Friday, September 24, 2004
Public Service Announcement
Sufi U will be closed for the next two days, in order to make preparations for the series of debates between John Kerry and George W. Bush, Yahweh and Satan, and Buddha and Hitler, to be held on September 27. These debates were originally scheduled to take place in the football stadium, but had to be moved to the Student Union Building because of the very strange weather lately (the frozen chicken rain, the singing tornadoes). This move will require taking out all of the vacuum tubing and replacing it with transistor vestibules. The cafeteria will be closed during this time, but will be open during the debates, with Chef Pharaoh promising to create special treats for hungry debate-watchers. Your patience is appreciated.
The Thingy Goes to Olympus
What, Hermes, what do I want with this shriveled little piece of leather? What’d you bring it to me for?
Zeus, look, it’s the Holy Prepuce.
The Holy what-puss?
It’s the foreskin offa that brat of Yahweh’s. It’s what’s left over after Jesus got circumcised. It’s 2,000 years old. From way back at year zero.
Ugh! Yuck. Get it away from me. A foreskin? That’s the nastiest thing I ever heard of. Who goes around cutting those off?
It’s a Yahweh thing. Or, well, it was. Anyway, everybody in the White House is after this thing. That’s why I nabbed it. They call it “the key.”
The key to what?
Seems you need it to make the Yahweh suit work.
Oh-ho. Really? So, as long as we got this piece of dickskin, Satan’s little plan won’t work?
That’s a valuable little flap of skin, Hermes my man. How’d you get it?
Ran across a cat who claimed to know something about it. I had to skin that cat, but finally he told me about it. Didn’t know where it was, though, so I had to read the Mullah Billdoug blog to find that out. Got there just in time. Snatched it off some guy who was digging it out of a wall.
Thought you’d like that. But there’s more.
I been sniffing around, and nobody knows you’re planning a comeback. Nobody knows about the second year zero.
Of course not. Us Olympians never write things down. That’s what screwed Yahweh and Allah. No paper trail—that’s the key to deitic success. The Titans taught me that.
It all gets posted to Mullah Billdoug, you realize.
Yeah, but that doesn't count. Who reads that? Besides, it's not official. It's all made up.
Yeah, but what I mean is, nobody's talking. There aren’t even any rumors that you’re gonna make a comeback and heist the calendar. Nobody’s talking. Yahweh claims it’s 5765; Jesus claims it’s 2004; Allah says it’s 1425. They seem to think it's gonna stay that way. All the gossip in the coffee shops and bars is about how Yahweh and Satan are gonna duke it out, and how Satan has this secret plan. Nothing about you. Nothing about a new year zero.
Yeah, but strange. It’s almost like we don’t exist to most people. Like we are shadows.
Well, it’s not like it used to be. I mean, I haven’t gone to earth and seduced a human in years. That’s retirement for you. But soon that will all change. When the Olympians are in control, it’ll all come back.
Have some faith, Hermes. And meanwhile, get me some more nectar, willya? The vanilla kind, with nuts. Oh, and tell Eros I need to see him, huh? I got a little job for him.
OK, here’s the thing. It was here, and then it wasn’t.
Whaddya mean, it was here and then it wasn’t? You either got it or you didn’t.
I did get it, I swear. I pulled it out from behind the brick and I had it in my hand, and then it was gone.
Like, what? Poof! It disappeared?
Well, more like, there was this flash and then it was gone.
Flash? Of light?
Like something moving faster than I could see went by and snatched it.
You’re so full of shit.
No, really. It was like, I dunno. The guy had wings on his feet or something.
You been into the mushrooms again?
I’m stone sober.
Boss isn’t gonna like this.
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Get Mullah Billdoug
He lost it, Cheney says, hanging up the phone.
He what! Rove says.
He lost it. Satan found the shop where they were keeping it, he and Cat Stevens broke in, but the guy got away with the prepuce.
Damn, Rove says.
You know what I think, Cheney starts.
Lemme think, Rove says.
No, listen, Cheney says.
Lemme think, Rove says.
See but the thing is, Cheney says.
The thing is, Rove says, if you don't let me think I'm going to put LSD in your medical astrologer's morning Postum, and your Mars/Vulcanus conjunction will send you to the moon.
Uh, Cheney says, right.
And I ain't talking about no moon shadow, neither, Rove says.
Gotcha, Cheney says.
Rove whips around to Rumsfeld. He moves pretty fast for a big pink squishy boy.
