September 26th, 2003


Yet another one of life's strange coincidences...

Stumbled onto a verse from the Qur'an (detailed text, RealPlayer) that seems strangely appropriate to our times. It seems stranger still that nobody has mentioned it before...

"Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" If some good befalls them, they say, "This is from Allah"; but if evil, they say, "This is from thee" (O Prophet). Say: "All things are from Allah." But what hath come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact? "

You have to wonder whether 9/11 was Osama Bin Laden's attempt at gallows humor -- a kind of in-joke amongst Muslims. Part of me wonders whether we'll be watching videos of him stepping over boulders for the next twenty years, but on a realistic level I can't see how he can get away indefinitely, no matter how botched the war on terrorism has been. Sooner or later he will be sold down the river, because that's the nature of the beast.

I still hope the rest of the world gets the last laugh.

Rumsfeld at the drive-thru...

Here's a little something that I just wrote up. Feel free to do whatever you want with it within the boundaries of the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial license. I've tried to make it fairly polished, but if you would like to suggest any fixes or improvements, it would be appreciated. Hope you like... or whatever.

"Rumsfeld at the Drive-Thru" - by Mark Kraft

Clerk - "Welcome to In & Out Warfare! How can I help you?"

Rumsfeld - "Hi, I'd like a large war with extra troops and a biggie oil!"

Clerk - "Sure! Would you like those troops to be US or UN?"

Rumsfeld - "I can get UN troops?! Oh, UN then!"

Clerk - "(pause) My mistake, I'm sorry. It looks like UN troops are only available in our Police Action Meals -- offer good through the end of this year."

Rumsfeld - "Dammit! US troops are more expensive! Can't I get some French troops instead?"

Clerk - "I'm sorry. We don't carry French troops anymore. We only carry Freedom Troops now. How 'bout I start you off with 150,000 of those?"

Rumsfeld - "Well, ok... but I'm going to want some less expensive troops too. What do you have?"

Clerk - "We have a special on Israelis today!"

Rumsfeld - "Oooh. Uh, no thanks. Way too spicy for me! Do you have anything milder? I mean, I'd really like it as mild as you can get."

Clerk - "Well, we have some British..."

Rumsfeld - "Great! Anything else?"

Clerk - "Um... lemme look. Still looking.... Still looking.... I think I will need to check in back. This might take a while. Why don't you pull up to the window so I can get you part of your order now, and then I will search in the back to see what we still have in stock. Here are your Freedom Troops and your biggie oil. I'll be back in a sec!"

Rumsfeld - "Hey, uh... oh! Excuse me. Hello? Dammit! There's ketchup all over my Freedom Troops and my biggie oil seems to have sprung a leak! What a mess! Hello?!? Goddamit! It's leaking all over the front page of my newspaper! Hello??! Anyone back there?"

Clerk - "(long pause) Okay... well, I couldn't find any large foriegn armies for you, but I'm tossing in a few of our samplers in order to make it up to you. Lesse, we have some Spanish, a few Poles, a Ukranian, a Hungarian, a Honduran ... Heh. That's funny. I found a Mongolian hidden away under the burner. It's sure been a long time since we served Mongolians...."

Rumsfeld - "It's still good though, right?"

Clerk - "Well, it smells a bit funny, but I think that if I dust it off a bit, it'll be fine."

Rumsfeld - "Ok, well, what about something more traditional? Got any Germans or Japanese?"

Clerk - "We really don't get much call for them anymore..."

Rumsfeld - "Not much call for them? But they used to be so popular!"

Clerk - "Yeah, well, times change. A lot of people are really turned off at the idea of German wars nowadays, though if you give me long enough, I *might* be able to find you a handful of Japanese and maybe some South Koreans..."

Rumsfeld - "No, I really need *something* now."

Clerk - "I'm sorry. That seems to be all we have in stock."

Rumsfeld - "What? No Russians?"

Clerk - "Sorry, no longer in stock. I think there's a run on them in Chechnya right now. We can't seem to get enough of them in lately!"

Rumsfeld - "Well, how about some Turkish? Pakistanis? Indians?!"

Clerk - "Let me check those for you. Yes! Yes..looks promising! Here we go..! YeeeeeessssNnnno. Nope. Sorry."

Rumsfeld - "I'm pretty upset about this. You gave me Freedom Troops smothered in ketchup when I didn't ask for ketchup, my biggie oil is leaking, I have this huge mess to clean up, and you offering me a handful of Mongolians isn't going to help me all that much...!"

