The River

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Another Day in the Empire

It’s finally turned cold here in Atlanta, and consequently, I’ve been having more trouble than usual getting out of bed. This morning I hunkered down under the flannel sheets, the blanket, the quilt and the wool throw, shooting my arm out every six minutes to hit the snooze. Finally, Leigh’s alarm went off, which was an odd event, as she typically uses the shouts and howls of Audrey as her alarm. It so discombobulated me that my arm, apparently unattached to my brain, overshot the snooze and hit the button that turns on the radio. Carl Castle boomed out: the leaders of Russia, France and Germany are upset with the United States over exclusion from bidding on construction contracts in Iraq.

On my way to the shower, I had to laugh. The LEADERS. Jesus God, the leaders of this thing we call civilized society sounding like a gang of petulant mafia dons, like....

Bush: Listen, we’re gonna knock off the Sands in Vegas. Fuck Saddam, we’re taking him out. Then we’ll tell his boys to take a long walk off a short pier, and install our own people. From there, we’ll take over every casino in Vegas, one by one. We can’t let the Islam family have it anymore. I don’t know about you, but the thought of someone with brown skin and a different God having money and power drives me fucking bananas.

Crowd: murmer, murmer, murmer…what do I get out of it?…..if I contribute some men, I should get to at least one casino, after the dust has cleared…shit, we’re a two-bit outfit, I’m just glad he asked ….money! I’ll be rich!…well, I hope Saddam understands, but Bush is boss now…


Germany, France, Russia: Godfather, we are aggrieved. We have many in our families that could run casinos.

Bush: Hmmm, I don’t see you on this list. I came to you. I told you my family would do most of the dirty work. I told you that no one could stop us and that we WOULD get away with it. I offered you a chance to be in on it. It hurts me that some of the oldest families couldn’t come to terms on this caper. Especially you, Russia, who remind me of my own son, Sonny. Maybe next time you’ll recognize an offer you can’t refuse when you see it.

Embedded reporter: Can I report this?

Bush: Sure. Karl? Is that press release ready yet? I need the NPR version.

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