Friday, February 14, 2014

Scenes from a presidential banquet, part 1

This fall one of the students I tutor — an elementary school kid — told me he had to memorize the American presidents (#'s 9-23) for a quiz the next day. We had thirty minutes to get him prepared. But flashcards are not his thing, man, and neither are raps. So a silly story was the name of the game. Parts of it made me laugh fit to kill. I think it deserves a public debut, especially if you like your Fridays with a side of zany. And so, I give you, “A scene from a presidential banquet, part 1” 

(Hint: read it aloud. Most of the presidents’ names are harder to see and easier to hear. All first and last names are present in the story):

At the presidential banquet, William Henry’s hairy son (William Henry Harrison) knocked impatiently on the bathroom door. “Hurry up in there!” he shouted.

Unbeknownst to him, the 10th president of the United State was sitting on the john reading the newspaper, whilst wearing a tie (John Tyler).

When John finally ventured out of the bathroom and into the ballroom, he saw James poking Zachary’s best friend Taylor (James Polk and Zachary Taylor).

Taylor was ticklish, so he fell backwards and hit Millard who was filling more punch in his cup (Millard Fillmore).

His punch spilled everywhere, splashing onto Franklin who was piercing his cake angrily with a knife (Franklin Pierce). Earlier that day, James blew a cannon at Franklin, putting him in a foul mood (James Buchanan).

At that moment, Abraham pulled up in a Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln), and Andrew and John’s sons (Andrew Johnson), who both happened to be named Ulysses, jumped out of the back seat. “We can’t wait to see the grand staircase in this banquet hall!” they exclaimed (Ulysses Grant).

While they were gushing and waiting for Abraham to park the car, a girl named Ruth came running up the street. “Have you seen a cat anywhere?!” she cried. “He’s stolen my money, and now I can’t afford to buy a hamburger. Hey! There he is! Get him!” (Rutherford Hayes).

It was Garfield. “Catch me if you can!” he yelled as he whizzed by. “I have plans to buy some lasagna! Lasagna that’s just for me — you better believe I won’t be sharing any of it with my roommate, James” (James Garfield).

Just then, Arthur the Jester (Chester Arthur) walked out of a clown shop and into Garfield’s way. He had a groovy bounce in his step as he declared to the cat, “Hey! In Cleveland, where I’m from, we don’t steal! (Grover Cleveland).” “Give that lady back her benjamins, you hairy son of a gun” (Benjamin Harrison).

And that’s it for now, folks. It’s a real cliff hanger. Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3.

The kiddo and I have joked about writing a book. Just in case we do, © MG and SJ

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 © by scj

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