(NOTE: This is the piece that launched maybe the best story I tell on the circuit, about the woman fact-checker at George. If any of the seven of you don’t know it verbatim by now, let me know and I will attach a clip of me telling it. This was a daunting assignment, probably because it was their idea. They wanted me to do a conspiracist’s view of American History in 600 words. I don’t think like that, so I just went with paranoid. I did two versions of the piece (as I used to do sometimes to give my editors a choice), and this first one made it through and sparked the great story with the fact checker. I got one more piece published, “The All-Purpose Concession Speech,” in the next issue, then tried to reboot the “Other Women Come Forward” essay which you’ve already seen. No dice. Then, JFK Jr. retooled the magazine for the fourth or fifth time and killed the humor essay —“Quips” — at the front of each issue. But two pieces in two months? What a run!)
QUIPS: CONSPIR-U.S.-CY HISTORY
First of all, I am not going to fall for your tricks. I will not be lured out of my ironclad ideological hole and into your mind-bending snare. But I need the money, so I’ll fill your space.
The entire history of the United States never happened. Never happened spontaneously, that is. It was all staged. All an elaborate 222-year ruse to distract you and me (Well, you, not me.), while an unseen force from the Unknown Galaxy makes untold riches pulling the marionette strings on its earthly ally.
By the way, if you’re paying attention, 222 is one-third of 666.
You’d love to know what I know. I have all the data, and all the documentation, but I refuse to feed your “lawyers” and “experts” who will spin my logic in the centrifuge of so-called “rational thought.” Whose rational thought? Yours? THE MEDIA? What, and leave show business?
However, for the sake of discourse and because, like I said, I need the money, I will indulge you slightly. Ask yourself these questions, and let yourself see, if you dare, the pattern that emerges:
** Why on the original Declaration of Independence – the one nobody can seem to find anymore – does the flourish under John Hancock’s signature look like a Nike swoosh?
** Why did John Hancock die without life insurance?
** Why were the French so nice to us during the Revolution and so rude since?
** Is it just a coincidence that the last thing eyewitnesses heard Alexander Hamilton say to Aaron Burr was, “Now, you’re sure this will get me on the ten?”
** We all know tobacco was America’s first cash crop. How come everyone in France still smokes and no one gets sick?
** Why, in the middle of a battle, does Francis (pronounced France-iss) Scott Key write a song he knows is not nearly as good as “America the Beautiful?” (And we’re not even talking about the Ray Charles version.)
** How comes there’s a first draft of the shooting script for “Gone With the Wind” registered with the Writers’ Guild and dated April, 1859?
** Why does the Statue of Liberty (a gift from France) have its torch perfectly aligned with Neptune? Or do you think it just cute that “immigrants” are now called “aliens?”
** How come the Native Americans in California, who’d lived on the land for centuries, never found gold, but some idiot from New Jersey with a pick and a pan did?
** Why was a man fitting Walt Disney’s description seen sneaking into an ice wagon near Anaheim in 1884, 17 years before he was “born.”
** How come the first airplane flight didn’t take place until 1903, over 3000 years after the first Kosher meal?
** Why do sequels traditionally fail, yet World War II made much more money than World War I?
** And while we’re on the subject, how come every vacationing foreign tourist left Hawaii on December 6, 1941, despite the fact that the cheaper air fare required a Saturday night stay?
** Why would a guy trying to prove he wasn’t a spy keep the name Alger Hiss?
** How come the Korean War lasted four years, but “M*A*S*H” lasted eight?
** If there really was a Cold War, as reported, why do you supposed of the six men who each knew one number of the combination of the safe which contained the recipe for Coca-Cola, three of them spoke Russian? And all of them spoke French?
** And why, in the list of ingredients on a can of Coke, is nerve gas never included?
** Am I the only one who, when he saw the “moon landing,” noticed the Paramount water tower in the corner of “outer space?”
** Why was the Gulf War so conveniently scheduled during February sweeps?
** How come Linda Tripp has the exact same jowls as Nixon?
** Why is soccer popular everywhere else in the world but the United States?
** Why is Jerry Lewis popular in France?
** What country won this year’s World Cup?
This was too easy. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to de-activate the land mines the Department of the Interior planted under my living room rug while I wrote this.
(By the way, you didn’t hear any of this from me.)