A Diplomatic Rodent
A Diplomatic Rodent 4,100words
Oscar Rat's third trip to the Middle East for the President.
This is a transcript of a conversation between myself and my old buddy, Oscar Rat. It is, in most part, in his words and the opinions are his own. Unless you believe in the veracity of virtual rodents they should be taken as pure fiction, the result of an involved and complex daydream. Warning! Sprinkled with politics. One rat's opinion, of course.
At the time, I was sitting at my kitchen table having a typical breakfast of apple juice sprinkled on the finest vodka. A donut sat alone on a saucer near my other hand. It had been there since the previous Saturday.
I heard a patter of small feet accompanied by a loud grunt as a furry head appeared from behind a sugar bowl. Although his normally well-groomed fur was in wild tangles and clumped with dark dirty oil, I recognized my old pal, Oscar Rat.
“You alone, Charlie?”
I looked around the room, then my entire apartment. A quick peek out into the corridor satisfied me. “As far as I can tell.”
“Thank the gods.” He stepped out from cover. “Is it okay if I clean up in your bathroom?”
I nodded, turning back to my drink. A few minutes later, as I heard thumping followed by a loud crash of something breaking, I was sorry. Oscar has no regard for anyone else’s possessions. His wife, the former Malodor Skunk, keeps a tight rein on the guy at home. But, then, that’s his own property, to be treated gently.
He’s certain to overflow the sink. Not that he likes to swim, simply by not bothering to turn the taps off. When he’s finished shampooing his fur, he’ll probably dump the rest of the bottle on the floor to make bubbles with as he slides across to grab toilet paper to dry himself. God knows what he’s going to try to flush down the toilet, most likely the last half of a roll of paper after using the first half to dry himself. Oscar can’t reach my bath towel. Naturally, he locks the door and would refuse to let me in. It’s all happened before.
That thought calls for two more vodka and juices while I wait for him to return. Signaled by the sound of a hair dryer, I rush over to see him exiting, once more looking like the Oscar I know.
I’m surprised to see only a minor mess, wads of soaked tissue thrown around, sticking to walls, floor, and ceiling. That breaking sound was a bottle of disinfectant, no big deal. Surprising for Oscar.
Back at the table, the rat dipping his whiskers into a saucer of booze and nibbling on that old donut, I ask him, “What you afraid of? I haven’t seen you for months. Now you show up looking like you’re running from something. And why the hell didn’t you wash up at home? It’s right down the hall?”
“Slow down, old buddy. Take it easy. Hey! Do me a favor and peek outside. See if there’re any government-type cars out there, uh? You know, the cheap Fords with huge radio aerials.
I looked out at the building parking lot, not seeing anything but a normal mish-mash of mostly old autos clustered around Elmo Elephant's dump truck.
“Nothing I can see. Come on, you can tell old Charlie?”
“It’s a long story, buddy. One that still might get me killed, maybe even you if they find me here.”
“One or both of two girl rats, or even Malodor if she’s found out. I need you to see if she’s mad at me.”
I laugh at that one. “I know she’s angry. What do you expect when you disappear for three months? Where the hell were you?”
“A secret mission for Obama. I shouldn’t but I have to tell you, or someone. At least one of these women must have told him by now. I’ve been running and hiding in the US for a week, afraid to try for my office in the White House.”
I poured myself and Oscar more drinks, carrying them and him into the living room and settling down before asking, “Well, then, tell me about it.”
“It began last December. I heard a knock on my door about ten one night. Opening it, I saw the Alligator Brothers. You know them. They work for the Secret Service.”
“Yeah. Dangerous guys, those alligators.”
“They told me the President wanted to see me, ASAP. I didn’t even have time to wake Malodor or Nancy before being hustled into a limo and driven to the airport. A large airplane was waiting. It was dark so I’m not even sure what kind.
“I didn’t even see the President. He was in a meeting so I had to talk to a faceless suit who wouldn’t identify herself.”
“It must have been important,” I said. “I wonder why Obama didn’t have you wait around, though?”
