Monday, April 27, 2009

Your (un)Official Guide to the Swine Flu

Because we'll be damned if we let this swine flu thing kill our sense of humor, below in handy Q&A format is a compendium of everything you need to know about this alarming outbreak.

So this swine flu, what is it?

This is the big one people. H1N1. The virus is a mix of human virus, bird virus from North America and pig viruses from North America, Europe and Asia. Rumor has it that it was created on a small and uninhabited volcanic island. And now, Prendick, once we have eaten and drunk, Rickey will explain how all this came to pass...

Rickey, how concerned are you about this outbreak?

Ms. Henderson has a well-documented love for pigs. By Rickey's count, there are no less than 23 pig-related tchotkes in the apartment. Suffice to say, Rickey is severely concerned.

But wait, how is this a big deal when HIV/AIDS kills over 5,000 people every day?

Because Lou Dobbs WARNED US about this swine flu thing a decade ago and we didn't build that wall along the border of Mexico like he told us to. Also because CNN has a whole lot of stock footage of pigs lying around. Got it?

I'm feeling ill tempered and am prone to fits of honking and hissing. Am I infected with swine flu?

No, that's actually swan flu, a different yet equally dangerous disease.

How can an animal that tastes so good be so deadly?

An excellent question. The big guy upstairs seems to have a rather morbid sense of humor, doesn't he?

What can I do to keep from catching swine flu?

Not going to Mexico City would be a good start. Also, as a rule, never kiss a sneezing pig. Additionally, consider temporarily switching to turkey bacon--it tastes absolutely terrible, but it just might save your life. Most importantly, avoid large crowds of sneezing, coughing people, they are all zombies. Shoot them from a distance.

So can I use this as an excuse to call out sick from work this week?

Absolutely! (just don't blame Rickey when you actually do come down with it and have already exhausted your sick leave)

What's the U.S. government doing to combat this epidemic?

Very little. They're urging everyone not to panic. This of course raises the question of what to do when we're told that it is time to panic. We recommend panicking.

Do you have any snazzy resources to help underscore the pants shitting terror I should be feeling right now?

Indeed. Take a gander at this Google Map indicating cases of swine flu throughout the U.S. Watch the dots multiply in real time. Proceed to freak right the hell out.

Is there any helpful literature I can peruse to further educate myself about this menace?

Sure, there's a good deal of stuff out there. But your best bet is picking up a copy of "The Stand" by Stephen King. It will give you an excellent idea of what to expect in the days ahead. In the meantime, Rickey urges you to remain panicked and keep refreshing this blog every 15 minutes. It's for your own good.

What else can I do?

It's important to remain optimistic. Look on the bright side, if the flu wipes out a large portion of the population, it will slow down climate change.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Annoying Wedding Moment #649

A big shout out to the individual who purchased the solitary wine glass off the wedding registry. Rickey will enjoy sipping beverages from it. BY HIMSELF.

In other news, Rickey will be attending his first Mets game of the season this Saturday at the newly minted Citi Field. Mike Pelfrey will be taking the mound against Daniel Cabrera and the Nats (just missed Santana by one day, argh) We'd like to think that the Mets' chances against a baseball team that can't even spell their name properly on their jerseys are pretty good, but who knows? Either way, we'll report back on Monday with some pictures and Rickey's thoughts on the snazzy new venue.

What we will absolutely NOT BE reporting back on is Rickey's bachelor party this Saturday evening in Manhattan. As far as you folks are concerned, Rickey and a few buddies will be spending the night in the library doing academic research on the migratory patterns on the ruffed sage grouse. That's all that you, Ms. Henderson, and local law enforcement officials need to know. (Rickey has a bad track record at Bat-Mitzvahs for crying out loud, how do you think this is going to go?) Assuming Rickey's not dead or incarcerated following a night that's gearing up to be a 100 car train wreck, we'll be back on Monday.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reviews of New Products: Rickey Tests Hot Glove

In the Arthurian tradition, there's a longstanding theme of the hero suiting up for battle. Whether it's St. George donning his armor to go off and fight the dragon, or James Bond getting some high tech gadgets from Q, or Batman buckling his utility belt, the common theme is that the hero needs to be equipped with the tools with which to embark upon their quest. And it is that great and noble Arthurian tradition that led to Rickey standing flummoxed in a local Modell's sporting goods store gazing at shelves of softball gloves late one weekday afternoon. Could Rickey have opted for a normal baseball glove, one that wasn't 14 inches wide and looked like a gigantic leather basket on the end of a twig when Rickey slipped it on his hand? Arguably, yes, but Rickey is participating in a softball league, and the proper tools to do the job are essential, you fool. Besides, it's strangely comforting to know that somewhere, a burly 6'3 high schooler is using the same exact glove, and she's winning, damnit. She's winning. And so, glove tucked under his arm, Rickey headed for the checkout aisle.

Of course the bigger challenge is breaking in a softball glove in a relatively short amount of time. Enter stage right: HOT GLOVE. Normally, Rickey is highly skeptical of wonder products like this, but what cinched the deal was it's ringing endorsement from the one and only Bobby Cox. Quoth the famed ill-tempered Atlanta Braves coach: "it really works great!" Well that's all Rickey needed to hear. If the guy who won every single NL East division title from 1866 to 2005 is endorsing a product, then Rickey is most definitely sold.
Much like Bobby Cox, this caustic substance is designed to wear things down. Much like Bobby Cox, it is also highly explosive, yet curiously ineffective after repeated use. Also, much like Bobby Cox, the instructions are completely incomprehensible, so we'll break it down for you in simple terms. In a manner similar to Bobby Cox's method of getting himself ejected from games, you work it up into a foamy froth, then proceed to slather the gunk all over your newly purchased glove. Preheat an oven to 300 degrees, roughly the same internal temperature as Bobby Cox's gall bladder, and pop the glove in there for 4 minutes. During those 4 minutes, feel free to muse upon the fact that Bobby Cox is just a handful of games short of being ejected for an entire season. Dwell on the possibility that in the steroid era, Bobby Cox's career ejection record may be the only legitimate statistic on the books. When the 4 minutes are up, take the glove out, flex it for a while, and you're good to go. Repeat as necessary.

Rickey's verdict: after three applications, this Hot Glove stuff works wonderfully and Rickey is now in possession of well-weathered softball glove. Further applications beyond that seem to be governed by the law of diminishing returns. Rickey now eagerly awaits the start of softball season, as well as his royalties check from the Hot Glove people.

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Monday, April 20, 2009


President Obama returned to America from a two-day summit with various leaders of the Western Hemisphere this Monday. On his arrival in the Oval Office, the following email awaited him: "President Hugo Chavez has sent you a Facebook friend request. Add to Friends?"

Obama openly admits to being cautious about the request. "I just sat there and looked at it. I thought to myself, is this the kind of person I want reading my status updates? He's not going to make me take one of those quizzes about which Smurf I am, is he?"

This is not the first time that an issue on Facebook has given the President pause. Obama went on to state that William Ayers still appears on his "People You May Know" tab and he has yet to decide whether or not to add him as a friend. Obama left open the possibility of adding Ayers under a special designation, such as "It's Complicated."

Obama made it clear that he takes such decisions very seriously, and has convened his cabinet for several closed door meetings to debate the idea of him joining the Facebook group "I Don't Like the Letter H." He is currently listed as "maybe attending" for future group meetings.

Yet despite longstanding disagreements between Venezuela and the United States, President Obama has considered the possibility of using Facebook to move American diplomacy forward in more innovative ways.

For example, Facebook has allowed the President to stay abreast of recent developments in North Korea. In recent weeks he has received a notification stating "Kim Jong-il just poked you with an intercontinental ballistic missile. Poke back?"

The social networking that Facebook allows also has helped Obama to strengthen his domestic policies. He explained that "just last week I gladly responded to a (lil) Green Patch Request from EPA Chief Lisa Jackson. I was told that by contributing a batch of virtual petunias, together we could help fight Global Warming and I eagerly await her status report on how that's coming along."

