Cheney Had Plans To Light Off the Reichstag

by Robert Crisman

     The whole human race was in trouble. As I said in another story a couple of weeks back, Zork the Galactic Destroyer had plans to make Planet Earth a nice, toasty snack for him and his boys. He'd sent his most illustrious spy, the Good Captain Zeep, to scout out the land.
     Zeep figured he'd picked a good time to get here. By the end of the '90s the world had turned way cartoon stupid. Fuckups abounded, many transcending the known laws of physics.
     Stupidity. Entropy. Toxicity skyrocketing over the moon. Humans were turning themselves into toast! And to top it, now in 2000, they faced George Bush's upcoming election...!
     Zeep envisioned a Zorkian takeover by 2012 at the latest.

     The Oval Office, August 2001. Clustered there were President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
     Rumsfeld asked Cheney, "How's it going with those war games?"
     Cheney laughed. "We'll have so many planes in the sky on the day, they'll look like confetti. The whole eastern seaboard. Don't worry. I'm Head White Boy In Charge of this thing and I've had three months. The FAA guys won't know if they're loaded on acid or dancing with Mandrills in bowties and spats."
     "Sounds good," Rumsfeld said. "The Pakis all set?"
     "Yeah. Atta'll pick up his money around the first of September and then after that, Musharaff's gonna try and keep all those tribal wingnuts out of Afghanistan until we can get in there and mop the fuck up. He wanted a little more time, but I told him UnoCal's not gonna wait. They want that pipeline right through Kabul and there just ain't no way with those Taliban assholes running around like they're jacked up on speed. We need some stability there, you know what I mean?"
     "Truly I do," Rumsfeld said. "Democracy, baby!"
     He and Cheney laughed like hyenas. After a moment, Bush joined in.
     An aide knocked on the door.
     Cheney said, "Yeah, who is it?"
     "Lord Cheney? Mr. Putin is on the line."
     "Yeah, okay. I'll take it in here." Cheney turned to Bush. "Junior, shove that phone over here."
     Bush did so and Cheney picked up. "Vladimir, what's up... Really...? Those pricks. Who'da thunk, huh? ...Yeah, right... Okay, thanks, man... What's that? ...Alright, I'll talk to Chirac. Maybe he can think of something that'll keep those Ukrainian dickheads in line... Sure, least I can do... Yeah, don't I know it... Okay, man, later."
     Cheney put the phone down and said, "Junior, go get us some coffee."
     "Well, uh, yeah, sure, Dick. Hey, was that Putin? Vladimir Putin? President of Russia?"
     "Rumor has it." Cheney handed Bush his cup. "Here. And, George, two sugars this time. And take a few minutes. Me and Rummy have stuff to discuss."
     "Sure Dick." Bush went out of the room.
     "Okay, what," Rumsfeld said as the door closed.
     Cheney looked like he'd swallowed the canary. "It's on, my man. They're gonna do it the first, second week of September. All set to go."
     "How the fuck did Putin find out?"
     "Ah, c'mon, Rum. Who hasn't found out? That's the sixth call I've gotten this week. Last one, some guy in a phone booth, called in from Dubuque. I'm there in the office, some boy scouts there with me, Powell's in there too, complaining about some goddamn thing, and he asks me, who was it? I tell him, the Avon Lady, my man and he's, what? and I tell him, don't look at me, it's supposed to be an unlisted number, and blah blah blah blah. He didn't buy it. Thought maybe it's Ken Lay. Another hot stock tip. He wants to get in. I told him I'd put him in touch and that was the best I could do."
     "Some guy in Dubuque, huh? I wonder who that was?"
     "Fuck if I know. Just some guy. I'm telling you, Rum, the only guy left besides Powell  who's still in the dark is Dummy out there getting coffee."
     "Well, as long as he's out of the loop I guess we're okay. Fucking Powell... I don't like that guy. He thinks he oughtta be running my shop."
     "Yeah, I know. I tell him, man, look, sooner or later we're gonna have to take out Saddam. And he's, 'Oh, man, uh uh! We gotta finesse it!'"
     "What the fuck does that mean?"
     "Same old, same old. We use the UN to keep Chirac happy, and meanwhile, Saddam chokes on sanctions, rolls over and dies. Then some flunky takes over and we get to suck up the oil til it's gone. Clinton's wet dream."
     "The guy wants a quarterback sneak to a touchdown."
     "Exactly. Same old stupid shit. Sure worked so far."
     "I noticed. So, anyway, when do we let Dummy in on the secret?"
     "We don't. He'll get to thinking and say something stupid, to Limbaugh or one of those assholes. Either that or his head'll bust open on prime time TV and somebody might even notice."
     "Yeah, well, but when those jets slam those buildings--"
     "Yeah, man, I know. But can't you just see him commanding the troops? The guy pulls his hat off a rack and falls out a window. No, uh uh. We're gonna have him outta the way on the day. Florida maybe, some grade school or something. I'll work it out."
     Bush came back in with the coffee. He gave it to Cheney and went to sit down.
     Cheney took a sip--and spit the stuff out on the desk. "Goddamnit, Junior! I told you two sugars! Always, two sugars! Is that hard? What do you need, a tattoo on your forehead to help you remember?"
     He shoved the cup back at Bush. "Go get me some more. Two fucking sugars, you got it?"
     "Sure, Dick," Bush, stricken, said. "Two sugars. I'm sorry. I've got stuff on my mind." He went back out.
     "Stuff on his  mind," Cheney said. "A half-nelson, maybe."
