CAPTAIN NEMATODE MEETS HARRY DUBYA POTFACE
THE GREAT HOOKWORM HUMPFEST OF
(Reluctantly admitting to having written this pile of garbage: Tom Gibbons)
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For many years the
hapless people of
The King stood in front of a TV camera and shouted, “This shall not stand!” He was talking about a touchdown scored on a play with two offside violations and a bitten tackler. The king was especially angry because he had bet heavily on the other team, so he quickly expressed his displeasure. The evil Hookworm thought he meant the bike, so he immediately threw it back across the border and ran home. King Potface was astounded because he had not even noticed it was gone. Afterwards, everyone made fun of the King because he had not sent in his army to finish off the evil Hookworm while he was on the run. King Harry Potface never forgot the humiliation.
The touchdown was called back, and the King won his bet.
Eventually the King’s son came to power in Eaglemania. His name was Good King Harry Dubya Potface, although he never allowed his last name to be used in public. It recalled several youthful indiscretions that did not particularly interest anyone as long as there was no constant reminder of them. He was simply known as Good King Harry Dubya.
Harry’s advisors, especially an undersecretary named Wolfman Fits, never let him forget his father’s humiliation. “After he had to throw that bicycle back, we had him on the run. He could never have stopped us from running after him and beating him into leaf mulch.”
“We’ll get him,” promised Harry.
“Now he knows he can come after us, and he will. I bet he is planning to take your bicycle any day, now.”
Harry took notice. “We have to get him, quickly.”
“He is laughing at us! An evil laugh from an evil man.”
“In the name of God, we will smite this evil man.”
“And after your father was out of office, Hookworm sent his agents to give him a wedgie.”
“I will smite this evil Hookworm with the righteous fire of a thousand cattle prods,” declared King Harry.
“Oh, and he is mean to his people.”
When Good King Harry
disclosed his plans to his people, they rallied fondly around him shouting,
“Long live King Harry.” He slowly but
surely drew his plans to smite the evil Hookworm. The Army stocked up on rocket launchers, the
Navy sealed up all of the leaks in its ships, and the Air Force started filling
the potholes in the runways. Harry organized the newspapers and the TV news
departments so that they could tell everyone just what kind of damage worms
could do. Besides that, he started a new
TV news channel to be beamed into
However, he soon discovered that he had to persuade some of his own subjects who, strange as it may seem, had doubts about the wisdom and judgment of King Harry. The King could not understand such an attitude especially after his election to the Kingship, at which time he almost received as many votes as his chief rival.
So the King set out to persuade his people. In this project he had the help of his military chief, Reinhold “Gin” Rummy. Everyone knew them as Harry and Gin.
“Gin,” said Harry, “what am I going to do? Many of the people don’t want to fight the evil Hookworm. How am I going to persuade them?”
“Don’t worry. As you know we have incontrovertible evidence that the evil Hookworm is developing and stockpiling many weapons of mass indigestion. Now we’re not just talking simple heartburn here, although we are sure he is behind the mass export of fruitcakes. But he is working on really evil stuff like mad cow burgers, cake made out of pure sugar, breakfast cereal made out of pure sugar, deep-fried fish that look like French fries and taste like corn cobs, and even pepperoni pizza.”
“Yum, sugar cake. Can we get some? And don’t say French fries. We’re mad at the French so now we call them Frankreich fries.”
“We have not been able to find any sugar cake yet, but we know he has it,” said Gin. “We think he has been hiding the sugar cake in mobile kitchens. Either that or the neighbors ate it. He also has thousands of gallons of chili powder which he could launch on 45 minutes notice”
“This is more evil than I thought, “ said Harry. “Tell the people, quickly.”
So Gin Rummy along with the powerful but seldom seen Vice King Halibut gave press conferences, made speeches, appeared on news programs, and refused to eat chili. They also used many rolls of duct tape on the orifices that passed the most dangerous and threatening of weapons of mass instruction – namely their critics’ mouths. However many people still doubted. They thought the only thing that Good King Harry cared about was Hookworm’s salad oil, which was so full of calories that people could never use it without polluting their bodies with its residue. It was suspected of causing global fattening.
