Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bill Clinton and JFK Talk About Marilyn Monroe

The clock radio turned on at 9:00 AM, playing jazz from WBGO Radio, 88.3. Bill Clinton opened his eyes. The jazz made him feel warm and fuzzy, and it was a good way to start the day, particularly the incredibly dreary days he had been spending lately. He slowly got out of bed, feeling every muscle and bone complain. As he swung his legs over the edge of the bed and sat up, he felt his gut ball up, filling like a hard rubber balloon. He had to piss real bad, but he also had a fairly nice erection going on. He briefly thought about masterbating, but then decided against it, fearing it might drain the day of one crucial life fuel he had left. Clinton also had a talk to give later that day at Hunter College with Political Science students in Manhattan, mostly young women, and he had found that a bit of abstinence increased the libido and made his talks more interesting and enjoyable. He struggled to the bathroom for a shower and shave.

Bill walked downstairs wearing a bathrobe, clean shaven, hair brushed back and wet, planning to have a nice big cup of coffee. The large house was empty. Hillary was gone, after a long night of heavy breathing. Clinton had the heart operation, and yet his wife sounded like a wild boar at times during the night. As he came down the stairs, it occurred to him that he did not have much to look forward to. What was there to do next? Just more speeches and talk shows? Becoming a professor was like announcing your burial. He had thought about acting, but Hillary had said no to that. And to top it all off, his presidency, his legacy, was totally stained by, well, by that very thing. He smiled at the irony but felt a sharp pain in his belly.

As he walked through the living room toward the kitchen he was startled by a man sitting on the white couch. He was wearing a grey suit. It was soiled with dry blood, and the man looked like he was missing a quarter of his upper right head. He had a hole in his neck, as well. Then he recognized the man. It was John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

"Hello, Bill," said JFK.

Bill rubbed his eyes and tried to focus them again on the man with half a head.

"Yes, it is me. Ex-Presidents can sometimes talk to each other, even after they have passed away," said JFK.

"This is a trick. Is FOX News behind this? Is there some hidden camera here?" Bill asked.

"There is no reason to be concerned. I mean, look at me. This is how I looked when I was last alive.  But I am not here to talk about how I died. I will let others do that. I would like to talk about how lucky I am, or was, and how you totally screwed things up," said JFK.

"I don't really need to hear this. Not right now," said Bill.

"We are cut from the same cloth but came from different backgrounds. I came from money and power. You came from white trash. But the cloth is the same. We both liked women." JFK forced a smile through his discolored face.

"Don't use the past tense when referring to me, Mr. President. I still like women." said Bill.
"Yes. Yes. Of course. But consider the women you had, Bill. I was picking fruit from the top of the tree. You were digging in the dirt pulling out rotten mushrooms," said JFK.

Bill re-tied the terry-cloth strap around his bathrobe. "Oh, Judith Exner is further up the tree than Monica Lewinsky? Give me a break. Monica was a legitimate intern in the White House. Exner was some mob slut. So really all you are talking about is Marilyn, right? Marilyn Monroe is all you got on me," Bill said defensively.

"Ah, yes, dear dear Marilyn." JFK said this as if he was remembering.

"So, how was she? Marilyn, that is?" asked Bill.

"Lively. Eager to please. She had nice hands and used them well. Marilyn was very strong on the outside, a tough broad that had totally broken apart just below the surface. It made her work hard and allowed me to take what I wanted. She would eventually collapse into a deep coma. A rag doll." JFK said this with pride, without a hint of shame.

"Wow." Bill was entranced with the thought.

"She snored, though." JFK interjected.

"She what?"

"She snored. It sort of soils the memory, and the rag doll thing lost its appeal. I moved on to others. Others you do not know," said JFK. With that, JFK slowly rises from the couch and walks to the front door, which he opens.

"Wait. I have more questions," yelled Bill.

The light from the open door was blinding. "Another time, Bill. I shall stop by another time." JFK walked out and closed the door.

Marilyn snored. Hillary snores. He needed that coffee. Bill walked into the kitchen to start his day.

Meg Ryan Confronts Lara Flynn Boyle’s Lips

The clinic was located in a mission-style ranch in Topanga Canyon, a structure that was detailed with heavy beams of horizontal oak supported by a crazy quilt of irregular stones. The windows were all multi-colored Mondrian-like stained glass. It was just another multi-million dollar residence like the ones that were perched throughout this lush meandering Los Angeles crevice. Meg Ryan parked her dark green Land Rover in one of the empty stalls that lined one side of a gravel driveway. The building was surrounded by palms and twelve-foot manicured hedges. Meg got out of the Rover wearing black loose lycra slacks that were too long, draping over the sides and back of her white Nike running shoes. Her top was also black, with long tight sleeves that belled neared her wrists and covered the back of her hands. Her sun glasses were large, and her hair uncharacteristically disheveled, unlike the hair style that she almost uniformly dons in all movies and public appearances. She carried a weathered navy blue Lands End canvas brief over her left shoulder, a cell phone grasped in her right hand. Meg pushed the large oak front door open.

She entered the waiting area she had remembered last time. A young attractive blond sat behind wood counter. She was chewing gum. There was one problem. A big one. A woman, one Meg recognized, sat in a chair reading a magazine in the waiting area, an area meant only for one person. The woman was also smoking a ciagerette. Meg had been promised no overlap of appointments, no crossing of paths between visitors. Meg approaches the receptionist.

"Excuse me."

"Hi. Ms. Ryan. Name's Bev."

"Hi Bev. What is she doing here?" Meg points to the woman reading a magazine and smoking.

"Lara Flynn?"

"Yes, Lara Flynn. No one is supposed to be here," whispered Meg, with mock emphasis on the 'Flynn.'

