The Descent of Dan

by J.B. Hood

He was about to bust the game open with a Bishop sacrifice on h7 when the telephone rang. At first, he tried to ignore it. Few things were more annoying than the phone. Probably another biscuit-lipped, IQ-66 tele-spook trying to sell him something. But it could also be his publisher, and that was one call Dan didn't want to miss. He glanced at his screen and sighed.

"Excuse me, Caissa."

"Of course," she replied.

He turned to answer the phone, knocking a copy of Finnegan's Wake onto the CD player as he did so. Ravel's Daphne et Chloe, which had been coursing smoothly through the First Movement, now skipped into the frenzied Second and, like that, Dan Acumen's tranquil home became bedlam.

"Illegitimati," he muttered. He rescued the CD, turned off his stereo and picked up the phone.

"What?" he barked. "I mean, hello?"

"Hello, Einstein," came the reply. "How's the universe this morning?" It was Steve Norman, one of his last remaining friends. Steve's IQ was a modest 150.

"Oh, hi, Steve. In future, please don't call me Einstein. He was a vastly overrated media creation. And a suckpoop. If you must compare me to great brains of the past, please reference Nietzsche, Shakespeare or Plato."

"Suckpoop?" asked Steve.

"Yes. Similar in meaning to 'ass-kisser,' a suckpoop is one who adoringly laps up the crap spewing from the Zionist anus."

"I see."

"No," Dan replied with a sigh, "I'm sure you don't. But there it is."

"Did I catch you at a bad time?" Steve asked. "You sound a little . . . flustered."

"Well, actually, I was playing with -- "

"Ah, gazing at a heavenly body this morning, are we?"

"No, no," Dan replied. "I was playing with Caissa."

"Caissa? Jesus. Haven't you been diddling around with her a bit much lately?"

"Nonsense," Dan returned. "She is the finest companion a man of intellect and logic could hope to have."

"Yeah, if she had tits."

"That is no way to speak of my chess program."

"Well, why didn't you?" Steve asked. "Program her with tits, I mean?"

"Tits. Steve, your obsession with the female mammae is, to say the least, disturbing. It borders on the perverse."

"What, have you gone gay?"

"Negatory," Dan stated. "No peter-puffer, I. It's just that I refuse to let the Jew media turn me into yet another sex-addled puppet like the rest of AmeriKwa."

"Say what?"

"I'm saying there is a time and place for everything -- tits included. It's just that right now I have more important things on my mind. You, however, seem only too eager to join the moronic masses mesmerized by mammo-vision. Those hapless twits kept perpetually distracted from real issues -- life-threatening issues -- by a pair of silicon-bloated jubblies on the Hebrew boob-tube."

"You really are anti-Semitic, aren't you?"

"Yes, thank you, I am."

"But . . . why?" asked Steve. "How can the brainiest guy I know be such a bigoted, racist, anti-Semite? Why does everything have to revolve around race?"

"Because everything does," Dan replied, simply.

Steve paused, obviously wrestling with strong emotions. Finally, he said: "I just . . . I just don't get it."

"I know you don't, Steve," Dan replied. "But they do. It's basically the old shell game, but with a distinctly Levantine twist: while distracting us with increasingly greater doses of sex, and passing legislation that permits perversion of every stripe, they pump the country full of nigs, nogs, and pollywogs -- the better to dilute our race -- and dismantle our Constitution so we can't protest their program."

"That's why you don't like tits?"

"Erroneous conclusion, thou cringing catamite of hell," Dan replied. "I love tits. Especially creamy, white Anglo-Saxon tits. Tits aren't the point. The point is that, thanks to the last 35 years of Televitz and Hollyweird, it's now perfectly permissible to fuck anyone or anything you want -- girls, boys, dogs, American pies -- just don't look up long enough to question what's going on."

"Oh, please -- "

"And don't even begin to notice that our new state religion is Negro Worship. All hail the Mighty Sambo, and y'all bes' jes' bend obuh an' like it. And don't ask why you're not allowed to ask why, either. You can piss on the cross, outlaw Santa Claus and burn the flag all day long -- but don't ever let slip the dreaded N-word or even question the Holocaust. They'll lock you up."

"Whatever," Steve said, sighing again. "I guess asking you to come out and chase secretaries with me tonight is out of the Q, eh?"

"Not at all," Dan replied. "I'd be happy to join you on your never-ending quest for the female pudenda -- just not tonight."