One of Harry’s advisors
said that they should persuade the people that the salad oil was just one more
weapon of mass indigestion. “NO!!!” said
Harry, Gin, and Halibut in unison.
“Salad oil is important, and the only other source in all the world is
The speech was so successful that children in school are still required to memorize it. “I will smite him on the beaches; I will smite him on the landing grounds; I will smite him in the fields, and in the streets and in the hills; I will smite him in the bowling alleys and in the crack houses and on the miniature golf courses. I will smoke his ribs, roast his beef, crack his knuckles, and steal his sunblock. I will glaze his eyes, pierce his ears, and crush his ball – er – oons,” said the Good King remembering that he was on television. “I shall never surrender.”
Later, when a reporter asked Harry if he might consider giving up, he replied, “Well, I never considered whether I might, but if the going gets tough and the tough may have got going away and left me holding the bagworm, then I might have to reach into the excesses of my mind and consider whether tis nobler – hey, wait a minute. Isn’t that the same thing as surrender?” Gin pulled him aside and told him never to talk without his speechwriters.
After the speech
99.5% of the people supported the Good King and believed he was the toughest
ruler the land had seen since his father, Old Harry. People held anti-Hookworm demonstrations and
picketed fish hook factories. Television
comedians made hook jokes and laughed about pins and tapes. In boxing they outlawed the left hook. Veterans’ organizations denounced
indigestion and passed out free cases of Tums.
School children collected worms and smashed them in their
schoolbooks. Chili sales hit bottom, and
a gentleman from
The next election to
choose a new king was only twelve years away, and already the candidates were
swarming all over
As it happened, a
Centercrat candidates’ debate was scheduled a few days after the Great
Speech. But it was not being held in
In order to distinguish themselves from the Ralphies and show how centrist they were, the 28 candidates had agreed to hold the debate in the early primary state of StarsnBars at the national convention of the Guns ‘n’ Guts Club. They sat on the stage beneath an enormous model of a hand grenade. At least they hoped it was a model.
One-by-one the candidates gave their views on the speech, the war, mass indigestion, and weapons of mass instruction. Each candidate agreed that all of the other candidates collectively constituted a dangerous weapon of mass indigestion. Most of them, trying hard to center themselves in King Harry’s cross hairs, thought that Good King Harry should root out evil and, although they expressed support for the popular King, they suggested that they might cure indigestion somewhat more efficiently.
Good King Harry, who was watching, scribbled notes to his political staff asking for TV commercials telling voters to vote for the real Harry, not the fakes.
But one candidate, a former star of a children’s TV show, called Captain Nematode wondered if he should tell the truth about how he felt. He knew that the truth might make everyone in the land hate him or at least boycott his reruns. As each candidate spoke and each tried to promote a stronger antacid than the previous one, Captain Nematode became more strongly resolved to speak his mind – at least for the sake of his fans. When his turn came, he was so nervous that he felt as though he were naked, even though he wasn’t. He checked to make sure. Then he stood up, screwed up his courage and blurted out, “War is bad for children and other living things.”
There was silence in the room and gasps from the audience. The other 27 candidates looked at him as if he had just regurgitated on the Prime Minister of Japan, and the party chair, sitting in the front row, picked his jaw up from the floor where it had fallen.
“Really,” said the Captain. “Being dead is no good at all for them.”
There were murmurs and other strange noises from the audience including boos, growls, hiccups, certain gas noises, and the sound of guns being cocked. The other candidates started saying things like, “Are you loco?” “Are you smoking banana peels?” “Do you want to lose the election?” “Do you want ME to lose the election?”
The captain decided that he had better try something else. So he said, “Make love, not war.”
The party chair fainted. People in the audience shouted, “Do you have something against Tums?” “Are you in favor of indigestion?” “Does your stomach hurt?” “Do you have a tapeworm?”
Good King Harry stopped scribbling and started grinning.
The Captain said it again. “Make love, not war.” The people in the first five rows picked up their chairs, swung them around, and charged the speaker’s platform.
He heard them screaming at him. “Hookworm lover!” “Tapeworm” “No, he’s a hookworm.” “A nematode is a hookworm.” “Leggo my chair.” “Pinworm!” “I need a chair.” “Leggo my hair.” “No a hookworm is a nematode.” “Get your own chair.” “That’s not a chair, that’s my foot.” “Stop chewing on my ear.”