Clerk - "I'm sorry sir, but I can only give you what we have. We're very popular and sometimes we run out, but if we weren't so popular, you wouldn't be here, would you? C'mon... you know you love a good war, right?!"

Rumsfeld - "Well, who doesn't, but..."

Clerk - "Tell you what -- would it help you out a bit if I threw in some WMDs free of charge?"

Rumsfeld - "You can do that?!"

Clerk - "Sure! War is our business!"

Rumsfeld - "Hehheh. That's funny. That reminds me of one of our slogans. "Peace is our business."

Clerk - "I'm sure it is, sir. One sec while I round up those WMDs for you." (muttering and arguing in the background...) Sir?! I'm sorry sir. We just sold the last of our WMDs."

Rumsfeld - "Sold them? But I need to find some WMDs! Who did you sell them to?!"

Clerk - "North Korea, Iran..."

Rumsfeld - "*Those BASTARDS!* I was going to invade them next!"

Clerk - "Yeah, those two are around here a lot. When they saw you pull up for your order, they apparently panicked and bought up all the WMDs they could get their hands on. I tried to see if we could order some for you, but it might have to wait. Our manager mentioned that you were one of our prefered customers here, Mr. Rumsfeld, and that he had some anthrax hidden away at home that you may be interested in."

Rumsfeld - "Anthrax?"

Clerk - "Yeah, he said that he had your address and would send it to you in the mail..."

Rumsfeld - "That doesn't really help me."

Clerk - "I'm sorry, sir. Would you like to pay now?"

Rumsfeld - "Pay for this mess? Can't I just cancel my order?"

Clerk - "Sorry. We have a strict no return policy.

Rumsfeld - "Well, what's this going to cost me?"

Clerk - "Well, if you're talking two years, that comes to about 1000 dead, 6000 wounded, and, say, about $200 Billion... I'll throw in some UN humanitarian aid, which should save you a bit of money so long as nobody blows them up."

Rumsfeld - "Ok, sounds good. I would like to bill this order to the Iraqi Governing Council, if you would..."

Clerk - "I'm sorry. Did you want this war to be a war of liberation or a dictatorship, because unless it's a dictatorship, we can't do that."

Rumsfeld - "A war of liberation or dictatorship? Godammit! Can't we do both?!?"

Clerk - "Sorry sir. Ever since we got burnt by Mr. Bonaparte, we've had to change our policies..."

Rumsfeld - "Well, what about billing it to the UN instead?"

Clerk - "Sure. All we need is a UN resolution authorizing the war and..."

Rumsfeld - "Uh. I seem to have misplaced it. Can't we just call them up and ask them instead?"

Clerk - "Ok. Sure. Let's try that. (Dials phone) Hello? UN? I have a Mr. Rumsfeld here, and he mentioned something about a war you might be familiar with and wondered if you would be willing to pay for it? (BOOM!) Hello? Hello?! Um, they seem to be a bit busy right now, Mr Rumsfeld.

Look sir, I would like to work something out with you on paying for all this, but there are some very angry looking African tribesmen behind you in line with machetes, and I would like to keep things moving. Tell you what... I'll have my boss charge it to your boss, and if you decide later that you'd rather have a dictatorship instead of a war of liberation, we can always reverse the charges then. Sounds good?"

Rumsfeld - "Fine. Whatever. My newspaper is a soggy mess, there's ketchup everywhere, and I just want to go home and take a shower."

Clerk - "I'm sorry for all the inconvenience, Mr. Rumsfeld. Have a nice day. Please pull ahead."

Rumsfeld - "I'd like to pull ahead, but the vehicle in front of me just exploded and has caught on fire!"

Clerk - "Oh, that must be one of our new improvised explosive devices! They're our most popular item in stock, and can be easily hidden on practically any surface! Really something, huh?! Hope to see you at In & Out again real soon, Mr. Rumsfeld! Thank you, drive through!"

The Doctor is in.

Looks like the BBC is bringing back Doctor Who in 2005. No confirmation on who the new doctor will be yet, but the buzz seems to be focused on Alan Davies as the new Who, with writer Russell T. Davies (best known for penning the British series 'Queer as Folk') in charge of bringing new life to an old classic.

Good luck, Beeb. (You're gonna need it...)