Universal Oddities

August 22, 2002

Iraqi Embassy Blues - Part One

This Tuesday started off like any other. I was hurriedly and enthusiastically engaged in the process of manufacturing tear gas as a plane swiftly carried me and a group of masked comrades toward Berlin, Germany. They told me it was for a wacky New Years party. Had I known we would be storming the Iraqi embassy, I would have probably thought twice about the matter. Suffice it to say I did not.

After a bit of driving, we exited the car and carefully distributed the canisters of tear gas amongst ourselves.

“Throw this,” I was told by my one of my masked acquaintances.

“What for?” I inquired.

“To help promote the establishment of a free and democratic Iraq,” explained the gent.

“Well, if it’s that simple I don’t see how I can possible refuse. Happy New Year!” I gleefully exclaimed as I hurled the canister and it landed in the special “New Years” window of a building designed for people to throw fireworks and explosive canisters into, or so I was told.

“Now we enter the building!” one of the fellows yelled. They were all wearing masks so I couldn’t really tell them apart. With that, we ran into the mysterious “New Years” building (what I later came to identify as the Iraqi embassy in Berlin).

There was a dancing bear in the lobby.

“There’s a dancing bear in the lobby,” I explained.

“It’s an Iraqi receptionist quasi-supervisor,” came the ever-distant response, receding around the corner as my comrades rushed farther and farther into the complex. “The Iraqis always use bears for their dirty work.” I turned the corner to follow him, but it was already too late. My comrades had disappeared into the bowels of the “New Years” building.

I returned to the lobby and asked the dancing bear for directions. He paused and then gave me the finger (the middle one). And then he resumed dancing.

A little man popped out of a concealed room. The bear, continuing to bounce to an internal rhythm, lifted a fluffy red cordon for him and the man hunched under it.

“Why aren’t you celebrating?” I asked.

“Celebrating what?” he inquired.

“New Years.”

“It’s not New Years! This will start an international incident! President Hussein will not be pleased. You cannot unseat a democratically elected dictator.”

“What about Hitler?”

“You can’t unseat two democratically elected leaders.”

“He’s not democratically elected.”

“The people voted.”

“But they didn’t vote for him.”

“All of the votes that weren’t disqualified were for him. Why do you give him such troubles? He’s obviously a good president. In fact, he’s so popular that he’s reigned for 2 decades already. How can you argue with that and dispute hard facts?”

“I suppose I can’t. I guess people must really like him to keep him in office for almost a quarter of century. I wish we had presidents who were that charismatic and lovable.”

The sound of confusion and clattering echoed down the hallways.

“Why have you invaded the Iraqi embassy?” the man squealed.

“Beg your pardon?”

With that, the man dashed across the lobby and hurled himself through a window onto the street.

I hurried along the maze of corridors, searching for my comrades. The building appeared far larger from the inside than it did from without. Finally, in an area near the opposite end of the building, I located a group of my comrades shouting something out the window.

“Hey guys,” I called out. “I think we might have a problem here.”

“Hold on,” one of them told me. “I’m faxing something to the press now.”

“Yes. Good. About that---”

“Guard the window.”

“Right.” I moved over to a window and looked out. Dozens of German police officers had surrounded the building. “Hey guys, I think we might have a slight problem here. It seems, from what I’m gathering, there’s strong evidence to support the fact that we’ve accidentally taken over the Iraqi embassy in Berlin.”

My comrades paused for a moment before bursting out in good natured laughter.

To be continued...




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