Monday, August 24, 2009

OediPOTUS Wrecks: Prologue

by Smitty

Character Listing


A Press Conference in the Rose Garden.

My fellow Americans. I have done a wonderful job, as you know, in spite of the naysayers. I have saved you from the threat of another failed President like Sphinxor, rescuing you out from under the bus of his tyranny, restoring the economy, renewing the place of the United States in the world. Thank you for coming here today, but please temper the adulation. One would not wish to grow egotistical in the process of serving such a flawed, but not entirely irredeemable country.

Now, I understand that some on the other side are continuing to spread misinformation, so I've called this conference to gather the straight dope.

Thomasina? As the senior member of the press corps, I'm sure that you've located the pulse of what you think is gnawing at the people. Please give us the unfiltered, no-spin details. You'll find me, as always, the soul of helpfulness.

Thomasina Helenson: Mr. President, peace be upon you. And also on the poor of the country, one in four of whom lack employment, thanks to the Sphinxor; while the drought destroys the harvest thanks to the weather; and trade is non-existent, thanks to the ill-will pent up against our land during the previous administration around the world.

We understand that you're but a mortal, albeit one of surpassing intellect and urbane upbringing.

We know that, lacking your wise counsel, things would be two to three times as bad, according to

However, we need more. It is not enough that you have saved the banks, and the auto industry, and fought valiantly to ensure fairness, justice, and equality for all Americans, taking the good fight into the teeth of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to Thwart Progress. We need action, and we need it quickly, to save us from the demagogues who, even now, stir up discontent against your wise policies, citing ancient documents whose words have lost all meaning.

OW: I feel your question. Let me respond. You may be sure that I knew of these haters, peddling falsehood and fear in an attempt to derail the recovery. No one feels the pain of the empty belly of the child in the bread line more than I. The pain is such that even the blessing of rest escapes me, in my anguish. I have sent the members of Congress to scour the planet in search of clues, to check against my internal grasp of what must be done. For example, Charlie Rangel has gone to the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic in search of ideas. Also, Chris Dodd has repaired to a shack in Ireland, and intends a stop by the Oracle, in Devon, England, in search of clues. The country is in the very best of hands.

TH: And here is your Chief of Staff, Ramen Lewis Cyphre, perhaps with a report.

OW: And what good news do you have for the American people, Ramen?

Ramen Lewis Cyphre: Great challenges will be overcome, so long as we remain united.

OW: Listening to my speeches on your iPod yields dividends, though we need to work on your pacing. Nevertheless, can you be more specific and forceful? The people hear you not, over the growling of the collective belly.

RLC: Can you not allow me to indulge my usual modesty? The news is somewhat…complex, and may digest better initially in confidence.

OW: Ramen, your usual demure behavior can not be given free reign in a situation this dire. The people suffer, and I with them, not the least of which due to these delays in communicating information. Out with it.

RLC: Fair enough. The report from Dodd is that his cottage needs a new roof, and Devon reports that we must "expel from the land…an old defilement we are sheltering. It is a deathly thing, beyond cure; we must not let it feed upon us longer."

OW: What is Devon on about? How do we rid ourselves of this…foe betting against Hope and Change?

RLC: Exile or death. Murder helped this foulness rise to become a threat.

OW: Murder? While I never had time to prosecute much, focusing on rising to the level where I could do battle with the naysayers, I would love to have a Perry Mason moment. Who is the victim, and when can we get a 'reliable' special prosecutor in from Chicago, just in case the truth becomes inconvenient?

RLC: President Jefferson Williams, your predecessor's predecessor.

OW: JW, Secretary of State Cthulia Williams' husband? Would that I'd had the chance to meet him. Poor, widowed Cthulia, who struggled nearly as hard as I do against the forces of conservative darkness in this land. I don't remember the details of the investigation. Didn't President Sphinxor find evidence of a terrorist plot and knock over a banana republic somewhere over that?

RLC: There was evidence and an invasion, yes. However, the Oracle seems to indicate that the case should be re-opened.

OW: OK, Mr. Cypher. You know that openness is the hallmark of my administration. Members of the press corps can filter out as they need to. Now, I'm sure you would not have come out here without facts at your fingertips: how did Williams die?

RLC: As the chief servants in the country are wont to do, Williams went to Martha's Vineyard, after Sphinxor was sworn in, to console his losing Vice President, Jay Pettifogger. There was a car accident, with only one survivor.

OW: Terrible. Did the survivor offer evidence?

RLC: Little.

OW: And?

RLC: Williams had cut his Secret Service detail down to the one car. There was an ambush at the Chappaquiddick ferry terminal. The guards were overwhelmed when attackers hit the car in a head-on, suicide attack.

OW: Tragic. Probably revenge over some foreign-policy thing we can't discuss right here, one expects.

RLC: Indeed. The evidence seemed to lead to Zambiniland, and President Sphinxor, in his bumbling way, made a cock-up of the whole situation.

OW: Sphinxor's cock-up; our arse. Once more, I must step in and wipe up after the Sphinxor. The Oracle doesn't lie. We must pursue this threat to the end, wherever the facts take us. Who knows? There could be another sleeper cell waiting to take me out. Chasing down Williams' killers could prove critical to preserving my own safety.

Members of the press, I think this news trumps whatever trivial questions you may have. Feel free to take up any further questions with the Press Secretary, Lars Gibbon. Thank you.

Press departs

Next: Scene I

Copyright 2009 by Christopher L. Smith

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