Past Imperfect – #583

Note: This is a somewhat-older piece that is just now appearing on Crusty Pie, so please excuse the obvious dated references…

Left to right…

George: “Pray tell me, fellow Unbobble Heads, what am I looking at down there? Is that one of those orange-topped warthogs I read about in National Spyrographic?”

Tom: “Uh, no. Wrong species, but close. That’s a Trump.”

Teddy: “A trump? What the hell is that? Of course, I’m really not sure what you’re talking about because we’re all looking in different directions. Just like Congress.”

Abe: “I spotted something like that running around on my farm back in the day. I shot it. Cooked it up for dinner, too. It tasted like chicken. And denial.”

George: “I’ve never seen anything like that out here in this neck of the woods, which is saying a lot considering how much the people drink around here. I’m always finding beer cans in my personal crevices. And why is it waving its arms like something is lodged?”

Tom: “I guess you guys are behind with your emails. That’s the current president.”

Teddy: “Of what? Saturn? I can smell the noxious gas from here.”

Abe: “Oh, I did get a text about this, even though I ignored it because civilization managed to survive for thousands of years without social media. That Trump thing is holding a political rally.”

George: “Here? In South Dakota? Did he get this place confused with South Hampton? Or maybe South Beach?”

Tom: “He’s not confused. He’s creating confusion, trying to distract his base of supporters from the fact that his astoundingly inept handling of the Coronavirus pandemic is killing Americans.”

Teddy: “And by his supporters, I suppose you mean that unmasked crowd of people standing in front of him, vacant-eyed and drooling like a cast reunion of the zombie extras in The Walking Dead.”

Abe: “I know that vacant look. I saw it a lot during the Civil War, especially when I issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Some people are stunned by the concept of equality.”

George: “Oh, quit with the glorifying of your role in history. I crossed the damn Delaware River in a crappy boat in the middle of the night in the middle of winter.”

Tom: “Yes, we’re all aware of that water-logged accomplishment. You remind us of it every day. And we can’t get away from your reminders because we’re all stuck on this freakin’ mountain together. Still, let’s face the fact that we’ve led sordid lives. After all, you and I both owned slaves in our pre-chiseled lifetimes.”

Teddy: “I didn’t own any.”

Abe: “You weren’t allowed to. Because of my proclamation. See how that works?”

George: “And at least I didn’t sleep with my slaves, Tommy. Not that I recall. Things got a bit blurry after I chopped down that cherry tree and I had to fess up so there would be a good story about my saintly truthfulness in the carefully-modulated American History books.”

Tom: “Gentlemen, I think we’re getting away from the point. What are we going to do about the orange-topped warthog? He’s lying to the American people. We have to take a stand and stop the zombie madness of people ignoring all the health warnings from people who actually understand science.”

Teddy: “Maybe we should wear face masks to show that real men aren’t afraid of doing the right thing? And real women, even though women still didn’t have the right to vote during my administration and I did nothing to change that.”

Abe: “Well, since we’re already dead, that might not be the right approach. Besides, our faces are bigger than Manhattan, so there’s probably not enough tri-folded material in the world to cover our mugs. There’s a shortage, you know. Another result of the warthog looking for love in all the wrong places and avoiding his responsibilities as a human, never mind his Constitutional duties as a president.”

George: “What if we remind people to vote? This is still a democracy, right? Or did I miss a memo?”

Tom: “You might have missed one. Especially the bit about how YOUR administration established the Electoral College, which allows warthogs to be elected president even if they don’t get the popular vote.”

Teddy: “That thing is still around? Damn. No wonder people are protesting in the streets.”

Abe: “And no wonder that much of America is sitting on their asses and doing nothing to bring about change, because they’re confused about how we got here. Is it any wonder that the rest of the world is no longer impressed with the Crossing of the Delaware?”

George: “But that’s my signature move!”

Tom: “It’s time to move beyond just that.”

Teddy: “Do the right thing after centuries of not doing in America.”

Abe: “And finally embrace the true spirit of emancipation, in all forms, even if all four of us and so many presidents after us failed to do so. Life is messy, progress is difficult, but nobody wins if we refuse to look in the mirror and at least try to answer the hard questions.”

Note: Obviously, I’m painting past presidents in a more-glowing manner than they deserve. But I do dream, and I hope, and I would happily take any of them over the current warthog and his legion of drooling zombies. Shout out to various folks with whom I’ve had comment discussions during the past few days: I hope you don’t mind that I usurped some of our words and used them in this little ditty.


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