If you recall from part one, The Foundation was in the process of introducing war elephants to our holdings. If you do not recall this, or if you did not read the last post: Shame on You! I am not going to spend more time delivering back story elements; nary a clever flashback or past montage to set the mood.
Anyway…I had come to the decision that The Rothechilde Foundation was in danger of usurpation of some sort due to the successful assault on social programs by the State of Michigan. Governor Snyder and his minions are on the verge of stamping out the last vestiges of dedicated labor in the state, forcing them into poverty, stealing their homes, and probably sending them in our direction for relief since they were now jobless and only had the memories of state relief to keep them warm and their hunger sated. This could not be allowed to happen; our coiffures have been clever managed to provide us with maximum tax relief while allowing for minimum of fund spent on actual programs. We are a right and proper charity.
And now we were faced with a potential menace to rival the Ten Plagues of Egypt: if the newly impoverished all started to come to us for aid, the Foundation would have to spend more to provide such aid. Whether this is our purpose or not, this is not how the wealthy are supposed to behave. When we band together to get our wishes through media manipulation of the uniformed electorate of the United States, we do so as a unit. If they are making a massive cash grab in this State, then they are supposed to be making we Board members party to the grabbing. However, they have become traitors to the cause and we now understand that we stand alone! It was time for the Foundation to take action and this action was to be discussed at the emergency meeting that I was about to attend. I walked into The Foundation Thunderdome and headed for my office. It was early, but I was not surprised to see that my secretary had already made it there before me:
Secretary: Good morning, Mr. Rothechilde. I wasn’t expecting you to bring your ass into the office until the last week of August.
Me: I am not sure what you are trying to say. And you had better not swear at me, I will be forced to fire you…
Secretary: Sh! It’s okay, Mr. Cranky Pants; there’s coffee in your office and the rest of the board is on the way here. The Vice President is already here and he wad going to make coffee and take refreshments into the meeting…
Me: Did you just shush me? Why is Smeagol distributing food?! That is highly inappropriate! He could be trying to poison us…
Secretary: It’s okay, your new bodyguard maxed him and replaced the snacks. She’s in the boardroom and the Vice President is somewhere crying and washing his eyes out. Now be a big boy and go get ready to play President-boy.
Me: You are fired.
Secretary: Thank you, I think 10% is an appropriate amount for a raise, and the extra 2 weeks of vacation were unnecessary, but very welcome! I’m going to start planning now!
Me: You are lucky that I cannot run this place without you.
Secretary: Yeah, yeah…now go on. If you would have come in a half hour ago, we could have had a quickie. Now, I have to wait.
With that said, I headed to the board room, greeted M, my bodyguard and got a cup of coffee and a very large pastry that was covered with cheese and a doughnut. M, cleared her throat and eyed me disapprovingly so I added a cup of fruit to my breakfast. Then I told her that I would work it off later, this was not the time for watching calories, I needed to have all of the comfort foods I could grab to deal with the impending crisis. I had just taken a seat when the other members entered the room. The Vice President was the last to arrive, with his red, watery eyes and wearing his workout gear.
Board Secretary: What the fuck, dude? Not only is that not proper attire, but those shorts look like they are made for a toddler!
Charlotte: Ew! Is that your sack peeking out of there? Look, this is not 1974, Kareem, get some longer shorts…or wrap a table cloth around yourself.
Ethermagus: Your chair is too close to the MonitorChair. I can feel your hideous, malformed body through my technology down here in the TechCenter.
Vice President: This is all her fault! She maced me! My suit is covered in mace, and all I had to wear was what was in my gym bag.
Me: Ms. Secretary, could you bring in a Regulation Thunderdome Gym Suit for, Smeagol? His near nakedness is making us ill.
Secretary: I’ll bring it right in.
Manthony: You maced the Vice President?
Charlotte: With actual Mace?
VP Smeagol: And if I wouldn’t have fallen, she was going to hit me with that thing!
