Thomas Jefferson is Everything #4

Scientists have made an astonishing and sobering discovery that may throw a wrench into the environmentalist machine. Global warming alarmists and activists have long trumpeted the melting of the polar ice caps as a sign of the times, a consequence of human greed and arrogance, and real economic, social, and structural danger to many nations across the globe.

A team of MIT researchers, though, have discovered that the process of ice caps melting has a name: Thomas Jefferson. The great founding father of the nation is not dead but in fact alive and well as a climactic event of global scale. Thomas Jefferson first amazed a people, a nation, and the world through his political beliefs and philosophies, but he is now to be known as a multifaceted natural process.

Many politicians are excited about his return. Liberals and conservatives alike consider it a boon to their agendas. The second coming of Jefferson poses problems for both camps, however. For the liberals, he may be a strong voice for human rights, but he is also the scourge of the planet. For conservatives, he may be a staunch supporter of small government, but he also, in being real, will require them to acknowledge his -- and therefore global warming's -- existence.

Thomas Jefferson was a controversial man in the past -- and he remains so today.

Curious citizens can expect to get a taste of Jefferson in the form of a warm front expected to arrive early next week.


I've removed my toilet from its fixtures. It lies on its side on the tile floor, a towel draped over part of it, water spilled all the way to the bathroom door.

I'm standing over the hole where the bowl used to be, just looking in.

And I've been thinking about the track suit I dried out, the halibut planted on my person, the horses and the hooks -- and all I'm left with is the pipes. Down there, the pipes are still talking, still not mentioning my name.

But who are they talking to?

I don't drop in just because I want to find out. I don't climb into the hole because I need to know.

No, I step through the floor of my bathroom and into the pipes beneath because there's not much to look for on this side, either. I don't go from here to there like hot water flowing into cold, but like the idle exchange of two luke-warm currents diffusing across a thin membrane. I could have walked out the door just as easily, but maybe the wind was blowing a certain way. Or maybe I'd put in enough work pulling that toilet up that, hey, what else was I going to do, put the thing back and call it a day?

No, I dropped into the pipes.

It was big enough for me to stand, about as wide as outspread arms. I felt the floor boards of my home above me, but as I walked they were soon replaced by concrete, then dirt, and finally rusted iron or lead. A gentle stream flowed slowly beneath my feet.

Floating by were pamphlets and brochures from political campaigns I'd never heard or dreamed of, nightmarish platforms and absurd testimonials. Scrawled on the walls were unreadable messages from who knows when.

It never branched off, just kept going straight and was somehow always dimly lit.

Eventually, I came to a tree where all the pamphlets had gotten stuck, soaked in water. They were bunched up on the branches as if hung there like ornaments. As I yanked on one, though, it stuck fast -- and when it came loose, it did so only with a snap. The campaigns were some kind of fruit grown here in my bathroom pipes.

My shit fertilizes this crap, I thought. It gives me a sense of ownership, at least.

I pee on the tree and then keep walking, a few fruits in hand. I speculate that I can eat these informational packets if the need arises. I feel vindicated by the idea of it: whatever nutrients have been leached from my refuse by this tree will be recouped by my body, diffused backward into my system at last.

I'm not collecting with interest, but it's at least a tiny compensation.

I need a rest, I think, leaning down against the pipe wall here beneath my bathroom -- all of which I'm beginning to believe is somewhere inside of me. As I fall asleep, even though I'm traveling essentially in a straight line in my own house -- and what might even be my own body -- I giggle a bit at the fact that I think I might be getting lost.

Politicians I Have Tasted #15

Tony Blair in Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction

  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Tony Blair
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
number of stars



  1. In large pot, stir together the rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub it all onto Tony Blair, making sure to get it on both sides. Place him on a plate, cover and set aside for 15 minutes to absorb the flavors. He will do most of the work for you, lapping it up with his tongue.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place Tony Blair in the skillet, and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes per side, talking to him about his favorite things and movies, or continue to cook to your desired doneness. Doneness is a personal preference. Do not let Tony influence your feelings about doneness. He will only try to deceive you. Remove from the skillet, and keep warm on a serving platter.
  3. Add shallots to the skillet as if you were mad with power, and cook for a few minutes, just until browned. Sigh with relief and satisfaction as you mix in some vinegar, scraping any bits of Tony Blair from the bottom of the skillet (his skin is tender and has grown attached to the pan -- you must be forceful with him, exercise tough love here like elbow grease), then stir in the chicken broth. Continue to cook and stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the sauce and Tony Blair have reduced by half. If you don't, the sauce will be runny and not good. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter. Pour over Tony Blair, who -- if he isn't dead or unconscious -- will have much to say and talk about. Offer him a few nuts or bits of stuffing and he may grant you a few choice words of wisdom or a smooch on the mouth as you eat him.
Serves 4

Wine Tip

Try with a California red wine , like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.

