“Faster, Diego, or we’ll be late.”

“I’m walking as fast as I can, Fidel. I still don’t understand why we can’t take a limo.”

“Limousines are for bourgeois swine, Diego. To be a leader of the people, one must walk, eat and sleep with the people.”

“Like that person we saw in that alley? The one sleeping in the Dumpster?”

“The poor peasant. I’ll bet he worked hard all of his life only to see his money go to ticket service charges for Dennis DeYoung, Flaming Lips and the Jensenergy Tour. When capitalism is the master, the people are nothing but slaves. Remember that, Diego.”

“I will, Fidel. Er, El Presidente, how did the U.N. Millennium Summit receive your speech?”

“You were not there?”

“I had to arrange this appointment we are now rushing to keep. I trust the speech went well.”

“Who knows? I stood before the other leaders of the world and denounced the concert embargo that has left our little island paradise in cultural ruins. I pleaded for Boss Hog and I begged them for Savage Garden, but I’m afraid my voice fell on deaf ears.”

“Perhaps if the North Koreans had attended, things would have been different.”

“Bah! The simpletons traveled only as far as Germany before turning back. That will teach them to fly standby. They understand modern airline travel and frequent flier miles no more than they are capable of appreciating the soft, gentle caress of a Paul Simon lyric. They remind me of that Jethro Tull song, for they are truly “Living In The Past.”

“But, Fidel, they are our comrades.”

“On paper, perhaps. But just because they are fellow communists, it doesn’t mean they share my dream of having Nnenna Freelon and Lee Ann Womack perform for the workers. How much farther, Diego?”

“We’re almost there, Fidel. Just a couple of more blocks.”

“This meeting may be our last chance to win the hearts and minds of the American working class. We must not fail. You remember the secret hand signals, Diego?”

“But of course, Fidel.”

“If I wave my hand like this?”


“And like this?”


“And the clenched fist?”

“Roll over and play dead.”

“Perfect, Diego. When Señor Letterman sees our performance, he will not give us anything less than first prize in his Stupid Pet Tricks competition.”

“But why do I always have to be the pet, Fidel?”

“Because true heroes never question their role in the revolution. Now hurry up. If we arrive early enough, we’ll get to meet Spinal Tap in the green room and still have time to make it to forJohn Mayall & The Bluesbreakers. His bluesy harmonica playing always reminds me that we must never give up our quest to bring true artists like Alice Cooper and Juliana Hatfield to Havana.”

“I’m right behind you, Fidel.”