M: (holds up Medieval Mace, menaces Vice President, smiles)
Charlotte: That is wonderful! I’m sorry I missed that…
As the Vice President put on the suit, we all settled with our refreshments and were prepared to call the meeting to order. As soon as we were greeted by Sister Constance and Professor Z, the meeting began.
Me: Esteemed board members, please forgive my calling you all back earlier from your summer endeavors, but this is a matter that needs immediate attention. If you have been following the current political developments in our beloved America, you have noticed that a war has been declared on the wealthy. At first, it seemed that President Obama was the aggressor, now it seems that our own wealthy brethren and sistren have turned on us; the neutrality of wealth-shielding charitable organizations is no longer.
Board Secretary: I knew this was coming, we should have made that one percent increase in services to our clients and community…
Smeagol: I was right! Liberal yap-yap smarm, smarm…
Me: Let the record reflect that the Vice President’s comments will often be reduced to onamonapia for ease in transcription of the minutes, as much of what he says will be irrelevant.
Manthony: Okay, I hate to ruin the fun, but back to this war.
Me: No, the danger is that we are now attacked from both sides. We were not paying enough attention when the initial salvos from our wealthy former allies came from the banks and that mortgage debacle. However, now our wealthy former compatriots are aiming to hit the poor right where it counts, in addition to raping NPR, the National Endowment for the Arts, and anything else of culture significance to the people. Look, it was already an issue for the poor to have jobs. In our beloved State of Michigan, industry cured that ill and ran away to foreign nations and outsourced to India.
Manthony: You know, if people need jobs that bad, they should consider moving to India…
Me: Ahem! As I was saying, industry fled, and the unemployed came for donations. Now, the rich are complaining that poor still have too much and want to take their appliances and minimal comforts from them. I maintain that we cannot afford to buy refrigerators to keep their damn food fresh as the pundits now believe should be the case! War is on the horizon; horrible war on The Foundation from the poor and the wealthy. The middle class will do nothing and continue to bitch, we are through the looking glass here, people!
Charlotte: I assume that we are going to be needing weapons and more koalas and alligators; I see that the Sister and the Professor have joined the proceedings.
Me: No. This is not about koalas…
Professor Z: No, it’s not. This is about lasers! Multiple lasers, ones that will sear a path through all of our foes and make sure that we are well-defended, as well as provide potential offensive capabilities should need be.
Sister Constance: Then why am I here? My crew has just relocated the koalas; I still don’t see why they have to be put on permanent patrols in the arboretum. Fortunately, they have stopped attacking visitors. If I’m here to discuss the new property acquisitions…
Me: Now hold it, I have been building up to this.
At this point, I pushed a button near my chair and a curtain to the left moved, revealing a model of an elephant habitat. The habit included twenty-fve elephants. It was a wondrous creation! The model plants were actually live, everything was living, except for the model elephants. One thing that was new to me was a model of a Victorian home located in what would be the southwest corner of the habitat. Perhaps, I did not notice it before, but I am sure that it was not there. I would notice this. Since M had not felt the need to remove the object, I assumed it was safe and left it. Eventually, the prankster would get tired of my ignoring the house and speak up. I proceeded with the presentation.
Me: What you see here is a plan for the new War Elephant habitat for the Thunderdome. I have come to the conclusion that a herd of twenty-five war elephants will serve to protect us from our enemies, both old and new. They will also provide an effective means for a preemptive strike if needed.
Manthony: Okay, I think I see where this may be going. But before we get the elephants, shouldn’t we have troops? And, didn’t you say that there are twenty-five elephants?
Charlotte: Yeah, what gives? There are only twenty-three elephants; that’s cool, though. Twenty-three is good.
Board Secretary: Well, which is it? Twenty-three or twenty-five? This is going into the minutes and I really don’t care to edit them later.
I turned and looked at the model; there were indeed only twenty-three elephants. How did I miss that?
