Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Credit Default Swaps
A film treatment *
[ The setting: Osama bin Laden's "cave," a luxury penthouse condo in a seaside tower on the outskirts of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Osama is reclining in a robe on his Barcalounger, watching a video on a wide-screen TV. He has had extensive facial surgery, and now looks remarkably like Nicholas Cage. His robe lies open, revealing rippling abs and a buff torso: Osama has clearly been taking very good care of himself. On a table next to the recliner are a bowl of candied almonds and dates, an open laptop, and a universal remote. In the background we see through open lanai doors an infinity pool framed by potted palms and, beyond that, a blood-orange sun setting over the Red Sea. ]
[ Osama pops a date in his mouth. ]
Osama: Ha, ha! Foolish, foolish Infidels!
[ We hear the following dialog emerging from the surround-sound speakers: ]
American voice: What... what is it, what?
Russian voice: The fools... the mad fools.
American voice: What's happened?
Russian voice: The Doomsday Machine...
[The front door of the "cave" flies open and a robed figure bursts into the room, sliding along the tile floor in stocking feet à la Cosmo Kramer. Osama presses "Pause" and turns to look. The newcomer is Ayman al Zawahiri, Osama's chief strategist and wingman. Al Zawahiri has likewise undergone facial reconstruction. Gone are the beard and glasses. He now bears a striking resemblance to Steve Zahn. ]
Osama: Ayman! Peace and calm be upon you, my friend! I thought for a moment that the Delta Force assassins of CENTCOM were descending upon me. Ho, ho, ho!
[ Ayman is out of breath, but manages a smile. ]
Osama: What then agitates you so, Ayman, my faithful friend?
Ayman: It is the Infidel jackal Bush, impostor Vizier of the Great Satan, my Lord! He has blundered again. He has attacked yet another Muslim nation, just as you foresaw. But...
Osama: Must I repeat, Ayman, it is heresy to address me thus. I am your Humble Servant! There is only one Lord and Master.
Ayman: Praise Allah and his Prophet Mohammed, may peace be upon him!
Osama: No, Ayman, I was referring to Lord Buffett, the Sage of Omaha. Have you not heard of him?
Ayman [bowing deeply]: No, my Humble Servant... You will tell me, please?
Osama: He is a legend and a great Prophet who dominates the realm of money-changing and usury from his humble cave in Omaha, using only a laptop computer -- just like this one!