Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Getting Osama

I don't know your views on the Republican candidates, especially after the latest primary. Since I am only a New Zealander I am not entitled to an opinion.

On the other hand, as a Kiwi I rightfully take pride in this op ed piece from stuff (the best site for New Zealand news). Enjoy:

I'll get Osama bin Laden, said John McCain, candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, "if I have to go to the gates of hell". The crowd roared with delight.

Now, I'm as moved by biblical imagery and wild promises as the next man, but I couldn't help feeling a little sorry for McCain. He may get the Republican nomination, but I'm afraid he won't get Osama.

You see, I've already got him. I probably should have mentioned it before, but a few months ago, I got so fed up with the whole bin Laden carry-on that I simply went and killed the devil incarnate myself. It was fairly straightforward.

I packed the essentials – a Bible, the crucifix fashioned for me by blind Fabricius of Smyrna, my trusty stilettos, a couple of T-bone steaks, some garlic and a sachet of strychnine – flew Air New Zealand to Karachi then headed into the hills on a local bus with seats made from what felt like yak bone. But you have to suffer to assassinate.

I wasn't sure whether the settlement I reached was in Pakistan or Afghanistan, but then neither were the locals. It doesn't seem to matter much up there, what with them not getting newspapers or following the cricket.

To break the ice, I organised a pick-up game of rugby using a goat bladder. They loved it. When they were all relaxing afterwards, I casually asked after Osama. They turned and stared at one of the locks. He had a bit of a limp but he was tall and he gave a decent shove in the scrum.

"Osama?" I exclaimed, "the devil incarnate at the gates of hell?"

"The same," he said and he gave a little bow, then invited me to his place. It was a basic yurt, but in one corner was the hub of his sophisticated communications system so often mentioned in the press.

"Nice cellphone," I said.

"You've got to be joking," said Osama, "the coverage up here is dreadful."

He took down a video and slid it into his machine. It was dated four years from now and starred himself sitting cross- legged with a Kalashnikov and spouting the usual stuff about death to the infidel. He sat down cross-legged in front of it.

"Fancy a bite to eat?" I said pulling a steak from my bag. The way his eyes lit up was a treat to watch. I doubt he'd had a good feed in months.

"Coming right up," I said. I seared the steaks to retain the juices, before frying them with the garlic. Then I smeared one of them liberally with strychnine and handed it to old Osama. He ate without taking his eyes from the screen.

I waited for the familiar symptoms, the muscle spasms, the convulsions, the rictus. Nothing.

"How's the steak?"

"Fine," he said, "I appreciate the garlic. But at the risk of seeming rude, I think you've been a little heavy- handed with the strychnine."

The moment he spoke, he reared to his feet. And he had 10 horns and seven heads with seven diadems upon his head and on his forehead was tattooed the number of the beast and it was 666.

"Steady on," I said, but there was no placating him. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, exactly as predicted in the Book of Revelation, chapter 12, verse 4, and cast them to the earth.

I reached instinctively for my stiletto with its blade of Toledo steel. Many a fatal rib thrust has that little beauty delivered. But it was flung from my hand by some superhuman force before I'd even managed to get it off my foot.

"Who is like the beast and who can fight against it?" roared Osama, quoting with impressive accuracy for a Muslim from Revelation 13 verse four. I felt theologically out of my depth.

My hand went to my heart and met the old iron cross that Fabricius of Smyrna fashioned for me so many moons ago. I thrust it out in front of me, along with the Bible and a clove of garlic left over from the cooking.

The beast, Osama, the dragon, whatever it was, recoiled and seemed momentarily blinded. Sensing that it was now or never, I grabbed my untouched steak and plunged it through his heart, driving it home with the heel of my other stiletto.

He squirmed, screamed in a manner that I cannot reproduce in words, passed through a thousand shapes and patterns, each more ghastly than the last, then shuddered and shrivelled and fell dead on the floor of the yurt, shrunk once more to mortal dimensions.

I tossed him straightway into the lake of fire and brimstone where, according to Revelation 20, verse nine, he will be tormented day and night for ever and ever, then I collected my stuff, turned off the video, toddled down the hill and caught the bus back to Karachi. Sorry, John. I should have said.

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