Re: Job Opportunity

Dear Vice President Cheney,

Let me express my condolences for the loss of your chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby. With all true Americans, I recognize the valuable service Mr. Libby performed for you and the country, particularly the oil companies, over the past five years, and the key role he played in helping to create the democratic paradise of today’s Iraq. Certainly history will smile upon his contributions and gloss over the baseless charges brought against him by political partisans. (Perjury? Come on! It’s not like the guy got a blowjob …)

In the meantime, obviously, you will be in need of a new chief of staff, so let me get right to the point: I’m your man.

My qualifications are as follows:

1. I am pure evil. I can provide letters of reference from former girlfriends, as well as from my previous landlord, to attest to this fact.

2. I can keep a secret, especially if it involves your criminal and immoral conspiring against other Americans, State Department officials, intelligence agents, or the leaders of the U.S. military. Seriously—no one keeps a secret better than I do! You still don’t know about Steve Elliott slashing your tires in Wisconsin, do you? Huh?

3. Even if I couldn’t keep a secret, I don’t even know any reporters! Who am I going to tell? What’s more, I’d never even consider sleeping with Judith Miller, so no worries there. (On the other hand, do you think you could get me a date with Ann Coulter? I’ve always felt a strange attraction to her—and anyway, it’s not like she’s a real journalist.)

4. I’m a big fan of your plans for world domination and strongly support the groundless invasion of foreign countries in pursuit of this goal. I would be eager to help draft plans for future invasions of other countries that refuse to toe the American line, for example: Venezuela (if we can’t kill Castro, why not send a message by knocking off his best friend?), Egypt (wouldn’t those pyramids look great in Wyoming?), France (come on, who wouldn’t support invading France?), or New Zealand (just for kicks). Also, though I know it’s not technically a foreign country, why not think about invading San Francisco? There’s a neighborhood called the Mission that is full of potentially subversive foreigners—can’t you see us standing on Valencia Street under a banner saying “Mission Accomplished”? I think a “liberation” of the Bay Area would play well in the red states and help to cement your neoconservative legacy. I’m happy to further discuss any of these possibilities.

5. As you’ll see on my resumé, I am a fiction writer. This means I lie for a living. What better experience is there? I’ve written whole books about people who never even existed. Surely I can write convincing stories about yellowcake uranium, mobile chemical-weapons labs, or anything else required to justify sending 2,000 Americans to needless deaths. Piece of cake!

6. You’ll also see on my resumé that I’ve spent the last 10 years in university English departments, so I am well versed in backroom intrigue, whisper campaigns, character assassination, and internecine warfare, skills I know you value highly in your dealings with the rest of the U.S. government.

7. OK, it’s true that I’ve always voted Democrat. But, in the first place, since there is no longer a functioning Democratic Party, I guess that technically makes me an Independent. Consider me in search of a new affiliation! Second, my voting record has worked well for you in the past. Gray Davis? A gift. And, in retrospect, I consider the $50 I donated to Howard Dean in 2004 a significant contribution to George W. Bush’s re-election.

So, what do you say, Mr. Vice President? (Can I call you Dick?) I’m ready to begin immediately. There’s important work still to be done, and I don’t think you or the country can afford to turn this over to amateurs. There are still far too many Americans relying on government handouts, while upstanding citizens like Kenneth Lay have to pay hundreds of dollars in taxes and worry about being indicted for pursuing the American Dream. There are too many countries who selfishly want to control their own oil and natural-gas resources, while Americans are being forced to downsize their Hummers. Out my window right now I can see at least four trees, and not a single refinery or power plant. Clearly, all is not well. But you and I together can continue the struggle for which Scooter Libby has become a martyr. Between us, we can shove the timid Colin Powells to the side until, as my future girlfriend Ann Coulter said the other day, “it’s morning in America again!”

I’m waiting to answer the call.

Andrew F. Altschul