"Why not?"

"Because it is Thursday night," Dan said, "and I know that on Thursday nights you insist on flinging yourself at the denizens of Morrie's Cove."

"What the hell's wrong with Morrie's?"

"It is ein yahoodinhaus," Dan replied. "Packed to the nostrils with hebes, yids, kikes and other greasy hook-nosed types, all yammering away about how to filch still more money from the hypnotized goyish cattle. The very sight of them makes me retch."

"Oh, come on, man," Steve said. "Pussy's pussy..."

"Again, negatory. Pussy is most assuredly not just pussy. If I ever woke up next to one of those camel-faced cunts, I'd stick a toilet plunger down my throat. And use it."

"OK, forget it. You're hopeless."

"Look, Steve, if you would only chase white, European females, I'd come along. But your lemming-like rush over the cliff of miscegenation not only puzzles me, it repulses me. Your children will all look like Bullwinkle, and they'll have nothing but contempt for you. Besides, I have a novel to finish."

"Oh, yeah. Your sci-fi thing, right?"

"No, no. Finished that weeks ago."

"Well, then. No need to stay cooped up tonight, right?"

"Actually, I'm working on another one -- an allegorical tale of aliens invading earth. Clever, greedy, ruthless aliens who dress up like normal humans and go among us seeking whom they might devour. It's almost finished."

"Then you can afford to break out for one night. And we won't go to Morrie's."

"No, really, I'd better not."

"What is it now? No, don't tell me, I think I can guess: you don't want to harm any of those little gray cells with beer, correct?"

"Ehh . . . yes. Correct."

"Look, Dan, I know you've got this marvelous brain -- hell, everyone since grade school has known -- but, still. Does that mean you have to sit around the house and admire it all day?"


"Dude, you're 29, not 92. Come on, you've been shut up in that apartment of yours the past six months working on your eleventh or twelfth novel, or whatever, playing computer chess and surfing racist web sites. Isn't it about time you took a break, got out among real people? You've earned it."

"No. Thanks, Steve, but I just can't."

"And Caissa is waiting."


"Dan, you're an android. An anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic, genius android. You make Mr. Spock look like Hugh Hefner."

"Why, thank you, Steve. I appreciate that."

"I know you do. That's what's really scary." He paused, waiting for a reply. When none came, he said, "Oh well. Can't say I didn't try."

"I know," Dan replied. "And I do appreciate your misguided efforts, Steve, but . . . maybe this weekend we'll do something."

"Yeah, something wild and crazy like the Art Museum, or maybe even -- dare I say it? -- the Planetarium!"

"An excellent suggestion, Steven. There is hope for you yet."

"Beam me up, Scotty. There is no life on this planet."

"Over and out," Dan said, chuckling. He hung up the phone and returned to Caissa.

The Bishop sac on h7 ripped open her Kingside and the follow up Queen sac on g8 led to a mate-in-5 with his Knight and Rook. She promptly resigned and congratulated him by offering him a hummer, which Dan politely declined. His ELO rating was now 2711.

* * *

That evening, as he watched a PBS broadcast of "The Ascent of Man," Dan Acumen reached for his root beer and bobbled it (although a consummate chess player, he was not the most graceful of souls). He caught the root beer but accidentally hit a button on his remote control, switching channels to one of the network stations. From a scholarly look at evolution and the rise of homo sapiens, Dan was instantly transferred to a show called "Gimme a Break."

And he sat there, transfixed.

Dealing with life from an IQ of over 200 had conditioned Daniel P. Acumen to avoid most television shows whenever possible, and network programming altogether. He was unfamiliar with such household names as Roseanne Barr, Halle Barry, and Martin Lawrence. The closest he came to watching chimps copulate was Wild Kingdom.

Now, as he sat gaping in horror at his television, he knew why he'd been reluctant to buy one in the first place. It had taken his alleged friend, Steve, several years to talk him into getting a TV. He'd finally yielded, but only to get Steve off his back.

And, now, here he was, absolutely riveted. Glued to the tube in horrified fascination, as sit-coms and newscasts danced in his brain. He would remain that way until 11:00 p.m., when he finally fell into a troubled sleep.

* * *

The next morning, Dan booted up his computer and loaded the Caissa program, which he'd created several months earlier. He'd modified his Compaq with a voice synthesizer and had programmed Caissa to respond verbally to over 1,000 spoken commands. One of which was:

"Good morning, Caissa."