Obama has attempted to convince the Democratic leadership to join the Facebook network, but has met fierce resistance from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both adamant Friendster users who refuse to make the jump. Further confusion has occurred due to Senator John Kerry's practice of changing his profile picture every 10 minutes.

Nonetheless, the President perseveres. Obama explained that "fostering more constructive relationships with countries such as Venezuela is a top priority for my administration, and frankly, if that means reading a Facebook status update from Hugo Chavez stating that he's eating cheese in the bathtub, well, then so be it" he said.

Not everyone is pleased with the idea of President Obama and Chavez fostering a Facebook friendship. GOP minority leader John Boehner went on record say that such a decision would "undermine our moral authority and make the United States less safe."

Boehmer continued to say that "this is a huge tactical and strategic mistake" and that he would have no option other than to "unfriend" President Obama if he was to accept the Venezuelan President's friend request.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rickey Recommends

This is where Rickey posts recommendations of noteworthy consumables, practices, and pastimes that have been deemed invaluable for the reader’s betterment. All products and pieces of advice listed herein have been Rickey tested and approved. Again, this is in no way shape or form a complete rip off of McSweeney’s (fa-la-la-la-la, lawyers, Rickey can’t hear you). Enjoy our latest installment of


The Daily Puppy. Confused? Here’s how this works: each and every day a new image of a puppy is posted on this website. People go there and look at the aforementioned images. It’s all very complicated, we know. Web users are free to check out the website, bask in the adorability, then curse their octogenarian Yugoslavian landlady for enforcing a strict no pets policy in the apartment. It’s similar to Cute Overload, but featuring puppies (much to Rickey’s deepening concern, there has been an influx of frogs, bugs, and other non-puppy related material trickling in over at Cute Overload). Rickey’s current fave: Tin Tin. Goddamn that little bastard is adorable. He’s so cute he makes Rickey want to swear. Fuck. Is there some sort of job out there that involves playing with puppies all day long while getting paid a hefty six figure salary?

“No Line on the Horizon” by U2. We’d bitch and moan about how this album doesn’t measure up to earlier efforts like “Joshua Tree” or “Achtung Baby,” but that would be an exercise in futility and wanton negativity. Bottom line: even a mediocre U2 album far surpasses 99% of the garbage that’s out there these days (yes, Rickey’s looking at you, John Mayer). See, everyone complains about the quality of modern rock/pop music, but whenever a band tries to do something different, their fans whine and yearn for the "good ol' days." Bands that try to create the same music over and over are boring and not worth listening to and we’ll take U2's efforts to do something different on every CD over uninspired dreck any day. If Rickey wants to hear “Joshua Tree,” then Rickey will listen to it, end of story. This isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, we know, but there are some seriously great tracks on this new album, ranging from intimate and mysterious to downright shoe tappingly good. Pick it up.

Killzone 2. Much to the alarm of watchful parents everywhere, videogames have reached a point where the only thing more realistic than your average M-rated FPS experience is actually signing up with the Army and demanding a pocket knife and immediate deployment to Mosul. Short of that, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more immersive experience than Killzone 2, as you play the role of a space marine (what’s with all the space marines these games?) and take on the Helghast, a fierce militaristic race whose only weakness is their ill advised decision to leave conspicuous red explosive barrels everywhere for the player to shoot at. Fireballs ensue. Rag doll physics are demonstrated. Good times are had. And speaking of turning the nation’s youth into cold-blooded killers, Rickey also recommends….

The Nerf N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25. Wow. You could singlehandedly liberate an entire grade school with this thing. Toys like this make Rickey wish he was a kid again. If the government was smart, they’d just take away everybody’s guns in the country and replace them with assorted Nerf weaponry. Racially motivated shootings would suddenly be entertaining to watch!

Almond Milk. It’s like soy milk but without all the pesky calories. Give it a shot you unhealthy bastard.

Not flying Qantas Airlines anytime soon. Look, it's one thing to leave off the 'u' in your company name if it starts with the letter 'q'. That's ok we guess. Rickey can forgive that. But allowing a bunch of snakes to escape mid flight? Completely unacceptable. For those keeping score at home, between this and the kangaroo uprising we mentioned on Monday, you now have no reason whatsoever to visit Australia.

Compressed Air Canisters. Egad, have you looked in between your keyboard keys recently? There are untold worlds of microbes living in there! Vast universes of germ colonies eagerly plotting the downfall of your fragile immune system! A few periodic blasts from your good friend the compressed air canister do wonders to attenuate the situation, as well as nurture your inner Howard Hughes. Never has something so ridiculously flammable been so useful!

Michael Chabon. Nine years late to the party, Rickey finally started reading “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” and it’s terrific stuff so far—a wonderful look at the great mythmaking tradition of the comic book industry circa WWII. We’re deluged with lousy watered down comic book movies, so riddle Rickey this: why couldn’t this book be developed into a movie? Oh and by the way, for you geeks out there, Chabon’s currently working on the script for the film adaptation of “John Carter of Mars” which is a lot like Mario Puzo writing Superman II, but times a bazillion on the coolness scale.

Stew Leonard’s. Somewhere along the line, somebody got the bright idea of making grocery stores fun, kind of like a theme park. But unlike a theme park, this actually serves a purpose, because you get to go home with some seriously good food instead of a case of motion sickness and a severe distaste for consumerist culture. What thrilling excitement awaits you around the next corner? A trio of mechanical cows playing banjos? Perhaps some tasty handmade mozzarella cheese? Buy the ticket, take the ride! Just remember, rather than the typical supermarket layout, Stew Leonard’s aisles are set up like a winding path, so if you forget something, it’s nigh impossible to retrace your steps and go against the ebb of traffic. So you must do your very best to leave no kumquat behind. And remember, when the nice lady offering free samples of banana donuts asks if you’d like one, you say YES. Yes you’d like a banana donut. You’d like 10 million banana donuts.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Notes from the Citi Field Groundskeeping Crew, Following Last Night's Game:

1) Apparently building a stadium five feet to the left of the old one wasn't enough to divert us from under the LaGuardia and JFK flight paths. Whoops.

2) Paint entire section of right field walls in warm, soothing colors. Gary Sheffield will be out there Wednesday. Gary Sheffield's mental well being is very important to us.

3) Remove magical talisman buried under pitchers mound causing HEATH BELL to pitch above expectations.

4) DO NOT acquiesce to Mike Piazza's demands that he be given the cell phone number of the lead male vocalist of "West Side Story."

5) Double supplies at Shake Shack. Doc Gooden loves him some shakes.

6) Call ANIMAL CONTROL. Come on people, cats living in Queens is downright unnatural.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Your Weekly Linkage

(Rickey wishes the pic was his doing, but no, it was something he stumbled upon in his internet forays. Hello, new office wall adornment).

Rickey has long believed that there are two basic kinds of Germans: the industrious, polite, and efficient ones ...and the nut jobs. This individual, who thought it would be fun to go for a frolic in the polar bear tank in a German zoo, falls into the latter category . People, if LOST has taught us anything, it's that polar bears are fierce and terrifying adversaries, and a whole lot different than the animated variety you see in those Coca-Cola commercials during the holidays.

A while back, Rickey joked that Somali pirates were quickly becoming a hip new trend. Well, yesterday pretty much marked the end of that. The new hotness? NAVY SNIPERS. Need three targets in a bobbing boat simultaneously taken out from a distance of several hundred yards away with absolutely no margin for error? They'll do it. Best of all, they'll do it on Easter.

Leonard Nimoy is coming to "Fringe." Odds of him being cast as the mysterious William Bell? Pretty good, Rickey's guessing. Odds of this having a lot to do with the new Star Trek movie coming out next month which Nimoy stars in and just happens to have been created by the same producers/writers who gave us "Fringe"? Even better.