Me: Okay, there are supposed to be twenty-five! The plan called for twenty-five elephants! You see, in order to protect ourselves, a herd of rampaging war elephants was to be our secret weapon. The elephants could trample the poor and the wealthy alike! Symbolically, it would have both truth and irony; the truth of the Republican stomp-downs on the poor and the irony of their being crushed by their own icon. Now, now it is not the same…
Charlotte: Sh, it’s okay…
Me: Did you just shush me?
Charlotte: Listen, twenty-three is very good. You can still have as much carnage with twenty-three elephants as you can with twenty-five. Just put twenty-three in the minutes, and we’re all good.
Seagol: What are you talking about?! Carnagae? War elephants?
Professor Z: Laser-guided war elephants? That could be an interesting idea, but how do we get them back once they’ve been launched?
Charlotte: Oh my god! The elephants don’t have lasers. There are no lasers. I see where this is going: a mass trampling. The elephants run amok, tons of property damage, we get them back under control, and all is good.
Manthony: This idea may have some potential. Let’s hear some more.
Board Secretary: As the main public relations contact and creator of propaganda, I have to say that I draw the line at direct, purposeful attacks on anyone. We’d be doomed. I don’t we could pull that off, we’d have to relocate to some third world country with limited or no extradition treaties, like Canada.
Smeagol: Finally! Someone agrees with me!
Charlotte: Hey, shut up! No one agrees with you. Ever. This is your last warning. Look, we can fake an accidental trampling at some public event, say, at a parade or something. Fuck man, they faked that moon landing shit and people are still buying it.
Me: And that is exactly what I mean, well said! We simply wait for a parade, maybe a protest that will attract counter-protesters. The elephants get excited by some strange hippie’s patchouli or right-winger’s Christian recitations, and they run amok!
Professor Z: This is not a practical weapon. The elephants will be too unpredictable. The whole thing sounds too disorganized.
Ethermagus: I have not spoken for a bit. I was taking this all in and believe that the ensuing chaos is what is the best part of the plan.
Sister Constance: Hail Eris!
Manthony and Ethermagus: What did you just say?
Me: Exactly. The elephant’s rampage will cause much damage, maiming, and potential death. However, the collateral damage is acceptable in scope: not too much, not too little.
Professor Z: And how do we regain control of the elephants?
Sister Constance: Now?
Sister Constance: The elephants will be controlled similarly to the koalas. Mega-doses of Valium and other assorted treats. And by the way, there are twenty-five elephants in total…
Me: I knew I had twenty-five. You are responsible for that monstrosity in the corner of the habit as well, I presume?
Sister Constance: Oh hush, it’s okay?
Me: Why is everyone shushing me today?!
Charlotte: Technically, that was a “hush.”
Board Secretary: I recorded it as a “hush.”
Smeagol: This is getting way out of…argh!
Charlotte (putting tazer away): I told him that was his last warning.
Sister Constance: As I was saying, the habit is designed to comfortably house the twenty-three war elephants. In the Victorian mansion here to the southwest (as it is the best temperature for the elephants) house Lord and Lady Phant. (She opens the mansion) As you can see, they are clothed in the best of finery, including the Lord’s dashing top hat and clever monocle.
Sister Constance: Well, the whole thing has a certain classiness, and the Lord and the Lady will present just enough class stress among the elephants that will prove beneficial as a catalyst to fuel a bit of plebeian rage to vent during operations.
Ethermagus: Excellent! I like the mansion idea, it is a smart home.
Me: And that, ladies and gentlemen hopefully I have not only demonstrated need and purpose for our war elephants, but I also hope that you will all see why it is indeed necessary to purchase the old train station, historic or not, to provide adequate land for the elephant habitat. We will also, more than likely, need to purchase all property surrounding it. This will dislocate approximately one thousand residents.
Charlotte: As program director, I recommend moving them to one of our low-rent housing facilities and offer them free rent for two years, after the two years, we charge them for rent. We also allow them to come and see the elephants free of charge for life, provided they come during public visitation times.
Me: With that, let us vote.
And with that vote, all in favor of the war elephants (save one abstention, the Vice President was still “napping”), the Foundation began its latest quest…