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Politics is a Vicious Game

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It was well into the president’s third term, but no one was talking about the election. They’d put this monster into office, and now they were too afraid to vote him out. No one, it seemed, was brave enough to take on the reigning independent incumbent: the Motherfucking Pterodactyl.

The pundits weren’t really quite sure what to do with the president. Speaking out against the regime was sometimes treated as a comical diversion, sometimes a cause for extreme retribution, and sometimes taken a little seriously by what most referred to as the ‘pinboard cabinet’ - the swath of singing fireflies the president had apparently appointed to fill various positions. It didn’t seem to matter that they weren’t elected officials, no one who had been legitimately voted in was showing up these days, and they seemed to be doing as good a job running the country as anyone else ever had. There was certainly enough news to report on, from the chaotic state of foreign relations to the head of state’s latest benders and affairs. One brave soul had tried to get an interview with the presidential family, but neither Ms. Bear (no one seemed to know whether they even considered themselves married) nor their curious offspring was much more coherently communicative than the MP himself.

No one knew what was going to happen to the country. This was not the change anyone had been hoping for. Eagles were out - pterosaurs were in. But into this mess waded, well, not a hero exactly, but a challenger of sorts. Someone whose own individual life had been brought well low by the Pterodactyl, who had had enough, and who had devised, after much strategizing over too much beer, a Cunning Plan. The plan would rid the nation of its mad sadistic despot and force all to recognize, or perhaps re-acknowledge, his own rightful place. That challenger was the T-Rex.

He dressed civilly for the occasion (with assistance from a growing number of sympathizers), in a monocle and top hat. The Pterodactyl, never one to appreciate anything more genteel than his pipe or the Barry White albums he used in his innumerable seductions, greeted this gesture with a burst of raucous laughter.

“What’s this? Who did you get to dress you in that ridiculous get up! Are you going to a tea party? Better make sure that whoever’s holding your cup for you sticks their finger out the right way - or are you planning to use a straw?” It had gotten to the point between them where there was no need to reference the arms directly. They both knew what it was all about.

This time, T-Rex didn’t take the bait, though he still felt small on the inside at the Pterodactyl’s thoughtless bullying. It wouldn’t do to show any emotional vulnerability at this stage, so he sniffed disdainfully. “Oh, that is just the sort of drivel one would expect from a base and uncivilized creature such as yourself.”

The Pterodactyl wasn’t accustomed to such blatant disrespect, especially now that he’d been named the President of the United States. He sat up from where he’d been reclining on a chaise-longue, fanned by a trio of attractive young women wearing only gold-lamé booty shorts.
“You can’t talk to me that way, asshole, I’m the head of state!”

“Oh yes, I am well aware of how you so undeservingly rigged the election so that you could throw the affairs not only of this fine nation, but of the world at large, into utter disarray with your self-indulgent hedonism and wanton disregard for your subjects! A fine ruler you are, indeed.” He thrust his nose in the air, glaring in superiority at the smaller dinosaur, and crossing his (tiny, pussy) arms.

“You little bitch! Know your place or I’ll fucking kill you!”

T-Rex sniffed again - everything was going according to plan. “Oh will you? Well I can’t conceive that you could make any kind of civilized attempt, or one suited to your ill-gotten station!”

The Pterodactyl hissed. He might have pointed out that they were fucking dinosaurs after all, but with his top hat and monocle, T-Rex could at least manage to look the part. It wasn’t going to hold any water, and he hated to be shown up, in any case.

“Not civilized, is it? You wanna settle this like ‘gentlemen’, do you?”

“Aha!” T-Rex pushed his face down closer to his rival’s psychotically swirling eyes. “Are you challenging me to a duel?”

“Fuckit. Sure.”

“For what stakes? For...the presidency?” It was all T-Rex could do not to narrow his beady little eyes.

The Pterodactyl laughed. “I am the Motherfucking Pterodactyl! You think I’m afraid of losing to you? You can’t even hold a sword, or probably even a gun, you big pussy! We duel - you can be president if you win, because that’s not gonna happen! What’s gonna happen is I’m gonna duel the fuck out of your ass, then piss on your corpse, rip you open, and make a hat out of your scapula!” He paused. “Possibly not even in that order!”

This time the T-Rex couldn’t conceal his cunning any longer, leering in triumph. “Very well - I accept your terms!” As if on cue (and indeed, they had been prompted), a number of news crews swarmed in, cameras rolling, all chattering to their viewers about the issued challenge. T-Rex turned to smile more benignly at them before continuing. “As the challenged party, according to civilized rules, I get to choose the nature of the challenge, and I pick...headbutting!”

The Pterodactyl raged. He knew he’d been tricked! Murder sprees were one thing - you could keep people in line by terror, but being outwitted (or worse - defeated) by the T-Rex would make them start to doubt. But whatever - the gig was getting old anyway. Maybe it would be nice to get back to a life of wooing ladies and killing shit without people wailing at him about the problems of the nation.

“Fine. Let’s get this shit over with. Headbutts - tomorrow at dawn, on the Mall. Bring a good second to cry over your body, wuss-boy.”

Dawn rose over a crowd of thousands pressed into the National Mall the next morning. Reporters were everywhere - #dinoduel was trending on Twitter. A hush fell as the duellists arrived, each with a second in tow. The Pterodactyl had brought (ridden, really) the first lady, and T-Rex had coerced Triceratops for his second. They’d managed to rope Pachycephalosaurus in as the challenge adjudicator, and she paced the grounds they’d staked out as the duellists arrived.

“Time to get this bullshit over with - you’re going down, Pussy-arms.” The crowd hushed as the president hurled his opening insult.

