A Yodelling Fool

I’ve thought that I’d like to traipse off to Liechtenstein and learn how to yodel when I retire. Sounds kind of impractical, doesn’t it?

Then again yodelling worked for Slim Whitman. His yodel can be heard in Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks”. It’s what destroys the aliens. So I guess there is a use for yodeling after all. Not that I would ever have that opportunity. I’m a real chicken when it comes to invasions.

I hear Liechtenstein is a very nice place. Run by a prince. At one time it was a part of the Roman province of Raetia. Now it’s a Principality. Seems like it would be a good place to retire. Not out to go to war or anything like that. Because it’s so small it has to go the extra mile and get along with its neighbors. It’s the big ones you have to watch out for these days. Like China, Russia and the United States. The bigger the country the bigger the army.

Unless you’re Canada.

A very civilized country, Canada. Lovely people, the Canucks. Didn’t get mad at all at the movie “South Park” and the song in the movie “Blame Canada”. One of the great exports from Canada, The Mackenzie Brothers. Love their “Twelve days of Christmas”.

They had a really fun movie “Strange Brew”. Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot all from Canada. So is Jeopardy Guy, Alex Trebeck.

But all that’s another story. Back to Liechtenstein. The Prince’s family goes all the way back to the twelfth century. And that is a lot of way to go back to. Something like nine hundred years. To have lasted that long and ruled a country you must have something going for you.

Think the country is where Leonard Wibberly based his novel “The Mouse That Roared”. As usual, Peter Sellars was very good in the movie, invaded the United States and all.

Liechtenstein it seems used to be called Vaduz and Schellenberg. Till the family bought them from the Holy Roman Emperor. Seems he was in need of some cash as emperors  usually are. Once they had some land, the family could be taken seriously. These days the country has a low corporate tax so it is overrun by successful businesses. So it should be easy to get a job if I need some extra retirement cash.

‘Course a yodeling gig might just be the thing for a retired Uncle Bardie.

Politics in America 43: The Redcoats are coming

Nothing like a scandal to get Americans going. Americans just love their scandals. Whether it’s over a very small thing: a tip on a stock, a sexual dalliance, an affair.
Or a really big thing like a war. Now that is a scandal. It gets American blood going. Americans get to have parades. Americans get to beat our chests. Americans get to fire off fireworks. Nothing like a war to make the Stock Market go up. The day Congress declared war on Canada, the Dow went up 10,000 points.

The President’s favorability rating was 95%. The 5% that gave him a thumbs down didn’t count. They populated the State of Discontent.

“We’re sending in the Magnificent Seven,” the President told his Secretary of State.

“Who?” State asked.

“You know. The Magnificent Seven. Hokey, Pokey, Smokey, Okey, Dokey, Folksey and Cheese. Those guys.”

“Oh,” State said, mildly surprised that a bunch of over-the-hill actors could do the job.
“They have been ordered not to fire until they hear the ehs with their ears.”

“Don’t you mean,” State asked, “the whites of their eyes?”

“No. The ehs is the plan. Then Cheese is going to put some real whip on their ehs.”
Little did the Americans know the Canadians had a Plan. And it wasn’t going to be pretty. They were sending in the World Famous Gordy Howes.

At the famous Battle of the P F Sneaze Battalion, the Magnificent Seven got their—how shall we say it, yes—American butts kicked. Before you can say “Ping pang walla walla bing bang”, the Americans were suing for peace. The Gordy Howes hat-tricked the Americans into a corner. They never had a chance. Then they sent that Seven who were not Magnificent back home again. It was sad. Real sad. There was not going to be a parade.

Oh, well. It’s not the first war America has lost. I could go through the roster but that would be like watching a comedy that ain’t comedy anymore.

As part of the settlement, the Americans had to take back the State of Mississippi. Another part was that the United States had to call Canadian bacon bacon. Good old American bacon was to be called ham. And ham, what was it to be called? Pork. So what was pork called? Well, that was left to American linguists to figure out.

Since Canada had an overflow of comedians, the United States had to take the excess. Suddenly the United States was overrun by comedians. Jokes, like the tulips of bygone days Holland, became worthless because there was so many of them flooding the states. And the Americans developed an immunity to jokes. So much so that no one laughed. Americans didn’t even crack a smile. The time was called the Really Great Depression because Americans were so depressed.

There was one final thing. The United States had to join Canada and start the Great North American Socialist Medicine Plan. It was a hard blow to American Free Enterprise. Now every American could afford to go to the doctor.

Sure, there might be a line or two. To avoid that dilemma, the Canadian P.M. pointed out, “You need to educate more doctors.” ‘Course the pragamatic never stopped Americans from making darn fools of themselves.

