Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Action on the Floor; The Fat Man Flees

I am live from the floor of the RNC, and searching diligently for any sign of my pet goat. I know I had the goat when I got here. Then it wandered off, and a strange-looking man with a thick Austrian accent, who was looking for his ladder, told me it might have wandered into the middle of the delegation from Nebraska. Nebraska? Holy shit! There’s no time to lose! I slice through the Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Massachusetts, Missouri and Minnesota delegations like they are the Red Sea, parting before my goatherd’s staff. One or two of the more beefy delegates try to stop me, but I club them mercilessly to the floor with the crook of my staff, proclaiming the Love of God.

My goat is in the middle of the Nebraska delegation. It has been tied to a microphone stand and is being prepared for sacrifice. A large, red-faced man in a blue pinstripe suit lifts his scimitar toward the throat of my pet goat, while a trim blond woman in a red pantsuit watches, her tongue poking out between glossy red lips. The goat—who is named Aarfy—bleats terribly, its amber eyes wild with fear. I see that I cannot make it there in time to save him.

Suddenly, rising from the floor of the hall through a trap door, comes a man in a Roman Centurion suit. The cheekplates hide his face, but I can make out vaguely simian features around the eyes and mouth. He commands the large Nebraskan to drop his scimitar and return to his seat. The man obeys, as if the Centurion has some sort of mind control over him. The brave Centurion frees my goat from its ropes, and puts him in my arms. “I will not let a goat be harmed,” he says, with a noticeable smirk. “Not even a communist goat.”
“Umm, thanks,” I say.

On the way back to the press section, I run across the man with the thick Austrian accent again. He has found his ladder. We note our common joy—what was lost is found. But there are ashes in our mouths, and we must go to a nearby tavern where the godless philosophes gather, and plan our curriculum for the evening.

There is no sign of Jesus anywhere. Eerie, that. Just yesterday I had seen him on the street with a big sign in his bony hands—THE END IS COMING SOON—and then he had been lured into an alley by a man with a paper bag. Nothing since.

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