A Political Parable

I had a dream last night that I was the White House cook. Mr. and Mrs. Obama and Sasha and Malia were all seated at the table with places set, ready for their meal. The plates and flatware were arranged, wine was served, candles were lit. My staff and I came out from the kitchen with covered trays, ready to serve the feast. The eyes of the first family settled on us as we entered. We placed the trays on the table, and the president picked up his fork and knife in anticipation. Several of my staff and I pulled the lids off the trays in unison, releasing a bit of steam from dinner.

Mr. Obama’s face went first from anticipation to confusion. Then it went to realization, shock, and anger. He dropped his silverware and pushed out of his chair, spilling his glass. He threw his napkin to the ground and spun at me. The first lady pushed her chair back and turned her head with a look of nausea on her face. The girls wrinkled their little noses and squealed in disgust.

“What is THIS?” he loudly demanded.

I nervously replied, “What do you mean? What’s wrong?”

“Is this supposed to be some kind of JOKE?” He howled, “What have you served to my family?”

I pointed at the trays, each in turn and explained, “That is potatoes au gratin, and that is asparagus, here’s the bread, and of course the free-range duckling. All of it is organic, and we digested it ourselves, just for you!”

“It’s CRAP!” He screamed, “How DARE you serve me and my family CRAP?!?!?”

I backed a step, “Sir, I’m not sure ‘crap’ is quite the proper term, and I thought you would be pleased.”

“‘Pleased’? What in the world would make you think that I would be pleased?”

“The Golden Rule,” I replied, “You want to force my family and I into the same, inferior health care as Cuba and Canada, because you don’t trust me to take care of the health and medicine of my family for myself. You push a rushed bill that is merely a conglomeration of left-wing pet projects that will shackle people like me with debt for generations, and call it ‘stimulus.’ You think so low of people like me that we couldn’t possibly be trusted with our own defense against those that would seek to hurt us, or to realize that Guantanamo is a red herring that means nothing to you, or that I could possibly know how to properly spend my own paycheck.

“I simply thought that you would appreciate it if your dinner had already been digested for your convenience, considering the fact that you seem to think the American People are incapable of doing anything for themselves, and continue to push crap legislation that is advertised as beneficial. Was I mistaken?”

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5 thoughts on “A Political Parable

  1. If only it really happened…

    They all fed us several crap sandwiches and now we should be feeding crap back to them on a silver platter. With utensils.

  2. Lotta mealtime with Obama in the news these days:

    Once upon a time, I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a
    respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics.
    There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind.
    I live in a free country. There’s nothing that the government can do to me if I’ve broken no laws. My
    wealth was earned honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.
    We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the
    china. Uniformed staff served our dinner.

    The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off
    my plate, and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen.

    “Sorry about that,” said the President. “Andrew is very hungry.”
    “I don’t appreciate…” I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt
    immediately guilty and petty. It was just a dinner roll. “Of course,” I concluded, and reached for my
    glass. Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the
    wine in a single gulp.

    “And his brother Eric is very thirsty.” said the President.
    I didn’t say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I will play along. I don’t
    want to seem unkind.
    My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite.

    “Eric’s children are also quite hungry.”
    With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood, brushing
    myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room.
    “And their grandmother can’t stand for long.”

    I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool.
    Obviously, I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my coat, to
    find that it had been taken. I turned back to the President.

    “Their grandfather doesn’t like the cold.”

    I wanted to shout– that was my coat! But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and
    decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled. Then I felt my hip pocket
    and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I
    learned that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity
    portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out of our home. Apparently, the waiters and their
    families were moving in. The President hadn’t moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I
    lowered the phone into its cradle and turned to face him.

    “Andrew’s whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven’t planned for retirement, and they
    need a house. They recently defaulted on a subprime mortgage. I told them they could have your home.
    They need it more than you do.”

    My hands were shaking. I felt faint. I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor. The President
    cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak and drank his wine. I lowered my eyes and stared at the small
    grey circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.

    “By the way,” He added, “I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I’m firing
    you as head of your business. I’ll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There’s a
    whole bunch of Erics and Andrews out there and they can’t come to you for jobs groveling like beggars.”

    I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had been his creme brulee. He
    drained the last drops of his wine. As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his
    chair. He stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if it were a ledge and I were a man hanging
    over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I had earned with a
    lifetime of work, risk and struggle. Why was I punished? How had I allowed it to be taken? What game had
    I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board
    between us.
    What had I done wrong?
    As if answering the unspoken thought, the President suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to
    mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands.

    “You should have stopped me at the dinner roll,” he said.

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