Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ex-Presidents in Family Court (16)

Bush-Clinton Request To Be Made Permanent Team

White House Rocked by News that Former President Bush Plans to Adopt Bill Clinton

The American public has become accustomed to seeing former presidents Bush and Clinton make joint appearances in their work for disaster relief. This morning, however, the ex- presidents made a surprise court visit. The proceedings were so unexpected that Court TV had to rely on video taken by a security camera.

Former President George H. W. Bush petitioned the court to become Bill Clinton’s legal guardian. A lawyer for the elder Bush (one of the few Republican attorneys not working the White House leak case) read a bilingual (English and Lawyer Speak) statement that said Bush stands ready to become Bill Clinton’s daddy.

Representatives from Children and Family Services (former cast members of TV’s “Judging Amy”) confirmed that Clinton wants be adopted. Clinton spoke on his own behalf, which the court allowed with the admonition: “Keep it short; remember, you are not running for office”. Clinton addressed the court without notes, but appeared to be squinting as though he were looking for a teleprompter.

“For all practical purposes, I am an orphan. My natural father died before I was born. My stepfather has been dead for many years; my Mother, Virgina Kelly, author of Leading With My Heart, died a few years ago. I, too, am an author. My book describes my early life and explains how important family is to me.”

The former president choked up for a moment. “But now I live all by myself in a big old house in New York; Hilary stays in Washington and hardly ever leaves her Senate office except to fly to California to raise money for her Presidential Campaign. My dog and I are ready to move to Texas.”

Former President Bush spoke up to say that “Bill is like the son I never had; I know Barbara and I are just the ticket he needs to grow up to be somebody.”

A reporter pointed out that Clinton had already become President. “That’s true. But still we gotta think of the boy’s future. I think he has a good chance to head the U. N. and eventually rule the world. His foreign policy is a lot like mine. With my diplomatic contacts I’m sure I can help Bill with his ambitions.”

A source close to the White House—he double bunks with a Secret Service agent—said President Bush is concerned that his father is spending a little too much time with Bill Clinton. “The guy’s OK to raise money with, but Dad needs to cut out the sleepovers for pizza and movies”.

Another White House source, when asked the President’s response to the news that his father is planning to adopt Clinton, quoted Bush as saying, “I’m calling Mom!”

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Another Greenup Press Week (15)

It’s time to revisit The Greenup Press. You remember the Press, don’t you? It has the weekly scoop on what’s going on in my hometown of Greenup, IL (Pop. 1500). I like to read it and make “smart remarks” about some of the items. As the Press isn’t online (darn), I feel it’s my duty to share. Here are a few highlights since I first covered it in July (Blog No. 6).

Bulletin from the Timothy News:

“Don & Brenda P. spent a few days in Kentucky while there, they took in the World’s Longest Yard Sale.”

(Maybe it just seemed long.)

From the Liberty Hills News:

“Gina M. left Wednesday morning to go back to Northern IL. University for the fall semester. Her uncle Brent B. also took a truck load of things for her. I didn’t know it took so much stuff to go to school, but she says she needs every bit of it. Anyhow she is all moved in and taking training to be a floor counselor in her dorm. The students will all be moving in next week so she will be very busy on those days helping new students get to their rooms.”

(Is this one of those “party” schools?)

“We had a little excitement here in Greenup last week. My end of town was closed off awhile due to a unknown object that was found about one block from me.

It was handled as a bomb threat that turned out that it was not. It sure made a lot of extra work and scare for local and state officials. It was decided that the boxes were meant to trap mosquitoes to check for Niles infected mosquitoes. I feel kind of sorry for the guy that put them out as I bet he sure got in trouble. Anyhow I guess it was good training for everyone. At least we now know we have trained personnel if we should need it.”

(Trained personnel? Let’s have a few names please.)

From Letter To The Editor:

In response to Mr. C.’s letter to the editor, as commander of the American Legion I am at all the dances and we have very little trouble. We did not have any fights at the dance that ended at 1:30. Yes, one young man took his frustrations out on a door.”

(It’s good to know the Commander attends all the dances, but maybe in his next report he could explain the “frustrations out on a door”—sounds sort of kinky, don’t you think?)

From Class Offered Notice:

“On Tuesday, November 1, at 7 pm at Toledo Village Hall, Effingham Center Educators Beverly C. and Pat H. will present “Celebrate the Holidays: Make it Simple”. Beverly will give several holiday recipes featuring a variety of convenience foods. Pat will share simple, inexpensive ideas for quick ways to add a festive look to packaging (gift wrapping). You will also learn about some new small kitchen ware on the market”.

(Sounds like the girls will be selling something.)

From Museum News:

“It would be nice if we had a variety store where one could buy a pair of anklets and things such as this without going out of town”.

(Interesting, but what happened to the Museum News?)

And, finally, from the Jack Oak News (our favorite column):

“Mon. Oct. 10th Keith and Anita B. both kept Doctor appointments in Champaign. We are both going to live unless some unforeseen thing occurs”.

And on that cheerful note, we must bid farewell to the Village of Greenup.

