The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
See Dick Garden
Monday, November 28th, 2005
The Nossiter Net is cast  to snare some of  the riper rascalities of the day.  Comments?  editor@nossiter.net
Dick Cheney is the poster child for the angry middle-aged white male, for whom tens of millions in the bank and a share of world domination just aren’t enough for true happiness.  A principal architect of the present conflict in Iraq, Mr. Cheney has been a ferocious partisan of the oil and defense industries since taking office, winning him the warm support of the high executives in those businesses.  But that warmth has not been contagious:  the Vietnam avoidee and Yale drop-out radiates hostility and barely concealed bellicosity, such as when he responded to Senator Patrick Leahy’s cheery greeting in the halls of the U.S. Senate with a snarled “fuck yourself.” His current approval rating of 28% has probably not improved his temper. Mr. Cheney has been especially angry lately, pouring vitriol on critics of the administration’s pre-war honesty.

But surely there is another side to the Vice President, and this page was determined to find it.  Although it sounds out of character for the tubby but macho man, insiders insist that Dick Cheney is an enthusiastic amateur gardener.  This seemed a good place to start in our quest for the Vice President’s better nature, and we caught up with the reclusive Mr. Cheney at his home at the Naval Observatory in Washington D.C., a fine old estate that has been the official Vice Presidential residence since 1974.  We indeed found him in the expansive gardens, a bottle of weed killer in his hand.

“Fucking weeds” he remarked by way of greeting.  He turned to spray what looked much more like a rose bush than a weed, with little apparent effect.  Muttering under his breath, he threw the bottle of weed killer on the ground, and disappeared into a nearby gardening shed.  Mr. Cheney returned moments later with a military-issue flame thrower, which he aimed at the offending shrub.  An intense burst of fire reduced it to smoldering ashes in seconds.  The Vice President scowled at his handiwork and repeated his earlier epithet.  Certain that Mr. Cheney had mistaken a rose bush for a weed, this page chose discretion over valor and forbore to correct him.  The Vice President, after all, was armed.

He tossed the flame thrower aside and snarled “follow me.”  We strolled over to a vegetable garden in one corner of the grounds, rich in flourishing carrots and cabbages.  A compliment on the Vice Presidential vegetable growing skills evoked only a scowl and a muttered “fucking vegetables.”  Mr. Cheney opened a locker by the garden gate, from which he drew an enormous rifle.  For the first time during our interview, the Vice President smiled.

“Bartlett .50 caliber” he said, caressing the deadly weapon.  “Fires armor-piercing shells up to two thousand yards.  Most powerful firearm on the market.”

He motioned me to join him behind a low green fence, where we crouched for a few minutes in silence.  A small red light on our side of the fence began to flash, prompting another twisted smile from Mr. Cheney.  I followed him as he stood abruptly, shouldered his rifle, aimed, and fired.  Twenty yards away a small rabbit exploded in a blur of blood and fur.  The Vice President patted his gun and said “that’s why I call it the ‘bunny buster.’  Works real well on stray cats too.”

Next stop was a grove of cherry trees, a gift from the government of Japan many years ago.  Their gorgeous blossoms seemed in some way to anger the Vice President, who scowled, muttered “fucking cherry trees,” and turned his back on the delicate objects.  We strolled away from them in silence for fifty feet or so, at which point Mr. Cheney reached into his coat pocket, took out a grenade, pulled the pin, and tossed it into the cherry grove.  The trees exploded in a smoky fireball.

“Why did you do that?” we couldn’t help asking, aghast.  The Vice President looked surprised at the question, which he answered with a question of his own.

“Didn’t you know that gardening is my fucking hobby?” he growled.  Taking his “ahh, fuck yourself” as a dismissal, we bade the Vice President good afternoon and went pensively on our way.


©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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