"Good morning, handsome."

"I'd like a game, please."

"And I'd like your body, Dan."

"Not now, darling. Pawn to King Four, please."

He normally beat her within 40 moves, even though he'd designed her for International Grandmaster level play. Still, she was the only real challenge he had anymore. That and the telephone, which now began ringing in his ear.

Dan turned down the Ravel and reached for the hated device. Just as he was picking up the receiver, an awful realization swept over him: Ravel was sounding a bit . . . maudlin this morning. A bit mushy. Perhaps it was the headache he suffered. Dan had felt weird all morning -- dizzy, light-headed and . . . fuzzy, ever since his exposure to prime-time TV last night. Nonsense, of course; he was probably just coming down the flu. That would account for the cerebral fog.

"Hello?" he said.

"'Lo, Danny-boy, howaya?"

It was Mort Stein, his New York agent. Dan detested Stein for more reasons than one, yet he had to deal with him; there were no gentile literary agents left in Jew York. Stein's IQ was only about 135 -- dumb for a yid.

"Oh, hello, Mort. How are things in Babylon?"

"Good news, kiddo," the agent said, leering. "Nescient House has bought an option on your book."

"Really? Which one?"

"Ha!" the agent laughed.

"Mort? Which one?"

"Come on, you meshugganeh, cut the clowning. They wanna know which rights we're willing to -- "

"Mortimer," Dan said, "which one?"

"You're serious, aren't you? You feeling all right?"

"Fine, fine, I just . . . I don't recall . . . what was the title?"

"The title?" Stein gurgled. "Are you . . . on something, Dan? You been into the nose candy?"

"No, no, it's just that -- "

"So it's the booze, huh? You Irish are all alike . . ."

"Wrong, putz. I don't drink. It's just that I can't remember the -- "

"Eye on Pleides," said Stein. "It's the one about the . . . well, you know the story, of course."

"The story?" Dan asked. "Oh, yes, of course. The story. Heh."

"Dan, you don't sound well at all. Maybe you oughtta -- "

"Mort, do you like Ravel?"

This momentarily silenced the tele-hebe, as he struggled to understand what his client had asked. Finally, it dawned: "Ravel? You mean the composer? What's he got to do with anything?"

"Do you like him, his music?" Dan persisted.

"Well, yeah, I guess. Personally, I like Kenny G a lot better. I thought Ravel was your favorite."

"My . . . favorite."

"What the hell's got into you, kiddo? You sound spaced. You getting enough sleep?"

"Sleep. Yes. I'm -- I'm sorry, Mort. I think I'm . . . coming down with the flu. Or something."

"Ah, the flu," Stein said. "No wonder. Well, fix yourself some chicken soup, go to bed and get some rest. See a good Jewish doctuh, they're the best. And don't worry about your next book; we can push the deadline back."

"Next book. Right. I'll . . . I'll talk to you later, Mort. Bye."

With that, Dan Acumen hung up the phone and stood tottering on his feet. Next book? What the hell was this fool babbling about? Dan shook his head and staggered back to his computer. And Caissa. Ah, Caissa. Yes, she was the only thing that made sense anymore.

And she beat him. Soundly. First time ever.

* * *

But, there was a first time for everything, right? It was bound to happen eventually, and didn't really mean anything. After all, he was coming down with the flu. Or something.

Still, over the next few days, Dan found himself turning away from his computer, his work, and the beloved Caissa for, of all things, television. And not the PBS station, either, but network. Prime Time. His dizziness increased commensurately.

One morning not long thereafter, he decided that, indeed, Ravel was a bit much. A bit too sentimental. Ditto for Debussy, Chabrier and Dukas.

Moreover, he discovered what appeared to be the first draft of a manuscript -- a novel -- in one of his desk drawers. It was pure gobbledygook, all about space aliens coming to earth, with huge noses and sheeny-shiny hair, and trying to palm themselves off as humans. And succeeding. Even though the humans outnumbered them 50-1, the aliens were able to fool them and gradually gain control of the planet's means of communication. This allowed them to disarm the host population by spreading anti-human propaganda in the guise of "tolerance" and "anti-hate" messages. Their influence was everywhere -- newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, movies, commercials, music -- even the schools. Especially the schools.

