The 'True Lies' Next Door


Living next door to the Schwarzeneggers has its good and bad moments. Yesterday afternoon he cut his lawn with a flamethrower he improvised with the fuel-oil truck. He's clever. We dare not ask what happened to the lawn mower. But he's much too permissive about letting the kids borrow that new Harrier jet to go off with their friends. He's violent, but lovable. You could have worse neighbors.

We enjoyed the annual pool party, swimming around under a skim of burning oil. The motorcycle jumps off the roof were the best part. I picked up some gossip from Fred, a police horse friend of Arnold's, that he really could not run as fast as a motorcycle, unless he got to cut across lawns. Naturally Arnold's wife has no idea he's a spy, or a film actor for that matter. The wives are always the last to know.

But Arnold does love his family. The other day they were out in the street playing guns, spraying bullets at each other and passers-by. The true test of a father's love is that he never hits the kids or the wife with machine-gun fire. The mailman was not so lucky, but he was an Iraqi or looked like an Iraqi and you ask anyone, they're all terrorists.

No oversleeping in this neighborhood. KABOOM! Every morning at six, Arnold leaves for work by rocket, dressed in tux. Tom Arnold follows him in the van. Tom has a video microcamera in a pack of Luckies, but Arnold S. has them in much more secret places. They installed a microcamera in his left eye. Amazing! If he wants to see something, all he has to do is look at it with his left eye and the object shows up on a tiny screen on his ankle. There's another microcamera in his elbow, another in his ear to look sideways, another under his tongue, another in his Calvins.

We think there's another woman, because we've seen some lingerie with bullet holes. But that may just be a new line of fashion statements. I mean, everything around here has bullet holes these days.

And now bazooka holes. Yesterday, the bad guys were waiting in the street to shoot up Arnold's commuter rocket as it left yesterday morning. They fired those neato anti-tank weapons at it, knocking it off course. It landed in a shopping center, not far from the Pentagon. Nice explosion. But guess what! Arnold wasn't on it! He went to work in a special wet suit, through the city sewer system. He popped up from a manhole dressed for a garden party. It couldn't hoot enough!

Jamie Lee is such a sweetheart. We just love her. She has no idea what's going on. It's his way of protecting her. They're so cute together. She, dressed to kill, out in the garden; he, tossing grenades to help with the weeds. Tom installed some microcameras in her pumpkins so she can check on aphids without leaving the house.

Of course it's so hard to keep a relationship going these days. Arnold is such an action guy. He's into competitive strafing now. He invited us to an automatic-weapons retreat. We couldn't make it. Take Jamie, we said. Take the kids. He smiled and said it was a good idea. Kids watch too much television these days, anyway. And Jamie's got to get out more. We feel good all over. He's taking our advice and it seems to be working.

And we never appreciate these heroes until afterward. We see the entire city littered with corpses, awash in gore, and we think, yuk, what a mess! Does anyone admit that Arnold was the only one willing to step forward and do the job? Who else you gonna call? Bunch of Marines? Too busy saluting each other. That doesn't help at all. You can't save the world unless you're willing to destroy the neighborhood, grab a jet fighter and fly through a building.

But people don't listen, so save your breath.

What we should do is make a movie about this and send it all over the world. Then those terrorists would realize that there's no chance they're going to be able to stop the United States. Maybe we could get Arnold to play the lead. Maybe a story based on his life and work blowing things up and annihilating the Enemies of Freedom. A really true-to-life movie, not one of those silly treatments where you can hardly recognize real people and situations. We're so tired of movies like that. What does Hollywood think we are anyway?


Jeff Danziger is the cartoonist for the Christian Science Monitor.

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