I just looked up at muted screen and saw the befuddled visage of "President" George W. Bush, from late in his second term. He never did learn how to look informed, did he.
At any rate his steadfast bewilderment reminded me of my own locally infamous inauguration of W.'s ill-fated tenure as our 43rd chief executive of these here united states, which were anything but in 2001. I of course wished to honor and memorialize that sentiment, way back when, by staging, at the home of yours truly, and wife and young daughter, a Bush Effigy Burning. Which I did.
I constructed a perfectly stupid-looking (see above) W. model, only about 7" in height, and built a little gibbet for the proper hanging and immolation of said effigy. Nonetheless being impeccably cautious and a bit wary of burning my neighbor's house down, I also called the fire department first: "Say, sorry to trouble, but I'm holding a Bush-burning tonight, in my living room--the effigy, it's small, quite small--and I was wondering what fire-extinguishing chemical you'd recommend that I have on hand--you know, just in case." There followed the longest, queerest pause. "You're doing what?" came the question. "A Bush-burning, you know, in honor of our newly unelected president, the 43rd of these here disunited states."
Another pause, then an exceptionally stern--and I do stress exceptionally stern--admonition. "Mr. Carpenter [I had been overt as to my identity; nothing to hide, this one], you shouldn't be burning anything inside your home. Nothing. We strongly advise against any such act [sub rosa, you moron]." He never did make a chemical recommendation. The poor professional was unsympathetic to the point of unhelpfulness. Very disappointing.
Anyway I thanked him, and prudently proceeded, later that night, to stage the effigy event outside. It was beautiful--as well as being the sociopolitical event of the year, just locally speaking of course. People I had never met arrived, people of whose past I knew nothing. They had heard through the grapevine about the burning--the "event"--and, being astute, were inexpressibly enthusiastic.
When W. metamorphosed into a ball of fire, cheers went up even higher. It was truly beautiful. Pointless and futile, but beautiful.
And I'm announcing it right now. Should the worst happen this November--it won't, but as you know, I'm prudent--I'll be holding another magnificent effigy-burning. Memories.