PAC Americana

PAC Americana

Scholars dispute the authenticity of this letter to a friend. Some say it was dictated by the great Cicero himself to his secretary Tiro; others say it was scribed by Ryanus, also known as “rex paulo” (“little king”), an ambitious but not so well-known senator.


The state of things in regard to my candidacy for the consulship, in which I know that you are supremely interested, is this, as far as can be as yet conjectured.

At every opportunity I’m denying that I’m a candidate but my denials do not seem to stick. You know last year I insisted that I won’t be a candidate for the praetorship but there I was a few weeks later sitting in the praetor’s chair. My intention is not to begin my own canvass but I’m dropping subtle hints in my campaign-style speeches, urging everyone “to have a contest of whose ideas are better and why our ideas are better.”

I hope my prospects are to a certain degree improving by the reports getting about that my friends are found to be numerous and mega-rich. When I have ascertained the feelings of the nobility about my candidacy I will write you a word.

The canvassing of the present candidates is not unfavorable to my interests; for none of them would get the required majority. I’ll let them fight – and fall – like gladiators in Circus Maximus. See how quickly they fall. From twelve to three in six weeks, not even counting the timorous five who tumbled down the starting gate.

That Kasichus fights like an andabata gladiator wearing a helmet without any hole for the eyes making his experience and expertise utterly useless. He is there to amuse the crowds (and my super PAC supporters). Cruzpus has suddenly found a trident and a net. This retiarius thinks that he can now net all the delegates. Not knowing that the Trumpus, the Thracian, has a curved sword. A sword curved like a dragon’s spine to entangle the trident and sharper than a serpent’s tooth to cut through the net.

Curlier and sharper than his sword are his taunts. His “low energy” spell turned out to be more thunderous than Jupiter, the mighty king of gods. The spell that fills me with dread is the one that imploded the career of a “little” senator. His magic of the mind is murderous. Even the thought of what spell he has in reserve for me makes me tremble. But I find solace in the hope that Cruzpus and Trumpus would wound each other fatally in the arena.

Augures say the gods are happy with my plans. I have been to the temple of Vesta with my offerings of ears of spelt. About my visit to the temple of Apollo at Delphi. Pythia, the high priestess, sitting on a tripod in a small cavernous chamber holding a sprig of laurel in one hand and in the other a cup containing water from a spring beneath the temple, appeared to be in trance and burbled on for a while in reply to my request for a deadly spell. The attending priest translated her answer as “make your own nature, not the advice of others, your guide in life.” What help is this Delphic prophecy in these turbulent times?

Not much of help especially when I think of Romnius, the old dog who now fancies himself as the new Romulus, waiting in the wings when we republicans enter the voting pen on the Campus Martius.

I imagine you smiling or sighing when I tell you that I’m proposing a motion that there should be a minimum of 1,237 roped off sections instead of usual thirty-five, and if candidates fail to walk through all these sections, the assembly should call for new nominations. That would keep Cruzpus and Trumpus lost in the maze if they survive the deadly gladiator fight about to begin. Good news is that some senators are vying with each other to nominate me.

(Historical note: Cicero did indeed write a letter, in 65 B.C., to his friend Atticus in Athens in which he described his planning for the next year’s election to the consulship for the year 63 B.C., which he won.)

© Surendra Verma 2016


Heavenly reviews

Reviews and opinions (not) found on TripAdvisor of places you must visit after you die.

“Could not wish for a better place to rest forever, but …”

The place is rather large, larger than the largest expanse of sand I had seen when I was a teenager. It has a lake, so vast that it requires a month’s journey to go around it, and a tree under the shadow of which a fine horseman would travel for a hundred years without covering the distance completely. I walk into my tent, promised to every believer, a tent of single hollowed pearl, the breadth of which is sixty miles from all sides. My tent has seventy-two houses of rubies, each house has seventy-two rooms of emerald, each room has seventy-two couches, each couch is covered with seventy-two carpets of every color and a large-eyed houri with full breasts and hourglass waist and retiring glances is sitting on each carpet. Each houri is wearing seventy-two see-through silk dresses and I can look through all of them and see her alabaster skin. Every room also has seventy-two beautiful maids serving wine flavored with musk. Before a maid could offer me wine in a gold goblet, came in angel Gabriel. He dragged me out of the tent and then pushed me outside the gate. ‘Your booking is for the other side of the gate,’ he scowled, ‘where you’ll drink, like thirsty camels, boiling water from a boiling spring.’ – ObL

“Nice place, for sure, but depressingly empty.”

