by Peter Byrne
(Swans - January 14, 2008)
She: You tell me to lighten up and then unload these seamy salesmen on me.
He: Look. You're sitting comfortably in your favorite armchair and the tube's shining forth like the setting sun. Enjoy.
She: You say the man is a candidate for president?
He: Right. He's a Baptist Minister.
She: And the hairy one?
He: Chuck? He's a Texas Ranger. Where have you been?
She: He looks dangerous, like he needs baptizing or handcuffs or something.
He: That's because he's an actor. He's acting tough.
She: You mean his Texas Ranger character is tough?
He: Whacking, acting, what's the difference? Look at him. He's tough period.
She: And the cornball plays the role of a minister?
He: Don't split hairs. This is amusing. You should be laughing.
She: But was he actually ordained?
He: Yeah, but it's not obligatory for politicians. Just so they get down on their knees and wallow before they spew their speech.
She: Before they can start dishing it out?
He: Right. No one's going to vote for a wimp.
She: Should I laugh when he says that Chuck has another fist behind his beard?
He: Three fists? That only means he's plenty tough. Of course it's funny.
She: I think I'll puke first.
He: See how white his teeth are?
She: Shouldn't he be bragging about having a brain back there somewhere behind his beard?
He: A brain? That's not Chuck or the Minister's department. The guys who thought up the ad have the brains. Everyone says it's a first.
She: Three fists are too many. It's freakish.
He: Listen to her. She has no eye for cathode rays. You have to put two and two together.
She: That's four. He said three fists.
He: You heard him say that his answer to securing the border was a single word: Chuck.
She: I heard that but couldn't believe it. Are they going to use all those fists on the Mexicans?
He: This is humor. Don't you ever laugh?
She: I'll laugh when the Mexicans do. And why does Chuck say the Minister is a lifelong hunter? I thought those guys put souls in their game bag.
He: Because he is a lifelong hunter, with guns.
She: How do you know he's not acting that?
He: Chuck is the actor.
She: The Minister is a good shot so he'll make a good president?
He: Ninny. Any regular viewer knows that hunters have character.
She: Who says so?
He: Other hunters and people.
She: Of course people, not the animals that get shot. But which people?
He: People who buy and sell guns.
She: Do these people think Jesus had character?
He: Certainly. He'd have defended the Second Amendment too.
She: As I remember the script, He wasn't tattooed.
He: Those were other times.
She: You're telling me. No capped teeth.
He: Wild times, but Chuck could have tamed them.
She: He says the Minister will close down the IRS.
He: Everyone hates the Internal Revenue Service.
She: Everyone hates paying taxes.
He: That's it. You can see why this ad has been called brilliant.
She: Vote for fists, guns, and no taxes. It's a breakthrough all right.
He: The man of course has other planks to his platform.
She: Such as?
He: He lost one hundred and ten pounds.
She: Sorry? Come again.
He: Back in Arkansas he was governor and fat as a mulefoot hog. Then, bingo, he lost one hundred and ten pounds.
She: No kidding? Wow! The Minister gets my vote. It must have been a miracle. Had he prayed a lot?
He: He hasn't said. It's, you know, a personal matter between him, God, and the cook.
She: A load of blubber like that had to be personal.
He: But it shows character.
She: Yes, it does. Try pulling a trigger with your finger as thick as a wrist. Did his fists look like cabbages?
He: That's all in the past. The point is he did it with will power. Can you imagine what a man like that might do in the White House?
She: Hell, yes. He and Chuck would do sharpshooting from the roof and push-ups in the Rose Garden.
He: You have to admit that as a nation we are a tad on the portly side.
She: I like the before-and-after angle. It's just like when our actual prez came off the booze. And look what that's done for the world.
He: It makes you think.
She: Which do you figure took more praying, getting on the water wagon or losing one hundred and ten pounds?
He: Things of the spirit are best not put into words.
She: Except in a TV ad.
He: I'd like to see it again. It grabs your attention from the start and doesn't let go over the whole sixty-second span.
She: The Minister's not going to be president.
He: You never know. You can't be sure.
She: I am. It's because of his name.
He: Ha! Remember that rose? What's in a name.
She: Plenty. Listen: Chuck, Huck, what the fuck.
He: Stop! Don't be scurrilous. How can you cheapen a hallowed institution like the presidency by thinking citizens would take into consideration such a frivolous thing as a candidate's unfortunate name?
She: Then there's suck to watch out for.
He: You disappoint me. There was a time in this country when maidens, wives, and mothers got beneath our values and lifted.
She: Sorry. I forgot myself there for a decade or so. Let's put the box to bed and moralize.
He: Nah. With nothing to watch, I'd fall asleep.
She: For family viewing the Minister might be able to do a jingle with luck.
He: Forget that slogan stuff. I told you the man has a solid platform.
She: Right. He's for Jesus and no taxes.
He: Like Chuck said, his man's a "principled, authentic Conservative."
She: And the man said that Chuck not only had three fists but "Christian views."
He: Like all Texas Rangers.
She: The trouble with Jesus Christ is that long white robe He wears.
He: What do you expect? He was a conservative dresser.
She: But on the campaign posters He's going to look odd with a hunting rifle on His shoulder beside His halo.
He: Not at all. Bin Laden looks neat with his Kalashhnikov and he has to wear a turban to boot.
She: Maybe they can work something harmless out with buck, or tuck.
He: I said to forget slogans and envisage the man's serious policies.
She: Such as the weight-loss crusade?
He: Right. I can see the next ad: Will power turning out prayers.
She: Like fresh bills spilling out of an ATM?
He: That's not very spiritual.
He: Let's say, like a strong arm at the grill stacking flapjacks.
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