It is Halloween, and time for my annual attempt at political satire. Previous attempts at spooky political humor can be found here and here. Public response to these efforts has been overwhelming, but I am going to keep doing it anyway.
Scene: A decrepit stone mansion in suburban Minnesota. A great entry hall is lit with the flames of a dozen torches. Ragged tapestries line the walls. In the corner, a grand staircase and an iron banister, covered in cobwebs, lead to the second level. The front door creaks eerily as two shadowy figures enter the room.
Van Helsing: Quiet, Mr. Harker, don’t let her hear you.
Harker: Do you think the Countess is sleeping?
Van Helsing: No. She only sleeps during the daylight.
The stillness is interrupted by a female voice coming from the top of the stairs.
The Countess: You know me all too well, Dr. Van Helsing. Did you stop by for a cup of tea? I wasn’t expecting visitors.
She steps out of the shadows and into the flickering firelight. She is wearing a diaphanous floor length gown, colored eggshell blue. Her long brown hair extends to her shoulders, where it curves back upwards in a flip. But the most striking aspect of her appearance is her stare, with two intense brown eyes that seem to pierce into her visitors’ very souls.
Van Helsing, wiping away a cobweb: I can tell that we are unexpected. This must be a tough place to keep clean.
The Countess: I had thought of moving to someplace smaller, but my mortgage is under water. Who sent you here? Was it that Kenyan President of yours?
Harker: Here now, lady, President Obama has released his birth certificate. He’s proven that he was born in Hawaii.
The Countess: Fool! Don’t you think that birth certificates can be faked?
Van Helsing: Don’t try to reason with her Harker. I’ve seen smarter men than you go mad in the attempt.
Harker: I’m not afraid of her. I’m a man of science.
The Countess: Science? The same science that warns us that the world is becoming warmer? Lies and political propaganda, more likely.
Harker: I’ll have you know that the Berkeley Earth Project recently confirmed that the average annual global temperature has been rising at a higher rate over the last few decades than ever previously recorded. It’s a provable fact!
The Countess: But you can’t prove that carbon emissions are the cause. You can’t prove that natural cycles won’t produce a cooling off effect in the future. You can’t prove that we can do anything to reverse the process.
Van Helsing: Don’t you see Harker, she exploits the fact that human beings are incapable of complete knowledge in order to undermine any scientific progress that we have made. She employs the logical fallacy that the failure to know everything is the same thing as the failure to know anything.
The Countess: You can’t prove that vaccinations don’t cause autism! Until we let the banks fail, there is no way of knowing whether bank failures will hurt the economy! If one person can change their sexual orientation, that must prove that everyone can!
Harker, rushing up the stairs with a wooden stake: Die, you fiend from hell!
Harker and the Countess struggle, falling down the stairs.
Harker: Aargh! She bit me!
Van Helsing pulls a vial of holy water from his pocket, and throws the water on the Countess. She screams, as the water burns into her flesh, and then falls limp.
Van Helsing: It’s over. She will never walk this earth again.
Harker, his hand covering a bloody wound on his shoulder: Dr. Van Helsing, I was wondering. Why did it take Obama so long to produce his birth certificate? If he had one all along, wouldn’t he have produced it sooner? And why didn’t he grant the State of Hawaii permission to produce his original 1961 birth certificate, instead of giving the media a certified copy? Doesn’t that seem odd to you?
Van Helsing sighs, reaching for the wooden stake on the floor. Under his breath, he mutters: And so it begins again.