You may remember the blog on MICE AND ICE: https://www.johnschwartzauthor.com/enchante-mice-ice/
Well, Miceans Maxie and Maxine came back after having been deported last year. The worlds they lived in were hard and unforgiving, they said. No food and shelter for kids, and lots of neighborhood cats and pray-birds out there to kill or mistreat them. So they sneaked in illegally, even borrowed kids, those little creatures with those dreaming tear-jerking eyes that make your heart turn mushy when they look at you, especially on TV. They were asking for a space in our home.
ENCHANTÉ consulted an outsider to come to grips with this invasion: Mars Man. You may remember him, that Marsian face which turns ‘human’ when he lands in a Nebraska cornfield close to Omaha to have TV interviews with his earthly wife Kathryn, an adorable and much-loved anchor at Omaha TV. One of his appearances on ENCANTÉ was in 2016 – https://www.johnschwartzauthor.com/mars-mans-tv-economy-stupid-stupid-economy/.
Mars – his first name – gladly returned to Earth to report for his weekly Mars City TV “Mother Earth’s Weekly Squirms” show on the high-profile Miceans approaching the US and the similarity of this event with the continuing efforts of Mother Earth attempting to invade Mars. Kathryn did not waste any time and scheduled him for an interview on the border issue just a few hours after he landed in the Omaha cornfield with Space Scooter One.
He had hardly the time to morph into his earthly body and a Balenciaga outfit.
Kathryn had invited Ted and Frank from the Washington, D.C. Bureau to join in the discussion.
Kathryn launches her show, OMAHA’S WORLD TODAY, with a quick re-introduction of Mars Man, Ted, and Frank. She asks Mars to reflect on the oncoming Miceans invasion from a Mars point of view.
“Kathryn, thank you so much for this important question. We have discussed this before in other forums, but clearly, this is of immediate relevance to Mars. Like everybody on Mother Earth, we hold our planet and our sacred homes dearly. We do not tolerate strange invaders. Any time when a rover or other earthly space unit dawns on Mars and lets mice lose to test our living space, our alarm systems go off and we are ready to defend ourselves. We use appropriate baits and traps and those rovers – you call them rodents here – usually get worn out pretty fast and disappear in a remote ditch somewhere.”
“But what if NASA sends a few thousand rovers to Mars?” asks Frank. “What would you do?”
“It’s insane to even think that’s possible, but we would mobilize a whole army of MICE controllers to chase them back into space. MICE stands for “Mars Invasion Control Entity.”
“We have exactly the same name for it,” Ted exclaims. “Does your president need congressional approval for that?” Ted has no clue of Marsian politics.
“We have a supreme leader, “Mars Man lectures. “He or she emanates from the majority political party. Mars has three parties, the Jupiterians, much like your Libertarians; the
“So your supreme leader would mobilize the army to stop a caravan of mice on earth?” asks Kathryn.
“Exactly. You call your MICE police and get them out, despite their doe-eyed kids, put up barb or bob wire because those kids grow up fast, multiply fast, ruin your home and turn your people into endangered species before you know it. Like what we would do on Mars: turn them back with all your might.”
“Would your Venetians agree with that?” wonders Ted.
“Most likely not, they love your type of
“Once we find our home is no longer ours because the
“You must take action,” Mars Man says. “Even if you are not Republican. Just to save your home from those nasty droppings, loud gnawing, and demolition of wires and cables in your attic.”
Also, to save your kids from dangerous diseases, and to keep your sanity and healthy sleep.”
“But to play the devil’s advocate, what about those poor
“Sure,” Mars Man says. “And soon they’ll want more space in your house, skid through your bedroom with their many kids in their wake, and ask for house-membership and your money to buy more cheese, peanut butter, marshmallows and other drugs free of traps.”
“Why would your Venetians let them in then?” asks Frank.
“To get more votes, beat the
“Gee, that sounds so much like us on Mother Earth,” Ted observes. “It must be an alien habit turned earthly.”