“Who knows with politicians? I get a feeling THIS administration doesn’t want to be seen dealing with rats, unlike the last one.
“Anyway, my mission was ... look outside again ... and in the hallway. Please, old buddy.”
It’s not like Oscar to be so security conscious. He must really be frightened. I did as he asked, even checked the stairwell doors. Glancing at Oscar’s own closed apartment door, I thought of waking his wife to tell her he was there. Na. Better find out more first, I decided.
“It’s safe, Oscar.”
“Well, my mission was to convince tribal rats in Georgia, the country not the state, to let Israeli warplanes through their country when they bomb Iran. Human diplomats have already bribe ... convinced human leaders there to okay it.”
“Why won’t the rats go along with that deal? I should think they’d do what Georgian politicians decide.”
“It’s a complex issue, Charlie. See, even though Georgia broke away from Russia when the USSR collapsed, humans in two sections of that country, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, retained Russian citizenship. No big problem, since the military airports are in another province, outside T’Bilisi, the capital. The problem is that almost ALL the rodents are still loyal to Russia.
“The US and Israel are afraid of sabotage if they ever try to take off from there to bomb Iran. The woman I talked to said Iran was also aware of the problem and sent their own contingent of rodent diplomats to keep those planes on the ground. They’re supposed to have smuggled bombs and rat-sized weapons in from Russia and Iran.
"My job was to shovel American money around to combat sabotage. Spreading other people’s tax money is a job I’m well-suited for.”
That jogged my memory. “I remember when the Russians shelled those two places. It was in all the news programs. How they killed all those innocent Georgians. Macon was in such a mess it was declared a disaster zone. The Georgia National Guar....”
“What the hell you talking about? Like most of you American humans, you’ve got the two Georgia’s mixed up. The country, Charlie. NOT the state. Jeez! Humans!
“And it wasn’t the Russians that attacked. Georgia shelled its own residents -- the ones holding Russian passports -- and were driven back by the Russians according to a treaty they both signed earlier.
“It’s a long story, but American newspapers and television deliberately gave the wrong slant to the story. The Russians were only following the treaty to the letter, not invading. Politics.”
He shook his shaggy head at me, then gulped the rest of his drink. Signaling me to pour another, he continued.
“I was to work with the Israelis. They would have their head of Rodent Affairs meet me at Soganlug Air Base outside T’bilisi, the capital. Apparently, both the US and Israel have rented large sections of that base, possibly because the US once told Israel they weren’t to be allowed to fly over US controlled airspace in order to bomb Iran.
“Storing and fueling those aircraft in Georgia could be Israel’s answer. It was well within their warplanes’ fuel capacity to fly from Georgia, over Azerbaijan or the Caspian Sea, and then into Iran. The US could roll its collective eyes and say, ‘Gee. I never thought of that. We don’t control any of that space’.”
“Sneaky, ain’t they?" I said, finally catching on. "And, of course, since neither country is generally known to have troops or warplanes in Georgia, they can deny even seeing each other.”
“That’s the idea, Charlie old buddy. Except the entire world knows it with the exception of US citizens.
“Back to my mission. Given a shrink-wrapped wooden pallet of boxed bricks of mixed currency, along with two frickin’ armed human guards and an accountant to watch it, I was dumped onto a B-52 at Edwards Air Base and on my way to Georgia.”
“Did you feel like General Sherman?” I joked. “When he was marching through Georgia.”
“Not even remotely. All the frickin’ way, my eyes alternated from those damned guards to the treasure pallet. I had to get some of that candy. I had to.”
“Doesn’t Obama pay you?”
“Not by the frickin’ pallet, he doesn’t.”
Oscar spent a few moments cleaning his whiskers, only to dip them again in the saucer. Knowing that rodent, he was either trying to organize his thoughts or dreaming of all that money.
“When we landed at Soganlug Air Base I was whisked into the city and dropped off outside an alley. I admit I was frightened, not knowing a word of Georgian and damned little Ruski-speak. That and in a strange country. Bracing ratly shoulders, I scurried into the darkness....
