We Cestodes share the same basic body plan. As I am the presidential parasite, I like to consider myself unique, but (alas) that is not the case. What’s our plan? All of us have a scolex, sometimes colloquially referred to as the "head" and a brain inside that head (more about this later). We also have a "neck," and one or more proglottids, which are sometimes called "segments," and which are the source of the name "tapeworm," because they look like a strip of tape.
Our proglottids are each capable of reproduction (containing both testes and ovaries—we’re hermorphadites!), and, as they are very flat, they tend to wave inside our host’s large intestine like a long pennant. I like to joke that I symbolize the American flag, and as my host’s common refrain these days is “Freedom is on the march,” my body is an apt metaphor for the type of “freedom” my president is reproducing (especially in the Middle East).
All cestodes have a nerve ring in the scolex with lateral trunks passing through the rest of the body. Ours is a lonely life because we have no eyes to see, no olifactory organs to smell, no mouth to chew and taste, and no hearing. We are, in effect, worse off than Helen Keller, also quite a liberal mind and effective author in her own right! In other words, we are a Conservative Republican’s worst nightmare.
George W. Bush’s nightmare became real after 9/11/01—the day he injested me. How did it happen? Zolanda Pitcairn, age 7, handed my host a barbeque sandwich, in which I was hiding (in my proglottid or, as Marx would say, “proletarian” form) inside the meat. Little Ms. Pitcairn was an intermediate host, in and of herself, as the Emma E. Booker Elementary School was home to many of the lower-class students of Sarasota, Florida. Zolanda and her fellow students were happy to have the president read to them that day, and Zolanda was simply showing her appreciation, in the middle of the reading, by handing George her sandwich. I, of course, was also quite grateful, as this was the beginning of my very personal relationship with the leader of the Free World, as he couldn’t help but take a bite of that sandwich.
We tapeworms have no digestive tract. We literally “soak up” the digested foods of our host through our skin. Miraculous, isn’t it? We are also almost never detected, and there are many millions of us inside our hosts, who die, never knowing we were there; we were there, however, hanging on for dear life, our suction cups or jagged teeth plunged into our host like a Chinese Silkworm missile (that also, coincidentally, can release “bomblets” of weapons of mass destruction upon an ususpecting population).
From birth, we tapeworms play an insidious role. Fertilized eggs quickly develop into adventurous embryos. They exit the host’s system through feces, usually diving into nearby water supplies. Animals or humans then ingest the baby worms. It’s easy to assume that the embryos then develop into full-grown worms, but they don’t. The undeveloped worms bore through their host’s stomach lining and slip into the bloodstream. Veins and arteries act as an almost limitless highway system, transporting the worms to any major organ or muscle!
Usually, we tunnel into large muscles or the liver, but we have been known to dig into brains, spinal cords and lungs. Once the embryo finds a home, it encases itself in a fluid-filled sack called a cyst. We don’t break out of our cyst until the flesh of our host is eaten by another animal. And that’s how you end up with a tapeworm in your gut. And that’s how I became the presidential parasite.
Tapeworms also have another sense that more than compensates for our lack of four: we communicate through our brain waves. Indeed, our technology was, at first, limited to communication between each other, as we emitted our waves, which easily passed through our hosts’ flesh and through to the “transceiver” brain inside the scolex attached inside another host. Using our proglottids, which act as long antennae (some of us reach lengths of over 30 feet!), we were able to specify where a good “virgin” host might be located, and we were also able to discuss what our hosts were telling us about “life” on the outside.
Then cometh the New Millennium. One of our more inventive comrades accidentally began to communicate with a computer! That’s right; we had suddenly, like a Wi-Fi eavesdropper, hooked into the most informative data base of human information in the history of the world! In point of fact, did you know that the first known computer “bug” was officially called a “tapeworm”? Ironic, isn’t it?
