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ENCHANTÉ – KATHRYN INTERVIEWS LU – Governor of Province America

Kathryn of OMAHA TV

“Welcome to the Mao Xi Jinping Tower, Ms. Kathryn,” says Lu Kung Si, Chinese Governor of Province America. “Look out to New Beijing,” he added proudly, pointing from his windows to the landscape of former New York City.

“Thanks, Mr. Lu,” Kathryn says. “Mars proposed to me on this building when it was still ours.”

“Please, sit down,” Lu says, ignoring Kathryn’s reference to better times for the U.S. “So, what can I do for you?”

“What are your plans for what you call ‘Province America’?”

“Province America will have semi-autonomous status,” Lu says. “But under Chinese rule of law, as I explained to your dear husband Mars last time.” (http://bit.ly/2Jvsfoq)

“But reports say America’s former economic boom has all but dissipated in the Province.”

“Not so,” Lu objects. “You forget that Province America’s economy is now mostly informal and not recorded in the government statistics and for good reason. No venture capitalism anymore.”

“But is that not a recognition that Chinese communism or socialism does not work?”

“How do you think China’s economy grew so fast that it beat the former U.S.A.?” Lu exclaims, vexed by Kathryn’s statement. “We apply our successful Communist Party’s mercantilism.”

“But is the slowing economy of Province America not due to the fact that China cannot steal the former U.S. technology anymore?” dares Kathryn.

“Ms. Kathryn,” warns Lu, “I hate to be impolite but the same rule I allow in interviews with Mars applies to you. One more impertinent question and I must order you out the door.”

“Let me rephrase the question then, Mr. Lu,” says Kathryn, unperturbed. “How come that the former innovative American mind does not produce the same results under Chinese dominance?”

“You are close to being thrown out the door, Ms. Kathryn. You may be a free resident of the State of Nebraska, but if you continue to disrespect China’s successful hegemony over Province America we shall have to reconsider the Xi Jinping-Buffett Convention.”

“We know that the Free State of Nebraska has become a thorn in the eye of your great President, Mr. Lu,” says Kathryn. “And you know that many of the great American companies that previously resided in what is now Province America have fled to my State, despite the Chinese Wall. Does that worry your Government?”

“Absolutely not. The previous economies of scale are simply not there anymore. The stock exchanges in New York are Chinese. All revenue is directed to the Chinese Treasury. Capital is made over there, not here. Buffett is aware.”

“But your great President wants his Buffett shares to flourish, no?” Kathryn asks, with a sly smile.

“We do not discuss the President’s musings, Ms. Kathryn,” Lu responds dryly. “Any more questions?”

“What are your plans with the former president of the U.S.? Will he continue to be imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay?”

“Yes, as will all of his collaborators, including the former First Lady. There’s enough room as we transported all previous Arab prisoners to Alcatraz. We  do not allow former disruptors of world peace to roam free in their countries of origin.”

“Thanks for that,” Kathryn says. “What about the Capitol, the former politicians? Will Province America still have elections for its local rulers?”

“There is only one Party now, the Socialist Democratic Party led by Bernie Sanders. They don’t rule but can use the Capitol for socialistic debates as before. No elections are needed. Bernie is socialist democratic enough and has been made Province of America’s Figurehead for Life, which at his age won’t be that long anyway. We will see what happens then.”

“Would Ms. Cortez succeed him?”

“I don’t think so. She is too toxic even for Chinese taste, even though the color of her lips represents the color of our flag.”

“But what about the other former politicians?”

“All non-socialist politicians are now in hard labor camps doing work for the first time in their life.” Lu chuckles.

“And what happened to the White House?”

“I thought a good journalist like you would have known that by now.” Lu flicks his hand, impatient.

“Well, I am asking for my audience,” Kathryn says, on the defensive.

“It’s being renovated as President Xi Jinping’s Eastern Residence for vacation.” Lu Kung Si seems hesitant in revealing this information.

“Would he rent out the Lincoln Bedroom?” ventures Kathryn, taking revenge.

“Watch your questions, Ms. Kathryn. President Xi Jinping is not as mercantile as some of your previous American Presidents or Secretaries of State who used public property for their personal pay for play schemes.” Lu smirked, contemptuously. “China is not corrupt. Your time is up, Ms. Kathryn. Come again.”

* * *

Relieved to fly back to Free Nebraska in her company plane, drinking Buffett beer, Kathryn files her report to Mars City TV. At Omaha TV she delivers it during the evening news. Back home, her secure cell phone rings. The screen announces, “Warren Buffett.”

