Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"I was never much of a UVA guy," by Thomas Jefferson

Hey UVA Board of Visitors:

Um, I am not criticizing any of the changes or anything. I mean, you guys do what you want, okay? It's not completely how I'd handle it - I'm kind of a freedom and transparency guy, myself. But this whole shadowy Star Chamber thing totally works for some people. It seems to be where the country is going.

So I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but I thought it was a good time to point out that my role in creating UVA has been way, way overblown in the past couple of years. I had help, a great deal of help. It was all done by committee, really. My name popped up on a couple of receipts, I signed some blueprints, and the thing snowballed.

What I'm saying is that as you go forward transforming this place into one seriously kick-ass regional correspondence school, you might want to make a few minor changes. Set the record straight, y'know? Kind of lower my profile, so we're more accurate.

Like, there are a couple of paintings and statues of me around the place that you might want to maybe swap out for something more contemporary. I mean, that big one in front of the Rotunda is just completely unnecessary. Talk about ego! It does not reflect what I did here. You ever hear about that store called Cool And Eclectic? They do these really nice life-sized statues of classic Hollywood celebrities. Wouldn't a giant plaster Marilyn Monroe doing her steam-up-the-skirt pose look great out there? It would really sell the place.

Speaking of Rotunda: I bet you are looking at that thing and trying to get some extra office space. People are probably telling you you can't knock out a wall or pop off that dome and stick a couple of extra floors up there. Hey, go nuts. It would actually help me if it didn't look so much like my house. And you seriously need more revenue. Having some law firms throwing you a rent check every month would help, am I right? So do it. I'm asking.

I know you might want to toss my name around when you have tours of the place. But I want to tell you, there are some other Founding Fathers who played an even larger role than I did. Like Adams. Yep. Bet you didn't even know, did you? John Adams was a super good friend of mine, and we stole some of his best ideas during construction. If you're in the mood for freshening up the brand, I've got an idea to run by you: John Adams Technical College. How the hell does that thing sound?! Go Fightin' Federalists! Ha.

I think you're doing a great job. Just a great job. And I can't wait to see how Adams Tech develops in the future. I know you've got big plans.

And as long as you leave my name out of it, I wish you the best.

From The Beginning Was The Word


When you speak you repeat the old rite.
You take two goats:
the truth and
his gray brother,
which you tie with a red thread
for a sign, for your sign
in the wilderness -
to tell them apart.
But it tangles them together;
They run clumsy and quick
with enough line to cross a whole world.

You would snap it,
but someone stitched that scarlet
into your skin
down to your very heart.

So you wait by the road
for what's yours (truly)
to return
when night comes.

(This will be part of a larger story called The Black Book of Children's Bible Stories. More about that later.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The World's Oldest Dirty Joke

And the LORD said unto Satan: 'Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a whole-hearted and an upright man, one that feareth God, and shunneth evil?'

Have I got an act for you.

Then Satan answered the LORD, and said: 'Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not Thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath, on every side?

I don't know. Doesn't sound impressive. I'm a busy man. Tell me, what does this guy do?

And the LORD said unto Satan: 'Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand.' So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Then the fun starts. There are different variations. Highlights include:

...the Sabeans made a raid, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword...

...A fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them...

...Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house... And, behold, there came a great wind from across the wilderness...

...sore boils from the sole of his foot even unto his crown...

...Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not perish at birth? Why did the knees receive me?... For now should I have lain still and been quiet...

The Agent scratches his head and says, "That's some act. What do you call it?"

(Still working on the punchline. I bet it's going to be good.)

A Big "Thank You!" From BP About The Whole Iran Thing

Hey, guys. Over here at BP we decided to take a moment to thank you folks for all the support you've shown us over the years - especially for that absolute solid you did for us in 1953. Back when we were the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, the rulers of Iran wanted to nationalize us and take all the oil away. As you remember they were being really, really unreasonable about it.

Anyway, then the CIA came to the rescue, toppled the government, and just let us go back to doing what we do best. We were looking through the Agency's report over at the National Security Archive, and it just got us thinking about how much we really, really owe you. I mean, if it weren't for you guys, there probably wouldn't even be a BP!

Lately you've been going through some real tension with Iran. In fact, let's face it, things have never really been on solid ground with them in the years since the Shah left. There's been some drama, you know? And we sometimes get the sense that maybe our whole deal was partly to blame. Those guys just do not like you. And it's got to be at least a little bit because of how you stepped up for us. Anyway, it gives us a warm feeling that we have the kind of friends willing to make sacrifices - sometimes serious sacrifices - for us.

We want you to know as you go through tough times ahead we totally have your back. We like to think in the decades after you saved our bacon we've been a good friend and a good corporate citizen. Every day our executives drive to work, and we think about the costs you paid to keep us afloat.

"People put a lot on the line for us!" we tell each other. "Let's make sure we're worth it."

Not to brag, but we think we've done a good job. An almost completely good job.
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