Though I’ve never been to this whatever-they-call-it place, my old buddy DC’s ever-reliable intel informs me that the place is almost empty and the owners are thinking of closing it down. I wonder where would all those jihadists beheading infidels or blowing themselves up go? I’m a great believer in forward planning (as evidenced in that goddamn Eye-raq) and opened up a new facility for these heaven-less people, but the current regime is bent upon closing it down. – GWB

“A new bushfire.”

Not to worry, GWB, your little brother is ready to start a new bushfire. I-ran. It sounds great, isn’t? – JB

“Strike them down.”

‘Forum moderator take note: this forum is only for true believers who have truly departed. Delete the comments of GWB and JB and ban them forever.’ – TA, was and will always remain SH’s loyal (dis)information minister

“Sea-bed paradise.”

Hello ObL! You were never my kind of guy (that moron GWB thought otherwise), but I’m sorry to hear angel Gabriel wouldn’t let you in. He wouldn’t let me in either. At least, a sea-bed is a cool place to rest and plan your next fiery jihad. For me, it was simply dust to dust. – SH

“Six-hundred-year orgasm.”

They say Aldous Huxley writes in Moksha that in Paradise each orgasm would last six hundred years. They also say in Paradise I’ll have the strength of making love with each of the houris and maids present there. Is it all true, really?  – a (young and curious) IS fighter

“A better place than Paradise.”

Only bearded men living on the other side of the border (that line whimsically drawn up by the British when they left the subcontinent) think of Paradise when they kneel down and pray. On this side of the border we have our own heaven. Here’s my tongue-in-cheek account of it:

Yama, the god of death, leads me to Mount Kailasha, the abode of Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati, daughter of the mountain. Nandi, the bull who watches over their gate, lets me go in. As I enter the gate Ganesha, the four-armed, elephant-headed god of wisdom, the son of Shiva and Parvati, directs Nandi to take me first to Dharma Rai, the divine accountant. Dharma Rai takes into account our past deeds, makes sure that we have paid our karmic debts and accordingly decides when, where and how we have to be born again. “As you have not practised your religion,” he says. “I deny you nirvana. You’ll be born again; but because of your good karma in the past life, in a higher form of life than a human.” “I would be born as a Bollywood demigod then, Dharma Rai,” I cry with joy. “No,” says Dharma Rai in his beancounter’s flat voice, “you would be reborn on the planet of the apes.” “As Hollywood god Charlton Heston on Planet of the Apes?” I ask anxiously. “I’m sorry,” replies Dharma Rai with a slight smile, “your karma gives you only an extra’s role as a chimpanzee.”

I was surprised not see any saffron-robed gurus outside the gate manned by Nandi, the bull. Is there a VIP gate for them? We have so many VIPs (and bribe-offering non-VIPs) in our country, I worry the queue outside the VIP gate would be a very long one, indeed. – a not-so-devout Hindu

“We demand a total ban on TripAdvisor website.”

Our country now has a Hindu nationalist party government and we demand that the prime minister should immediately ban all websites that mock our ancient religion. A peaceful demonstration in front of the American embassy is being planned. – a BJP supporter

“This pearly-gate Heaven is like any posh Las Vegas resort, but no guns allowed. ****”

The place has a great, high wall with twelve gates, each made of a single pearl, and with twelve angels at the gates. The wall is made of jasper and the rest of the place of pure gold, as pure as transparent glass. The place doesn’t need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the divine glory lights it up brilliantly. The gates are never shut, for there are no nights. Nothing impure is allowed to enter, not anyone who has done what is shameful or deceitful. I would have given it five stars if I had not been forced to leave my gun with the angel at the gate. Where are you NRA? What death has to do with our constitutional right to carry guns? – a disgruntled NRA member

 Fox News flash: Watch tonight our panel, totally blond and blinkered, pretending to grill GOP presidential pretenders how they plan to protect our fundamental right to carry firearms afterlife.

© Surendra Verma 2015