Via the NYTimes, apparently the Treasury department is directing G.M. to brace themselves for something known as 'surgical' bankruptcy. Yep, Detroit, take due notice thereof and govern yourselves accordingly, because it's a good bet that the surgery will be performed by this fellow:
Aww, the Obamas purchased a puppy! It's a Portuguese water dog, a breed of sailing dog known for it's dense curly fur and curiously shaped paws which allow it to tread water quite well (apparently the Obama family takes this polar icecap melting thing rather seriously). Cue the Rush Limbaugh sketch mocking the media's Obama celebrity fixation with "Puppy Love" by Paul Anka playing in the background in 5... 4... 3... 2...

Good news fatties: brown fat may help you to lose weight faster. Apparently somebody gave some of the stuff to a lab rat and it turned into the Lance Armstrong of the rat world. Also rumored to be helpful for weight loss? A healthy diet and regular exercise.

It's standard procedure for videogame developers to dole out "press packets" along with the games they ship to reviewers to play with. Not so standard? EA, the distributor for the upcoming Godfather II game, shipping brass knuckles and garotte wire with their review copies of the disc. Now the writers are in possession of what many states consider to be illegal objects. Whoops.

Apparently, the most expensive movie ever made is ...Tron 2? That's pretty impressive for a movie that Rickey didn't even know existed until just now. Hey, for $300 million, couldn't they just build a virtual computer world that people can travel to and race light cycles in?

And so the Kangaroo Uprising begins. Never get chummy with an animal that hides a smaller version of itself on it's body. That sort of behavior is just untrustworthy.

And finally, in anticipation of tonight's inaugural game at CitiField, here's a fun little article on the Fan Walk bricks in front on the main entrance to the new Mets ballpark (one of which bears Papa Henderson's name in honor of his 65th birthday).

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Why is This Blog Post Different From All Other Blog Posts?

Because in this blog post, we discuss a most Hebraically significant day. For our uninformed gentile friends who focus their attention on the Easter Bunny or Crime Fightin' Chocolate Jesus, or whatever it is you non-chosen ones like to worship this weekend, the Jewish holiday of Passover commemorates the Exodus of Ron Jeremy's ancestors from Egypt. Moses, decidedly unhappy with the Pharaoh's refusal to pay his laborers prevailing wage rates on a handful of major construction projects, gathered up his peeps and walked off the jobsite altogether, never to return. Meanwhile, back in Egypt, mass chaos erupted when it was discovered that all the workers had left their tasty Pillsbury crescents in the oven and frogs started plummeting from the sky, much like the end of "Magnolia," only without musical accompaniment from Aimee Mann. After a brief jaunt in the desert, Moses settled his people in a nice sunny spot by the sea where they lived happily ever after and no one ever bothered them again. The End.

And that's Passover in a nutshell. For the first time in a while, Rickey's not going to a sedar. Is this a development that Rickey is a little, shall we say, Baruch Attah el-annoyed with? Not really. The lack of a formal sedar suits Rickey just fine--it's all about the food anyway, why pretend otherwise? So Rickey will be merely cooking for the occasion--trying his hand at some sort of yet undetermined roast beef dish and serving up his trusty matzo ball soup.

Because an integral part of any respectable Passover sedar involves some sort of game for gullible children, we feel that now is an entirely fitting time to announce the winner of our caption contest from earlier in the week. A hearty mazel tov goes out to Smitty, of Around the Keg, for grasping the low hanging fruit Rickey dangled in front of him and squeezing comedy gold from it. Smitty, your prize awaits--email Rickey at with your mailing address, full social security number, and mother's maiden name, and we'll dispatch your signed photo posthaste. Enjoy the holiday weekend everybody. Boils, hail, and locusts permitting, we'll be back on Monday.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Brief Rant And then Something Entirely Different...

There's a lot of hang wringing going on about some of the contradictions at play in the Obama administration. Critics rational enough to move past the frantic cries about creeping socialism are struck with a sort of cognitive dissonance when examining President Obama's recent decisions. Whether you agree with the guy's policies or not, there's a certain inconsistency at work in his first 100 days. Why spend hundreds of billions on homeowner relief yet refuse to allow the government to make direct loans to homeowners? Why force out the CEO of General Motors while leaving the leadership at equally failed institutions like Citibank or Bank of America in power? The broader question is, if you're going to initiate an activist government, why not go all the way? Perhaps it's like we said in our inauguration post: dude's complicated, simple as that.

But let's cast aside the hand wringing for a moment and remind ourselves how much of an upgrade Barack Obama is over his predecessor. We know, you've already had a few months to bid a not so fond farewell to the Bush Administration, but with these rumblings of discontent emerging from the left, now seems like a good time for a bit of a reality check. A little something to remind us of how far we've come. To this extent, Rickey's dad, Papa Henderson, writes in with a mammoth five act satirical play about the Bush Presidency, modeled loosely on "Macbeth." There being no objections, and this not being a democracy, we're running it because goddamnit, Shakespearean references are good for you.

No it's not Rickey's material, but if it's any consolation, just paginating the freaking thing took three times as long as any normal blog post would. There's four acts after this one, and they're equally lengthy, so let Rickey know if you enjoy this first installatment and he'll toss up the others. Enjoy:



Scene 1: In which Prince George and Sir Cheney encounter three Witches of the Sixties, who greet them with prophecies of future greatness.

Scene 2: In which The King and his court celebrate another Elephant victory over the Donkeycrats. The King and Lord Cheney confer with the Dukes of Frist and Hastert on bold action to reform the Social Nest-Egg Plan.

Scene 3: In which The Donkeycrats lament their defeat but rise in renewed vigor with news of the King’s plan to scuttle the Social Nest-Egg Plan.

Scene 4: In which The King, the Queen, and Lord Rove urge Parson Perkins to exercise restraint in his plans to rid the Kingdom of buggery and other anti-family evils.

Scene 5: In which Lord Cheney, Lord Rummy, and Don Gonzalez report to the King on their successes in bending the law in the War on Terror.

Dramatis Personae

George Bush, (Prince and) King of America
Lord Cheney, Viceroy of America and Privy Counselor to the King
Lord Rove, Counselor on Domestic and Campaign Affairs
Lord Rummy, Minister of Offense
Don Gonzalez, Minister of Injustice
Lady Rice, Ministress of State
Lord Snow, Minster of the Exchequer
Lord Chertoff, Minister of Homeland Security
Lordling McClellan, Mouthpiece to the King
Parson Perkins, Minister of the Church of Family Values
Duke of Hastert
Duke of Frist
Duke of Lieberman
Duke of McCain Leaders of the King’s Two Houses
Duke of Kerry
Duke of Reid
Duchess of Pelosi
Duke of Biden
Gadfly Howard of Dean
Sir Scooter Libby
Sir Harry Wittington
Laura Bush, Queen of America
Barbara Bush, Queen Mother of America
George H.W. Bush, Paterfamilias of America
Lady Armstrong
General Casey, Leader of the King’s Iraqi Forces
Three Witches
Palace press reporters, attendants to the King, secret service agent, messengers of bad news

Act I.

Scene 1: A heath near Arlington, Texas. Three Witches of the Sixties, Prince George, Sir Cheney.

[Prince George and Sir Cheney in an auto, Prince George driving]

Prince: I could have sworn the road back into town
led off that way.

Cheney: Indeed, my Lord, though my
directional parameters are keen,
I too am at a loss as to our
whereabouts. This dreary landscape and these
ruffling winds, portentous monitors of
atmospheric tumult, quite disorient
my otherwise well-ordered bearings.

Prince: It’s sure weird how the weather’s shifted. Hey!
Who’s that there? Three dressed-down critters – dudes or
ladies I’m not sure –perched out along the road.

Cheney: Three strangely sorted derelicts they seem,
in unisex-type outfits that bring back
dark memories of the Sixties and their vile,
degenerate excess. I like them not.
Let’s hasten back and call a constable.
Why do you slow down and roll down the window?

Prince: They ’re signaling us to approach.
Maybe we can get directions from them.

