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>Stranger In A Strange Land

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Stranger in a Strange Land
By
Don White
(10 pages, 2,510 words)

      To come true, this article must have two weird improbable – but not impossible – things happen in American politics almost simultaneously before the 2012 presidential elections:
   Hilary Clinton becomes a conservative and gets the Republican nomination for president to run against her old political foe and boss, Barak Obama. Hillary runs a tough race, but loses.
   Second, after being re-elected, crucial evidence appears that Barak Obama was, indeed, born in Saudi Arabia. Led by their newest “convert,” Hillary Clinton, America’s conservatives are angry and disappointed. They point to the Constitution and Obama’s deceit, demanding his impeachment, paving the way for the second Clinton in thirty years to become president. They called it manifest destiny. It was the sad end of one tragic story and the storybook continuation of a marvelous saga having real America apple pie appeal starting with Slick Willy and ending with Hillary’s compelling fairy-tale had-to-happen-this-way legacy quality.  
   But this invincible, superstar woman wouldn’t win the White House without a fight.
   Here is how Obama’s second “Lincolnesque speech” would go, this time in Madison Square Garden amidst a crowd of cheering Democrats who believed this great orator was America’s savior, a man who, even in selling us out, could do no harm. This appeal to the public would be his apparent last-ditch effort to save his American crown, the presidency.  
  Here was a man who didn’t stop at Clintonesque parsing, he was far more creative and eloquent than Bill had been and, in his own mind at least, deserved to continue to be the president leading the country during this crucial time in history when America had run out of money. After all, he and he alone had friends in high Arabian places that could come to the aid of America and save the what was left of the Constitution..
   Barak Obama had perfected the unique political ability to say something and mean something entirely different. Without concentrating, he could drift into Barak-speak, the deep voice, the million-dollar words, the stultifying monotone of an orator that had you holding your breath so you didn’t miss a thing, then gasping for air trying to remember not only what he had said but the exact words and syntax because only his gesticulations and charisma made sense.
   He had two kinds of listeners: those who tired of his oratory style and gave up, and those who were royally entertained by an unusual masterpiece. Usually, the former were eventually converted, changing the reason for listening because they couldn’t recall why they came.  That takes a real magician, and that’s what Obama had become.
   In his debates with McCain his voice had been like silk, Mac’s like sandpaper. Obama’s oratory was like a long graceful three-pointer that broke your heart as it swished through the net. McCain’s cryptic one-liners, on the other hand, were like a hand-to-hand combat fighter, elbowing his way into the paint, smashing Barak in the mouth with both fists, giving him another bloody lip, rattling the rim with a two-pointer as if it counted the same as Barak’s long bombs.
   Now as he gazed over this large audience, Obama suddenly lost confidence. It was as if one side of his brain was forever echoing the words of his father, telling him that he would be the crown prince of Saudi Arabia destined for greatness, while the other side kept whispering that he didn’t belong at the same table as the big boys, let alone  president of the United States, the most powerful nation on earth.
   As president, Barak Obama in certain situations remained as vulnerable to intimidation as he had been in college twenty-five years before. Or as a child, silently sitting at the side of his sultan father. The noisy crowd hushed and he began speaking:
        
