Thursday, June 11, 2009

As I Die Laying

The forty-two year old baseball cap wearing party-goer made his way to the crock-pot containing cocktail wieners, taking a generous pinch of the barbecue and grape jelly-stewed little pork puree delicacies and plopping them on his plate next to the potato chips and baby carrots.

"My problem with Obama is that he's a socialist," said an overbearing--and overweight--man in a group of three standing nearby.

The first man plopped a cocktail wiener in his mouth and shook his head--such ignorance!

Meanwhile, a thinner man replied to the comment, chagrined, "That's not fair. Calling names like that..."

"But it's the truth," the first speaker interrupted, "He's spending all that money on..."

"Spending it on what?" Now it was the other man's turn to interrupt. "Something George Bush didn't spend it on?" he asked pointedly.

"Oh, not this crap again. Whenever anyone brings up anything Obama does you Libs have to cry, 'but what about George Bush!' or 'at least he isn't as bad as Bush!' I mean, really."

"Well... well, you know what I heard," the soft-spoken woman in the group tried to edge her way into the conversation while the liberal man thought of his retort. "I heard that Obama was born in Kenya and isn't even allowed to be president."

Both men were surprised.

"Well, I don't know about that..." said the conservative.

"That's just the kind of bigoted, pea-brained nonsense I'd expect from a Republican," the liberal got nasty.

"Oh, I'm a Democrat." the woman replied, hurt. "I just read about it. I voted for Obama, and I don't care if he's not American; I think he's good for this country. Being from Kenya gives him a fresh perspective."

Both men were surprised.

"Well, I don't know about that..." said the liberal.

"That's just the kind of pea-brained nonsense I'd expect from a Democrat," the conservative said with a smirk.

Finished with his cocktail wieners, and sick of the potato chips and baby carrots, the forty-two year old eavesdropper had had enough. He half marched up to the group, his tongue snapping back like a bullwhip preparing to deliver chastisement; he couldn't stand how they ignored the true threat!

"Who are you?" the conservative asked.

"Nevermind," he replied briskly, then paused briefly before continuing, "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation, and I must say, you all have it wrong! So very, very wrong."

"And I'm sure you're here to enlighten us?"

"Yes! Now listen," then he continued before anyone could interrupt, "Barrack Obama isn't socialist. He isn't a Kenyan. He's a Grzelnorpian!"

"A what?" the woman asked, who he now noticed was fairly attractive. Thin. Nice face. And dark blonde hair.

"He's a Grzelnorpian agent! Sent to brainwash us into submission," the frustration rolling off his tongue was palpable. "Soon we will all be slaves to the Grzelnorpian Empire if we don't do something!"

"Sounds like a conspiracy to me," the conservative scoffed.

"It is!" the cap-wearing theorist's eyes widened. "A conspiracy concocted by an alien empire!"

"No need to be so dramatic."

"Aren't you listening?" he looked at the other two to see if they had betrayed him too, along with the rest of humanity, and then added, "We're about to be conquered! We have to do something!"

"Like what?" the conservative asked.

The theorist was dumbfounded. "What do you mean?"

"What do you think I mean? Even if we suppose what you're saying is true, which it isn't, how can we stop the Grez Norps--"

"The Grzelnorpians."

"Right. The Greznorpians--"

"No, the Grzelnorpians."

"Fine. The Grzelnorpians. How are we gonna stop them from taking us over? With the military? Sorry, but last time I heard, the President's in charge of that, and he's a Greznor... Grelznorp--an alien."

"They aren't ready for an invasion yet--that's our advantage! You see, they plan to take us over peacefully. The Grzelnorpians don't expect us to resist, and so far..." he noted dryly, "I can see why. I mean the clues are everywhere, people!"

"Such as...?"

"Mike, stop being such a dick," the liberal man interjected. "He's entitled to his opinion."

"And I'm entitled to my opinion that his opinion is stupid."

"You won't think that when the Grzelnorpians take over!" the theorist said defiantly.

"You smarmy little dweeb," the conservative, Mike, slapped the baseball hat bill down over the theorist's face. "Why you wear that, anyway? Shouldn't that be made of tinfoil?"

The theorist's eyes darted toward the floor and he briefly shuffled his feet. He always wore the baseball cap. He had lined the inside with tinfoil to protect him from the Grzelnorpian Brainwashing Ray that was in geosynchronous orbit over his head. Also, he had a bald spot.

