Iraqi Day of the Dead:

How to Make Your Mask

1) Perform a surgical strike with precision-guided instruments and cut out the mask. Offer perfunctory apologies to the innocent bystanders you maim in the process.

2) Mount the mask on salvaged armor from a U.S. Army vehicle. If not available, use lightweight cardboard, which is the same thing.

3) Cut out the eyeholes, making sure you can see both in front of you and around you, unlike our president.

4) Proceed home, scattering a trail of marigold petals and yellow cluster-bomb fragments for los angelitos. Prepare to greet these dead children with candy, sweets, and other treats like clean water, electricity, food, and shelter. Repeat an unknown number of times, but likely in the hundreds.

5) Prepare altars for American and other coalition casualties. Decorate with pictures of the deceased, cigarettes, beer or tequila (save some for yourself, you'll need it), papel picado (use that same precision-guided instrument to cut the paper), yellow ribbons, and Kerry/Edwards (or Cobb, or Nader, or Badnarik, or Dean, or Kucinich) bumper stickers. Repeat 1,244 times.

6) Prepare altars for Iraqi adult civilian casualties. As above, omitting the alcohol. Repeat between 13,000 and 16,000 times. Budget $160 billion for supplies and expenses. If necessary, borrow the money from your unborn great-grandchildren.

7) Remember, Day of the Dead is not a sad time. It's considered disrespectful to the dead to weep, wail, and grieve at the altar. You are allowed, however, to be very, very, very angry.

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