The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." "...it is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32) akakyakakyevich@gmail.com

Friday, November 13, 2020

When we dead awaken, in this case, not a play by Henrik Ibsen

 

Blarney, the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, is flattery laid on so thin that you couldn’t help but love it, whereas baloney was flattery laid on so thick that you hated it.  And so it is with elections.  A little Chicago-style chicanery here and there livens up the dinner conversation and makes the teller seem dashing and worldly, especially if you don’t live in Chicago and have to live with the consequences of electing and re-electing hordes of grifting and grafting politicians, and causes the Europeans at the dinner table wonder how such an advanced society could tolerate such shenanigans. For example, one can hardly imagine Maximilian Robespierre casting his ballot for Monsieur Macron, Louis XIV seriously contemplating the political ramifications of voting for Marine LePen, or Joan of Arc publicly supporting France staying in the European Union.  And yet here in this our Great Republic, veterans of the Civil War voted for the Democratic Party’s nominee less than two short weeks ago.  I found this bit of news a bit perplexing, given that the last undisputed Civil War veteran, Albert Henry Woolson of the 1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Regiment, died in Duluth, Minnesota on August 2nd, 1956 at the age of 106.  While I think that we must all honor the sacrifices made by the men of the Civil War generation, I do not believe that this homage extends to permitting those same veterans to vote in the 2020 presidential election or even the 1956 presidential election. The question arises, however, if any Confederate veterans voted for the Democratic nominee in Georgia, and if they did, does this make that nominee a racist, an important question in our iconoclastic age.

Here in our happy little burg nothing like this would ever happen.  We live in a safely Democratic state in which nothing untoward ever happens to the Democratic nominee for almost any office you choose to name and therefore no feels the need to stuff the ballot box, except, of course, in municipal elections.  In municipal elections the population of our town awaits with bated breath to find out who Mr. Martin Meehan voted for in this election cycle.  Mr. Meehan was the scion of a lace curtain Irish family—his father was a respectable publican and one of his brothers was a priest and his youngest sister became a nun—but young Martin himself fell in with evil company and became a wastrel, a lout, and an altogether unpleasant young fellow. After his father cut off his allowance, Martin decided to make some money of his own so he could continue his debauched habits.  Not being the sort of person who would ever stoop to or even contemplate actually working for a living, and not being especially bright to begin with, Martin decided to rob a grocery store in the slough of urban despond that lies directly across the river from our happy little burg.

To that end, Martin procured a pistol and a box of bullets.  He fired two bullets for practice and did not hit the empty beer bottle he was aiming at.  Later that day, he crossed the river on the ferry and proceeded to the grocery store, which he then robbed of $12.83.  The owner of the grocery store objected vigorously to Martin robbing him, a trait common to many small tradesmen, whereupon Martin fired two shots at him.  The shots struck the owner of the grocery store in the chest, the man being somewhat larger than an empty beer bottle, and he fell dead to the floor.  Martin, according to the testimony of the eyewitnesses, seemed more than a little nonplussed by this turn of events; apparently he had not given any thought to the possibility of being a murderer as well as a thief; and so dashed out of the grocery store and into the arms of a local constable, who had heard the gunshots and came running. After a brief scuffle, in which the constable broke Martin’s nose and blackened his eye, our heroic flatfoot dragged Martin the two blocks down Broadway to the police station.

Events moved swiftly after that, the judicial system of the time being less constrained than it is nowadays.  Young Martin was found guilty of murder by a jury of his peers and sent up the river, or in Martin’s case, down the river, to a cell in the state’s death house, where he waited a month for the courts and the governor to reject his appeal. Two days after the warden got the bad news from the governor’s office, Martin received the Last Rites of the Roman Catholic Church from his brother the priest.  The brand-new state electrician and his equally brand-new electric chair then swiftly dispatched Martin onwards into that country from whose bourn no traveler returns, except, it seems, in election years.  Martin was only the third person the state electrician had executed with the device and he was the first person the state electrician had gotten the voltages right with, the two previous occupants of the chair having been more roasted than electrocuted. 

Afterwards, Martin’s parents buried him in St. Thomas’ Cemetery, in the family plot near his great-grandfather, where Martin has remained active in local politics ever since.  To my certain knowledge, Martin Meehan is the most loyal Democrat in the county, having voted in every local, state, and national election since the state shuffled him off this mortal coil in 1912.  I think that it is a good thing for Martin to be so involved in politics, a much more remunerative and altogether safer form of crime for everyone involved than robbing grocery stores.  After all, the present Democratic nominee for president has spent most of his life drawing a government salary and is worth $9 million that we know of.  Martin, I think we can all agree, missed his calling in life.  He would have made a fortune if only he had run for the state assembly, a fortune, I’m telling you!

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Saturday, November 07, 2020

NOT. MY .PRESIDENT.

 What the title says, not now, not ever. Resist.

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Friday, October 30, 2020

What's up, Docs?

