A little piece of humor
Courtesy of Francois Rabelais:
It was early March 2014, and Washington, D.C. was all atwitter, as the impeachment trial of Barack Obama was about to begin. Five counts of impeachment, charging the President with violating the Constitution and public trust by 1) waging war without Congressional approval; 2) killing American citizens without due process; 3) implementing a policy of Nazi genocide against the American people through denying them medical care; 4) aiding and abetting enemies of the United States in war against them, including the al-Qaeda terrorists; and 5) promoting the cause of Nazism, through material and other support of Nazi groups out to overthrow legitimate governments of friendly nations, had been voted out of the House Judiciary Committee, and passed by the House.
The Senate was now considering the issue.
Obama had to do something.
Obama was getting perturbed. He had always relied not only on his British sponsors, but on his gift of rhetorical skill, which, in his own brain, had succeeded in fooling all of the people, all of the time. After all, people loved to hear him speak — even if he did turn around and destroy their lives with policies of economic and military destruction.
But this time, it hadn’t worked — and he was on trial.
Suddenly, an idea came to him. Why not rely on a lawyer of great reknown from another age, one celebrated through the ages as a master of the mellifluous word and logic, one who served, in fact, as his own role model in confounding audiences? Who else, but Great Lord of Suckfist!
Take the opening lines of Suckfist’s plea before the great Pantagruel, back in the great trial chronicled by Rabelais. What an inspiration! To wit:
“My lord, and you my masters, if the iniquity of men were as easily seen in categorical judgment as we can discern flies in a milkpot, the world’s four oxen had not been so eaten up with rats, nor had so many ears upon the earth been nibbled away so scurvily. For although all that my adversary hath spoken be of a very soft and downy truth, in so much as concerns the letter and history of the factum, yet nevertheless the crafty slights, cunning subtleties, sly cozenages, and little troubling entanglements are hid under the rosepot, the common cloak and cover of all fraudulent deceits.”
How eloquent! How convincing! Obama was sure that Lord Suckfist’s argumentation could get him off the hook!
Obama proceeded with his normal self-confidence, quoting from the great Lord Suckfist. Confronted with the charge of going to war without Congressional approval, he boldly asserted:
“I had a consultation upon this point with my masters the clerks, who for resolution concluded in frisesomorum that there is nothing like to mowing in the summer, and sweeping clean away in water, well garnished with paper, ink, pens, and penknives, of Lyons upon the river of Rhone, dolpym, dolopof, tarabin, tarabas, tut, prut, pish; ….”
Interruptions from the Judges—”Make yourself clear! Answer the charge!”
Taken aback, Obama, after taking a consoling look in the mirror, cleared his throat and began again:
“My lords, believe not when the said good woman had with birdlime caught the shoveler fowl, the better before a sergeants’s witness to deliver the younger son’s portion to him, that the sheep’s pluck or hog’s haslet did dodge and shrink back in the usurers’ purses, or that there could be anything better to preserve one from the cannibals than to take a rope of onions….”
Shouting again from the judges. “Make yourself clear!” This was not working; yet, a desperate sweating Obama pressed on, quoting the quintessential Lord Suckfist again:
“Now, if the dice will not favour you with any other throw but ambes-ace and the chance of three at the great end, mark well the ace, then take me your dame, settle her in a corner of the bed, and whisk me her up drilletrille, there, there, toureloura la la; which when you have done, take a hearty draught of the best, despicando grenovillibus, in despite of the frogs, ….”
The judges, the senators, could take no more. They were faced with the need to either condemn the accused as insane (the 25th Amendment)—or take some other extraordinary measure, as the fate of the nation was at stake.
Again, the great Rabelais came to the rescue. The wisdom came from his Pantagruel, who, in his disquisition on law before the trial of Lord Suckfist vs. Lord Kissbreech, had made the most perfect sense: “Seeing the laws are excerpted out of the middle of moral and natural philosophy, how should these fools have understood it, that have, by G—, studied less in philosophy than my mule? In respect of human learning and the knowledge of antiquities and history they were as truly laden with those faculties as a toad is with feathers.”
Thus, Pantagruel concluded, the only real basis for law is the “real truth,” which he vowed to pursue in the course of the great trial before him, or “make [the plaintiffs] shorter by the head, and take it from off your shoulders to show others by your example that in justice and judgment men ought to speak nothing but the truth.”
With that standard before them, the Senate convicted Obama. The Congress proceeded to pass Glass-Steagall, creating the conditions to build its way back. Rabelais would have been most pleased.
The Case of the Crumpled Stiltskin
There once was a very foolish and ambitious miller who had occasion to visit the King. He told the King he had a beautiful daughter who could spin straw into gold. The King, who was notoriously greedy, ordered the miller to produce his daughter the next day. When the beautiful girl arrived, the King threw her into a room full of straw with a spinning wheel and ordered her to spin the straw into gold—or face instant death.
As soon as the King left the room, the girl began to cry. Suddenly, a strange tall man with big floppy ears appeared out of nowhere and asked her why she was crying. Before she could get out a word, the tall stranger declared that he was the most powerful man in the world. Nothing like me ever was! The man had a strange odor, but the young girl answered. When she explained, the man asked her what she had to give him in return for his spinning the straw into gold. She offered her necklace. The odd man accepted, ordered her to stand in the corner with her back to him, and sat down at the spinning wheel and produced a pile of gold. He finished the job and walked off with the necklace.
When the King saw the next morning that the straw had indeed been turned to gold, out of avarice, he took the girl to another larger room with much more straw, and delivered the same demand. Right after the King left, the same ugly man with the protruding ears appeared and asked again what the girl would offer in return for his spinning the straw into gold. The girl offered her ring and the bizarre man set about spinning once again, under the same orders to her to turn her back on the process.