“Well you can be a nematode without being a hookworm,” the captain tried to explain.
“What the hell are you talking about?” “You want a good thumping?” “Tapeworm.” “Where’s your hands?” “Say, I dunno what you said, but it sounded subversive.” “Pinworm lover.” “Hee hee hee hee hee.” “Wanna get hit?” “Get your thumb out of my…” “Put that chair down! Thump him, not me!” “Take that!” “OW!” “Where’d he go?”
As the candidates froze in place, Captain Nematode hid in the lectern. Only the first few charging audience members saw where he went, because their bodies hid him from the others. They started to hit the lectern with their chairs but soon had to quit it because they were busy being trampled by hundreds of feet. The rest of the crowd could not find the Captain so they threw their chairs at the other 27 candidates who scattered in 27 different directions including up and down. “Thump them, thump them,” cried people in the charging crowd.
Good King Harry danced for joy.
The Captain still had the microphone with him in the lectern and soon the PA system in the auditorium started saying, “Hump, don’t thump. Hump, don’t thump.” In the back of the room a few audience members, not having anything else to do and the moment, complied. Some of the TV cameras swung around to point at them. The audience at home, already fascinated, became more so, and some of them literally got out the super glue in order to glue themselves to the TV.
Good King Harry was outraged. He stopped dancing and started screaming to anyone who would listen that the morals of the Centercrats had descended lower than the gutter and so far beneath contempt that contempt couldn’t even find them. Then he stopped screaming because he realized that he was alone in the room. So he picked up the telephone and called Gin Rummy, who was asleep. “Get me the national guard. I have to break up an orgy,” demanded the Good King.
“GZZZZ – Snore – Huh?”
“The National Guard! Get it! There’s an orgy. Right on TV. People might see it. They were just having some good clean fun throwing chairs at the Centercrats and then someone spoiled the whole thing with an orgy. Kids might see it. It’s on TV.”
“I want the national guard!”
“From what state?”
“I don’t know. Wherever those Centercrats are campaigning.”
“StarsnBars,” said Gin. “I can’t give you the national guard. It belongs to the governor. Too much paperwork to get it tonight. I can get you the FBI or the CIA.”
“I want them both!”
The debate at the Guns ‘n’ Guts Club was televised throughout the land, and soon people everywhere started to imitate the audience in the auditorium. Some started to throw chairs at the King’s enemies and others started to hump rather than thump. Gradually local TV stations caught on to what was happening and sent news crews out to cover it. Many of these crews brought along chairs and other paraphernalia so that they could join the fun.
Before long, the King’s critics, rubbing the lumps on their heads and in other places, realized that the only way they could avoid being hit was to join the crowd. Since they didn’t want to hit one another with chairs, they had to join the fun in the only other way open to them. Good King Harry realized that it was all getting out of control. He called Gin again and said to hurry with those law enforcement people, CII or FBA or whatever. Gin said not to worry because the powerful but seldom seen Vice King Halibut was organizing them and would soon be ready.
Finally a phalanx of federal agents of various kinds was ready to charge into the convention of the Guns ‘n’ Guts Club. They felt safe in doing so because the Secret Service had already escorted most of the candidates out of the auditorium. The only candidate left was Captain Nematode, who was still hiding in the lectern. The crowd did not know that, or at least, the few members of the crowd who did know were all unconscious. All of the conscious members of the crowd were indulging in Captain Nematode’s suggestion about what to do with themselves, and they were, in fact, so indulging all over the auditorium. Thus when the doors, windows, and parts of the walls exploded open to admit the agents, said agents charged through the jagged openings, looked around the room, stopped in their tracks, and stood there with open mouths. Some of them took pictures. The officer in charge spoke into his secure satellite phone and asked his superior, “Exactly what does the King want us to do here?”
“Bring some morals to the Centercrats.”
“The Secret Service took the Centercrats all away. Nobody here but the Guns ‘n’ Guts people.”
“Oh, well, in that case leave them alone. I think the King needs their votes. But if there are any reporters outside, tell them that the hall is full of too many Centercrats to control.”
