A Wake in Progress
So no time for an essay from me this week ’cause I’m on my way to meet up with the gang to celebrate mankind’s greatest invention over by the Uptowner tavern/charm school situated on the majestic corner of Center & Humboldt. So come along if you feel like it, but you buy the first round. Let’s get going.
Little Jimmy Iodine: You bet, Herbie, it’s the 75th anniversary since Finnegans Wake came out—1939, same year as Wizard of Oz. I might reread it this summer ’cause I can’t remember if the butler did it, or was it the gardener?
Ernie: Any you’s guys been by that big Harry Houdini exhibit they got at that museum up by Appleton there?
Emil: I heard they give away all his magic-trick secrets, ain’a?
Herbie: No focking kidding? I got to get up there. Maybe they can tell me how to make the wife disappear.
Ray: I hear magicians are really jacked-off. The hocus-pocus crowd really hate for their secrets to get out. I was down by Branson last summer with the in-laws. We couldn’t get tickets to 3 Redneck Tenors so we went to this magic show. This magician does an abso-focking-lutely amazing trick with a deck of cards, a pigeon and a meat cleaver. Some guy in the back of the audience yells out, “Hey, how’d you do that?” Magician says, “I could tell you sir, but then I’d have to kill you.” The knob in the back says, “OK then. Just tell my wife.”
Little Jimmy Iodine: Hey, Artie! Over here. Put a load on your keister.
Art: Hey gents. What do you hear, what do you know.
Little Jimmy: I know it’s the tenth anniversary since Ronald Reagan died coming up June 5, but I don’t hear anybody talking about it.
Herbie: That’s because today’s Tea Party crackpot conservatives think Reagan was a closet-Commie, pinker than pink, a guy so liberal he makes Vladimir Lenin look like a high school vice-principle.
Ray: Reagan died? Crap. I was still waiting to get trickled on from the trickle-down with his economics.
Julius: Hey, anybody got a light?
Emil: Yeah, my face and your ass… Wait.
Herbie: For christ sakes. You’re supposed to say that when somebody asks for a match, not a light, you dipshit. Somebody asks for a match, you say “your face and my ass.” That’s how it goes. Besides, you can’t smoke in here anymore, remember?
Julius: And that’s a damn shame. I always remember what a World War II vet said in the papers awhile back: “We won because we were the smoking and drinking generation.” And I say if smoking and drinking is good enough to clobber the Nazis, it’s good enough for me to focking smoke and drink wherever I choose. It’s called freedom.
Ernie: Was Reagan a smoker?
Herbie: Are you kidding? All those actors back then smoked like focking chimneys. I also heard he really got around with the ladies in his Hollywood days. Dated anything that moved. “Dutch” Reagan, my ass—should’ve been “Scotch” Reagan, what with all the wool that guy pulled, I kid you not.
Little Jimmy: I wonder if Reagan still had his famous orange hair right up to the end, ain’a?
Art: Sure he did. From what I understand, when he first ran for president, a lot of people were concerned about his age and thought they’d feel safer if he just stayed home, wrapped in an afghan and did crossword puzzles all day instead of bossing around the free world. His advisers didn’t want him to age anymore, so they drained out all his blood and pumped him so full of formaldehyde that it was coming out the top of his head; thus, the trademark orange hair.
Ernie: You could be right, Artie. Maybe that’s why he took so many naps. The Great Somnambulator. He could mouth off to the Commies since he was the only one not worried about a nuclear war ’cause what the fock, he’d sleep through it anyways.
Little Jimmy: I read somewheres someone say, “He was the perfect example of a conservative.”
Herbie: You bet—fully in support of giving a ton of tax money to their already-rich pals, overspend and run up huge deficits so the regular guy can’t find work, and then try to kibosh as much personal freedom of expression from the average Joe Blow as they can focking get away with. Perfect. That’s your White House Republican for you’s.
(Hey, I know you got to go, but thanks for letting us bend your ear again, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.)