“You American?” Thank the Supreme Rat it was a female voice and in English. “Where’s your suit? Diplomats need pin-striped suits."
“What you sees is what you gets,” I replied. “Where are you?”
“to your right. You"ll find a rathole next to the tomato can. I"ll meet you in there. I have to light a candle."
I followed her instruction. There was a tomato can a few feet to my right. I passed it, only to step into a pile of dog shit with both front feet. When I tried to wipe it off with a rag, the cloth felt slippery.
“A light went on at the other side of the can. I saw a lovely ratface peeking out. Her smile turned to a frown.
"Not in MY house,” she said.
Standing in candlelight from the rathole, I saw I was covered with dog crap smeared around by a paint rag. Hell, it was red, white, and blue so I was in character, he-he.
I was forced to stand outside using a bottle cap of lighter fluid to clean myself. As it were, I seemed to spend that whole damned period dirtied up by one substance or another. I should get hazard pay.
What galled me the most was that, covered by lighter fluid, I couldn’t even have a smoke to steady my nerves.
I found her inside, waiting for me on a fancy oriental couch. Malodor would have loved that couch. Although alone and at night, she wore one of those damned pin-striped suits.
“We’ll have to get you proper clothing,” she said, frowning at me as though I still wore that dog crap. Maybe, I thought later, she’d prefer dealing with the shit than an American. Her name was Iyana Ratcohen and she considered herself a type of Zionist royalty.
“Never happen, babe. You wear the suits, I spread the moola.”
“Americans.” She dropped the facade long enough to spit on a spotless floor. “You’re hardly my choice of diplomatic material but I'll have to persevere. At least one of us can speak their language. I don’t suppose you speak it, or any Russian?”
“No. But I’ve found most of us rats, worldwide, speak a basic rat language.”
“Only low-level rodents talk that trash. And what would a -- hack -- rat like you know of the world?”
Not taking a liking to her, I only smiled. She reminded me of Condie Rice. I never got along with that human....
He stopped a moment for a drink and bite of stale donut.
“She doesn’t seem like a nice female,” I agreed while putting a frozen pizza in the microwave. It looked to be a long evening.
“Hardly. We were at each other from the get-go. She had a meeting set up with the head of the rat concession at the airport. He was in charge of rodents at Vaziani Air Base, also on the outskirts of the capital. There were supposed to be quite a few Israeli aircraft stationed in a far corner of the base. There were also troops for maintenance and training elements of the Georgian army.
“His name was Ivan Pavratneli, a huge brown rat and a fervent Russian," Oscar told me, then continued....
End of part One of Two. The rest will be posted later, when Oscar Rat begins spreading money across Georgia and Azerbaijan on behalf of the US and Israel while planning to steal as much of it as possible.
A Diplomatic Rodent 2 0f 2
Section One Was Posted Yesterday.
Warning! Sprinkled with politics. One rat's opinion, of course.
Synopsis: Oscar Rat was unexpectedly chosen as the President's representative to fly to Georgia (the Country, not the State) to bribe rodents there and in neighboring Azerbaijan. It was to let Israeli warplanes through in case of war with Iran. He's accompanied by an Israeli diplomatic representative, a rat named Iyana Ratcohen. At the moment, they're meeting with a local union leader at a major airport....
“No way I"m going to let those dirty Zionist humans bomb Iran,” Ivan said. “How could I face my family?”
“It would be to the best interests of your country, Mr. Pavratneli, to avoid a disastero--” Iyana started.
“‘What do you Jewish rats know of my country, young lady?”
I interrupted with, “I know your family would be proud of you bringing 10,000 dollars American, home,” I told him in common rat language. The way Iyana looked, I could see they didn’t teach that language in Israel. Diplomacy, hell. Money talks louder.
Whenever she’d make a point, I’d enhance it by raising my bribe a bit, just a bit. Before long, Ivan agreed with me that his country’s best interests would be served by him moving into a nicer house closer to the base. That a chauffeured auto would give him more energy to prevent terrorist rats damaging those nice shiny Israeli aircraft.