"Ms. Boyle had an emergency" said Bev as she continued to chew gum.

"An emergency? That's ridiculous. Plus she is smoking. You let people smoke here?"

"We let Lara smoke here. She is a frequent visitor. Plus she has a Betty Davis thing," Bev said.

"A what?" Meg asked, then said, "Forget it. Listen, I made this appointment a month ago. I really want to keep it. But I can't stay with Lara. It violates both of our privacies."

"Lara doesn't care. Plus she is in a crisis. I mean, look at her lips. They are drooping. She has a show. You don't have a show right now, and her lips are drooping. She clearly has an emergency," said Bev.
"Her lips are bigger than her fucking head, for chrissake," said Meg in a loud exasperated whisper.
"Now, that is not very nice. She said she wanted the big juicy ones, and so we gave her what she wanted. They just need a little support. And you are here for what, again?" Bev asked.

"Well, I thought I needed a little reduction. I am getting remarks that they look fake."

"Of course they look fake. Isn't that what you want?" Bev asked in all seriousness.

Meg removes her sunglasses for the first time and glares at Bev. "No, that is not what I want."

Bev is gazing at Lara as she says "Look at Lara. Lara Flynn Boyle. See how fake she looks. See how her lips look like they came from a different person, a different species, even. I mean jeez, her lips are bigger than her breasts. Well, her original breasts. Yet, she has a show. She is happy. She has a show. And she is fake. She had an affair with Jack Nicholson, you know." Bev looks at Meg.

Meg puts her shades back on. "Tell the doctor I will call." Meg turns and walks out of the building.
"Bye," Bev said to the departing Meg, as she makes a note with her purple Flair pen on a pink pad of paper.

Howard Stern and Katie Couric in the Bathroom Together

Howard Stern faced the mirror that spread from wall to wall above seven bathroom sinks that were under mounted to black granite. The fixtures were brushed nickel. The floor tiles were tumbled marble. The stalls, though, were your standard issue aqua metal partitions with metal swinging doors. Howard was alone, so he felt comfortable fussing with his long hair. The formula he used that morning to cover the gray blended well, but he made sure that some silver strands remained, a device he did not really think worked to cover his hair vanity. He loved his hair. He stroked it, played with it, curled it in his fingers. It made Howard feel young. Afterall, it was a full head of hair. Not a chance he was going bald, and so he was going to flaunt it.

The door swung open and in walked Katie Couric.

"Howard," said Katie.


"Thank you for coming," Katie said in a business like manner.

"This is a little weird, meeting in a hotel bathroom. The ladies room, even. Kinky, but weird," said Howard.

"I'll get right to the point," said Katie.

"Let me cut you off there. You think I am stupid, like I don't know why you paid off someone at the Hilton to make this basement bathroom a safe house for you and I to clandestinely meet. You want me," Howard blurted this out in his usual style.

"Yes, Howard, I want you. I want to know what you really think of Les Moonves," said Katie.

"That's a cover. You want me, here, now, in this bathroom, in any way you can have me. Let me just say, Katie, that, well, that you are a little short and getting a little too plump for me, but I am game. I like the hair. I want to play with your hair. I like being in the ladies room. With you, Katie."

"Howard, we do not have much time. You and Moonves hate each other. But let me just ask you, did he do everything he said was going to do? Did he go back on his word? You know why I am asking?' said Katie.

"This is business? This is about business? Nope. I refuse to believe this. This has got to be about me," said Howard.

"I am being offered lots of money and lots of control over at CBS. Many promises are being made by Moonves. In your opinion, will he keep them?" asked Katie.

"Based on my experience with Moonves, you are asking? You want to know whether Moonves the dirtbag will keep his promises based on my experience with him?" Howard said this with a tone of seriousness.

"Yes. Based on your experience," said Katie.

"You're perky, Katie. You got that perky thing going on. And you are also transparent. You are here because Les Moonves has sent you on your first assignment. He wants the goods on me. He wants me to confess that he is a man of his word. And he sent his new perky little anchor to see if she can perform a simple journalistic assignment. Hey, this ain't a war zone, baby, this ain't Viet Nam, this ain't Iraq. You want to cut your teeth on hard journalism, and you think you can do it with Howard Stern in a hotel bathroom?"

"Howard, calm down. Someone will hear you. Les does not know I am here. I just want to know if I am making the right decision." Katie whispered this, loud enough for Howard to hear it across the several feet of space in this heavily tiled echo chamber.

"Les. We are calling him Les already? I'll tell you anything you want to hear, just let me see you in the nude," said Howard.

"Can you be serious about anything?" Katie was getting irritated.

"Sirius. I am Sirius. Howard Stern and Sirius Satellite Radio is one and the same. OK. OK. I am joshing you. I do want to see you naked, though. I suspect that you have sort of let things go, haven't you, Katie. Been concentrating too much on the hair and makeup and not the hard work that a hard body requires. But that's OK. Perky and plump. That will work over at CBS. Take the job. Prove to the world that all you need do is read a teleprompter, look good from the neck up, and have a little trust value to be a television news anchor. You are the future, Katie. I have always said a good woman with some good lighting is all you need to have a little fun." Howard could keep going, but he was starting to bore himself.

"I'll take that as an endorsement of Mr. Moonves," said Katie.

"You're a C cup, right?" Howard asked.

"You'll never know." Katie turned on her heal and walked out of the ladies room. Howard turned and looked at himself in the mirror. He smiled and stroked his long thick black hair.

Dick Cheney Gets Stoned — Sharon, That Is

Richard Cheney walked into his bedroom, neck tie pulled lose, white shirt collar open, his dark blue blazer unbuttoned with a beer stain on the lapel. He was pale, and sacks of tired flesh hung beneath each eye. The bedroom was empty but he heard the water running in the bathroom, the door of which was ajar.

