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Saddam
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Matthew Paris
 

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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 12:22 pm - Saddam
The Day They Got Saddam


I was sitting in the living room watching t-v
Eating frozen scrapple and some old kim chee
Albanian beer and some take out falafel
Oozing maple syrup on a frozen waffle
The neighbors were building a plastic latrine
A cesspool from China, impeccably clean
If the thing didn’t work you could take it all back.
I watched the day’s news from a bank in Iraq
Thirty Americans were hit with a bomb
That was the day they got Saddam.


I love to watch all the arrests on the news
Mostly young Blacks and some white collar Jews
The names always change; the news is the same
Somebody’s locked up: the American game.
They may stop the arrests for a three minute ad
To be selling some car or a synthetic fad.
Then it’s back to the action, the music of death
Hunts with the cops and the crooks out of breath
The sounds of the guns and the hiss of a bomb.
That was the day we arrested Saddam.


Grandma in court with a class action suit
Said grandpa, a rapist, a jerk and a brute
Should give her support from his villa in space
Where he‘d found lobster wives to half hate or embrace
I looked at his letter from Mars
He was on his way to more faraway stars
He wished us a happy Thanksgiving and such
He’d be busy near Io; he’s keep us in touch.
He’d been on the run since Vietnam.
He was on the day we got Saddam


I heard a cheer going up on the lawns
As I munched on some take out Setzchuan prawns
I heard backyard hosannahs from a barbecue
A gaggle of toasts from the radio too
The Peruvian maid was covered with smiles
One would hear noisemakers making noise for miles
There were squeals from the squirrels who hid in the trees
The skunks and raccoons made wild sounds like a sneeze
What’s the big deal, I queried my mom
She said, it’s the day they got Saddam.


The telephone rang, just calls from the clan
Our therapist, broker, our old garbage man
They couldn’t help hooting, laughing, hysterical
Saddam in the slammer? It seemed like a miracle
He looked like a bum with his beard and wild eyes
A hobo or gutter rat. One of our guys
Told him, baby, regards from George W. Bush
A guy whom you once gave a hellova push.
You got to know whom you can kick in the rear
Then drink your damned tepid Albanian beer.
You can hear a loud silence in all of Islam
That was the day when we got you, Saddam.


They looked in his mouth; searched though his shirt
Saddam looked a little befuddled, not hurt
They found seven shards of old bubble wrappers
Toilet paper he’d stolen from posh Baghdad crappers.
His baseball cards and his rubber ducks
Nearly a million American bucks
He’d lived in a compound like some kind of mole
Hitler, or many old crones on the dole
Now even the rats sing, aleikum, saalaam
It’s the glorious day we arrested Saddam.


They showed all the junk in his underground den
Over and over and over again
A blender, a washing machine and a dryer
A microwave oven, a blown up spare tire
An old air conditioner, lamps and a can
That flushed itself perfectly, a good ceiling fan.
He was just like me on a different couch
Watching t-v in a saurian crouch.
The Mexican reefer was keeping me calm
This was the day they got Saddam.


Arrogant, merciless, swaggering, brash
He lived in his suburbs with oodles of cash
Just like us more or less while his Mexican boys
Delivering him all sorts of big plastic toys
Now they found the poor guy in a dump like a mine
Like some bum in the streets who guzzles cheap wine
Mumbling insults and trashing the Kurds
Calling them garbage in several words
Having lunch in a bunker to sounds of a bomb.
I wonder, one day: will I be like Saddam?


Saddam had a kitchen he was eating
Cans of old soup in a can he was heating
Old spam, kim chee, Albanian beer
Just the same stuff I was gobbling here
I put a big beat on the CD-Rom
And I said as I sipped at a shake to my mom
If they got Saddam, put him in the cooler
Though he’s been Iraqi’s most outrageous ruler
They might go after us with a hatchet or bomb
After the day they got Saddam.


Now he looks like a lout and a bum
A pile of old trash in a Mexican slum
Like an old horse as they looked at his teeth
Examined his dental work, throat and beneath
As the heat came up fast with a hum and a crack
I thought maybe the oil was straight from Iraq.
He surrendered without any fracas or fuss
But maybe the next one they’ll get into prison is us
Though they might take us out with an axe or a bomb
After the day they got Saddam.
-
I heard a bell ring, I opened the door
Delivery boys from a shopping mall store
Miles beyond town on a big concrete meadow
Two guys from Mexico, one from the ghetto
I tipped them and told them to put the stuff down
They left it, took off in a truck back to town
I said to myself, I’ll bet that Saddam
Would give them baksheesh and a mordant saalaam.
Then even in Spanish they caroled this psalm:
Ahora los Yanquis chingaron Saddam.


They say he’s created a family there
When tires blow out we all need a spare
I’ve got a few brothers in old Kandahar
Working the crowd at the local bazaar.
Mom says none of us here can be thrown out or dunned
We’re living off bonds and a mutual fund
A check from the markets comes in every day
The whole world may be working; we only play.
They might take out Washington, atom bomb Vietnam.
If they do, we’ll take out Iraq and Saddam.


Life in the suburbs is dreamy, fantastic
We do nothing but thrive, make gold out of plastic
We own and get bills from a money machine
We put pictures on our cash that are weird and obscene.
Everybody likes how we turn out our money
They like a dollar bill that’s both lewd and funny.
I don’t think much, what’s there to think?
Sis does nothing too; she does it in mink.
She likes movies with love starring actors named Tom
She never thought much of Osama, Saddam.


With a hellova view of the hills and the lake.
We give nothing back, we take and we take
I thought of Saddam; he killed millions of Kurds
Shiites, Iranis, did things beyond words
I thought how much he stole, how many he slaughtered
In neighboring nations his troops had once bordered
He’d worked for the U.S.; then he betrayed us
He didn’t guess ever how mad he had made us
They found out in Korea, in Vietnam
And now it’s Iraq as we took in Saddam.


I got bored with Saddam; I asked my mamma
Whey they hell will they get Osama?
She said: “Don’t worry honey. Osama’s mean;
One day, baby, he’ll be up on the screen.
You think they can’t find an Arab who’s six foot nine
With a dialysis machine and bad Greek wine?
He’s one more hermit who lives in a cave
With a gaggle of wives and a castrated slave
Taking a bath with an Arabic balm
While he watches the tube as they take in Saddam.
-
You sit there, honey and watch the parade
We’ve paid his betrayers; they’re all well paid
Believe me, he’ll be one more weekly sensation
As they put him in the hoosegow for bombing our nation
I said to my mamma: when this same army comes
To lock all of us up with the rest of the bums
Are we going to we live in a cell next door
To Osama, Saddam, most of Kindahor
My daddy, my grandpa, some old pals of my mom
Sitting in front of the tube with Saddam.


She said: “Don’t you worry; we do the locking.
We’ve got the courts; we’ve got the jails.
We own the coffins; we make the nails.
Nobody comes here to stop our game
When bad things happen, we can’t be to blame.
We are the judges; we do the judging
If the world comes to get us, we’re not budging.”
We’re good people, honey, we’ve got the bomb
All these bums have is a bum like Saddam.”


My mom’s liberated, she’s nobody’s wife
She’s living the glamorous corporate life
She’s never at home, works at work when she’s here
While sipping her tepid Albanian beer.
My dad is long gone, he may be in Tashkent
Selling rugs in bazaars, not paying much rent
Living with bedouins, wise and uncanny
Twenty Iraqis and one old Afghani
Where he smokes lots of reefer, which keeps his soul calm
As he thinks: I’m still free; they arrested Saddam!
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