Doctor Evil cracked open a door. “Hello?” he said. “Anyone here?” He peered through the threshold and saw an almost empty lecture hall, no one lecturing, just a small group of people sitting in the front of the audience. Five of them. They all looked very happy to see him, beckoning him in with big gestures.
At the front was Dick Land, just as the Cambridge website had shown him; scruffy, bespectacled, hair turned up into the air. His face was angular but soft. He wore a hand-knit checkered sweater-vest. “Dr. Evil!” He exalted. The class all started to clap, some cheering out loud. A boy in the front with curly hair stood and started flipping his arms around in circles.
“Alright,” Dr. Evil said, “quiet down. Quiet down. Enough.”
The class calmed down gradually, settling back into their chairs. “We’ve been waiting for you,” a blonde woman said. “We have so many questions.”
“Well, I’m more than prepared to answer them,” Dr. Evil lied.
“Let’s start with introductions,” Dick Land offered. “Everyone’s name?”
“My name is Write Angler,” a strange gray-haired man said. He was much older than the other students. “But everyone calls me k-pop.”
“I’m Stephen Sexhalf,” a gay-looking pervert said.
“Raymond Brassiere,” a strange angry freak said.
“I go by Bathroom Fuller,” an ugly weirdo said.
“And I’m Anna Creamhand,” the blonde lesbian said.
“And we’re,” Dick Land cued.
“Scru,” all said in unison.
“Riiiight,” Dr. Evil said. “So what do you have to ask me exactly?”
“Classic, the ‘riiight’ thing,” Write said. “My parents actually named me after you, after your ‘riiight’ thing. They loved it when you said that while trying to trap the necks of seagulls with non-degradable plastics in the sixties.”
“Way ahead of your time with that one,” Bathroom Fuller said.
“One of the first questions we have is about the idea of cultural Mojo as it relates to Modesty,” Dick Land said. “So, Anna was saying your statement about how Modesty does not... Anna?”
“Modesty,” Anna said, flipping to the relevant passage in her copy of Dr. Evil’s My Life as Brother and Nemesis, “does not mean an eradication of polygamy, homosexuality, or sodomy. So the question was does this mean Modesty does not mean eradication of desire?”
“Huh, interesting,” Dr. Evil said, scanning his mind for something that would pass for intelligent. “Well it depends on what you desire?”
“Does it...” Raymond said.
“Dick’s of the opinion that all desire is the same,” Bathroom offered.
“That’s right,” Dick Land said. “Desire is the attempt to have something which is not. Anything that ‘is not’ is the same.”
“Riiight,” Dr. Evil said. “But sometimes, you can, create? Something new? You ever tried that out?”
“What do you mean?” Stephen asked, deeply confused look on his face.
“Years ago I wanted sharks with laser beams in my evil lair. That did not exist? Right? And yet they do now.”
“That’s exactly what I was positing,” Anna said. “Desire which can create or be actualized is not, um, to use a Muslim term, ‘haram’. But desire which wants for something unattainable is against Modesty.”
“You know what, yes,” Dr. Evil said. “You put it well. Sometimes it’s hard to get all of the words on the page, you know.”
“So where does MDMA fit into this?” k-pop asked.
“What’s that?” Dr. Evil said, leaning forward.
“Molly?” k-pop asked, turning his head down and writing something in his notes.
“I don’t know her,” Dr. Evil said, looking around the room for assurance.
“Ecstacy?” k-pop asked.
“Haven’t felt that in years.”
“No, um. Disco Biscuit?”
“You can look but you can’t touch.”
“I cancelled my cable subscription years ago.”
“I can’t go so fast, my dick doesn’t work.”
“Doctor,” Dick Land interjected. “You needn’t be so flippant with us. We love your work. Since you stopped doing global terror there has been no one challenging capitalist hegemony. Other than Osama Bin Laden. And so for that, we respect you. We just want to know where everything fits in and what comes next.”
“What comes next? Like, what do you mean? I’m not getting back into the evil business anytime soon. Trump fired me.”
“No, no,” Dick said. “With the world.”
“The world? Well, what do you think?”
“Armed insurgencies. The most feral people taking what they can. People dead in the streets. Anarchy, but not the good kind. Racial discrimination at a new high. The capitalist class escaping to Mars. Water wars. And then, the death of humanity through global warming.”
“Sounds like my kind of party,” Dr. Evil said, doing his evil laugh. After a few long chortles, the rest of the group laughed alongside him, all in one rapturous build up, except for Write Angler, who looked very concerned. “What, why aren’t you laughing?”
“I don’t think that’s cool at all,” Write said. “I think what’s cool is acid. And drugs. Techno music? I just can’t get behind death.”
Dick pulled out a semi-automatic rifle and shot Write Angler fifteen or sixteen times in the chest, making him stagger back and somersault over the chairs behind him. “Not hyper enough.”
“Dick, you’re my new Number Two. Anna, you’re a lesbian?”
“Yes, I am,” Anna said.