“Well done,” he says. “We have a lot of border crossings from Province America. They’re digging tunnels to reach freedom. We’ve established a secure cyber link with Gitmo, but keep that for your self. We’re not giving up. Stay tuned.”

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ENCHANTÉ-INDEPENDENCE-THE FRIENDS INVITE MARS MAN

From left to right: Monsieur Enchanté, Mars Man on Mars, Mars Man on Planet Earth, and Kathryn of Omaha TV.

The friends are meeting for their Independence drinks in OMAHA’S Hullahoo Bar and invited Mars Man and his wife Kathryn from Omaha TV to join.

“Welcome Mars and Kathryn to the Friends drink at the Hullahoo for Independence Day,” croons Frank. “So glad you could make it.”

“Wonderful to be here,” Mars Man says.

“Likewise,” Kathryn adds, smiling her enticing Omaha TV smile, raising her martini.

“Tell us, Mars, how do you and Kathryn manage your life between planets?” asks Frank.

“Easy with our technology,” Mars says. “With my Scooter One, I’m here in forty-eight hours. More than lightning speed. Planet Earth is nowhere near that technology.”

“But how come you look like us as your Mars City TV face is alien?” Fred’s eyes burn with multiple questions.

“Again, our advanced transmutation technology allows me to change into my Planet Earth body on arrival. By the flick of my wrist.”

“And how did you and Kathryn get married?” asks Cindy, always out for romance.

“Mars knows me from Omaha TV,” Kathryn says, smiling again. “Mars can see mee from his Mars City TV where he is the Chief News Anchor. So he reached out to collaborate between Omaha TV and Mars City TV and we frequently do. When he sent me his Planet Earth picture I fell in love with him.”

“But Mars lives there and you live here,” Melissa interrupted. “How can long distance infatuation work?”

“Simple,” Mars said. “The same as you in Omaha and your loved one in New York: you commute. We get together as often as we can and have two lovely mixed children on Planet Earth.”

“What!” cried out Tom. “Does your Martian body work the same as ours?”

“On Planet Earth it does,” Mars says. “On Mars, we use electrodes for penetration.”

“So you have no sex problems on Mars like we do here?” Fred asks, his face looking perplexed.

Loud laughter.

“Unfortunately we do,” Mars says. “When your electrodes misfire, you may get sued. But we don’t text as you do here to find out if a person loves you. That’s oldfashioned. We shoot an electrode and if it finds access and shoots back, you’re in.”

“But how do your kids look like, Kathryn?” Maria asks, curious as ever.

“Like yours,” Kathryn says. “Except that they have bionic powers. That causes problems at the proms or in the classrooms when they hear what friends are gossipping about them.”

“Can you travel to Mars with your kids?” Fred asks, hoping to get a ride.

“Not yet. We’d need to wear space suits and our voyage would take much longer because we don’t have Mars bodies. And once there, we can’t take the suits off to be with Mars. But we’re happy here as long as Mars comes over. Thanks to Warren Buffett, Nebraska is still a free country in the midst of China Province America and Mars can land freely in Buffett’s cornfields.”

“That’s why all Friends live in Omaha now,” Frank says, bitter-sweet but utterly relieved. “We got here just before the Chinese built a wall around the border.”

“True,” Mars says. “During my last interview with Lu Kung Si, the Chinese governor in New York, he confessed that Buffett had bribed Xi Ping with a billion of Berkshire Hathaway shares.”

“Do you know how they build that wall?” Cindy asks.

“They stole the Trump designs and forced American dissenters in hard labor camps to do the work,” Mars replied. “The wall is so good that nobody gets in, even better than what the illegals faced in the south or the Berlin Wall in East Germany in the sixties. Kathryn is slated to meet with Lu next week as a free representative of what was once the great USA, to discuss China’s plans with Province America.”

“But how does she go to New York and back?” Ted asks. “Aren’t you afraid they may keep her there for ransom?”

“Kathryn gets special permission, with lots of Chinese red tape,” Mars clarifies, grinning. “And she flies back on the company plane. Lu knows that if he did anything bad to Kathryn his Xi Ping tower would be rubble the next moment.”

“I heard the Chinese also stole the NASA designs to go to Mars,” Fred says.

“We know, but Confucius said. ‘An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.’ So we’re prepared. They may reach Mars but will melt on arrival.”

“And what if Kathryn came?” Maria asks.

“Red carpet out,” Mars said, laughing. “Happy Fourth!” And he raised his bottle of Buffett beer, formerly Samuels.

