Thursday, July 06, 2006

Costume Jewry

1400 hrs. The McFab compound.
I was on the crapper, reading the daily intel reports while I released some hostages into the care of the septic tank. I subscribe to all the major security-related publications, and always read the most important ones while I take my morning constitutional. I was just getting into The Star article on Britney and Kevin when my mama knocked on the door.
"I'm really using the bathroom this time!" I yelled, angry.
"Well hurry up, honey. There's two men here to see you."
"They can wait."
"They're wearing suits."
I flew off the toilet and pulled my trousers up, not bothering to wipe. This could be big.

They sat on the couch, two black men in dark pinstripes, one of them holding what could be either a folder or a dossier, depending on the contents.
"Mr. McFab?" one of them said as they both rose.
"Maybe," I said, walking a bit awkwardly into the room. Probably should have wiped.
"I'm Jackson Jessums, and this is my associate, Maleek Shabazz Abajindu Smith. We're from the East Carolina Anti-Discrimination and Other Fucked-Up Shit League. We fight against racial discrimination."
"And other fucked-up shit," Smith added.
"Sounds great, guys. I gave at the office."
"Oh, we're not here for money," Jessums said. "In fact...Well, this is rather sensitive..."
"I'm gonna leave you gentlemen alone," Mama interrupted. "The less I know, the better." I nodded my approval as she went outside to tend her hemp garden.
"Cop a squat, men," I said, and sat across from them in my favorite recliner, the one an actual Army Ranger had once peed on. I took a deep breath, knowing what was coming.
"You probably know this already, Mr. McFab," Jessums said. "But we have a serious problem here."
"Oh, c'mon guys...I didn't burn their house because they were black! They cut me off in traffic. I'm not the least bit racist, in fact I once paid good money to sleep with a--"
"That's not why we're here," Jessums said. "We're here to hire a mercenary."
"We heard you're the best," Smith added. "And by best I mean cheapest. Good God, man, what's that smell?"
"I didn't wipe," I said. "Sorry."
"Yes, well...Anyway, the Ku Klux Klan has been making a bit of a comeback here in the Fort Braggart area, ever since that discount sheets-and-pillowcases outlet opened on route ten. So far, they've just been demonstrating at farmer's markets and burning crosses here and there, but we have reason to believe things are about to get worse." He opened the folder in his lap, which as it turned out was a dossier, and showed me a picture.
"This is Claude Hopper," Jessums said, "the local Grand Lizard of the Klan."
"Isn't it 'wizard'?" I asked.
"No, a rival Klan group copyrighted that. At any rate, Hopper is tired of mere demonstrations and has formulated a plan to hurt the black community in the worst way possible. Maleek?"
Smith pulled some papers from the dossier. "These are transcripts of conversations we intercepted," he said. "It seems Claude Hopper and his men are planning to cut off the malt liquor supply to Fort Braggart. That means no Olde English--"
"Ol' E 800, G!" Jessums interjected.
"--no St. Ides--"
"S-T Ides, beeyatch!"
"--no Colt .45--"
"Wazzup, Billy Dee?"
"--no forties, period."
"No forties, man! Oh hell nah."
"As you can imagine," Smith continued, "this would have a devastating impact on the morale of the African-American community...And that's just the beginning of their plans."
"Of course," I said, "but why don't you just go to the police?"
"We tried," Jessums said, "but they told us that without hard evidence of violent or criminal acts on the part of the Klan, they can do nothing. That's where you come in."
"You want me to infiltrate them?"
"No, we er...We've heard about your infiltration skills. We need you to act as bait, actually."
I considered this. "You mean...You want me to get them to attack me?"
"Yes. We'd do it ourselves, but I don't want my testicles nailed to a tree stump."
"You get used to it," I said. "But alright, makes sense so far. I get them to attack me, we have the proof we need."
"Exactly. And of course, if you want to fight a few of them off...say, with a shotgun...that would be fine, too."
"My fee is sixty dollars an hour," I said. "I'll dress in blackface and get started next week."
"Five bucks an hour, you dress as a Jew, and get started today," Smith said.

