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Posts Tagged ‘politicians’

  1. Government Shutdown? Santa to the Rescue

    October 4, 2013 by Diane

    Santa Claus On Sledge recycled papercraft

    You better watch out when Santa takes action. And one October night in 2013, that’s exactly what he did.

    Santa was fed up with the politicians and their political bluster, claiming to know what every American citizen wanted. He was fed up with their shenanigans, swinging the country toward the fiscal cliff and then shutting the government down. Santa usually waited until Halloween to fatten himself up, but in 2013 he started early. He shook the moth balls from his red suit and polished his big black boots and practiced his ho ho hos and called the reindeers in from their reindeer games and notified the media, warning them that Christmas was coming early this year, and he asked the FAA to clear the skies, and then, skipping his customary whistle, he shouted “Now Dasher, Now Dancer…” but before he could finish, the reindeer surged upwards because they were fed up too.

    Santa plucked every politician from their beds and tossed them into the sleigh. He even roused Obama, letting him ride shotgun. And he carried them through the skies, the whole lot of them bickering and pushing and shoving and blaming and demanding to be let out. He dropped the Republicans in the blue states, and the Democrats in the red states, and he shoved Obama down Donald Trump’s chimney.

    Then Santa gathered up the homeless and the needy and the hungry senior citizens and all those kids who usually spend their days at Head Start and sent them down the chimneys of the wealthy. And he rounded up everyone who had ever been swindled by the banks too big to fail, and dropped them down the chimneys of the swindlers.

    And finally, he buzzed low over the museums and national parks, so low that his reindeer’s hooves clipped the barricades and knocked them all down. A father and son, camping in a parking lot outside the Grand Canyon instead of embarking on a three-week rafting vacation as planned, watched slack-jawed as Santa tipped a gloved hand in their direction before zooming away. They heard a hearty ho ho ho and then the faint jingle of bells and then nothing but their own astonished breathing.

    The next day the U.S. postal service delivered checks to the mailboxes of every furloughed worker, money that would have paid the salaries of every politican. And by the time those politicians returned to Capitol Hill via bus and taxi and train, some of them thumbing a ride, one of them walking the whole way in shoes that pinched tight, they discovered that their beloved aisle was gone. The chairs in both chambers had been uprooted and rearranged into two giant circles. In the center of one circle was a pile of every can that had been kicked down the road. And in the center of the other: a mound of reindeer droppings.


  2. A Fine Day

    August 9, 2013 by Diane

    Traditional old mail box on the wooden wall

    Nobody writes letters anymore. It’s all emails.

    Back in the day, mailmen carried letters from loved ones, envelopes bearing the slanted blue penmanship of a mother, a lover, a soldier, a childhood friend. That letter traveled, from the curled meaty edge of the writer’s palm to the inner confines of the envelope, passing from mailman to mailbox or handed over with a greeting. Good morning, Mrs. Whitney, I’ve got the letter you were waiting for, here in my pouch.

    Bert remembers those days as he drinks coffee at his metal kitchen table, as he goes out into the dark morning hours, drives to the post office, and stands sorting the mail, trading quips about the weather, the latest political scandal, the collapse of the economy—important stuff. And then he fills his truck with the stuff that is unimportant: the bills, the circulars, the empty promises from political candidates. It’s a fine day when he sorts a handwritten letter, something he pauses to run his dry palm over. Ah, this will bring a smile to Mrs. Whitney’s morning.

    And every day he whistles. He whistles when he swings out of his truck and hefts the leather pouch onto his shoulder and walks his route instead of driving. He whistles because if he can’t bring the news they long for, at least he can deliver a moment of hope, of joy.

    “Good morning,” he hollers, lifting his heavy arm and flicking a wave. His bouncy stride says: all is well. “Good morning to you!” Someone cares, he is saying. “How’s that rheumatism, Mrs. Whitney?” Mrs. Whitney is twisted over, waiting outside her door, making the effort to stand.

    “No letters,” he says, knowing it’s not a letter that brings her out of doors, and it’s not the weather, “but isn’t it a fine, fine day?”