"Lynne, I'm home," said Dick with the volume necessary to break through the faucet water.

Dick removed his blazer and then noticed the beer stain. He smirked and through the blazer onto the back of a large flowered upholstered arm chair in the corner of the room. He then plopped down onto the arm chair. He rested his head on the chair back, closed his eyes and took a deep breath. The faucet water stopped. There was silence in the bedroom.

"Hard day?"

Cheney opened his eyes. He immediately recognized the woman standing before him, and he corrected his posture.

"What the? How did you get— Cheney was lost for words. The woman was wearing a white men's dress shirt, unbuttoned from collar to shirt tip, with clean white panties. One white tennis sock was on her left foot. The other foot was bare. Her hair was blond and cut short. No jewelry and no makeup. She stood at the foot of the queen bed facing the frozen Dick Cheney.

"I have a new movie coming out? I was hoping you would see it, "said the woman.

"Yes. Of course. But you should not be here. Where is my wife?" asked Dick.

"You want your wife? I mean at this moment you want your wife?"

"We've met before?" Dick forces these words out. Small talk trying to push out the electric tension building in the seven-foot space that separated him from the woman.

"I doubt it. Do you see my hand?" Said the woman.

The woman holds out her left hand, her manicured fingers, palm up, nails long but not too long. Dick saw this clean pearly white image, a female crafted with the hand of god offering her hand. Movie stars, some of them at least, did seem to be cut from better stock. He remembered distinctly the first impression he had of her, sitting on a chair on a wood deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean, smoking a cigarette and talking to Michael Douglas. Money, power, beauty and attitude. All things Dick admired. All things Dick thought of himself as having, except for possibly the beauty part. But now Dick felt small, powerless, his attitude fogged by the erection that was flourishing. Jeez, he thought. An erection. It had been six years. Wonders. The attitude started coming back.

"I will take this hand and touch you. I will touch you wherever I wish, because that is what I want," said the woman.

"OK. OK. OK. OK. OK."

"Dick. Dick, look at you," yelped Lynne Cheney standing at the foot of the bed wearing a paisley flannel full-length bathrobe that was tied tight around her midsection.

Dick opened his eyes. He felt the erection.

"Wow, you are making some new kind of recovery," said Lynne, who walks to Dick, leans down and strokes his thighs. She rests her head on Dick's lap as the erection slowly withers. Dick stares up at the ceiling, takes a deep breath and closes his eyes again. He'll see her new movie. When it comes out in DVD.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

George W. Bush Celebrates 80th Birthday

It is July 6th, 2026. George W. Bush is lying on an aluminum chaise lounge cushioned with cheap frayed vinyl strips in the heat of the Texas sun, his eyes in the shade of the peak of a San Juan Stars baseball cap, a baseball team which was on that day in first place in the Eastern Division of the American League after only three years after being created as an expansion club. To his immediate left sits a small aluminum folding table on which lies a pitcher of ice tea and a bowl of bite-size chocolate chip cookies. On a similar rickety chaise lounge lies Laura Bush, who wears a red large-brimmed sun hat with tortoise-shell sunglasses. Laura is reading The New Yorker magazine. George is watching two eight-year old girls tossing a softball back and forth, catching the ball with brown-leather mitts. George knew them as neighbors, each living in their respective brushed steel trailers that were about fifty yards from his vantage. Sarah and Sylvia, the two baseball girls, as he thought of them. Sarah blond, Sylvia a redhead, both wearing running shorts, white socks and sneakers, Sarah in a Mets jersey, Sylvia in an Arizona Diamondbacks jersey and baseball hat. They were running around, throwing the ball to each other, fielding grounders, one of which went through Sylvia’s legs and ended up at the foot of George’s chaise lounge. Sylvia ran for the ball, where she was stopped by a man in black pants, a tight black tank top, wearing a shoulder harness with gun.

“It’s OK,” said George as he waved his hand at the one secret service agent that was assigned to the former President. The secret service man backed off, and Sylvia continued to run with mitt on left hand.

“Hi,” said Sylvia.

“It’s Sylvia, right?” said George.

“Hey, look at those cookies. There’s so many,” said Sylvia.

Laura Bush looks up from her New Yorker magazine. “Yes, dear. It’s George’s birthday today,” said Laura.

“Wow. Happy birthday,” said Sylvia. George caught a glimpse of Sarah in the background with her hands on hips waiting for her friend.

“There are eighty chocolate chip cookies in that bowl. One cookie for each of George’s life,” said Laura.

“You’re going to eat all those cookies?” asked Sylvia.

“No, No. Laura won’t let me. I am allowed just, what is it, how many again?” asked George as he turned to Laura.

“None, George. You are allowed none,” said Laura.

“Yes, that’s right, I am allowed no cookies,” smiled George as he looked at Sylvia.

“But, dear, you are allowed to have one. Take one cookie for yourself and one for your friend,” said Laura.

“Thanks,” said Sylvia as she grabbed two cookies.

“Don’t forget your ball, Sylvia,” said George.

Sylvia picks up the ball and runs back to where Sarah was standing where they, from George’s vantage, seem to chat and eat and then resume play.

“How could you forget, George, about the cookies. You know better than that,” said Laura.

‘Yes. I know. Discipline. It’s why we have survived on our beautiful Crawford ranch for so long, They did not take this away from us. No sir,” said George.

“It’s hardly a ranch, anymore, George, with all the trailers. Forty seven of them,’ said Laura.