When some of the humans finally figured out what was going on, viz., that the aliens weren't merely after communications technology and money, but had also infiltrated the government and were enacting interplanetary immigration laws designed to annihilate the host population, the loyal humans protested. But since questioning the aliens amounted to "hate speech," they were denounced as "intolerant," "anti-alien," and "haters" and rounded up by the Tolerance Police.

Ridiculous, of course. No human population in any country could be so easily cowed, like so many lily-livered sheep. He couldn't imagine who had written the book or why.

"And another thing," he told his friend Steve that afternoon, on the phone, "I realized something today that makes me very ashamed."

"Really?" Steve asked with a chortle, certain Dan was teasing him. "And what's that?"

"That I've been a racist, Steve. I've been . . . intolerant."

"Well, shyeah. And? Your point?"

Dan blinked repeatedly, looking down his nose at the phone. "My point is that it is wrong. Terribly wrong to take an interest in oneās own race, ethnicity, or heritage. It's . . . why, it's exclusionary."

"Say again?"

"We're all one family," Dan told him. "There are no races. don't you understand? We're all members of the" -- and here his voice thickened, as if he was about to cry -- "the human family."

"Right, right. So, you ready to go out and score some pussy to -- "

"We are all one," Dan insisted. "Black, white, brown, it doesn't matter. don't you see?"

"Well, yeah," Steve replied. "I mean, that's what I've always . . . uh . . . thought."

"Thought? You must believe, Steve. You must be told. Everyone must be told. We are the Melting Pot. We're meant to blend, to merge, to meld. To become one huge, brown, loving family -- no races, no ethnicities -- like a vast and mighty bowl of oatmeal, Steve. As long as racist, overprivileged white people exist, there will never peace or justice."

This seemed to make sense to Steve, though he'd never heard it put so boldly before. Still, Dan's message of racial unity jibed with everything he'd ever learned in school, and it seemed in perfect accord with everything he'd ever seen on TV, so it must be right. And, yet . . .

. . . and yet, it didn't sound quite right when spoken aloud like this. In fact, it sounded --

"And we must nurture the Black Man," Dan said, and Steve could hear the capital letters in his voice. "We must lend him a helping hand. And what price the Jew? Look what we've done to them! God, I feel so guilty..."

"Uh huh. Well, sure, I mean -- "

"In fact, we must bring every underprivileged, Third World victim into this country and give them the . . . . the freedom and democracy they are denied. We must open our hearts and homes to them, Steve. We whites have been hoarding the world's wealth and privilege -- unearned privilege, I might add -- for far too long. We must accede to the demands of humanity."

"Uh, yeah, look, I gotta get go -- "

"And one more thing," Dan said, "one more very important thing."

God, what now? Steve wondered. Yet, to hear his friend finally coming to his senses and abandoning hate was so encouraging, Steve decided to be patient. "Go on..."

Dan drew in his breath and stated: "I need a woman."

"Now you're talking."

"Maybe even a wife."

"A what?"

"They are God's gifts, Steve. Delightful creatures, really. I don't know how I ever got along without one."

"So, you want to get . . . married?"

"Touchdown!" Dan screamed.

"Huh? Hello? Dan, are you -- "

"Rams just scored again!" he trumpeted. "It's a classic seesaw battle!"

"What're you . . . are you watching football? On TV?"

"Hell, yes!" Dan shouted. "Best investment I ever made. I can't thank you enough for talking me into buying one. Remember? You said it would help me -- "

" -- 'get in touch with the real world,' yes, I remember. Well, I guess you're rejoining society in a big way. That's a good sign. Oh, by the way, how's your next book coming along? The one about the aliens who -- "

"Fumble!" Dan Acumen screamed. "You see that? Ha! Rams got the ball right back again. Incredible!"

Then Steve heard a hissing, sucking noise in the background.

"What's that sound?" he asked. "Dan? Dan, can you hear me?"

"Um, um, hold on . . . lemme find an ashtray."


"Yeah, for my Camel."

"You're smoking?"

"Sure. Hey, it goes great with beer. Besides, I needed a new hobby, my man."

"New hobby? Dan, what the hell's happ -- "

"INTERCEPTION?! Warner, you idiot! Goddammit, we need a new quarterback -- a black one. Jeff Blake, maybe, or Kordell Stewart. Someone with some fucking talent! Only blacks have talent, everybody knows that!"

Steve heard Dan throw the phone on the floor and storm into the living room, where he continued coaching the tube. A few moments later, Steve shook his head and hung up the phone.

