Voice of the Kingfisher speaks out …from a different perspective
by Elinor Montgomery
The Buffoon, the Statesman and the Missing Socks
May 26, 2011
On this particular day, the buffoon felt like he had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. He knew it was not going to be a good one and, to top it off, he could not find his socks. He was not anticipating having to face those eyes of the statesman, which pierced through him to the core. He always felt so very insecure just thinking about going before the cameras. Now all he needed to do was find his socks – where were the darn things anyway?
He thought about asking his wife for help, but then thought better of it, for this was her day for combat classes, and he knew the steely look she got in her eye when he tried to approach her about his mundane needs on the best of days. No, he would have to find them himself. “Then, too,” he reconsidered, “I could go without socks, for I’m not exactly like those anemic-looking white folk.” At that moment he realized the big advantage a black president had over a white one, even reason enough for being elected, he mused, was that a black president could get away without wearing his socks and no one would ever be the wiser.
How he hated the cameras without his prompter! It just wasn’t fair to have to sit before the statesman without having his crutch with him. Thank goodness he had planned to get away from it all, so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the man for very long! It would be worth playing the role of the “McIrish” and even putting up with those stuffy Englishmen for the sake of escaping the statesman.
However, he hadn’t forgotten the sting of not being invited to the Royal wedding, along with the other heads of state. Had America not been England’s ally and best friend for years? Perhaps he shouldn’t have told the French that they were America’s best friend and ally. But surely the Queen, of all people, should know that heads of state have to lie a little whenever the necessity presents itself. She must know that it really doesn’t mean anything more than stretching the truth a bit, when it comes to taking political liberties. But then too, he had to remember, she didn’t have to play politics to get elected; her job was secure.
The statesman stepped down from the plane to feel his feet land on American soil, the land of liberty. His elation was short-lived when he remembered that it was only a matter of hours now before he had to try and communicate with the buffoon. He had often looked at the buffoon’s ears and wondered just exactly what lay between them. It certainly was very different trying to get through to this man in the same way he had reached out and related with his predecessors; this one was a real conundrum.
He would simply have to pull himself together and speak in as simple and basic truths as possible and maybe, just maybe, he could get the buffoon to understand what kind of a neighborhood it is, in which he is living. It certainly does not bear any similarity to the neighborhood of Canada and the United States. Oh well, he decided he would have to use as simple terms as possible and try not to confuse him with big words. The statesman knew he would have his day before the Senate and Congress, where he would at last be dealing with fairly normal and reasonable people.
The buffoon sat down before the cameras with his face reflecting the kind of day he was having. He hoped they would not pick up the fact that he wasn’t wearing any socks. It was all too much for him, traveling and having to deal with this statesman at the same time and then, on top of it, to have to keep his clothes in order for both occasions. In these matters, his wife was no help at all to him, and what good was a staff that never seemed to be on the same wave-length with him or his needs?
Suddenly, he was looking into those eyes when he remembered the word “borders”, yes, “borders” – that was what this was all about. He would get right to the point, before he forgot, so he blurted out what he had memorized about the 1967 borders. But there were those eyes again that completely unnerved him. Maybe he had been confused on this point when the statesman clearly indicated that his nation would not go back to its old borders. He began to finger his ear while the statesman watched the discomfort of the man with interest. Then he noticed something rather unusual – the buffoon was not wearing any socks.
The statesman and his wife walked along the shores of the Potomac, looking at the monuments while reflecting upon the liberty this country had enjoyed and the great ideals of great men, which had been written into its Constitution. “What is happening to this great country?” he asked his wife as he thought about the fact that their best friends in the world were beginning to look like their neighbors.
In his mind the names, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Barack Hussein Obama all seemed to blend together. How was it possible that this could be happening in a country like America? He feared the world would never be the same again, if America failed to remain on the path of her destiny. Was she falling back onto the broad road of the old world from which she had separated when her people departed for the New World?
Back in his suite, the statesman called his wife to come quickly to the television set to take a look at something very funny, which was happening to the buffoon. There he was, in Ireland, in the grand motorcade coming through the gate when the official car got stuck on a bump in the road and could move neither forward nor backward. There it sat in the balance as the motorcade came to an abrupt stop, looking for all the world like it were going nowhere.
Then the cameras immediately moved to another scene showing the buffoon standing beside the Queen and raising his glass to make a toast to her, using quotes from Shakespeare, all the while that the National Anthem was being played. It appeared that she was trying to tell him, as nicely as possible, to be still. Again, he was without his prompter, and his aides had failed to inform him about the patriotism of the English, something about which he knew nothing. When it was all over and he had put down his glass and bowed his head, the audience then raised their glasses, so that he and the audience where totally out of sync with each other.
It was all too much for the statesman and his wife, as they tried to stifle their laughter, but they were unable to do so. He looked at her quizzically and astonished her by saying, “I bet, if the cameras could go beneath the table, they would discover that he was not wearing any socks.” The statesman’s wife had no idea what her husband was talking about, but she had to laugh as she looked at the ribbon of office on the man’s chest and tried to visualize him without any socks. What a strange picture it conjured up for a head of state!
This year 2008 had been the worst in memory for the buffoon; he would never forget it. He made up his mind, then and there, that once he had struggled his way through the next set of meetings with heads of state and without a prompter again, he would surely take a holiday and take it among his own kind of people, while it was still not too late to enjoy the Arab Spring. The flowers should be in full bloom, and whether Michelle liked it or not he would head home to find some rest among those of his own kind.
It had taken its toll on him, going from being the Messiah back to being a mere mortal and all in the space of a couple of years; they were like lost years to him. Being a Community Organizer had simply meant listening to the bosses, who controlled everything; they had never told him it would be like this, where he would have to think for himself so much of the time.
Harvard and Columbia had been a breeze, for he merely had to show up at the first school, and then cover up the fact that he really hadn’t done all the wonderful things the media said he had done as a student. The second university was even easier – he didn’t have to show up at all to be able to put the school’s name on his résumé, for he was generally under the protection of the media, when it came to making false declarations.
Oh well, he would think about it all tomorrow! Then he looked around the room and cried out in frustration, as he was about to depart for his meetings, “Where the heck are my socks again?” He wondered if he could pull it off one more time without being caught.