It was a deep blow to Americans but the Americans took it with their chins up. If they had to be defeated, Canada was not so bad. They were thinking of all that money the snowbirds were to spend in Florida now that the War was over.

Next Week What’s Left To Tell

Politics in America 42: The Great Bunion Act of 2019 

One wouldn’t think that the President losing a bunion would be that big a deal. But the Secret Service, the FBI, the CIA, the Dept. Of Homeland Security and the Congress were not letting it go. Especially Senator Butt Nekkid.

He rose to the floor of the United States Senate and spoke eloquently on the loss of the bunion. “The Secret Service has been caught with its pants down,” he began. He continued with a history of famous bunions. There was Alexander the Great’s bunion. There was Julius Caesar’s bunion. On and on he went.

It was Henry VIII’s bunion that brought about his divorce. Ann Boleyn had fallen for that bunion. Their daughter Elizabeth’s was so prominent that people from all over came to see it. All that tourism business made England the richest country in Europe. Cornwallis didn’t have a bunion and, of course, he lost to GW at Yorktown. Napoleon lost at Waterloo because his doctor had operated and removed his bunion. Abe Lincoln kept that Gettysburg Address short because his bunion hurt so bad.

By the time the Senator finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the Senate. Senator Butt Nekkid brought his speech to a grand finale. “This dastardly act must be dealt with. This assassinator, Stever the Cleaver, must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. He will be executed for the traitor he is. And an illegal alien at that. Then, after we have our justice, he will be sent to the depths of hell and the devil his ownself will take care of his eternal soul.

“And finally we must pass an Act of War against Canada. Not only do we have to deal with those darn geese and jokes of mass destruction. They are now attacking our bunions.”

Then there was the United Nations Comedic Weapons Commission. The Commission’s inspections had discovered Jokes of Mass Destruction in Ottawa, in Toronto, in Montreal and in Vancouver. They didn’t find any in Yukon Territory because they weren’t about to go up there and freeze their you-know-whats off.

Under the leadership of Senator Boll Weavel, the Congress voted a Declaration of War against Canada.

Upon hearing of the war, John Tory, the British prime minister, said, “Things just aren’t, are they?”

“I’m afraid so, PM, I’m afraid so,” said the Minister for Affairs-Having-to-Do-With-the-Americans, better known as AM.

“Now they’ve gone and mucked it up. And if I know them, they’ll muck it up some more.”

“I say, it is rahther, isn’t it?” AM commented. “It is rahther late in the day to stop this back-and-forth in the Colonies. Before you know it, it will be high noon. And what then?”

“I suppose it’s jolly good fun for the Americans. At least for now. But just you wait. Those Hockey Pucks will make tea and crumpets out of the Rebels. If they don’t, then my name is not John Tory.”

But, of course, his name was John Tory, the Jolly Good P.M. who would later become Sir John Tory, the Jolly Good Lord. And eventually the Jolly Green Giant. And that was all that the Brits and their stiff upper lips had to say about the matter.

Next Week What about the Aussies?

Politics in America 41: Another Shot Heard Round the World 

You’ve heard the saying, “Oops, there goes another rubber tree.” Well, it’s that time in this story to say, “Oops, there goes another rubber tree.” And Thomas Jefferson couldn’t have said it better himself.

There was this bullet meant for Bessie Mae Hogg. Big Al Fresco had sent Stever The Cleaver to eliminate the pig. Well, not eliminate the pig. Just give her a scratch. This would take the President’s mind off invading Canada. At the last minute, Big Al realized that The Cleaver was a Canadian.

Rule Number One: When hiring an assassin to near assassinate a Presidential pig, please check where the assassinator is from. Big Al had not done that.

When he realized his mistake, Big Al Fresco decided to take things into his own hands. A second time. You would think he would learn that the Pickled Finger of Fate never leaves a situation alone. The problem for him and us is that we never ever know where it’s going to point. We never know when we will end up as fungus between a dinosaur’s toes. As Old Murphy used to say, “What must go wrong, must go wrong.” Things were about to go wrong. For Stever The Cleaver. For Big Al Freso. For the President of the United States.

It was a dark and stormy night as Big Al snuck up on The Cleaver. Stever was aiming his gun at the pig when whop. Big Al tackled him. The gun went off. Instead of heading for the pig, the bullet headed for the President in the Presidential wee wee room.

It sped through the keyhole just as the President zipped up and turned and lifted his foot to re-tie his shoe lace. The bullet smashed into the shoe and took out the President’s bunion. The bunion that had been hurting for over a week. That bunion. Then the bullet crashed into the Presidential wee wee room wall and there it stopped. P F Sneaze’s bunion was attached to it.

In the Oval Office, the Vice President and the Ambassador from Some-Godforsaken-Place-He-Couldn’t-Pronounce heard a gigantic sigh of relief coming from the President’s wee wee room. For the first time in weeks, that bunion didn’t hurt. The President’s foot finally had some relief.

