Fred Throws Sombrero in Ring
by Fred Reed:
I see that
I shall have to take over the helm of the country to save it from
the impending collapse. It has come to this. I have always said
that I would undertake the presidency only under an assumed name
who would want that on his résumé?
but noblesse oblges. What could be nobler than this column?
You may say,
But Fred, how can you be so bloody arrogant as to think you
can run the country? To which I reply, We know that
the incumbents cannot. I may be able to. In any event, I
couldnt be worse: I have not that talent. Which do you prefer,
assured disaster or a sporting chance?
the key to a successful campaign is a bumper sticker of supernal
stupidity and irrelevance. I can play that game. How about A
Fred in Every Pot. Or Tippecanoe and Frederick Too.
Or Better Fred than Dead. Or "Fred...Ahhhh."
Or, most pertinently, Well, Have You Got a Better Idea?
It is my understanding
that as a candidate, I need a platform. I think this means a pack
of rhythmically mendacious platitudes that would put a crank freak
to sleep. I shall try to do better. The following appear to me serviceable:
policy: We dont have one. The last time the military defended
the United States was 1945 the United States, remember, being
that place between Canada and Mexico, a region that does not include
(recent graduates, check your atlas) Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Albania,
Yugoslavia, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Iran,
Nigeria, or Yemen.
Do not misunderstand
me. I am as patriotic as the next guy, and consequently happy to
kill remote strangers for no reason, and their wives, children,
dogs, and flocks. Unfortunately, we can no longer afford it. Do
you know what bombs cost these days? Thus we must either find a
cheaper means of terminating Afghan children, perhaps by poisoning,
or else, on purely economic grounds, we must restrain the Pentagons
under my administration all military officers will be required to
wear pink tutus, toe shoes, and brassieres with expandable boob
compartments. This will discourage history majors in arrested development
from becoming lieutenants and strutting around like Genghis Kahn
simulacra. An army of ballerinas will be much less troublesome.
With each promotion
officers will get larger inserts of high-density silicone, so that
they get back trouble and retire. David Petraeus will be instantly
issued an udder.
Is this not
pilots of military helicopters will be required to go into combat
with their children strapped to the skids. This will calm martial
enthusiasm. (I was going to use the pilots wives, but on reflection
realized that this might lead to an insatiable thirst for war.)
I will institute schools. This will be a novel concept in a nation
accustomed to day-care centers intended to keep the young off the
labor market, introduce them to drugs the purchase of which sustains
the Mexican economy, and, so as to prepare them for jobs in odious
bureaucracies, inure them to levels of boredom that would cause
a stone post to crumble.
To this end
I will put a bounty on education theorists, offer taxidermy at public
expense, and convert teachers colleges into repositories for radioactive
waste (Wait: They might mutate. The consequences could be incalculable.
Ill have to think this over carefully). The schools will teach
reading (phonetically) writing (grammatically) and arithmetic (without
calculators). Otherwise their entire staffs will be fed to colonies
of army ants. Brazil has lots.
I am replete
with ideas for scholarly progress and social improvement. For example,
any student who curses or assaults a teacher will be expelled, instantly
and forever. (But Fred, you say, The poor things,
they will end up in prison. Exactly. They would anyway. Lets
get them started. Think of it as advanced placement. We could call
it Head Start.)
Next, I will
end affirmative action, specifically to include the admission to
Ivy schools of dull-witted white legacies. This admirable policy
would have protected us from Bush II, who on his merits couldnt
have gotten into Yale with burglar tools. It will make the federal
bureaucracy functional again. Everything will be done without regard
for race, creed, color, sex, or national origin, except cheesecake
photography. The underlying principle is the recognition that if
you hire people because they cant do a job, they wont.
TSA: I am told
that in Africa there are enormous silver-backed gorillas that can
crush a coconut one-handed. I will station one of these at every
airport gate in the country after suitable training. After an employee
of TSA gropes a passenger, the gorilla will grope the TSA employee.
This will doubtless result in a degree of attrition and, one hopes,
frequent emasculation. Those who stay on the job will work naked
to promote a sense of oneness with the public.
intend to institute the National Sausage Act, requiring that all
other officials of Homeland Security be passed through a large industrial
grinder. They will then be packed into sausage skins before being
fed to undiscriminating sharks. This promise alone should result
in my election by a grateful nation.
The first into
the hopper will be that awful woman who records the airport warnings
in that condescending almost gurgling elocution-major voice that
sounds as if she wants to suck the microphone. There are limits
to what we can bear. Well, there ought to be.
Next, I will
have members of Congress officially designated as ducks by the National
Park Service. States vary as to when duck season opens, but this
is a matter of States rights. For a small license fee in the capital
itself, citizens will be permitted to erect duck blinds along Pennsylvania
Avenue. I imagine the use of duck calls which will squawk, Quaaack
Pork, graft, corruption, little boys awwwk!
We now have a situation in which heterosexuals believe that marriage
exists to produce children, while homosexuals pursue their own ends.
(Actually they pursue each others ends, but never mind.) As
president of all Americans, I cannot discriminate. It seems to me
that I must either outlaw all marriage entirely by executive order,
or allow to all citizens the creativity that has made this country
I will thus
allow same-sex marriage, as well as polygamy, on the principle that
the state has no place in the bedroom. Combining same-sex marriage
with polygamy, I imagine whole matrimonial platoons, with a sense
of community and perhaps ID cards. In fact, I see no constitutional
barrier to marriage between species. Why should a man not marry
Fido? It is a question of individual conscience. We could introduce
children to nonjudgmental attitudes with books called Mommy
Ha. I cannot
lose. See you in November.
is author of Nekkid
in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well, A
Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be, Curmudgeing
Through Paradise: Reports from a Fractal Dung Beetle, Au
Phuc Dup and Nowhere to Go: The Only Really True Book About Viet
Nam, and A
Grand Adventure: Wisdom's Price-Along with Bits and Pieces about
Mexico. Visit his
© 2012 Fred Reed
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