Pachycephalosaurus glared at the competitors from under her domed bone ridge. “Look, you two jerks - play nice and let’s get this bullshit over with. I have better things to do than play along with this charade, and if you don’t behave I’ll head-butt you both in places I promise you don’t wanna be headbutted.”

T-Rex, still in his hat and monocle (mostly because he’d been unable to remove them) shrugged and smiled toothily. “I believe my honorless scum of an opponent and I are both prepared.”

“Right then. Everything is already paced out. Stand on your lines, and when I drop this handkerchief, you can come at each other. Heads only, and no that *doesn't* include teeth. I repeat - no biting! You each get one good headbutt, since this is allegedly some gentlemanly bullshit, and I’ll be the judge of the winner if it isn’t clear. Blatant cheating means you default and lose automatically. If Motherfucking President Pterodactyl wins, he can carry out his fucked-up victory conditions immediately. And if he loses, he passes over the seal or the White House keys, or whatever makes that shit official. Got it?”

“Whatever,” the Pterodactyl shrugged. T-Rex just nodded his assent.

“Great - then take your places, gentledinosaurs.” She delivered the last line with a derisive snort, glaring from one to the other, lifting her own relatively short arm once they were in place. On the sidelines, the Triceratops and Grizzly Bear had settled themselves down to enjoy some of the popcorn, pretzels, and (in the latter’s case) pretzel vendors that were circulating through the crowd. Neither seemed overly concerned at the outcome of the match.

A hush fell across the mall as the handkerchief wafted down to the ground, and Pachycephalosaurus stepped back out of the way. The Pterodactyl leaped into the air, flying quickly out of the T-Rex’s range.

There was no way he could win on the ground: he just didn’t have the balance, or the leverage. But from the air - that way he might have chance, if he could gain enough momentum, and aim at the right spot. T-Rex wasn’t very fast, after all, and he was huge - it shouldn’t be that hard to hit him, the real question would be what the effect might be.

Such was the speculation of the announcers, and it seemed like their predictions were correct. The president gained altitude quickly, and bulleted back down towards his opponent, aiming low on his body. T-Rex turned to watch him approach, bracing himself and waiting... waiting...

At the last minute, he ducked his head low, just under the incoming pterosaur. With a thrash of his powerful neck, his opponent went flying again - this time well out of sight. The crowd cheered their freedom as Pachycephalosaurus declared the T-Rex victor, and the new President of the United States!

The headbutt of victory had knocked off his top hat, and he threw his head back in an epic victory roar that echoed out along the Mall. This dislodged his monocle, which landed on the ground and fractured dramatically.

“YES! Now once again, you recognize my supremacy! I am back where I belong - at the top!” The initial cheering had gone straight to his rather large head, and the crowd was still happy enough for any kind of change that the momentum was still carrying them forward. Triceratops and the no-longer-First Lady bear were still munching their popcorn and whispering quietly to each other. T-Rex continued his tirade. “My name shall ring out once again on the lips of men! TYRANNOSAURUS REX! KING OF THE DINOSAURS!”

Now, the American people hadn’t really been sure what to think of the Motherfucking Pterodactyl, with his casual violence and wanton interspecies seductions, but they sure knew what they thought about kings. The cheering quieted to a rumble of uncertain, then increasingly discontented murmurs, but T-Rex either didn’t notice or care. His goal accomplished, he was willing to let his veneer of civility slip completely, and he unleashed another roar.

This was cut short suddenly when a high-speed projectile flew out of the air and smacked him upside the head. It cranked quietly to the ground in the sudden silence. It was a tire-iron.

From high above the clouds a shrill, yet familiar voice shrieked. “What did I tell you not to forget, bitches!?”

The Motherfucking Pterodactyl swooped back down, ready for a real fight. T-Rex snarled and glared up at him, making another fatal mistake and paying for it with an eye-full of caustic laser pee that he was unable to wipe away on his own. He thrashed his head from side to side, roaring in pain.

“This is what you assholes deserve, all kicking me out in a headbutting duel! That shit is not cool!”

“We’re sorry, Pterodactyl,” pleaded one quick-witted spectator, “We repent! Please come back and be our president again!”

“Too late, assholes, I just came back ‘cause I couldn’t let that chump win! I’m done with your shithole of a country. You can clean up your own damned mess from here.” He swooped down to his grizzly lover, who was collecting the crisp hundred dollar bill she’d won on her side bet with Triceratops, and swept her into his arms. “Come on baby, we’re going to Tijuana! All the tequila and hookers you can eat!”

With little more ado, the pair flew off to the south, leaving the dinosaur count at the National Mall at three, though Triceratops and Pachycephalosaurus were both getting out while the getting was good. T-Rex’s tears of pain had turned to tears of frustration and despair, knowing that despite his initial victory, he’d lost again. The Americans turned on their would-be king. They didn’t have much in the way of torches, but they improvised with a few lighters and the flashlight apps on their smartphones.

“Down with the king!” Someone called, and the chant was soon taken up. T-Rex could have fought back, but there were more of them - millions more, and it would take an age of the earth to take them all out. And they had more sophisticated weaponry than nature had provided him. He couldn’t even pick up a gun if he’d wanted to - it just wasn’t fair.

The crowd-turned-mob didn’t take long to run him out of town, back to wherever dinosaurs go to sulk. But one important question remained...

“So, I guess we need to have an election,” put in the same quick-witted person from before, “But who’s in charge of the government now?”

Above the crowd, a hundred thousand fireflies, with their appointed roles in all three branches of government, hummed a hymn of hope.