Thursday, September 8, 2005


The theme for this one was chocolate. From skimming through this before I post it I see that I was taking jabs at a few different groups at once. It's one of the few (intentionally) satirical pieces I've written. It was written in March of 2000, just before Easter of that year which is reflected in the OTHER chocolate story I wrote for this theme.

"Alright, show them in," the sweating rotund man said into the intercom, from his seat at a huge cherrywood desk.  Clad in shirtsleeves, no jacket, a rumpled lowered tie, and red suspenders straining to hold up his voluminous pants, he stood to greet his guests.

His secretary escorted two men into his office.  One was tall and handsome, with what looked like plastic hair, and wore a huge cross around his neck---obviously the Reverend.  The other man, who was shorter and almost skeletally thin, he assumed must be the president of that tobacco company, whose name he could never remember.

"Thank you for seeing us," the reverend said in an officious tone that clearly conveyed he had actually expected nothing less. "I'm Reverend Kermit Killjoy, and my colleague here is Herb Hackincough, president of the Up-in-Smoke Tobacco Company of the great state of North Carolina, from which I also hail.  The matter we bring before you today, Senator, is of vital importance to the very foundation of our country, and indeed all of society.  Your cooperation with us will assure that the name of Senator Bob Blowhard will go down in history!"

"Well, gentlemen I can spare a little time.  As I understand, this has something to do with C.H.O.M.P.... is that correct?" the senator said as they all took seats, his own chair groaning as his bulk eased into it.

"Blasphemy!" cried Killjoy, jumping back to his feet, and beginning to pace theatrically in front of the senator's desk.  "That rabble is a communist militant organization supporting that which will cause the downfall of American society as we know it!  They have the effrontery to try to change the very way men and women relate in this country, something that goes back over 200 years!  This evil has always been with us---planted by the very people from whom we sought independence!  But now it's growing, and it must be stopped!"

Hackincough, wringing his hands, chimed in, "Why, they're trying to put Reverend Killjoy, and even your fellow litigators, out of business, Senator!"  After coughing into a handkerchief and regaining his breath, he continued passionately.  "They would ruin the tobacco companies to the point that we could no longer pay legal fees to both side of the tobacco settlement, and it would cost pious organizations such as the Reverend's millions in donations! And I think you already know what it would do to your very own campaign donations---it will have your colleagues chasing ambulances, I tell you!"

"Men are actually buying this romance, drivel, Senator!" Killjoy went on. "And their women are starting to forgive them for things they never would have before---or should have!  It's filth I tell you!  Romance of this type will lead only to promiscuous sex, binge eating, and scandalous affairs!  Any enlightened person can see that there is no place for romance in marriage!  It will destroy the fabric of American society!  REAL married couples go to a counselor such as myself, or to a lawyer like you, who have years of training!  They don't work it out themselves with.... with... romance!" he cried, literally spitting that his word out in disgust.

The rhetoric continued until the senator found his head spinning, still listening as promised, but sneaking nervous peeks out his window.  Then Killjoy slammed a document down on the senator's desk, and pulled back from it as if it were on fire.

"Look at it Senator!" thundered the Reverend, pointing.  "It's the bill you must introduce outlawing that repulsive mob, Chocolate Hoarders of Massive Proportions!  It also introduces a constitutional amendment prohibiting chocolate in any form in this country.  Together we can clean the U.S. of this scourge!"

Senator Blowhard looked at the men before him, shocked but not surprised.  Finally he stammered, "Gentlemen, I beg you to think of what you're doing here!  The fight in the '20s against alcohol prohibition will be nothing compared to this!  You will have people of all ages, genders, and ethnic groups in up arms against you... they'll be all over us!  And even MY backside, Reverend, is not big enough for that!"

Standing as one, Killjoy and Hackincough launched into a tirade aimed at the senator, threatening him with unspeakable penalties if he did not support them.  As they ranted, the senator again looked past them out the window and his jaw dropped as he saw a sea of people flowing up the mall, all dressed in brown, and carrying brown rectangular signs with C.H.O.M.P. displayed on them.

Reverend Killjoy turned, and seeing what was happening shouted, "Betrayed!" as he headed for the door, with Hackincough right behind.  Before they got halfway across the room, the door was flung open, and Killjoy and his crony were pulled from the room, protesting and screaming imprecations at the senator that he would pay for this.  And two women clad in brown tee shirts with C.H.O.M.P. emblazoned on them, stomped toward the senator, who was cowering in the corner.

"I did what you asked!  Now spare me.., please!  I swear I never intended to actually help them," he pleaded.

The women lead the Senator to the window.  "Watch!," the older one said.  "This is what you'll get if you cross us!"  The Senator watched with horror, which soon changed to amusement, as Killjoy and Hackincough were liberally drenched with chocolate syrup... and as they beat a fast retreat, were doused with crushed nuts thrown by C.H.O.M.P. members.

As he returned to his desk, the senator told the two women, "You know I'd never lie to my wife and my mother!"  And satisfied with his response, they left his office.

Senator Blowhard looked out the window at the chocolate footprints leading back down the mall, and wondered how long they'd keep running.  As he mopped his sweating brow, he leaned back in his chair and pulled a chocolate bar from his desk drawer... and taking a large bite, he sighed "Prohibition indeed!"

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