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 15: Podunkitis

The reporters descended on Weazel Sneeze in the fives. In the tens. In the fifteens. Geraldo Geraldo. That woman on Fox. The CNN guy. MSNBC’s liberal in residence. They all showed up. And they all showed up looking for rooms. But there was no room in the inn. Now they knew what Joseph and Mary felt like. Unwelcome. Considering the stars in the sky were not the stars. The news folks were the stars.

Depending on your point of view, it was either awful. For the reporters. Or wonderful. For the people of Weazel Sneeze. This was the perfect opportunity for the country rubes to turn the tables on the big city folks. When the yokels of Weazel Sneeze saw an opportunity, they were not about to turn tail and run. They were smart enough to know these city folk would eat their offerings up hook, line and sinker.

Corncob Jones, former mayor, and now City Councilman in charge while the Mayor was out of town, called a meeting.

The first point of business was the Biannual Washing of the Clyde. That was going to have to wait. Clyde would just have to stink. His stink’em would add a bit of charm to the old home place.

Betty Ann Butt’s offered up a free fix-’em-me-up at the Twirl-and-Kurl to all the natives. Oh, sorry. Indigenous people. In other words, if you were a Weazel Sneezer, you got a makeover free. Like Betty Ann said, “We all want to look good, don’t we?”

Ella of Sam’N’Ella’s All You Can Eat Buffet offered to fix up a a special menu of deep Southern delicacies like hog jowls mixed with a ton of grits, possum innards, fried green ‘maters, and polk salad with fatback as an appetizer. “We’ll throw in some chit’lin’s for good measure.”

“Ella, sweet Ella,” Corncob asked, “why y’all fixin’ all those specialties for them ‘porters? Why don’t y’all do that for us’ens?”

“You never ask,” Ella sprang out.

The piece d’resistance the Weazel Sneezers came up with was a Genuine Weazel Sneeze Moonshine. ‘Course there was no such thing. But Clyde Perkalater had an old timey recipe from his great-great-great grandpappy. It had half-kilt most of that generation. The survivors ended up being tough as nails. Nothing would kill them.

Since the town had so much manure, they figured why not bottle it and sell it. Call the P F Sneeze Cure-all for your aches and pains. The suckers, I mean, the reporters ate it up. The Weazel Sneezers were floating in a landslide of cash. Yes, I realize that’s a mixed metaphor. But this is America. We’re well known for mixing our metaphors.

There was one final question on the agenda. Where we gonna put all these Yankees?

Sam of Sam’N’Ella had the perfect answer. “Over on Slop Hill.” Slop Hill was the local garbage dump. Since the folks in Weazel Sneeze just about kept and used everything, Slop Hill got only the worst of the worst. It was one purgatory of a place. As one reporter put it later, “Gollee gee. I gotta tell you visiting Weazel Sneeze is enough to scare the Episcopalian out of a person.”

The way the localeers felt was the ‘porters deserved what they got. This would teach ‘em to leave well enough alone.

Little did the locals know that Weazel Sneeze was down as the old home place of a future president. There was no such thing as leaving well enough alone anymore. Weazel Sneeze was now a tourist destination. The small isolated community was about to become a World Heritage Site. How ‘bout that for a kick in the rump.

Next Week Campaigning to Beat All

Politics in America 5: Going Shopping Weazel Sneeze Style

Chapter 5
Going Shopping Weazel Sneeze Style

In the previous episode, we learned how auspicious and honorable it was to be the Mayor of Weazel Sneeze. The Mayor had three important functions. Without these functions performed, the town would fall apart. We were given the straight dope on the first two.

Function #1. Step out of the Outhouse and check on his Shadow.
Function #2. The uncorking of the town jug and first drink on Get-a-Snort Day.

Now it’s time to discuss the most important function the local celebrity performed. It was a well-known fact that all the population of Weazel Sneeze were Do-Naughties. That doesn’t mean that the citizens were known to walk around in the buff. Although Clyde Perkelater was known to do el buffo once in a blue moon when his wife kicked him out of the house for not washing. His stunk stank up the town so bad that an anonymous someone inaugurated the biannual Washing of the Clyde.

Like Get-a-Snort Day, this Washing of the Clyde had developed into a festival. All sorts of perfumes and soaps and bathtubs were now sold. There was even a public bathing for anyone who wanted to participated. Talk about lines at the Women’s Restroom at a football game and you can imagine the line that formed for the Public Bathing.

