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Monday, July 07, 2003


Fourth Postmortem Dept.

You really haven't celebrated the Fourth until you've been invited to the current militarily-stabilized hot spot for Rumsfeld's Big American Birthday Bash. Of course, this year meant a jaunt to Baghdad.

I was greeted in the central piazza of the Halliburton/Outback Steakhouse Palace (former residence of one Saddam Hussein, who is quite dead despite these recent faulty intelligence reports and doctored audio tapes stating the contrary) by Rummy himself. He was joyfully brandishing a barbecue fork with a rare T-bone dangling from it, his "Fuck the Cook" apron splattered in ketchup and A-1 steak sauce. I turned down a bite of the meat and instead made my way over to the Moon Bounce, always my favorite feature of Rummy's bashes. This time the Bounce was a vulcanized rubber replica of a three-hundred year-old mosque that had been pulverized by an early round of daisy cutters. Condy Rice and Christie Todd Whitman hopped around inside in stocking feet, reciting a filthy version of patty-cake that decorum forbids I repeat in this space. Suffice it to say that "Hillary" and "twat-y" don't really rhyme; it didn't seem to bother the ladies, who offered me a swig from their gallon jug of ouzo, which I happily accepted.

The party's main event was a great surprise. Rummy had cleverly misled the invitees into thinking it was going to be some kind of jello wrestling even starring the shriveled crone stars of Sex in the City. He's always been great at the mislead. The real spectacle was so much better -- a hot dog eating contest between Barry White and Katharine Hepburn (sponsored by Nathan's and their Weapons of Mass deliciousness, naturally). It was quite the complicated feat, as Rummy had to elaborately fake both contestants' deaths in the world press. He told me in confidence he'd nearly shit himself with glee every time he'd seen pics of flowers strewn about Kate's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or one of Barry's get-down lyrics tastefully quoted in an obit. When he revealed the frank-swallowing gladiators to an amazed crowd of A-listers, he earned a standing ovation from all present other than Christopher Reeve, who instead blew into his wheelchair's control-tube until red-faced, cutting tight donuts by the huge tub of sangria. Trent Lott canvassed the crowd for wagers. Kate was a three-to-one underdog, giving up seemingly four hundred pounds to the R&B superstar.

Never bet against a Hepburn on the Fourth of July. Kate took Barry down to the tune of fifteen to four. Barry nearly choked on the third. A quick Heimlich applied by a fast-thinking Dennis Hastert kept White in the game, but the comeback was short-lived. He only got through one more as Kate put away dog after dog, flipping off the crowd (a gesture far more delicate and ladylike than you might imagine) after each mouthful went down.

Things seemed to wind down considerably after that. Condy kept putting her hand in my lap on the flight back to the States. Normally I might've seen where such an overture went, but I won't ever go somewhere that Powell's been. Not after taking Secretarial seconds on Geraldine Ferraro.

A couple of days of twelve hour naps have me excited for whatever Rummy dreams up for Tehran or Pyongyang in 2004.

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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