Saturday, September 09, 2006

Eightfold Noble Path: Part 2, Ethical Conduct

Hiss at the squirrel family in The Mayakovsky Tree. Turn your back and fix the sun like a monocle into your gaping eye! Spit gargles in your belly, into the back of your throat -- a shocking hiss at the vacuum cleaner chasing you, the vacuum cleaner unplugged and arrogant and very, very bad. Hiss at the yoga mat unfurled on the living room carpet. At strangers who come through the front door or back door. A footfall crushes, stumbling, your wicked, broad-beaded tail in the dark when you're hiding from the rain under the ottoman. Hiss at the dog, Tytan, who appears out of nowhere chewing his infernal potato chips. You chased away the pizza delivery driver walking beneath the window.

Put in charge of the WJM's election-night programming, Mary is tested when a blizzard completely suspends election coverage. The crew threatens to mutiny, Rhoda's new boyfriend takes an interest in Mary, and the newsroom preoccupies itself with the impending Teddy Awards.

Condoleezza Rice wants to steal my food. Yesterday I caught her sneaking around the refrigerator, making a beeline for my salubrious dishes on the floor.

She tried to change the subject, but I know the Secretary of State came to take my food. She said, "Shimmy, I'm sure there are people who thought it was a mistake to fight the Civil War to its end and to insist that the emancipation of slaves would hold. I know there were people who said, 'Why don't we get out of this now, take a peace with the South, but leave the South with slaves?'"

I led her out the back door, where she could eat leaves on the back porch, if she wants. Anything but my Nature's Variety Prairie Brand Salmon and Brown Rice. Don't touch my fucking food. I mean it.

I said to the Secretary of State: "I couldn't agree more. We've known for a long time that the Iraq War is now a civil war. Of course, war critics such as the Quakers and the late Pope John Paul II supported the 19th-century U.S. slave economy and are even worse than Nazi appeasers. Now leave my apartment. The State Department should be protecting my food -- not trying to take it away from me."

"The Quakers and Pope John Paul II are like people who thought the Declaration of Independence was a mistake," Condoleezza Rice said as she walked out the door.


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