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Unfiled November 29, 2001
Go Ride a Bathyscaph
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
Bathyscaph underwater

Now that we stomped the dust monkeys, our only casualty being that helicopter wheel that the Taliban danced around while firing their AKs in the air, I have to say, I'm damn glad I was behind President Bush from the get-go. I toldja so! I knew we'd thrash those pathetic primitives! I told everyone, but nooooo, they wouldn't listen!

It's thanks to people like me that we won the war: I've proven to be, if not a plate in the backbone of the United States, then certainly a long and critical strand of neck hair in the mullet of America. For, without long neck hairs like me, America's hair would be short both on the back and on the sides, which would mean -- yep, you guessed it -- no mullet. It would just have a regular guy's hairdo. And folks, after having lived both on the coasts and in the interior of this mighty country, I can tell ya: people with regular hairdos don't win wars.

You've really got to wonder what those poor Taliban saps were thinking last month when they flaunted that helicopter wheel on Al-Jazeera. They thought they had it in the bag! "Whippee! We've got a helicopter wheel! The war's as good as over! America will topple like a house of cards now! Today, a helicopter wheel -- tomorrow, a door handle! Woo-ho!"

Afghanistan: not just the graveyard of empires, but the rubbish dump of cheap replaceable spare parts.


Omar fires another clip into the air, dancing around the helicopter wheel, when he notices something strange. Thousands of meters above, a distant hum, a spec, slowly traversing the arc of the sky.


Then a smaller spec releases, detaches from the back of the bigger spec; it seems to float down, while the bigger spec disappears into the horizon.


The floating spec turns into a dot as it approaches, which turns into a bigger dot, or rather, two dots floating together.


There seems to be a parachute. Attached to the parachute, not an infidel, but rather something large and lead-colored, like an elephant without the trunk. It floats gently towards the Kandahar dunes...


Omar and his buddies gather closer. Whatever it is, it's bigger than an elephant now, but shaped, oddly enough, like a...fat... bomb?

"Aieee! Daisy cutter! Run for your lives!!!!!"

The bomb floats down to waist level, blocking their path, then stops. Just as they're turning the other way, one of the group who had studied English reads, in a flash and panic, the stencil lettering on the side.

He smiles, grabs his fleeing friends by their jammies, and laughs: "Calm down, brothers. It says here, 'Towel Cutter'. If this was a daisy cutter, we'd all be dead. It's just a 'Towel Cutter.' Whatever that is!"

"Oh, it's just a Towel Cutter," they repeat. "Thank god it's not a daisy cutter!"

The Taliban squad laughs with relief. They slap each other's backs, argue over who had shamed himself more before Allah. The massive 15,000 pound bomb, the size of a fuel tanker, hovers waist-high, just to the left of them. It doesn't fall. It just hovers. There's a hiss...

"What's that smell?" Omar asks.

"Ooo, gee, I'm so scared of a little smell," says another. "Let's all be scared of little smells, okay guys? Hey, someone go get Omar a burqa! He's behaving like a bitch again, scared of this infidel toy because it has a smell. Excuse me, Omar? Hello! Don't you know we're in the graveyard of empires? Allah to Omar! Come in, Omar!"

"Ha-ha-ha!" they laugh. "Omar, cover yourself and go home, before we have to beat you with sticks!"


Omar doesn't listen. He fearfully approaches the bomb, the hiss growing louder, a distinct odor filling the air. ZZzzzzz, the bomb floats menacingly. Omar crouches, extends his hand to the fin, and flicks it with his fingernail.

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