|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Thursday, November 17th, 2005
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|President Bush jetted into Virginia last week to give Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore a last minute boost in his close race against Democrat Timothy Kaine. Standing side by side and speaking to cheering crowds of supporters, Mr. Bush, with the pomp and pageantry of the Presidency as his backdrop, made his best case for Mr. Kilgore to the voters of Virginia. Mr. Kaine won the election by a decisive 8% margin.
Republicans running for office in 2006, one eye on their opponents and the other on Mr. Kilgore’s failed candidacy, have without exception reported scheduling conflicts that regrettably prevent them from appearing at the President’s side in the upcoming campaigns. This will leave Mr. Bush with a great deal of time on his hands. Because man cannot live by televised football and mountain biking alone, Laura Bush has taken charge of the President’s leisure.
Mrs. Bush, a former librarian, believes it’s high time George caught up on his reading. Never much of a bookworm, Mr. Bush was asked during the 2000 election campaign what book he best loved as a child. His reply was Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. An excellent choice, but for the embarrassing fact that Carle’s classic was published in 1969, when Mr. Bush was twenty-three years old.
No matter. Mrs. Bush feels that it’s never too late to discover the pleasures of reading, and has produced a carefully calibrated reading list designed to gradually introduce Mr. Bush to the world of literature. Knowing her man better than anyone, she has started Mr. Bush with the classic tales of manly adventure and derring-do many of us first encountered as pre-teens. Nearing sixty, Mr. Bush has experienced for the first time the thrills of such novels as Anthony Hope’s Prisoner of Zenda and C.S. Forester’s Hornblower series, stories of brilliant, debonair, swashbuckling heroes who usually get the girl and always get the bad guy.
His latest discovery: The Scarlet Pimpernel, by the Baroness Orczy. The Hungarian author’s hero is a foppish English aristocrat by day, and a daring adventurer by night. Under his nom de guerre “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, brilliantly disguised, strong and handsome Sir Percy Blakeney leads a band of well-born Englishmen through the bloody landscape of post-1789 France, rescuing French aristocrats condemned to the guillotine under the very noses of the crude, confounded, bumbling revolutionaries. The original 1903 Pimpernel is the father of all caped crusaders, characters such as Zorro, Superman, and every other apparent milquetoast who doffs his alter-ego before heading off to fight evil-doers.
The Scarlet Pimpernel’s trademark is a stylized, printed scarlet flower, always left at the scene of his adventures. Mr. Bush, however, was most struck by the ditty, written by Sir Percy himself, that becomes the Pimpernel theme song:
They seek him here,
They seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven,
Or is he in hell?
That demmed elusive PIMPERNEL!
The President never imagined that literature had practical value, but the good Baroness has changed his mind. Now that such administration catch-phrases as “we fight the terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them here” and “we can’t let the smoking gun turn into a mushroom cloud” have begun to ring hollow, Mr. Bush sees new possibilities in an adaptation of Pimpernel’s ditty. As reluctant a writer as he is a reader, Mr. Bush has nonetheless tried his hand at a composition inspired by the Baroness Orczy. It came to him in a flash one evening, as he tucked himself in to finish Mrs. Bush’s latest reading assignment:
A Pome, while reading The Scarlet Pimpernel
By George W. Bush
We looked for Osama all over the place,
But though he’s got a well-known face,
We caught Saddam instead.
Those Frenchies complain,
Leaving me to explain,
How the other evil-doer had fled.
Is Osama going to heaven? No way.
Is Osama going to hell? I’ll say;
The very minute he’s dead.
I’ll make his goose cook,
Soon’s I finish this cool book,
And haul my sorry ass out of bed.”
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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