And, so it is that even though my host, George Walker Bush, the President of the United States, has never done any information searches on the Internet (in fact, his wife reads to him at night before they go to bed), I, on the other hand, have become the most learned tapeworm and computer worm in the world! This predicament is both a paradoxical, existential dilemma and the possible key to saving most of the world’s population. You see, not only can I receive information from the transmissions coming over the Top Secret computer networks that my host is quite often around, but I can also transmit to them! Ah, now you finally understand my innate power and the source of all my suffering!
Tapeworms, like their hosts, experience psychological disorders. For example, I am continually seeing myself as the functioning conscience of the president. In my estimation, George is the true parasite, and I am the free thinker! Let me explain further, lest you consider me delusional. George Walker Bush was born into a family that has always kept him safe from the harsh realities of existence. He never had to get his own clothes out in the morning, he never had to cook for himself or even shop for himself. His family put him through school (where he performed very poorly, I might add, as these were the days before Harvard and Princeton gave out all-As to all students), and this was where he performed the “parasitic” role of cheerleader for the Yale Bulldogs football and basketball teams. His family also put him into the Texas Air National Guard, which was then (unlike today’s National Guardsmen) a safe haven from the dangers of the real combat going on over in Southeast Asia. His family also bailed him out of one failed business venture after another. He just couldn’t get anything done correctly. He didn’t have the brains for it. He did, however, have something that we parasites find most rewarding. He had connections! Now can you see how I work with my host? He is my vehicle—my body, if you will—and I am his, albeit hidden, brain!
* * *
“Cestodes of the world unite!” These were the words by which I began our declaration of independence from our hosts. We were in a survival mode, as we saw what these so-called “leaders” of the eight great industrialized nations in the world were up to. The “G-8,” as they called themselves, was nothing more than the propagator of what one intellectual Princeton University philosopher had recently called, “Bullshit,” and most of the world was suffering because of it. Since much of our formative larval time is spent in one type of feces or another, the analogy of the good professor was not lost upon us.
We know what the G-8 represents to the world. It is another form of parasitism, or “an interaction between two organisms, in which one organism (the parasite) benefits and the other (the host) is harmed.” These men represented the parasites of the world, which were creating the backlash of the majority of victims in the world, including we true parasites, who have never caused harm to our hosts. Yes, there are some few parasites who do cause the death of their host, but the more intelligent amongst us have decided to take action against these human parasitic leaders.
Please visualize what the Law of Nature really says: “Nothing will be taken without giving something back of the same or better value.” However, since the rise of Globalization, the transfer of wealth and power has increasingly ignored this simple dictum of our collective existence. We now knew it was time to “turn the tables” on them, or we would never survive.
Their meeting was in Scotland, at some exclusive golf game resort, and this would be the site of my “grand plan to take back Nature.” Since we controlled the insides, and they controlled the outsides, we had to determine a way to change the rules so that we can control them. The demonstators against this “globalization movement” of the G-8 had thrown many musical “fests” the week before this main event. They sang and danced and preached their disenchantment with the poverty of Africa, the AIDS epidemic, and the increasing subjugation of the poor by the rich. This was all well and good, but the G-8 leaders would not allow any of these demonstrators to come within a mile of their physical beings. Thus, it was up to us to penetrate their bodies!
I had finally discovered through my Internet research the way to protect us from their drugs. We were able to develop an immunity through the use of certain steroids, sometimes used by their professional athletes to hit many homeruns and to run and swim much faster than their counterparts. These athletes, who were also inhabited by cestodes, became the human transmitters of our new vaccination serum. Through the Internet, we knew where to go to collect our “fixes,” so to speak. The cestodes inside the atheletes would send many hundreds of proglottids out into the water supply, where humans would injest this serum, and we would become immune to their killer drugs! After years of developing our immunity, it was finally time to make our move to take back Nature!
I was growing at a prolific rate inside George. In fact, he was beginning to lose weight! At the same time I grew and spread my segments to the freedom outside, I also began communicating with the only man who could help me carry out my plan: special advisor to the president, Karl Rove—human parasite extrodinaire!
