Federal Reserve Skateboard: A Short Story

(Written after sitting in a car for five hours listening to financial news stories.)


Damn these subprime lenders, thought Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, barely keeping his balance on the wobbling skateboard. We can’t afford more debt. He snapped a grappling-hook-tipped quarrel into his crossbow as the skateboard slowed. When the country owes trillions and is asking for more, its shadowy creditors start calling in favors.

The crossbow twanged, carrying his climbing rope up the side of the Federal Reserve building. As he began his ascent, he reflected on the years past. I inherited a broken system, he insisted to himself. We’re simply doing what’s required to prevent a catastrophe. It’s not my fault.

He tossed his skateboard over the parapet and hauled himself over. He dropped six feet to the roof, landed heavily on the board, and trundled on into the night.


From her perch in a tree across the street, the blogger watched through her blogoscope as Bernanke disappeared over the wall. She spoke quietly into her radio: “Subject is in the haybarn. The chickens are in danger of roosting.”

“Roger that,” came the reply. “Deploying Agent Harpsichord.”


Inside, Bernanke moved along the wall like a shadow, elongating and contracting as the light sources shifted around him. In the midst of a sea of filing cabinets, he froze. He sniffed the air, then dropped to his knees, licked the floor, and paused. Yes, he thought, Greenspan was definitely here.


The blogger had waited five minutes and was starting to get impatient. She picked up the radio. “Situation imminent. Pass the ducklings through the snorkel. Repeat: Pass the ducklings through the snorkel.”

“We are go for mode Sinatra,” replied the commander. “Reticulate core and set throttle to ‘cryptic’. Prepare to jitterbug.”


Bernanke forced the door on yet another inner office, realizing too late that the light was on inside. The chair in the corner swiveled around, and Bernanke found himself face-to-face with Alan Greenspan. There was silence for a moment.

“You won’t get away with this,” said Greenspan, rising to his feet. “The Fed is subject to general congressional oversight. But you never understood that, did you?”

“Congress sold out the country, not me,” replied Bernanke. “Don’t shoot the messenger.”

“I wasn’t planning to,” said Greenspan. He flicked open a switchblade.


The blogger peered once more into the eyepiece of her blogoscope. She threw the switch labeled “overlay building schematics.” The external view of the building disappeared, but instead of blueprints, she was presented with a green puzzle piece. “This view requires the Adobe Flash Player plug-in. Do you want to search for this plug-in now?”

Shit, she thought.


Bernanke, trying not to slip in the patches of blood on the floor, struggled with Greenspan. The older man moved like a snake that moved like a former Fed Chairman who moved like a ninja. At last, Bernanke got a solid grip on Greenspan’s collar and hurled him through the fourth wall, knocking you to the ground.

Improvising a tourniquet from the remains of the snake left over from the earlier simile, Bernanke moved on through the hallways.


The moonlight-bathed roof of the Federal Reserve building fell suddenly into shadow. A pair of night watchman looked up in alarm to see what had occluded the sky.

“Is that …” one whispered to the other, “… is that a blimp?”


Bernanke reached the central vaults, accessed the Gibson mainframe, and began transmitting the requested files to his distant masters. He didn’t hear the gentle thud on the rooftop, the muffled explosive charges, or the sound of the door opening behind him. But at the last minute some sixth sense kicked in. He spun around just in time to see a golf-ball-sized lump of gold rapidly expanding in his vision. It struck him in the forehead, and he collapsed to the ground like a burlap sack full of scrapple.

Congressman Ron Paul retrieved the gold nugget from the floor and returned it to his satchel. “Try that,” he said, donning his sunglasses, “with a fiat currency.” He spun on his heel, cape swirling behind him, and swept from the room.

Read more of these adventures in the thrilling new novel, Ron Paul and the Chamber of Commerce — in bookstores now!

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