Suddenly he regained his courage and said, "Look, I'll prove it to you..." He pulled a piece of paper out of one pocket and unfolded it. Then he began reading. "First, Obama said he doesn't look like the other guys on the dollar bills. Of course not! He's an alien!"

"No, what he meant was..." the liberal began.

"He meant what, Jack? What did he mean?" Mike asked.

"He's black," the liberal, Jack, explained.

"Don't you mean African American?"

"Shut up."

"Anyway," the theorist continued, oblivious, "Obama also said 'If you're headed for a cliff, you have to change direction. That's what the American people called for in November, and that's what we intend to deliver.'"

"So, what's the problem with that?" Jack queried, not daring to hazard a guess.

"Who is this 'we' he keeps referring to?" the theorist asked. "He does it in so many speeches, and it seems a little suspicious, don't you think?"

"No, he is clearly referring to the American People," Jack answered.

"Or the Democratic Party, and the elitist socialists in Hollywood, New York and Washington," Mike added helpfully.

"Thank you, Mike," Jack replied sourly.

"You're welcome."

"But listen to this one," the theorist offered, "'We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.' Doesn't that sound like he's part of an alien collective?"

"Or just a euro-socialist," Mike remarked. Jack was silent.

"Ok, how about this: 'We cannot pretend somehow that because Barack Hussein Obama got elected as president, suddenly everything is going to be OK.' He's telling his superiors back home that there's still work to do."

"I don't see it," Mike replied.

"Then this: 'Over the last 15 months, we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in 57 states? I think one left to go.' Who but an alien could be so ignorant of our political geography?"

Mike started to say something, but Jack gave him a glare, so he simply shot his liberal friend a knowing smile.

"This one's gotta do it: 'People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time.' I mean, who better than the Germans to understand world conquest?"

"Yeah," Jack replied, "but didn't you say they were going to take over peacefully?"

"Don't knock it just yet," Mike admitted, "The Germans are doing it pretty peacefully right now with the EU."

"Don't be ridiculous, Mike. Besides, don't the French run the EU?"

"The French couldn't run anything bigger than a wine & cheese shop."

"Okay, what about this last quote," the theorist interrupted. "'The thing about hip-hop today is it's smart, it's insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable.' Does that do it for you?"

"Nope," both men said in unison.

The theorist sighed, "Maybe after you see some of Obama's communications you'll understand why he said that..." He pulled out a Blackberry from the same pocket he had removed the paper with the quotes on it and said, "I started receiving these on my email about five years ago. It must have been an accident, because it led me to understand the sinister conspiracy before us. Look at this..." he held the Blackberry out so all could see.

"U.S.A. has 'A' bomb--kin care." the woman--listening to the conversation with her usual passivity until then--read off the Blackberry screen. "What does that mean?"

"I didn't know at first either," the theorist explained. "It took me over a month to realize it was a secret message from Barack Obama to his superiors on Grzelnorp IV. He sent it soon after he first landed on Earth. It is a warning to be careful with any invasion because the United States--and unbeknownst to Obama at the time, so do several other nations--has nuclear weapons. He sent this to make sure his kin--the Grzelnorpians--take care."

"What kind of evidence is that?" Mike asked, incredulous. It had been entertaining until now, but this was just pathetic. "If you, or whoever fooled you into believing this, were gonna try to fool someone, you'd at least try to write a whole paragraph, and a grammatically correct one at that!"

"Which means it must have been written by an alien!" the theorist gave Mike a 'gotcha' look.

"Why?" Mike raised his voice a little. "Why would an alien write in English to another alien?"

"Ah! But you see, that's the genius of it!" the theorist explained. "It's because he also has a devout group of human followers that he needs to keep up to date on the plan."

"What, all the stupid college students?"

"No, the Illuminati. But nevermind that. Take another look at the message he sent. Notice anything queer about it?"

Mike was tempted to crack a joke relating to the word 'queer,' but merely hazarded a second look at the phrase. "No," he answered quickly, looking away again.

"Really?" the theorist said slyly. "Not even the fact that the message is a perfect anagram of 'Barack Hussein Obama'?"

Mike--and Jack--took a second look at it. U.S.A. has A bomb--kin care.

"Well, by golly, it is!" Jack exclaimed. "You must have put quite a bit of time into it. Er. I mean, Obama sure is dedicated to the plan."

The theorist scowled.

