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The Vast Configuration of Things


Somewhere in a hidden aerie atop the Laramie mountains of Wyoming a hunched-over, crippled form of a man wriggles in his wheelchair. He incoherently grumbles at the flickering light of a television, which flashes hyperkinetic images of napalm bombings interspersed with amputee porn. He bursts into a fit of screaming rage.

"Manuel!?! Goddammit!! Where's my unguent?!"

A small Latino man scurries in from the room's only door.

"Here you are, Sir", he says, handing the decrepit man a small tube.

"Manuel?", the contorted form inquires.

"Yes, Sir."

Did you know that I was once Vice President of these United States?"

"Yes, Sir."

And did you know they tried to arrest me for fulfilling my duties of that office in protecting this nation?"

"Yes, Sir."

The old man nods off for a second.


"Huh, wha- what the hell's going on here?"

"You drifted off again, Sir."

"What were we going to name it, Manuel?"

"Your daughter's son, Sir?"

"No, for chrissakes, not that seed from the turkey baster! What were we going to name Eye-rack? Halliburtown or some such shit?"

"Cheneysville, Sir."

"Cheneysville", the old man muses, "Yes, I quite like that."

"Very catchy, Sir."

"Don't you fucking condescend to me, Sanchez. I'm Dick 'Fucking' Cheney! I shot a friend in the face just to see if I could get away with it", he roars with delight.

The laughter turns into a coughing fit. He regains his composure and ruminates.

"George Bush was not a leader. That's what did him in. Oh, I don't mean any disrespect to him, God bless him. George was a man of high ideals, so called, but ideals without common sense can ruin a country. Now, you take the election here of Obama... you know, that fellow that sits around all day figuring out how to take the white man's money and give it to the coloreds... I happen to know he wasn't even born in the United States, but he comes here and we're building a political shrine to him. Why? You see, if you play ball with some terrorists and redistribute the rich man's wealth, you can get a shrine built to you in this country."

"But what does that get us? A discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty, working class. And all because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Barack Hussein Obama stir them up and fill their heads with a lot of impossible ideas. Sentimental hogwash, I say."

The door opens again and George W. Bush enters. Cheney looks up and snarls.

"You need some more money, Junior?"

Bush snickers and nods.

"Look at you. You used to be so cocky. You were going to go out and conquer the world. You once called me 'a warped, frustrated, old man'. What are you but a warped, frustrated middle-aged man? A miserable little toady crawling in here on your hands and knees and begging for help. No securities, no stocks, no bonds, no country, no empire, no heir. Nothin' but a miserable little brother and a $50 million bounty on your head."

Cheney chuckles, "You're worth more dead than alive!"


He sits in silence for a moment. Bush begins to fidget.

"Manuel", the old man hollers, spinning excitedly in his wheelchair, "Get my waterboard kit ready. And grab me my shotgun! We're going to have us a good ole Wyoming hoedown."


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