Colin Powell's UN Clown Show

by Robert Crisman

     Captain Zeep, the Zorkian spy, awaited the start of Colin Powell's slide show, the one that was supposed to snow the UN General Assembly out of their socks and pave the way for the Iraqi invasion. Not that Dick Cheney gave one rusty rat's ass about what the UN might want. Fuck those poop countries! But, by pretending he wanted to work with these guys, that he actually valued their input or something--he hoped he could figleaf the coming invasion, along with the rest of the shit he had planned for right after, i.e., the parcelling out of Iraqi oil concessions to all the right guys.
     Zeep saw the game plan shaping up into a real disaster--one that might speed the Zorkian invasion of Earth.
     He snuggled unseen in the FOX broadcast booth with co-anchors Fifi and Jeff, two junior reptiles ready to put the best spin they could on Powell's bullshit.
     Fifi wore Tammy Fay makeup, a low-cut pink blouse, and a skirt which, had it been even a micro-inch shorter, would have blown up the booth.
     Jeff kicked things off. "Well, Feef, this is the big one! Colin Powell, our heretofore suspiciously liberal Secretary of State, is at the UN with absolute proof that the bastard Saddam has WMDs up the ying-yang and then some!"
     "Sure looks that way, Jeffie," she said. "Let's go now to the UN building in New York where Powell is about to address the General Assembly."
     They turned to the monitor behind them.
     On screen, Colin Powell. On his head a brown paper bag with two eyeholes.
     "Okay, folks," Powell said, "WMDS! Have we got some for you!" He chuckled. "No, seriously, we don't--but Saddam Hussein sure as hell does! Let's get to the evidence now!"
     Powell turned to the big screen behind him.
     A trailer park lit up the screen. In front of one trailer a man stood, all skin and bones, with a zit-scarred, caved-in, ugly-ass face, sunken eyes and no teeth, and cellblock tattoos on his arms and his neck. The man gabbled and gestured and spun like a madman. He waved a rig in the air ad then jabbed himself twice in the armpits. As blood spritzed he sang nonsense.
     "This, friends," Powell said, "is an anthrax facility cleverly disguised as a meth lab in Gadsden, Alabama, uncovered last month by crack intelligence sources in a palm court just south of Baghdad. Scary shit, huh? And more to come!"
     On the screen now, a somewhat blurred mugshot of...someone, wearing what looked like a Ruritanian General's hat pulled way down low on his forehead. His face was pitted like old country roads. Zeep cocked his head. Something inside him stirred like a snake waking up from a 16-course meal.
     "This unidentified man," Powell said, "is believed to be a trusted member of Saddamn's inner circle. He was spotted last Tuesday attempting to enter a WalMart store in Reston, Virginia in search of fissionable material for nuclear weaponry, readily available in WalMart's frozen food section. Fortunately, lacking a WalMart card, the man was denied entry."
     The screen went blank. Fifi and Jeff sat, mouths agape, in the FOX broadcast booth. Zeep had started to slaver when anthrax was mentioned, but the doubts he'd been feeling  from jump street had started to tapdance inside him.
     The guy who'd jabbed himself with that rig... Zeep knew that he'd seen him somewhere before and--That roadhouse in Sinkhole, South Carolina! Zeep had stopped in for a quick one and, yep, that was the guy; he'd been with a chippie named Lulu one night when she'd tried to jump out a third-story window. He'd burned her, sold her a dime bag of Drano! She called him every last kind of cocksucker there is on the face of this earth!
     And then, the guy at the WalMart! Saddam's inner circle--bullshit! Those zits on his face? Those 24 nostrils, you mean! And that Ruritanian clown hat that looked like it came from some rustic circus? That was a Panama hat! And that dude was Manuel Noriega, the former Panamanian dopeman supremo and CIA buttboy for decades and decades--and longtime Zorkian spy before he got busted!
     Hell, Zeep and Noriega had sucked through the Andes like twin Hoover vacuums back in the old days! On recon, you know? They were brothers, reconnaissance aces, bound by green blood and Zorkian honor, and coke habits higher than Mount Anconcagua. They'd blown out the streetlights in Cali together!
     Ah, boogie nights...
     And so, what the fuck was this? Cheney thought he could put this shit over? On who, Curly the Stooge?
     Of course, there was always the wingnut brigade:
     "Scary stuff, Feef!" Jeff the Boy Wonder burbled.
     "You bet, Jeffie!" Fifi shivered theatrically, bouncing those tits in ways guaranteed to send ratings right through the roof. "I'm going home and lock all my doors and crawl under the bed when I leave here tonight, let me tell you!"
     Jeff forgot his fright for a moment. "Uh, you want some company, Feef?"
     Their laughter was bogus as dandruff on wigs.
     Powell reappeared on the monitor, pointer in hand as he turned to the big screen behind him. "Okay," he said, "last but not least."
     The map sprang to life with all sorts of runic inscriptions and such. Powell touched several of these with the pointer. "See those pulsing black symbols that look just like miniature Chthulus or something? Nerve gas facilities, ladies and gents! All over the place! The whole goddamn country! It looks like Fort Dietrich, I swear to God!"