“Before I address this vast congregation…” This word slipped out, but he didn’t change it, almost as if he were seeing himself as Reverend Wright speaking to his church about that ‘G…damned America’—about the spurious charges leveled against him. “… I will tell you a story.”
He’s gassing us and you can doze off any time now, a man from Brooklyn on the front row uttered.
   “There was a certain Arabian teenage prince who found palace life unbearable. It was like house arrest. He could go nowhere without armed guards dressed in dark sun glasses and bulging western suits partially hiding flack jackets and light UZis.
   “He could not leave the heavily guarded imperial palace without his activities being monitored and reported in the local Saudi Sentinel, and always it proved an embarrassment to his father. Palace life was so confining that this clever young man decided on an elaborate plan to ditch his protectors for two weeks.
   “For him to be successful he had to plan his escape meticulously. He called his white grandmother in Kansas—he could safely confide in her. She would meet him in Harlem—not necessarily because those were the people he resembled or best related to—chocolate on chocolate blends—but because he wanted two things: to discover Harlem and to explore the most intriguing place on earth, Manhattan Island.
   “Of course Gran- ma- ma was reticent, at least at first. ‘What will the king of Saudi Arabia think of me?’ She asked. ‘More importantly, what will he do to me?
   “His quick, honest retort wet her eyes.
   ”’He doesn’t like you anyway, Gran-ma-ma, so what have you got to lose?’ She honestly did not want to make the Wahabi Saudi Arabian king mad at her. But she was already seventy-eight, what could he do to her now—send a hit man and rob her of a couple of years?
   “She knew her grandson with the laughing eyes would come with plenty of cash and could afford everything, and who would ever know? His father was away on a one-month buying spree in the Orient and India.
   “So the plan was set. The morning of his departure he complained of influenza and its accompanying symptoms, fever and sore muscles and bones. He left a do-not-disturb sign, locked the door from the inside and snuck out the window. Disguised as a tourist, he passed armed guards at the palace gate, and without giving himself away he hailed a cab to the airport and caught a DC9 to New York.
   “The next two weeks were glorious—visiting Broadway eight times because grandma had only seen one show ever. They took happy trips into Central Park and along Fifth Avenue, swaying to the music of one-man sidewalk bands and music that wafted and roiled out apartment windows and unrelenting autos with their low base subwoofers and amplifiers that shook you out of your socks from the street.
   “Often he traversed the city on roller skates, with Gran Ma Ma trailing happily behind in an open-window cab. He bought a lot of stuff for each of them in the Apple Store, FAO Schwarz, Tiffany, and Mikimoto & Piaget. Grandma found jewelry, but he discovered the astronaut-type Omega watches, rings, and electronics.
   “They were like two kids at Ben & Jerry’s, except even better—Times Square at Midnight. They ran around shooting pictures of strangers, lights, buildings, and each other. They ate pizza everywhere they went, drank Piña coladas and daiquiris spiked with just enough rum to giddy them up.
   “The boy had never been drunk before, and the next day he didn’t get out of bed ‘till noon and his head hurt. In the jargon of the street that he quickly learned, he not only had a hangover but pizzarrhea, the sudden onset of diarrhea by consumption of too much pizza.
   “Ah, Gran-ma-ma,” he groaned, “I don’t feel too good. I got a bad pizzarrhea from that janky corner joint we stopped at, remember?
   “He slept on the top of his bed for twenty-four hours, ready to make that desperate dash to the bathroom at the slightest abdominal urge, and by-and-by he was well again.
   “They took the subway to Yankee Stadium and watched A-Rod smash a grand slam walk-away home run; then they cheered and clapped at a tennis match with Saudi Arabia’s top player, Badr Al Moghail, as he defeated world champion Pete Sampras at Flushing Meadows.
   “They rode the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building and he told her:   ‘This is spectacular, but did you know that my father built a skyscraper three times higher and ten times nicer in Dubai?’
   In the Yellow Cab he complained:
   “This is just an old Chevy. I’m used to being escorted around with my dad’s private butler in our long limo complete with a refrigerator with food and wine. It was so long that when we went around corners I could look back from near the driver’s seat and watch some cool cats making out on the backbench.
   “ ‘Watch your tongue, Saudi gigolo,’ Gran Ma Ma said, ‘you’re amongst mixed company.’
   “That night Gran-ma-ma and he dined at an Austrian place for less than fifteen dollars apiece. Gran-ma-ma was pleased, but still he complained. ‘When I eat out with my parents, they take me to many beautiful restaurants in Riyadh all in one night. We dine like kings.’
    “That’s easy for you to say,” she sheepishly replied.
   “The tirade continued. The New York air was polluted; it rained all the time; the food was sub par; and people were in too-big-a hurry to be friendly.
   “When he left Gran ma-ma to return to his palace at home he was convinced that America definitely was not as good as Arabia and that he would never return.
   “But when the wise king discovered the boy-prince’s deceit, he exiled him to the worst place he could think of, America—to live with Gran-ma-ma in Kansas. She was ebullient, but he was disappointed. Nonetheless, from 1988 through 1991 the king of Saudi Arabia paid for this prince’s education at Harvard and told him to amount to something.
   “The prince tried to blend. He dressed in a leather coat and high-ankle boots, his hair a short Afro. The boy became a man but seldom saw his father. He still remembered, however, what the king had said. ‘Someday, son, if you do well, when America is broke. I will buy it and make you king.’