Cheney: To where? Some carnival or freak show they’re
appearing in? They make my skin itch.. Let’s get
our carcasses away, or else, who knows,
we’ll find ourselves stuffed into some old laundry
bags and fed to barracudas.

Prince: Hell, they
look harmless. I’ll step out and see what’s up.
Say, what’s the nearest place to get a
chili dog?

First Witch: All Hail Prince George, the owner of the Texas Rangers!

Second Witch: All Hail Prince George, the Duke and Governor of Texas!

Third Witch: All hail Prince George! That shall be
King of America hereafter!

Cheney: Predictions of encouragement and worth!
Can you strange objects of conjecture now
unfold more riches from your potent bag
of prophesies and let me know what might
lie down the road for me in the as yet
uncharted future?

First Witch: All hail Sir Cheney!
Less mighty than Prince George, yet mightier!

Second Witch: All hail Sir Cheney!
Less well-connected than Prince George, but with
more gravitas!

Prince [aside]: What’s “gravitas”? Astronomy
has never been my strong suit.

Cheney [aside]: I‘ll tell you later

Third Witch: All hail Sir Cheney!
Though not quite King yourself,
yet shall you lead one!

Cheney: Strange presences, when may we reconnoiter
and confer with you again?

First Witch: When future
circumstances call you forth, unto this
heath convey yourselves and here invoke and
summon us, and we’ll appear at your command.

Prince: [to Witches] Can you back up on what you told me here
and fill me in on it some more? I know
I’m the Rangers’ owner – a big improvement,
on those dry oil wells Pater Bush unloaded
on me some years back. And it’s funny how
you mention how I might be the Duke
of Texas – something that’s crossed my mind. It’s
almost like you’re ferreting around inside
my head. But King of all America –
whoa, now, that’s quite a mouthful! Whoever
got out that idea, and how did you get
wind of it?
[Witches vanish]
Goddammit! Where’d they go?
They cut and ran!

Cheney: Vanished like some distasteful,
drug-induced hallucination that deludes
the mind. Best to dismiss all this and go
our way.

Prince: Maybe so, but what’s with all those
“more than this”s and those “less than that”s” they
threw at you? Why can’t they just come out and
say things plain? You take the wheel, Sir Cheney.
I’m too ticked off to steer right now.

Act I, Scene 2. Eleven years later. Ballroom in the King’s Palace. King, Queen, Royal Family, King’s counselors and ministers. Dukes of the Houses, attendants to the Court.

Duchess Rice [gesturing to a campaign poster of the King]
Behold the face that launched a thousand bombs,
deposed the tyrant King of Babylon,
hauled him ensconced from out a spider hole,
and opened up an incremental path
(forward two steps, then back a step or two),
to sow the seedlings of democracy
throughout that suffering kingdom’s desert sands
and spread before its long-starved denizens
the fruits and blessings of free enterprise!
[Cheers and applause]

King: Thanks, gentle, yet still tough, State Ministress.
We’ll need your grittiness and expertise
as we pursue the Evil Axis and
all other foes of freedom round the globe.
But what say you, Lord Rove, our Architect
of campaign strategy, about this new
election triumph, both for us and all
the Elephants?

Rove: Our message of confidence
and optimism has again prevailed.
Our spirited campaign, well-prepped,
well organized, and well supplied
with dedicated staff and gushing funds,
has brought us victory. You, Sire, can sail
into the quiet harbor of your reign,
unvexed by re-election worries or concerns.
All Elephants can look to tighten more
their firm grip on the instruments of State
that drive our Kingdom’s engines. I foresee
a future filled with joy and glad success
to challenge good King Ronald’s palmiest times,
when Elephants maintained unrivaled sway
and all things smiled on us.

Cheney: And they again
shine forth with beaming and propitious ray.
Lord Rove and Lady Rice, we hail you both.
In spite of lurking dangers, you have raised
our Party to hopes of even happier days –
leading the Kingdom in the War on Terror
as the armies of our Elephants advance
in battles foreign and domestic.

King: I celebrate with all you gathered here
this triumph o’er the limping Donkeycrats,
who sought to shake with oddball, ill-conceived
suspicions the firm pillars of our reign –
patriotism, profit, and piety.
These triple policies by which our Party
lives and breathes and moves, sound forth their clarions,
and spread their banners through our juiced-up ranks.
I’m not surprised that Donkeycrats now sink,
their butts hard pounded by the stormy blast
of national defeat. And now’s the time
to spend the capital we’ve earned and cash
our blue chips in on legislation bold
and suitable to our designs. Look soon,
after close consultation with our Party’s chiefs
to learn of enterprises we’ll pursue
to serve us in the years ahead.

Rove: Let’s shout it now unto the vaulted roof:
hail victory, low taxes, and King George!

All: Hail victory, low taxes, and King George!

Rove: We call on Parson Perkins now to grace
us with his benediction.

Perkins: Protect us, Lord, in this long war with Terror,
from spiritual sloth and Liberal error.
Be with King George as he leads forth our legions
at home and in the broad globe’s troubled regions.
Confound our foes and all whom they abet,
and may the FCC clean up the internet.

All: Amen.

King: Until our evening revels, let’s recess
Then we’ll feast and trip our heels while we exchange
happy congratulations with ourselves.
Dukes Frist and Hastert, Lord Cheney and myself
would seek some words with you. [Exit all]

[King, Cheney, Frist, Hastert]

King: As leaders of our Houses, gentlemen,
the sharers of our triumphs and success,
what bold new legislation might we craft
to print the Elephant and its grand deeds
in history’s golden ledger?

Frist: Why any new legislation, Sire? While
terror stalks and profit margins rise,
why stir the settled state of things with change
and giddy innovation? Such tactics smack
of Donkeycratic social schemes, best shunned
by our staid, sober Party.

Hastert: Honored Sire,
will not our noble tax cuts, set to last
into the unconfined future, sound
your legacy? On those, commingled with
your steadfast prosecution of the War
on Terror, lies your glory and the sure
recompense that history will bestow.
Strange and unnatural, it seems, suited
to neither our Party’s needs or membership,
is the project of concocting of new reforms.
Hold fast to what we have is my advice.

Cheney: Gentlemen both, your principles are sound.
Far be it from us to propose a law
that plunges us heedlessly into some
future that unsettles our estate.

King: Rest assured,
we’re looking firmly backward in our plans
to happier times that came before the ills
and the entitlements that plague us now.

Frist: My Lords, we listen to your greater wisdoms
with eager and attentive ears.

Cheney: Think back to old King Franklin Roosevelt
and the evils he imposed to manacle
our liberties with hateful regulations

Hastert: King Roosevelt! When I was but a lad,
tender in years and with a waist as small
as is the circle of an eagle’s talon,
my granddad took me on his knee
and told me tales of Roosevelt’s dark reign,
I sucked his words in as a hummingbird
imbibes the nectar of the sweet musk-rose.
To him I pledged eternal war against
all social programs, all taxation schemes
that skew the workings of Free Enterprise.

Cheney: The time has come, the very instant calls
us to fulfill that pledge -- while power
is firmly in our grasp -- to resurrect
our ancient liberty and bring to heel
the plan the Donkeycrats designed and passed
under King Roosevelt – the Social Nest –Egg Plan.

King: Reasons abound for scuttling it. It’s payback’s
small. Its costs are rising as our people age.
Our exchequer’s over-pressed. We can’t afford
to fund it any more.

Cheney: We’ll privatize the Social Nest-Egg Fund
and educate our citizens to join
the Ownership Society.

Frist: The Donkeycrats will bray and bellow at
this plan.

King: Let them. With Lord Snow’s help, we’ll take
the Royal Stage and bring it to town meetings
through the Kingdom. I’ll massage the ears of
citizens hand-picked and screened with care for
loyal responses.

Frist: What happens to
those counting on their social nest egg plans
to line their nests during their sunset years?

