[Continued from Notes from the Giant Squid: Concerning the Governance of These United States, A Primer (pt. 2), PMjA Issue #231]
I can now freely admit that, full of the frustrated exasperations by George Double-Yew's systematic deconstruction of my understanding of how this fair, Feral Government of these United States functions, I did set to whinge, "But what of the so-calléd 'Ships of State' of which I hear so often?"
"But molasses, she is indeed the slow."
"It's still just an expression, a thing you say to get at what you're gettin' at; doesn't mean just what the words mean."
"Ahh," I said, noddingly, "Like and how one must say the 'Please' even when he is not pleased, and the 'Thank you' despite the dearth of thankfullness in his one or several hearts."
"Exactly; it's like a . . . pleasantry you sprinkle on the language, to communicate it better. Please, thank you, ship of state, society of ownership . . . they're just words you sweeten up the deal with. Sugar and spice."
"So, then, this Rich Santaria of whom you speak, whom might be well amenable to preparing and presenting before his crewmates the somewhat odious Mandatory Plastic Clink-Wrap Halter-Top bill which I have sworn to my faithful assistant, Rob, would become the law, is he then a pirate or a pilgrim?"
George Double-Yew did let slip a frustrated puff of air from his eating-mouth, "No, you're still not gettin' it. There's no boats—just the Capital building with the two chambers— and none of 'em are pilgrims or pirates . . ." and he paused, "Or all of 'em are both."
"So I was correct in my initial surmise, at least in the broad strokes?"
"No, it's just that . . . see, you've got this way, Squidgy, of being so far off base . . . it's like once you get a million miles off course, you're suddenly back in the right place, on account, you've, just 'bout gone all the way around the world. See, if you've got a neighbor, and he's to the east, he's got the next place over to the east, and you go down to the end of your driveway and turn west . . . well, you've gone the wrong way. But if you keep goin' west, far past everything and off the edge of California, through China and Afghanistan and overtop of Africa, and back over Georgia . . . see, you'll still get there. You'll be in the right place, but you'll have got there all wrong. Do you see? Am I tossin' a pitch you can get a piece of?"
I nodded of the headsac "Of course, George Double-Yew. The matter is so much the clearer now," although, in truth, it was not. George Double-Yew, so oft so hermetic in his utterances, my own little Sage Yoda in an Oaken Cask.
"Good. 'Cause, I don't wanna spend more time on this, on account I'm . . . concerned with some of what I saw on your original diagram," I pressed the transparency back unto his glass visu-window, so that he might indicate the points of interest, and George Double-Yew tapped on the glass directly adjacent to the Piñta, with her fierce crew of Ninja Indiana, "What you describe here . . . well, just going from the rest of the diagram, and the Jude Law business . . . seems the Pirates and Pilgrims is Congress—that's your Legislative branch of government—and the zombie is like the Courts—which are Judicial—so then this Piñata business has pretty much gotta be the Executive branch, which is the President—"
"I, then, am a Ninjian?" I ejaculated with, admittedly, more than a little shrill of thrill in my triple-hearts: to be such a savage assassin—at first, I was honored, but then searching deeper, I saw that it was confirmation of a fate and origin I did always suspect, liken to how Luke the Sky Walker did ultimately discover, in the 5th Episode, that he was indeed the son of the Darth Visitor, only to realize that it was truly only confirmation of a truth with which he was already, if secretly even to himself, well acquainted. I, a Ninjian. It stood to good reason: Am I not stealthy and strong, steely of will, amoral in my leanings (or lack thereof) and capable of the inky invisibility? I did, in those brief moments afore George Double-Yew did again bring down crashingly my fancies, dare to dream of myself swathed in black silks, befeathered, with a deadly tobacco rest-in-peace pipe in one hunting tentacle, a razored katana in the next, and my 8 arms equipped with shuriken, nunchucku, a bow staff, a bowsprite, maracas, a tom tom, a canoe and the red-death shroud of a woolen smallpox blanket.
