Sen. Kay Hagan and Rep. Larry Kissell sat across the conference table from Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Sue Myrick. At the end of the table stood White House liaison Fatih Johnston, who was there to show the lawmakers photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse. Johnston described the Navy SEAL mission in some detail, then produced a folder from which he pulled 40 photographs, 10 for each lawmaker at the table.
"Oh my God," exclaimed Sen. Hagan, riffling through the photos. Sen. Burr and Rep. Kissell gasped.
"Wow," said Rep. Myrick. "with the top of his head blown off like that, and brains hanging out and everything, who'd guess this guy was the most dangerous terrorist in the world?"
Burr said, "Terrorists are still determined to kill us. I thank George W. Bush for starting the ball rolling on finding Osama."
"You mean the ball Bush dropped so he could invade Iraq?" asked Kissell, smiling.
"Hey, Richard is right," Myrick said, "The terrorist threat's as strong as ever, and we have to be vigilant if we don't want to be killed by murderous Muslims."
"Calm down, Sue, you're not campaigning now," said Hagan.
"C'mon Kay," replied Myrick, "Muslims are trying to take over the world and put us under Sharia law. I'd think you'd support fighting them."
"Sue, the last thing I need is a reminder from you about terrorism ..." began Hagan.
"... since that seems to be all you know how to talk about," Kissell added, finishing Hagan's sentence and chuckling.
"I'm glad you think this is funny, Larry," Myrick said, her voice rising, "but I'm chair of the subcommittee on counterterrorism ..."
"Here we go," said Hagan.
"... and I can tell you there are things going on in this country that keep me up at night," Myrick finished.
"In this country? Does that mean Hezbollah finally drove those suicide bomb cars into the U.S. from Mexico?" asked Hagan, laughing.
"Kay, let me tell you some ..." began Myrick.
"No, Sue, let me tell you something. I'm really tired of your sky-is-falling shtick. Yes, we have to be vigilant, but you know what? When you go around scared half out of your wits, you're doing exactly what this guy" — Hagan pointed at the stack of bin Laden photos — "wanted you to do."
Myrick bolted out of her chair. "What in hell makes you think I'm scared, Kay? Maybe if you cared as much as I do about this country ..."
"For God's sake, Sue, give it a fucking rest!" yelled Hagan. No one at the table spoke for a moment.
"Such language, Kay ..." began Burr.
"If I may interject something here, folks. It might help if we ..." said Johnston, the White House aide.
"Stay out of this," said Myrick, "you socialist's errand boy. And what kind of name is 'Fatih,' anyway? Is that an Arabic name?"
"Yes, in fact it is. It means 'conqueror.'"
"SEE?! 'Conqueror'!" yelled Myrick, turning to Burr. "What'd I tell you? They're everywhere! They blow up the Twin Towers, they infiltrate our government, they run our convenience stores! What's next — mandatory hummus at salad bars?!"
"Hey, that's not a bad idea. I like Middle Eastern food," said Kissell.
"Oh shut up, Larry, go back to your cotton mill and pick the lint out of your brain," screamed Myrick.
"Up yours, nutjob."
"Oh yeah," Myrick answered, "I'm the one who's nuts, but you support this weenie president who doesn't even plan to fight the Muslim Brotherhood's evil influence."
"That's because the Muslim Brotherhood barely even exists in America, you raging lunatic!" yelled Kissell. "And what 'weenie president' are you talking about — the one who finally caught up with the guy in those pictures? That weenie?"
"He's a socialist Kenyan, I don't care what anybody says, I just know it," Myrick bellowed.
"And where'd you hear that?" asked Hagan. "Glenn Beck? Sarah Palin? Or maybe it's another message from your coffeepot?"
"Why you bitch ..." said Myrick, climbing over the table. Havoc broke out and water glasses went flying. Johnston picked up the phone on the table and said, "Security, please."