Monday, January 16, 2017

Presidential Inauguration Edition - column

Mack Hall, HSG

Presidential Inauguration Edition

Consider this possibility: at the precise and somewhat tense moment of the transition of governments, one sturdy, crewcut fellow wearing a dark suit and dark glasses officially hands off the briefcase with the nuclear codes to a second sturdy, crewcut fellow wearing a dark suit and dark glasses. An unemployed Ringling Brothers / Barnum & Bailey clown positioned immediately behind them then pops a balloon.

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In reading news and commentary (often a waste of time) one gathers that there are, with many exceptions, two hemispheres of reaction (so to speak) to our next president: slavish demi-worship or equally slavish loathing. The reality is that no president can do much of anything for you or to you. No president is going to pay your car note and no president is going to kick in your door and steal your valuable collection of U.S. National Park quarters.

(Bias alert – Y’r ‘umble scrivener voted, yes, but not for either of the loudest candidates.)

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How grand if the new president with his magic pen and telephone issued an order that Americans may hereafter freely buy bright lightbulbs and capacious toilet bowls without let or hindrance.

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Last week the world came to an end again. Weren’t you paying attention? The evening of the 12th was the Wolf Moon, and Venus was at its brightest in eight years. All this was the eve of Friday the 13th, and so the apocalypse, and, like, stuff, y’know? But maybe the Fates are deferring the Gotterdammerung until Friday at noon.

I blame the Russians. And George Bush. And public schools. And fluoride. And global warming. And Jade Helm operatives flying unmarked UN helicopters out of abandoned Wal-Mart stores. And the Green Bay Packers.

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A D.C. company named Don’s Johns has often supplied portable euphemisms for public events in the 51st-it’s-really-a-state-now. Some of the Trumpistas are taking offense on this occasion, and so the Don’s Johns logos will be covered with blue masking tape for the duration of the inauguration.

This may be related to “trump” as an English slang expression for an unfortunate noisy expulsion of flatus.

Happily, the company is not bilingual, so there are no Don’s Juans. That really would annoy someone: “Get ‘em outa here! Build that wall!”

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The inaugural parade will include military marching units, unless all the soldiers report to sick call with disabling heel spurs.

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No one wants to sing at the inauguration. Disapproval? Threats? Maybe someone needs to hire one of those middle-aged high school prom disc jockeys who never got over the BeeGees, and who has a fog machine and some Star Trek-y flashing lights.

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Gosh, what will President Obama do after Friday? Perhaps he could at last take a vacation.

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And, finally: if government functionaries, newsies, Hollywoodsies, and all the rest of us were to demonstrate as much class and character as Malia and Sasha Obama and Jenna and Barbara Bush, this nation would be a lot happier.


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