Characters: Scalia, Bush, Cheney, Rather, Brokaw, Jennings, Lehrer, Rice, OíReilly, Clarence Thomas
Scene One: A huge ball of dung suddenly appears on a flat plain. A trio of dung beetles scurry closer. (This species of Scarabaeidae Americanus has evolved human facial features, except for their probosces and antennae.)
SCALIA (excited): Mama mia! Thatís a spicy meat-a ball!
CHENEY: I never seen such a f***en sight!
BUSH: I love freedom!
CHENEY: Whereíd it come from?
SCALIA (crossing himself with three legs): Itís-a gift-a from Deus!
CHENEY (teary): We owe it all to you, Antonin! If not for you--
SCALIA: You think Iím-a gonna letta the Democrazia getta the meatball? Thatís-a my meatball!
The trio scuttle to the dung ball colossus. Straining to look up, they rest in awed silence in its huge shadow, blotting out the sun.
CHENEY: How we gonna spin this? We need help!
SCALIA: Letís-a call Clarence. He like-a the meat-a ball.
BUSH: Letís call Dad! Heíll parachute right into it!
SCALIA: Letís-a call Rummy. He like-a the meat-a ball.
CHENEY: This is f***en big! We gotta think big! (Cheney rears up, rests on his black, shiny abdomen, his head cradled in three feet in the pose of The Thinker.)
BUSH: Letís blow it up! Ka boom! Letís call Mom! She wonít pollute her beautiful mind worrying about who goes ka boom!
SCALIA: Letís-a call Condie. She like-a the meatball.
CHENEY (snapping three feet at once): The media! They can spin this! They can spin anything!
SCALIA: Doe-na call Powell. He no like-a the meat-a ball!
Scene 2: Hoardes of dung beetle reporters descend on the wondrous dung ball. A little army of technician beetles in vans set up sound and light equipment, test camera angles. Other beetles make up Brokaw, Jennings, Rather, Lehrer.
As filming begins....
RATHER: Ladies and gentlemen, this is unprecedented in our history.
BROKAW: This trio of leaders will surely be called, Our Greatest Generation.
JENNINGS: Not to put too fine a point on it, but this may well be the most astonishing ball of dung spun in the past two million years, ey!
LEHRER: ...And later in the show we will interview Kofi Annan about the spreading insurgency against the provisional governmentís allocation of dung ball resources.
RATHER, JENNINGS, BROKAW, LEHRER (solemnly): Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States....
BUSH (walking on his hind legs up to the podium, abdomen trailing in the dust): My fellow Americans, Coalition Coleoptera, and all Telocoprids serving bravely at home and abroad, it is my solemn duty to inform you that we are in a state of war with all the other beetles who have laid false claims to our ball of dung.
All the beetles wave their antennae wildly, electrically buzzing their excitement.
BUSH (continuing): Even as I speak, our military forces are deploying in foreign lands so that we need not face dangers at home. To those of you who are concerned, I say, go shopping....
Continued electric buzzing....
BUSH (after a beat): But, let us never forget that only the true God, in whose image we are made, could give us a magnificent ball of dung like this.
Bush raises his prickled proboscis like an elephantís trunk so all can see his little smirky mouth.
BUSH (after a beat): We have faced dangers in the past, and we have prevailed. Nothing will tarnish our bright star of freedom. We will prevail again. Because I know the American beetle....Our reputation will not be besmeared, besmirched, smirched, mirched, mulched, hed, ah, er, by a few, ah, outriders, outliars, innies and outies.
Because we are a good beetle. We are going to spread that ball of dung over the world. All beetles everywhere will benefit, because our dungball is not ours to give, but a gift from God.... It is not true that Halliburton will have sole bidding rights. It is not true that...
CHENEY (in the wings): Er, George...
BUSH (to cameras--): ĎScuse me. (Holds forefoot over mic, but words leak through.)
CHENEY: Maybe you better can it.
BUSH: I was just getting my mojo...
CHENEY: Youíre straying from the script! Stick to the f***en script!
BUSH (stamping three legs at a time): You never let me do what I want!
RICE (also in wings; sweetly batting antennae): Georgie.
BUSH: Et tu, Condie?
RICE: The sunís coming up, Georgie. We gotta roll that thing.
