Andy Stone: A Stone’s Throw
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
It’s mid-November and Thanksgiving is fast approaching – which means skiing in Aspen, turkey with all the fixings and, oh yeah, the traditional visit from your crazy uncle.
You know the crazy uncle I’m talking about. He shows up every year for Thanksgiving. He eats too much, drinks too much, spills too much, tells bad jokes.
And every once in a while he does something so outrageous that it lives on in family history. Like the Great Pumpkin Pie Fight of ’93. Or the time he snuck out into the hallway and filled everybody’s boots with cranberry sauce.
And you never know whether you’re glad to see him, because family gatherings need a little comic relief – or you’re scared to see him, because someone that crazy just might go completely whacko. And there’s a lot of sharp cutlery around at Thanksgiving.
The thing about Crazy Uncle … let’s call him Harold, is that he’s a crackpot. A nutcase. Loony.
He’s always ranting about conspiracies. And he wants to bring back the gold standard because “you can’t trust paper money.”
And he’s completely nuts about hating some obscure president … who is it? Calvin Coolidge? Millard Fillmore? No, no. That’s right, it’s Wilson. Woodrow Wilson.
Actually, it was Millard Fillmore for a while, but Harold gets his consonants tangled when he’s drunk and he would start ranting about Fillard Millmore – so he settled on Wilson because even if you switch the first letters, it’s still Woodrow Wilson.
Plus, he wants to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, which is almost as obscure as Woodrow Wilson. Or Fillard Millmore.
Your mother looks embarrassed every time he starts talking, because he’s her baby brother and she thinks it’s her fault he’s the way he is, because she dropped him on his head one time when she was baby-sitting.
But this year you don’t have to fret. Crazy Uncle Harold won’t be coming to Thanksgiving dinner.
He’ll be in Washington, D.C., because he just got elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
And your mom doesn’t know whether to be bursting with pride because her kid brother’s a member of Congress or writhing with shame because now he might embarrass the family on a national level. Flinging pumpkin pie at the president.
When Harold first said he was running for Congress, your mom though it was “cute.” The last time Harold ran for anything it was captain of the Sixth Grade Safety Patrol and he was trounced by Suzy Miller.
Running for Congress was just Crazy Harold doing his crazy stuff.
But then Harold got interviewed on TV. He was at one of those Tea Party rallies in Washington, standing right next to a woman with a big sign that said “Thou SHALT NOT Change the U.S. Constitution.”
Harold was carrying on about the “missing 13th Amendment” – not the one about ending slavery that you studied in school, but one from 1812 that said something about losing your citizenship if you accepted a “title of nobility or emolument from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power.” Harold insisted that amendment got ratified then somehow got lost during the War of 1812 – it was one of his conspiracies – but now, he declared, that amendment had to be rescued because it meant that Barack Obama had lost his citizenship when he accepted the Nobel Prize.
And the lady with the sign gave him a big wet kiss.
Then, with some of that lady’s lipstick still on his face, Harold started in on that old favorite of his: repealing the 17th Amendment.
That lady kissed him again. Your mom started to cry.
Harold was on his way!
For a while he kept hammering away at the Constitution. There were a few amendments he wanted to get rid of (the 17th, the 16th, a big chunk of the 14th) and a few new amendments he wanted to add.
And he wanted to impeach Woodrow Wilson. Posthumously.
And tear down the Jefferson Memorial.
He ran into a little trouble when he gave a speech demanding that Jefferson’s face be dynamited off Mount Rushmore and replaced with Glenn Beck.
For a moment it looked like his campaign was in trouble. But then he added that Mount Rushmore should be renamed Mount Limbaugh and everyone started to cheer.
He hit another snag when it was revealed that everyone in his hometown called him Crazy Harold.
They asked him about that on “Meet the Press,” but he just gave that weird laugh of his (the one you came to dread on Thanksgiving, the one he gave just before he started throwing pumpkin pie) and he made it his new campaign slogan: Vote for Crazy Harold! He’s crazy enough to get something done!
The clincher came when Sarah Palin endorsed Crazy Harold.
She appeared at one of his rallies and started talking about hunting polar bears.
“I’ve never hunted bears,” said Harold, “but one time when I was on safari in Africa, I shot an elephant in my pajamas.”
You breathed a sigh of relief because you knew he was about to follow that with his favorite punch line, “How that elephant got in my pajamas, I’ll never know,” and that would be the end of his political career.
But the ex-governor screamed with delight. “I shot a bear. You shot an elephant. Together we’ll go hunting RINOs – Republicans In Name Only.”
The crowd went wild and the rest is history.
Oh yeah. It’s going to be a dull Thanksgiving this year.
But at least you won’t have to worry about cleaning cranberry sauce out of your boots.
And, after all, how much harm can one more lunatic do in Washington, D.C.?