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by OPOVV, ©2019

Photo: Sharon Rondeau

(Apr. 12, 2019) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to ‘The Pulse of the Nation,’ an excuse to give your brain recess-time from a hectic day. Hello, my name is Roving, as in Roving Reporter (RR), and we’re standing on a corner in the suburbs, under an awning, across the street from a railroad station waylaying our neighbors as they catch the train to the big city. Excuse me, Miss, care to be on live TV? I’m Mr. Roving Reporter for ‘Pulse,’ the ever-popular information news service.”

“Oh, hello, Mr. Roving; cat and I watch your show. I like the fortune-teller the best; haven’t seen the Chief in months; whatever happened to him?”

“I’ll give your regards to Madam Shylock, and as far as Chief New Leaf goes, he’s been out west visiting Indian reservations.”

“What does he do that for?”

“He gives speeches about the Constitution*, is what he does; that and talks about the history of Indian Treaties and the oil that the white man stole from the Oklahoma tribes. But he never says the word ‘reparations’: he believes you play the hand that has been dealt and get on with your life**.”

“That’s admirable. Oh, my name is Kate and my cat’s name is Cortez, after Hernando Cortez, the living definition of the word ‘audacious.’

“Now isn’t that the truth? So, Kate, what’s your main gripe of the day?”

“Actually, I have two main gripes. My first gripe is when somebody says they are American when it’s quite clear they don’t know what the heck it means to be an American; not a clue, I’m telling you. And get this: Western Civilization is at a war to the death with Islam, so how can a Muslim have any idea what it takes to be an American when, in point of fact, Muslims want to kill Americans? Heck, they even chant, ‘Death to the Great Satan!’

“Good point. What’s the other gripe?”

“My other prime gripe is the difference between the words spying’ and “surveilling.’

“Okay, Kate, don’t keep us is suspense: what is the difference?”

“Besides being one and the same, there isn’t any difference, except the connotation of ‘spying’ is if you’re caught, you’re murdered, whereas if you’re caught ‘surveilling,’ such as what Edward Snowden was doing – being a whistleblower — you have an accidental death, unless you get out of Dodge before they catch you.”

“So, what are you saying?”

“I guess what I’m saying is that I wouldn’t trust any part of the government as far as I could throw them. Did I say that right? And that’s my train. Bye.”

“Bye, Kate. Let’s take a break.”

I’m Proud to be an American” (3:22)

“And we’re back with Joe, who has a rather unique business. So, Joe, please tell our viewing audience what do you do for a living?”

“Glad to, Roving: I make designer orange prison garb, but we don’t call what we make a ‘garb’; we call what we provide a ‘Recognizable Epidermis Protective Shield,’ or ‘REPS,’ for short.”

“And weren’t you just telling me your innovating marketing technique?”

“By all means: through computer technology, we can tailor-design a REPS so it fits absolutely perfectly, so your normal felon can stand a little taller and prouder to be the most well-outfitted on his or her cell block from the very first day incarcerated.”

“And you said you have a plan?”

“Oh, yes, of course. You see, whenever a politician first shows up in Washington, DC, we send them a color brochure explaining what we do and our prices, which are very competitive, especially since we’re on the ground floor and have a kind of monopoly.”

“Kind of?”

“Okay, we have a monopoly. Actually we’ve quite an inventory.”

“You have an inventory? Now how does that work?”

“Easy; we just figure out who is most likely to go to jail. Actually, we have different styles – subtle, it’s true – but different. For instance, our Nancy Pelosi REPS has double stitching on the cuffs; the John Brennan REPS has thin pin stripes; and the Barack Obama REPS has an extra-wide collar.”

“That’s very interesting. Anything more to add?”

“Oh, yes; I almost forgot. We have an exclusive cleaning service, and besides however much starch the client desires, we have a free button replacement service. Oh, one more thing: besides the REPS being custom-made — tailored to fit – we also have a free monogram service with, besides the prisoner number, a client can have his or her name written in any kind of thread, even gold thread, which looks very impressive on an orange background.”

“Well, just when you think you’ve heard it all, you haven’t. And now it’s that time to wish you all, on behalf of the crew, a goodnight: Goodnight.

“Another great show. Burger time: my treat.”

[*Constitution: men and women have equal rights under the law, unlike Islamic law.]

[**Get on with your life: no excuses here, like some.]

Jailhouse Rock” (2:43)


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