See you next week.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

This Date in History (14), or What Our Ancestors Did When They Thought Nobody Was Looking

On this date (Thursday):

Carrie Nation smashed up her first saloon and told the drunks what she thought of them.

Wilbur and Orville Wright fell off a cliff even though they were wearing feathers.

Thomas A. (for Adele) Edison invented the movies, but closed his studio when the star of The Great Train Robbery, Bronco Billy Anderson, jumped off the screen and left the country with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Susan B. Anthony said of the new coin with her image: “Looks like two bits to me”.

Thomas Jefferson exceeded his credit limit with The Louisiana Purchase; Visa was not amused.

Millard Fillmore, President of The U.S, disappeared. No one missed him.

In 1890 the Census Bureau declared the frontier was closed, which confused thousands of people on their way to Disneyland. Many cancelled their motel reservations.

In 1893 The U. S. allowed people to settle the Cherokee Strip, which further puzzled the pioneers who had bought the Government’s previous story that the Frontier—not to mention The Sands—was closed. (See paragraph 7, line 1, Schedule C above).

Today was the 80th birthday of Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret “The Iron Lady” Thatcher. After a wee bit too much champagne, the old girl called up Argentina and threatened to declare war on them if they so much as looked at The Falkland Islands.

And, finally, an update on last week’s report on the James Brothers: On Thursday Frank and Jesse filed for a divorce. Judge Roy Bean, however, pointed out that the Brothers were never married, which made their petition null and void, not to mention stupid. (After this ruling, Judge Bean—The Law West of the Pecos-- is pretty confident that he’ll be named to the Supreme Court).

Informed sources (barflies) say Jesse is now seeking to be declared an emancipated person capable of living on his own. Sources close to the story (they have cable) indicated Frank thought this was pretty funny.

Spokesmen for both parties say they plan to remain friends, but will be dating others. The Dalton Gang was mentioned as a possibility.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Return of Frank and Jesse (13)

Famous Old West Outlaws Hold News Conference

Skeptical Press Question “Frank and Jesse James”

Famed Duo Attired in Long Yellow Dusters and Three Piece Suits from Warner Bros. Outlet Store

At a hastily called press conference, reporters in St. Louis, Missouri questioned the famous James Brothers. Jesse James read from a prepared statement, managing to hit all the reporters in the front row with his spittle. James was a little hard to follow, as his remarks were more in the nature of a rant, rather than a statement.

“I am sick and tired of reading about all these so-called outlaws, who are trying to horn in on my glory. (His brother Frank glared at him.) Well, our glory. We were the greatest outlaw gang in history. The modern world is going to hell in a hand basket, excuse my French.”

The outlaw was interrupted by several reporters shouting at him (they were in training for the White House press corps). The AP reporter finally got James’s attention.

“Who do you think you’re kidding? I know for a fact that you, ‘Jesse’, are deader than last week’s celebrity. And isn’t true, ‘Frank’, you spent several years in prison after your outlaw career was over?”

Jesse managed to get a word in: “Don’t that beat all. You press guys haven’t changed a bit. To get back to the subject, I am fed up with people who claim to be the West’s greatest outlaws. And don’t get me started on Butch and Sundance—Bob Redford and Paulie Newman—what a pair of fakers! And if I hear another word about the Reno Brothers being the first train robbers, I swear I’ll have a conniption fit.”

James was so overwrought he made a quick gesture towards his inside jacket pocket, which caused an uproar as several reporters hit the floor in anticipation of gunplay.

“What a bunch of weenies”, James said. Even Frank managed a grin.

James pulled out several folded sheets of paper and waved them at the reporters.

“ Speaking of weenies, I’m going to sue those Google Guys if they don’t straighten up. Every time I Google my name all I get is garbage about some biker who married a floozy actress that followed him to the hospital after a stupid accident.”

James stop to squint at his Google search: “Sandra Bullock—that’s the girl friend of the guy using my name. He even says he’s a direct descendent of the outlaw Jesse James. Give me a break. I mean Tom Hanks may be a descendent of Abe Lincoln— though why anybody would want to be related to that Yankee upstart, who claimed to be a Southerner, is beyond me. But I’m here to tell you that I am the original, the one and only Jesse James.”

Jesse was shaking all over himself at the end of this tirade; his brother Frank tried to calm him down.

“Don’t get your drawers in a snit, Jesse! Remember what the Bible says: Do unto others, and do it first.” (The older brother was famous for quoting-- or misquoting--Shakespeare and The Bible).

The elder James led Jesse out of the banquet room. Reporters were still shouting questions at the outlaws who were as oblivious as a couple of ex-Presidents.

“Oh, sure, Frank—show off what a faker you are! You’re always so high and mighty! Why Mom liked you best is the biggest mystery of my life. And another thing, why do people always say Frank and Jesse James when everybody knows I’m the famous one? Answer me that Brother, since you’re so smart…”

The Brothers had left behind a press kit with clippings of their exploits. They were as famous as rock stars in their day (June 6, 1876).

The James Gang included at times the Younger Brothers, The Ford Brothers and their Lincolns, Stacey Keach and The Quaids. The Gang was notorious for trashing hotels, ordering room service, and riding their horses up to the top floor of their hotel.

