Let's Get The Old Regime Back Together

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Vol 39 Issue 48

Christmas Pageant Enters Pre-Production

SAGINAW, MI—With the holiday season in full swing, the St. John's Lutheran Church Annual Christmas Pageant went into pre-production Monday. "We just hired a set builder and a location scout, and I'm looking for leads on a Mary Magdalene, because Mrs. Halverson is out with the gout this year," said church deacon Paul Verriter. "Now, all we need to do is wait for Pastor Dave [Genzler] to give his final notes on the script, and we're off and running." Verriter said he needs Genzler's approval before he can hire a team of writers to punch up the arrival of the shepherds.

Stick Shift Bragged About

NEW YORK—Sources say Gary Baumgarten, an accountant in the bursar's office at Barnard College, introduced his stick shift into the conversation again Monday. "Traffic was murder over the Verrazano Bridge this morning," Baumgarten said. "Especially driving that five-speed. But a stick is the only way to go. Of course." Later that day, Baumgarten touted his stick shift during conversations about San Francisco, taxi drivers, and the drive-thru at Taco Bell.

Baby Boring

TAMARAC, FL—Michelle, the three-week-old daughter of area residents Sue and Allen McKay, is "unbelievably boring," sources close to the couple said Monday. "Sue's always raving about how amazing Michelle is," friend Elena Jacobs said. "But then you meet her, and she barely moves. Who knows? Maybe Michelle is an incredibly charming and engaging little mastermind during the 20 minutes each day that she's awake and not crying." Jacobs added that Michelle must have been born with her mother's eyes and her father's total lack of personality.

Drunken Episode A Repeat

PARMA, OH—Sunday's episode involving drunken house-party guest Philip Welz was a repeat, guests reported. "I couldn't bear to watch it again," Robert Joffe said. "Sure, some parts, like when Phil pees in front of everyone, or when he pretends to have sex with the pets, are sort of entertaining the second time around, but on the whole, it was pretty tough to sit through twice." Joffe left the party early in order to avoid the episode's final moments, when Welz pukes on himself and passes out.

Neurosurgeon Heckled From Observation Deck

HOUSTON—Dr. Martin Kenneth Rinjipur, a neurosurgeon at Methodist Hospital, was heckled from the observation deck Monday after removing a cancerous tumor from a patient's occipital lobe. "You call that closing an incision?" the unidentified man shouted. "I could make a cleaner suture with 15 centimeters of frayed chromic gut and a pair of barbecue tongs. Go back to Johns Hopkins." Rinjipur did his best to act like he had not heard the comments.

Chicago Out Of Names For Subdivisions

CHICAGO—According to city planners, Chicago has run out of new names for its subdivisions. "It was bound to happen sooner or later," Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said at a Monday press conference in front of City Hall. "Oak Dale Springs, Whispering Pines, Stonewood Creek... We have used every tree, body of water, and living thing in the almanac. You don't have to drive all the way out to Kevin Acres to know we need a new naming system." Daley announced that, beginning in 2004, all new housing developments in the Chicago area will be numbered with a positive integer.
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Let's Get The Old Regime Back Together

Hey, guys, it's your old pal Luzhninczy. Remember, from Vladisnostok? I hope this finds you well. And that no one else finds you—ha ha! But seriously, I am quite adept at keeping track of everyone, which is why, in the old days, they called me the Minister of Information. "Old Eyes And Ears," they used to say. "You never know who might be listening," they'd say. But I always knew they meant me. And I always knew who "they" were. Ah, yes, good times, good times. I miss them.

Which is why, lately, I've been thinking that we should get the old regime back together.

Admit it, my comrades, my compatriots, my old partners in crime: We had ourselves a great regime. For a while there in the 1980s, our regime forced everyone to sit up and take notice. So maybe the critics didn't all like us. And maybe we weren't so popular with the public. That attitude was nothing that a few months at the detention camp in Nozodoroshevo couldn't fix. If they knew what was good for them, and wanted to keep all their homes and fingers and family members, they did things our way.

Face it, guys—we ruled! And we could rule again. I know we could. With just a quick trip to Switzerland, we could be back in business.

Sure, there was a lot of hard work, and oceans of spilled Nationalist blood, but don't for a minute pretend that you didn't enjoy it. Remember Anatoly, speaking to the people, the fire in his eyes reflecting revolutionary fervor and burning oil fields? I do. I'll never forget that, nor will I ever forget the smile on Antonin's face as he waved to the adoring crowds of citizens who had been forced to realize that we were their future, and that their choices were two: cheer or starve to death.

I'll admit that the days when we were relatively unknown were hard. We had to go through all that agricultural reform, the empowerment of peasants, and the stringing up of corrupt local officials. But remember those all-night bull sessions in Yuri's garage, where we formulated our naïve early plans for world domination? Remember riding around the country in a beat-up van, playing to the poor locals' feelings of disenfranchisement and alienation? Those were some good times.

But if we did it all again, we could bypass the hard stuff. We have a reputation now. We could make things happen fast. Come on! Let's do it, guys. Just say the word.

We were big—bigger than any regime before us. We were bigger than Ceausescu! Once we'd so thoroughly demonized the Reformed Orthodox clergy that frenzied mobs were burning down churches across the nation, we were even bigger than Jesus. We took the place by storm. I'm still proud of how revolutionary we were. We really got down and dirty and rocked the country to its foundations, using sabotage and captured artillery. Shit, they're still cleaning up the mess from our Party! We could easily pick up where we left off

Yeah, it was a fun road, and we got to meet some really cool people, like the overseas director of development for British Petroleum, and Oliver North, and those touring nuns who got lost when the tire blew on their van. We worked with some of the best, too, once we hit it big. Remember that guy Dieter? The guy we hired to deal with all those hotshot British agents who started popping up uninvited? Remember how we called him "Fingers"? He could find out any information you needed to know, as long as he had some sturdy clamps and a metalworker's bench grinder. Man, I'd almost forgotten about him. That guy was crazy! Let's surprise him with a visit! He's in North Korea now.

Ah, I guess we all were a little crazy back then. Near the end, I didn't think we were ever going to get out of it alive. Well, Nikolai didn't. I told him all the time, man, once a backlash starts, and Bono is writing lyrics about you, and Americans are starting to act like they've hated you all along, it's time to think about moving on.

But listen, my friends, I guarantee you this: The people never forgot us. We could do this, guys. We could be huge again. I've still got a copy of our Declaration of Ascendancy, and a grain silo in Bukagachi filled with Kalashnikov assault rifles. So, how about it? Are we a regime again, or what?

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