Friday, October 30, 2009

To Hell and Back

The Engineer and I were passing the time just as we had for the last two days in our dank eight-by-eight, concrete, windowless cell in the county lock-up.  "Go fish," I said.

"Oh, man," said The Engineer.

The monotony was broken when our pod warden announced that we had a visitor.  We were shown to a small room and the heavy, steel door clicked locked behind us.  The door at the other side of the room opened and we were greeted by our lawyer, a sullen old coot with wiry gray hair, a wrinkled shirt and a frayed tie.  He explained that he was a public defender and had been appointed to represent us. 

"This must be kind of neat for you getting to represent high profile clients like us," the Engineer said.  The public defender stared at us in total silence, looking depressed.

"Um, we are The Lawyer and The Engineer.  You know who we are, don't you?" I asked.

"No," responded our P.D.  "Why in the hell should I?"  He opened his file, licked his thumb and rifled through some documents.  "Why don't you boys tell me what happened--and make it quick.  I have twenty-seven other clients to see today that are just as deserving of my time as you."

"Fair enough," said The Engineer gesturing to me to relate the facts to our P.D.

"Where should I start?" I queried.

"At the damn beginning," quipped our sad-faced P.D.

"Right," I said.  "Here's what happened."

*     *     *

Disguised as UPS delivery persons, The Engineer and I walked into the lobby of the building that houses the studios of Fox News.  We were immediately greeted by a towering hulk with biceps like tree limbs.  He inquired who the package that The Engineer was holding was for.

"Glenn Beck, sir," said The Engineer.

"You know the routine," said the security guard.

We didn't know the routine.  The Engineer and I looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders and pressed on towards the elevators.

"Whoa," said the security guard.  "What do you think you're doing?  You go over there to that window, the clerk will sign for it and deliver it to Mr. Beck.  You can't just go up there to the studios.  Are you boys retarded?"

The Engineer whipped out his cell phone and handed it to the security guard.  The screen of the phone indicated that the contact being dialed was no other than Rupert Murdoch.  "Rupert said this might happen and for us to give him a call when we got here," said The Engineer to the security guard.

We could hear the voice on the other end of the phone as the security guard held it to his ear.  "Arg, who is this?"  The security guard explained himself and the situation.  "That so?  Well shiver me timbers.  Ye show them to Mr. Beck, or I'll be there, quicker than ye can say 'arg,' to slit ye from e'r to e'r, you scurvy bastard."  What the security guard didn't know is that The Engineer had programmed the number of our friend, a professional pirate impersonator, into his phone as "Rupert Murdoch." 

The security guard was all 'yes sirs,' and apologies, and handed the phone back to The Engineer.  We regarded the security guard with smug smiles as he glared at us.  "Follow me," commanded the security guard. Escorting us to the elevator he told us what floor we needed to alight upon and where to go from there.  He stared at us with hatred in his eyes as the elevator doors slid shut between us.  I thought to myself, if I never saw the likes of him again it would suit me fine.  I wouldn't be so lucky.

A vibrating, buzzing noise could be heard coming from the other side of the door, upon which was a star and the words, "Glenn Beck--A Real American Hero."  The Engineer and I put our ears to the door, and through the buzzing noise could hear voices.

"Oh, that feels soooo good, Bill."

"You like that, do you?"

"Yeah, I do."

"How about this?" The buzzing noise picked up in intensity, like it had been given extra juice.

"Oh, oh, yeah.  Do it.  Hard."

The Engineer and I jerked our heads away from the door, damning our ears.  I knocked on the door lightly.  The buzzing continued.  I knocked a little harder, and the buzzing stopped.

"Who is it?" said the unmistakable, buttery-smooth voice of Glenn himself.

The Engineer cleared his throat.  "Um, UPS.  Special delivery for Mr. Beck."

"Come in," said a different, more gruff voice.

Beck was seated with a barber's robe around him, and Bill O'Reilley stood behind him with hair clippers.  "Well, there we go, big-boy.  You're hair looks perfect as usual."

"Thanks, Billy," said Beck.

"Don't mention it," said O'Reilley.  "Remember what I told you.  Keep your head straight."

"Don't worry, Bill.  I got my med's all straightened out," Beck assured him.  Bill gave him a wink and an endearing shot across the chin with his fist.

"What the fuck are you two assholes looking at?" O'Reilley asked us.  "Get the hell out of my way or I'll show you what a real man is all about."  The Engineer and I made way to allow Bill to leave.

"Mr. Beck?" I asked.

"Of course, who else would I be?" he asked.  "You got something for me there?"

"Yes, sir," said The Engineer handing him the small cardboard box.

Glenn took it and opened it as quick as he could.  "Oh goody.  I love surprises."  From the box he held up two Ziploc bags full of dirt.  "What is this supposed to be?"

"I can answer that for you," I said.  "We know you really love this country.  I mean really love it, like it was another person, or something."

Glenn went misty eyed and silent.  His bottom lip stuck out and began to quiver.  He held his fist to his mouth in an attempt to fight back the tears that welled up in his blue eyes.  "I--I--I..."  The dam broke, and tears streamed down his fat cheeks.  "I love this country so much."

"Oh, no, no," said The Engineer.

"Ah, man, come on.  Stop it," I said.  "Don't cry.  It's not right."