“And next they claim citizenship of your attic,” Mars Man warns. “Kathryn knows, but she does not want to admit it openly. She’s afraid that the Miceans will attack her under the table in a restaurant, saying she is racist.”
“I have just texted my wife we are installing a deep-rooted fence around our yard,” Ted announces. “Our neighbors objected when I explored the idea with them because they found it racist. I told them they could have all the
“We will do the same,” Frank says. “I have a team to plug all the holes around the house and put bab wire at the edges of our the lawn. No more friendly welcome signs. It will also keep my in-laws at bay.”
“That’s the issue,” finalizes Kathryn. “The
The show closes and the tweets run amok. Maxi and Maxine were deported once more, with their offspring. But the authorities expect them back,
Looking at today’s TV news, I felt inclined to repeat a column of last June
We are back with Tom and Fred, this time invited by World Wide Network to form a panel on important daily political matters.
“Fred, how are we going to do this?”
“Simple, Tom, you make a point and I make a counterpoint. We never agree because the opposite side must always be right, whatever side you are on.”
“But if I agree with you because you make more sense, why shouldn’t I say so?”
“Because you get fired if you do. It’s like a sports game, boy. You’re not supposed to kick the ball into your own goal. You must kick me as hard as you can, regardless of whether I’m right.”
“But isn’t that ridiculous? If I make sense, you wouldn’t agree with me?”
“Of course not. That’s how it works. You have fans on your side, and I have fans on mine. Each side wants the other to lose as badly as possible. Scorched Earth. That’s politics. It’s a sports game, the American way. Each side gets paid for making crushing opposite points. Otherwise, the viewers get bored.”
“Which side are you on?”
“The opposite of yours.”
“But which is it, left or right?”
“If you show me yours, I show you mine.”
“But does WWN not want to know first what yours is?”
“They will only tell me if they’ve seen yours first.”
“Can we switch panes when you like mine better?”
“For the viewer, left of the anchor is right, and right of the anchor is left. Don’t confuse people. They want to see which side you’re on.”
“What side is the anchor on?”
“Tom, don’t be stupid. It’s WWN that pays their salary. They talk WWN’s side.”
“How much do they pay?”
“The more they like yours or mine, the more they pay you or me.”
“Do they give equal time?”
“They may or may not. If you crush me or them, they may let me pay back twice.”
“Geez, Fred, this is really like Monday Night Football without referees or line backers.”
“It is, or more like national wrestling or kick boxing, male or female.”
“So this is how people in Congress live?”
“And what tax payers pay for. Your tax money is like buying tickets for the games. And to beat up each other in the streets if you lose.”
“What about those election slogans then, stronger together or America first?”
“Well, Tom, those are essentially sports terms. The political teams fight it out, either to show they’re stronger than the other, or to become first.”
“So we must fight it out on TV too?”
“Sure, if you want to get paid. Not physically, of course, like that guy in Montana, but by blabbing better and faster than your opponent, while keeping a straight but very false smile, as if you are the friendliest bastard or bitch ever.”
“Do we train for this before we start?”
“Don’t have to. Just look at today’s TV and you get the message.”
“Which side do I chose?”
“Just wait which side the anchor puts you. Then, whatever he or she wants you to comment on, you take the left or right side of his/her point of view. The truth does not matter. Nobody knows what that is anymore anyway.”
“But I don’t know in traffic sometimes what left or right is.”
“Doesn’t matter, as long as you take the opposite side. You’re insured by the media.”
“Fred, I’m going to sign up and hate you.”
“Me too, Tom, I hate you already.”
The Hullahoo Bar is crammed with patrons at the counter. Ted, Frank and their regular raucous friends crowd around the half-circle, arguing testily.
“Yes,” Ted says. “I am writing a new book titled ‘Killing Deep Throat’. I’m fed up with this DC bureaucracy boiling up all this crap. I’m going to drain that swamp with the successful Killing Libido Pill and write how we did it.”
“You mean if you suck out all the libido from the system you actually will stop it from regurgitating hatred, obstruction, resistance and fake news?” Frank roared, laughing.