     Fifi recoiled in horror. "Wow, Jeffie!" she exclaimed. "That was too much! Saddam is a madman!"
     Jeff, though, was squirming. "He is, Feef, but..."
     Fifi arched him a look. "Yes, Jeffie?"
     "That, uh, wasn't Iraq."
     "Wasn't Iraq? What are you saying? If it wasn't Iraq, then what the hell was it?"
     "Well...the Epcot Center, it looked like."
     "Jeffie, that can't be! Colin Powell wouldn't lie now that he's on our side! Saddam's trying to trick us, the bastard!"
     "Yes, Jeffie! I know for a fact that our source for all this was Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile statesman!"
     "Ahmad Chalabi? Feef, he's wanted for bank fraud, pimping, and drugs in Jordan! He hasn't even been to Iraq since 1913!"
     "Well, yes, Jeffie," Fifi said smugly, "but I happen to know that his mother writes weekly from Baghdad with all sorts of news. And as for that so-called bank fraud, it was an overdraft, simple as that. A mistake. You do it, I do it. He said he'd pay it all back! Besides," she batted her eyes, "I think he's a hunk."
     "Well, Feef," Jeff leered, "you're the expert."
     "Yes, Jeffie, I am. And don't you forget it."
     "I won't, Feef."
     "I know."
     The way she purred and preened as she said that. It was as if she'd feathered Jeff's nuts! She really was sultry, in a bone-gnawing sort of a way...
     Later that night, Zeep made a pit stop back at his place, mainly to puke in his sink.
     That UN slide show--a fucking debacle! It wouldn't fool dead folks! Zeep's four-year-old nephew could come up with something slicker than that! Was this the best that Cheney could do? If he kept this up, mobs with torches and pitchforks would be storming the White House before the '04 elections!
     Cheney just had to have more game than that! Zeep decided he needed to check on his ass, to see what the fuck he was thinking.
     Cheney and Rummy were hunkered somewhere in a basement when Powell wrapped things up.
     Cheney muted the sound on the plasma TV. "Well? What do you think?"
     Rumsfeld said, "Well..."
     "C'mon, Don," Cheney said, "half those guys were holding their noses!"
     "Yeah, but... I thought the evidence looked pretty good."
     "Well, sure," Cheney said. "That meth lab would've fooled anybody. Still--"
     "I'm telling you, Dick, the evidence is there! It's fucking Powell, that's the problem! I'd've had 'em jumping up and down yelling 'Let's get Saddam!' I mean, why'd we even bring this guy in if he can't snow the darkies?"
     "If he can't, you sure as fuck can't."
     "Hey, Dick, I'm telling you, man--"
     Cheney waved the subject away. "Ah, fuck it," he said. "The UN, who gives a shit? It'll play like a state execution in Texas." He sniggered. "I better call Junior, tell him he's gonna be making a speech. His Bombs Over Baghdad address to the nation."
     Zeep made his way out of the basement. He'd gotten a glimmer of just what it was that drove Cheney's game plan. That bit about state executions in Texas...
     Humans would never go for the bullshit they'd dumped on the General Assembly. But all those fucking yahoos in Texas--God save the planet! And not only in Texas! Millions of dipshits had voted for Bush in 2000! And sure the choice was between him and the fencepost Al Gore but--still, all those millions! The culture was churning out flag-waving sump goats, scared grandmas, and cretins in much the same way as leukemia spits white cells in bloodstreams!
     George Bush's base! Brain-dead, metastic...
     Which, Zeep supposed, was all to the good. The same thing, of course, had happened on Zork all those eons ago. Brain-death, then mudholes but... The Zorks had had Hitlers ramming the thing to conclusion. All right out front and no fucking around. Here, though, it seemed to be all about sneaking around the mulberry bush...
     Zeep just wasn't sure! All this half-ass finesse shit... Take the gloves off, you silly cocksuckers! You think this is Saturday Night at the Prom, for Chrissake?
     Zeep's one hope was Cheney the Cobra. He sure had fangs, and his shots at finesse were like bears chasing pussy. But even he seemed to be trying to tiptoe around like some broke-dick thief in the night.
     It could go one of three ways, Zeep decided. First, if Powell's clown show flew--which pre-supposed a planet of Alfred E. Neumans on gasoline fumes--the Cobra might figure he's home fucking free and shitcan the dance moves, and then send out jets to bomb China. And hey, that'd work! But suppose the thing flopped? He and Bush might get flushed down the rathole in 2004.
     Then, what, some lacquered pansy like Edwards steps in? With Clinton's old blueprint for foreign relations? "Sure, go ahead, bomb 'em--but in between blowjobs. I'll let you know."
     And even if this lame UN half-step did dance the dummies--Cheney might think that Fred Astaire makes it! And next thing you knew, he'd be tripping all over the landscape.
     Then things might really get tricky! People might even start to wake the fuck up...