Advertisement:

Enchanting the Swan

https://amzn.to/2XvKMsx

“A beautiful story — full of suspense, drama, and enduring love centered around music. John Schwartz has created a whole world and a wonderful escape. The characters jump off the page with such personality and imagery that this book could make a great movie. Enchanting the Swan is a very enjoyable read, and I recommend it highly.” Neal Cary (Cellist -Professor – William&Mary)

“Enjoyed the book. Well written book. A very heartbreaking love story.” Vera Wilson

“Enchanting the Swan was a nice read, and a deviation from the predictable boy meets girl and falls in love formula. There were many turns in the book that are reminiscent of life in that they were off the path to the end result. The writing was very image evoking and it all made for a good story that kept me reading until the end. Looking forward to more from this author!” Amy

“A lively composition! The various moneyed people, their elaborately appointed living quarters, and their high-wheeling lifestyle add a dash of pizzazz.” Kirkus Reviews

 

 

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ENCHANTÉ – CHINA’S DEMOCRACY

Mars Man on Planet Earth and on Mars with Kathryn of Omaha TV

Mars Man is visiting Lu again for an interview on behalf of Mars TV at the Chinese America Office, formerly the Empire State Building, now called The Mao Xi Jinping Tower.

“Morning, Lu, how’s everything?”

“Province America is doing great, thanks to Bernie Sanders, now Chief Comrade of Province America, and Miss Cortez, Vice Chief Comrade. All schools are public now with free education, learning Mandarin as the first language. Healthcare is free. University is free and student loans are forgiven. Everyone has a fixed salary and nobody pays taxes as these are automatically withheld. All commerce and manufacturing is ‘Made in China’ and all revenues are paid into the Chinese Treasury.”

“My wife Kathryn says that her government salary is totally insufficient. I have to support her with Mars gold. The Yen does not have enough purchasing power she says.”

“Everyone’s salary is the same because everybody is equal. It’s about the same level as the old Social Security was. People have to learn how to live in a socialistic society. No jealousy, no keeping up with the Joneses. Bernie wanted that households with a maximum of two children up to eighteen years old get an extra allowance. We agreed to that, but that meant that the average salary had to be lower. All money is government money. Kathryn should be happy to receive money from China.”

“What happened to the money of the rich?”

“Chief Comrade Sanders said to confiscate their money because it was all stolen. So we did. Everybody has the same amount of money. Only the Leader determines who may have more.”

“Do citizens here still have freedom as embedded in the US Constitution?”

“You’re misinformed, Mars. The US Constitution is no more. The Founding Fathers are gone. Province America is ruled by the new Founding Fathers, Mao and Xi Jinping, with Bernie Sanders and Miss Cortez as their valets. Everyone is free within the confines of socialism.”

“What happened to President Trump and his military establishment?”

“President Trump made the mistake of visiting China with his top generals and political entourage to meet President Xi Jinping. They were incarcerated for unfriendly behavior about our legit American market share and shipped to Guantanamo Bay. China took over America with our superior Cyberwarfare equipment without firing one shot.”

“So you helped the American political left to achieve their goal of removing their rightfully elected President. Was there any collusion between you, Biden and Sanders?”

“Don’t ask impertinent questions, Mars. You know the rule. One more and you are out the door.”

“Sorry, Lu, but the former President was accused of collusion. Since you removed him from office in the interest of the left, the question arises. Back on the salary matter, if everyone has the same state salary, do people still have jobs?”

“In a planned economy, everyone has a job. The new State Districts of Province America assign jobs to them. The former states have been abolished. People living in each State District must register at the Xi Jinping Party Office. Those who do not will be imprisoned and they and their relatives forfeit their state salary.”

“But my wife says that her state salary cannot pay for needed groceries in the state commissaries.”

“In China, people have no problem buying in and living on state commissaries, so if we Chinese can, Chinese Americans can too. Most Americans are overweight anyway. Slimming down by living on a state salary is cheaper than paying exorbitant fees for Nutrisystem.”

“That’s tough on what used to be a freedom-loving society. Have there not been any protests?”

“No protests. Do you remember Tiananmen square?  President Xi dictated that everyone must closely adhere to the Communist Party line, or else. There are serious consequences if they don’t, such as life-long labor camps. So far, the inhabitants of Province America got the message.”

“Are people allowed to stay in their multimillion-dollar homes?” 

“Only true Chinese and true Chinese American collaborators can if they contribute to the Leader. Others must move out to make room for them. Chief Comrade Sanders and his pupil Miss Cortez are assigned McMansions of their liking. Miss Pelosi is holed up for free in an assistant-living residence managed by a state commissary.”

