The Big O and the Zs


It’s late at night in a cave somewhere just east of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and Osama bin Laden is having a strategy conference with his second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and his Iraqi chief of terrorist operations, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, hereinafter referred to as O, A, and Z, respectively.

**O: You know, Ayman, I still think we could safely hide in Kabul…after all, there are a million-and-a-half people there and surely…well, look at this…my prayer rug stays wet constantly and actually I can't face east in the daytime to pray in this forsaken hole in the ground because I can't see the sun and this damned Russian compass points only to Lenin's grave and not true north or anywhere else…it's almost as if…
**A: You're right, as usual, Osama old friend, and then there's the problem of keeping caviar refrigerated until it gets here, not to mention what those Taliban poppy-sniffers don't steal…they're high as a hanging burka most of…anyway, you don't spend much time on that rug. Allah damn their greed!
**O: Glad you could make it, Abu, although these dates you brought taste like camel dung. Are there no fresh dates in Iraq these days?
**Z: With all due respect, Mighty Leader, I didn’t know you were a connoisseur of camel dung, in order to be able to make that comparison…although they do sorta remind me of camel tongue. (sneers) Maybe that’s what you said…I’ve been exposed to so many mortar explosions by those damned Americans that my hearing has…
**A: Uh…I’m sure Osama said camel tongue, Abu…you’re right…you just misunderstood…isn’t that right, Mighty Leader Osama? Praise Allah!
**O: Whatever! I'm not complaining, of course…it's just that…well, we had it so good in Kabul, found idiot-suicide bombers, with no sweat…just promise the fools those 72 virgins in Paradise not wearing those hateful burkas - in fact, not wearing anything - and now this cowboy Bush has…you should never have told me he wouldn't come after us if we flew those planes into those buildings…it's all your…and I do spend time on my prayer rug, at least twice a year, just like the folks in the United States…they make it on Christmas and Easter, but it's Wal-Mart on all their other holy days. Speaking of Wal-Mart, I wonder if we could get some AK-47s cheap there. I've heard they don't promote women, so they're our kind of…by the way, Abu, you’re killing far more of us than them lately, so what’s…
**Z: It’s becoming harder and harder to kill Americans, especially since those damnable, Allah-disgracing elections. We thought we’d have a field day on election-day, but the Americans stayed away and all we could do was kill a few Iraqis, hopefully Shiites, Praise Allah, but it’s hard to tell them from the Sunnis. We thought a couple hundred might vote, but nine million – disgraceful…those awful purple fingers. I’ve given orders to cut off the fingers of all the men we find with fingers colored purple, especially if we can do it while they’re still alive. For women, we cut off the whole hand, of course, in keeping with sound doctrine. Praise Allah! If they vote twice, we cut off both arms.
**A: How could 9 million vote, in the first place, Abu, you buffoon? With that many people in large groups, you should have annihilated thousands before they ever got to the…
**Z: Watch your mouth, Ayman…Allah damn your tonsils and adenoids, too, praise Allah. You’re addressing the second most important al Qaeda operative in the world now. You’ve slipped to number #3, sitting on your ample hindquarters in this comfortable cave while I’m out where the blood is flowing, living on that awful stuff the Frenchies send us, and Allah is looking down with…
**A: You call this comfortable, Abu…comfortable?
**O: Comfortable? Bah!! My prayer rug stays wet all the time and the fumes from these awful oil lamps are enough to…and the darkness…I never know which way is toward Mecca in this hell-hole, where the sun never shines, so I’m afraid to pray anymore for fear I might get the direction wrong and pray to the wrong god. Allah, forgive me. My AK-47 is getting rusty, and I don’t get any of the Reality Shows from American TV in this dump…those mostly naked girls running around on some island…you don’t know how bad it is here, Abu! And what makes you think you’re now number #2, anyway? Just because you think you’re the best be-header in the world…anybody can…
**Z: That should be obvious, Mighty Leader. The reward for me dead or alive is the same as it is for you…the same as it was for Saddam and much more than it was for his sons…I’m worth 25 million. Ayman is worth nothing, as far as I know, although I admit I don’t know if there’s a price on his head. Besides, I’ve been sentenced to death in Jordan for plotting to blow up the Radisson in Amman…that oughtta show you why I’m number #2 now, and headed for…oops, never mind that last.
**O: You’ll miss the virgins if I use this for your insolence, Abu, praise Allah, (Osama reaches toward his AK-47) since you wouldn’t be a martyr but just an idiot insubordinate…indeed you would think mortars to be Paradise compared to the devil’s fire, Praise Allah!
**Z: Forgive me, mighty leader. Actually, I meant the next step after being no. #2 would be Paradise where the imams don’t screech and the virgins don’t roam and the skies are not cloudy all day…you know…home, home on the…
**A: You idiot, Zarqawi! Praise Allah! You’ve been tuning in your short wave to country music again. It’s no wonder the beheadings have slowed down so much. Allah, forgive you!
**Z: But the car-bombings have not slowed, which brings me to the point of this visit. The Iranians are charging twice as much for roadside bombs these days and three times as much for old cars to put the other bombs in. They say it’s because gas prices have gone sky-high in America and that the Iranians are paying four times as much on the black market for blue-jeans and demanding raises.
**O: We’re in a cash crunch ourselves, Abu. We’ve been sending to the American Howard Dean, the mighty potentate of the Democrat Party, a monthly contribution to get the Congress turned away from the Shrub – or whatever he’s called – this November…PRAISE ALLAH!!! If successful, we will rout Rumsfeld and Rice will be toast…and Dean has promised to see that Bolten is run out of the UN and that there’ll be two goats in every pot and a strong, young jackass in every stable and…
**A: And don’t forget, Mighty Leader, praise Allah…that Dean has promised to teach his scream to all the imams so their prayer calls can be heard from minaret to minaret to country to COUNTRY to COUNTRY to continent to CONTINENT to A-A-A-R-R-R-G-G-G-H-H-H
**Z: (slapping A) Shut up, you idiot…you’ve got the bats flying through my hair and water bubbling under the mighty leader’s prayer rug…Praise Allah…and I think I hear helicopters…