In two days I promised over a million to rodents around that country. Then came the time to come through with the money.
I met my human accountant in a fancy hotel. Me, I’d been sleeping on that fancy couch at Iyana’s that I mentioned earlier. Not trusting me, she locked her bedroom at night.
That rat girl drove me nuts. Without a knowledge of the town or official language, I couldn’t even step out to find a hooker. Since Iyana didn’t drink, neither could I.
I could tell someone was sneaking around behind us, trying to subvert our efforts, but never saw them. All too often I’d have to redouble my efforts, and bribes, as though someone was making counter-offers. Nobody, though, had the deep pockets of our Uncle Sam.
And that damned human accountant. He was a bastard, and didn’t trust me.
“Oscar,” he told me, “I know all about you steal ... misappropriating that fake Iranian money on your last trip to the area. That’s why I was sent along this time. I want receipts for every cent I give you.”
Now, I ask you, how can a rat work under such constrictions?
I was glad when we were finally driven to the coast of the Caspian Sea to catch a boat to Baku, in neighboring Azerbaijan.
At last, I could drink. From the start of the three-day trip down the coast I left Iyana alone in our cabin. While she simmered there in her fancy suit, I hung out and drank with the crew.
On the second morning at sea, I staggered into the cabin to find lovely Iyana as drunk as I was. Turned out she was a closet drinker. Left alone for all that time, she hit the booze.
“Osscarr. Wheres you been,” she said. “I’m lonee, loonly, lonely, Osscarr. Hol me, Oscar.”
I guess the old Oscar Rat charm had been working, after all. We tore up that cabin, making wild passionate love for the next day and two nights. Oops! Lost a day in there somewhere, he-he. After that, we got along much better....
I brought Oscar his portion of pizza, first laying a sheet of plastic on a coffee table. Oscar’s not known for his table manners. We sat and ate for awhile, Oscar scattering crumbs as he tore his pizza apart, stacking pepperoni in one pile, onions in another while playing with the crust.
“I don’t like this white cheese,” he said, tossing a piece onto the floor.
“Stop that. Put it in the ashtray or something.”
“I don’t like to look at it.”
“Tough shit. Not the fucking floor.”
Finally, I gave up, picking the white cheese from the rest and throwing it into a wastebasket. Damn it.
“Thanks, Charlie, old pal.”
Finally, he got back to his story....
Our mission in Azerbaijan was different. Humans had already bribed the authorities not to make a fuss and shoot at Israeli planes if they flew over their country or along the coast on their way to Iran.
We promised to use their roads to bring Israeli supplies and troops to the war front once it was started. The US and Israel had already secretly started to improve the roads from Georgia, through Azerbaiijan to Iran in order to resupply an invasion.
The natives there don’t get along all that well with Iran in the first place. It’s an ethnic thing. It seems there’s a break-away province, Nagorno-Karabakh, of ethnic Armenians from next door. Although officially part of the country, it has never been assimilated into Azerbaijan proper.
Azerbaijan is mostly Shia Muslim, as are the Iranians. But the Armenians are Christian. In case of war, our country is afraid of terrorist attacks by Iranian-sympathizing rodents."
Our mission, Iyana’s and mine, was to bribe Armenian rodents not to interfere with the resupply trucks. For that task, Iyana was coming along for the ride as an emissary of her country. Besides paying them, I was to make false promises of uniting those Armenian rats with Armenia itself. They didn’t know I had no such clout.
That’s the way it’s done among us diplomats. Promises that are not meant to be kept, only to buy time. Their politicians knew it, and I knew it, but their common rodents didn’t. Those wealthy rats wanted two things, money and status quo. If they were united with Armenia, they knew they’d be out of work. The Armenians would push them aside to take over their lucrative positions. No doubt the Iranians also knew that last point.
Rats trained to use explosives are rare in the US, but not in many countries. Four-legged ratties can’t carry as much weight in explosive devices as the two-legged kind, but we do have strong teeth and can place them easier. A dozen half-ounce charges of C-4 have the same power as one six-ounce one. A suicidal rat jumping onto a truck hauling gasoline and carrying a grenade is very dangerous. And there are millions of rats in any country.”