“Do South Americans still cross the border?”

“No, for two reasons. The Trump Wall now serves to prevent people from moving out. Second, Central American states are dominated by socialist regimes that closely collaborate with China. China does not tolerate migration.”

“Am I correct that China has destroyed Western democracy?”

“Your premise is wrong. Chinese democracy existed many centuries before Western nations were born. Who is to say that Western Democracy is better than Chinese Democracy? It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. China’s democracy has ruled a population grown to close 1.5 billion. How could you govern a population that large with Western Democracy? American democracy grew decadent with its sexual aberrations and political and religious infighting. Their politicians turned into a class of clowns. They dug their own grave. In a way, China has saved the Americans from themselves. Soon, we will save Mars from the Marsians.”

“I don’t think so, Lu. Our Cyber Power is still a multiple of China’s. I have no problem flying to and from Planet Earth in a jiffy. Mars Democracy is much older than China’s. Be careful, do not touch Mars or we focus our beams on Bejing and obliterate your system. Goodbye, Lu, it was a pleasure meeting you again.”

After kissing off Kathryn in Omaha, Mars Man scooted back to Mars. On the way, cybermalfare rattled the shield of Space Scooter One. Mars Man took his cell phone and dialed Lu. “Lu, stop that rattling right now or I pulverize your Xi Tower with my afterburner.” The rattling died right away.

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ENCHANTÉ – MARS MAN’S BAD INTERVIEW WITH LU

Mars Man is back at Lu Kung Si’s office in the Empire State Building for an interview with the Governor of China’s Province America. Mars visits Lu on behalf of Mars City TV which is interested in hearing Lu’s views about China’s Plans to invade Mars to make it a Chinese Province as well. The interview is relayed through Omaha TV with charming anchor Kathryn. Lu speaks first.

“You know, Mars, that Planet Earth’s Napoleon in his days already said that China was a sleeping giant and that Planet Earth should worry when it awoke. You see what happened to what was previously called the USA. You ask what China’s Plans are for Mars? Tell your audience they would never have it any better: daily access to Peking Duck and Chinese food, the main staple of America’s carry outs, even long before it became a Chinese province.”

“May I remind you Lu that Mars people have different bodies than you have. We live underground, have worm farms, plant farms, eat olms, salamanders, and wild bats, a delicacy as good as Peking Duck.  We do not keep messy flee-infested poultry. Chinese could not live on Mars.”

“China would build structures above ground, Mars, acclimatized to Planet Earth conditions, bringing in our own food and drinks.”

“Unlike Planet Earth, we manage our climate and would make sure that storms, heat and cold would wipe you off our surface. My wife Kathryn cannot come with me. I have to come here but I have the ability to change into a human body, and that’s a secret you cannot steal.”

“I must remind you not to speak in adversarial terms, Mars. China does not steal. We acquire technology through partnerships, ‘Made in China.’ Find me one box in Province America without that label. We make things together and in exchange, we use our label. Walmart likes it, so does QVC and so many others, and so do we. Those that do not go out of business.”

“Lu, on Mars, we do not use cheap malnourished Chinese labor to make a profit on what we sell. You have no future on Mars. So spare yourself the trouble and stay away.”

“You don’t understand China, Mars. China aims to rule the universe and Mars will be one of our provinces in space from where we dominate Planet Earth.”

“Mars will import redundant flatulence from the failed New Green Deal and make your landing impossible.”

“Don’t fool yourself, Mars. We acquired NASA and the Russian Space Station. We put our footprint on the Moon. Mars will be next. Venus and Jupiter will follow.”

“The inhabitants of these planets will eat you alive, Lu. Contrary to Marsians, they like Chinese food. It’s a suicidal move.”

“China has 1.5 billion people and that’s too many. We must ship the overload off to space, starting with the Tibetans and Urghs, and unruly residents of Province America. Those deplorables as defined by comrade Hillary Clinton, including racists, sexists, homophobics, xenophobics, Islamophobics. Like the Brits did with sending their criminal crop to Australia. Only true collaborators of China are allowed to remain on Planet Earth.”

“How will China get to Mars?”

“Before you leave, we will X-ray your body to re-engineer it and replicate it for our own use.”

“X-rays do not work on my body, Lu. Besides, if you try that I will turn you into a Mars bar with devastating power.  When somebody eats that bar, that person will also turn into a Mars bar, and so on. That might be a better policy to deal with your population problem.”

“Don’t try April Fools Pranks on me, Mars. I can arrest you for disrespect of a senior Chinese official. I insist you follow me to our health room.”

