By John Handcock
“Man, I love—”
“White people,” they finished together. Herman Cain squinted skeptically and shifted his eighth of a ton in the puce loveseat, taking his angry eyes from the initially offending Rick Perry to the source of the other voice, even as Leroy “the King” Gingrich paused in the doorway, flushed and fumbling with a Jerry Pournelle paperback. Gingrich ran his thick fingers over the embossed cover of the planet-scale rape fantasy and said in his querulous voice “Jinx, there, Herman-o: you owe me a good Georgia coke from one of those pizza joints of yours.”
“Shut your mouth, you tiny-faced big-headed ol’ pee-pee drinker. Only coke you’re getting over here came from a hell of a lot farther south than Georgia.”
“And any jinxes,” threw in Rick Perry, “are gonna be on y’all’s limp-dick campaigns!”
The debate was still nearly an hour off. The green room choked on competing smoke-clouds from the candidates—anyway, the male candidates, as Iowa’s fairly strict segregation laws were still in effect. Cain’s foul cigar naturally predominated, but Perry’s acrid industrial-chemical taint cut through the burning-garbage-pile stench neatly, like a Jethro Tull flute solo over power chords. Perry leaned back and exhaled pale grey smoke as the glass pipe slipped from nerveless fingers. “My goodness, Figgy, you certainly would make a better door than a window—though, to be honest, you’re a pretty pudgy door!” Thus did Willard “Mallard Fillmore” Romney announce his arrival, behind the corpulent impediment and his sweat-drenched behind, still ensconced in the doorway’s embrace. Gingrich, still endorphin-drenched from his unusually successful masturbation attempt, just sighed and hove his bulk fully into the warm room and its moist air, that his better might enter.
“Hey, Milk Baby, you want a bump?” Cain tucked his coke spoon back underneath his ugly shirt and leered at Romney.
With a nervous, throat-choked snigger, Gingrich tried to throw in “I think you should say ‘Ho, Ender, you fart-knocker, when you talk to that Mormon hack—’ but, as usual, nobody wanted to hear smug in-jokes from a pudgy jerkoff artist. He never did get to finish explaining his Ender OF CAMPAIGNS HAW HAW HAW joke, which, no matter what your feelings are on meat-clotted adulterers with rancid, hate-filled political beliefs drizzled in a tangy sauce of expedience and pandering, is at least a little bit of a bummer. Everybody deserves to finish their jokes. Romney’s impassive mask hardly cracked at Cain’s jibe, and he said as evenly as his speech modulators allowed “Why, you child of Ham, do you think it is that you always want something white to introduce into yourself? Is it because even your name bears the foul mark of your eternally-punished sins?”
“The FUCK did you just sa—” but Cain was cut off by Perry taking to his hind legs and stretching hugely. Naked, he stalk-padded around the room, preening and flexing with small noises of self-appreciation. Cain’s anger broke against Perry’s impenetrable obliviousness and fell back in rivulets seeking an easier target. “Hey Greendick—the hell were you running your mouth about white people for? Don’t tell me you think these peckerwoods right here are worth a damn. Don’t you dare tell me that.”
“I was just reading my bible here in the bathroom—these stories are so inspirationa—”
“God DAMN you are a tiresome, awful little person. Shut up about your little revenge fantasies, Footfall, whatever. You want to see a foot gonna make you fall you come over here for a second.”
“Why can’t you ever be nice to me, Herman?”
“Because I don’t like you. You’re a bad person, and you’re weak. Somebody asks you what you want on your pizza, you look over at me. Some iron-faced little tranny asks you to change your religion, you say yes. Some dumb jerk in the office asks for a quick hump, you say yes, then you cry about it.”
“Well if you hate me so much, why don’t you just—”
“Can’t find any takers. I’m stuck with your sorry ass.”