The next day, the greedy King repeated his demand and put the girl in a cavernous room filled from floor to ceiling with straw. Again the weird ogre appeared, with the same offer. The girl pled with him that she had nothing left to offer. The ogre said that he would once again perform the miracle if the girl would promise that if she became Queen, she would give her first born child to him. Since the girl had no expectation of ever being Queen, she readily agreed and the disfigured character did his work once again.
But low and behold, the King did take her hand in marriage, and soon after becoming Queen, she gave birth to a lovely child, whom the Queen adored.
Suddenly one night, the ogre appeared to demand his payment. The Queen pled with him to take half the Kingdom’s fortune but spare the child. The monster of a man refused, but offered a bet: If you can guess my name in the next three days, the sadist offered, you can keep the child. If you fail, the child is mine.
When the evil man left, the Queen summoned her most trusted royal intelligence aides and sent them off to come up with a list of every conceivable name in the Kingdom. In the back of her mind, the Queen was worried: The evil ogre with the big floppy ears did not resemble any citizen of the Kingdom that she had ever seen. He was clearly from a foreign land. Nevertheless, she had her loyal spies compile the list.
For two days in a row, the evil genie with the obscene ears showed up to demand that the Queen guess his name. With each wrong answer, he became more manic, more demonic and more self-satisfied. On the second day, he showed up with a large round ball, which he dribbled incessantly, to further aggravate the desperate Queen.
That night, the Queen summoned her most trusted aide to confer on what to do. They had exhausted every conceivable name, and, as feared, none had matched the twisted, big-eared stranger. The aide had a proposal. There is a man, Mr. L, who is renowned for his powers of mind. Somewhere, in the brief encounters with the deformed-ear brute, some slip of information must have come out that could lead to the truth. If any man in the Kingdom can divine the answer from those shards of information, it is Mr. L, the aide promised. The Queen ordered him to summon the man to her quarters immediately. An hour later, the aide returned in the company of an aged man, but of clearly sound mind, who patiently asked the Queen to provide a precise description of her half-dozen encounters with the evil schemer. Upon completion of the gentle interrogation, Mr. L left the castle and set out on his mission.
He returned at dawn with a small sheet of paper, which he presented to the Queen. The paper contained a number of names—seemingly random combinations of first and last names. Mr. L explained: Your scoundrel is, indeed, from a foreign land, although he attempts to pass himself as a native. And by the way, your highness, he is not a magician but is in fact a crude charlatan. He has no magical skills to weave straw into gold. He in fact stole the gold from the King’s own treasury. While you had your back turned, he merely disposed of the straw in the sack holding the gold and made off with the straw. Your gullible King was so anxious and so overcome with greed that he bought the fool’s tale. I do suspect that, over the course of the three trials he genuinely fell in love with you, captivated by your beauty and innocence. He is a better man—and perhaps less of a fool for the experience.
And now for your large-eared swindler, you may rid yourself of him forever, by confronting him with his name—not one name, not two names but many names under which he has lived and conspired for his adult life.
The Queen was overwhelmed with gratitude for the kindly efforts of Mr. L. She dared to press him further: How did you learn all of this? Mr. L explained.
You mentioned a large round ball, you described his most graphic feature—his enormous ears, resembling an elephant more than a man. You noted a strange odor. I knew of only one such man, who was said to dwell in a corner of the forest surrounded by a small field of green plants, which he ritualistically burns at night, sticking his nose right up close to the fire and deeply inhaling. When he partakes of this ritual, he becomes rather mad, mumbling to himself, staring in a nearby pond to partake of his own distorted image, which he clearly admires beyond all human reason. When I came upon him just hours ago, he pranced about in self-praise, chanting his silly poem, gloating at the prize he was about take from you:
She knows not my name, she knows not my fame. I am the One, the Barry, the Hussein, the Barack, the Soetoro, the O-o-o-so-obama.
Mr. L had one final word for the Queen. He apologized in advance for using some unchoice words in the presence of royalty, but felt it essential to complete his narrative without a missing detail. The man, Mr. L explained, at one point was so enthralled with himself and his anticipated conquest that he stripped naked, revealing a most disgusting and shocking sight: He had a severely crumpled stiltskin (Mr. L was simply too embarrassed to use the proper term, foreskin), clearly the result of some horrible childhood disease or accident. At the moment of exposure, Mr. L had been so shocked that the only words that came to his mind were: What a weird schmuck!!!
The Queen dismissed Mr. L with the utmost gratitude, still blushing from the final revelation. She awaited the arrival of the evil One. She did not have to wait long. Soon after dawn, BO arrived. More smug than ever, now reeking from the foul odor of the weed, which simultaneously gave his skin the bizarre appearance of an albino coming out of a deep, dusty mine shaft, the ear meister demanded the answer: What is my name?
The Queen, now savoring every delicious moment, inquired: Is your name Hillary? Noooo, the distorted creature replied, noting with glee that the Queen’s child was asleep in the corner of the room wrapped in a pink blanket.
Is your name Barry, or perhaps Barack, or perhaps it is Hussein, Obama, Soetoro—or, perhaps, all of the above.
Upon hearing his names and realizing that he had been thoroughly unmasked, the swindler went into a wild tirade—a cross between an infantile screaming and crying fit and an epileptic seizure. He stomped on the ground and grabbed his huge ears, pulling them in every which way. He fell to the ground pounding the floor with such ferocious rage that he actually crashed through the wooden planks of the floor and broke into so many mangled pieces that he was unrecognizable—except for the large ears which continued to flap well after the evil One was never seen again.
And America lived happily ever after.