“Exactly,” Ted confirms. “You saw the results of my KLP book: the anti-viagra virus. Much better than that stuff about aging young. Tell me, you guys, don’t you feel relieved after taking the KLP, that you don’t have that urge anymore to go after women ?”
“I give you that,” Bert says. “But how do you apply that to killing ‘Deep Throat’?”
“I have researched it in-depth,” Ted explains. “Deep-throat people are the ones that constitute the megacenter of the swamp. They are all sexually frustrated by ED, inability to perform in bed or having to fake it, and jealous of men that are successful with women or women successful with men. Just look at the mainstream media anchors, always a man and a woman, each competing for being the most obnoxious gofer on the screen. If the guy takes the KLP, he instantly loses his drive to be more obnoxious than the female anchor.”
“But then you’d be left with those pesky females and nothing would change,” Bert says.
“The female anchor will lose her nerve because she’d feel she is no longer pursued. That frustrates her natural instincts. Look at our female friends here, how annoyed and inoperative they are because they get no free beers or Martinis anymore. True, Angie?”
“Don’t put me on the spot, Ted KLP,” Angie retorts. “All that gallantry you guys were displaying was only with one purpose in mind and that’s bedding me or her.”
“How would you impose that KLP on anchors?” Henry of The Washington Post asks.
“By mixing it in their coffee machines,” Ted says. “We have an army of paid KLP operators that serve these studios, government and newspaper offices. You don’t drink coffee? No problem, they mix it in the watercoolers. Just watch your offices at the Post, Henry. Don’t feel that horny anymore? You may already have been swallowing KLP.”
“And who pays for that?” Cindy asks, always on the money.
“The National Health Institute,” Ted says. “They have a stake in the matter because the growing political divide in the US is ruining the country’s national health and sharply increasing Medicaid and Medicare costs for psychiatrical care and domestic disputes. We’re expanding into the FBI, the Justice Department, even the Defense Department and the catacombs of the White House. You will soon hear that that FBI lover couple will disband because that stork guy has been klpeed and the whole case will come tumbling down.”
“This is pure subversion of democracy,” Henry says. “I’ll expose you and your group as underminers of the Me 2 movement, the new platform of the Democrat party.”
“What nonsense,” Ted balks. “You mean I undercut Me 2 if I KLpee the guys they’re fighting, the Weismans, Roses, Lauers and Cosbys? You mean that to remain relevant M2 needs these guys back into the limelight somewhere so that they can continue barking at them?”
“Precisely,” Henry says. “Your group must emanate from the right that opposes sinful movements. Me 2 welcomes freedom.”
“What has that got to do with Killing Deep Throat, Ted?” asks Frank.
“I’m positive that all this political wrangling is sex-related,” Ted says. “Why is the special prosecutor so interested in that playboy girl instead of that silly Russian collusion? I’m sure that if we klpee him he and his case would disintegrate.”
Henry slammed his fist on the counter. “I oppose that because it would destroy all the media fun.”
“You see?” Alicia yelps across the counter. “You perverts only like to write about porn to sell your paper and you don’t care a fig about making America great again.”
“Hah!” Henry yells back. “We write it because you want to read it, and if we wrote only about the low unemployment rate you wouldn’t buy the paper.”
Ted scoffs. “Watch your Keurig coffeemaker, Henry. Soon you’ll be only interested in writing about the unemployment rate.”
Frank and Ted love writing books. Franks writes romantic stories and Ted writes thrillers, and both are self-publishing. Both have sex in their books but they try to keep it above the porn-line. They never show these sex pieces to their writing group to avoid embarrassment, even though their writing group team members are waiting for them with lusting eyes and are utterly frustrated when they don’t get them for critique.
“Sex pays,” Ted says. “But outside the bedroom.”
“There’s an opportunity for a book signing on Brook Street,” Frank says. “An art show. Let’s go there and sell some books.”
They rent a tent and showcase their books on a table with posters.