“Forty eight, if you count ours,” said George proudly, which was immediately behind where George and Laura were lying. Not the largest trailer in the Crawford Ranch Trailer Park. But one of the few that had 220 volts of electricity providing the most robust of air conditioning units that sat on cinder blocks to the side of the trailer.

“Survivors. We are survivors. Not everyone was able to survive like us, but it required discipline and ingenuity,” said George.

“Thank God the government at least pays for him,” Laura pointed to the secret service man.

“That’s the problem, Laura. People expect the federal government to pay for everything. People probably think I was unhappy when they cancelled the pensions of all ex-presidents and their wives. Nope. Not me. Government can’t afford it, so it should not pay for it,” said George. “And I was clever enough to turn our ranch into a trailer park, subdividing it into tiny little rentable trailer spots, surrounding ourselves with people. I love people,’ said George.

“Yeah, you love people,” said Laura without emotion. “Are you enjoying your birthday, George?” asked Laura.

“Eighty years old. Jeez. Hard to believe. Lived an honest life. Honest work. Happy birthday to me,” said George W. Bush.

“Yes, George. But tomorrow we go back to Maine, OK? I cannot take the heat. And it is not good for you either,” said Laura Bush as she returned to her New Yorker magazine.

“You’d rather be in that little bungalow than here among the people?” asked George.

“Yes, George, I’d rather be in our little bungalow,” said Laura. “Plus, we can see the grand children.
 They are all up north where we should stay, George, particularly in the summer,” said Laura.

“Oh, now, Laura, you know I have this thing about my birthday. We have to be here on my birthday. At least once a year to check on my people,” said George.

“But couldn’t we check on your people in the winter, George? We can come during the winter when it is not so hot. You can check on your people during the winter,” said Laura.

‘Tradition, Laura,” said George.

“All thinking people live up north, George, if they can afford it. We can afford it. We have that little bungalow on the rocks in Maine. We were lucky enough to get a piece of Maine while it was still available. We should take advantage of it. At our age. Please, George. Never again will I come here in the summer,” Laura said sternly.

“Lucky enough, Laura, really. That bungalow was my father’s,” said George.

“It was the outhouse, George. It was the house where your father cut fish and stored his fishing gear. And we were lucky to get it for ourselves. We should count our blessings,” said Laura.

“I never liked Maine. Besides, I can’t stomach seeing what they did to my Daddy’s estate, breaking it up like that into little apartments, filled with rich New Yorkers and those people from Boston. Those are not my people, Laura,” said George.

“Yes, George. I understand,” said Laura.

George looked up and saw Sarah running in his direction. The secret service man was keeping a watchful eye on her. Sarah was holding her baseball mitt high in the air as she ran, and just a few feet from where George and Laura were, Sarah caught the baseball thrown by Sylvia. She turned, smile on her face, the ball firmly in her mitt.

“Wow. That was some catch,” said George.

“Thanks. You’re like one of the former presidents, right?” said Sarah.

“Now, you know that already. Silly you. I know you know your history. It’s Sarah, am I correct?” asked George.

“Yes. We just moved here. That’s my home,” Sarah said as she pointed to her steel trailer.

“I know. Your Daddy e-checked me,” said George.

“My Daddy is dead. It’s my Mom who probably e-checked you,” said Sarah.

“Oh, yes. Sorry,” said George.

“My Daddy got skin cancer,’ said Sarah.

“Yeah, that seems to be going around a lot,’ said George

“Well, dear, you should cover yourself up then, Sarah,’ said Laura, who looked up from her New Yorker magazine.

“You know about hats. People steal them. Someone stole my baseball hat,” said Sarah.

“Gotta stay covered up these days. It ain’t gettin’ any cooler, that’s for sure,” said George.

“Can I have a cookie?” asked Sarah.

“Yes, dear, you can take two, one for you and one for Sylvia,’ said Laura.

Sarah grabs two cookies with her right hand.

“And George, give Sarah your hat,” said Laura.

“What?” asked George.

“Give Sarah your baseball hat,” said Laura.

“But this is—” George stopped himself. He takes off his San Juan Stars baseball hat and gives it to Sarah.

“Thanks,” said Sarah. She puts the hat on, which is a little too big for her head, but she turns it to the side. “See ya around,” said Sarah as she turns and runs back to Sylvia.

“These are my people, Laura. These are my people,” said George.

“Tomorrow we go back to Maine,” said Laura.

“Tomorrow’s another day, that’s what I say,” said George. “Hey, Laura, did you know that today is Sylvestor Stallone’s birthday? Born same day as me. Same year, same day. Somethin’, huh? Now there’s a guy who’s led an honest life. Yes sirree bob, an honest life. Rocky and me.”

“Yes, George. An honest life,” said Laura.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Roger Maris Fills In For Charlie Rose

The television studio was dark, the round table lit from overhead studio lights. Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire sat next to each other on one side of the round table, an empty seat on the other. They could barely detect the three large television cameras on hydraulic pedestals each manned by, well, a female operator with a headset. Three big cameras, three rail thin women, thought Barry Bonds as he cupped his hands over his eyes to shield the bright lights. This was public television, so of course they had women camera operators. Of course, they were all white. Progressiveness goes only so far, he thought. Barry was calm, unlike the fidgety Mark McGuire sitting next to him. Each wore dark suits with ties, a result of the advice of Barry’s public relations advisor and Mark’s wife. Barry had advisors, lawyers, handlers, PR people and body guards. Mark McGuire had his family. Retirement can do that. Barry was a player.

“Where’s Charlie?” asked McGuire.

“They do that, Mark. The media makes you wait. It’s a power thing,” said Bonds.

“But Charlie Rose? He’s not really like the regular media,” said McGuire.

