Artorius Castus

Castro Unplugged

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on September 12, 2007

THE MAXIMUM LEADER WAS SITTING IN A LA-Z-BOY RECLINER IN THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE IN CUBANACAN, ABOUT 20 MINUTES WEST OF HAVANA, CUBA. HE WAS WATCHING KATY COURIC’S NEWSCAST. CASTRO’S CONVOY DIDN’T NEED TO STOP FOR TRAFFIC LIGHTS. IT WOULD TAKE ANYONE ELSE 45 MINUTES. HE HAD SHED HIS FATIGUES AND NOW WORE HIS CUBAN OLYMPIC TRACK SUIT. HIS GASTRIC SYSTEM HAD BEEN UNDER ATTACK FOR THE LAST YEAR AND MOST DAYS HE WAS IN CONSIDERABLE DISCOMFORT. HE TOLD HIS BROTHER, RAOUL, THAT HE WISHED NOW THAT HE HADN’T MADE SUCH A BIG DEAL OUT OF GIVING UP HIS BELOVED CIGARS ABOUT A DECADE AGO.

RAOUL SAID THAT IF HIS BROTHER WISHED, HE COULD RING UP THE SPANISH EMBASSY AND HAVE THEM BRING THE SURGEONS WHO’D DONE HIS OPERATIONS THE PREVIOUS YEAR, BUT FIDEL SAID NO, THAT HE WAS SURE THAT THIS TOO WOULD PASS. THERE WAS A KNOCK ON THE GIANT DOUBLE OAKEN DOORS. FIDEL NODDED AND RAOUL WENT TO THE DOORS AND OPENED THEM. ONE OF CASTRO’S INTERIOR MINISTRY (MININT) GOONS STOOD ASIDE AND LET THE VISITOR IN. IT WAS RICARDO ALARCON, A DAPPER 70 YEAR OLD. ALARCON WAS DRESSED IN A LIGHTWEIGHT SUMMER SUIT, OXFORD COTTON BUTTON-DOWN SHIRT FROM LAND’S END, AND A RUSH LIMBAUGH SIGNATURE TIE THAT A FRIEND HAD SENT HIM. ALARCON WAS ONE OF THE ORIGINAL GANG THAT TOOK OVER CUBA FROM THE REGIME OF FULGENCIO BATTISTA IN 1959. HE HAD SPENT 12 YEARS IN NEW YORK AS THE PERMANENT CUBAN REPRESENTATIVE AT THE U.N. AND WAS FLUENT IN ENGLISH. HIS CURRENT POST WAS PRESIDENT OF THE CUBAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.

“WHAT UP, PLAYA,” ALACRON ASKED BOSS. HE FANCIED HIMSELF UP ON CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN ENGLISH THAT HE GOT FROM LISTENING TO A MIAMI RAP STATION. “I AM QUITE MISERABLE, RICARDITO. I HAVEN’T HAD A SATISFYING BOWEL MOVEMENT SINCE 9/11. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M GOING TO DO.”

ALARCON HAD BOUGHT HIS DAY-OLD COPY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES IN. THE U.S. DIPLOMATIC MISSION IN HAVANA, WHICH OPENED IN 1977, THOUGHTFULLY SUPPLIED ALARCON WITH A COPY OF AMERICA’S BIRD CAGE LINER OF RECORD AS A MATTER OF COURTESY. ALARCON SNAPPED THE PAPER AND OPENED IT UP TO ONE OF THE PAGES THAT WAS FILLED WITH ADVERTISEMENTS. HIS EYES FOCUSED ON A FULL-COLOR AD FOR METAMUCIL. IT PROMISED TO GET ONE REGULAR AND KEEP ONE REGULAR. HE SHOWED IT TO HIS LEADER. FIDEL SAID, “HEY, THIS JUST MIGHT BE THE THING FOR ME. RAOUL, SEND A FLUNKY TO THE NEAREST DRUG STORE AND GET ME A BIG CONTAINER OF THIS STUFF.” “UH, MY BROTHER, THAT MIGHT BE A BIT DIFFICULT. WE DON’T HAVE ANY DRUG STORES. OH, WE HAVE DRUG STORES, BUT THEY’RE ALL EMPTY AND THEY HAVE BEEN SINCE TO THOSE RUSSIAN WEASELS CUT US LOOSE.”

FIDEL GOT UP AND BEGAN PACING. HE TURNED ON HIS GUESTS AND ORDERED THEM TO GO TO THE U.S. INTERESTS SECTION (THE DIPLOMATIC MISSION) AND SEE IF THEY COULDN’T GET A CONTAINER OF IT FOR HIM. ALARCON SAID HE KNEW JUST THE GUY TO GET IT FOR HIM, A JUNIOR DIPLOMAT FROM AN IVY LEAGUE UNIVERSITY WHO WAS QUITE SYMPATHETIC TO THE REGIME, A KID HE’D MET AT A COCKTAIL PARTY AT THE U.S. CHIEF OF MISSION’S RESIDENCE NOT FAR FROM CUBANACAN.