My emails to him were over the president’s top-secret network, and I was posing as the president! What genius! This was going to be the first phase in the plan. I sent my communication about two months before the meeting in Scotland. I called it the “Gandhi Diet,” and here was my message to Karl:
“Hi Karl, I’m going to tell the other leaders at the G-8 that I am making a personal statement about world poverty. I am fasting, just the way Mahatma Ghandi did. That way, the folks back home will know I’m all for the poor folks in the world. What do you think, Karl? Is it workable?”
One thing I knew about my host, the president: if Karl Rove thought something was a good idea, then he would agree to it. He had done it when he lied about Iraq’s WMD; he also followed Rove’s orders about outting that blackmailing CIA officer’s wife in the press. And, George would certainly do it this time.
When Rove next saw George, my president was down to one hundred and five pounds.
At first, Laura Bush had all the White House cooks fired. She thought the food was making her husband ill. George thought he might have cancer, so he had every physical check-up known to mankind but to no avail. None of the Bethesda doctors could find anything wrong with him. George was looking gaunt, according to those around him, his cheeks were sunken in, and his legs began to look quite “twig-like.” Meanwhile, my segments were growing and growing, each and every day.
“Mister President, I think the idea is great!” said Rove, wrapping his pudgy arm around my host’s jutting shoulder blades.
“Idea? What idea is that, Karl?” asked George, obviously unaware of my previous communication.
“The fasting before the G-8 meeting in Scotland. It’s a stroke of genius! The liberal press will eat it up, if you’ll pardon my expression!” Rove laughed, and poked the president between his protruding ribcage.
As I had expected, not wanting to sound like he was “out of the loop,” George immediately replied, “Oh yes, the fasting! Of course, that’s why I’m getting so skinny.”
“Yes, you’ll make a statement about world poverty and how we need to start free enterprise all over Africa and the Third World to bring them out of their despair! It will be a magnificent coup, George. How did you ever think of it?” Rove said.
“Actually, I think it was my daughter, Jenna’s, idea. She thought I should show some kind of empathy for all these folks demonstrating for hunger inside Africa and all those other countries,” said George, getting into the lie as if he had thought of it first.
“Africa is a continent, George, but, never mind. Keep up the great work! You’ll be the hit of the summit meeting!” said Rove, turning to go. “But, remember. We really want to sell the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Maybe you can work that into this fasting thing, too.” Karl then drew close and whispered into George’s ear, so that I could barely make it out, “You know, the starving kids in Central America need to work more to put food on the table!”
* * *
My host, the president’s, speech at the G-8 meeting was a great success. At 85 pounds, dripping wet, George was a figure right out of Dachau. And, as he spoke in his usual, oxymoronic doublespeak, I was busy sending my proglottids out his arse (as Shakespeare would say) and into his pants, where the segments would drop down his legs and onto the floor of the luxuriously carpeted room, where, later, a cleaning person would sweep them up, getting many embryos on her hands, and then (because the hotel was over-working its few staff members to save money!), she immediately began preparation for the dinner hosted by the Queen of England. Guess what she was in charge of preparing? Yes! The meat! Our tiny hatched eggs would soon be burrowing their insidious way into the victuals of these “masters of the human race,” and then into their bloodstream! The Revolution had finally begun as Karl Marx said it would—from within!
* * *
Every revolution needs an anthem, and we chose a song by a vegetarian group I found on the Internet called “The Black-eyed Peas.” Tell me if you can see how appropriate these lyrics are to our cause:
Everybody, everybody, let's get into it.
Get it started, get it started, get it started.
Let's get it started (ha), let's get it started in here.
Let's get it started (ha), let's get it started in here.
Let's get it started (ha), let's get it started in here.
Let's get it started (ha), let's get it started in here.
Lose control, of body and soul.
Don't move too fast, people, just take it slow.
Don't get ahead, just jump into it.
Ya'll here a body, two pieces to it.
Get stunted, get stupid.