“You’re Frau,” Dr. Evil said, counting with his fingers, “that guy was the guy I used to have with the fez.”
Write staggered up and limped a little to the side, prompting Raymond to walk over and stab him in the stomach several times, quick little jabs. “See,” Dr. Evil said, “that’s basically the same thing the fez guy did.”
Write fell over again, and Raymond returned to the group. “Who am I?” he asked with a wanton neediness.
“I’m not sure, I think I’ll have to use process of elimination here. None of you are particularly ethnic...”
“I’m actually Irish,” Stephen Sexhalf said.
“Riiight, well, you’re the Lucky Charms guy, so I’d recommend you get some of those right away. Which means, Bathroom, you’re probably Fat Bastard, and Raymond you’re Random Task. But the two are interchangeable in some ways, so we’ll have to see how it goes.”
Write started crawling away and Bathroom Fuller removed a sawed-off shotgun and shot him in the head twice. “Oof!” Write said, bleeding profusely, a bit of brain sticking out. He continued crawling. Bathroom slowly reloaded and shot him again twice.
“Thank you, Bathroom, for that you get a merit,” Dr. Evil said.
“Now that we’ve got all of that sorted out,” Dick said, putting on a pair of glasses and removing from his pocket a red moleskin notebook. “What’s our first order of business, Dr. Evil?”
“We’re gonna take back...” he trailed off to look at Write, who was again moving across the floor, his limbs twitching. Stephen started to remove a bazooka that was in his backpack, but Dr. Evil extended his hand to stop him. “This is a common phenomenon. The most cowardly member of any crime organization is always immortal. Just let him leave, it’s not a big deal.”
“Alright,” Stephen said, holstering the rocket launcher.
“Now, anyways,” Dr. Evil continued, “we’re going to...”
“Just ignore it. Turn the other cheek, guys. Now, our plan here is simple. We will create a–“ Dr. Evil air-quotes, “”Study”, which measures “intellectual quotient”. This “study” will target certain scapegoat groups in the first-world. Then, while the American workers are distracted, we will sweep in and control them through the use of “bourgeoise financial institutions”. Because the people are distracted by some kind of distant ringing, and large groups will turn away from their interests in wide arcs, I call this plan... “The Bell Curve”.” A horn section blared.
“Dr. Evil,” Dick Land said. “This has already been done.”
“Everything about that has been done. In the eighties.”
“Oh,” Dr. Evil said. “Hm. Well how about this: We will leak “emails” from top “establishment politicians”, including the “emails” of party leadership. Then, we point out normal “emails” which seem incongruous with the “seriousness” of being an “establishment politician”, and posit that these emails contain a secret “code” implicating “establishment politicians” as Satanic pedophiles. Because people will stick to this like cheese to a pizza, and the political nature of this scandal, we will call this plan...”
“Pizzagate,” Anna said. “Already been done.”
“Oh,” Dr. Evil said, disappointed. Quickly his expression changed to joy– eureka. He bounced a little, excited. “Well how about we steal some nuclear warheads and threaten to blow up the world?”
“I’m not so sure,” Steven Sexhalf said. “I admire your individualism, but I would like to cause some lasting social change.”
“I was hoping for that too,” Dick Land said. Write, by this point, was crawling just by his feet, and Dick looked-on with some perverted pity.
“Alright, what do you suppose?” Dr. Evil asked, a bit fed up. “You know, honestly, I had another idea, but I was going for the rule of threes and figured the nuclear thing would be the last one. I was thinking of trying to get the liberal-left to rally behind a French nationalist cartoon magazine.”
“That’s an over-simplified look at what happened,” Bathroom Fuller said.
“I was thinking radical asymmetrical warfare tactics,” Anna offered. “we could bomb several places in a city at once, creating mass, city-wide panic. Then, the law enforcement’s response is spread thin and no one can stop us as we kill as many people as possible for the glory of our fringe, reactionary movement.”
The room was silent for a moment. “Didn’t that happen like five years ago?” Dr. Evil asked. “In Paris?”
“It has happened many times,” Dick said, tapping his temple as he thought. “I believe that this has happened almost forty or fifty times a year since 1980.”
“Really!” Stephen said with admiration.
“Yes, yes,” Dick said. “The main group these days is a group of radical Mexican anti-globalists called the Mexican Operational Organization of Bombers, MOOB for short. I’m not sure their motivations, but they are brutal.”
“Are they involved with the Zapatistas?” Anna asked.
“I believe they splintered-off, yes, but in tactics they have more in common with groups like the LTTE and the Indian Mujahedeen, and nowadays they don’t do much in Mexico at all.”
“Do you think we could,” Dr. Evil threw these next words out of his mouth as if he were playing ring-toss, “hook-up... with these guys? Hang out?”
“I don’t see why not,” Dick said. “I’m sure their numbers are somewhere on EBSCOhost, let’s just check it out, right?”
Dr. Evil smiled with relief. He felt like he belonged again.