Turn on the computer, he says.
Do what, now? Rumsfeld says.
Turn on the fucking computer, Rove says. I want to check Mullah Billdoug.
That old quack? Cheney says.
I'm warning you, Dick, Rove says.
Right, Cheney says.
Rumsfeld's hands are trembling, but he gets the computer on, the browser open and pointed at mullahbilldoug.blogspot.com.
I don't know what you, Rumfeld starts.
Get out of the way, Cheney says, and sits down to read. Mm-hm, he nods. Mm-hm, right. Just as I suspected.
What, Cheney says.
The good Mullah knows where the prepuce is, he says. It's all right here.
You're shitting me, Cheney says.
"Fifth and Elm, the west wall of the Republican Party Headquarters downtown. Fifth brick up, fifteenth from the street." Get right on it, Rove says.
God damn, Rumsfeld breathes. This guy's good.
I agree, Rove says. Let's pick him up.
Pick him up? Cheney says.
Don't repeat what I say, Rove says. Just do it.
But if we pick him up, Cheney says, how will he find this stuff out, and blog it?
We'll let him go again, Rove says. But we'll turn him first. He'll be working for us. Giving us the straight scoop and feeding disinformation to the enemy.
Brilliant, Rumsfeld says.
Isn't he some kinda towelhead? Cheney says.
Oh, shit, Rove says.
What now? Rumsfeld says.
I just clicked "reload," Rove says, and look what came up!
The boys gather around to look, and gasp. They are reading their own conversation in real time.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
I had to leave the shop in a hurry, so I’m scrawling this note to you on the run. Yeah, I’m on the lam. Last night somebody broke into the shop. Came in through the bathroom window, and I think they were protected by a silver spoon. All I saw was a shadow in the moonlight, though, kind of catlike. Maybe a giant cat. Can’t be sure. Then, there was a scuffle. I heard a yelp and a meow, and then, Who sent you? No shit? I caught a glimpse of a forked tail, heard the scratching of claws, smell of sulphur. If I hadn’t slept with the prepuce safely in this bag around my neck, they probably would already have it. I was supposed to close on the deal tomorrow—that weird guy from Texas, the exterminator, was willing to pay $120,000 for it. But, now… I don’t know. I went out the window of my little room in back of the shop just in time, I think. On the run since. Rats and cockroaches have been following me through the city, as I’m trying to find a place to hide until daylight. The vermin track me, I think. Report to the burglars. I think there are still two of them chasing me, but maybe not. I heard a sound like a cat being skinned awhile back, so maybe that one is dead. The other one reeks of sulphur, and I keep smelling it even now. I’m sure that one’s close. I’m taking the prepuce and its bag and putting it behind this hollow brick in this alley, here. It’s at Fifth and Elm, the west wall of the Republican Party Headquarters downtown right now. Used to be an abortion clinic, I think. Anyway, if I don’t return, that’s where it is. Fifth brick up, fifteenth from the street. In the alley. If you get this, and find the prepuce, don’t throw away the bag! It’s actually the Holy Scrotum of St. Andrew, and is said to possess magical powers. It may be the only reason I’ve survived this long. I will send this note via my last carrier pigeon. If I don’t see you again, I’ll remember all the good times chasing holy genital relics from Zanzibar to Zurich. If you get this and I am still alive, I will meet you at the Mocha Deelite as soon as they open. You’re buying. Dress casually, no robes. Watch your back.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Hey, Cheney says, hanging up the phone, they got Cat Stevens on ice in Maine.
No shit, Rumsfeld says. What for?
Apparently he's some kinda towelhead terrorist these days, Cheney says. Tried to fly into New York, they rerouted him to Maine. Now they're gonna send him back to Tehran or wherever.
London, Rove corrects him.
He's got a whole new monicker, too, Cheney says. Joe Islam, or something.
Yusuf Islam, Rove corrects him.
That's what I said, Cheney says. Can you believe this? I used to love his songs. "Bring tea for the Tillerman, grapes for the sun, wine for the woman ..."
Steak for the sun, Rove corrects him.
Oh, come on, Cheney says. Get real. You can't get wine from steak.
Nobody said you were supposed to get wine from it, Rove says. It's just three different foods. Tea, steak, and wine.
That's just crazy, Cheney says. Nobody drinks tea and wine with steak. It's a wine and cheese party out on a pleasure craft somewhere on the Aegean. Bring tea for the tillerman, but the good stuff for the other--
Damn, Rove cuts in. I got it.
