Monday, May 9, 2016

The Making of a President

Some time back The Flip Side crew attempted to create the ideal president. The splendidly able Dr. Friedrich von Fredenstein and his ghoulish but supremely clever assistant Eegore der Kleptsnauzer constructed a tall, handsome, very elegant looking man who unfortunately was possessed of no character. They complained there were few appropriate models to work from; there were no examples of honesty, virtue, loyalty and such from which to build. Hence their replica was much too common, too typical to be of any use in forwarding the image of what a President of the United States of America should look like and, more importantly, to act like.
      With great expectation I returned to Dr. Fredenstein’s lab, with the mission of asking him to re-create a candidate more fitting to be president.
       “Vot did you have in mind?” he asked.
       “Well … you know, something a little less tall than the last one you made, something a little less elegant, a little less hair …”
       “Ach, somethink that looks more like you, Newshawk? Vot do you think, Eegore, can ve concoct a Newshawk-type president out of the spare parts lying around the lab?”
       “Mebbe, Herr Doktor, as long as ve don’t have to use really spiffy parts.”
       “That will be okay,” I said. “Some of my parts aren’t that spiffy anymore. Do what you can to make me look really cool, though, okay?”
       Eegore disappeared into the nether reaches of the lab to look for any cool parts that might be on hand. Grunting noises could be heard as he tossed arms and legs and whatnot around in his search. Exclamations of disgust, such as “yucch” and “ugh” and “yikes, that’s some ugly guy” , making us wonder what he might be coming out with. Finally, after nearly a half an hour, Eegore emerged from the depths pushing a hand cart laden with marginally spiffy body parts.
       “Here’s an okay torso, as long as you’re not looking for anything really nice. You don’t look like you’re carrying a six-pack, so this should do for a start.”
       Eegore tossed the inelegant torso on the shop bench and hosed it off, to rid it of insects, crawling or dead, cobwebs and stuff like that.
       “Now vot should ve do for a head?’ asked Herr Doktor Fredenstein. “Over there’s a long thin one with lots of hair, like Secretary of State John Kerry.”
       “Don’t you have something with some brains?” I asked almost pleadingly. “How about that balding one over there? Balding heads are typically smarter heads, as you know.”
       “Yes, of course. One balding head coming up,” said Eegore, lugging one over from a dark corner and starting to sew it into place.
       “Vot vould you like for arms, Newshawk? There’s one over there with a nice Rolex on it.”
       “Nah. I’ve got a Timex that still works well – you know, takes a licking and keeps on ticking. I would like a set that bulges when I bend my arms.”
       “A nice set of guns coming up,” says Eegore looking around for a nice pair of matching arms. “Here’s one.” He disappears again into the depths of the lab in search of another that went with it. Sometime later he emerges, holding another limb, saying, “This will have to do, Newshawk. I don’t have two arms that ripple evenly.”
       “Well I’ll need two arms, so go ahead and sew them on. I hope you have a set of similar legs. Does a nice ass come with the legs? A president should have a nice ass. And one of my new legs needs to have a bum knee. I’m trying to stay as close to the original me as possible. And, by the way, will my new ass have a bad back attached? I really need an aching back. I wouldn’t know how to act with one that didn’t hurt.”
       “One aching back with a nice tush coming up. There you go. I’ll just sew them on in the right place for you. One above the other.”
       “Good thinking. I’d really like to have a president with some character this time around, Eegore. Have you got any laying around anywhere?” I asked.
       “Ooh, boy. I dunno. Let me look.”
       Eegore shuffled off into the darkness of the lab. He’d taken a flashlight and we watched as he moved the beam around as he searched. He was gone so long Doktor Fredenstein and I stepped out for some lunch, not arriving back at the lab for a couple of hours. Eegore was just emerging from the depths of the lab covered with cobwebs.
       “Ah, here we go. A small container of character balm, quite old I must say.” He pried the lid from the can and dipped a large gob of the stuff out with a finger. He set about providing the new president with character by pushing it in his ear. There must have been a natural reluctance to acquire a large amount of character as it began running out onto the work bench. Try as he might, Eegore could not keep very much character in the man’s head. The more he pushed it in, the more oozed out.
       “Oh, for crying out loud,” seethed Eegore.
       “Stick a cork in it,” I suggested. “Say, you wouldn’t have a nice fat wallet laying around here, would you?”
        “Hey, come on, whaddya want, Newshawk? The guy has very little hair, a dumpy body, arms that don’t match, a bad back, a bum knee, and very little character. He’s supposed to have money?”


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