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Unfiled November 29, 2001
Go Ride a Bathyscaph
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
Page 2 of 3
He backs off. Nothing happens.

"That odor, what is it?"

He flicks the fin again. Ping!

"Hey, Omar, be careful man! We don't want you to lose a finger from that infidel bomb, which is rendered useless in our hostile Afghanistan terrain!"

"Yeah, and get that burqa on, bitch! We're warning you!"


While Omar studies it, the others take on where they left off, pretending not to notice the massive, hissing bomb, floating inexplicably just a few feet away.

"So, where was I again before Omar so ruuuudely interrupted me?"

"You got to the part where you and Mohammed were speeding through the sand dunes outside of town."

"Oh yeah, so anyway, Mohammed and I were ripping through the dunes in our Toyota, right? Pedal to the floor, man. Vroom! And that's where we saw it. The helicopter wheel. We weren't scared of it at all, but we weren't stupid either. We took position and fired at the wheel for about an hour, pinning it down until help could be called in. The wheel was so frightened, it just lay there in the dust. These Americans are a joke, man."

"Yeah, we should get burqas for their Delta Team, because they're all a bunch of bitches."

"Hey, why don't we get a burqa for this so-called 'Towel Cutter' bomb? It's starting to piss me off, man."

"Yeah! This so-called 'Towel Cutter' bomb is a bitch!"


"Hey Omar, stay here and guard that useless infidel bomb! And don't hurt your finger on it!"


They pile into the Toyota, zoom to the nearest village, strip the first woman they come across, screaming that she's lucky cuz the next time they'll take her to the soccer stadium, and return in a cloud of dust, waving the light blue burqa from the passenger window, a-hootin' and a-hollerin'.

That was when Omar recognized the odor. Fuel. The same smell that came from the passenger side of the pick-up. The Toyota's gas cap had been missing for days. Someone would pay dearly for that crime. The mullahs were still arguing over whether theft of a gas cap would be punishable by inserting a thick rose stem up the guilty's urinary tract, or removing the guilty's gums with a bayonet, and sewing them back on upside down. One mullah, respected for his ability to compromise, suggested removing the guilty's gums with a bayonet, putting thorns into the gums, and THEN sewing them back in. Now the question was whether the gums should be sewn back in right-side up, or upside-down. Meanwhile, no leads on the gas cap...

They pile out of the Toyota, each passing the burqa as they run laughing to the floating bathyscaph-shaped bomb.

One Taliban soldier jumps on the shoulders of another, and a third hands him the burqa. But before the Talib on top drapes the burqa over the bomb, he turns and says, "Bathyscaph? What the hell is a bathyscaph, man?"

"Who are you talking to?" says the soldier underneath, struggling to hold him up.

"I heard it too. Who said that?"

"That guy there," another says, pointing straight at me.


"That guy. Look, right over there. He just said that this useless American hi-tech toy looks like a 'bathyscaph.' And I asked him, in the name of Allah, what the hell is a bathyscaph, man."

"A bathyscaph? What's that, man?"

"I don't know, man! That's what I'm trying to find out! He said it!" He points at me.

"Where is he?"

"There, you imbecile!"

"You mean that? That's the helicopter wheel, man."

"No, not there. THERE!"

"Oh, now I see him." He squints at me. "Hey, who the hell are you, man!"

Who, me?

"No, not you, the other author, the one behind you. Yeah, of course you, man!"

I just thought...

"Who the hell are you talking to?" barks another. Then, pointing my way: "Who the hell is this guy, man?!"

"Yeah, who the hell are you, man?"

Uh, my name is Mark.


"Who the hell is Mark, man?"

"This guy here!"

"Are you a bathyscaph?"

"Hey, what's a bathyscaph, man!"

You're asking me?

"Are you on drugs man? Of course I'm asking you!"

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