Throws Sombrero in Ring
The Only Thing We Have to be A-Fred of is Fred Hisself
By Fred Reed
October 26, 2012 "Information
- I see that I shall have to take over the helm of the
country to save it from the impending collapse. It has come to
this. I have always said that I would undertake the presidency
only under an assumed name—who would want that on his resumè?—but
noblesse oblges. What could be nobler than this column?
You may say, “But Fred, how can you be so bloody arrogant as to
think you can run the country?” To which I reply, “We know that
the incumbents cannot. I may be able to. In any event, I
couldn’t be worse: I have not that talent. Which do you prefer,
assured disaster or a sporting chance?”
Apparently the key to a successful campaign is a bumper sticker
of supernal stupidity and irrelevance. I can play that game. How
about “A Fred in Every Pot.” Or Tippecanoe and Frederick Too.”
Or “Better Fred than Dead.” Or "Fred...Ahhhh." Or, most
pertinently, ”Well, Have You Got a Better Idea?”
It is my understanding that as a candidate, I need a platform. I
think this means a pack of rhythmically mendacious platitudes
that would put a crank freak to sleep. I shall try to do better.
The following appear to me serviceable:
“Defense” policy: We don’t have one. The last time the military
defended the United States was 1945—the United States, remember,
being that place between Canada and Mexico, a region that does
not include (recent graduates, check your atlas) Korea, Vietnam,
Cambodia, Albania, Yugoslavia, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq,
Pakistan, Somalia, Iran, Nigeria, or Yemen.
Do not misunderstand me. I am as patriotic as the next guy, and
consequently happy to kill remote strangers for no reason, and
their wives, children, dogs, and flcoks. Unfortunately, we can
no longer afford it. Do you know what bombs cost these days?
Thus we must either find a cheaper means of terminating Afghan
children, perhaps by poisoning, or else, on purely economic
grounds, we must restrain the Pentagon’s appetites.
Therefore, under my administration all military officers will be
required to wear pink tutus, toe shoes, and brassieres with
expandable boob compartments. This will discourage history
majors in arrested development from becoming lieutenants and
strutting around like Genghis Kahn simulacra. An army of
ballerinas will be much less troublesome.
With each promotion officers will get larger inserts of
high-density silicone, so that they get back trouble and retire.
David Petraeus will be instantly issued an udder.
Is this not genius?
Further, all pilots of military helicopters will be required to
go into combat with their children strapped to the skids. This
will calm martial enthusiasm. (I was going to use the pilots’
wives, but on reflection realized that this might lead to an
insatiable thirst for war.)
Education policy: I will institute schools. This will be a novel
concept in a nation accustomed to day-care centers intended to
keep the young off the labor market, introduce them to drugs the
purchase of which sustains the Mexican economy, and, so as to
prepare them for jobs in odious bureaucracies, inure them to
levels of boredom that would cause a stone post to crumble.
To this end I will put a bounty on education theorists, offer
taxidermy at public expense, and convert teachers colleges into
repositories for radioactive waste (Wait: They might mutate. The
consequences could be incalculable. I’ll have to think this over
carefully). The schools will teach reading (phonetically)
writing (grammatically) and arithmetic (without calculators).
Otherwise their entire staffs will be fed to colonies of army
ants. Brazil has lots.
I am replete with ideas for scholarly progress and social
improvement. For example, any student who curses or assaults a
teacher will be expelled, instantly and forever. (“But Fred,”
you say, “The poor things, they will end up in prison.” Exactly.
They would anyway. Let’s get them started. Think of it as
advanced placement. We could call it Head Start.)
Next, I will end affirmative action, specifically to include the
admission to Ivy schools of dull-witted white legacies. This
admirable policy would have protected us from Bush II, who on
his merits couldn’t have gotten into Yale with burglar tools. It
will make the federal bureaucracy functional again. Everything
will be done without regard for race, creed, color, sex, or
national origin, except cheese-cake photography. The underlying
principle is the recognition that if you hire people because
they can’t do a job, they won’t.
TSA: I am told that in Africa there are enormous silver-backed
gorillas that can crush a coconut one-handed. I will station one
of these at every airport gate in the country after suitable
training. After an employee of TSA gropes a passenger, the
gorilla will grope the TSA employee. This will doubtless result
in a degree of attrition and, one hopes, frequent emasculation.
Those who stay on the job will work naked to promote a sense of
oneness with the public.
Moreover, I intend to institute the National Sausage Act,
requiring that all other officials of Homeland Security be
passed through a large industrial grinder. They will then be
packed into sausage skins before being fed to undiscriminating
sharks. This promise alone should result in my election by a
The first into the hopper will be that awful woman who records
the airport warnings in that condescending almost gurgling
elocution-major voice that sounds as if she wants to suck the
microphone. There are limits to what we can bear. Well, there
ought to be.
Next, I will have members of Congress officially designated as
ducks by the National Park Service. States vary as to when duck
season opens, but this is a matter of States rights. For a small
license fee in the capital itself, citizens will be permitted to
erect duck blinds along Pennsylvania Avenue. I imagine the use
of duck calls which will squawk, “Quaaack Pork, graft,
corruption, little boys awwwk!”
God I’m good.
Next, marriage. We now have a situation in which heterosexuals
believe that marriage exists to produce children, while
homosexuals pursue their own ends. (Actually they pursue each
other’s ends, but never mind.) As president of all Americans, I
cannot discriminate. It seems to me that I must either outlaw
all marriage entirely by executive order, or allow to all
citizens the creativity that has made this country great.
I will thus allow same-sex marriage, as well as polygamy, on the
principle that the state has no place in the bedroom. Combining
same-sex marriage with polygamy, I imagine whole matrimonial
platoons, with a sense of community and perhaps ID cards. In
fact, I see no constitutional barrier to marriage between
species. Why should a man not marry Fido? It is a question of
individual conscience. We could introduce children to non-judgemental
attitudes with books called “Mommy Says Moooo.”
Ha. I cannot lose. See you in November.
Biography - As He Tells It - Fred, a keyboard mercenary with a
disorganized past, has worked on staff for Army Times, The
Washingtonian, Soldier of Fortune, Federal Computer Week, and
The Washington Times. His website -
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