What Would Will Do?
by Mike Nettleton
The great thing about having Thanksgiving come hard-on-the heels of a presidential election is not having to work very hard on our list of things to be thankful for.
- No more slimy, fact-deprived, how-dumb-do-you-think-we-are-? campaign ads.
- Ditto the presidential debates, which, face it, are just two extremely long campaign ads mooshed together.
- The possibility that Texas may actually be allowed to secede from the union (Don’t let the door hit you in the Amarillo on your way out).
- The election eve expression on Karl Rove’s face. Even if you voted for Mitt Romney, you gotta admit watching the smugness sand-blasted off Rove’s pudgy puss was priceless
- The chance, albeit slim, that our elected officials may actually stop slinging political sewage at each other and come up with some common sense solutions to our nation’s problems.
Yes, the final bullet-point is far-fetched but nowhere in the rules of thankfulness does it state you can’t be thankful for imaginary outcomes.
The presidential debates were predictable, unhelpful and, most importantly to the television networks, not very widely watched. I have a few suggestions to inject a little entertainment value into the 2016 debates and possibly even provide some information that could allow us to make a more informed decision.
- Have a gigantic buzzer and floor-to-ceiling neon reader boards that would erupt when candidates bend the truth. They could flash sayings like: really? really?, your nose is growing, and you must be high!
- Surprise guests could appear, ala the old “This Is Your Life,” T.V. show. From behind a curtain a cheerful voice could say Barack, remember when we used liquid paper and an old Smith Corona to forge your birth certificate? Or, Mitt, how about the time we drove to Provo with a live hippo tied to the roof of your VW van?
- Get somebody a little edgier to moderate the debates. Couldn’t you just see Robin Williams riffing on the candidate’s answers? Or tag-team hosting by Jon Stewart and Rush Limbaugh. It could get noisy, nasty and big funesque very quickly.
Finally, the insults the candidates throw at each other have gotten way too policy wonky. You know the ones: Unemployment during your administration rose by 7.89 decibels, multiplied the consumer price index. Or, My opponent believes lowering taxes on the rich will somehow spontaneously lead to a gravitational rise in the consumer index and eradication of acne. Blah, blah, blah. But what if some of the exchanges went Shakespearean?
Candidate A: My opponent believes in feeding orphans to wild dingoes on Christmas eve.
Candidate B: Scurrilous fallydaddle, thou irksome, brawling, scolding pestilence!
Now the fireworks can commence.
Candidate A: A fine and telling jest, thou base bleating spaniel. But I have invoked nettlesome sculldoggery that shall send smoke billowing from thy bulging codpiece!
Candidate B: Quiet knave, or I shall thrust my pusillanimous foundering phalanges into thy spongy sopping-dog innards!
By the way, if you’re frantically thumbing through your well-worn, college-era paperback of Twelfth Night, looking for the Shakespearean jargon I’ve invoked, chill. I took poetic license with much of it (Oh, okay, nearly all of it). In impeccable iambic pentameter, of course.
There’s a handy web site for any, (including aspiring presidential candidates) to construct their own handy-dandy Shakespearean insults. Just go to www.ariel.com.au/jokes/Shakespearean_Insults.html
Imagine the satisfaction you’ll get, the next time you’re standing behind the lout with two full shopping carts in the 11 items or less line, at shaking your finger and booming out for all in (your supermarket here) to hear;
Away, you mouldy rogue, away! Begone with you, thou starveling, thou elf-skin, thou dried neat's tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-fish! O for breath to utter what is like thee! you tailor's-yard, you sheath, you bowcase; you vile standing-tuck!
This, by-the-by is actual Shakespearean text. But if that’s too much to remember, you could always fall back on the old reliable; Thou sucketh!
Wish as we might, we can’t avoid the next round of political posturing, finger-shaking and smirking. All we can do is remember the bard’s words.
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,