Sunday, October 17, 2004


The Most Dangerous Man in America

Satan walks through the dark silent corridors of the Elysee Palace, 3 a.m. Where would they keep it? In the vault? In the fridge?

He heads to the basement, opens doors till he finds the kitchen, flicks on the light. There are no windows: no one will see him here.

Sure enough, there it is, on the top shelf of the refrigerator, lying flat across a stinking package of limburger cheese. Or, no: it's brie. The stink is coming from the squid.

"My poor boy," Satan says softly, "how you have suffered. I have been remiss."

He slips the squid into a pocket in the Yahweh suit and exits the building, stepping over the lifeless Derrida at the front door.

Out on the street, he twists a dial on the Yahweh suit and in an instant is beamed across the Atlantic into Pat Robertson's walled estate in Virginia Beach.

The Dobermans come running, silent and deadly, and are actually in the air en route to Satan's jugular when another slight twist of a dial freezes them solid. They drop to the ground with a soft thud.

"God damn this is a bitchen suit," Satan marvels.

And then, there he is, Pat Robertson himself, president and founder of the Christian Coalition, on the front porch with a shotgun up and aimed at the middle of Satan's chest.

"I don't know how you got in here, you godless heathen, but I can tell you this: you aren't going out the same way. I've already called the cops. But first I think I'll have a little fun with you."

"Don't shoot," Satan says in a deep voice, "for I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt."

"Don't give me that shit," Robertson says.

"Pat, come on, it's me," Satan says, and pulls the Yahweh suit's head off.

Robertson lowers the gun an inch or two, squints out into the floodlit yard.

"Dad?" he says.

"Put that gun away and stop fucking around," Satan says.

Pat Robertson lowers the gun, holds out his arms. "Gosh, I'm sorry I threatened you, Dad! How could I know it was you, in that suit? Come here and give me a big hug."

"Never mind about that," Satan says. "I've got Karl Rove here. I need you to use your magic."

"You've got Karl Rove--where?" Robertson says.

Satan pulls out the squid. "Here. Hera turned him into a voodoo dildo squid doll."

"A which? Ew!"

"It's a long story. Come on, let's go inside. I want you to change him back."

"Why sure. Come on in. Iced tea?"

"No thanks. I'll take a glass of milk, though."

Robertson snaps his fingers and a maid jumps and runs. She slides a tall cool glass of whole milk into Satan's fingers about three seconds later. She is trembling. Her dark chocolate skin has a light sheen of nervous sweat. But it isn't Satan she's afraid of. It's her boss: the most dangerous man in America.

Satan collapses into an easy chair. Robertson remains standing, studying the squid up close. "Yes," he says. "Uh huh. Yes, I see."

Then, with only a moment's pause, he begins licking the squid all over. He licks every square millimeter. Even up in those hard-to-reach spots between the tentacles. Then he swallows, his eyes bug out, and suddenly his gorge rises. But Robertson's a pro. He doesn't spew randomly: he projectile-vomits at close range into the squid's head.

And now the transformation begins. The squid writhes, twists, bulges ominously. It throbs and hums. Tiny flippers protrude, then extend into arms, legs. The big pink head becomes a bigger pink head. Last of all, the eyes cough up a pair of glasses.

And there on Pat Robertson's living room floor, panting heavily with the effort, sits Karl Rove.

He looks around, sees where he is, who's there with him.

"Dad," he says. "Pat. My God what a nightmare I've had. How did I get here? And why am I naked?"

"No time for that, son," Satan says. "We've got work to do. Lincoln and his fishy minions have taken over the country. We've got to strike now or lose it forever."

"We have enough votes to run the country," Robertson says.

"Fuck votes," Satan says. "It's time for action. We need to mobilize the mantids. They're in hiding, cowed by Lincoln's bug bombs and roach motels."

"Okay," Rove says.

"If Christian people work together," Robertson says, gesticulating portentously, "they can succeed during this decade in winning back control of the institutions that have been taken from them over the past 70 years. Expect confrontations that will be not only unpleasant but at times physically bloody.... This decade will not be for the faint of heart, but the resolute. Institutions will be plunged into wrenching change. We will be living through one of the most tumultuous periods of human history. When it is over, I am convinced God's people will emerge victorious."

"Yeah, yeah," Satan says. "Save the speeches for the troops. They'll need em. Let's go."

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