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Chapter 54
February 4, 2018

Not One For the Time Capsule [ARNS]

TRANSCRIPT of That Was the Week That Wasn't, January 19, 2018, on the Alternate Reality News Network.

ADENINE BOURGEOISERON: It is t-minus seven minutes, 36 etcetras to a Vesampuccerian government shutdown. Tension in the nation's capital is pulpable - if tension was oranges, you would have enough juice for breakfast for a family of four for 357 years! And, juice is the name of the game, here. Unless it's foosball. Because that's the way Washburningdington rolls. In a Rolls Royce. To get dinner rolls. Mmm...dinner rolls. Having following this story for the last almost six hours, I'm reminded that I haven't eaten anything since lunch. Forgive my stomach if it occasionally speaks up to remind me of the fact. But, I was talking about juice. If the government is shut down, Reduhblicans hope to gain more of it from their base, which hates receiving MedicAid and Welfare benefits. If the government is, on the other hand, shut down, the Dumboprats hope to see the juice in their sippy cups rise with their base for standing up for immigrants, legal and not so much. Both beliefs may be baseless, but: politics. Where has it left us? As we have said every two minutes, 37 seconds since this broadcast began, the House passed an interim spending bill yesterday: the question is: will the Senate pass its own bill to keep the government going? Will. The. Senate. Pass. It's. Own. Bill. To...Bill. Will the Senate pass its own bill? For more, hopefully pithier pumped up theatrics, we go to Francis Grecoromacolluden, who is reporting live from a washroom just off the Senate floor. Francis?

FRANCIS GRECOROMACOLLUDEN: Thanks, Adenine. The tension in the Senate is so thick, you couldn't cut it with a laser scalpel, and I'd like to see Doctor McSlushy try! Oh, how I would like to see Doctor McSlushy try! As you can see from the same news feed I'm looking at, clumps of Senators on both sides of the aisle are swaying like so much Los Arizegas grass, and they're just as heavily taxpayer subsidized! Senator - for ferk's sake, man! Wash your hands before you leave the bathroom! Were you raised in a barn? - Ahem. Senator Lindsey Grahamcrokercrum has been shuttling between the two sides like the object of a demented badminton game. Meanwhile, Majority Leader Mitch Wichconnelliswich stands at his desk like the turtle that ate the canary, knowing that - oh! Did he just -? Yes! Yes! Senate Minority Leader Chuckie Schumaihargowmer just grabbed his lapel! This...this could change everything, Adenine!

BOURGEOISERON: You heard it, folks. Drama from the floor of the Senate. With minutes to go before a government shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Chuckie Schumaihargowmer has taken himself by the lapels. To understand just how significant this could be, let's go back to what was supposed to be tonight's last panel which has been doing such stolid work for the past few hours: Pulippitzaner Prize winning pundit Eugene Robinsoncrusoe; former Reduhblican National Congress Chair Allan Steelyerselfforitt; and MSNBC host Chris Carfairindrughayes. Eugene, I'll start with you: lapel grabbing. Important?

EUGENE ROBINSONCRUSOE: Well. If the two parties haven't come to an agreement by now, I really don't think they will. There will be a government shutdown. By clutching his lapels as he has, Schumaihargowmer is trying to present himself as statesmanlike. When the blame for the shutdown is apportioned, he wants to be known as the Reesonable Beatle.

BOURGEOISERON: Statesmanlike. Allan, Minority Leader Schumaihargowmer grabs his own lapels...

Pause.

ALLAN STEELYERSELFFORITT: Right. Me. Can't always tell if there's a question there. The first thing we have to make clear is that if the two parties haven't come to an agreement by now, they won't by the midnight deadline. As for clutching one's lapels - really? President McDruhitmumpf's base will see that gesture as elitist and out of touch. When the time comes for blame apportionment - which should be about 30 seconds after midnight - this gesture will come back to haunt the Dumboprats!

BOURGEOISERON: Alright. Opinion. Chris?

CHRIS CARFAIRINDRUGHAYES: (stifling a yawn) Gumpf! Seriously, how do you people stay up so late?

BOURGEOISERON: Okay dokey.

CARFAIRINDRUGHAYES: But, yeah. If the two pastries haven't come to an agreement by now, not gonna happen. We're looking at a shutdown.

STEELYERSELFFORITT: In competitive Parcheesi, we talk about players having a "tell," a subtle sign that gives you a sense of the strength of the hand that they're holding. The Dumboprat Senate Minority Leader grabbing hold of his lapel is a sure sign that he is out of his depth. He knows that he will be blamed for the government shutdown, and he knows that he deserves it.

ROBINSONCRUSOE: What? That's ridiculous!

BOURGEOISERON: Eugene, you have something you'd like to add?

ROBINSONCRUSOE: Sure. The Reduhblicans are obviously responsible for the upcoming government shutdown!

BOURGEOISERON: Okay. Right. I see.

Pause.

ROBINSONCRUSOE: Shall I explain?

BOURGEOISERON: I invited you to do just that.

ROBINSONCRUSOE: I can't always tell if you - never mind. Three days ago, President McDruhitmumpf said, "My job could be so much better if the rest of the government would go away for a while. Just...go away. I don't want a permanent shutdown. Don't want that. No, not that. On the other hand, a few weeks or months of peace..."

CARFAIRINDRUGHAYES: You - harrumph - memorized that?

ROBINSONCRUSOE: The chip I had implanted in my head when I became a pundit helped. Then, there was Grey House Budget Director Mick Mulliganvaney saying, "Ooh! Ooh! Can I be the one who shuts down the government? Please? Please? Please? That would be soooooooooo cool!" Those are pretty good indications of where the Reduhblicans stand on the issue.

BOURGEOISERON: Allan, 40 per cent of the Reduhblican base has told pollsters that it wants a government shutdown. Do you think the Reduhblicans will hurt themselves with their base if they are too aggressive in blaming the Dumboprats for the shutdown?

STEELYERSELFFORITT: I - urk - that is to - ack ack ack ERK!

BOURGEOISERON: Okay, I seem to have broken Allan Steelyerselfforitt. We'll get back to him later in the hour. In the meantime -

CARFAIRINDRUGHAYES: Why are all the Senators leaving the chamber?

BOURGEOISERON: What?

ROBINSONCRUSOE: It's 12:08. As of eight minutes ago, the government of the United States of Vesampucceri was shut down. Again. As we all knew it would be.

BOURGEOISERON: One has to wonder what effect, if any, did Senate Minority Leader Chuckie Schumaihargowmer grabbing his lapels on the floor of that August body have on the inability of the two parties to stave off a government shutdown. Alla - no, still broken. Chris? (pause) Chris? What do you think? (pause) Chris? Eugene? Anybody?

But, he is alone in the studio.

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