|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Friday, December 17th, 2004
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|San Francisco private eye Christopher Smart, on an impossible quest to find 59 million brains lost on election day, 2004, has gotten no farther than a North Beach café…
The Case of the Missing Gray Matter, Concluded
I lost track of the number of hours – maybe it was days – that I’d been sitting in Café Vesuvio. The grappas were having an effect after all. But not enough of one. Somehow December 13th’s Sunday New York Times swam into focus, opened to a story about how U.S. kids couldn’t do math any more. According to the Timesman, that was quite OK, because who needs math anyway? I read the story again to make sure I wasn’t missing something, but no, that really was the gist. And that did it. No matter how many grappas my client, George Soros, financed, I’d never be able to reduce my brain to the proper level of idiocy to come to grips with my investigation. Even three-quarters incapacitated on distilled grape pressings, I couldn’t begin to approximate the mentality of 59 million people who go around misplacing their brains.
I left a generous tip. Soros could afford it. Then I ankled down the street to Mimi’s, the last greasy spoon in North Beach, for half a dozen scrambled eggs, a quart of orange juice, and a mountain of toast. Sure I was hungry, but I was there to talk to Mimi. After Young Lo, she’s the smartest person in town.
“Sugar, you look plain terrible” was her greeting as she poured me coffee. “Been on a bender?”
“Not exactly. It’s a long story, Mimi.”
That’s all she needed. Mimi heaved her bulk onto the adjacent stool and settled down to listen. I spilled the whole yarn, how I’d been hired by George Soros to find the brains lost by 59 million voters on election day, how Young Lo had given me a bum steer by advising me to seek out “manifestations of brainlessness” and what an impossible task that was because there were too damn many such “manifestations” to begin to seek out, and how my investigation had stalled at a corner table at Café Vesuvio. As always, Mimi heard me out in silence. The she shook her head.
”Sugar, you’re going about your business about as wrong as wrong can be. Of course you can’t investigate every single stupid thing people do and say. You have to go at it from the other direction entirely. Here’s what I’d do: Take the single stupidest thing that’s been done lately. Look up the folks who did it. Figure out what they have in common. Whatever that is, or wherever that is, that’s where you’ll find your lost brains.”
Maybe it was the residual grappa. Maybe it was some kind of grease shock from Mimi’s cooking. Whatever it was, I suddenly saw daylight. I gave Mimi a big hug, tossed one of Soros’s Franklins on the counter, and beat it up the hill to my office. As outlined by Mimi, my program was simple. I swiveled my chair to the laptop.
Easily the stupidest thing done in recent times is the prosecution of a destructive, bloody, and senseless war in Iraq. So far, so good. Whose idea was it? That was easy too: George Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith were the main architects of the stupidity. What did those five men have in common, apart from their membership in the Republican party?
I researched their biographies. One common thread quickly emerged. Bush, Yale graduate. Cheney, Yale dropout. Wolfowitz went to Cornell. Feith, called the “fucking stupidest man on the face of the earth” by General Tommy Franks, was a Harvard man. Rumsfeld graduated from Princeton. Each one of these supreme idiots’ alma maters is a member of a football association called the Ivy League. Was it possible… It was the only explanation. I may have located the lost brains, but considering how they were going to waste, they might as well have stayed lost.
I swiveled and called the client. Mr. Soros would not be pleased.
.©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2004
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