“Please stand by for an important announcement. Due to the emergency, all cable and fiber optic systems will be suspended for several hours until order can be restored. Thereafter, (um, you want me to read that?), thereafter, BIG will provide all the normal programming activities of the extant media circus unless it is deemed subversive in any of the 132 categories of subversive activity or if it is on the list of un-enlightened deviant religions of disrepute, or on the list of so-called political parties not in the mainstream. We will provide you with all points-of-view but remember to turn on the laugh box so whenever you hear opposition clowns you will laugh automatically without a thought in the world, and the birds will sing to you until your doubts die like every good slave gives up all hope. And now um, uh, um, uh,… kill me quickly…”
Yow. That was weird. It’s been a few hours and maybe the broadcasts are up and running again, but everyone who speaks seems weird at the end. I don’t think anything is under control. Maybe I could walk down the stairs to the basement where there’s an entrance to the tunnel to the park. There’s an exit camouflaged with leaves under a rock with a periscope where I could probably emerge safely and look around and listen for a while and see if things are really as crazy as it seems on TV. Or maybe I should stay here and just listen for a while until things stabilize and clarify.
“This is a Special Report. We interrupt all programming for a special report: Yes, um, apparently while at a conference at an agricultural college where a lecture was to be given on ‘The Control and Prevention of Hoof and Mouth Disease’ the Vice President was attacked by a protester with a laser weapon of some sort. After the attack the Vice President could not be located. It appears that he was turned into a pile of ash. A DNA identification is being attempted. The attacker has escaped. More news when we have it…. We now return you to your normal programming.”
Oh geez, ‘normal programming’. What’s been normal. Oh geez, maybe if I go out and listen to people talking I’ll hear if any of this is real. Or maybe there’s total chaos outside.
I think I’ll turn to the vintage mystery channel where they have some very old, really mild detective stories where you never see any gore, and the clues are very obvious. They’re fun sometimes….
Hmm, I think I know who committed the murder: it was the wife of the sheep herder who bought the blue cheese at the village market before the sun went down and the dog failed to bark at his usual time when the postman came, and …. Oh no, not another bulletin…
“We interrupt all programming for a special report: The Vice President has been declared dead. Margaret, what happens now?”
“Tim, let me show you a graphic on the screen, and I’ll read:
“From the twenty-fifth Amendment: Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take the office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of Congress…”
“Well, OK, Margaret, this is pretty straight forward, and there shouldn’t be any problem. Right?”
“Well, Tim, normally not except that the President has made a bizarre nomination.”
“What do you mean?”
“The President has nominated ‘Zusoiti Gabpix’ who no one has even seen and yet the House and Senate seem ready to approve her…”
Ooops. That looks like trouble. But the Vice President doesn’t usually do much. Oh wait, can they arrest her for her crimes… um no, I guess not because she didn’t do those crimes in her own body? Yikes…
“… um, Margaret, you’re telling me there is a further complication?”
“Yes Tim, the President has issued a full pardon for all crimes that this unknown Zusoiti Gabpix has committed. And in our research we only find some sort of tax evasion charge, but the power of the pardon is pretty broad, and in “Ex Parte Garland (1867)” it says,’…the pardoning power extends to every offense against the law and may be exercised before legal proceedings are begun, or while they are pending, or after conviction and judgment.’ ”
This doesn’t sound good. I thought she would seize power the hard way and just declare herself “Dictator of the World.” But she’s giving herself all options from within and without. She has made herself a menace in the visible and invisible worlds it seems, but I’m still going to find that damn Mystery Channel and the frozen lasagna.
Everything should be fine for a while. The President has invited some famous rock stars to the White House for a concert and fund raising dinner for orphans and destitute union actors who have not managed to get major roles. The President is very grateful for his acting lessons and was promised a walk-on role in the next blockbuster movie just like the King of Jordan had a role in a Star Trek episode. In the meantime, the Vice Presidential nomination has been approved.