Like an arthritic elephant trying to sit, Gingrich collapsed in an avalanche of flesh to the floor before Cain’s throne, angling his head towards Cain’s lap like a guilty spaniel. “Aw, Herman,” he groveled, “I know you don’t mean any of these nasty—”
“Man, get off me!” Cain shoved Gringrich away and stood up. Romney, forgotten by the bickering couple as he’d be forgotten by history, kept to his corner, his characteristic prissy smirk playing across his crisp jaw. Since only Perry happened to see it, only Perry wanted to feed him a Dagwood of a knuckle sandwich. “Hey, you judgmental prick, why don’t you either join us or go shove some Iowa corn up your tight-ass tailpipe for an hour or two.”
“Rick, I can buy a couple million of you. I wouldn’t, because it would be a bad investment. But I could, my friend.”
“I ain’t for sale.”
“Yes you are, Rick. I buy and sell the companies that buy and sell little men like you. Usually we buy in bulk, so the prices stay low. Five thousand dollars, say.”
Stung, Perry swiveled away to find his pipe. Cain, ever the savvy business man, decided to take advantage of an emotionally disturbed competitor to drive up the price on an otherwise worthless commodity. “Rick, you’re not the sort of man,” he opened, stifling a liar’s self-satisfied chuckle, “who can be bought and sold at all…let alone for such a low, low price.”
“Damn right,” growled Perry, now absently patting his thighs for his lighter, apparently having forgotten his nakedness.
“Hell, I bet even this worthless little piss-pot here is worth…I figure…ten thousand dollars?”
Gingrich, spurned and insulted, writhed on the floor in a paroxysm of complicated emotion. Wallowing in the insult, he could only hate and yearn for Sheldon Adelson to forgive him, to take him back, to say, finally, that he had abased himself enough in public debates and at the feet of, he thought, cretins like Cain and Perry. What, he wondered, had he possibly ever done to attract the attention and enmity of these masterful men, Romney and Adelson? A lifetime of service, of boots licked and favors delivered, an entire career of craven fetch-and-carry errands, for what? For them to…to outsource his ritual humiliation? To force him to bow and scrape to a third-rate figurehead of America’s second-worst pizza chain? How could he possibly sink any lower, he asked with a gleeful spur of self-hate lacerating his thoughts. What would it take for Romney to make him finally and totally really his?
“You got it, Herm. Ten grand it is. Dunno what I’m gonna do with…this,” pausing to deliver an ungentle kick, “but I’ll think of something. Hey,” he brightened, “why don’t you go find my pants, Froggy. After that, maybe I’ll let you blow me before the debate—don’t wanna go out there tense, you know.” Gestured at Romney, “Might look like this uptight peckerhead.”
“Say one thing for him,” gloated Cain, “boy knows how to treat a prostate.”
“Good to hear. Can’t say I ever paid this much for a piece of ass before, but I tell you what. I’m gonna treat it like it’s the cheapest goddamned thing I ever owned in my entire life.”
Romney had had enough. “Oh, shut up, Rick. You’re as bad as the Negro is. I’m gonna buy this election like you just bought Newt Gingrich. While you petty men of little accomplishment bicker and engage in depraved acts, I’m setting myself up to own this bloated, inefficient republic. Your drugs, your sex, your tiny little kingdoms, it’ll all be gone once I add the Americn Crown to the golden crown of righteousness I’ve always worn. You base, despicable wretches. All any of you are good for is death, so your souls can be added to the rolls. See you out there, gentlemen.”
At such rough, masterful talk, Gingrich experienced his second near-erection of the day, somehow without the erotic aid of potent pharmaceuticals or the prose of Jerry Pournelle. Noticing this, Cain and Perry voided their bladders on Gingrich, munificent in their treatment of their devoted property. Striding away, Romney allowed himself to fantasize about knocking them all down, shaving them bald, and marching them before his entire clan. That would show them where the real power was. All of them, even Adelson. The entire country. He’d show them all what it meant to be bought, to be sold, to be owned.
In the meantime, he thought, he’d have to throw in some public reminders, show the perverts he had to debate that he was above their filth. He’d have to be sharp, figure out a way to name a very specific price that yoked them all together. He’d have to pay very close attention tonight, in Iowa, and let them know that the time was coming when they’d must needs acknowledge the Lord of this World, Mitt Romney.