"No. I don't know where any of that craziness . . . where you got all of that. This," he tapped the glass again, "Is the Executive Branch—"
I jumped in eagerly, "In charge of the executions? Such would explain your ex-Presidency, George Double-Yew, for were you not a great executioner of men, both in fact and in policy, who—"
"No!" Such fury had come from his lips, such acridity, like the spits of the locusts of yore. I was struck to silence by the causticity of his anger, and he himself seemed shocked at its power. A silence spun out between us.
"Sorry," George Double-Yew muttered, "You're a heck of a piece of work, Squidgy, but you just got so darn excited, start running at the mouth. It flusters."
"Apologies unnecessary, George Double-Yew."
"You ain't mad? 'cause I don't know if I can fight off another of them baboons—"
"No anger at all, George Double-Yew. Once again, in your humanity, you remind me of the humanity for which, as a leader of humans, I should strive to emulate—or, in the least, fabricate."
"A baboon is unnecessary in this instance. You were saying?"
"Of the executions?"
"Oh, nothin' . . . just, it's Executive branch, not Execution branch of anything like that. It's in charge of executing the laws that come down out of Congress. It's the President—which is you—and then . . . well, pretty much anything that's a Department of Something is part of the Executive Branch: State Department, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Homeland Security—"
"The Department of Booty Calls?"
"I . . . I guess. Did you make a Department of Booty Calls?"
"Yes. It's headed by George Clinton. His P-Funk All Stars were undisputed in the field."
"What are they—"
"Booty Calls, and the quality of the Funks, in the general case."
George Double-Yew appeared to consider this, and I considered other matters; specifically, I was forced into a reimagining of what I had previously known. For the example, compare, on the left, Frankly Pierce, our 14th United States President, as I did initially conceive him and the much more prosaic Frankly Pierce, as he was, on the right:
It is, frankly, difficult for me to imagine this plain, pleasant man coursing through the forests hunting beefalo, sliding undetected into adobe rancheros and tainting the burritos of traitorous TexMexicans during the TexMexAmerican War, or repealing the Missouri Compromise in single combat with nought but his empty hand and lightning reflexes to his credit.
And to think, I had felt so akin to him, we both having been born at the bottom of bodies of water*.
I sighed, for there is always a sadness when our treasured delusions prove, "As always, George Double-Yew, you have proven invaluable. Just recall, was it not two days afore that I was entertaining Mr. Mugabe and the severed heads of Mr.s Watson, Crick and Rehnquist out in the Rose Garden, telling them, 'I would simply be unable to function were it not for my steadfast man, Ex-President George Double-Yew Bush,' and they—"
"That's another thing I've been meaning to bring up," George Double-Yew muttered, growing stiff and petulant of the lip, "See, traditionally, you call the President 'President', and you call any, ehem," he did make of the air-quotation marks, " 'ex-president' President, too."
I looked upon him blankly; again, his language had become too efficient, overfrought with meaning, and I was lost. Such the poet.
"Like, when I'd go to a function with Bill Clinton, the news media would say 'Today President Bush and President Clinton presided over a—' whatever. It's traditional."
"But non-sensical, George Double-Yew, for while I preside over the Free World, making the Wars and Rapaciousnesses and such, you currently preside over nothing. You inhabit my Cabinet and give of the advice. I could call you 'Inahbitor George Double-Yew'; is that preferable?"
"Ex-President is fine," he glowered, slumping back, arms a-crossed over his chest.
"Fine and accurate. It is best to be fine and accurate in all things."
"Whatever," George Double-Yew said, looking righterly, into the confines of his Cabinet, and refusing to make of the eye contacts.
"Pout not, George Double-Yew. You know," I cooed, "I recall well the moment in which I thrust into your living enclosure that much enragéd baboon. You were quite the little scrapper. Were you a Jude Law, and should you come across that judicial zombie, there is not doubt you would survive the melee."
George Double-Yew shook shaggy his head, slumped of his shoulder, and momentarily was silent. Then, with deep in breath, he spoke:
to be continued . . .
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