You got what, Dick says.
Call them up in Maine, tell them to hold onto the terrorist son of a bitch.
I'm gonna send him after the Holy Prepuce. I bet the Moon Shadow can find it.
That's brilliant, Rumsfeld breathes. Moon Shadow, Moon Shadow!
I don't know, Cheney says.
There's a lot you don't know, Rove says.
I don't trust those towelheads as far as I can torture em, Cheney says. I mean, look what they did to us on the 9/11 thing.
Let's not get into that again, Rove says.
They changed the fucking plans, Cheney says.
We've been over this, Rove says.
We tell them the Statue of Liberty. Destroy a fucking symbol. They change course at the last minute, take out the Twin Towers. Do you know how much money I lost when those towers came down?
You've told us 10,478,013 times, Rove says.
Yeah! That's how much I lost! All because of those fucking towelheaded towelheads!
Enough, Dick, Rove says. Get on the phone to Maine. Then get the president's helicopter prepped. I'm taking a little trip.
Camp David? Rumsfeld says eagerly.
Rove rolls his eyes, stares past Rumsfeld pointedly.
Don't you have some, I don't know, filing to do? Rove says.
Oh, uh, sure, Rumsfeld says, and scurries out of the room.
What do you mean, Dad, Karl's saying, the suit won't work?
I always mean what I say, son, Satan says evenly, unlike that lying bastard whose fucking suit doesn't even work.
But come on, Rove insists, it's a fucking suit, a fucking costume for Сhrist's sakes. How can it not work?
It doesn't work, Karl, Satan says. Pure and simple. End of story. It doesn't work. It doesn't fucking work.
What do you mean, "end of story." That's it? No theocracy? No New World Order? End of that story?
That's exactly what it means, Karl, Satan says. Unless we can find the key.
The key? There's a key? What, like a wind-up kind of key? How come this is the first I'm hearing of this? I can't work like this, Dad. I need better intelligence than this.
It's not a wind-up suit, son, Satan explains patiently. It's a mystical suit. It is a suit of great power. The power won't work without the mystical key.
Mystical key, mystical key, Rove scoffs. Maybe we should look for it in a box of the Chimp's CoCo Puffs?
As far as I've been able to figure out, Satan says, the key is a prepuce.
A prepuce. A foreskin.
I'm serious, Karl.
Well, then--I don't know, get one of the guards at Abu Graibh to cut one off a prisoner. Or down at Gitmo. Those guys all have foreskins, I betcha.
Not just any foreskin, Karl, Satan says. The foreskin of the Christ.
The what, now?
The Holy Prepuce. That tiny flap of skin cut off the infant Yehoshua by the moyl eight days into the first Year Zero.
Oh, so we need a 2000-year-old foreskin. Sure. That shouldn't be too hard to find.
Don't give up so easily, son. Were you forgetting that our successful completion of the forbidden experiment inaugurated a new Year Zero?
Oh. Oh yeah. Damn, you're right. Oh, man. Thanks, Dad. I'll get right on that!
I know you will, son.
Monday, September 20, 2004
If Ya Can't Run with the Big Deities, Stay on Cloud Nine
The big guy in white and purple robes, with white hair and beard, is sitting on a stone throne, drinking from a huge golden goblet. He keeps shouting for order.
“I’m in charge here, goddamit!” he yells, flinging about bolts of lightning. Gradually, the din dies down, and the Olympians take their seats.
“OK, that’s more like it. Down to business. How are the royalties on Troy, Ares?”
“Could be better, but we bought a new microwave oven, eighty oxen and fifty barrels of whiskey with the last deposit.”
“Good, good. Do the other deities suspect anything about our current operations, Hermes?”
“Nope. They think we’re strictly in party mode."
Zeus gestured. "Bacchus, you keep it that way, understand? Keep putting up the party flyers. Invite lots of dryads and nymphs. Don't say you're Satan, and don't say you're not. Hera is in charge of making sure than when Rove succeeds, it is actually I, your father and the original asskicking deity, who’s in that Yahweh suit. Hades—you got things going on the Lucifer project?”
“When the time comes, I’ll have him over for ‘tea’, don’t worry.” Hades chuckled from behind dark glasses.
“But what about Cheney?” Athena asks.
“Cheney? He’s been in my pocket for centuries. Don’t be silly. How did you think we got on the inside? Hera?”
She laughs, in the spine-chilling way only she can, at once seductive and frightening. “I call him ‘Dick’, you know.”
