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Meanwhile, In a Secure, Undisclosed Location...(Humor)
By Dotty LeMieux

"This is so demeaning, Kenneth Lay said, as his pal, Dick Cheney, led him through a dark, slightly damp, tunnel.

"Ow," he yelped, bumping his head on the low ceiling. "And it smells in here. Do I really have to wear a blindfold?"

"Sshh," Dick poked him in the back, "If you weren't so damned arrogant, you could have been lying low on your own yacht in the Mediterranean, not hunkering down here in this undisclosed secure location."

"Well, I don't like it. My cell phone doesn't work."

"Look at it this way, your lawyer can use plausible deniability with a straight face, if he can't even call you up."

"Why do I have to wear this blindfold?"

"It's part of the deal. Do you want to go to jail? Shut up and get with the program."

"I'm not sure jail wouldn't be preferable. Club Fed, isn't it? I hear they have a great golf course."

"Kenny Boy, everyone would want a piece of you. Don't you think half the guys in Club Fed invested in Enron over the years? Take it from me, you don't want to go there."

"Brrr. It's cold in here too, and damp. Where the heck are we?"

Cheney was silent for a few minutes as they trudged along. Then a sweet smell began to fill the air.

"What's that, are we coming to the end of this dreadful tunnel?"

"Almost my boy. Be patient."

The smell got stronger. Ken could hear voices, talking in a low sibilant tongue.

"I'd really like to know where we are," said Lay, as the voices got louder and the smell more pungent.

In a moment, he could sense they had entered a large room, out of the tunnel at last. Dick gave Lay a little nudge and he found himself toppling onto a pile of old burlap bags.

"I don't know if I like this one little bit," he complained. "Can't I take a shower at least?"

As his blindfold was whipped off and his eyes became adjusted to the low light coming from candles and lanterns around the space, he realized they were in a large cave. A fuzzy black and white TV hummed in the corner. A man in a turban and a scruffy beard sat cross-legged before him.

"Welcome Mr. Lay", said the man in a soft broken English. He gestured around him. "Welcome to my home."

"Where the heck are we?" Lay demanded.

Dick said, "Let's just say we're not in Kansas anymore, old pal."

The scruffy man reached over and handed Lay a pipe. The sweet pungent smell he'd been noticing was coming from its oversized bowl.

"What's this?" He asked skeptically.

"Well, remember last year, George gave the Taliban a few million to eradicate the poppy crop?"

"Part of our war on drugs, sure, but... wait!"

Lay did a double take, The Taliban? A cave?

He gave Dick a quizzical glance. Dick nodded. "A secured undisclosed location," he said.

"And this guy?" Lay asked, indicating the turbaned one.

"Who do you think?"

"Oh my god! Don't tell me he's a part of the Shadow Government?"

"Why do you think it's in the shadows? And he's just an advisor. You'll be safe here. You can have all the goat you want to eat and opium you want to smoke. In a few days you'll get used to it. And no one would ever think to look for you here."

"Are we in Afghanistan?"

"No, don't be silly. This is the White House wine cellar. We moved some of the government operations here until everything blows over."

"You mean the War on Terrorism?" asked Lay.

"No, idiot, the Enron scandal, of course. Once this little difficulty has run its course, we can get back to combing the caves for Osama."

"But..." Lay protested.

"Look, if we admitted to having found him already, it'd be a real letdown for the American people. This way, the war on terror can go on indefinitely. Have some Merlot."

Ken Lay took the glass offered him. This wasn't going to be so bad after all.

"What a scheme," he said admiringly. Wish I had thought of it."

Dotty LeMieux, attorney, campaign consultant and sometime topical humor writer in Northern California. She is the original Green Dog Democrat.