Art on the Avenue – Alexandria VA October 2017 – www. AlexandriaNews.org
Courtesy George Vercessi (www.vercessi.com)
Frank’s poster shows a wrestler-type torso with a busty girl in his arms, carrying the title, “Lust on Devil’s Island.” He uses the pen name, Franca Bianca, because Romance Writers of America has only female writers who write for women, and stats prove that eighty percent of readers are women. Most men don’t read as most of them are illiterate morons watching football. Ted’s poster reads, “Killing Joan,” because he writes about the last of many (women) agents who rejected his book. The cover design shows a knife piercing through a crying heart with blood dripping down in large blots. Not very original but blood sells too. Both sell their books at ten dollars a piece.
“If this does not attract people, I’ll be damned,” Frank says, looking at the tent from the street side.
When crowds are filling Brook Street, all patrons pass by and look at other tents instead, selling cheap jewelry, pots and pans, fake antiques, starving artists paintings, dog collars, T-shirts, and popcorn. The tent next to theirs sells party ornaments.
“You should sport a female facemask, Frank, because you ain’t looking like Franca,” Ted says.
“Great idea. And you should wear an O’Reilly facemask because you stole his title series,” Frank says.
“Let’s stand in the middle of the street carrying our posters to attract people to our books,” Ted suggests.
“But I’m not wearing a skirt,” protests Frank.
“Go to that tent over there,” Ted says. “They sell Halloween masks and costumes.”
Frank leaves their tent to follow up on Ted’s bright suggestion. He buys a Hillary mask and a blue plastic skirt, walks back, and dresses up in the back of their tent.
“Did anybody come by to buy my book?” Frank asks.
“Somebody came and asked if that guy with the torso was Arnold Schwartzenegger. When I said ‘yes’ he didn’t buy the book.”
“You should go to that tent too,” Frank says. “They have O’Reilly masks and bloody knives for sale.”
Ted goes while Frank sits with his Hillary mask on, hoping to attract book buyers. One man stops, looks at him, or rather his Hillary mask, comes nearer and gawks at the torso poster. “Is that book about what happened to Hillary?”
“No, it’s about a handsome man like you who shipwrecks on an island in the Pacific and meets the girl of his life in the midst of crocodiles, snakes, donkeys, and elephants.”
“Why do you wear a Hillary mask then?”
“Well, Hillary’s world is devil’s island, don’t you think?”
“I only read non-fiction, thank you.” The guy walks on, leaving Frank frustrated.
Ted comes back with his O’Reilly mask and a few bloody knives. “Sold any books?”
“No. They think my book is about Hillary. I have to buy another mask. You look terrific, O’Reilly.”
Frank walks to the party tent again, buys himself a Melania mask, and hurries back, just in time to see Ted in a furious discussion with a woman.
“How do you dare to show off that womanizer’s face? Shouldn’t your book be titled, Killing O’Reilly? Shame on you!”
“I guess you didn’t sell any books,” Frank says.
“No. You saw that woman’s reaction. I have to buy another mask.”
Ted leaves for the party tent. Frank dons his Melania mask and waits. A couple loiters in front of him.
“Is that Donald Trump’s torso?” asks the wife.
“No, it’s Tarzan’s,” answers Frank wrily, grumbling through his mask.
“You don’t sound like Melania, she has a foreign accent,” the husband says.
“That accent doesn’t come with the mask,” Frank says. “Buy my book and you’ll find out whose torso it is.”
“My husband doesn’t have a torso like that. That girl in his arms must be scared-shit. Is that Melania what the book is about?”
“Just imagine you as beautiful as you are, left alone on an island with snakes and crocodiles, and a guy with that torso swims ashore, naked, saves your life, takes you in his arms, and makes love to you. Would you not want to read that story?”
“Come on, Elena,” the husband says, pulling her away. “You’ve got other books to read. You haven’t even finished Nora Robert’s latest.”
“Okay, Melania,” the woman says. “I’ll look it up on Amazon. Goodbye…”
Ted comes back with a Bruce Willis Mask and a Die Hard-flagged plastic pistol.
“Sold any books, Frank?”
“No, Melania does not sell because people don’t want her to be pulverized by Donald Trump’s torso. I need another mask.”