Hastert: Maybe we can borrow something more
and pay it back when private funds roll in
from all the profits of free enterprise
and prudent, wise investment practices.

King: Now that’s good thinking, and I’m sure that we
can tinker somehow along lines like these.

Cheney: We’ll work on the details as we go on
and do our best. The world’s hard state enjoins
some souls less fortunate to gird their loins.
You can’t make omelets and save the yolk.
Some eggs in nest egg plans will just get broke.

[Exit Frist and Hastert]

Cheney: My Lord, what’s this about Lord Snow?
Since whendo we make fiscal policy with thoughts
of what a Minister of the Exchequer
might say about them?

King: The name popped up, that’s all.

Cheney: We’ll bring Lord Snow into our planonce we’ve devised its execution.

King: Okay. But Snow signs all the Kingdom’s checks.
He’ll have to know just what we’re up to with this whole privatization plan
before we move much farther.
Someone I’m sure will up and
pop a question to him on it.

Cheney: In good time
Lord Snow will know just what he needs to know.

King: Good thing I’m King and checks I write can’t bounce,
especially these days.

Cheney: Prithee, no more of that. Let’s hasten this
Nest-Egg business on.

Act I, Scene 3. An abandoned union hall in Washington. Duke of Kerry, Duke of Reid, Duchess of Pelosi, Duke of Lieberman, Gadfly of Dean

Reid: Fellow Donkeys, we must resolve what means
best serve us as we face four years to come
of Bad King George and his retainers all,
along with his accomplices in rule,
in office and in full control of both
the Kingdom’s Houses, from whence they’ll work their
way to wield the instruments of power
with even further insolence and pride.

Pelosi: Election night, Lord Kerry, how our hopes
rode on the prospect of the exit polls
presaging victory! And then, how turned
to empty air, like some mirage before
the heat-oppressed brain of travel –weary
desert wanderer so cruelly snatched away
from parching tongue!

Reid: Those early evening polling
counts sure let us down.

Dean : It’s strange how every
voting glitch tipped toward King George
and made the swing vote in Ohio go
his way and how in Donkeycratic districts
our faithful had to wait so long to vote.
This smacks of hanky-panky to my mind.

Kerry: Nay, let that go, we haven’t time or means
to prove our case. ‘Tis best we move along
though it sticks harshly in our craws.

Lieberman: Besides, voters don’t cotton to sore losers.
Four years ago, in our loss to King George
and Lord Cheney, I accepted our defeat
with due civility, a course I urge
us now to follow.

Dean: Our thanks to you, good Lord,
and all your due civility and graciousness
for the state our Party and our Kingdom
are mired in today.

Lieberman: Mock as you wish. Excepting
jihadist terrorists, I choose to be
a friend to all and bring my foes to me,
like flies, with honey and not vinegar.

Kerry: We lost because of Terror and the fear
of new attack that Elephants campaigned on.
The jihadists are the best enemies
the King and Elephants could have designed.

Reid: In sooth, Lord Kerry, I must tell you flat,
your campaign bumbles didn’t help our cause,
your vote against the war in Babylon –
“after I voted for it,” you explained –
made you look a fool, as did your zigzag
windsurfing in those Elephant flip-flop
campaign ads that did you in.

Lieberman: And your umpteen-point positions in debates
with King George also turned folks off.
While you droned on, they grabbed an evening lunch
or switched to reruns of “The Brady Bunch.”

Dean: Why can’t’ we Donkeys better sell
our message to the Kingdom? Why must Lord Rove
make us all look like amateurs? Next week
let’s give the pink slip to the Earl of Schram.
and get his carcass and his pimply face
off of the TV screen. It’s time to find
someone more photogenic, like the Earl
of Mehlman, the Elephants’svelte PR man.

Kerry: OK then, Gadfly Dean. I here propose
that you serve as the Donkeycratic Chair
for the next King’s election. Take the reins
of our campaign and lead us forth into ’08.

Pelosi: You have my blessing.

Reid: Add mine thereto as well.

Kerry: At our next
Party meeting, we’ll present your name. Our
joint voices doubtless will hold the day.
Will you accept?

Dean: I might, my Lord, have other plans.

Lieberman: Put them in cold storage for a while.
Your bravura TV roll call list of states
you shouted after your defeat in Iowa
was well managed by the Elephants to
brand you a loose, hyperventilating cannon,
unfit to be a King.

Dean: I’ll think on what you say. How they
turned on that speech and twisted it awry!

Pelosi: ‘Twas a rough night.

Lieberman: Nights most of us have known.

Reid: From all I’ve learned from text or anecdote,

the course of campaigns never did run smooth.
Either they’re stymied by a staff dispute –

Pelosi: Short-sighted team that shoots at its own foot!

Reid: Or else some sound-bite blunder drags them down –

Pelosi: O cursed statement that you can’t disown!

Reid: Or by some breaking scandal they’re derailed –

Pelosi: Hard fate when dirt’s exposed and gets you nailed!

Reid: And like the lightning in the darkened sky
that shows its instant glory to the eye
or meteor that plummets through the night,
to burn itself and vanish from our sight,
so too, campaigners on a victory dash
may snuff themselves out in unseemly crash,
giving their reputations a contusion
and casting their careers into confusion

Kerry: How should we then proceed?

Reid: Much as we wish,
‘tis hard to prove the King has lied us
into war without hard evidence to
back the charge and lay before the Kingdom.

Dean: Even so, this war in Babylon that
Bad King George and High Lord Cheney wage
remains a running sore that we should fight.

Lieberman: Not I, my Lords. I’m foursquare with the King
on Babylon. So long as Zion lies exposed to cruel jihadic rage,
I say we stay the course and battle Terror on its breeding ground.

Dean: It didn’t breed in Babylon until we bombed it and invaded it.

Lieberman: Your arguments
won’t lead our Donkeys on to victory.
And don’t call the King a liar.
Voters cringe at such words as mouthings of the rad-lib fringe.

Dean: What should we do then? Why are we called here?

Pelosi: Oh sorry state! Alack and welaway!
How can we Donkeys ever gain the day?
With Elephants in charge of all House councils,
I’m so despairing, I could stay at home
and wring my hands and just collect my paycheck.

Dean: My friends, I come with hopeful information
from Elephants across the aisle to help
dispel the lethargy of the distracted
musings that I‘ve overheard from you.

Reid: Speak on. We’re at a standstill here.

Dean: While we sit here in doleful disarray,
the Party of Private Profit hatches schemes
to eliminate the Social Nest Egg Fund.
They plan an ad campaign, a Royal tour,
across the Kingdom to select supporters,
stuffed full with crafty arguments
of why and how we should or can or must
junk something that has worked so well.

Lieberman: Abort the Social Nest Fund! Good Lord!
An act of heinousness to be abhorred!
[Aside] Though if Elephants would sit me down and say
why it should go, I might see things their way.

Dean: Of all the Kingdom’s programs that these jerks
are hot to scuttle, they’ll cut one that works!

Pelosi: I hereby throw to earth my fruitless woe.
On this cause we’re united, so let’s go
reeneergized into the fight ahead
until this hateful scheme is left for dead!

Reid: This cause defines us; we’ll fight tooth and nail.
It’s our last stronghold, and we dare not fail![Exit all]

Act I, Scene 4. The King’s palace. King George, Queen Laura, Lord Rove, Parson Perkins, followers of the religious Right

King: Greetings, good Parson, may your churchly ways
bless this great land and brighten all its days.
Our recent re-election gives us cause
to thank our Holy Father up above
for all His blessings. And what brings you today
to ask this special visit? May our Queen,
in honor of her valued wifely gifts,
join with us here and add a helpful thought,
or maybe two, to what we say?

Perkins: That suits me fine.
All things that foster family values win
my praise. When spouses meet and interchange
their minds and hearts in conversations sweet,
my pulses, like a drum, beat in strong sympathy
And that, my King, now brings me here to ask
that you might turn our Kingdom to the task
of making sure that those in wedlock’s bands
be of mixed sexes when they join their hands.
The horses of perversion snort and neigh,
and far too many sodomites abound.
Now that those Donkeycrats just took a bashing,
can’t we give those gay marriages a bashing?