“Don’t kid yourself. Rose thinks he is somehow above it all. He ain’t. He’s got it easy, in fact, sitting in that chair, quietly discussing things, throwing softballs. He’s going to ask us about you know what. But watch. He’ll do it with respect,” said Bonds.

Walking into the light was a man wearing a New York Yankees uniform with a buzz cut. He sat down in Charlie Rose’s chair. McGuire gulped. Bonds stared, frozen. Bonds then looked around the studio for some kind of affirmation that he was indeed seeing what he was seeing.

“Hi, boys,” said Roger Maris.

“What the—,” Bonds could not finish the words.

“Mr. Rose is late. So they thought they would send me in to start up a chat,” said Maris.

“You are one of my idols, Mr. Maris,” said McGuire.

“Would you zip it, Mark. This is not Roger Maris. Roger Maris is dead.” Bonds turns to Maris.

“You’re some actor. The network has sent you here to see how we react.” Bonds is getting excitable.

“You guys are taping this, right,” Bonds says loudly to the darkness where the large video cameras stood like sentinels.

“Barry. Barry. Listen to me. I am Roger Maris. It’s me. The real deal. Hey, I am nothing special. Just a kid from the Midwest who was the wrong kid at the right place at the right time. And I just want to say that I think you have the legitimate home run record. The press tried to destroy me, and in many ways they did. And the press is trying to destroy you. And they don’t much care for you either, Mark,” said Maris.

“Well, I sort of had it the best of all of us. Everyone was rooting for me,” said McGuire.

“Yeah, you fucking had it great, man. It pissed me off when like no one noticed I hit seventy-three home runs, and they were jumping all over themselves when you hit seventy,” said Bonds.

“Well, it was because I broke Roger’s record, that stood for thirty-seven years,” said McGuire.

“Oh, fuck that. They hated Roger because Roger hated the press. And they hate me because I hate the press. And besides, you had Sosa, a black man, chasing you. Of course the media’s going to root for you.” said Bonds.

“Look, guys, it is a strange thing how baseball works. That number 61 meant a lot to me, but it also destroyed something in me. I really don’t care whether you guys took steroids or anything else to enhance your performance. Hell, I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. Mickey was drinking and having affairs. Maybe those things enhanced our performances. I don’t know. But it’s the same old same old. They will cut you down, they will argue for giving you guys asterisks. And maybe you will get them. But remember Mark, that 70 is yours and Barry, that 73 is yours. They can try to take it away. But in the end, they can’t.” Roger was sober and calm as he spoke these words.

“It’s different, today, Roger. They are trying to crucify me,” said Bonds.

“Actually, guys, I disagree,” said McGuire. “I think the most honest record in this room is Roger’s 61. Look, I took that steroid. It made me stronger. I don’t think I could have done it without it. And you too, Barry,” said McGuire.

“Fuck you, McGuire. You know nothing about me. You know nothing about what I have done or haven’t done. My 73 is honest,” Bonds said angrily.

“Boys, this is what the media really loves. It loves to see us fight and hate each other,” Maris said. “I got to go. I am on loan for just this amount of time. Bye guys, and good luck,” said Maris. Maris stood and walked into the blackness beyond where the studio lights cut off.

“That was weird, man. That guy really looked like Roger Maris,” said Bonds.

“He’s a great man, Barry. Roger Maris is a great man,” said McGuire.

“Yeah, well, so are we. So are we,” said Bonds. “Now where the fuck is Charlie Rose.”

Iranian President Jumps Rope

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood on a gym mat facing a floor to ceiling mirror. He was wearing boxer shorts. Nothing else. He was watching himself jump rope. He held the ivory handles that were attached to a red cloth rope, and he was whipping the rope over his head and under his feet very fast, his feet barely rising off the matt, just enough to let the rope zip underneath. Mahmoud examined his body as he kept up the pace of the exercise. He was in excellent condition. In October he will turn fifty. Fifty, he thought. Half a century, and he had the body of a thirty-year old. His accomplishments were many. He had been to war. He had a degree in civil engineering. He had been mayor of Tehran. And now President. President of Iran. And he got here without compromising health or, if he dare have the vain thought, his good looks. Handsome, healthy, smart, accomplished, brave and powerful. Mahmoud smiled as a bead of sweat formed on his forehead.

“You are looking very fit, Mr. President,” said Hammid, one of Mahmoud’s many assistants. Hammid was standing to the right and behind Mahmoud, holding a clip board. He was wearing black slacks and a black blazer with a white shirt, open collar, a similar informal style borrowed from his boss.

“The demonstration today is after noon prayer?” asked Mahmoud.

“Yes, Mr. President. And the placards we prepared say ‘Death to the Great Satan.’ We have prepared forty of them to be distributed among the students,” said Hammid.

“I do not like that phrase anymore. Great Satan,” said Mahmoud.

“Excuse me, sir,” said Hammid.

“America is not the Great Satan. We can say ‘Death to America’ or ‘Death to Israel.’ But to refer to either of them as ‘great’ is giving too much power to them,” said Mahmoud as he continued with his exercise.

“But the placards are made, Mr. President. My daughter even helped with colored markers. Her penmanship is very nice.” said Hammid.

“Satan is great because he is too be feared. America is no longer to be feared. America is in decline. Bush’s war in Iraq has exposed America’s false power. America is having more difficulty with Sunni scum then it did with German Nazis,” said Mahmoud.

“The America-Iraq War has lasted longer than World War Two,” said Hammid.

Mahmoud stops the jump rope and turns to face Hammid.

“You giving me a lecture on history, Hammid?” said Mahmoud.

‘No, Mr. President.”

“Because I thought there for a second you were giving me a lecture,” said Mahmoud.

“No, Mr. President.”

