George Mitchell, the former senator in charge of Major League Baseball’s investigation into the use of steroids by ballplayers, has reportedly found that while the stars of certain teams been using performance-enhancing drugs, another team has tested positive for off-label use of an older, performance-detracting drug. Members of the floundering, last-place team the Washington Neocons—assembled by former Texas Rangers owner George W. Bush in 2001—have turned up traces of the drug in their speeches, memos, and memoirs. While Bush had promised a “world championship, or benevolent hegemony” for his team, the team has instead set all-time records for consecutive losses. For several years, the public has wondered why.
We may now be close to an answer. Most of the Neocons, sources close to Mitchell have revealed, have been routinely smoking or injecting Hubris (TM), a powerful stimulant said to give users a sense of power and invulnerability while at the same time causing them to commit one tragic error after another. Among the stars or former stars of the team believed likely to be named in the investigation are Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleeza Rice, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby, John Bolton, Paul Bremer, and Richard Perle.
Hubris (TM) had originally been patented by Nemesis, the Greek pharmaceuticals giant, but was withdrawn after questions were raised. The literature on the drug, which dates back to the 5th century B.C., lists serious possible side effects, including patricide, incest, blindness, madness, repeated attacks by furies, and chronic lying—accompanied by the compulsive invasion and wrecking of remote countries. Nevertheless, the high it produces is so irresistible that not only the Bush team but its devoted fans, including pundits, magazine editors, and radio talk-show hosts, have been, as one investigator put it, “scarfing it down like candy” after obtaining it from shadowy neighborhood dealers in Washington and New York under its street name, Chickenhawk Viagra.
By March 2003 the drug was so popular with the Neocons that they were falsifying laboratory reports and other research in order to force the FDA into accelerated approval of it. Anticipating its imminent legalization, team manager Karl Rove is said to have hired a Madison Avenue advertising firm, Careen, Skidmore & Lurch, which was preparing to launch a major-media campaign for a potent version of the drug, to be marketed under the name Neo-Hubris, with the slogan “Put some zoom in your doom.”
But despite the pressure the FDA concluded that the drug was too dangerous to be made legally available to vulnerable segments of the American population like federal officials. A research group at Johns Hopkins, for instance, found that rats fed Neo-Hubris and placed inside a labyrinthine trap were much more likely than rats fed a placebo to describe the trap as a successful ongoing operation. They were also much more likely to be offered interviews and guest slots on Fox News.
Meanwhile, at the Ozymandias Institute, a treatment facility outside Washington designed specifically for prominent Hubris (TM) addicts whose ambitious projects have fallen to pieces and begun to sink into desert sands, a comfortable padded cell is being prepared for the expected arrival, soon after November 2008, of an unnamed team official whose symptoms—which include slurred, incoherent speech, a compulsive nervous tic resembling a smirk, an arrogant gait and posture especially while wearing a flight suit, and a tendency to fall flat on his face—are all, experts say, consistent with near-suicidal doses of the drug.
Eric Kenning is the pen name of a writer in New York. He can be reached at [email protected]