Rove: A worthy goal, and one that we might press
if circumstances on our chances smiled.
But too many Liberals, in laxness schooled,
will cast a vote that can’t be overruled.
We’re with you in our hearts on all the fronts –
abortion, stem-cell research, you just name it --
we’ll do our best to stymie it or blame it.

Queen: And I’ll expound, in talks across the Kingdom
that no child be left behind, in school or womb
and that all marriages keep in the bounds
of normal gender and tradition.
A woman’s sure, deft touch can sometimes help.

Perkins: No more than this? We vowed to you our vote,
exchanging it, we all thought, for your pledge
to wield strong family values as a wedge
fencing off Liberal wolves from Christian sheep.

Rove: Now calm down, Parson, get a grip on things.
These innuendoes rile our Jewish friends.
Why tick them off? Old Joe, the Duke of Lieberman --
best Donkeycrat our Party ever had --
good Richard, Earl of Perle, whose ardent voice
helped us design this Babylonian war,
the Earl of Mehlman, GOP Party Head,
the Duke of Specter, worthy moderate –
all these and many more crowd our large tent
with due civility and scant dissent.

Cheney: Recall too Lordling Fleischer, another
from among the tribes of Abraham whose
loyalty and service has sustained our
cause, at his press interviews, reminding
would-be-critics of our anti-Terror
policies to watch their words –or else!

Rove: And physicians of the Hebrew ilk
combating welfare schemes like Medicare
are strong allies and friends of influence.
We need their hearts and votes, so why embrace
an issue that offends the hook-nosed race?

[Angry murmurings from the Christian conservative gathering]

King: I love you all and do respect your cause,
but understand, good holy folk and true,
as God’s anointed, I do what I must .
Withdraw, friends, take a good, long walk and think
of all I the things I’ve done for you so far.
Consider those posteriors I’ve plunked
in big seats on so many Federal benches.
to argue for our values and traditions.
I couldn’t do better for you than I have
unless I junked and burned the Bill of Rights --

Rove: A course good Parson, not beyond our reach
if you but bend your patience and your service
to our designs. Let’s bide our time until
occasion and God’s grace shine forth for us.
Back off a bit for now, recall your place,
and let your duty still restrain your zeal.

Queen: And let me add my voice to this advice
for both our Kingdom’s and our Party’s weal.

[Exit King, Queen, and, Rove]

Perkins: Good friends in faith, I’m in no mood to halt
our noble efforts to enforce God’s laws
because of promises and declamations,
though spouted at us by a sitting King –
wind-pledges, puffery, the empty spate
of one too customed to impose his will.

Follower 1: We made this King of clay and now he turns
against the very hands that built his throne.
Prayer meeting next, good brethren, let’s contrive
to move our wishes forward.

Follower 2: We will speak further on this.

Perkis: A King who turns his shoulder on his Base
will stumble in his next election race.
[Exit Perkins and Followers]

Act I, Scene 5. Lord Cheney’s castle at an undisclosed location. Lord Cheney and Sir Libby.

Cheney: Thanks for thy needful services, good Sir,
rendered of late in the Plame-Wilson business.

Libby: It cheered me, Lord to undertake the task
that you and Fortune laid upon my door
to execute your wishes.

Cheney: When agent Plame and her vile Left-wing spouse
jointly took arms and raised a sea of quarrels
seeking to undermine our Babylonian war
with insubordinate attacks, we had no choice
but to expose her cover. Sir Libby,
you and good Lord Rove have served the Kingdom
well in this affair.

Libby: You made this rebel
couple learn what their foul deeds have brought
upon their heads.

Cheney: Especially Sir Wilson.
His that villainous Op-Ed piece in the Times,
railing against our motives and our cause
in Babylon still makes my molars grind
in rage.

Libby: I trust he’s safely been exiled
from any enterprise that touches on
high state affairs so long as good King George
or any minions of our Party still
hold sway.

Cheney: Fear not.

Libby: Why then, my heart rests easy.
Let Wilson seek reward and favor from
the crew of Liberal scribes to whom he leaked
his information. There let him sup his fill
on their seditious buzzings and reports
and dine on all the slop that’s vomited
from their distasteful stew of calumnies!

Cheney: Ho ho! you speak with good hot pepper there!

Libby: One question yet disturbs my rest. A friend
of ours, Sir Novak, did release a tale
whose substance yet perhaps may implicate
us and our Palace staff. But know for sure
I’ll use all wiles and stratagems I can
to keep your hidden hand in this affair
clear of all scrutiny.

Cheney: And might not good
Lord Rove dispense disinformation to
aid our enterprise? He’s full of useful guile.
We know the timely wonders he’s performed
in all the King’s campaigns. He knows the mindset
of our Faith-based Base with more than mortal
cunning and can wind them like a well-set
clock to chime the tune of your commands. I
marvel at hisr gifts! How faithfully he
helped me beat the drum to call forth reasons
for our foundering war. We all are much in
need of him. But now the King speeds towards
these broad gates to confer with ourselves, Don
Gonzalez and Lord Rummy on several
weighty matters of the State. So I must
take your leave.

Libbe: Farewell, and I do pray your
businesses will blossom from your discourse.

Cheney: I doubt it nothing. My attendants, Sir,
will lead you homeward in the usual way.
[Exit Libby]

[Enter King George, Lord Rummy, Don Gonzalez and attendants]
My liege, and nobles all, I bid you welcome.
I trust your journeys hither were attended
with cheer and comfort.

Gonzalez: With comfort yes, but Sir, the inky cloak
of darkness that accompanied my trip
while blindfolded I was conducted here
gave me much cause for wonder.

Cheney: Best safety
lies in caution, honored Lord. So in this vexed
post-9/11 world, where enemies
abound and breed, I find it meet to shroud
my whereabouts and their coordinates,
from outside guests and passing visitors,
even from those like thee of deepest trust.

Rummy: I like your secrecy. It answers to
the weighty needs of prudent policy
and meets with my consent. If, God forbid,
a member of our Court fell in the hands
of some jihadist tormentor, poor soul,
wracked sore with pain, he’d spill the beans on us
and do us all collateral damage.

King: Lord Cheney’s ways are wise. The less that’s breathed
of us and our affairs, the better for us all.
[to Gonzalez and Rummy] Now then, twin ministers, to thee I turn,
Lords of Injustice and Offense, speak each
in due succession. Don Gonzalez,
answer me first --how fares Injustice?

Gonzalez: Across this Land and to the globe’s far reaches
in all its branches, Sir, Injustice thrives.
Those named as enemy combatants stay
ensconced at Guantanamo under close guard.
No need for processes or trial to halt
our use of needed means to punish them.
We’ll glean what information that we can,
and keep them there confined with no set limit.

Cheney: Indeed, shame would it be to waste the fruits
and blessings of democracy on those
who scorn its offerings.

King: And goes this forward
smoothly? Do judges leave us free to prosecute
our foes without encumbering bars?

Cheney: Some cavil at our course and fall back on
murmurings of “civil liberties,” but most
accept our many arguments of State.
The multitude don’t give a fig about
souls whom we captured on the Afghan fields.
The world’s at war. Those days are gone when men
might walk in pre-post 9/11 liberty.

King: And our surveillance of those messages,
domestic and abroad, whose oversight
we hope might trap some would-be terrorists?
Need we submit to FISA for consent?

Gonzalez: No need. Lord Cheney and myself concur in this.
Let’s press ahead with speed and secrecy.
We’ve both let Admiral Hayden understand
the Fourth Amendment’s moldy arguments
must yield before our Kingdom’s pressing need
for strong security. Besides, Lord Rove
and oracles who read the polls confirm
our citizens don’t care for lawyers’ chatter
when Terror threatens.

