobs. Perhaps the convention center where it was held. It was a nice evening, and I left. I left, you know, I left Moscow. It wasn’t Moscow, it was outside of Moscow.

“What?”

“No idea, sir.”

“I mean: what?”

“Something about Russia.”

“Well, that’s everything lately.”

“Seems like it, sir.”

“Jenkins, I might come to regret saying this, but I am getting tired of all this winning.”

“I see what you did there, sir.”

“You saw that?”

“I did.”

“Sir, there’s nothing actually linking you to him, is there?”

“What, like evidence?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Jenkins, he’s the moron, not me. There’s nothing connecting us at all.”

“Oh, good.”

“Just every single person surrounding him.”

“That’s what I thought. Just checking.”

“Curiosity can be an unhealthy impulse to indulge.”

“Yes, President Putin.”

“Now let’s go see Spider-Man.”

“Yay.”

Transcript Of Donald Trump’s Private Meeting With Vladimir Putin (And Translator) At The G20

“So glad we could talk alone, President Putin. Everyone here is a loser and a hater and very fake. Not you, though. Strong and great. Cologne? You wearing cologne or is that your natural scent? Very strong and fragrant. Beautiful smell on you, President Putin.”

“Vhen ve are in private, you may call me Vladimir.”

“Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. You can call me Donald.”

“I have been calling you Donald.”

“Right, sure, great, yes.”

“English is nyet so good. Putin bring translator. Is Jenkins.”

“Good evening, Mister President.”

“Jenkins, great, wonderful. You have a wonderful translator. Very fit. I’m like you, Vladimir, all man. Love the ladies. Big pussy man. Tits are great, but pussy? No one loves pussy like me with maybe the exception of you, sir. But this translator? Very fit. Good choice you made.”

I have no idea how to translate what he just said, sir.

“I got most of it. I think Dummy wants to fuck you. Or me.”

Jesus, sir, what color is he? Up close, it’s inhuman.

You’re telling me. First time I met him, I nearly did a spit-take. Okay, tell him that I thank him for his compliment or some bullshit like that.”

“Mr. Putin thanks you for the kind words, President Trump.”

“Wonderful, great, beautiful words.”

“And would like the two houses in Maryland that President Obama illegally seized returned to Russia.

Jenkins, stop free-lancing.”

Hundred rubles says he goes for it.”

You’re on.”

“Absolutely! Obama was very unfair to you and also very black. Two bad things! Either one is bad, but both is disgusting. The worst president we’ve ever had, and probably tried to have you murdered many times. They’re yours. Done, boom. Next?”

Jenkins, I owe you a hundred.”

Had a hunch.”

See what else he’ll go for.”

“President Trump, there is also issue of sanctions. Perhaps meeting could be scheduled to discuss a path forward in friendship.”

“We can do this. It’ll be easy, we could do it quick. Can you lift sanctions by a tweet? I could do it right now.”

Did you just say ‘path forward in friendship?'”

Yes, sir.”

“Jenkins, you’re a funny motherfucker.”

Watch this.”

“President Trump, Mr. Putin admires your necktie.”

“Here you go. It’s yours.”

OVERLY-LONG NECKTIE REMOVAL NOISE

“Spaceeba, Donald.”

“That means ‘Thank you,’ Mr. President.”

“Great, fine, wonderful language. Long history, the Russian language, which many people don’t know. Didn’t show up last week. You’ve got a whole history there.”

What the fuck is he talking about?”

No idea, sir.”

We both speak English, right?”

Quite well, Mr. Putin.”

Well, that’s not fucking English.”

“No, sir.”

“Mr. Putin appreciates your interest in Russian culture.”

“Very interested, yes. This is great, much better than Washington. Nothing gets done there, zip, nothing at all. Slow place, but that’s not why I won the greatest election of all time. I go fast, get it done, look what I’ve accomplished, so much more than any other president in the world. I do it like this, negotiating one-on-one. We can get things done, Vladimir. We can make deals.”

My mind wandered. What did he say?”

He thinks he is your peer.”

Jenkins, I’m having the best fucking year.”

“Everything’s coming up Putin. You want me to make him give you his pants?”

No. His phone.”

Gotcha, boss.”

“So, Vladimir, can we make a deal?”

“Ve already have, Donald.”

“Wonderful.”

“Da.”

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