“And Putin? Everything’s set there, right?”
Ares snickered. “Don’t worry. Soon, Russia and her allies will be the only Christian nations on earth.”
What mean you, they put Lu in a Yahweh suit?
I’m just telling you what I hear, O Most Merciful.
Truly? In a Yahweh suit? Hoo-hoo. And he would run an American theocracy? Why not put him in me?
They would never attempt to put him in a suit of yours, Holy One. The American public wouldn’t understand. They think you ARE Satan, remember?
Ooooh, yes, yes. This is too wonderful, it is.
What do you mean?
Well, clearly they would have to get Yahweh out of the way. This would leave vast tracts of heaven undeveloped. And I have some ideas, I do, for a mall, and a large mosque, barbecue pits and a harem ...
You are the All-knowing One, sire, but I must tell you that I do not think they would have to get Yahweh out of the way to do this.
No? But he will never stand for an impostor running things, right out in the open like that.
Who would believe him? It would come down to a matter of credibility—and who’s more persuasive, Lucifer or Yahweh? Who has more people paid off in high places?
I see your point. I could come out and endorse the false Yahweh. This would raise my credibility here, while opening up new real estate options in heaven.
But what about Buddha? What about the others?
The Enlightened One is running around in a suicidal funk, eating handsful of barbiturates. I don’t think there’s any room for a compassionate deity anymore, especially one that transcends suffering. And the Olympians are content to eat barbecue and rake in the royalties from Troy. The Hindu deities, as you know, are working on a movie of their own. And Valhalla is really more of an ongoing orgy than anything else. There is no danger of competition.
Hooo-hoo! I am pleased. Keep me up to date on developments.
Yes, sire. Another virgin?
No, thank you. I’m full.
In the Black Market Relic Shop
You can’t verify that this is the Real Holy Prepuce?
Well, it could be, but maybe not. There’s no way to say without destroying it. Carbon dating. All that.
Who gave you this prepuce?
Coupla Italians. Said they nabbed it from some church. It was in a jewel-encrusted case.
What’s your opinion?
Looks like a prepuce. I mean, speaking as a mohel. Looks old, too. Speaking as a Professor of Paleoprepuciana and Holy Relics.
But no way to determine its age?
Not without destroying it. It’s old, that’s all I can say. Leathery.
But if it’s Jesus’ prepuce, wouldn’t it have magical powers?
What about a positive ID? Can we establish provenance?
I’m working on that. Put an ad in the relics bulletin.
(The doorbell jingles. A young man in a blue polyester suit walks in.)
Hiya, fellas. Sorry to barge in. Go right ahead with your conversation, I've got time.
Who are you, and why are you wearing these clothes?
I am Jesus of Nazareth. I’m here about the ad. I understand you have a black market prepuce, perhaps mine?
How do I know you’re really Jesus? I mean, come on, Jesus in polyester?
Look at the nail holes, man. Want to stick your finger in my spear hole?
Nah, nah. I believe you. Here—this look familiar?
Why yes, it does. I do believe that’s my old prepuce.
Your old one?
Sure. The one that the mohel took off when I was eight days old. I got a new one when I was resurrected. See?
(Unzips, takes out a messianically small penis.)
Hm. They do look similar. And you vouch for this one?
Yes. That’s my old one. No doubt about it. A boy never forgets his first prepuce.
There you have it, then. It’s authenticated.
You, ummmm, mentioned a reward.
What would Jesus need with a reward?
Look, you promised. $50 if someone could authenticate it.
I’ll need a letter of provenance.
Here. Had one made up.
OK, then. Here’s your money.
And look, Jesus.
You ever want to get rid of the new one, let me know. Your prepuce is in big demand. I could probably get, ohhh, twenty-thirty grand for it. I could even get a few thousand for some bloody or sweaty clothes, if you got any really old ones you don’t need. Robes, you know. None of the new stuff. Old crown of thorns might fetch ten grand.
Well, I’ll let you know. Right now the fifty is enough. I just want to, well…
What? You look embarrassed.
It’s for a girl.
Oh-ho! You’ve got a girl!