“I can’t. All of the reporters are in here, and I can’t control them either.”
“Then get your men out of there.”
“I can’t. I think they are caught up in the …”
“Stop. Don’t tell me. Get yourself out of there.”
As it happened, most of the kingdom had become caught up in the festivities. Good King Harry was reduced to hopping around on one foot, gulping Tums, and screaming at anyone who would listen that those Centercrats had ruined the morals of the country and someone had to do something. Gradually the King realized that his campaign against Sad Ham Hookworm was ruined because of what his own kingdom had been reduced to.
But just in time Gin Rummy came in with good news. As he straightened his tie and tucked in his shirt, he blurted out that Sad Ham Hookworm was dead. Harry leaped for joy and bumped his head on Vice King Halibut’s chin. It seemed, explained Gin that Harry had done it himself.
“Remember that TV station you created to beam the truth into the Hookworm’s Kingdom? Well, it showed everything that happened here.”
“Oh, my God.” Said Harry.
“No, its good. Hookworm laughed himself to death. Then his whole government collapsed without him. It’s chaos over there. It’s ours for the taking.”
“What about the chili powder? Get the chili powder,” said Harry.
“What about the salad oil? Get the salad oil,” said Halibut.
But when they sent the troops after the chili powder and salad oil, they discovered the awful truth that Hookworm was not really dead. It was true that he had laughed so much that he gave himself a hernia, but that wasn’t fatal. Instead of dying, he went into hiding, hernia and all, and drove the King’s troops crazy trying to find him.
Also, it turned out
that the chaos wasn’t caused by the loss of the Hookworm. It was caused by the same TV broadcasts that
affected Good King Harry’s subjects.
“That proves how evil he is, “said Harry. And everyone agreed.
Hookworm’s army was so efficient at finding parties that part of it even raided the original hall where it all started in the state of StarsnBars. Good King Harry was so busy looking for chili powder that he had not even noticed Hookworm’s forces crossing the border and invading the Guns ‘n’ Guts convention hall. Once inside the building, Hookworm’s army found Captain Nematode still hiding in the lectern. It was the general in charge who stumbled across him, and the general was so startled that he shot himself. The troops, who remembered the Captain from his TV show, elected him the new general. Captain Nematode then organized his army into a movie production company and went back into the entertainment business.
The rest of
Hookworm’s army was also in action along with Harry’s army. They were good at finding parties, but not
good at stopping them, because most of the soldiers just joined in. Even after many years of painful bumps and
grinds, order had not yet been restored in
They never found any chili powder, but they did find a couple of pressure cookers and a dozen or so twelve-year-old chili beans. This proved that Harry’s concern over mass indigestion was well founded. At least, so he claimed, but the people had stopped believing.
So it came as a blessing to the Good King when some of his soldiers finally stumbled across the Sad Ham, who was sitting at the bottom of a hole. It was equipped with a mattress and a few provisions for living. He wasn’t hiding; the hole was just a good place for him to indulge in the same recreation as everyone else.
Harry jumped for joy when he heard the news, and this time he knocked himself out cold against Vice King Halibut’s chin. The Vice King quickly sent orders to the troops to dump some chili powder down into the hole so that it could be found there later. But it was too late. They had already filled in the hole and taken the Sad Ham to a hospital where he could finally have his hernia treated.
Good King Harry, upon
recovering, made a trip to the hospital in
In the hospital, he met Sad Ham Hookworm face-to-face for the first time. Well, it wasn’t quite face-to-face; because the Sad Ham’s mouth was wide open being examined by three soldiers and a doctor. Harry asked if something was wrong with Sad Ham’s teeth. The doctor and one of the soldiers backed their heads out of the mouth and said that no, it was just a really big hernia. Another soldier, who had been counting the hairs on Sad Ham’s head, lost his count, cursed under his breath, and started over.
Finally, when they were finished, Harry and the Ham sat down for a talk. The Sad Ham asked how it felt when Harry’s subjects went all out of control and the FBI and CIA couldn’t stop them. “It was terrible,” said Harry and Hookworm said, “tell me about it.” Soon they were both laughing and talking, and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.