You'll want me body people will walk you through it.
Step by step, like you're into new kid.
Inch by inch with the new solution.
Trench men hits, with no delusion.
The feeling's irresistible and that's how we movin'.
Isn’t art wonderful? With music, we finally had an existence outside ourselves! We, at last, could control them, our hosts. The Queen’s dinner was quite a success, as new Cestodes were “getting it started” inside the honorable Paul Martin (Canada), Jacques Chirac (France), Gerhard Shröeder (Germany), Junichiro Koizumi (Japan), Vladimir Putin (Russia), and Tony Blair (Great Britain). To what purpose? You’ll soon find out!
The powerful of this world now had their own religion: computers and the Internet. They “believed” in this technology the same way the huddled masses believed in their primitive Nature Gods. Ergo, it made sense to us that they would believe our new policies if we spoke to them on their own religious turf, so to speak, and we did just that.
The leaders of our “free” world were losing weight, pound by pound, and they, of course, were searching for some meaning to their collective plight. It came in the form of top secret emails. I won’t recreate each email verbatim, but let’s just say we were telling them that we were in control of their drastic weight reduction and that President Bush was a fraud, a deceit and a liar. We also told them, since we could control whether they lived or died, it would be much to their benefit to do what we told them to do. In fact, we pointed out, we could cause the entire human race to start “thinning out” and there would be nothing they could do to prevent it.
What did we tell them to do, you might ask? This is the key, is it not? It is what makes every human aspire to leadership. It is what every powerful dictator or terrorist dreams about every night! We were in control of how things were going to get done all over the world.
First, we told these leaders that their private corporations would begin to “literally” start serving the poor on the planet. Each wealthy country would send out “ambassadors of food” to every starving country, and spend whatever expense, do whatever it took, to make certain every empty belly in Africa, Asia, South America and India was fed and provided with the basics of mortal existence. Also, we pointed out, if any war lords, or other human militant terrorist groups, decided to get in the way of this humanitarian effort, they, too, would begin to starve, very quickly, until they would be too weak to pull a single trigger!
The next months were like a miracle happening on this earth! The leaders of the great, wealthy nations of the earth began assembling their technological might with one purpose in mind: to feed the dispossessed. Caravans of aircraft, vehicles, trains, ships and any other mode of transportation began delivering the latest biotechnology to the underdeveloped nations—free and without political restraints—and the results began to show almost immediately. Former President, Jimmy Carter, was leading the way with his group. He believed we were “voices from God,” and that we “should not question the will of our Creator.” The Hindus said that the Internet was part of Indra’s Net, and that our communications came directly from the Cosmic Trinity of Vishnu, Krishna and Brahma. Whatever the reasons, we were on the move!
The money began to shift away from the richest to spread out, like a magnificent fan, to embrace the dispossessed of the world. Every time some greedy power-monger became belligerent, we would begin shrinking him from inside, and he became as meek as a roundworm. We at last thought we had saved the planet, but then “the worm turned.”
This new, peaceful lifestyle began to create more and more vegetarians. And, with this phenomenon, our “Achilles heel” was exposed! The humans began to see that the vegetarians were not being controlled by us! As a result, the greedy leaders began to practice the vegetarian lifestyle. Soon, the tide began to change, and militant vegetarian groups began to crop-up like rotten tomatoes. Slogans and banners soon swept the nations and a new “movement” for freedom started. We tried to get into their bodies, but as long as we had no intermediate, carnal host to deliver our eggs, we could not control them!
Today, the vegetarians rule the world, and they rule with an iron fist. The same nationalist agendas are in place, the same nuclear weapons, and the same greed. My host, George W. Bush, has been arrested, along with many other “flesh eaters,” and we are serving out our time in prisons all over the world. I no longer starve George, as he is as powerless as I am. However, I detest his constant whining about “his daddy,” and about how “Karl Rove was responsible for all this.” The truth of the matter is, my fellow Cestodes, ignorance is not bliss!