"Yeah, pretty impressive, I'll admit," said Mike, "But one little anagram doesn't prove a thing."

"That's why there's more," the theorist scrolled down on his Blackberry and showed them more messages. "See this one? I don't have the reply from Grzelnorp IV, but obviously they didn't understand what "'A' bomb" means in the other message, so Obama had to write this one too."

It read: Is a nuke bomb. Has a car.

"Clearly," the theorist continued, "Obama also felt the need to let his superiors know we have cars. That must be important. And, as you can see, this one is also an anagram of 'Barack Hussein Obama.'"

"Impressive, again," Jack admitted. "But Obama is known for his eloquence. How do you explain why the grammar is so poor--that should read 'Have a car.'"

"Maybe when he wrote it he didn't have a teleprompter," Mike suggested.

"Here's another one," the theorist scrolled down a little more.

It read: SOS I bareback a human.

"As you can see, Obama engaged in certain activities and was worried that they would be dangerous to him. It's also an anagram of his full earth name, again. Surely you'll admit that only an alien would feel the need to specify that it was a human that he barebacked?"

"Or NAMSA, the North American Man-Sheep Love Association," Mike shook his head.

Jack ignored him, saying "Im-uh, um... impressive" again, albeit more than a little unsure of himself.

"Well, here's another one!"

It read: I kebab a man. c u Ross--ha!

"Who," the theorist asked, "Would kebab a man, other than an alien?"

"Jeffry Dahmer, for one," Mike pointed out. "And I'm sure this one is an anagram, too, but I just saw a friend who I've been meaning to talk to, it's been fun." With that he left.

"You know, I actually have some people I need to talk to, too," Jack said. "I'll be back in a couple minutes or so, I expect." With that he was off as well.

"So much for that. I don't suppose you want to hang around a while and listen to my warnings?" the theorist asked the quiet woman.

"Well, you know," she said, "I'm skeptical, I guess--but I have an open mind!" It was as she was trying to convince him. "I don't really know what to think, you know. But I'm willing to try anything once. Wait. I mean I'm willing to try to believe anything. Oh, that's not right either. But you know what I mean."

He wasn't sure he did, but he simply nodded and said, "I suppose so, Miss... I'm sorry," he put on an affectation of embarrassment, "All this talking and I didn't get your name."

She smiled. "That's alright. I'm Cathy," she extended her hand.

He took her hand, but instead of shaking it he bowed down and gave her a delicate kiss, saying, "Pleased to meet you, Cathy. I'm Art."

"Nice to meet you, too," she giggled.

"So, how do you know the host?" Art asked.

"She's my sister."

"And where is this sister of yours? And is she half as lovely as you?"

She smiled a little at first, but then asked warily, "You haven't met her? Do you work with Bob?"

"No, I crashed the party," he smiled. "Actually, I'm a neighbor, and I just met Bob earlier today, and he invited me then."

"Oh yeah, Bob does that," she laughed, "He's very friendly. Very inviting. We got that from our dad. Which house do you live in?"

It took him a second to catch up with her train of thought, but when he did Art answered, "The run-down Victorian with the spire on the corner."

"Really? It's a beautiful place, but I thought it was abandoned."

"Practically is," he smirked. "But I do live there when I'm around. I don't like to stay in one place so often, you see. The Grzelnorpian's would find me if I did... they know I'm onto them," he winked.

She laughed. "That's bad," she said.

Apparently Cathy was under the impression that he made the whole thing up as part of an elaborate plot to sound interesting and get laid. Art sought to disabuse her of that notion--he could believe it and use it to get laid at the same time, damn it! "Of course it's bad!" he said seriously, "How would you like being followed around by aliens!"

"Are they sexy aliens?" she asked, apparently she still didn't take him seriously.

"I suppose it depends on whether or not you think Obama is sexy. Personally, I'm not interested..."

"I think he's super-sexy," she replied.

"Well, to each their own, I suppose. Hey, I actually have some steamy pics of Obama on my computer at the house that I intercepted between him and his Grzelnorpian superiors... I mean, if you'd like to see them."

"Sure, that'd be fun. Maybe you can give me a tour of the house while you're at it?"

"Sure, why not? Nothing better to do my last night as a free man."

"You aren't getting married in the morning, are you?" That she was smiling convinced him she actually knew what he was talking about, so he didn't need to reply. She wasn't quite as naive, slow, and gullible as he originally thought her to be. And fortunately that didn't make it any harder. No better way to spend his last night as a free man, indeed.