Frank leaves for the party tent and Ted reinvents his author bio, waiting for people to come and buy “Killing Joan.”
“Hah,” a man says to Ted. “I hate my wife Joan. Is that a “How to” book?”
“It’s about Joan of Arc, burned at the stakes,” replies Ted. The man walks away, disappointed.
Frank comes back with a Sylvester Stallone mask and a fake carton torso piece. “If this doesn’t do it, I must change genre,” Frank says.
He sits behind the table, watching onlookers passing by, not even looking at them. “We should be more proactive, Ted. Yell at them, ‘Come by and read for pleasure.'”
Frank and Ted yell, but people stare at them as if they’re crazed idiots.
“I repeat: Let’s go on the street with our posters and draw people to our tent,” Ted says.
They leave the tent for the street, Frank with his Sylvestor Stallone face and fake torso, and Ted in his Bruce Willis costume, swaying his Die Hard pistol in the air.
Two cops swerve in front of them, out from nowhere, guns drawn. “Hey, you, you have a weapons permit?”
Curious onlookers are immediately crowding around them. “It’s plastic, man! We’re selling books over there, you see?” Ted responds, pointing frantically to their tent. “We paid one hundred dollars for that piece of junk. Hi everybody, come and buy our books! Half price!”
Throngs of people suddenly stand in line. Frank and Ted sell all their books, emptying their boxes. Even the cops buy a couple.
After the art show, they have a beer at the nearby bar, smiling broadly.
“Frank, you must be goofy, writing those books,” Ted says, wiping the foam off his lips.
“And you must be cracked selling them,” Frank says. “What’s your next book?”
“Killing Frank, and yours?”
“The Kiss That Poisoned Ted.”
Coming Soon: Francine – Dazzling Daughter of the Mountain State –
Kirkus Reviews: “A corporate novel chronicles a young woman’s meteoric rise at a coal mining company. A dramatically taut tale propelled by artful characterization and political relevance. “
Audrey – A Cherished Memory – A Short Story in print for the benefit of the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.
Customer Reviews on Amazon.com of the 2014 e-book version:
“An engaging story from start to finish. Evocative of a particular time and place but ultimately timeless and universal in touching the human heart.” Mark Spencer
“A pleasant account of an exceptional person. There’s always something poignant about beautiful people recovering from ghastly times. Thanks for the read.” Micah Harris
“I adore Audrey Hepburn and love to hear new stories about her. Can’t get enough. And this short story was a nice little peek into her life, especially pre-fame, as a young girl… loved it.” Kendal Brenneman
Fred and Tom meet in de makeup room.
“You know what she’s going to talk about?” asks Tom.
“The same thing they’ve been talking about all the time,” says Fred. “Russian roulette, Watergate 2.0, leaking sewers, deep state, all things that excite viewers of all stripes.”
“It’s the rating game, isn’t it?” says Tom. “I bet they won’t talk about how much better their 401Ks look now compared to just a year ago, though I’m sure they’re happy about it.”
“The old adagio is good news doesn’t sell, sex does,” mused Fred.
“I heard millions of women bought Weiner’s pics so that he could cover his legal fees.”
“She’s not going to talk about that, Tom. That’s her party’s side, and she won’t shoot herself in the foot. Rule number one of the Panel Debating Club, friend. Better take note.”
“You know what side you’re on? They didn’t tell me.”
“Me neither. Doesn’t matter. She’ll look at our face and knows right away you’re right and I’m left.”
“You wear your parting on the right and mine’s left. Simple,” Fred says.
“What if a guy’s bald?”
“All bald guys are right wing. Look at Karl Rove, Giuliani, Gianforte, for example.”
“But James Carville’s left wing, Fred, and so is Jerry Brown.”
“They lost their hair because they couldn’t get it right.”
“What about women pundits then?”
“Come on, Tom, you know. They fake it, whether left or right.”
A program assistant enters. ” OK, guys, you’re on next. Come with me. You, Tom, you sit on Sheila’s right, and Fred sits on her left.”
“You see? I told you so,” Fred says.