     Rumsfeld laughed. "A chokehold, more like it. You know though, thinking about this... I dunno... Those phone calls, man. And Qaeda... It's not like they're a bunch of slick motherfuckers, you know? I mean, we've had the Saudis and Pakis inside there for years, am I right? And everyone else sure seems to know what they're up to. Putin, the guy in Dubuque. My mother-in-law and her no-account boyfriend, for Chrissake! So you know, the day after, Condi's gonna be saying, 'Well, er, ah, gee, who'd've known?' and Sy Hersh or somebody's gonna start digging and find out that we knew when Osama sat down to shit. How'll that look?"
     "Don't sweat it, man. Let Sy Hersh dig his way clear to China. The first few days, weeks? People won't know if they're supposed to shit or go blind. We say it's Osama, who's gonna say different? 'Osama, Osama, he's after your mama!' All the white folks' sphinctors'll crack and then they'll roll over and give us carte blanche. And then, six months down the road, old Hersh or whoever says, 'Hey, wait a minute!' and we say, 'Too late, motherfucker! We got some laws passed to make us all safe from the terrorists, dig? Which means you shit red, white, and blue from now on or we ship your ass off to Gitmo, how's that?'"
     Rumsfeld nodded appreciatively. "Yeah. This might just fly."
     "It will," Cheney said. "And yeah, all those calls, but hey." He smiled and lawns and birds died. Then he shrugged. "We'll just tell 'em, 'Bing-bong, Avon calling!'"
     They laughed.
     Echoes of hyena-like laughter echoed in Captain Zeep's ears as he wandered Washington's streets late that evening. Fucking Cheney... The dude was audacious, he had to say that. It was a dumb fucking plan in the long run, too many guys were already in on the deal but... Hell, scare all the grandmas and turn the whole place into Stalag 13 and who knows? Lock the place down and then send out the bombers and--hey, bingo!
     Zeep worried about the snaking around that Cheney seemed to be doing. This "new Pearl Harbor" rigamarole that had all these clucks flying planes into buildings. Too much like a stage show, a cluck cast of thousands--and half of these guys, the CIA gave 'em their guns in the first goddamn place! It was shaping up as an unholy mess. I mean, sure, Hitler had needed his Reichstag fire in a big fucking way, but that gave the excuse for ace-deuce-tray lockdown right then and there! These guys still talked that democracy shit, and getting past that would take time and...
     The thing was, the Zorks were pretty much Bombs Away and Fuck You, you know? Right there and out front! You don't like it? Well, baby, guess what--it's your turn on the griddle, you dig it?
     But these guys, even Cheney, Zorklike as he was, felt the need for some reason to hide in tall grass as they plotted to let loose the monsters. What was it that Rumsfeld had said? Something about Powell wanting to quarterback sneak his way to a touchdown...
     Zeep hoped that this plan of Cheney's wasn't just a twist on the same fucking game plan...
     That evening, ensconced in his posh Georgetown digs, Cheney drank cognac and lounged, chewing cuds.
     The doorbell rang. Seeing as his house slaves were locked in the basement for fun, Cheney had to answer the door by himself.
     On the porch was a towheaded 10-year-old boy.
     "Yeah?" Cheney said.
     "Mr. Cheney?"
     "No, Heinrich Himmler." Cheney sniggered, killing some trees down the block. "Just kidding, kid. You here to collect for the paper?"
     "No, Mr. Cheney. It's--I heard this thing from one of my friends and one of my other friends told me I ought to tell you."
    Cheney looked warily down the street."Tell me what, kid?"
     "Well," the boy said, "my friend, he was saying, you know, Osama bin Laden? Him and his guys are gonna fly planes and blow up the World Trade Center! The Pentagon too! A lot of people are gonna get toasted!"
     Cheney stared at the boy. His eyes narrowed. Again, he darted a look at the street. "Kid," he said, "c'mon in here for a minute."
     He ushered the boy into the foyer and eased the door shut...
     Next night, Rumsfeld came over for dinner. "M-mmm, smells good. What're we having?"
     "Roast kid and yams," Cheney said.
     " Roast kid? I've never had goat. What's it like?"
     "Believe it or not, it's a little like monkey."
     "Really? Carlucci had one that he got from a zoo this one time. Cooked it up on a spit. It was good. Where'd you get yours?"
     "Hunting goats?"
     "It was an accident, man."
     "Not again!"
     "Afraid so," Cheney said. "We're out after deer last weekend, see, and we're sneaking around in the bushes and all of a sudden there's rustling behind me. I turn and I see this shape and--well, guess what."
     "It wasn't a deer."
     "Nope, it sure wasn't. And so I'm thinking, how in the fuck is this gonna look on the Six O'Clock News? We're outta season and all and--anyway, I called DeLay and he made some calls and, long story short, what hunting accident, right? And meantime, roast kid for dinner and everything's right with the world!"
     Rumsfeld snatched a long shank of meat. "Kill what you eat and eat what you kill." He hoovered the meat off the bone. "Damn! This does taste like monkey!"
     He gnawed off some more. "Oh, hey, did you see the news? Buncha kids in your neighborhood disappeared like today. Just, poof, you know? Cops say they don't know what the fuck's going on. I wonder what's up?"
     Cheney shrugged. "I dunno." Then he laughed. "Maybe it's Osama."
     Rumsfeld fell out.
     Later, digesting his share of the meal, snagged unbeknownst to his host, Zeep thought that the kid was okay except, well, kind of bland. It needed a sprinkle of anthrax for sure--the Zorks loved their anthrax--along with maybe a sprinkle of basil to make it just right...