When Politicians Combine #1

Early in my life, I was baptised by the reverend George Hamilton and the great deacon Thomas Jefferson.

Moving with the majesty of migrating whales, the two of them combined their bodies into one huge megapolitician that spoke six languages and could write sixteen new bills in a single fortnight.

They baptised me with their fifteen arms again and again until not only all of my sins were washed away, but my skin and my skull and my brain as well.

They told me that the worst sins are in fact our bodies and all of the things that we are made of.

New: Faster, More Sensitive Anthrax Detection System

Detecting anthrax has long been an ugly and detestable practice. Rippling muscles on the point of bursting and redundancy -- along with a brand of machismo that outdoes the most sexist of pigs -- make modern anthrax detection one of the most caustic forms of detection.

Yet, scientists recently unveiled a method of detecting anthrax that enjoys tea, sweaters, and knitting.

This anthrax detection system walks old ladies across the street, carries their groceries up the stairs, gives them a sponge bath, and makes them feel like they've started their lives over again on a bed of fresh pillows and baby wipes.

The government recently started using it at a number of US Post Offices. Asked for an opinion, the Post Office remarked, "Well, being a large network of buildings and roads and codes does make life difficult. It's hard to get your bearings. Having something a little bit nicer in your life for once sure is a relief."

Other government offices have things to say on the matter as well. Says the Pentagon: "If I could bathe in the this anthrax detection system, I would." The judicial branch? "This shit is like heroin. I'm hooked."

In fact, fears of a widespread addiction to this detection system are not unfounded. Historically, people and places are loathe to be infected by anthrax, so any detection system at all was already desirable -- but now that it's so sensitive, things may get out of control.

The Department of Weights and Measures says, "I'm steering clear of the stuff myself. Too risky. Give me a punch to the face and tell me my teeth are anthrax free. That's how I like it and that's how I'll take it."

Still, only time will tell how sensitivity will really affect the anthrax detection market.

Maybe I'm Becoming Invisible, Too

Today, as I walked through the park toward downtown, I was followed by an empty track suit moving of its own accord.

Pressing my ears to the gutter drains, I heard names whispered, but not mine. People's identities whisked about like diplomats at the airport, but the drains had nothing on me.

This suit was running off the tubes, then, swimming in another river all together. What was his hook, I wondered, and was I his fish?

When I tried to ambush him, he just crumpled like some old clothes -- like any regular inanimate track suit.

I thought about putting it on, but instead I picked it up off the grass, and plopped it into a washer at the closest laundromat. I would have gone straight for the dryer, but there was a "wash first" policy -- strictly enforced according to the signs.

Once the suit was in the dryer, I left and didn't come back, but only after I watched the thing tumble for a bit.

Later that night, I spent some time trying to make my socks move of their own accord. I gave up eventually, satisfied that they stood perfectly still as if by stubborn purpose.

That's good enough, I think.

Children Erupt From The Mouth of McCain

While giving a speech in Iowa today, John McCain made a serious political fumble akin to Howard Dean's infamous scream: while explaining his stance on foreign relations with Turkey, a fourth grade boy named Todd burst forth from his mouth. Trying to make light of it, McCain simply brushed the boy aside, but no one could ignore when, in the middle of explaining why Turkey should not join the EU, an entire elementary school's worth of children poured out of his face like water from a busted summer hydrant in the Bronx. The children, now a virile internet sensation, have been handed over to the wires and cables and are under the care of millions of eyes and ears for at least the next five minutes -- after which they are expected to have never existed in the first place.

McCain, covered in a thick cloud of controversy, is expected to clear up with a chance of light showers in time for the weekend.