   “Thank you for listening,” said the president. “I hope you saw the not-to-subtle references and comparisons between America and the Arabian Peninsula that I love so much.”
   “So you see, Mr. And Mrs. America, for me to sink so far down to rule such a poor, inferior country when I could have Saudi Arabia, it is a monumental sacrifice. There are those who believe I was not genuine when running for president. Now they see the other side of the story. You see, America had much to gain and I had so much to lose by omitting the cold, hard truth about my ancestry. Like a good parent, I tried to shield you from the pain of my birth and true identity.”
   About then a whole section of blacks got up and walked out and people began rumbling in their seats.
   “I am actually heir to trillions and trillions of riyals—in fact an entire country—but I gave it up, at least temporarily, so as your humble president I could save this country—prop up America for four years and no more. That was my original intent. But then the offer to run again came to me in a dream and as you know, one cannot disobey Allah because his dreams always come true. But now you have probably already figured it out—I was the teenage prince. I could not show you my real birth certificate because it would say I was born in Saudi Arabia and that I was too young to run for president.
   “Deport me now or in four years if you wish. But if you like all the world-class deals that I, and only I, can make as your president, then bear with me. Yes, most are hush- hush under-the-table deals with world leaders, people like Castro, Ahmadinejad, and Hu Jintao. Like restoring America’s three-dollar-a-gallon gasoline in exchange for the State of California that was going Latino anyway. You will be proud of what I have done.”
   Several sections of Latin Americans stood up, shaking their fists in protest, and left the Garden.
   “And I’m confident that when you see what I can do, I will be your president for at least four more years—and maybe for the rest of my life if there are still enough states left to barter away to pay for universal health care, social security reform, the housing crisis, more sophisticated warplanes, cradle-to-grave education, and rights to the new hundred-mile-per gallon air car to sell to my homeland when the oil is almost depleted.
   “Now you despicable pigs can see that America has more to gain with me in the White House, accepting me as I am, than you have to lose.”
   With that, whole sections of Jews, Muslims, and Blacks filed to the exits. Many white pigs got up in angry unison and headed for the exits.
    Obama did not look down. He was too busy reading a sure masterpiece, and did not see the silent protest rallying against him.
   “I’m confident of that. In fact, I’ll wager my American citizenship on it—or that I can at least beat Hillary Clinton in bowling.”
   He finished, and the remaining crowd – a tenth of what he started with – was at first deathly silent like they had just been bullwhipped. Had they witnessed a well-orchestrated ruse, and a massive sell-out? Yes, but lo and behold it was only a common variety of Obama sophistry. There was a lot of grumbling. They were shaking their heads, “How do we read it?” they asked.
   The body temperature of those fearful souls watching on home television suddenly dropped 40 degrees. But in Madison Square Garden, on cue the dark mustachioed maestro struck up the band which played Yankee Doodle Dandy, ten thousand balloons drifted down from the rafters and you could hear the pop-pop noises on the floor and the shill crowd of now only five thousand, many who were paid a hundred bucks just to show up, came alive with cheers and chants: “Four more years, four more years…”
   The next morning’s liberal press declared the speech a masterpiece, even better than Al Gore’s presidential global warming speech on Saturday Night Live where he said Global Warming had been defeated, even “glaciers that once were melting are now on the attack,” capturing parts of upper Michigan and northern Maine. “But I assure you, we will not let the glaciers win.”
   Obama was sure he had frozen the minds of the Democrats; and the curly-cue-tail Republican pugs and conservative swine that were already in retreat mode would never win another election. On the other hand, Obama’s strong rhetoric had just trumped his U.S. citizenship deficiency.


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