Cheney: And even if they did,
it matters not. The laws are ours. They
and their execution lie within our grasp.
We’ll do what we think best and not be swayed
by grumblings from the vagrant mob.

Gonzalez: At Gitmo all is lawful. It’s carte blanche in fact,
so long as inner organs stay intact.
I’ve had it checked by our attorney, Yoo –
anything goes, short of the rack and screw.

King: Then all sits well for us. And do
those forced renditions move ahead?

Rummy: They do.
As you commanded, Lady Rice and I
consulted privily with chiefs of state
whose customs, unrestrained by lenient laws,
allow stern punishment to prisoners
To them we sent jihadists formerly
detained by us.

Gonzalez: With speed more rapid than
the cannon’s discharge, or the chaste
thoughts that escape a maiden’s heart, we shipped
them where a fate ‘tis best you know not of
awaits fell execution.

King: Let’s hope our friends,
the Kings of Poland, Hungary, Rumania
and their loyal ministers can twist from these
war-hardened enemies and hell-bent souls
such information as may serve us well
in our crusade against foam-frothing Terror.

Gonalez: So all of us do pray, my Lord.

Cheney: If not, then let them rot.

King: Lord Rummy, now’s
the time for your report. Give me the news
on things in Babylon. What victories
or at the least, what hopes for such might mark
the looked-for sunset of my reign?

Rummy: Like some
elusive bar of soap that slips out of
one’s hand inside an Abu Ghraib shower
stall, firm victory may slip beyond our
reach till as ex-King you wander Crawford’s plains.
But freedom’s on the march. Insurgency,
approaching closer to its final throes,
(as good Lord Cheney’s wisdom has revealed),
will yield if we stand firm.

Cheney: And may I add
this swelling note to the Imperial theme:
Free Enterprise gains ground in Babylon.
Although some blood be shed and monies lost,
and our exchequer shrunken just a tad,
bold mercenary captains, pockets full,
stream home with gold from the war-riven East
to stimulate more economic growth.

Rummy: Defense deals flourish like a humming hive,
and like Injustice, our war profits thrive.

King: Aye, that’s the tune our Party likes to sing.
What profits oil from Babylon would bring!

Cheney: Patience, my Lord, until these things mature
and pipelines and plumbing are made more secure
in Baghdad.

Gonzalez: Another legal plus that helps our cause
regards our armed defense contractors, who,
unbound by rules of war, can execute
whatever means they must or wish to use.
to fight insurgent suspects in Babylon.

Cheney: And main or kill them, for that matter.

Rummy: Or elsewhere as it suits our need.

King: Gentlemen, this is good news indeed
You’ll, keep me posted on it, won’t you now?

Gonzalez: You bet.

Rummy: Sure thing.

Cheney: We’ll take good care of things.

King: Tonight I’ll snooze more soundly knowing that
I’ll head back to the Palace. Blindfolds, please?

Cheney: Attendants, to your posts. Good evening, all.

[Exit King, Lord Rummy, Don Gonzalez]
Gun up the motors, drive them quickly home.
This settles well with our deep purposes.
Putting all power into private hands
removes all obstacles to our commands.
[Exit Lord Cheney]

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Caption Contest Tuesday! (as opposed to those other days when we run half-assed caption contests)

Lost amidst the hubbub over Rickey's sudden and inexplicable decision to reveal a picture of himself, (and by default, his devastating handsomeness) was this little gem of a photo:
Yes, Rickey is indeed the Eddie Adams of socially awkward photographs. Now we turn the canvas over to you: make with the captioning in the comments section below. After a period of time, (most likely measured in geologic terms given the lack of posting here as of late) Rickey will announce the winner and award them a prize. What prize you ask? How about this photo of Rickey and Mike Francessa, autographed by Rickey himself? It's valued at -$4.65 by Sotheby's and will be mailed to whichever of our four readers come up with winningest caption. Is Rickey doing this because he's got a whole lot of stamps left over from wedding invitations? Possibly, but the mistake would be yours not to cash in on this prime opportunity.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

DISPATCHES FROM THE FIELD: In Which Rickey Noshes With Joe Girardi

Having braved some incredibly bad weather and faulty intel to get into Manhattan (turns out the Hard Rock Cafe on 47th Street has been closed for several years and the only Hard Rock is in Times Square--whoops) Rickey's reporting in with a recap of the events of the Joe Girardi breakfast with Mike Francessa this past Friday.

Finally locating the venue, Rickey and his buddy wasted no time gorging themselves silly at the sumptuous buffet, opting for the hormone free eggs over the A-Rod style eggs. Then the interview began, conducted in an informal "Inside The Actor's Studio" fashion. We'd report in on what was said, but it was mostly a lot of talk of Yankee tradition, the Steinbrenner legacy, and how nice and unassuming a fellow Johnny Damon is. To be perfectly honest, Rickey was far more interested in going back for second helpings of the tasty french toast bites they were serving at the buffet. Below, in snarky caption format, follow Rickey's comments on the pictures he took.

Hm, three orange juices and two bottled waters? Sweet fancy moses, that's a lot of fluids. Why do speakers always demand ten gallons of liquids at events like this? Are they planning on competing in a triathlon afterward? And more importantly, where is Mike Francessa's trademark Diet Coke?Oh, whew, there it is. We had to sneak around the stage to get a better shot of it. This, ladies and gentlemen, is investigative blogging at it's finest.

No, that white hot light isn't Rickey's camera playing tricks on your eyes. The omnipotent Mike Francessa actually has it stipulated in his contract with WFAN that he be basked in a heavenly glow at all public engagements.

Once the interview was over, the Q&A session began. Rickey walked around to the other side of the stage, watched a few folks ask some questions, and then it was Rickey's turn.

Rickey nervously stepped up to the plate and swung away. (Note Girardi's "who the hell is this scrawny prick?" posture). Here's verbatim what was asked:

"Hi Joe, thanks for taking my question! I'm actually a life-long Mets fan. (slight boos from the audience) I won these tickets when I called in to WFAN thinking it was for Mets tickets. Uh, apparently not. (laughter from the audience--Rickey knows how to work a crowd). So since I'm here anyway, I guess my question is: from the Yankees skipper to a die hard Mets fan, what do you think of your guys' chances against us during interleague play this season?"

And then he and Francessa responded by good naturedly talking about the excitement of interleague play, blah blah blah. Yeah, it was a stupid heckling question, but it was fun and it caught everybody off guard. Also, it was helluva lot better than the boilerplate WHY'S JOBA NOT IN DA BULLPEN? comments. If anyone finds a video of the event on YouTube, please let Rickey know--he'd love to see it.

Anyhow, then the session ended and the obligatory autograph signings commenced. Who's the guy wearing the Superman t-shirt? Mike's security detail? We'd like to think that Mike Francessa can afford a better bodyguard than that... If any of our readers are interested in an exciting career in personal protection, get those resumes in!

Once wonders: how much could a baseball signed by Mike Francessa possibly be worth? A ham sandwhich? Possibly even two ham sandwhiches?

We're not sure about you, but Rickey hasn't been to many of these sorts of events. Most likely because they're pretty sycophantic. Everyone lines up for autographs: there's the young and starry eyed budding sports fans ...and then there's everybody else. The intense sports fans. Grown adults who should be out looking for gainful employment rather than sitting in the Hard Rock Cafe at 8AM on a Friday morning hoping to get a glimpse of a watered down iteration of Jimmy the Greek. We didn't nab a picture of him, but Bruce from Bayside was in attendance, and yes, he is every bit as unseemly as you'd expect.

Sign Joe, sign as fast as your fingers will allow!

Good lord, is Francessa doing the Hustle?

The goofy guy in the middle who keeps on wringing his hands like a nefarious Bond supervillain is Mark Chernoff, the program director at WFAN. He's a serious doofus, just like you. And he's landed himself a fantastic job. Moral of the story: don't give up on that dream of breaking into sports broadcasting.

Damnit guys, you know I can't go with you two standing there watching!