Dear Mullah Billdoug,
I spent three hours reading your Web Site last night, and I have to say, in all Honesty but also Brotherly Love, that I don't find it very Christian. What you wrote over the weekend about our great President, George Walker Bush, was way off base. He is not a Chimp Clone! And I've never heard about him having the kind of Sexual Dysfunction that you write of. If he doesn't have Marital Relations with his sweet wife Laura, that's because they've already had their children and such Animalistical Behavior is no longer an important part of their Marriage. That's all. You don't have to make it into some kind of sneering thing. Sometimes, Mullah Billdoug, with all the sneering you do, I start to think you must be some kind of Liberal. But then I think, no, Harold, that's not a Christian thought. And so I don't think it.
As for President Bush calling Satan "ma man," well--I'm sure you know as well as I do that our President is a Born-Again Christian who would never, never in a Million Years, not even in a Zero Year, talk to the Devil in that tone. He would boldly hold up a Cross and say "Begone, thou Foul Slinking Wretch!" Or some such. That's how you talk to Foul Slinking Wretches, especially Satanic Ones, when you're a Born-Again Christian and a Strong Leader.
And why do you say Satan comes to the White House every day anyway? Why do you say Satan loves Republicans? Why do you say Karl Rove performs unnatural homosexual acts on Satan in the Oval Office while George Walker Bush "chats up the secretaries" in the Outer Office? Why do you say Satan plays poker every Friday night with Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott, and Zell Miller, and then they all go down to the Strip Club and get Lap Dances from Naked Black Women whom they look upon with fascinated disgust and don't touch anywhere on their Shiny Black Bodies?
And why did you stop writing about Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? It seemed to me for a while you were setting aside your Heathen Pagan Muslim ways and coming into the Arms of the Lord--especially when you were quoting letters from some of the most internationally renowned Creationist Scientists in the country--but then you seemed to Backslide into Cynical Liberal Muslimism again. What happened?
Maybe you could talk about Jesus some more? Have you read about the discovery of His Holy Prepuce? That would make for some interesting Web Pages, I bet. And wouldn't get you into Hot Water with You Know Whom.
Yours in Christ,
Harold P. Fingernecker (retd.)
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Karl Rove Makes Obeisance
Satan strides up to the back door of the White House. The Marines recognize him instantly, of course--he's there practically every day--and wave him through. They don't even search his red leather fanny pack, the one with the cute little red forked tail hanging off it, that Karl made for him at Boy Scout camp one year. They have their orders. Nobody frisks Satan.
George W. is out in the outer office, chatting up the secretaries. Fortunately for the Republican Party, Satan knows, the secretaries are absolutely safe. The primitive cloning technology that produced him made it so Georgie can't get an erection without a special pill; and, well, he's never been particularly interested in sex anyway. This is a very good thing. After eight years of a pussyhound like Clinton in the White House, the American people needed a little morality, a guy who doesn't even fuck his wife. Clinton was way too smart to be president anyway: how's a guy going to listen to Satan if he's got higher than a 100 IQ?
"Hey, Satan," Georgie says. "How's ma man?" He gives his signature shit-eating grin, the one that his detractors say makes him look like a moronic chimpanzee.
"He in?" Satan says.
"Yeah, but he's kind of busy," Georgie says. "He and Dick are up to something. Something big, I think."
"Of course he is," Satan says. "That's what I'm here to talk to him about."
"Oh, right, right," Georgie says. "Well, you just go right on in, then, ha ha!"
Satan rolls his eyes a little as he opens the door to the Oval Office. There at the big desk sits Karl Rove. Dick Cheney is leaning over the table looking at some papers with him.
Karl jumps up. "Dad!" he cries. "Good to see you! May I service you?"
"Sure," Satan says. Karl comes over and takes Satan's rather large red veiny penis in his mouth, begins to fellate him. The other Dick looks away politely. He's no longer embarrassed by Satanic fellatio in the Oval Office. It's funny what you can get used to, if you see it often enough. But he figures it isn't polite to stare.
Satan doesn't really care, though. He ejaculates explosively and Karl swallows, then pulls his hanky out of his breast pocket and wipes his lips.
"So," he says when his voice works again, "did it work? Did your lights come on down there?"
"Worked like a charm," Satan says. "You're such a good boy. Why can't your brothers all be like you?"
Rove shrugs modestly. Beside him, Dick Cheney burns, but keeps smiling. Tries to empty his thoughts. No point pissing off Satan. Too much is on the line. Not just the election, but the destruction of the American democracy. It's a big gamble, but what isn't, with Satan? Always the high-roller. Always the earth-shaking stakes. A theocracy--ruled not by Yahweh but by the fallen Morning Star Lucifer in a Yahweh suit! What an idea! It's so crazy, Cheney thinks, it might even work.