The Mayor was Weazel Sneeze’s delegate to the Big Tent in the Sky, better known as the Do-Naught Party National Convention. It occurred once every quadrennial and had only one purpose. To nominate the Do-Naught Party’s candidate for President. Since it was Leap Year and a Presidential election year, P F Sneeze was going to the Convention. It was a must.

P F wasn’t averse to the trip. Anything to get away from the pig farm and B S. After all, he had taken to being confused who he should be saying “Sooey” to. B S or the pigs? But he was definitely not up to going out and buying a monkey suit. And a tall top hat. To make an impression, it had to be a tall tall hat. Since Weazel Sneeze didn’t have a monkey suit and top hat store, P F had no choice. He had to go over to Snort Holler.

In all his livelong days, P F never left Podunk County. He barely got out of Weazel Sneeze. Why, in the name of all that was holy, could he not wear a pair of his Sunday-go-to-meeting overalls, John Deere cap and Justin-in-cases. If they were good ‘nuff for his great grandpappy, they were good ‘nuff for him. He would have been fine from the tip of his tippy-tippy toes to the hair on Mount P F. And it was a mighty fine white head of hair, waving to anyone passing by. You think The Donald has hair. P F had hair. Not only that but his hair had hair.

You’ve heard of Shotgun Weddings, P F was about to participate in a Shotgun Shopping Spree. Saturday ‘fore the Saturday P F needed to catch the train to go off to The Convention, B S up and pointed a sawed-off shotgun at her dearly beloved and said, “Whether you like it or not P F, we’re going over to Snort Holler and buy yerself a suit and a top hat. It’s either that or you will be cleaning buckshot out of yer behind for a month of Sundays.” P F knew she meant what she said ’cause B S knew how to get things done. She may have been a sweeter-than-homemade-pie Pudding but she was a straight shooter and he didn’t aim to go the way Old Goof-off had gone.

With buckshot up his rear.

Goof-off’s wife had filled her ever-lovin’ twice-cheatin’ hubby with so much buckshot in his ne’er do well that he had to be buried moonside up. P F knew he didn’t want that fate worse than death. So he gathered up his altogethers, rustled up his Model T and headed over to Snort Holler for the first shopping expedition in his entire life. He was going to trade in his homemades for some brand spanking new store-boughts. He had better like it or else.

Next Wednesday, Chapter 6: Off to see the Wizard

A Boxing Day Satirical Christmas Carol

Happy St. Stephen’s Day and Boxing Day to all you celebrants out there.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentle Girls

God rest ye merry gentle girls,
Let nothing you dismay,
Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas,
He was born Thanksgiving Day.
There were no sheep or sheperds,
Only turkeys came to pray.
Oh sure, there were the wise men,
At Massachusetts Bay.

The Pilgrims came by a ship,
Mayflower was its name,
Least that’s what we’ve been told
By those in history’s game.
Pilgrims came with Columbus,
So he could have his day,
And we could have a Thanksgiving
The good, old American way.

Ben Franklin scared the zombies,
Told them to fly a kite.
Abe Lincoln killed the vampires
“Fore they could go out and bite.
A blue-eyed, blonde-haired Jesus,
He’s really the god for us.
If you don’t accept our Jesus,
We’ll kick you off the bus.

Hamlet Interlude 1: It’s good to be the king

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. Henry IV Part 2. Act 3. Scene 1.

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Hamlet Act 1 Interlude. We’ve all thunk the words, “It’s good to be the king.” Perhaps that was what Claudius was thunking. Ham Senior’d ride into the castle courtyard on his big, black stallion, returning from battle victorious over his adversary, Fortinbras Senior, blood still on his sword. All the women drooled over him. Even before he could shake the dust, they were ripping his their bodices off, wanting to have their way with him.

It is at moments like these that Claudius should have reflected on the words of Richard 3 on the Battle of Bosworth Field, “My kingdom for a whore.” Why Richard wanted a prostitute at that particular moment even scholars cannot guess. What motivates a king to say what a king says at any time is often beyond logic.

Richard should have asked for a horse instead. If he wanted a good ride, that would be the best way to go, don’t you think? That way he could’ve gotten out of Dodge real fast. The tides of war were going against him. There was a new sheriff in town and his name was Henry. It was indeed the winter of Richard’s discontent.