“Change the placards. ‘Death to Israel’ is what they should say. America will never bomb us. But Israel is just nuts enough to do something stupid. So today we concentrate on Israel. Let’s bait them. Let’s temp them. And if God willing, they will send a bomb and we shall have the world defend us,” said Mahmoud.

“My daughter was so excited to see her placards on the TV,” said Hammid.

“Apologize to her for me. We shall have another demonstration next week. ‘Death to Israel.’ Make certain she spells it correctly,” said Mahmoud as he wiped himself down with a towel. “And tell her to use red markers. Not blue. Red is devilish,” said Mahmoud.

“I shall tell her she has a message from the President of Iran. She will be proud.” said Hammid.

“Get me my pants, Hammid,” said Mahmoud.

“Yes, sir,” said Hammid.

Mahmoud glanced at the mirror and smiled as Hammid scurried away looking for Mahmoud’s pants.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Madonna Gets Pumped

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone kneeled with her right knee on the polished oak wood flooring facing a floor-to-ceiling mirror, her left foot, clothed in a thick grey sock that ran up to the middle of her thigh, was flat to the floor. Her right hand gripped the steel knobbed bar of a twenty-pound dumbbell which she was curling. The veins bulged from the back of her hand up her right forearm. She balanced herself with her left arm supported by her left hand on her waist. The red tank top exposed the musculature which was starting to compete with her almost firm breasts. Madonna watched each curl of her arm intently, feeling the burn and vowing to beat this thing called age. She glanced at her face and briefly, in a flash, saw an old woman. She shut her eyes, shook her head, and glanced again. OK. Good. Back again to the image she preferred.

Guy sat on a metal folding chair, a bottle of Bass Ale dangling between his right index and middles fingers, his elbows on knees. Guy Ritchie wore grey slacks, a white t-shirt and was barefoot.

"You have to go on in an hour," said Guy.

"I know." Madonna did not skip a beat with her curls.

"Aren"t you cutting it close?" asked Guy.

Madonna moved the dumbbell to her left hand in the reverse position, picking one knee up and dropping the other.

"I'll make it."

"Is this really necessary? The workout, now, just so your arms a tad more pumped?" Guy took a swig of Bass.

"We've had this discussion. I don't like re-discussing things, Guy." Madonna got this out with some heavy breathing, her tension rising with each pump of the dumbbell.

"Well, tough. Re-discussing things is what I do. And you need to hear some things several times to hear it even once," Guy said with irritation.

Madonna drops the dumbbell on the oak floor, making a loud thudding bang. She rises, hands propped on waits, and faces Guy.

"We'll discuss this after the Grammies are over, after the party tonight, and maybe after we get back to England. I don't want to discuss it now. I have to perform. Which, by the way, is not something you've done with any success recently." Madonna wipes the sweat building on her forehead.

"You talking about sex?"

"I don't care about sex. I'm thinking about your career, what you do, or used to do."

"Oh, fuck you, Madgey Wadgey. I don't have a career anymore because I am always managing being your husband. That's what I do."

"That's your choice, Guy. That's your choice." Madonna turns and walks out of the room.

Guy glances over at the mirror. He smiles, thinking that he is ten years younger than his wife. Ten years. He has that. He's got those ten years on her. And there is nothing she can do about that.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Harry Morton Asks Lindsay Lohan To Shave Her Crotch

Harry Morton watched Lindsay Morgan Lohan slide out of bed. It was late morning, almost noon, and Lindsay and Harry had been out most of the night dancing and drinking and popping a few pills that kept everything going. Lindsay did not make eye contact with Harry as she stood and put on her white panties and then her white bra. Her hair was jet black , the newest incarnation of Lindsay's public persona. Harry was essentially a nobody and he could not believe he was now the boyfriend of Lindsay Lohan. All Harry ever did was have a father who happened to own the Hard Rock Café. Big fucking deal, Harry told himself, though he did not reveal these insecurities to anyone.
But here he was lying in the bed where he had made love to Lindsay Morgan Lohan, what, three times last night, the last time when Lindsay was in a near sleep state.
"I would like to see you shave it off. All off," said Harry.
"What?" said Lindsay without looking up, struggling to get her blue jeans on.
"I would like for you to shave your crotch hair all off," said Harry. There, he said it. He was being bold and taking a risk. But he found that the more he got women to do outlandish things to please him, the more compliant they became over time. He asked a girl once to shave her crotch, but her response was "fuck you." Harry could not believe it. She was more of a nobody than he was. But now he felt like Lindsay had an investment. A time investment. A bed investment. A media investment. Harry thought he could ask. Plus he was pissed that Lindsay told the media that she was only dating Harry because Johnny Depp and Ashton Kutchner were taken. That wasn’t nice. It was time to take action.
"Could you like say that again. I am not sure I heard you," said Lindsay.
"I would like you to shave your crotch," said Harry.
Lindsay zipped up the zipper of her blue jean, but the very top remained unbuttoned. She was standing there with messy black hair, a white bra, barefoot in blue jeans. Lindsay made her first eye contact with Harry, who was covered by white sheets and had his back up somewhat on the headboard.
"My crotch?" asked Lindsay.
"Yeah," said Harry.