"That's not the sort of thing people are supposed to cry about, for Christ's sake," said The Engineer.

"Here," I said handing Beck a Kleenex.  Beck dabbed his eyes as he collected his wits.  "Would you say that there is something magical--exceptional--about the ground we stand on here in America?"

"You know I would," said Glenn. 

"The bags have soil in them," I explained to Beck.  "One bag has American soil, and the other Mexican."  Glenn looked at the bags and then us like we were crazier than him.  I continued, "The two samples were collected about twenty feet from each other on either side of the Mexican-American border. Our question is, which bag contains American soil, and why is it better than the Mexican?"

"This should be easy," exclaimed Glenn.  "One sample comes from a complete crap-hole, and the other from the greatest country in the world."  He opened one bag, wet his index finger and collected a sample.  He sniffed the sample on his finger, dabbed his tongue to it, and rubbed it on his gums.  He did the same with the other bag.  With a big smile on his face he held up the winning bag and proclaimed it to be the American soil.  "As much as I love this country, there is no mistaking that the sweetness of this one is American dirt."

The Engineer laughed, and said, "You are wrong Mr. Beck.  They are both American soil, from my backyard where I have about fifteen chickens running around shitting all over the place."  We both did our best not to completely crack up, resisting falling to the ground laughing uncontrollably.

"Ha, ha, very funny," said Glenn, his teeth brown with dirt.  "You think you are going to get away with this?  I got a surprise for you, too."  He picked up the phone and said, "Security?"

"MAKE FOR IT!" I shouted.  The Engineer and I fell out into the hallway trying to keep our feet beneath us running for the elevator.  After charging fifty feet, for dear life, or way was suddenly blocked by four security guards, the one with biceps like tree trunks standing in front.  We slid to a stop, and made for the other direction.  Glenn was blocking our flight in that direction.  We had no choice, and made straight for the man-boy of Fox News.  I stiffed-armed Glenn as The Engineer put his shoulder into him as hard as he could, sending him flying backwards, toenails over buzz-cut.  He hit the ground with a thud as the sound of breath vacated his lungs.

With the guards in hot pursuit we slipped into the stair well, jumping four steps at a time, hoping not to break a leg or an ankle.  We stepped out on another floor, and ran to the other end of the hallway and made our way down a few more flights of stairs.  Our chests heaving with exhaustion we ran down another hallway, and jumped into an elevator that just happened to be open.

"Arg.  And who in the fuck do ye be?" asked Mr. Murdoch as the doors slid shut trapping the three of us together for the moment.

Trying to catch my breath I said, "UPS, sir.  Urgent delivery."  Rupert scowled at us.  The elevator stopped, and the doors opened.  The Engineer and I could not believe what we saw beyond the elevator.  It was the same auditorium that we had been chased to by Dick Cheney, and had interviewed The Prince of Darkness in.  A chill came over me.  The Engineer looked dumb-founded.  Rupert stepped out of the elevator and disappeared as the doors slid closed.

"Hit it, hit it, ground floor goddamnit," The Engineer implored.  The elevator stopped at least six times, people getting on it, all going to the ground floor with us.  We did our best to look natural, trying not to breathe heavily like our lives were in the mortal danger that they were.

After what seemed like an eon, the elevator came to a stop and opened to the lobby.  We could see the revolving doors fifty yards in front of us, and freedom beyond.  Doing our best to stay calm we stuck with the crowd, inconspicuously concealing ourselves.

"There they are!" screamed Glenn, his right eye swollen and blackened, his teeth still brown from the taste test.  "Get them, get them!" he squealed like his head would burst.  From our left the sortie of security guards came charging after us, their tazers drawn.  Turning our attention to the revolving doors ahead, our way had become blocked by Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Greta Van Susteren, armed with canisters of Super Shot Pepper Spray.

As if in slow motion, The Engineer and I looked at each other, gritted our teeth, and went stampeding to the light, straight for the shrews armed with pepper spray.  We yelled like men crazed in battle charging to certain death, but determined to face fate.  Coulter, Ingraham and Susteren stood their ground, drawing a bead on us.  The heavy sound of the hooves of the security guards where close up on us from behind.

As I yelled, "Freedom!" at the top of my lungs, we were hit by a torrent of pepper spray in front, and by thousands, upon thousands, of volts of tazer from behind, as The Engineer and I went crashing to the ground, eventually sliding to a stop on the marble floor, flopping about with our eyes on fire.

*     *     *

Our lawyer betrayed his thoughts and emotions with a look of befuddled amazement.  He looked back down at our file, and slowly shut it.  He looked back up at us, from me to the Engineer.  "We," he said, "are going to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, if we have to."

"Really?" I asked, optimism swelling in my heart.

"We are?" asked The Engineer, happy for the first time in days.

"No, we're not, numb-nuts," said our lawyer.  "I'm going to get you a deal, and you're going to plead guilty, be put on probation and do 250 hours of community service picking up trash on the highway.  Otherwise, we can get this set for trial while the two of you sit here for a few months, with bail set at $500,000.00 each."

"Yeah," I nodded.  Looking at The Engineer I said, "Let's take the deal."

"Right," said The Engineer, defeated.  "Let's take the deal.  I'm tired of playing fish." 

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