Call from Cheyenne Mountain
by John Chuckman, YellowTimes.ORG
(YellowTimes.ORG) - On the U.S. President's desk in the Oval
Office, a phone's red light urgently flashes. It's the signal
for an incoming call. Only calls from deep inside the vast
command-center redoubt known as Cheyenne Mountain come in
on this line. Constructed during the Cold War, this hollowed-out
mountain contains a virtual Pentagon satellite-city built
to survive a hundred years behind million-ton blast-proof
doors. The president gleefully picks up the receiver. He just
loves getting important calls.
"Mr. President, this is a secure line, so we may speak freely."
"Dick, you old son of a gun, how's it goin' out there, livin'
under the mountain an' all? T'aint getting' to ya none?"
"I'm just fine, Mr. President, don't concern yourself. You
know, I spent a lot of time as a congressman with folks who
live in abandoned missile silos and mine shafts.
"Anyway, compared to some of those places, this is just damn
luxurious. The mountain's totally climate-controlled, and
we have an artificial beach under sun lamps on the distilled-water
"A goddam climate-controlled mountain! Jeez, Dick, I jus'
gotta get on out there one of these days an' see that."
"Good idea, Mr. President, uh, er, of course, once the crisis
"Crisis? Oh, y'all mean that there Osama guy? Don't worry
none 'bout him. He ain't goin' nowheres, an', I'll tell ya,
the only damn climate-control his damn mountains got is two-thousand
pound bombs re-arrangin' the lan'scape.(guffaw, guffaw)"
"No, Mr. President, the crisis I'm talking about is the next
election. We have to get you through that looking the part
"Oh, I get your meanin', Dick. Well, I'm a working on that,
real hard. Ain't even thinkin' of another month at the ranch.
An' I'm doin' jus' what ya said for me to do.
"After dinner, I come back here an' jus' sit by the window
for a while, wearin' my glasses, turnin' pages on one them
big reports. Once or twice, Laura comes in with a cup of hot
cocoa to keep me goin', an' puts her arm on my shoulder jus'
like ya showed us.
"Don dropped by on the way home from the Pentagon t'other
night an' checked me out. He said I looked good, real presidenshul,
in the window. He said the T.V. guys'd be eatin' it up."
"Wonderful to hear, Mr. President. Remember, nothing but
liberal scum is going to vote against a seated president in
wartime. I'll keep the war going here. You just keep sitting."
"Righto, Dick. Say, how they all feedin' ya down there?"
"I've got to say, Mr. President, the food could be better.
It's freeze-dried rations. A lot of my survivalist friends
swear by them and eat nothing but. They're okay for a couple
"Dick, y'all want me to have some nice big juicy steaks flown
on up from the ranch?"
"No, thank you very much, Mr. President, I'll stick to what
the boys in uniform are having. Good mess-hall photos, sets
a fine example. Anyway, they went and sealed the blast-proof
doors, and it's a major operation getting them open again.
Nothing gets in or out of here with those damn doors sealed.
"Well, you know, Mr. President, (chuckle, chuckle) it does
have its advantages. They can't exactly serve any subpoenas
for Enron, now can they?"
The President enjoys a hearty laugh.
"Tarnation, that's right, Dick. I almos' forgot about that
shit, sittin' here by the window an' all.
"Don't worry none, 'cause I jus' keep tellin' 'em we got
ya outta harm's way with all them damn terrorists flyin' 'roun'
the country. An' I tol' 'em how all the head guys in them
big oil companies never fly on the same plane or even take
the same elevator."
"Now, George, I mean Mr. President, you're not saying anything
off the script, are you? Especially nothing about a certain
"Oh, shucks, no, Dick, I know better'n that."
"Good, Mr. President, just call Ari to check on any little
thing you're thinking of adding. He can always pass it by
Don. Mark my words, Mr. President, sticking to the script's
going to get us through this."
"Okay, Dick. So what else y'all up to down there, you ol'
"The officers have an underground driving range and putting
green, Mr. President, so the golf score won't suffer too badly.
"We get satellite feed right from the B-52s, so we're watching
the boys give all those damn turban-heads what they deserve.
You can freeze the action, do re-plays, or move in for close-ups."
"Anything else, you ol' rascal? I know ya can't stick to
serious stuff long."
"Well, Mr. President, we do have a couple of those special
channels, if you know what I mean?"
"Shucks, Dick, I know egzac'ly what y'all mean. An' ya ain't
got Lynne down there, sniffin' out your trail.
"Mr. President, just between you and me, that is the part
that's just like a real vacation."
"I tell ya, Dick, she's havin' the time a her life out here,
scowlin' an' spoutin' them goddam librarian pamphlets a hers
at anyone that says things is less than hunky-dory!"
" 'Libertarian,' Mr. President, they're 'libertarian pamphlets.'
"Well, still, don't ya go worrin' none 'bout what she's up
to. She's doin' a hell of a job goin' after them no-good fifth
" 'Fifth columnists', Mr. President, I think you mean 'fifth
"Shucks, Dick, I think I gotta go. I jus' seen the docs pullin'
up out front. I reckon they're a comin' to change the bandage."
"Excellent, Mr. President, that bandage locks-in the sympathy
vote. America has already forgotten all about your pretzel
caper. Joe Six-pack never thought it was anything unusual
anyway. But just the sight of a wounded President in time
of war gives us an 80% floor-rating.
"Do you think you could ask them to just put the new one
on a little higher up? I noticed it's not showing up on some
of the news shots."
"Okay, Dick, what ya figure, 'bout half an inch?"
"That'd be just about right, Mr. President. And try not to
spill any more gravy on it. That's a real turn-off for some
of the women."
"Gotchya, Dick. Be talkin' to ya soon."
"Thank you, Mr. President."
John Chuckman encourages your comments: jchuckman@YellowTimes.ORG