Sunday, July 09, 2006
The bugle call broke the morning silence at 0500 hours, rousing the children from their fitful sleep. I scratched on the guest-room door intently until one of them opened it. "Stand up," I barked. "Stand up straight!" The children jumped off of the lone bed and recliner and out of the pair of large chests of drawers I had procured as barracks. I began my inspection, sniffing each child one-by-one. When I reached a young Minnesota boy, I didn't like what I smelled. "Biscuit!" I barked. He fumbled through his pockets frantically. "Ayatollah, I ... I don't have any," he stammered, droplets of sweat forming on his brow. I commanded the youth to get down on his hands and knees so I could look him in the eye. After glaring at his nervous features, I let loose with a pair of drenching sneezes, each punctuated by a booming snort. He reached up to wipe his face. "No," I barked. "Leave it there as a reminder. Let this serve as a reminder to all of you. To be good servants of the ayatollah, you must always have dog biscuits at the ready."