And then, it was finally time to meet the big man himself. Rickey sidled up next to Mike Francessa and had his buddy take a snapshot. Hey, is it just Rickey or does it kind of look like he's related to Mike?

And then Rickey, feeling like he had to say something meaningful, uttered the following ridiculous sentence: "I just wanted to say that you've brought a lot of joy to my father."

OK, there are two major problems with this statement. First, it makes Rickey's father sound like a frail bedridden man who tunes into WFAN as a source of solace and relies upon Mike Francessa for some sort of psychic tether to life. Rickey's dad is in fact healthy as a horse and in prime physical condition. Secondly, the suggestion that Mike Francessa brings any semblance of happiness to Rickey's dad's life is completely and utterly untrue. In reality, the opinions voiced on Francessa's radio program have probably raised Papa Henderson's blood pressure more than any stock market tumble, war, or tax hike ever possibly could.

But hey, it sounded like a good thing to say at the time. Anyway, it was a fun morning and if nothing else, it got Rickey excited for the upcoming baseball season. Enjoy the weekend folks, we'll back on Monday.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Rickey Will Be Noshing With Joe Girardi Tomorrow Morning

No this isn't a late April Fool's joke. On a whim, Rickey called in to WFAN today and scored himself a pair of tickets to a breakfast with Yankees manager Joe Girardi at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square tomorrow morning. The omnipotent ogre Mike Francessa will be moderating the event. Yeah, we have no idea how or why this happened either. Everyone always says this, but this was the first time Rickey has ever called in for a radio contest. In all honesty, Rickey thought he was calling in for Mets tickets. But we suppose that Rickey will just have to make the best of the situation.

Here's the fun part: the event allows people attending to ask questions of Joe Girardi. So we're opening this up for suggestions. What questions should Rickey pose to the Yankees skipper? Leave your suggestions in the comments section. Make 'em good. Make 'em funny. We'll be back on Monday with photos of the event and a recap of the madness.

[we now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post--see below.]

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Rickey's Comprehensive Guide To London

With Barack Obama overseas panhandling for money ahem, we mean spreading international goodwill, at the G-20 conference, we figured that the time was right for a brief travel guide for the city of London. No, it's not the capital of the world -- ironically enough, it was a Brit (John Lennon) who first named New York as the globe's crowning metropolis -- but it's a terrific town nonetheless. From his semester abroad spent there (we believe it was featured on "Stuff White People Like") Rickey has fond memories of strolling on Charring Cross Road down to Trafalgar Square, then down Whitehall to Westminster. Let Rickey tell you, the view from Westminster Bridge on a rare sunny day is incredible. It's truly a wonderful city, there's something cozy about it, kind of like New York in Christmas, but all the time. As an added bonus, it's also a great place to go and not feel out of place for your syphilis and brown teeth. So without further adieu, we've put together a brief travel compendium for Mr. Obama during his stay in the Old Smoke.

Economy. If the slick haired Gordon Geckos at CNBC are to be believed (and really, what possible reason would they have to mislead us?) then the UK is about 6 months behind the U.S. in terms of it's economic welfare. So things are deceptively stable at the moment. Look for that alluring Dickensian mystique to take over in a few months and the ranks of street urchins and chimney sweeps to grow exponentially. If you own a business selling soleless shoes or fingerless gloves, then now is the time to pounce.

Cuisine. The great thing about London is that it's a cosmopolitan city with multicultural roots. We think it has something to do with that whole conquer-and-enslave-native-civilizations-and-bring-them-back-to-our-rainy-island-to-toil-in-a-life-of-servitude thing that the Brits used to do back in the day. The long and short of it is, if you're jonesing for some Indian food, great sushi, some tasty hot curry dishes, or the world's best kebabs, then London has you covered. As you've probably heard, it's best to avoid the famously unappealing British dishes. But if you absolutely must partake, be sure not to settle for being served any imitation gruel. Demand the real thing. Although nine out of ten coal faced groveling orphans can't tell the difference, Rickey can most definitely tell you that there is one. Also, avoid the meat pies on Fleet street--those things are murder on your stomach.

Technology. Yeah, they've got this internet thing over there as well. The London Bridge even has it's own Twitter account. And it's every bit as awesome you'd expect it to be. In fact, we'd go so far as to call it Fergalicious.

Night Life. Put it this way: London has roughly one pub for every 30 citizens. And most every Brit in every pub just loves Americans (just avoid mentioning the Revolutionary War--that's like their Vietnam). In other news, CNN has just announced that Ted Kennedy will be joining the Obama envoy on a fact-finding mission to London. Zing! What's that you say? Ted Kennedy drinking jokes got old 20 years ago? Hm, Rickey missed the memo...

Noteworthy Sites. Let's see: the Eye, the British Museum, Piccadilly Circus, the Globe, the National Portrait Gallery, the New Tate... suffice to say, there's a ton to see. And the view from the top of St. Paul's is absolutely breathtaking. Also, did you know that the name Big Ben only refers to the bell? The clock tower itself is actually named St. Stephen's Tower. One day you will drop this obscure bit of trivia at a dinner party and everyone will marvel at how knowledgeable an individual you are and anoint a laurel wreath atop your heard.

Transportation. In terms of navigability and ease of use, the buses and the Tube far exceed any form of mass transit system we've got stateside. But be warned that it can get quite crowded--be fully prepared for pelvis-to-pelvis contact with a random rugby jersey wearing muppet should you attempt to squeeze on to the Northern line during certain hours. But as an added bonus, whenever a train arrives or departs, a loud booming Orwellian male voice announces "MIND THE GAP."

Crime. The crime stats would have you believe that London is a relatively safe town and that their police, are able to keep the peace with their their funny hats and sophisticated European sirens. However, Rickey will tell you that London can actually be a very violent town if you wear the wrong football jersey into the wrong pub. Judging by the fact that a Brit invented this charming device, we're going to go out on a limb and tell you that it's borderline "Gangs of New York" over there.

Fashion. Rather than admit to the possibility that London is an urban and hip city, Rickey prefers to keep his silly prejudices. So we're assuming that everyone in London dresses like this guy: Now there is a man who is clearly unhappy about not getting the lead part in a Gilbert & Sullivan musical.

Sports. Rickey tried to wrap his head around the game of cricket but came away even more confused. Moreover, we're pretty sure that nobody in Britain actually watches a full game of cricket--they just want to know who won. Football is their sport of choice, and Rickey dove into it whole heartedly while he was over there. It's a major reason why Ms. Henderson used the parental controls on the cable box to block the English Premiere League soccer channel in the Henderson apartment. Treacherous wench--you shall not stifle Rickey's undying allegiance to the Blues!

Carefree, wherever we may be,
We are the famous CFC,
And we don't care
Whoever you may be,
'Cause we are the famous CFC!

Language. The slang over there is profane yet delightfully charming sounding. To this day we have absolutely no idea what it means to "cock a snook" at someone, but that doesn't stop Rickey from using the phrase on a regular basis.

Culture. For a city that has survived plagues, fires, and aerial bombings and is known for possessing citizens with stiff upper lips, it's kind of funny how Londoners embrace their frivolous tabloid culture. If you thought American tabloid culture was bad, you ain't seen nothing. For an entire semester, Rickey watched Robbie Williams and the members of Oasis get into various scuffles outside pubs and the press lapped it all up. Good times. Now they've got Lilly Allen who is kind of like our Lindsay Lohan, yet marginally classier.

Travel Recommendations. Mr. Obama, whatever you do, don't make the same mistake Rickey made when he went abroad to London. DO NOT attempt to continue your long distance relationship with that freshman tennis player attending SUNY Binghamton. She will leave you for a soccer player, refuse to return your signet ring and half your DVD collection, and all you'll be left with is a hole in your heart and thousands of dollars in long distance phone bills. One day you'll want that two disc Criterion Edition of "Armageddon" back, and you'll never get it. Just trust Rickey on this. Walk away, Mr. Obama, walk away.

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