Please keep this great honor under your hat

Friday, May 18, 2012

Shh! Meet me in the atrium of the federal building at 10 o'clock. Don't tell a soul! And don't bring anyone with you.

What about my wife? Can she tag along?

Only if she's a certified Republican.

Well, she has voted for some Democrats from time to time.

Sorry. She'll have to stay home this time. We only want pure blood represented.

What's the big deal?

We're unveiling a bust of Cape Girardeau's best-known native, but we only want true believers at the ceremony. No need to let the riffraff watch. They're so messy.

A bust? How much does a bust cost?

A lot. And the low bid came in $800,000 over estimate. But that's OK. We have to have this bust.

Why?

For one thing, the atrium is kind of bare, don't you think? There's all that space with nothing in it.

So you're going to fill the atrium with a lot of busts?

Oh, no need for that. I think the ego that comes with this bust is big enough to fill the whole atrium, and then some.

So how are you going to keep out ... you know, those Democrats ... during the unveiling ceremony?

We're going to lock the doors. And the National Guard has been mobilized. Troops will be deployed around a four-block perimeter. And we'll have Democrat-sniffing dogs just in case some of the pinkos make it to the door.

But isn't the federal building a public building? Wasn't it funded with tax dollars. And don't Democrats pay taxes just like the Republicans? And wouldn't some of our local Democrats like to see this unveiling? And aren't they entitled to go to a ceremony being held in a building they own?

We're not going to take a chance that some of those disruptive legislators from Jefferson City might show up and try to ruin our dignified proceedings.

But weren't they Republicans?

What are you? Some kind of troublemaker? Are you sure you're a pure-blood Republican?

I'm just thinking out loud. I'd like to see this bust unveiled. And I'd like to see Cape Girardeau's best-known native. And I think a lot of other folks would like to be there too.

I'm sorry. It's clear now that you should never have been invited. Please avoid the entire neighborhood until after the ceremony.

What happens if I show up anyway?

You'll be in for a big surprise. It will be business as usual in the atrium of the federal courthouse. No bust. No National Guard. No dogs. Nothing.

But you said ...

I lied. I had to make sure you were really a Republican. It's obvious now that you're suspect.

How can you tell?

You're asking questions. True-blue followers of our Great Leader, the one honored with the bust, never ask questions. So the minute you asked if your wife could attend the ceremony with you, I knew you were a Republican lite, at best, and maybe even a commie.

I guess I'll have to see the bust after the big ceremony. I'll just wander over to the federal courthouse in a couple of days for a look-see.

Ha! You think you can just stroll into the federal building? Do you have two forms of ID? Do you have your birth certificate? Do you have your voting records for the past 10 years? Do you have your certified heterosexual marriage certificate? Have you ever eaten at a Mexican or Chinese restaurant where illegals were employed? Can you say the Pledge of Allegiance backward in pig Latin? Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?

Say, you're sure asking a lot of questions. Are you really a Republican? Or do you just want to run for Congress?

Listen, buster, just stay away from the federal courthouse.

OK. I guess I can still get into city hall. ...

Joe Sullivan is the retired editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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