 Sorry about disappearing again, but it is difficult to satirize 2020 when the year is doing its best to satirize itself. Events have, very frankly, outpaced my powers of imagination. I will try to think of something and let you know how it goes. Enjoy your Halloween!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Return of the Prodigal Son

 

Hello there. I am still alive, despite the best efforts of the superbug and the political leadership of the Vampire State, although calling what we are enduring political leadership stretches the plain meaning of words to the breaking point and beyond. All is vaguely well here: nothing is happening, and I suppose that we should all be grateful that this is the case. Large numbers of people are moving into our happy little burg from the great metropolis to the south and they bear with them the same stupid habits that caused the great metropolis to the south to go south in the first place. The day of the locust has come upon us here in our little town and its ugly name is gentrification. New buildings are going up left and right hereabouts, sometimes literally left and right, as in directly across the street from one another, and the twin edifices, which are bigger than the rest of the buildings on Main Street, of which more later, block the sun, leaving that part of the street in a more or less perpetual shade. What I find interesting here is the rents charged for these apartments.[1] The landlords are charging city rents for an apartment here. I suppose that the landlords think that the city people are used to spending two thousand dollars a month and so won’t complain about the rent—rent  here was eight hundred dollars a month not too long ago—and what the city people don’t know won’t hurt them. Also, the landlords are making the prospective buyer a sweet deal here: two thousand dollars a month in the city buys the interested would be tenant an apartment so small that it would be illegal to house prisoners, pigs, and most forms of bacteria in, whereas two thousand dollars a month here buys you two or three bedrooms, a full kitchen and living room, and maybe a couple of bathrooms as well. Yes, the price is the same as the city, but here, Mr. I need to get out of the city quick, you will have space. Real space. So much space that you can keep chickens here if you want. Fresh eggs, people tell me, are a powerful inducement to move.

But enough bitterness from me. I am alive in a plague year and so I must be happy. Therefore, let me count my blessings. The country is tearing itself apart with mostly peaceful protests, but the country facing this unfortunate circumstance is that portion of the country the Donkeys hold hostage and therefore the destruction is of little consequence. An electorate gets the politicians it deserves and if the people elect doofuses, well then, that is their right, isn’t it? Elections have consequences, a bit of wisdom the former junior senator from Illinois enjoyed annoying the passersby with whenever he had the chance, and if the people asked for doofuses then they deserve the doofuses. One must, in times like these, remember the wise words of the late George Ade, who said at the turn of the 20th century that the people are worth dying for until you put them all in one place and give them the cold once-over, and then they strike the disinterested observer as largely bovine, with a high percentage of vegetable matter.

In any case, I have been doing well, or at least as well as anyone can expect in this time of pestilence. I lost twenty-five pounds and then promptly regained five of those lost pounds, which leads me to suspect that the weight didn’t really leave so much as it took a two-week vacation and is now back to work, happy and refreshed and looking forward to expanding my belt even more. I bought a new computer for my home; Windows 95 is apparently one with Nineveh and Tyre, so it seemed time to ditch the old beige box and buy something new. The new computer is nice, and I am enjoying my big new monitor. There is something to be said for working on a computer that does not cause eyestrain and a headache after fifteen minutes of use. I would like to apologize for the jumpiness of this piece. I have not actually written anything except checks for the past several months and I am now out of practice. Well, that is it for me right now. I will be back, and I hope that all is going well with you and yours.



[1] As well as the prices of buildings. Forty years ago, someone could have bought half of our happy little burg for what the realtors are charging for one building nowadays.

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Sunday, June 07, 2020

Just thinking

So I am sitting here at the coffeehouse at the end of our happy little burg's main street listening to a group of young women in very short shorts--they all have very nice legs, although I realize that it is sexist to notice such things, even at my age--and they are talking about the advantages of various academic degrees and how they can impact one's future earnings. They are all drinking coffee and are very happy with each other's company, as small birds hop around the brick floor of  the outside patio eating the crumbs of various kinds of pastries left behind by the customers. Could the young woman who is planning to become a lawyer help these birds sue this coffeehouse for giving them diabetes, I wonder? Or should these birds just stop eating the crumbs? Again, I wonder.

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Just saying...

Maybe it's just me, but I am growing tired of the whole damn world acting as if we were all still in the third grade and trying to stay away from the kid with the cooties. We are being ridiculous here, people.

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Thursday, March 05, 2020

Squirrel hunting in Washington


Hi Chuck, I'm Brett and this here’s my pal, Neil, and we just come back from the woods out there in Maryland where we was a-shootin' them damn squirrels morning, noon, and night, and we want you to know that we heard your speech the other day and we thought it was a humdinger, you betcha! Why, I don't think I ever heard such a good speech before, no sirree Bob! The thing of it is, though, Chuck, me and Neil was wondering about this here price you was saying we was gonna have to pay. Now, we cracked out our copies of the Constitution and checked up on Article III (the three iii's, well, that's them ancient Romans' way of saying 3, which is understandable, not like V being their way of saying five. Nothing about a V says five to me, but I may just be missing something here) and right there in Article III it says that we get keep our jobs just so long as we behave ourselves and don't get drunk on a Saturday night and go shooting out the lights in front of the Capitol. It'll be a bit of a strain, but I think we can manage that. There ain’t hardly no point to wasting ammunition like that, anyways. So we're not too worried about the price we'll have to pay for getting crossways of you. After all, Chuck, we're both younger than you and we will, in all probability, still have a job here in Washington when you are dead and gone. Remember, Chuckles, we don't gotta run for nothing no more. So, we’ll be seeing you around and, just remember, stay away from them there squirrels!

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