* * *

The following morning, at 5:15 a.m., Steve's telephone rang.

"Rise and shine!" screamed the voice in his ear. "Time to get up, get out 'n get at it!"

"Who . . . is this . . . Dan?"

"'Course it's me, lugnut. Come on, get your funk on. We're going downtown to protest white racism."


"White racism! A redundancy, of course: there is only one kind of racism, and that's white. White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, heterosexual, gentile racism! Intolerance! Hegemony! There's a big NAACP/Worker's Party protest downtown at First National Bank, and we're gonna be there."

"Dan, I have to be at work by -- "

"Don't worry about work, I've already taken care of that for you."


"You know," Dan continued, "you really should consider working elsewhere, Steve. Your boss is a racist. I know, I just talked to him. All I did was call him up this morning to -- "

"You called him?" Steve choked. "This morning?"

"Sure. To tell him you'd be late."

"Hew -- you didn't. You couldn't. You -- "

"No need to thank me, Steve. Just doing a pal a favor. And speaking of pals, did you catch "Friends" last night? They had a guest appearance by Ja'mal Whatitbe, and he was getting Courtney Cox in bed just when . . . Steve? Steve, what the hell are you crying for? Steve?"

And the phone went dead.

"All right, don't go protesting, you white lackey," said Dan. With that, he slammed he phone onto the hook.

* * *

Later that day, while his friend Steve labored under the cruelest glares an employer ever leveled at an employee, Dan Acumen went shopping. First, he trashed all his classical CDs and records (old dead white men music) and made room on his shelves for the new CDs and tapes.

Snoop Doggy Dog, LL Cool J, Dr. Dre, Coolio, Puff Daddy, Dilated Peoples, DJ Clue, DJ Quik, 2Pac, Raekwon, Memphis Bleek, The Murderers, Xzibit, Bloodz, Tone-Loc, Tear Da Honky Up Thugz, So Def Bootie Blam, Da Muffugas, NWA and more now adorned the shelves in his living room. A similar fate befell his books: Turgenev and Tolstoy were replaced by Sheldon and Steele; Hemingway and Faulkner gave way to Robbins and Krantz. Even James Joyce was abandoned in favor of Oprah. And the television stayed on always.

"Mort," he said to his agent one day, "I am in love."

"Oh, with your computer? Yeah, I've heard all about that. Great PR. Eccentricities like that are always good for -- "

"What the hell are you talking about? I mean a real woman. An angel . . ."

"Uh oh," said Stein. "Vat's her name, Daniel?"

"LaQuishya. LaQuishya Shontell Bananarama Jones. She's a lip gloss technician down on Sixteenth Street. You gots to meet her, Mort. She a tall, noble Mambolambo sistuh, repletely mocha-toned, wif a ghetto-bootie bubble-butt an' some serious junk-in-de-trunk."

"Are you trying to be funny?"

"Funny? I gotchyo funny hangin', beotch. And she adore my ass, bruh. I coolios on down ta her crib yestiddy, know whut ahm sayin', puts de big lip lock on dat stanky love-bubble, an' we had dat trailer rockin', bruh."


"Word, blooph. Beotch got de trailer an' de fo' kids when her las' old man split. I'ze gwine raise 'em as my own, know what ahm s -- "

"Dan, I think you must be under some severe nervous strain. Maybe you've been working too hard on your next novel. I told you we could move the deadline back."

"There you go again!" Dan shouted, forgetting his Ebonics. "Novel! What novel? I don't know what you're talking about. And for that matter, I don't even know why I'm talking to you. Who are you, anyway? Did I know you in a previous life? That's what LaQuishya says. She thinks she and I were lovers in Atlantis. Sure makes you wonder, doesn't it? Well, I gotta go. And don't ever call me at this number again, whoever you are!"

Dan slammed the phone down and pimp-rolled back into his living room, where the music of "ThugBro" competed with "MTV Raps" for his attention.

"Heaven," sighed Dan Acumen.

* * *

Two days later, Dan realized that the Reverend Al Sharpton was a genius.

And the Reverend Kweisi Mfume had a lot to offer, too. As for the Reverend Jesse Jackson, well . . . by this point, Jesse had attained the status of Prophet.

So alongside his rap CDs and tapes came $500 of videos, books and pamphlets containing all the wisdom of black AmeriKwa. Although this only weighed a few grams total, it was among Dan Acumen's most revered possessions.

