Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Thanksgiving File

Meanwhile, in a small office in the West Wing, a young intern notices a manila folder that has slid unnoticed behind a bookcase. He opens it and scans the content, his eyes widening as he reads.

It is a soul-sickening history of a twisted pair: Their early abuse at the hands of the farmer's sadistic son, who liked to creep up and throw breadcrumbs into their pen, adding tauntingly, "These will be in your butt one day ..." Early drug use leading to dealing to support their habit. The coke overdose of the pig in barn 3, which was never tied to them even though everybody knew. Random, senseless eye-peckings. A home invasion that went bad when the family returned unexpectedly -- 2 killed, many poops left on a nice area rug, the good silver taken. And then, the kidnapping of the congressman's daughter and the ransom exchange that turned ugly when the dye-pack in the sack of corn went off early. The young FBI agent who'll never come home to his family. His wife who wakes screaming from dreams of the sounds of gobbling outside the bedroom door.

The intern closes the file, stumbling toward the door, throwing in open and startling the Secret Service agent and the prostitute in the next room. "Wait!" the agent commands, swiping the pair of underpants from his face and fumbling for his service weapon, but the intern knows he can't wait. There is no time. A couple of decent passport forgeries and the two could be anywhere by now. Manila. Beirut. He came to the White House to serve his country, and today he will, even if it costs him his life. He has to tell POTUS the truth: He pardoned the wrong turkeys.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Giving Tree Redux

And one day the boy came back, and the tree was so happy she could barely speak.

"Come, boy, come climb my trunk and have fun again!" she whispered. 

"I am too old and sad to have fun," said the boy. "The world is not fun. I need a boat, to sail far away from here. Can you give me a boat?"

"A boat?" said the tree. She didn't know what to say. Only that morning there had been news of wildfires, and drought, and starvation, and beheadings, and mass extinctions, and a bunch of walruses with no ice left in the ocean for resting had come ashore in one giant tusky bawling mass.

"Were you saying something?" asked the boy, checking his stock listings on his smartphone. "Yeah, a boat. My life isn't all sunshine and butterflies and bears scratching their backs on me, like yours."

And the tree looked at him a long time. Then she sighed. "I wish I had not given you all my branches," she said. "Because now I cannot beat you violently with them like you deserve, you whiny little dickhead."

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Legend of Pumpkin Spice

"Tell me a story, mommy," the baby pumpkin whispered as he bounced into bed and pulled up the covers. "A scary one!"

"Are you sure you want a scary story, honey?"

"YESSSSS. Really scary!" he cried.

"OK, Gourdy, but then you have to go to sleep," said Momma Pumpkin, tucking him in. "Once upon a time, we Pumpkin-kind started rubbing ourselves with a Sacred Spice Blend to protect us and make us tasty so that People wouldn't notice that we're actually kinda slimy and starchy. We wore the Spice, and People loved us and planted us and made us into sacred pies to celebrate their Day of Gratitude. Everyone was happy. But then there was a Marketer, who saw that there was all this leftover Pumpkin Spice that wasn't making anyone any money, and so he started telling People to put Pumpkin Spice into everything!"

"EVERYTHING?" Gourdy said, his eyes wide.

"Yes! First it was just coffee and Yankee candles. Then, as time passed, they started putting it in beer, and then into Oreo cookies and potato chips and pizza and skin cream."

"What happened then, Mommy?"

"Well, soon there was no protective Spice left for us Pumpkins. And our flesh began to rot away and people noticed we were actually kinda gross and mealy, and then the beer and the coffee and the cereal and the bratwurst and the shampoo, who were all sick of smelling and tasting like Pumpkin Spice, got really angry and came out through the night and gathered around all the Pumpkin patches and got ready to come in through the vines and smear themselves all over us and force us to taste like them. They're outside the patch right now ... can you hear them whispering?"

"I can! I can hear them, Mommy!" Gourdy cried out in terror, diving beneath the covers. "I don't wanna taste like a shampoo!" 

And Momma Pumpkin realized she had made the story too scary again, and felt terrible, and began to try to comfort Gourdy and remind him it was all just a story, but then she felt the vines shift all around and heard the chant -- taste like us taste like us. She felt the cold, sharp edge of a Pringle against her skin and she realized that they had finally come.