Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lick This

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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? And speaking of politics, I remember it was 40 years ago this time of year that as a young man I had precociously packed up the horn I played on the Eugene McCarthy presidential bandwagon ’cause Bobby Kennedy was now my guy but good. In 1968 you could not vote unless you were of the age to be legally drunk. In 1968, you may not have been old enough to vote for the commander-in-chief, but you could be old enough to be blown to smithereens in a Southeast Asian jungle. God bless democracy.

And now 40 years later, I like to think that I find myself squatting on the cusp of the presidency of these United States, because I believe that the legal age for drinking and voting is 18, maybe even 16, and that the legal age for aiding your country in a military way is 21, no less. Granted, The Art Kumbalek Democracy Express 2008 For Any and All Political Office, even at this late date, is not on everyone’s punditical radar, but just so you’s know, I foresee a deadlocked Democratic National Convention that can only turn toward a working-class guy like me—a bitter guy, perhaps, but a bitter guy who’s got no truck with guns or gods on homeland turf, what the fock.

So screw an essay this week, instead I’m headed over by the Uptowner tavern/charm school situated at the corner by Center & Humboldt, where I’m to meet up with my campaign brain trust so’s to figure a Democratic dream team of “Kumbalek/and-somebody-else.” Tag along if you like, but you cover the first round. Let’s get going.

Emil: All I’m saying is I can’t believe nobody complained about how sexist the National Football League Draft was this year. Not one gal got picked. You can look it up.

Little Jimmy Iodine: That is odd. Cripes, they even got woman drivers in the Indianapolis 500 now in this day and age. I wonder if those race cars come with a rear-view mirror so the ladies can check their make-up at the pit stop.

Julius: Come to think of it, I don’t think a football team has ever picked a lady for their draft in all the years, ain’a?

Herbie: That’s probably technically true; although, don’t forget that the Packers chose Jamal Reynolds back in 2001. Didn’t somebody say about him that the “the guy looks like Tarzan but plays like Jane,” or am I thinking of some other guy?

Ray: I remember that guy. Seems he never got on the field. They would’ve been better off drafting Debbie Reynolds. At least she could’ve contributed a nice “Star Spangled Banner” before the game.

Ernie: Debbie Reynolds. I wonder if Frank Sinatra ever bagged her.

Herbie: What the fock are you talking about?

Ernie: Frank focking Sinatra. That’s what I’m talking about. I was at the post office the other day for stamps and they got Frank Sinatra on them. I got the ones of the younger Frank, before his head got like a helium balloon.

Julius: I got some of those, too. Forty-two focking cents a stamp, now. What the fock, they make these stamps out of gasoline?

Herbie: I’ll tell you, when the postage stamp hits 50-cents a pop, you’re going to see riots in the streets. When comes the time the American family can’t even afford to mail a nice birthday card to Auntie what’s-her-name, is the time we better learn to speak Arabic and ride a camel, ’cause what the fock. Amen.

Emil: How come they don’t put Benjamin Franklin on the stamp anymore?

Herbie: In America if you don’t sing and if you don’t dance for the TV, forget about it. Ben Franklin. What did he do? He flew a kite and had a dime store named after him. Big focking deal.

Little Jimmy Iodine: Hey. Artie! Over here. Put a load on your keister.

Art: Hey gents. What do you hear, what do you know.

Ernie: Herbie was wondering if Frank Sinatra ever bagged Debbie Reynolds.

Art: Focking-A, hell yes. They were in a movie together, The Tender Trap, 1955. Enough said. Alot of people think of Frank with the nickname of “Chairman of the Board.” But I’ll tell you, if I’d been his publicist, he’d be known as the “Chairman of the Broad.” And speaking of broads, fellas. You think I ought to have a lady as my vice president when I get elected?

Ernie: Why the fock not. How ’bout Cindy McCain? She’s a blonde.

Ray: Is that the Republican rich gal who was an airline stewardess in a past life?

Herbie: Artie can’t run on a ticket with Cindy McCain. She’s already married to the Republican guy running for president.

Little Jimmy: But she’s a blonde who knows from reconstructive surgery.

Artie could use that. Plus, according to some places on the Internet, I’ve seen that blondes of a certain age have been known to swing—even Artie’s way.

Ernie: I don’t know about Cindy as Artie’s VP. I haven’t heard her say much but every time I see her, I think of this story: So this blonde woman is driving the highway and notices she’s low on gas. She stops at the Citgo and while pumping, notices that she locked the keys in the car. She goes inside to pay and asks the attendant for a coat-hanger.

Ten minutes later, the attendant comes out to see how come the gal is still at the pump. Outside the car, she’s moving the hanger around and around while the blonde inside the car is saying, “A little more to the left...a little more to the right!”

(It’s getting late and I know you got to go, but thanks for letting us bend your ear ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.)

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