Art awoke suddenly in the middle of the night. He looked around, seeing the moon peeking through the red velvet curtains, the clothes on the floor, and the slender, naked form lying next to him. All seemed well. Yet... he felt a buzzing in the air. He climbed out of bed, himself naked, to draw back the curtains just as the buzzing grew. When he drew the curtains, to his surprise he saw--even he hadn't really believed it--Grzelnorpian spacecraft landing. There were thousands, no millions, of craft; the bright-burning rocket flame supported saucers were landing as far as the eye could see. All Art could think was: first, he was right. He had been right all along. Second, he was so very right, and also, Al Gore would not be happy with Barack Obama in the morning; greenhouses gas emissions had just gone through the roof.

Alternate Ending:

Art and Cathy awoke the following morning. Art turned on the TV news, hoping he would be proven right. Although it may have been more sensible to hope he was wrong. Well, he was right... sort of. President Obama was before a crowd giving a speech, which from the looks of it was nearly over:

"Can we overcome mankind's seemingly ceaseless struggle with boredom? Yes we can!" the crowd joined in enthusiastically. "Can we restrain and redirect the mighty maelstroms of leisure that result inevitably in an emergent ennui that imperils our peaceful cohabitation and puts to rest the creative potential of mankind? Yes we can!" the crowd joined in enthusiastically again, although they probably didn't understand half of it.

"Can we bring ourselves to acknowledge our need as human beings for something higher than ourselves, something greater, that can direct our most intrinsic impulses fruitfully toward greater productivity and happiness for all? Yes we can!" the crowd joined in. "And can we accept the fact that that force is before us today, present though unseen, speaking though unheard, pressed against our breasts though unfelt, and renowned though unnamed.

"It is a force at once mighty and humble. It gives but does not ask. It is always there for us when we need it, but we need not be there for it. It is all-loving and is everything to everybody. And I ask only that we return the favor just this once, just once, and surrender to the Grzelnorpian Empire... Yes we can!" the crowd thundered its approval.

Then somebody yelled, "Wait a minute! What?"

"Surrender to the Grzelnorpian Empire," said Obama, "Yes we can!" the crowd thundered its approval again.

"But what's that mean?" someone shouted.

"Well, uh, um... you see..." Obama stammered.

Another man walked out on stage, "Don't worry, Barry I'll take it from here"

"Is that Rahm Emmanuel?" someone asked.

"My name," the man said, "Is Reggie Fils-Aime, and I'm about kicking ass, I'm about takin' names, and we're about making games."


"Let me explain," Reggie said. "You see, I work for Nintendo, and a few years ago Nintendo was in trouble. At least that's what everyone on the outside thought. But we had a plan. We always have a plan. At the same time we were designing the Wii gaming system we genetically engineered a character to life, gave him a false background and the name 'Barack Obama,' and had him run for President of the United States. Long story short, he won, in case you didn't know, and now we are getting our money's worth out of him.

"You see, the 'Rise of the Grzelnorpian Empire' (previous title) is a game we are making for the Wii, and it will be our finest game to date. We have been sending hints out on the web for several years about its existence. Some of you may have noticed...

"For those of you who are just now tuning in, so to speak, let me explain. In the game the President of the United States is an agent for an alien empire, the Grzelnorpians, and you must stop their insidious plan to take over the earth... by collecting various items, playing with your Wii, and shaking your wrist around really fast, which should give you exercise, among other things.

"But basically you play a character who has to run around, jumping on platforms, and throwing colorful items around at your enemies--the Grzelnorpian agents. Oh, and another thing, we've retitled the game 'Obama.' It's a heck of a lot of fun, good exercise, and perfect for the whole family. So buy it, play it, have fun. Can we defeat the Grzelnorpian Empire and save the earth? Yes Wii can. Obama, from Nintendo. He looks like it a bit, too, right? With those big ears and all. That's our genetic engineers at work."


GuyStewart/DISCOVERCHURCH said...

I usually love dialgue, but in this case, I didn't have a framework for the whole thing except for the party. And it all seemed to perfectly normal, I wasn't sure if this was specfic or literary...and if it's literary, then I am a TERRIBLE judge because my tastes run more to adventure.

Even so, it seemed a bit...dragged out for my taste.

Vidad said...

Maybe "drugged out?"

Entertaining, Ben-El. Very nice.