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NukeGarble: “Good Guys” Gab About EndGame

Open to The Oval Office: President Obama is seated on the couch with his laptop. He’s playing the old videogame “Nuclear War”. He’s vying with four of the electronic characters on the screen: Infidel Castro, Mao the Pun, Mikhail Gorabachef, and Ronnie Raygun. In the middle is a map of the globe. Mushroom clouds rise over areas of the U.S., Russia, China, and Cuba. Sounds of explosions.

PREZ: Hahahahaha! Aw, Ronnie, I knew I could outsmart you and Mikhey!

A light flickers on the coffee table’s phone followed by a ring. The Prez answers.

SECRETARY: Mr. President, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is on the line. He sounds very upset.


Netty and B.O.

PREZ: Aw, shit, right when I’m about to burn Cuba…Okay…okay, put him on. (New line clicks on.) Netty, Netty, how ya doing, my ol’ Middle East ally!?!

NETTY: Mr. President, I’m appalled about this new nuclear agreement with Iran…

PREZ: I knew it! Aw, hey, Netty…

NETTY: Mr. President, my nickname is “Bibi”. Call me Bibi.

PREZ: Right, Netty. Now, listen, you know we’re just trying to bring a little false image of pushing peace in the Middle East while we keep stirring things up in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen. We’ve talked about all this before.

NETTY: I know, but I thought you were going to keep the Iranian negotiations in turmoil until you left office. You know we don’t want the Iranians to have ANY nuclear potential.

PREZ: Yeah, that had been my plan. Then Joey last week said something about my legacy as president. He said if I closed this deal it would look good on my resume.

NETTY: You mean your place in history?

PREZ: Yeah…that too.

NETTY: But, Mr. President, we consider any Iranian nuclear capability to be a direct threat to Israel.

PREZ: Aw, c’mon, Netty. You know Rouhani won’t try anything. He knows we’ve got nukes to wipe him out. That I’ve started a new trillion-dollar nuke buildup. And you’ve got nukes, too.

NETTY: Mr. President, Israel does not possess nuclear weapons…

PREZ: Oh, hahahahaha! Oh, Netty! Hey, It’s me, Barack. You don’t have to play that international relations game with me!

NETTY: (frustrated) Okay…Look…B.O., since you brought it up, then I’ll get right to the point. If we see Iran get even close…

On the Prez’s laptop, a huge explosion as the world disintegrates followed by buzzing sound and flashing graphic of “World Destroyed!!!!”

NETTY: (continued) What the hell was THAT!?!

Prez quickly hits the MUTE button on his laptop.

PREZ: Oh, golly! Netty, we’ve been having some real problems in the kitchen with the new cook. Ah, I see security’s running to take care of it.

NETTY: B.O., if we see Iran get even close to bomb capability, we’ll nuke them. We WILL!

PREZ: Now, Netty, c’mon. You know Iran’s bosom buddies with Russia, and China’s waiting to receive an ocean of oil from Iran when the embargo’s lifted. And they both have nukes. You nuke Iran, Russia’s liable to nuke you. And you’re so small, China won’t even have to get involved…but might.

The phone buzzes.

PREZ: Netty, hold on, I got another call. Back in a jiff. (He clicks to other line.) Yeah?

SECRETARY: Mr. President, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two…

PREZ: Honey, honey, you don’t have to give me his full title.

SECRETARY: Yessir. Well…he’s on the line. And he sounds very upset.

PREZ: Okay, tell him to hold on a second. I’ll be right with him. (Clicks on Netty) Hey, Netty, I got Sally of Arabia on the other hook. And you know we need him for oil! Gotta go! Oh, look, I’ll send you an extra billion and a half in bucks this year to soothe things. Gotta go!

NETTY: But, B.O…. Oh, okay, a billion and hal…(He’s disconnected)

PREZ: Sally, Sally, how’re things in the Land of Sand!?!

SALLY: Mr. President, this is Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saud…

PREZ: Sally, Sally, I know you’re proud of your new title. But, hey, we’re allies! You don’t have to introduce yourself to me.

SALLY: Mr. President, I’m fuming over you closing…

PREZ: Yeah, yeah, I know, the nuke deal with the Iranians. But, hey, Sally, we’ve dangled them on a string for a decade, man. I mean, we’re the ones who overthrew their freely elected democracy in the ’50s to get their oil. They’re still pissed at us for that. Besides, I was thinking how closing the deal would look great for my resume.

SALLY: You mean your place in history?

PREZ: Yeah…that too.


Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia…

SALLY: Okay, I understand that. I’m already worried about my legacy. But, still, you know you’ve been keeping Iran at bay for us. Once they’re exporting oil at full capacity, they’ll be our direct competitor. It could cost us billions in profits. This makes me believe you’ve turned against us!

PREZ: Sally, Sally! Look, haven’t we consistently sold you billions of dollars in weapons, including military aircraft? Aren’t we the ones who’ve backed your constant attacks, providing logistics, so you could slaughter those innocent civilians in Yemen?

SALLY: Well, yes…

PREZ: Yes indeedy dooo!! We’re allies, buddy.

SALLY: But you’ve made us look bad by calling for peace talks there.

PREZ: Hey, we’ve got an international rep to uphold. Look, Sally, we’ve got this nuke agreement set up so we can keep tight wraps on the Rouhani gang.

SALLY: Well, I hope so. Or else…we may have to nuke them.

PREZ: Sally, you don’t have nukes.

SALLY: Oh, c’mon, B.O….May I call you B.O.? I know other leaders call you B.O….

PREZ: Sure, Sally, sure! We’re allies!

SALLY: Okay! Look, B.O., do you really think with all our money, we haven’t spent funds and joined the nuclear weapons race?

PREZ: No shit? Man, I’m gonna have to slap around some people in intelligence. No one’s told me about this.

SALLY: Well, now that I’m in power, if you keep selling us arms and protecting our oil interests, I’ll keep you personally informed on our nuclear capability and other potential for destroying the world…except maybe for hydrocarbon emissions.

PREZ: Aw, Sally, you’re a precious ally if ever one slithered like a snake across the dunes! Hey, just to show you and I are tight, I’m sending you some extra jets on the QT. Okay?

SALLY: I did not hear that, B.O., but I await your gift with pleasure.

PREZ: Great! Sally, it’s been a harem of chuckles talkin’ with you, but I gotta go. Got a world to rebuild and defend! See ya!

Prez doesn’t wait for a goodbye. He hangs up. Gets back to the videogame.

PREZ: Hello, World! Hello, Nuclear Warfare! Hello, Armageddon! Hahahahaha…


Roger Armbrust

Roger Armbrust's articles and columns have covered labor and management, Congressional legislation, and federal court cases, including appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. He formerly served as national news editor of Back Stage in New York City, where he also taught a professional writing course at New York University. His recent book of sonnets -- oh, touch me there: Love Sonnets -- is available from Amazon and other book sites. He is an associate curator of The Clyde Fitch Report. He is also co-founder and co-curator of reality: a world of views.

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