One thing was for sure. Richard was no Henry 4. He was more of his namesake Richard 2 than he cared to think. Unlike Henry 5, he could not rally his troops on Saint Crispin’s Day. It was no where near that feast day when he said the “my whore” line, being it was August and all.

So he asked for a prostitute at an inappropriate time. Unfortunately there was no Falstaff to procure one for him. Guess that is what happens when you take on a Tudor. England had asked, “Tu dor or not Tu dor.” And they had decided Tudor would be just fine.

Shakespeare knew a thing about kings. He could easily paraphrase the actor in an ad who said, “I’m not a doctor. I just play one on tv.” In other words, “I’m not a king. I just play one at the Globe.” Don’t forget that Mel Brooks’ Louis 16 stole from Shakespeare when he said, “It’s good to be the king.”

Not.

It was never good to be the king. It drove George 3 mad. If not madness, there was always regicide. And I am not talking Reggie from the Archie comics either. I’m talking guillotine regicide here. Too many kings had lost their heads too many times. If not their heads, other parts of their bodies. Just look at what happened to Nicky 2 in Russia.

One thing was sure. It wasn’t about to happen to Elizabeth Numero Uno, known by one and all as Elizabeth Regina, E.R. Not if she had anything to do with it. She came by her suspicions rightly. She was not forgetting what had happened to her mommy and she was not about to let it happen to her. There were all those English Catholics plotting, and their plots were plotting. They kept saying, “You’re illegitimate.” Of course, she was illegitimate. English rulers all the way back to 1066 and further were illegitimate in one way or another.

E.R.’s strategy: A smell of treason and off with their heads. A lot of folks feel sorry for Mary, Queen of Scots, but don’t. It was her own darn fault. She had lousy taste in men. Even though Mary was caged up like a little birdie, she just couldn’t leave well enough alone. She did her canary impression and sang her head off. Her head literally dropped into the basket.

E.R. knew her history. She knew that her granddaddy poached the crown from Richard 3 who had done his share of poaching. Henry 7 may not have known how to speak poetically. By all accounts he was a plain speaking guy. His son would do that for him. But Seven sure knew how to get a throne. Kick some Richard 3 butt.

Claudius had done what kings always did. He regicided for his throne. Thing was that he didn’t remember his English History 101. He repeated the same mistake Richard 3 did. Richard did a Hansel-and-Gretel and pushed the Princes-in-the-Tower into the oven, then he had them for lunch. What Richard forgot was that there is always a Henry waiting in the wings. Or a Fortinbras. And with some poison claret too.

In Shakespeare’s day, kings mattered. They mattered a lot. The king determined whether the country prospered or suffered. A king was placed on the throne by God and only God could remove him. This was back when folks believed in God, and they knew that you didn’t want to mess with God. You might grow warts or something worse. So, God help you if you de-throned a king. Without a very good reason. And I am talking really good here.

This is why Hamlet hesitated. Hamlet knew he better have a damned good reason to remove Uncle Claudius from the throne. He must be absolutely sure Uncle Claudius murdered his dad. Once he determined Claudius was an assassin, Hamlet not only had the right, he had the responsibility to execute the king.

Shakespeare tackled this question with “Richard II” and his history plays. So he was back in familiar territory. The question he hadn’t answered satisfactorily was what kind of person had the right to do the deed.

If you remember, Bolinbroke had a darned good reason. Richard II stole his inheritance. Yet there were those who never accepted Henry IV as king. They believed what Nixon said in the David Frost interviews. “If the president says it is legal, it is legal.” King Richard II had said the theft was legal.

So what does all this have to do with Hamlet? Elizabeth I, the ruler of Merry Olde England, had enough people try to detach her head that the question was on everybody’s mind. Elizabeth 1 woke up everyday, thinking, “Whose head am I going to have to chop off today?” Her daddy hadn’t raised a fool.

So why did Claudius do it? Why did he murder Ham’s dad? Maybe he fell head over for Gertrude. He returned from Wherever-Claudius-was-returning-from and saw Gertrude. He was beside himself. It doesn’t really matter if that is what happened. He dood the deed. Claudius not only homicided and regicided. He done fratricided. Even Macbeth didn’t go that far. The king was not Mac’s brother. For Claudius, there would be karmic consequences.