2100 hrs. Illiterate Jimmy's Pool Hall and Lending Library.
The old garage-turned-bar was Klan central, where all the local rednecks and racists gathered to drink beer, play pool, and sound out the big words as they perused Jimmy's library of Mack Bolan novels. I would have been afraid to go in there under any circumstances, but in the role I was playing tonight it was even worse. I stood outside a few minutes, gathering courage by stroking the grip of the urine-filled water gun I carry for protection while reciting various Dick Cheney quotes to myself. All right, fuck it. My costume was perfect, I had the dialect nailed, and, well...sometimes you just have to jump in the deep end and hope for the best. I walked in.
Every eye in the place focused on my long black bekishe and fur hat. I stroked my fake beard nervously as I took a seat at the bar.
The bartender was a giant, and the look on his face told me he both hated Jews and had at some point inhaled paint thinner for pleasure.
"Mazel tov, compadre," I said in Jewish. "Manneschevitz con limon, por favor."
"What the hell funny talk is that?" the barman demanded, leaning his huge forearms on the bar in front of me. I noticed his tattoo, If you ain't white, you ain't rite.
"No hable Jewish, amigo?" I asked. "Okay, I'll speak your gentile language. I'm a big time Hollywood producer, and I want a goddamned manneschevitz before I go manipulate the media and impregnate Protestant girls. Oh, and throw some matzah balls in with that."
"We ain't got yer filthy Jew drink here," he said. "We got beer. We do have matzah balls, though. Do you want 'em in chicken stock or vegetable?"
"Tell you what," I said, "maybe I'll just have a beer and eat a gentile baby later."
By this time a small crowd had gathered around me, and I saw that Claude Hopper himself was in the group. They had four pool cues and three teeth between them, and looked ready to use either. I steeled myself, remembering I was making five bucks an hour.
"I see the goys are back in town," I said, staring directly at Hopper. "You don't happen to need a loan at a morally-reprehensible interest rate, do you? Because I can help you out with that."
The bartender interrupted before Hopper could respond. "Here's your beer, Jewboy," he said, and sat a Heineken down in front of me.
I hate to admit it, but it was such an affront I actually lost character.
"A Heineken?" I demanded. "A goddamned Dutch beer? You know why they call 'em 'Dutch,' don't you? Because they suck, that's why. They legalize heroin and fag marriage and outlaw normal stuff like people owning machine guns. Take this shit away!" I shoved the Heineken back at the barman. The crowd murmured a bit, wondering if the bartender would kill me.
"Well here, then," he said. "Have a Corona if yer gonna whine about it."
Now I was so angry it was impossible to stay in character. It was just me, Randy McFab, against this asshole bartender.
"A Mexican beer?" I said. "They piss in this stuff, you know. Mexicans drink pee like normal folks drink Yoo-Hoo. If I wanted to drink pee I'd go down to the public pool and take a sip after the black kids are done swimming."
"Well damn man," the bartender said. "Here, have a Pilsner."
"What? The only good Czech is a cancelled Czech, by God. I wouldn't drink..."
By this time, the crowd was talking amongst themselves, and Claude Hopper was trying to make a point.
"Jesus, boys," Hopper said, "that guy's a fucking biggot."
"He shore is an asshole," someone agreed. "He thinks he's better than everybody, I reckon."
"Won't even drink Mexican beer!"
"Oh my Lordy," Hopper said. "Don't you see? We've been acting like this here asshole, goin' against the blacks just because they look different and commit crimes all the time. Are we no better than this here filthy Jew?"
The racists hung their heads, thinking.
"Hell goddamned no I won't drink a Budweiser!" I was yelling at the bartender. "Stinking Krauts invented that crap! Give me an all-American Zima or just go watch some damned soccer, you Euro-trash ass-wipe. Speaking of which, I haven't wiped my ass in a while...You don't happen to have a pre-moistened towellete, do you?"

The next day. The McFab compound.
"I'm sorry them redneck boys beat you," Mama said, applying an ice-pack to my scrotum.
"Well, I guess it all worked out, even though I didn't get paid..."
Claude Hopper and his boys had changed their ways after meeting me, joining the Anti-Discrimination and Other Fucked-Up Shit league. I called Maleek Shabazz Abajindu Smith about payment, but he said I'd not get a nickel unless I attended Czech sensitivity training.
"Let's watch some t.v.," Mama said. "That'll take your mind off your balls." She surfed through the channels a bit. "Here's a funny show, Randy. The Chapelle show."
"Isn't that the show with the ni--" She shoved the ice-pack hard into my scrotum, and I gasped in pain.
"It's funny, Randy," she said. "That's the important thing."