They liked to order videos of movies that portrayed their exploits. Their critiques were on the harsh side, as they would usually shoot out the TV before the pizza arrived.

Later in the day Jesse James dialed a local TV station from his cell phone while on horseback. He said he and Frank were galloping towards Meramac Caverns, as a local farmer’s barn helpfully proclaimed that Jesse’s hideout was nearby. (The barn also had large lettering inviting them to “Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco”.)

Jesse wanted the press to know he had Googled his name; the first thing that now came up was the AP report of his morning news conference. James was crowing that he was now Ranked No. 1 in Google Search. “It’s about time,” he said.

He rang off shortly afterwards as Frank was heard in the background, “You’ve got another think coming if you actually believe I’m going to stay in a cave overnight!”

The hotel manager later said he saw the James Boys in the alley where their horses were hitched at parking meters, but they galloped off before he could bill them for the room damages.

Local reporters who researched their own newspaper’s files found that James’s death in 1882 had been front-page news. Several men over the years had claimed to be Jesse James—he was often sighted at the same gas station with Elvis.

But this James, said one of the old-time reporters, was the first one to complain about Sandra Bullock.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The U. S. Gets Born (12)

On September 17, 1787 The Founding Fathers adopted the Constitution, an Orphan born in Philadelphia. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton had a stern disagreement over who would be Daddy.

G. Morris (first name always written as G. as nobody then or now could spell it) said he was the Father, as he had actually written the words with his pen, a $0.98 cent Bic, which doubled as a lighter.

Wise old Ben Franklin was in charge of settling disputes. He made a speech about the rising or setting sun picture that was on George Washington’s chair (also his screen saver).

Ben said the Orphan Constitution would survive. (Or something like that: the original video has been lost.) Just to be on the safe side Children and Family Services were called (Ben had just invented the cell phone).

Although the Orphan was now adopted, he had to be approved by the Original Thirteen Colonies who were now states under The Articles of Confederation, Part 17, line 46, Row 6B, except for Massachusetts, which thought it was a commonwealth.

Massachusetts was so confused that it passed The Somewhat Gay Marriage Law, which provided for couples that were not necessarily gay, but were at least moderately cheerful, to be eligible for call waiting and high speed Internet access.

Things became so muddled that James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay (The McGuire Sisters of Journalism) wrote a series of pamphlets to explain the new Constitution, which had citizens shaking their heads and exclaiming: “What the heck are these guys trying to say?”

Sample sentence: “The executive branch will be co-equal with the legislative branch which will be overruled by the Supreme Court unless they are not wearing their robes in which case they will declare themselves obscene”.

The Founders went back to their laptops and wrote still more of the Famous Federalist Papers though the People begged for mercy.

Madison finally made an overseas call for help to Thomas Jefferson, who along with John Adams (the original Adams, not one of his 37 descendents also named John) conveniently managed to be in Paris, France during the controversy. Jefferson said: (this is a direct quote from the original phone log):

“Madison, who gave you my number? Why do you think I crossed the Atlantic if not to get away from your pesky questions? How are you ever going to succeed me as President if you can’t handle a crisis on your own?”

Sensing that his mentor was having a bad day, Madison said Jefferson was cutting out on him.

Jefferson gave phone to John Adams who yelled (to be sure they could hear him in America):

“What’s this nonsense about Massachusetts? What are “gay couples”? Aren’t all happily married couples “gay”? I’ve only been gone two years, and already the Country along with our Mother Tongue is going to hell in a hand basket.”

Jefferson took the phone back to tell Madison to add Bill of Rights to the new Constitution.

Madison said: “What bill? The overseas phone call?” Jefferson gave up, and told Madison to expect a fax with the details.

So the Orphan Constitution had a rough time of it for about two years, which was compounded by much bickering over expense accounts that seemed to indicate heavy drinking by the people’s representatives.

This dust up came about as one busybody delegate had snitched on his brethren. Geo. Washington termed him an old blue nose and gave him a stout cursing; he heartily wished the little you-know-what was in the army so he could have had him flogged.

But after two years of wrangling the Constitution was passed and the new country was poised to live happily ever. There was, however, a little hitch when Geo. Washington was to be sworn as the first President. He arrived at the District of Columbia, but was ten years early as the White House had not yet been built.

“Accursed Yahoo Search!” thundered the General.

He then took an Amtrak special to New York only to be told that the new government had makeshift quarters at the Philadelphia Holiday Inn. “By God! This is worse than a floating crap game!” (This is not exactly what he said, but this is a family blog.)

Washington was so put out by this mix-up that he had his advance man strung up by his heels and made him answer questions from The Press. Washington was a fun guy.

And so the Constitution was no longer an orphan. The original document can be read online with nice exhibits of, for example, G. Morris’s Bic Pen, which doubled as a lighter.

Remember: you are reading this on the Internet-- it has to be true. I’ve lost my original link, but if you Google “G. Morris Bic Pen”, I think you might be surprised.

By the way, I’ll be offline the rest of the weekend.