Jake Nichols, Jackson Hole Planet
Following a short speech at the dedication of the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center yesterday, I received the surprise of my life when Vice President Dick Cheney stopped in mid-stride to respond to my shouted question about the fine Wyoming weather we had been experiencing. My surprise was increased two-fold when Mr. Cheney called me by my proper name, even though the type on my press pass was so small as to be barely legible from the distance at which he stood. Walking up so close that his face filled my vision in a fleshy panorama, the vice president broke into a million dollar smile as he patted me, Jake Nichols, on the back.

"It's grand weather, Jack, just grand. You know, my protégé is clearing brush in 105° heat right now, so I'd say I got the best of the deal. You'd think old numbnuts would have learned something by now..."

His voice trailed off and a twinkle came to his eye. "I'm sure you must have some other small question for me, something a bit more interesting than the weather, n'est-ce pas?"

My head was spinning. Not only was the Vice President speaking to me, he was doing so in French. He was right. I must have some small question for him. Thinking quickly, I managed to ask "Do you plan to toughen the US response to Iran?"

"Permission to speak freely," he responded, and since no such permission was needed from me, we both laughed and laughed.

"It's an interesting question, Jack. Congress has been pushing for us to be more aggressive, pushing, pushing, incessantly pushing, and I've been listening. I'm sure you'll be pleased to learn that I've decided to designate the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorists."

"But... but... that's over a hundred thousand people," I stuttered, delighted by the colossal size of my scoop.

"One hundred and twenty-five thousand to be exact," Cheney told me, "and that's not even counting the Basij and the three hundred thousand reserves. That's a hornets nest inside of a beehive on top of a hill of deadly red ants."

"How can you..." I began.

"How can I what?" Cheney demanded, his smile now only a memory. "How can I declare an entire military branch a terrorist? I can because Executive Order 13224, signed by the president following the deadly attacks of September 11th,  explicitly allows me to declare any organization as terrorists in order to disrupt and block the assets of any group we think may be providing aid and comfort to terrorist activities."

"Uh," I said.

"Uh," he replied, his face growing redder, "is that the best you can do, Jack? Uh? I'll tell you one damn thing, the next time one of you mainstream media idiots ask where the Iranian terrorists are, we'll be able to say 'Open your eyes, Bozo, there's a half a million of them and they've got the bomb'. I'd like to see how you're going to try to spin that. You can't. And if you don't see the need for action, by God, the American people will."

I was so proud. The Vice President had called me a member of the Mainstream Media.


©2007, Mark Hoback