SCALIA (from wings; wistfully): Thatís a spicy meat-a ball, George.
BUSH: Awright. Awright. To cameras, again: Well, ah, in conclusion, Letís roll!
JENNINGS (to his audience): You heard it first here.
RATHER: You heard it first here.
BROKAW: You heard it first here.
JENNINGS: This has been a special report.
BROKAW: This has been a special report.
RATHER: This has been a special report. And I just want to say, if my President wants me to stand in the front line of battle, just tell me where to stand. We are at war, and I am ready to sacrifice the last drop of my yellow, pus-like blood.
LEHRER: This has been a special report. Continuing our coverage of the dayís events, Homeland Security Secretary Ridge refused to comment on the recent changes in the color-alert system, in spite of the fact that many dung beetles have expressed confusion. So, to review, from most dangerous to least, the new colors are: Fuchsia, Taupe, Mauve, Magenta, Coral. (Lehrer looks perplexed, taps ear-piece--) Ah, excuse me, that was Taupe, Mauve, Fuchsia, Coral, and Ecru. (Taps ear-piece again) Ah...and that was from least likely to most likely.
Lehrer appears distracted as a huge dust storm appears on the horizon. Lehrer, Brokaw, Rather, Jennings watch in gape-mouthed horror as the dreaded OíReilly Titanicus Bug emerges from the dust storm, crashes into the news vans, upturning and scattering them. The OíReilly Titanicus chomps Lehrerís head off, making its signature liblib liblib sound as it swallows.
Rather is the first to scuttle. With OíReilly Titanicus in hot pursuit, Rather, Brokaw and Jennings make tracks, their antennae wildly beating S.O.S. on the tepid air.
In another corner of the field, SCALIA, BUSH, CHENEY, RICE, RUMMY, CLARENCE and hoardes of mediacrats begin to spin the dung ball, butting their tank-like heads against it, while dexterously manipulating with their forefeet.
CHENEY: Where we pushing this f***en thing?
RICE: Load it on the Condoleeza! Itís the only ship big enough for this much dung!
CHENEY: Then what?
RUMMY: Sell it to the Japanese!
CHENEY: Theyíll send us Sonys in return!
RICE: Seikos, Citizens, Panasonics!
RUMMY: Lexus SUVís are nifty!
SCALIA: Sell it to Italianoes!
RICE: Gucci bags, not for the thrifty!
RUMMY: And sleek Ferraris, good for cruising!
RICE: Cruising missiles, good for bruising!
RUMMY: Little beetles out to play
Wonít live to see another day!
CHENEY: Donít sell it to the f***en French!
RUMMY: Wimpy wusses, beat their asses!
RICE: Like those ScíArabs at Abu Ghraib!
BUSH: Can I come, too? Can I eat, too?
CHENEY: Keep it from the f***en Chinese.
RUMMY: Noodle-eaters, monkey-eaters!
BUSH: I heard that they have little peters!
CHENEY: Only those who think like us
Are good enough to share the booty!
RICE: Some will say weíre being snooty....
RUMMY: Letíem say what say they will!
Only those who love the smell
Are good enough to show and tell!
RICE: Who couldnít love the flagrant fragrance?
RUMMY: I do believe itís getting bigger!
CHENEY: Itís getting bigger as we roll it!
RUMMY: I do hope we can still control it!
THOMAS (softly; to Scalia): Do you think I might say something now?
SCALIA (with one forefoot over his mouth; making a shushing sound):
Not now, Clarence. Be a good-a boy.
CHENEY: Itís taking up the f***en world!
RICE: Big enough to feed the world!
CHENEY: But not the f***en Frenchie-stenchies!
Not the f***en Scarab-Arabs!
Not the f***en Chinese asses--
RICE: --Africans, or Latin masses!
CHENEY: Letíem eat cake!
RUMMY: Not the Commie-Pinko crew!
BUSH: How Ďbout me? Can I eat, too?
Gary Corseri's work has appeared on PBS-Atlanta, and in DissidentVoice, CounterPunch, CommonDreams, AxisofLogic, The Village Voice, New York Times, Redbook and elsewhere. His novel, Holy Grail, Holy Grail, is the only Arthurian legends-based book set in medieval Japan and modern Atlanta. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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