Lu rises, but his face and body crumble with a painful scream. All that’s left on his desk is a Mars bar.

When Mars Man leaves Lu’s office, he pushes the icon ‘Utilities’ on his smartphone to restore Lu to his human condition. He needs him for further interviews but knows that Lu will think twice before trying to take his body next time.

 

 

 

 

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Short Stories for an Easy Read!

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Enchanté! Cheers! Proost!

While Mars Man is traveling back from St. Maartens to St. Mars to join his TV team at Mars City TV, we do a little advertising to pay the bills!

ENCHANTÉ has issued 10 short stories so far, all represented on the right,  of which nine under the banner “Some Women I Have Known.” I borrowed this title from my Great Uncle Joost van der Poorten Schwartz (1858-1915), who wrote some 14 books and 4 bundles of short stories in the English language, mostly in the nineteenth century. His “Some Women”, though more “Victorian” in concept than the ones I have known, is still a good read. Except the Audrey and the Lady D stories, which are memoir, the other stories are told through the voice of John van Dorn, a fictitious alias, to avoid that potential readers might say “Hey, that’s me,” or “Hey, that’s her!”

I – The Audrey story is a Memoir of how 13-year old Audrey Hepburn entered my life when I was seven. I had wanted to write this story for a long time and finally did. Her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer found it “sweet” and sweet it is. She had an indelible impact on my life, as I could never have guessed she would become so famous and well liked the world over. Her birthday, May 4, is coming up and a good opportunity to buy this story as the revenues accrue to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.

II –   The Two Anns memorize first loves, seen from a young male’s adventurous POV (point of view). There are many women I have met and forgotten, but you never forget your first loves. It would have been interesting to know how these first loves remember me and if they ever wrote that on paper.

III – Lucy The Cello Girl got John van Dorn hooked for life with her bow, phrasing heavenly music from her instrument, when he met her in the basement of his boarding school. A lover of classical music, he fell for her instantly, but young love has its tragic moments of inexperience, immaturity and doubts, and it took many years to materialize.

IV – Tisja The Village Beauty is the naughty story about how Peter, another “alias”, loses his virginity. I guess nobody forgets that moment in their life. It’s worth remembering and I had a good laugh writing it up.

V – Geneviève The Adorable Pianist pictures the classical Love in Paris. Many loves in Paris populate books and movies, but each one is different and this one is no exception. Even today, soaps return to the Eifel Tower, Trocadero, the river the Seine and the Ile de France. For all its picturesque flavor, Paris remains a pitfall for amour. This one got started while playing quatre mains at the piano at the famous Ecole normale de musique, “mains” that got closer and closer and… well, you read the rest.

VI – Irene Femme Fatale is the eternal refrain of young libido gone haywire and ending in predictable disaster. Women are smarter than man, because they got that superior gift of nature to lure the male into the dangerous act of procreation and… you better watch out.

VII – Lady D is a Memoir of the quintessential grandmother. Some people are greater than others, and she is one of those rare people. Yes, at one stage they pass away and go to heaven, but they live on never to be forgotten, staying at your side throughout life.

VIII – Ingrid The Magnificent Viking is a goddess John van Dorn meets on the ski slopes in the Swiss Alps at a moment of great distress in his love life that turns into even greater distress in a mishap of sorrowful circumstances that should never have happened.

IX – Nyira, The Tutsi Queen, tells the harrowing story how John van Dorn during a posting in Africa meets a fascinating Tutsi woman in Burundi and rescues her in a narrow escape from tribal persecution.

X – Killing the Elephant Poacher introduces Yves Bret, a former sergeant and sniper in the French Foreign Legion, as “The Boutique Killer” or “BK” for short, who carries out hit jobs only when he considers them justified.  In this first story the Central African Republic hires him to kill a terrorist elephant poacher. After a harrowing march through the African bush in the company of a band of army rangers and a horrendous gun fight, he finds himself trapped in the compounds of the Minister of the Interior. What to do?

The short stories are published for Amazon.com by Willow Manor Publishing in Fredericksburg in Virginia, and the cover designs are the product of Melanie Stephens of the same company.

They are available on Amazon.com for Kindle reading at the ridiculous price of 99 dollar cents or there about depending where you are, well below cost. Get them for an easy read during the weekend! If you do, give a review, if you can, by clicking on the story’s review link on Amazon.com. It’s simple and won’t cost you more than a few minutes of your time. We love your feedback.

Lastly, my romantic novel Enchanting The Swan is in the final stage and scheduled for publication in September. We will let you know!

All my best,

John

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