Obama, Rather & Mephistopheles

It's 2:00 a.m. in a basement bar on the south side of Chicago. Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, former CBS news-anchor Dan Rather, and Mephistopheles, sitting at a corner table in the back and hereinafter denoted by O, R, and M, respectively, are sipping their drinks as they converse in low tones.

~O: This had better be good, Rather…I could be…ah..uh..eh…at home right now and…
~R: This is not only good…it's sure-fire…as ol' Georget Tenet would have it…ha…ha…when he made that awful prediction about the WMD…it's a SLAM DUNK!!! Mephie here's gotta…
~M: If I have to tell you one more time, Rather, you're in deep trouble…it's not Mephie, except to friends, of which you certainly are not one ever since you led me to believe there was coal in the Vermont mountains and that scalawag Howard dean went along with it, then cheated me out of his soul when there was no coal for my hell and I had to go to Montana and actually pay Halliburton for it…that thieving Cheney next-door in Wyoming…you call me Mephie one more time and I'll…
~R: Egad! (dodging under the table) Don't breathe on me again, Mephistopheles…you gotta cut me some slack…I'm still suffering CBS-Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder…how could those loonies fire the best…
~O: Look, people…I guess…people…that is…Mephistopheles…hey, man, I um…eh…oh…thought that was a character in something about…um…whoo…sheesh…Faust or a book or an opera…or…maybe one o' those…ugh…southern states…you know, one o' those 57 I gotta visit yet.
~M: Well, think again! What you see is what you get, and I don't smell of coal-tar and kerosene and fried-flesh for nothing. I'm here to make a deal…one you can't refuse.
~R: What he means, Senator…would you prefer that I call you president? (O nods) Okay, make that Mr. President. What Meph…what he means is that he's here to guarantee you the vote in November.
~O: And all I have to do is sell my soul for it…I remember that deal now…are you guys for real? Besides, I've got the uh…whew…presidency locked up. I've got the soccer moms, the uh…ah…um…wow…the college kids, the union guys, the G-B-L-T gang, the Hispanics…ha…ha…both legal and illegal…a million of them vote in my Chicago, where yow…ow…uh…at least a million dead folks vote every election…oh…ha…ha…and the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah um…ahem…o-o-h…Wright makes the payoffs, when he's not damning this sorry country, so…
~R: Hey, Big O…hope you don't mind a bit of friendly appellations there…you gotta be kiddin'. The Zogby poll had you trailing that old geezer last night by five, and you say "sorry country" out loud anywhere besides Massachusetts and California and that'll be the end…not to mention you yelling last night about China and Russia being better than the USA…
~O: I have to say it because ah…sheesh…m-m-m…all I've ever insisted was that we need change, so it naturally follows that if we need change, what we have…see…that is…uh…see…is sorry, so you see, that's my nuance of superiority.
~M: Is this guy for real, Rather?
~R: Uh…yeah…that is, he's still unwinding from that Berlin appearance, where some wag actually said he said he walked in on the Elbe River. He did make that awesome speech and the people screamed and Angela – that's the prexy of Germany – well, she said he was a hunk and the women threw their underclothes on the platform and 10,000 teeny-boppers fainted dead away on the street…so you can see why he's thinking super-big, which is not all bad, you know…
~M: Yeah…I know…like you were thinking back in 2004 when you found that famous Texas Air Guard typewriter, model 1967, with all that stuff on the cowboy. Egad, Danny boy, as ol' Joe Biden would have it, do you ever come back to earth once in a while yet? And now you're thinking the same thing again only with a new twist…and you'd better get it right this time.
~O: I'm runnin' outta time here, you guys, besides aw…uh…which I'm not following your train of thought besides…uh…ah…um…I'm not about to sell my soul for anything. My wife Michelle's told me a thousand times that I'm not for sale except maybe to Tony Rezko…ha…ha…he's the guy that…
~R: You been on fermented pineapple juice, Barack? Next thing, you'll be saying Bill Ayers of that loony-tunes Weathermen outfit back in the 60s is your hero. I know you're joking, but…
~O: Yeah…ah…uh…he's actually Michelle's hero…um…because he knew then that this is a mean country and so things had to…um…well…be exploded, as it were…if you get my drift. But, what's the…um…deal here…I gotta go, with no…um…soul to sell anyway.
~M: Rather, you think this oddball's got enough sense to…to…uh…um…whew…man, he's got me…
~R: Oh yeah, he's just pulling that campaign stuff on us…you know, say a lot to say absolutely nothing. Now, here's the deal, Barack. Mephie here (R ducking a withering blast)…make that Mephistopheles is willing to make sure you get elected if you'll promise him all the coal in Montana and Wyoming when he's president…that's close to 300 billion tons…and you get to keep your soul in the bargain. And Cheney won't be able to do a thing about it…oh…ha…ha…that's the best part.
~O: And just how does he plan to pull off this…um…deal?
~R: That's where I come in. Mephie's (R ducks and speaks from a cloud under the table)…whew…make that…Mephistopheles has got an old Hanoi news-anchor newly arrived in his oven down there who says he has something from an old Viet Cong file that will bury McCain, but will only release it to me, since I used to sneak off to Hanoi about once a week when I was covering…
~M: Get on with it, Rather…don't start one of those old war stories.
~R: Well…the gist is that I took a drink now and again with this old Cong and we did Hanoi together on occasion and he won't release anything unless I vouch for him and promise a democrat will win in November…y'see, he hated Tricky Dick Nixon because he got away with South Vietnam after slaughtering a bunch more Congs with those air raids while everyone was supposedly talking peace, even though they took it right back. But…Mephistopheles here won't give up that evidence until you promise that coal. When you do that, I get the goods and fire it over to CBS and the New York Times and the rest will be history...a SLAM DUNK!
~O: And just what's the nature…em…um…of that file?
~M: I'll just give you a hint, so you'll know I'm on the square. It's something about McCain dissing that American Jane Fonda woman from his cell – the babe that rode around in that Cong tank and, even better, she made a speech there that she was pro-choice in 1967, long before Roe v. Wade, and against Nixon in 1968. Seems he got it all off of a 1967 Hanoi Hilton memorandum typed on a captured Texas Air Guard typewriter.
~O: Wow! I was just a little mujahideen kid in a madrassa back…um…ah…then, but I remember reading about that little war, about as bad as Iraq. Man, that would give me…um…the women's vote, the black vote, the homosexual vote, the anti-war vote…um…whew…(wipes perspiration)…and all I have to give up is coal…from Cheney's…eh…ah…state. (Thinks for 30 seconds) You're on there, Mephi…whatever, wait'll Michelle hears this. Happy…uh…um…days are here again…(staggers out)
~R: Well, Mephie…this is the one I win…(loud sizzling sound)…YIKES!