WWN’s show The World in Seven Days is on. Sheila introduces her panel members. “Tom, let me start with you. We have these daily leaks from Deep State. Your thoughts?”
“Washington’s leaking like a sieve as it always does, and the stinky dirt left is bubbling up. Washington press cooks take the blubber, make so-called news of it, and nobody cares, except you.”
“Fred, don’t you believe these deep state stories are true?” Sheila asks, her eyes showing bewilderment.
“Of course, they are. Deep state wants to save the country from going down the tube. Under the previous administration, society was changing so nicely to the left until it got criminally stopped by Russian infiltration.”
“Tom, don’t you think too the Russians stole the election from the American society?” Sheila asks with a sneaky smile, fixing Ted’s eyes.
“The Russians are pokers and thieves and have always been,” Tom acknowledges. “Its operatives act like those nesting dolls. You take one out and another one pops out, just looking the same, and before you know it you’ve wasted your money buying the same thing over and over, only getting smaller. Voters got fed up because they wanted real change.”
“Do you agree, Fred, that the election was lost due to those nesting dolls?” Sheila wonders, throwing a helpless glance at Fred.
“Tom is right. The Russian leaks turned the Democrat party into those dolls. Each time the party spoke, the same old same old came out, and, of course, they lost. Ergo, the Russians stole the election from the Democrats and the Republicans helped them doing it. That’s why they are guilty and the Special Counsel will prove it.”
“But why would the Russians do that, Fred,” interjects Tom. “They got twenty percent of our uranium under the Democrat administration. They might’ve gotten the other half too to beat us, if they stuck to them, rather than going for a change in party they can’t be sure of.”
“Well, Fred, Tom seems to have a point. Why would Russia want the Republican party in power?” Sheila asked.
“The Russians are against measures to stem climate change, as is the Republican party. That’s why,” Fred said, stone-faced. “They want the artic to melt so that they can more easily dig for oil and gas, like the Republicans want.”
“Should we not feel sorry for those polar bears losing their habitat, Tom?” asks Sheila, tears welling in the corner of her icy blue eyes. “Is it not clear to you now why the Russians sabotaged the re-election of the Democrat administration?”
“I thought we were talking about the deep state leaks and sieves,” Tom says. “Aren’t we straying off the subject?”
“I am asking the questions, Tom,” says Sheila, giving him her charming cold smile. “There are anonymous reports of Russian attempts to tamper with the election boots in thirty-nine states. Fred, I’m sure you’re aware of that.”
“And so is the Special Prosecutor,” Fred asserts. “Anonymous sources tell me he has hired Clinton lawyers to look into each boot.”
“So where is this heading Tom?” Sheila asks. “Don’t you think too the President must be impeached?”
“I would break this down into three segments, Sheila. ‘Imp’ stands for ‘troublemakers’; ‘Peach’ stands for deep state leakers peaching bad on the President, and ‘Ed’ stands for anonymous editorials in the Washington Post or the New York Times that have no ground, altogether standing for stench stinking to high-heaven.”
Sheila turning to Fred: “Stench stinking to high-heaven, Fred, is this not journalistic overreach?”
“Of course it is. Exactly the language of the radical right. That’s how they have divided our nation. I repeat, during the past eight years, our society was changing so nicely to the left. Freedom of speech only for those who deserve it according to them, violent protests only for those who feel belittled or racially profiled by the right, and healthcare only for those who cannot afford it regardless of the cost. And only black is beautiful and only the rich must be taxed. And Tom wants to change all that back to the right.”
“Last comment, Tom?”
“I love black is beautiful, really do, but I’ll keep changing the left’s downward curve to America’s destruction until I see blue.”
“Thank you both for being here,” Sheila says, and the screen goes to Cialis extra strength.
PS: In the noisy exit room, Tom is left with a blue eye and Fred with a bloody red nose, both in the true colors of the American flag. Neither knows the fight is taped by the insidious WWN, and maybe leaked to the Special Prosecutor for breaking news from anonymous sources. Continuation of the panel is in doubt.