Uh-oh, it's . . .
The Boston Market Story
Baghdad suffering from ear muff shortage
By MIKE KENNEY
INSIDE SADDAM HUSSEIN'S FORMER PRESIDENTIAL PALACE -- As a relentless sun like a giant Junior's cheesecake in the sky beats down upon Baghdad's Green Zone, the most environmentally friendly battlefield in the history of war, Baghdad's vendors have suddenly run out of ear muffs despite it being the middle of summer here, and hundreds of Al Qaeda in Iraq fighters have been seen fleeing the city with their hands covering their ears.
"Ai-eeeee, get me out of here," said one captured supporter of rebel Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Whitby. "Humvees, Strykers, tanks, these we can deal with, but who let Mike Tyson into Baghdad?"
Although beheadings, waterboarding, hanging by the toes, mandatory attendance at continuous improvement meetings and several other forms of torture are common in Baghdad, militants, extremists, radicals, escapees from the notorious Abu Passaic jail, Democratic Baghdad County politicians and various other so called bad actors are deeply afraid, it seems, of having their ears bitten off.
Oh no, the captured militant, who declined to give his name because he didn't know how to pronounce it, was told, it was not Mike Tyson who recently arrived in Baghdad, but Mike and Tyson, as in columnist Mike Kenney and mojophotoguy Tyson Trish, who will be embedded for the next two weeks in the imperial embedroom of the late dictator's former presidential palace.
Iraq produces more than 60 million barrels of oil a day, but the country is in the forefront of alternative sources of energy. Saddam's former palace, for example, is heated by the sun streaking down through several gaping holes in the roof made by U.S. missiles in the early days of the Iraq war. The holes are to be replaced by a solar panel, as soon as the Iraqi government can agree on the number of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds who can sit on the panel without killing one another. The panel will then decide how to heat Baghdad, but problems are likely to arise because the Shiites fear the use of solar energy will lead the country to have a Sunni disposition. However, Undersecretary of State for Iraqi Affairs Renata Muffett assured reporters that thanks to the involvement of the Kurds the panel would be effective.
"You have to believe a little," Miss Muffett said, "that where there's a Kurd, there's a way."
Iraq is a land of ironies. For instance, the former Baath Party headquarters is located in a section of the Saddam palace known as the Baath Room. The Baath Room has a large conference table in the center with a control panel at the end where Saddam used to sit, so that he could press a button and drop any of the dozens of officials sitting at the table through a trap door and into a vat of boiling oil. But the only way to get into the Baath Room is by raising your hand and asking permission, and when you get there, you find that the room has no facilities.
Much of the food in the Green Zone is served by contractors, and the menu is eclectic, if not flat out odd. Most meals consist of Rice Krispies, chewy chocolate cake bars and beets, served by workers for Kellogg, Brownie & Root.
Despite the everpresent threat of suicide bombers, business is booming, no pun intended, at the Baghdad Market just outside the Green Zone. Members of the New Jersey National Guard, in charge of security for the Green Zone, have been able to sneak outside and return with all kinds of goods.
Staff Sergeant Edwin P. Reiter, an award winning headline writing numismatologist when he isn't guarding the notorious Abu McGravey Prison, recently returned from a surreptitious shopping expedition and remarked about the amazing array of technological innovations that were available at the Baghdad Market. They not only had Blu-Ray discs and LCD TVs, but the latest in Iranian products, such as the IEDTV. Reiter returned to the Saddam Palace with two of the latter, thanks to a coupon good for two sets for the price of one.
"Here," Reiter said, "let me just plug one of these in and see if it works."
"Uh-oh," the captured militant said. "I wouldn't do that if I were you."
"Why is that?" said Reiter. "I want my IEDTV."
"Uh, er," the militant said, hemming and hawing. "Because I think Mike Tyson here should have the honor of plugging it in."
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Chickie says, Why did Tiger Woods visit Baghdad?*
*He was looking for his Tigris.