Dear Vice President Dick Cheney’s Underbite,

I know how you work. You show yourself at opportune moments, subliminally challenging those easily shaken by a row of jagged, sullied incisors. I shudder when I see you swinging outward, like on the cover of Newsweek, and I hold back when you reach for me, ready to squeeze the life out of me with your cold hands. Yes, have your foreign policy, have your abortion ban and your Halliburton contract. I am no match for you.

Despite my obvious fear, I am conflicted by your puissance. I am in shock and awe. I must give respect, for you are greater. I am only the jaw of an immature man. I was deformed like you, and now I have been bent and mangled by the years of braces and headgear, simply to conform to society’s acceptable depiction of a jawline and linear tooth arrangement. I have lost my grist, my soul. I’ve lost that which would have allowed me such status and prominence as yourself, that which could have won me Washington. So I must admit that you work particularly well.

You helped the President win big in ‘00, and he’s really going to need you in ‘04. So that’s why I’m telling you now, get ready. When those pointed little cuspids broach into to the Washington sky, swinging like the pistols of P-Diddy’s bodyguards, you demand respect. I know you will have no problems. A velociraptor would have nothing on you. In fact, I think if you were hanging out in Wyoming—at your undisclosed location, say, 100 million years ago—and you were playing King of the Mountain with a pack, or herd, or flock, of these devilish beasts, you would win.

Perhaps when I am older, well past my third heart attack and reaching for a triple bypass, I too will be a prominent feature on this face. I will command greatness and demand respect. Until then I wish you success. You are the strong arm of the Bush administration and I know you are not given the credit you deserve. Colin Powell’s features are simply soft compared to you. This supposed war veteran seems like a Muppet when compared to your craggy, rugged, individualistic features. Old Rummy couldn’t scare a kitten with those boy-scout-leader glasses, and of course George, excuse me, Mr. President, looks like a friendly, helpless monkey. But you sir, you are scary and you are great. You are more than a malocclusion, you are power.

Keep on keeping on,
The underbite (now corrected) of John Peabody