Chene Chene Cheneyed
Chene Chene Cheneyed
The day before Christmas was a very good day for Ebenezer Scrooge McCheney. He cast the deciding vote in the United States Senate which insured that Tiny Tims would not get their lifesaving operations, that widows would not get their mites, that aspiring college students would not get their loans, and that the social net would be torn to shreds. He came back to the bunker to find Cratchett Libby, his pathetic clerk, shivering on his stool and looking desperate to go home.
“I hear Fitzgerald’s got you in deep doodoo,” sneared McCheney.
“Nothing I can’t handle, Mr. Vice President.”
“You gutless canary. You’re planning on turning state’s evidence in order to save your own sorry ass, aren’t you.”
“I’d never do that, sir. I’ll always stay with the message.”
“You know what we do to squealers around here?”
“Loyalty is primary, sir.”
“You’re a lying worm. Say one thing about me and that Plame witch and I’ll Gitmoize you AND your family till Habana freezes over. That little cripple of yours will be waterboarding till he’s 90…….if he lives that long!”
“Yes sir, Mr. Vice President.”
“I suppose you’re hoping to go home early to your family, though there are still insurgents to crush, dissenting liberal voices to still, taxes for the rich to be cut, news stories to be spun, and Alaskan wildernesses to be desecrated.”
“Oh no sir!”
“Lie lie lie! That’s all you do, Cratchett. That’s why you’re my bunboy…. Now get the hell out of here and don’t darken my bunker door till 7 AM tomorrow!” And poor Cratchett Libby grabbed his thin tattered coat and scuttled out of the bunker into the howling winter winds of the nation’s capital.
“It’s Christmas Eve,” McCheney thought to himself. “Shall I go upstairs to the Vice Presidential mansion and spend it with that manly Lynn woman who claims to be my wife? And with that diesel dyke daughter of mine? Put presents around the tree? Bah humbug! Families…..and feelings…..are for weaklings, not for masters of the universe!! My country, and more specifically my oil cronies, need me in my bunker, at the helm of the nation….and the world!” And as he spat this out, he felt a zapping twinge in what was left of his heart, as if his pacemaker had briefly shorted out. It was an intimation of mortality, and it gave him pause. He suddenly felt the weight of the whole world on his shoulders. Who would watch over the nation while he slept? He couldn’t trust the Boy King to do the job. Look what happened on 9/11. My Pet Goat indeed! Still, McCheney felt fantastically tired, as if all the Machiavellian striving of four decades was weighing down on him. He lay down on the bunk in his situation room and instantly fell asleep. No sooner had he done so than he was awakened by the ghastly sounds of rattling chains. Standing before him in the darkened bunker was the ghoulish figure of his old boss, now long dead, Milhouse McNixon.
“Milhouse!” gasped McCheney. “Can it be you?!”
“You know it is, Chromedome,” said Milhouse. “I am the ghost of Vice Presidents Past, come to kick your scheming ass and make you sorry you were ever born!”
“Why bear me ill will? I never testified against you!”
“No you didn’t. You used my impeachment and disgrace as an opportunity to advance yourself in my successor’s administration! Is that what you call loyalty!!!!? Mark my words, the time will come when YOU will wear these chains!”
“I can’t wear chains! I can barely drag my own weight around without getting a fifth heart attack!”
“Open up your ears and heed my warning, McCheney, or you will be doomed forever to wander in the limbo of the Federal prison system!” And the horrifying be-chained figure of Milhouse disappeared so instantly McCheney found himself wondering if he had seen him at all, or whether he had merely had a bad dream. Suddenly Milhouse reappeared and said, “And if you’re thinking I’m just a bad dream, well, think again!” And this time Milhouse disappeared for good.
McCheney, more exhausted than ever, lay his bald head down on his skimpy Army issue pillow and was instantly asleep once more. But no sooner did he fall asleep than he was awakened by a new figure, more ghastly than the last. This figure looked like a walking corpse, a corpse who resembled an American soldier blasted to shreds by an IED in Iraq, yet also resembled one of the drowned inhabitants of New Orleans, and even seemed to look like one of the First Responders crushed by the collapse of the WTC.
“Will you get the hell outta here and let a man sleep?!” McCheney snarled.
“I am the Ghost of SNAFU’s Present, doomed to walk the Earth because you screwed up in Iraq, you screwed up in New Orleans, you screwed up in New York, and you’re going to keep screwing up because you never learn!!”
“I don’t make mistakes,” sneared McCheney.
“Come, come with me!”
“I’d rather stay in my bunker. By the by, what kind of security clearance do you have?” But McCheney found himself snatched into the air by the ghostly ghoul, who flew him over the District of Columbia to the vast grounds of Walter Reed Hospital. They found themselves standing in an ICU ward, where Cratchett Libby and his wife and daughter sat anxiously beside the bed of a tiny, legless, veteran almost completely swathed in bandages.
