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Monday, April 07, 2003


Never Send Someone with a 2.1 GPA to Do a Man's Job Section

With the recent tragic deaths of several American journalists on the Iraqi war front, I wasn't about to go and spend another weekend in the 'Dad.

But the New York Times has a way of being, shall we say, persuasive. In the form of an absurd per diem, an expense account that would make Condy Rice panty-drop faster than a bethonged extra in a Jay-Z video, and a guarantee of my dispatch's placement above the fold on the massive Sunday edition.

How could I say no?

I was certainly in the mood to cash a substantial NYT check. The subwoofer in the back of my Escalade is starting to sound a little muddy, a problem easily solved by throwing some hazard pay at it.

So I decided to enlist a practice long revered by our government's favorite sons: I paid someone from a lower economic strata to take my place on the front line. I couldn't risk my Ivy League Quality education in the line of tracer fire two straight weekends, wouldn't run the risk of being collaterally damaged by a smart bomb that woke up feeling a little slow that evening, deciding that a hookah-filled tavern bore a striking resemblance to a piece of the Iraqi telecommunications infrastructure. I sent a cub reporter with an eminently expendable state-school diploma to the 'Dad in my stead.

And yes, I paid him some money. I got the feeling that he would have done it for free as long as he got internship credit, but I do have morals.

"Jimmy" departed on the first flight to the newly-captured Freedom International Airport (formerly known as Saddam Int'l). He spent the weekend in the 'Dad, just as I would have if I didn't have this celebrity roast of Jimmy Carrey to attend to (I was caustic, filthy, brilliant, soused).

Apparently, my embedded placeholder never made it past the newly-installed TGI Friday's in Freedom International's Terminal A. Following is my ghostwritten dispatch from the 'Dad during some of the hairiest fighting of the Total Fucking Victory campaign, which arrived in my hands by Express Diplomatic Pouch with the telltale stains of Extreme Buffalo Wing sauce smudged over its handwritten pages (apparently Jimmy couldn't figure out the e-mail):

BAGDAD, Iraq -- I can't believe that I'm in Iraq. I know that I was just here last weekend, fucking beating up Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw, but it's me and I'm really back in Bagdad. There's a war going on here.

And I am so fucking drunk I can't see the men shooting their guns and the tanks look all blurry as Total Fucking Victory rolls all over these crazy towelheads. I think that I may also be fucked up on some kind of drug that is making me surly and horny.

I was getting a blowjob from Diane Sawyer in the back of a Hummer (there's a reason they call these things Hummers, if you get my drift, ha ha) when I got a call from my best friend, Tom Hanks. I had to tell him that I was a little busy what with Diane Sawyer servicing my knob, but I told him to make sure he called Harrison Ford to tell him what I was doing. Meanwhile, people were shooting at each other only feet away and shit was blowing up, and I was getting a blowjob in the middle of a real war, isn't that fucked up?

I am so badass.

After Diane Sawyer cleaned up, my cellphone rang. It was George W, Bush. Mr. Bushie asked me how the war was going. I told him that things were blowing up all over the place and he laughed. He said that he told them to do that. Then there was something about oil prices going down in a couple of months but I wasn't listening because all of the sudden Ann Coulter showed up in Army fatigues and no bra and started making out with me. I hung up on Mr. Bushie so I could hook up with Ann Coulter.

Later, I was back at the bar and I got into a fight with Walter Kronkite because he doesn't like the Lakers. I kicked his old ass and told him he should have retired twenty years ago and that Shaq is a badass. Then I did a some coke and things got really hairy. I fell asleep in one of the booths until some MP's grabbed me and put my ass back on a transport to the States.

Fuck, I love Bagdad.

I suppose you get what you pay for.

The Times still ran the piece, but in the Op-Ed B-list ghetto. I have a feeling I'm going to have to make a return trip to the 'Dad to get back on Page One where I belong.

But my subwoofer is pumpin' like an oil derrick blasting out 10,000 barrels of crude per day.

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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