The people called Americans could not, it seemed, wake up from this nightmare wherein their two highest-ranking elected leaders were so clearly the wrong people for their positions, so ill-meaning in every way, that the situation defied even Nixonian standards of White House-based nefariousness. The most fiendish player in this nightmare, as we were explaining in the last instalment, was the vice-president, whose name cannot be uttered here for fear of upsetting children and plants and clouds. Suffice it to say that he was more evil than the designers of Happy Meals or the makers of smokeless tobacco, and the Americans dreamt dreams of him, constantly and without end. The Americans as a group were asleep for many years and were experiencing wretched dreams full of exploding children and men beheaded on TV, of ever-present fire and screaming and eyes everywhere wanting murder. The Americans were trapped in, it was thought, one collective red-black dream, and the only way they could awaken from the dream was for most of the dreaming Americans to choose to wake up. But the problem - the very strange problem - was that half of those dreaming chose to remain in this dream. (Did we say dream? Have we been saying dream? It was a nightmare, of course. A nightmare unlike any other, a nightmare that felt like the wearing of a lead cloak without holes for air or sight.) So while about half of those sleeping wanted to awaken, the other half watched, indeed, lived in, this very upsetting dream full of flames and blood and said, "I think this dream is OK", or "This is the best dream to be dreaming right now", or "It would only get worse if I chose to awaken". This was, of course, very frustrating to those who wished to wake up. Those who wished to awaken stirred and turned restlessly. They grabbed the covers, they opened windows, they moaned and coughed and kicked. But nothing, it seemed, would work. The sleepers slept and slept and even, sometimes, nodded and smiled when they watched and listened to the two men leading their nightmare. The two men would say to them, "Have you enjoyed the nightmare thus far? Because if you love the aforementioned exploding children and endless fire, we have more so very much more! - of that, to come."
Concluding part comes tomorrow.