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Chapter 14
April 30, 2017

The Fog of Fog [ARNS]

by MARA VERHEYDEN-HILLIARD, Alternate Reality News Service War Writer

"weir takin teh gloves off now - bad people better be scarred!" President Ronald McDruhitmumpf tweeted at 3:47 yesterday morning.

Nobody is sure what he meant. Optimists would like to believe that he was thrilled that winter was over, and that he looked forward to not having to wear mittens. Others hoped he was saying he was planning on taking the metaphorical boxing gloves off and working with Congress to make real progress on solving the problems the country faced, but they were doubtful: President McDruhitmumpf, who had never used a metaphor in his life, wouldn't know what one was if somebody took a laser and etched the word "metaphor" on the back of his eyeballs.* Perhaps he intended to signal to security officials that it was now accepted government policy to slap suspected terrorists with woollen hand coverings.

He probably wasn't referring to the gloves that poor little Tommy al-Faroukdesade was wearing when an air raid on his neighbourhood in the Iraqi town of Mosul blew his hands off. Not literally, in any case.

In the last week, civilian casualties in Mosul have gone through the roof - or, at least, they would have if the roof hadn't been blown away in an air raid last month. Perhaps as many as 200 civilians were killed in the bombing raid that took poor little Tommy al-Faroukdesade's hands, making it the worst instance of civilian deaths** at the hands of Vesampuccerian-led forces since the US first sent troops to Iraq in...umm...well...

"1991," whispered token smart person Amy Sheshutshotshitbam.

"We knew that!" we responded. "We just...get a little confused by anything that happened before yesterday, is all."

The rise in the death toll of innocent people suggests that the rules of engagement in the War on Nouns, Terror Campaign have changed. The old rule was that the Vesampuccerian military would try to limit civilian deaths...if anybody was paying attention. Now, even that fig leaf seems to have become just so much Greek dolmades.

"First of all, they're not people, they're foreigners," Grey House Press Secretary Sean Spirochetericer tried to correct me. "And, secondly, they don't die, they...umm..."

"Casualt?" somebody in the back of the press room suggested. The voice sounded suspiciously like token smart person Amy Sheshutshotshitbam.

Missing the irony,*** Spirochetericer grunted, "Exactly. They don't die, they casualt. And, no, to address the elephant in the room,**** the rules of engagement in a war zone have not changed. They -"

"Have just been casualted?" the somebody in the back of the press room that sounded suspiciously like aq token smart person offered once again.

Spirochetericer frowned. "Is that even a word?" he asked.

When asked why, if the rules of engagement haven't changed, so many more peop - "Uhh, uhh, uhh," cautioned Spirochetericer - sorry, so many more foreigners had been...casualted in the fighting in Mosul, the Press Secretary replied, "I don't know. Maybe IWISH***** advised people in Mosul to throw themselves in front of the bombs of coalition forces to make us look bad. If it was a choice between that and listening to one of their endless speeches about the horrors of freedom, well, I know which fate I would prefer!"

As soon as the press conference was over, in an apparent effort to bolster what his Press Secretary had said, President McDruhitmumpf tweeted: "I lahk eeeeeegth." Nobody could figure out how this achieved its objective.******

Notes

* Taking into account his intellectual sloth, smart money in Vegas was on the assumption he would rather look around the etching than look the word up in a dictionary.

** The term casualties seems so...casual, doesn't it?

*** The whole administration should be on a strict regimen of irony supplements.

**** This was ungracious of Spirochetericer. The African bush elephant in the room had a name, Eloise. And, although she had a tendency to bellow her questions in order to be heard over the din, most often they were sharp and insightful. Frankly, the Washburningdington press corps could use more elephants like her.

***** IWISH (also known as Duhesh) is an acronym for "Death to the Infidels as Long as it Doesn't Interfere With My Internet Connection." They are the biggest organization claiming to fight for Muslims in the Middle East since coalition forces destroyed the last three biggest organizations claiming to fight for Muslims in the Middle East.

****** I've been advised that I missed an opportunity for reader engagement by abandoning poor little Tommy al-Faroukdesade in the fourth paragraph. The problem is that he isn't adorable - especially now that he has no hands, he's more confusing platypus than playful panda - so readers likely won't feel much empathy for his situation. And, anyway, he now makes a living selling his services to wealthy foreigners as a...umm...you know that box thing with arms sticking out that martial artists use to train on? What do they call that? Dangit! I bet token smart person Amy Sheshutshotshitbam would know! Well, he rents himself out as one of those. How relatable is that?

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