Perhaps most tragic of all was that Dan suddenly lost his faith in God. Always a confident believer in the Lord, Dan now came to the conclusion that the God of his universe couldn't possibly be some ancient white guy in the sky. No sir.

Martin Luther King was God.

Naturally, Dan quit attending Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church. He now took his Sunday morning worship in front of the TV in the form of BET. He joined the ACLU, the ADL, and the NAACP. He began sending all his money to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Fund, the Holocaust Museum and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"Diversity," he often said to himself in trembling tones, "is our greatest strength."

That Saturday night, Dan's phone was trying its best to be heard above the din. "Gangsta Honky Killa" was thumping away on his stereo, while the cast of "Who De Boss Now?" was bumping and humping and TV. Dan, meanwhile, was absorbed with a Kool, a 40 of St. Ives, and the latest issue of Ebony. He now wore his hair in dreadlocks and had a gold tooth, which his "beotch" LaQuishya had inserted for him before running off with a cocaine dealer named Mustafah and leaving him with her four children, who were now happily smearing their feces on the walls of his home.

Dan finally heard the phone and answered it.

"Yo," he said.

"Dan? This is Steve."


"Steve Norman, remember?"

"What it eeeiz, whitebread honky?"

"Uh, well, I'm fine," said Steve. "The question is, how are you? Are you . . . OK?"

"Okay, mokay, muffugah. Sheeyut. What it azzemble to, bruh? Whatchew be callin' me fo', know what ahm sayin?"

"What the hell's happened to you, Dan? Have you lost your freaking mind?"

"Mbulu! Sheeyut! Muffuguh, you dis'aspect me I poppa cap in yo' ass!"

"Would you please cut the gangsta act and tell me what's going on?" In the background, Steve could hear the thumping of the rap music, the yammering on MTV, and another sound he didn't recognize at first. The only thing he could liken it to was the noise he sometimes heard during trips to the zoo: it sounded like a cage full of monkeys chattering for bananas.

"What the hell is that screeching?" he asked.

"Da's be my cheerens," Dan replied.


"Uh huh. I gots fo' cheerens now: Chaquita, Chatawkwa, Cha-nille and Tyrone. Dey's my bebbes. I gets welfare, food stamps, ADC, WIC, Section 8, free medical, dental, eyecare -- free ever'thang, bruh. Lawdy, I hab reached de mountaintop!"

"I see. And what, pray tell, are you going to when the freebies run out?"

At first, Dan couldn't reply. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to marshal his thoughts. The dizziness was on him all the time now, along with a persistent itching in his penis, which caused him to grab his crotch at all times. He could no longer add, subtract or divide even simple cardinal numbers, but he had a feeling he could still multiply just fine, given a new "ho."

"I . . . I am . . ." he tried, barely able to remember the old form of the verb to be. "I is gwine becomes a star, Steve. I'ze gwine be a Rap Awtist!"


"I eben be liftin' weights."

"Dan, need I remind you that you're a writer? Sure, lift weights if you must, but forget about rapping, OK?"

"A writuh? Me?"

"Yes. You've written nearly a dozen novels, remember? You've got a computer in your living room, which has everything you've ever--"

"Iz dat what dat was? Sheeyut. I funk it was a TV set. Couldn't get de muffuguh to woik, so I th'ew it out."

"You threw it out?!"

"No, th'ew. I th'ew it out."

"But . . . Caissa," Steve choked. "What about Caissa?"


"Never mind," Steve moaned.

"Well, bruh, I'ze gots to train fo' my fust rap video, muffuguh," said Dan. "I gots to go."

"Right. Take . . . take care, Dan."


Dan hung up the phone in his kitchen sink and loped into the living room, where his four "cheerens" rolled and cavorted amidst their own waste products. He tried to do some one-armed push ups, but collapsed on the floor in a heap. He lay there for several hours.

* * *

And, later that night, after his cheerens had snuck out and stolen all the bicycles in the neighborhood, Dan began drawing up in the fetal position. He tried to stick his thumb in his mouth but missed. Instead, he drooled on the carpet while "Growing Pains" babbled away on the tube.

His last conscious thoughts had nothing to do with rap, crack or cheerens; he was beyond all that now. All he could think of were bubbles, nipples and soft, fluffy bunnies.

It was then that he decided to run for public office.


© 2002

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