ALARCON REQUESTED A MEETING AT THE MISSION AND WAS OF COURSE IMMEDIATELY ACCOMMODATED. HE WAS USHERED INTO A CONFERENCE ROOM ON THE SECOND FLOOR AND COFFEE WAS SENT FOR. JUST AS ALARCON WAS REQUESTING SOME IMMEDIATE METAMUCIL SUPPORT, A MAN WALKED BY THE OPEN DOOR. HE WAS AN AMERICAN DIPLOMAT, WEARING A CUBAN GUYABERA, THE COMFORTABLE NATIVE SHIRT. “STAN,” THE YOUNG MAN CALLED TO THE PASSERBY. “YOU KNOW DR. ALARCON, DON’T YOU?” STAN HAD MET ALARCON IN SEVERAL RECEIVING LINES AT SEVERAL NATIONAL DAY RECPTIONS AND OF COURSE KNEW ALL ABOUT HIM. RICARDO DIDN’T RECOGNIZE STAN. STAN STEPPED INTO THE CONFERENCE ROOM, AND SHOOK ALARCON’S OFFERED HAND. STAN SAID THAT HE COULD PROBABLY GET SOME METAMUCIL SHIPPED DOWN WITHIN 48 HOURS. ALARCON WAS DELIGHTED. HE TOLD STAN THAT THIS WOULD BE SENT DIRECTLY TO FIDEL CASTRO, AND WOULD GO A LONG WAY TO HELPING CUBAN-AMERICAN REALTIONS IMPROVE. STAN TOLD THE MEN HE’D SEE WHAT HE COULD DO.

STAN RODE THE ELEVATOR UP TO THE TOP FLOOR AND WENT DIRECTLY TO HIS OFFICE’S COMMUNICATIONS CENTER AND HAD THE TECHNICIAN ON DUTY TO PATCH HIM THROUGH TO LANGLEY, VIRGINIA, IMMEDIATELY. WHEN STAN WAS CONNECTED WITH HIS CONTROL, HE EXPLAINED WHAT HE NEEDED WHY HE NEEDED IT AND HE NEEDED IT YESTERDAY. CONTROL SAID, EXCITEDLY, “WE CAN DO THIS STAN. IT’LL BE ON THE COURIER FLIGHT IN FROM FORT LAUDERDALE TOMORROW. I THINK WE HAVE SOME OF WHAT YOU NEED ‘ON THE SHELF.’ ” “OUTSTANDING,” STAN SAID. “THIS MAY BE JUST THE OPPORTUNITY WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR FOR ALMOST A HALF-CENTURY.” STAN COULD SEE THE ACCOLADES PILING UP, AND AN ONWARD ASSIGNMENT AS CHIEF OF STATION IN LONDON!

THE FOLLOWING MORNING, ONE OF THE COMMUNICATIONS STAFF FROM THE MISSION RODE OUT TO JOSE MARTI AIRPORT, ACCOMPANIED BY A MARINE SECURITY GUARD AND SEVERAL CUBAN EMPLOYEES OF THE MISSION. THE COMMUNICATOR STRODE THROUGH THE ARRIVALS HALL. HE WAS WEARING HIS MISSION BADGE AND CARRYING A LARGE CELLPHONE. SEVERAL CUBANS STOPPED HIM AND ASKED DIRECTIONS. THE COMMUNICATOR, WHO ALSO SPOKE FAIR SPANISH, WAS ABLE TO HELP THE TRAVELERS. THEY WENT OUT ON THE TARMAC AND MET THE DIPLOMATIC COURIER AT THE GULFSTREAM. HE SIGNED FOR THE PACKAGES, AND THE CUBAN EMPLOYEES HELPED TO LOAD THEM ON A CART. THEY HAD TO WAIT UNTIL THE PILOT AND CO-PILOT RETURNED FROM THE DUTY FREE SHOP WITH THE LEGAL LIMIT OF RUM AND COHIBAS.

WHEN THEY GOT BACK TO THE MISSION, STAN WAS WAITING IN THE BASEMENT WHERE THE DISTRIBUTION TOOK PLACE. STAN SIGNED FOR HIS BOX AND TOOK IT BACK TO HIS OFFICE. HE OPENED THE BOX, TOOK THE CONTAINER OF METAMUCIL OUT, OPENED IT AND MADE SURE THAT THE TIN FOIL PROTECTIVE COVER WAS IN PLACE. ALARCON AND FIDEL WOULD NEVER SUSPECT THAT IT HAD BEEN DOCTORED.

FIDEL AWOKE THE NEXT MORING, FEELING AS DYSPEPTIC AS EVER. HE CALLED RAOUL AND ASKED IF THAT PACKAGE HAD ARRIVED. AT THAT MOMENT, THE PHONE RANG. IT WAS THE GATE GUARD ANNOUNCING THE ARRIVAL OF A PACKAGE FROM THE U.S. DIPLOMATIC MISSION. “SEND IT UP! SEND THAT EFFING THING UP HERE NOW!,” FIDEL YELLED. A FLUNKY ARRIVED WITH THE CIRCULAR CONTAINER. FIDEL DUG HIS SWISS ARMY KNIFE FROM HIS TRACK SUIT POCKET AND CUT THE PROTECTIVE FOIL COVER OFF. HE YELLED FOR RAOUL TO BRING A BOTTLE OF DASANI WATER. RAOUL CAME IN AND FIDEL DUMPED SEVERAL OUNCES OF THE ORANGE COLORED LAXATIVE INTO THE WATER AND STIRRED IT RAPIDLY, THEN GULPED IT DOWN IN SECONDS. WITHIN TWO MINUTES THE DOCTORED METAMUCIL BEGAN TO WORK ITS MAGIC, AND FIDEL RAN INTO A GOON ON HIS WAY TO THE BA#O AND KNOCKED THE POOR FELLOW OVER.

AFTER A FEW MINUTES, FIDEL EMERGED, WARING A LARGE GRIN. “RAOUL,” HE ANNOUNCED, “THANK THOSE YANQUIS. SHIITE HAPPENS.”

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3 Responses

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  1. Patrick Truax said, on September 12, 2007 at 1:09 am

    Hmmm. Maybe Metamucil should become an Artorius reviewed product..

  2. CresceNet said, on September 12, 2007 at 9:43 am

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  3. Patrick Truax said, on September 12, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Im trying to translate now-I got as far as figuring out its not Spanish..!


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