Lindsay Lohan's disheveled black hair covered much of her face. She pushed the copious black hair back to get a better look at Harry Morton lying on the bed.
"Why do you want me to shave my crotch hair?" asked Lindsay.
So here was the big moment. Should he tell Lindsay that he has this very little fetish of wanting to see a clean crotch, that somehow the hair makes the whole thing dirty for Harry. Would Lindsay buy that? In point of fact, though it made oral sex more interesting, it was not a big deal for Harry Morton one way or another. His real reason was control. Get control, keep control. And this was a hard woman to control. Of course he could not tell her that. Unless of course she thought it so absurd Lindsay would merely laugh it off.
"Well, Lindsay, you are so beautiful, and though all of you is luscious, I thought that shaving your crotch hair might permit your perfect femininity and sweet aromas to shine through in a way that may enhance our sexual experimentation," said Harry.
That sounded good. Harry always amazed himself at how poetically articulate he could be on the fly. Just make it up on the spot. The women loved it. Harry oozed charm, and felt like he could turn it on at anytime, day or night, sober or drunk.
"Are you like some sick fucko. Shave my crotch hair so my sweet aromas come through? Where'd you come up with that Hallmark bullshit?" said Lindsay Lohan without a hint of a smile.
Whoops. OK. That didn't work. But Lindsay sometimes did this. Get tough, then go soft. She was playing tough, or she was not feeling well because of the long night of drinking. Lindsay gets impatient in the morning, hungering to recover a feeling of health and fitness, a feeling that over time becomes false. As every alcoholic knows, the mornings are the worst, but it gets better throughout the day. Nondrinkers never know how the day will go. But alcoholics always knew things got better. A benefit of heavy evening drinking. Harry knew how it was. He was not feeling his best either.
"Hey, Lindsay, I am serious. You have such fair skin, its almost pink and freckled. There is something absolutely angel-like about it. I just wanted to explore everything about you. I am sorry if I spoke thoughts I should have kept to myself," said Harry.
"What am I doing today?" asked Lindsay. "Oh, yeah. I got to go to the lawyers. Sign papers or something. I got to get dressed," said Lindsay.
"OK. Sounds good. Later than. Dinner or something?" asked Harry.
"Yeah. And I'll shave my crotch hair. Sounds like a plan, as long as it grows back," said Lindsay as she walked into the bathroom and shut the door.
Knew it. She folded. Harry had Lindsay in the palm of his hand. Lindsay Lohan plays tough. But she's an actor. She plays tough, soft, weepy, steely. She can do it all. All for Harry.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Bush Likens Himself To V For Vendetta

"Who is the man who hides his scarred face behind a mask? Hero or madman? Liberator or oppressor? Who is V ? and who will join him in his daring plot to destroy the totalitarian regime that dominates his nation?"
President George Bush had his briefs down at his ankles with black socks on as he sat on the toilet in the bathroom of the White House bedroom. It was morning and he was reading the back of the DVD case for the feature film V For Vendetta. Bush was given the DVD by Karl Rove to watch who said that the movie was inspiring. Frankly, Bush did not have time to watch the movie. When would he watch it? Laura certainly would not want to watch this movie. But Bush did like reading the description of the movie on the back of the DVD cover.
Hero or madman? Liberator or oppressor? Who is George W. Bush? This is what Bush thought as he re-read the words. The front of the cover had the following printed under the title: "Freedom! Forever!" Yeah, Bush thought. That is what he has been saying. Freedom for everyone. Bush was on a mission just like this fellow they call "V." So V wears a mask to hide his identity. Maybe there is something to that.
Should Bush have worn a mask? Or maybe he has worn a mask. Maybe people do not know the real George W. Bush. The media talk, the prevailing media depiction of him which he has garnered more from osmosis than any actual overt examination has been to paint Bush as some kind of idiot warrior, the buffoon in the playground. But Bush did not wish to believe this depiction. He had to fight the inclination to let the media cause him self doubt. Will it be B For Buffoon or B For Brave?
"Whose side are you on? In V's world, there is no middle ground."
Bush read these words off the end of the movie's description. Whose side are Americans on? In Bush's world there is no middle ground. It makes for a great movie. All this drama. That is what people want. Drama. There is no middle ground. The middle ground is boring. Freedom forever.
Bush finished his dump. It was time to start the day. Another day. Another day of moving from minute to minute, watching the movie the President has started, thought Bush. He started this great and grand drama that is playing out. Freedom forever.
B For Brave. That will be the title, thought Bush as he pulled up his briefs.

