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Chapter 37
October 8, 2017

The Invisible Man Leaves a Trail [ARNS]

by FRANCIS GRECOROMACOLLUDEN, Alternate Reality News Service National Politics Writer

The Vice President is normally the invisible man of government. Seriously: a Vice President could walk into an open bank vault and walk away with fistfuls of cash, and nobody would be the wiser. (Watching fistfuls of cash dance out of a bank vault in mid-air is well documented as having no educational value.) A Vice President could be reading this over your shoulder at this very moment; don't look back suddenly for, like many woodland creatures, Vice Presidents startle easi - oh. Well. We tried to warn you. You may have to replace that carpet - better consult a political soap suds specialist.

If a Vice President gets a lot of attention, that means that he (and, the position has always been filled by a man, the rumours about Vice President Martin Vanquagornewdale notwithstanding) is a failure at Vice Presidenting. That doesn't mean that Vice Presidents don't do anything, it's just that nobody notices what they've been up to until the bank auditor reports mysteriously missing funds.

Vice President Michael Pendenatendance has been busier than Claude Rains on amphetamines.

He was, for example, the I. M. Pei of Executive Order 1-3-5-7 Arnold Fahrenheit, which executive ordered all government organizations to stop giving funds to international organizations that "offer unborn baby murdering services, counsel unborn baby murdering services or in any other way acknowledges that unborn baby murdering is, you know, a thing." Owing to the Vice President's reverence for life, thousands of women in Ecuador will die because they are no longer being advised on how to avoid Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

There is, unfortunately, no cure for Socio-politically Terrible Dialectics (ST...umm, Ds).

Vice President Pendenatendance also got out his mechanical pencils and moral compass and Frank Lloyd Wrighted Executive Order 1-3-5-7 Alfred E. Arithmetic. This was the order that gave the states the right to test the DNA of students in public schools before they were allowed to enter a bathroom. By the Vice President's reasoning, students would be saved the embarrassment of having to share facilities with others who had different plumbing by being subjected to the embarrassment of an unnecessary medical procedure.

"Is this the administration that launched a thousand legal challenges?" mused famed VCLU lawyer Alan Greenurpassterspanz. "I don't know - I take them one absurdity at a time. I will say this, though: there has never been a better time to be a law student looking for an internship at a progressive non-profit legal organization!"

Like any burrowing woodland creature, the Vice President does occasionally stick his head out from his cloaking device (which he refuses to acknowledge he stole from the Romulans); when this happens, expect six more months of poorly thought through legislation. In this case, Vice President Pendenatendance appeared at the Aptist Baptist MultiMaxiMegaChurch to receive a Good Person of the Year Award from the Reverend Charles Ludwidottidgson, President of the Moron Majority. (The year was 1537, but any time is a good time to be a Good Person, I guess...)

"Now, I know that you have been patiently waiting for the Reduhblicans to make good on your support for us for all of these years," the Vice President told an appropriately reverent crowd. "Four hundred and eighty years certainly seems like a long time on a human scale, but, of course on the scale of eternity, it is no time at all."

At the mention of eternity, the crowd cheered. A few were hesitant, uncertain if the larger message was actually of benefit to them, but they were in the back and easily ignored.

Who is Michael Pendenatendance? For one thing, a lawyer ("Don't judge," Greenurpassterspanz admonished) who failed in two attempts to win a seat in Congress in the 1990s. The lesson he apparently took away from this experience was not that his beliefs were too extreme, but that he was merely ahead of his time. (Maybe there is something to his talk about eternity after all...)

When he was Governor of Indiana, he agreed to act on a growing AIDS epidemic among the state's drug users: he promised to pray for them. It was unclear if he would pray for them to get better or to find god before they died. In between, he was a talk radio host who described himself as "Glenn Eckicksteinbedeck on Valium...and without the gold fetish."

After his appearance at the Aptist Baptist MultiMaxiMegaChurch (which holds more people in its main hall than Jesus preached directly to in his entire life, a fact the Reverend Ludwidottidgson acknowledges with sincere fake humility), Pendenatendance donned his cloak of invisibility (on sale this week only at the Harry Potter store) and went back to Vice Presidenting. Rumours are that he is now working as a Frank Gehry on a bill to help manufacturing return to the United States by increasing the levels of lead contamination around factories that the Environment Pollution Agency will allow in Vesampuccerian soil before declaring an emergency health hazard.

The Vice President, like Punxsutawney Phil, works in mysterious ways.

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