THE BLOG
03/23/2006 02:47 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Cheney's Afraid of the Dark

Dick Cheney's got a "contract rider" that spells out his demands for hotel-room accommodations, just like all the other big stars do. While his demands are relatively modest by Fleetwood Mac/Whitesnake standards, they include this curious request: "All lights turned on." And a staffer has hand-written on the bottom of the memo: "extra lamps."

Sounds like the Vice President is terrified of the dark, doesn't it? He can't even walk into a a darkened room - despite the fact that he's always accompanied by Secret Service agents who have swept the room and secured it beforehand.

It's not just the dark that frightens him, either. "All televisions (must be) tuned to FOX News," says the memo. Apparently even a momentary flicker of uncensored (or should I say less-censored?) news coverage would give the Veep a start, too.

Other demands suggest a fragile heart: decaffeinated coffee and Sprites, a gentle 68-degree temperature, and something illegible about microwave ovens (which aren't so good for pacemakers). But what gets two separate mentions? The dark, the dark, the ever-gathering Poe-like dark ...

No wonder, really. Cheney's carrying a heavy load of guilt, after all, even for a guy with no visible conscience. Shades of Emily Bronte:

Sleep brings no rest for me
The shadows of the dead
my wakening eyes may never see
Surround my bed.

Paulie Walnuts had the same problem on The Sopranos a couple of seasons back. Remember? He went to that psychic who told he was anxious and fearful because he was surrounded by the spirits of his victims.

Dick's old colleagues at Halliburton may be making a fortune in Iraq these days, but he's still got to live with this, and this, and this, and a whole lot more. (Warning: strong images.) Any one of these apparitions might be waiting in Cheney's hotel suite in the dead of a troubled night.

For once I almost feel sorry for the guy.

(hat tip to Alterman for the link)

A Night Light