Needless to say that bunion was not about to become the Comeback Kid.

Next Week It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. 

Politics in America 37: JMDs, The Chapter You’ve Been Waiting For

The pizza was the last straw. P. F. Sneaze was not in a good mood. His tongue was numb from the pizza. It had been scalding hot.

The Great Man called in the directors of the C.I.A., the FBI, the Secret Service.
“Someone has been trying to assassinate me,” he told them in no uncertain terms.

“But, sir, it was only a pizza,” the Director of the Secret Service said. He had gone where no man had gone before. He had disagreed with the President.

Did anyone argue with George W. Bush when he wanted to go to war with Iraq? Did anyone argue with Bill Clinton about that intern? Did anyone argue with George H. W. Bush when he chose Dan Quail for a running mate? Did anyone argue with Ronald Reagan when he sold weapons to the Iranians so he would have money for the contras? Did anyone argue with Jimmy Carter when he did that malaise speech? Did anyone argue with Dick Nixon about those tapes? No. They wouldn’t dare. You just don’t argue with a President.

Then the President dropped the big one. And I mean it was yuge. “In the history of sovereign states, there has never been a dastardlier deed performed by one Sovereign State against another Sovereign State.”

The Directors wanted to ask what the heck the President was tawking about. But they knew they had better hold their tongues. It was bad etiquette to interrupt a President, especially in the Oval Office.

“It’s JMDs,” the President continued.

“JMDs?” the Directors all said at once.

“Jokes of Mass Destruction.”

There was incredulity on the faces of the Directors. In case you don’t know what “incredulity” means, I’m going to tell you. It means they didn’t believe what the President had just said.

“Have you ever heard a funny American?” the President asked. “Of course not. Oh, sure. We occasionally get someone who gives us a little chuckle. But we just are not funny. And there’s only one country to blame.”

The Directors had to agree. The President did have a point. They wracked their brains trying to come up with someone. They went down the list and no one but no one was that funny who had been born in the U S of A lately. Even Seinfeld didn’t pass the test. They had watched Seinfeld for years but none of them had ever laughed. His show was about nothing, and nothing was ever funny. The last funny American was Will Rogers, and that was because he was from Oklahoma.

“It’s Canada. They’ve been dropping Jokes of Mass Destruction on us for years.”

The Directors’ incredulity was now going into overtime. They just couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

“Jim Carey, Dan Ackroyd, Mike Myers, Martin Short, Seth Rogen, Leslie Nielsen, Norm MacDonald, Catherine O’Hara, Dave Thomas, Caroline Rhea, Tommy Chong, Maggie Cassella. These are either making Americans laugh from their comedy. Or they are writing stuff for others that was the funny stuff. And that Lorne Michaels. He’s the worst. Saturday Night Live my belt buckle. It isn’t live. It’s pre-recorded.”

The Directors’ faces were giant saucers of unbelievability at what they were hearing. But it was true they realized. All true.

“The pizza was the last straw. It was the Canadian bacon on the pizza that burned my mouth to high heaven.”

“Canadian bacon?” CIA asked.

“Canadian bacon,” the Great Man said, “is not bacon. It’s ham. It’s ham. I ought to know. I am a pig farmer after all. We only want real bacon in these United States of America. If it ain’t bacon, it ain’t bacon. So from now on, the USDA will have to certify that bacon is actually bacon before it can be called bacon.

“On top of that, Canadian geese are using America for a rest stop. Have you ever tried to clean that Canadian geese poop off your car. It just can’t be done.”

“The rule of thumb, Mr. President,” CIA said with the wisdom of the years he had served, “is never go to war with a country we can’t beat. We can’t beat Canada.”

“Aw, c’mon. We’ll kick their butts from here to Nome, Alaska.”

“Sir, please don’t say butt in the Oval Office. The Oval Office doesn’t like it.”

“Canadians,” the President screamed, “are shooting off jmds at us like crazy. And all you can say is ‘Don’t say butt in the Oval Office.'”

The Directors had never thought of it this way.

“Gentlemen, the day they delivered that pizza with ham from Canada on it is a day that will live in infamy. Tomorrow I will address a Joint Session of Congress and ask that we declare war on Canada. I, and the American people, are fed up with those Canadians making fun of us. And getting us to pay them for it.”

“But, Mr. President,” the FBI Director said to everyone else’s chagrin, “the Canadians now own Mississippi and they have that snow pipeline.”

“Well, we’ll just have to do something about that, won’t we?”

“Instead of going to war immediately,” FBI said, “why don’t we get the world on our side. We can send in the United Nations Joke Inspectors.”

Next Week Why Did Big Al Do a Darn Thang Like That?