“Can that be Cratchett?!” gasped McCheney in spite of himself.
“That CAN be Cratchett!” thundered the ghost, though the Libby’s didn’t seem to hear or see either the ghost or McCheney. “He comes here every evening after you release him from the bunker so he can visit his beloved son, Tiny Tim the war hero, who was horribly wounded by an IED in Iraq.”
“But how can that teeny tiny Tiny Tim be a soldier?” said McCheney. “He’s no more than three feet long!”
“He was almost SEVEN feet tall when he went to Iraq! But the insurgents blew big chunks of him away! And it’s all because of you and the invasion you orchestrated!!!! And now he needs an operation or he’ll die! And poor Cratchett and his wife can’t afford to save their heroic son out of the lousy wages you pay!”
“But that makes no damned sense! As a wounded vet, Tiny Tim should get all the medical care he needs for free!”
“Nonetheless, he needs a lifesaving leg-repairing operation and he won’t get it because you’re a cheap bastard who gives all the breaks to oil cronies and rich bitches!”
McCheney looked at poor Tiny Tim, swathed in bandages, trying to spoon down some horrid hospital food with his one good arm. Suddenly the poor boy squeaked, apropos nothing: “God bless us, God bless us every one.” “Not that bastard McCheney!” said Tiny Tim’s sister, who was a Goth with scary looking piercings in her brows and lips and nose and ears and god knows where else….. “He deserves to be damned, not blessed!”
But Tiny Tim held up his one good arm and said, “No, bless McCheney too, because he needs it the most, because he has a heart the size of a rabbit turd.”
And when McCheney heard this a sob was wrenched from deep within his hollow, malevolent, soul. He awoke to find himself back on his cot in his darkened bunker, with no one else in sight. Then, suddenly, Anne Coulter appeared! “Do you have a security clearance?” snarled McCheney.
“I am the Ghost of Fuckups Future, here to show you your fate.” And before McCheney could evade her grasping claws, she scooped him up and swept him over to Arlingon Cemetery.
“Look, skank, if you’re going to try to shake me up by showing me the graves of Iraq veterans, don’t bother. The other ghost already tried some of that.”
But Anne, who was skeletally thin, who, in fact, WAS a skeleton, but with long blonde locks flowing over her clavicles, merely pointed a bony finger and said, “Look! Look! For here is where you’ll find yourself if you cannot learn!” She pointed at a fresh grave with a tombstone. “Look!” shrieked the blonde wraith. “Look!”
“I’d really rather not,” said McCheney. Anne kicked him hard in the ass with her bony foot. McCheney landed on his hands and knees on the freshly dug grave. He stared at the tombstone, upon which was engraved his own name!!!!
“Ohhh, scary!” said McCheney sarcastically. “Did you think THIS was going to scare me? I know I’m going to die. But that’s not going stop me from pre-emptively invading and advocating torture and lying and letting oil corp execs dictate energy policy while I’m still alive!!!!!”
“Goddamn,” said Anne. “You ARE a hard case.” And no sooner had she said so than McCheney found himself back in his cot on Christmas morning.
“Well, I’m still kickin’,” said McCheney.
A nurse came into the bunker with a bottle of pills. “Time for your angina pills, Mr. Vice President. And Merry Christmas! Did you learn a thing or two from all those scary ghosts that visited you last night?”
“I learned nothing. I don’t need to learn anything new because I learned everything I needed to know back during the Nixon Administration.”
“But what about Cratchett Libby and Tiny Tim? Don’t you want to send them a fat goose and pay for Tiny Tim’s operation?”
“Operation schmoperation. I’ve got other priorities.”
And when Cratchett Libby came into the bunker at 7 AM sharp on the 26th of December, McCheney said: “I’m firing your lying ass. I know you’re going to squeal to Fitzgerald about Plame. Get outta my sight. You and Tiny Tim and your two witches can starve. Addington’s got your job now.”
Fortunately, Tiny Tim was indeed entitled to free medical care at Walter Reed, just as Scrooge McCheney had avowed. His legs were too blasted to sew back on, but the good news is the Army gave Tiny Tim a beautiful pair of titanium prostheses to strap to his stumps. Sadly, the bad news is Tiny Tim never learned how to use them right because the festering shrapnel in his brain pan and viscera soon killed him. And ever afterwards, it was said of Scrooge McCheney that he knew how to keep Christmas Day horrible, ruining it for millions. Nothing softened his hard little electrical heart, not up to the very moment of his death, not even when he heard that the last words out of the dying Tiny Tim’s mouth were “God bless us, God bless us every one, even that lying hateful vicious Fascist avaricious bastard McCheney.”