Monday, March 6, 2006

George W. Bush Inadvertently Contributes To The Death Of Judy Garland

June 21, 1969 - 10:32 PM (London Time): George W. Bush had graduated from Yale University the previous year in 1968, and was on a twelve-month drinking bender which took him and some of his buddies around the world. On the evening of Saturday, June 21, 1969, George W. Bush was in London, and had just departed from his fifth pub of the evening. At the last pub, he asked the bartender to fill his sterling silver flask with Pusser's Rum, and the bartender obliged. George was already very drunk, but rum always went down easy. Although George was not of a right mind on this evening, he believed that Pusser's Rum cleansed the liver. Afterall, the British Navy drank it during wartime. Livers had to work in battle, so Pusser’s Rum must be good stuff. George laughed to himself as he stumbled down a cobblestone London street, the name of which he did not know. Nor care, quite frankly. He was just having the time of his life. George loved the way the English girls talked. They sounded so intelligent, and the fact that they would talk to him and carry on a conversation made George feel smart. He felt the silver flask in his leather inner breast pocket, just to make certain it was there. He also rummaged through his blue jean pockets for his wallet and hotel room key. Good. Everything was still there. George thought to himself that he was in full control of himself notwithstanding the heavy drinking, the uncertain sway to his walk, and the difficulty he was having focusing on the urban sidewalk that extended in front of him.
That is when he saw a woman in what looked like a black night gown or bathrobe. She was sitting on a bench. She was wearing sandals, and her legs seemed like toothpicks sticking out from under the black robe. The legs were crossed, and she was swaying forward and backward ever so slightly, with her head down, showing short black hair. The woman had her hands in the pockets of her robe, and George could swear that he heard the sound of a very faint cry. George looked up and down the street and there was no one in sight but for this woman in a black robe. He checked his watch. It was almost 11 PM. This woman and George were all alone on this lonely London cobblestone street. George decided to approach.
"Hi," said George W. Bush to the woman in the black robe who was sitting on a bench in front of a very small park that was no more than a leafy lot between two townhouses. The woman did not look up.
"Hi," said the woman.
George thought he recognized the voice. No British accent. It was American. It was a fragile voice, as if made of the type of glass that if gently touched, it would shatter.
"You OK?" asked George.
"Yeah. No. Not really," said the woman. The woman glanced up at George and made brief eye contact.
"Can I help?" asked George. George was a bit astonished. Could it be? He squeezed his eyes shut and then opened them again, trying to focus. He felt a rush of adrenaline being pumped into his bloodstream, which helped him get a better grip of his body. He looked down at the woman who had just removed her hands from the robe pockets and was struggling with a small plastic bottle. She looked up at George.
"Can you help me with this?" asked the woman, who held in her hand what looked like a prescription bottle to George.
The woman handed the bottle to George, who took it from her. Their hands touched. George saw the thin fingers and very white skin.
"I can't get it open," said the woman.
George looked at the label, which had the following printed on it: Quinalbarbitone. George did not know what that was, but the woman, well, not just any woman, but the very very famous woman sitting in front of him, was quite interested in taking her pills. George was a helpful fellow, and so he decided to help. He opened the bottle cap. The bottle was filled with pills, obviously a new prescription.
"There. I got it open," said George.
The woman looked up at George'S outstretched hand holding the open prescription bottle. The woman then looked up at George.
"I need a drink. To swallow the pills," said the woman.
This is when George was absolutely certain who he was talking with. This famous woman sat there in her black robe connecting eyes with George. George took this as one more additional sign that his life was blessed. Born right and live right and good luck happens. And here he was on an empty London street talking with Judy Garland. But George did not wish to betray to her that he knew who she was.
"I have a flask of rum. You want to use that?" asked George.
"I don't know. I don't know if that is a good idea," said Judy Garland as she looked down at the cobble stones under her sandaled feet. She had uncrossed her legs and her sandals were flat on the stones, her knees apart and her elbows on her knees. Judy leaned forward without taking the prescription bottle from George's hand.
"Maybe I should not take the pills. Maybe I do not need to sleep. All I want to do is sleep. But maybe tonight it is better to stay awake,� said Judy in a cracked and fragile monotone, seemingly without any emotion.
"It's not that late. Hey, last night I was up till four in the morning," said George.
George wondered what Judy Garland was doing in London. Why isn't she in Hollywood? Or New York?
"You want me to walk you back to your hotel?" asked George.
"But I do want to sleep. What would I stay awake for," said Judy. It was not a question.
"I'm actually feeling like I need to sleep myself. I've been partying too much the past few days," said George.
"Oh, yeah. You're a big partier, huh" said Judy.
'Well, I'm celebrating graduating from Yale," said George, trying not to seem like he was boasting, but it was a line he used frequently. It seemed to get people's attention. And it seemed to change the body chemistry of Judy Garland.
"Yale. Yale. Yale. College. Education. Doing it right. Doing it right. Just having a family. Just a family. One family. One family. Not a thousand families. A thousand families mean nothing. A thousand little screaming families. All distant. Turning into nothing at night. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. One family. One family. One home. I want just one family. One family. Normal. Normal."
George did not know what Judy Garland was babbling about, but he did know one thing. She was babbling.
"I'll take those pills now. Please," said Judy as she looked up at George. George handed the bottle to her.
"And that rum. I just need it to wash it down my throat. Really. Just to wash it down my throat," said Judy as if she were apologizing. Judy Garland jostled several pills from the bottle into the palm of her left hand.
"Yeah. OK. No problem," said George as he removed the sterling silver flask from the left breast pocket of his leather jacket. He twisted of the flask cap and handed the flask to Judy.
Judy popped the pills into her mouth and she drank from the flask, swallowing the pills. She took a second swig.
"Yuck," said Judy.
"Hey, that's good stuff. Pusser's Rum. British Navy rum. The best stuff," said George, trying to make small talk.
"Here," said Judy handing the flask back to George. "Can I have the cap to my bottle, please, if you will," said Judy.
"Yes," said George W. Bush as he handed the cap to Judy. Judy struggled with putting the cap on the bottle. George placed his flask back in his breast pocket and kneeled down next to Judy Garland.
"Let me help you with that," said George.
George took the prescription bottle and the cap and twisted the cap back onto the bottle. He handed it to Judy as he was kneeling before her.
"Thanks. You don't need to kneel down in front of me. I am just a person, you know," said Judy. George stood.
"I'm going to go home now. But thank you. It is nice to meet a helpful stranger," said Judy, who then laughed to herself because the line sounded familiar, like from a movie she saw. What movie? Was it a play?
"You want me to walk with you? Help you?" asked George.
"No. I am going to try to do things myself. I just turned 47, you know. My birthday was a couple of weeks ago. My life is only half over. The first half was good and bad. But the second half, dammit, I am going to make it all good," said Judy Garland.
"Yes. Of course," said George.
Judy Garland stood slowly and started to walk off down the street. George heard her say "bye" faintly as she walked away. She walked very slowly, taking each step with care. But she had almost a dancer's gait; a light touch to her walk. Gentle steps, as if she floated above the stones rather than actually touch them. George was surprised to learn that Judy Garland was 47. She looked more like 77. But she seemed to have spirit. Some sparkle in her eyes. George W. Bush was glad to help her. Glad to give her a smile. She did smile. He saw it. She laughed. George W. Bush made Judy Garland laugh. Or so he thought.