“Where does the second rat lady come in, Oscar?” I asked. “You said there was two of them.”
I’d swear Oscar wiped a tear. “I -- I don’t really want to talk about that, old friend. It hurts too much.”
“Come on, Oscar. Let it out. You"ll feel better for it.”
He wanted another drink first. He drank it down while silently looking out the window at a sunset. Then came a third saucer of vodka and soda before he continued....
One night I came back to the room we were renting in Baku. Iyana said she had something to do, so I returned by myself. It was unexpected. A meeting had been canceled at the last minute.
Anyway, someone was in our room. It was a female rat bent over my suitcase.
When I grabbed the intruder and spun her around I was face to face with ... with ... my God, with Rava Kargoosh. When I’d left her in Iran a couple of years before I thought she was dying. I – I was certain she died.
I'd been on a secret mission to find evidence of Iranian bomb-making, and found none at all. The one where Rava saved me and that American Special Forces officer by biting an Iranian soldier on the nose and getting shot while doing it. And where I managed to appropriate a million fake Iranian Rials. It's still under my bed.
“Oscar!” she said, jumping back a step. “It is really you. I heard there was an American secret agent working with the Zionist Entity, but couldn’t believe it was you.
“We were lovers. I even saved your worthless life, and this is how you repay me? By fighting against my country, the country that I love,” she said.
She opened that beautiful mouth and ... and ... and spit in my face. A knife appeared in her hand, ready to skewer my precious hide. That’s when I grabbed her, pinning her to the bed on top of the suitcase.
Although she struggled, I kept her down, the knife falling to the floor, and kissed those lips that once were mine. No female can resist my practiced kiss, no matter how incensed. I could feel anger flow outward, even as the struggles lessened.
We made love on a suitcase. Afterward, while we lay in semi-delirious post-ecstasy, I glanced upward to see Iyana standing in the open doorway.
“Almost instantly, there was a cat ... I mean rat fight. I was ejected from the pile of female fighting flesh and found myself on the floor looking upward at thrashing tails and teeth.
Enough of this shit, I decided. Foregoing the baggage, including my suitcase, I headed for Baku Port to stow away on the nearest freighter for a trip north to Russia.
It took a month, but I finally made it back to America. Because of a lack of funds, my longtime skills as a merchant sea-rat helped immensely....
“Whooo! You've had quite an adventure, Oscar. But what are you doing here? Why don’t you go down the hall to your own apartment, including wife and daughter? And,” I asked, “what does Obama think of you abandoning your mission?”
My old buddy dipped his shaggy head, whiskers drooping. “I’ve been afraid of trying for Obama. A friend in Washington told me those girls made up for a common cause ... castrating me. Can I stay here tonight while you check to see if my wife has found out ... yet?”
"If you make it to the White House, the secret service will protect you."
"Fat chance, old buddy. Both the Mosad and Iranian Revolutionary Guard will be waiting at all the entrances," he said, shuddering. "If either see me, I'm rat salad."
I had to ask, "And if you DO get in?"
"The Alligator Brothers. Obama will also be pissed at my abandoning my mission."
“Sure, old pal. I"ll get you something to sleep on.”
Well, Malodor did find out. Right now, Oscar’s hiding in my bedroom closet. He’s fairly comfortable with a television and his other old buddy, Jim Beam.
Hmmm! I’ve been wondering lately. The talk is of Israel maybe attacking the Iranian nuclear sites but not having any way to refuel along the way. Also about the US not allowing them to fly over American controlled airspace, including Iraq.
What about the American public not being generally aware of all those Israeli and American warplanes sitting in airports in Georgia? Could they be used to attack Iran from the north, flying across Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea to Iran without refueling? Maybe even flying back to Georgia to rearm for another strike?
If the Iranians were to, heaven forbid, fight back, we could threaten them with ground attacks from three sides? Yes. I wonder about those things.