Where politicians go for career health care
By D W. Steep
“Excuse me,” began junior senator Robert Caldwell, to the nurse behind the glass partition. “But, I think I’m feeling the onset of a Conviction.”
The nurse immediately sprang into action via triggering the emergency alarm, for they are rigorously taught at St. Pinocchio Memorial to be on guard for just such red-flag words — the utterance of which immediately elevates a political patient to emergency status. A battery of tests ensued, after which, junior senator Robert Caldwell was ushered into the office of chief administrator, Dr. Rupert Burns.
“I’m sorry to inform you, Mr. Caldwell, but our tests have confirmed that you do indeed have a Conviction,” began Dr. Burns, who then placed a cat-scan upon the viewfinder. “It started right here,” he continued, while pointing to a small grayish area in the upper left corner of Mr. Caldwell’s scan, “and the virulent little sucker has now spread all the way down to this small pocket right here, at the base of your spine.”
“My political life is over,” gasped Caldwell.
“Not exactly,” replied Dr. Burns, “luckily for you, Robert, we caught your Conviction early, before it had a chance to grow into an Unwavering Conviction. So, at the moment, thank goodness — it’s only a benign Conviction.”
“So there’s hope?” gulped Caldwell.
“Only if we can get to the root cause of your Conviction, Robert,” replied Dr. Burns. “Until we know what caused it, we can’t treat it. So tell me honestly, Robert, have you been exposed to anyone suffering from the disease of Conviction as of late?”
“My new girlfriend, doc,” confessed a sullen Caldwell. “She’s an environmentalist and has been harping endlessly at me about what she perceives as my lack of concern over environmental issues.”
“Let me guess,” said Dr. Burns, “you cohabitated with this woman, knowing full well that she suffered from the disease of an Unwavering Conviction – and you didn’t use any protection, is that right?”
“Those earplugs are uncomfortable, doc,” mumbled Caldwell. “So let’s cut to the chase, doc, how do I get my political health back?”
Dr. Burns whipped a notepad and pen from his breast pocket and began his prescribed regimen with, “First dump that environmentalist conviction spreading incubus of yours, then go to our bookstore downstairs and grab the following pamphlets, conviction exposure, second-hand convictions can kill, and — most importantly – how to live a conviction free life.
“That’s it?” asked Caldwell.
“No,” replied Dr. Burns. “There’s a support group consisting of politicians just like yourself, meeting downstairs in approximately ten-minutes, I highly suggest that you attend. Hopefully, their stories will inspire and fill you with hope. It will assist greatly in the overall recovery of your political life’s health, Robert.”
Robert Caldwell arrived and hastily took a seat with his new support group just as the testimonial phase got underway. “My name is Cindy Mathews and I’m a councilwoman from Des Moines,” began the pleasant looking young woman at the podium, “and I’m also suffering from a rare strain of the politically life threatening disease known as, An Inability to Lie or Deny.”
The room went silent for quite some time, aside from those, that is, who upon hearing the news – were moved to weep openly.
“She’s so young!” blubbered a visibly shaken female senator, whose Kleenex was rapidly turning mascara saturated purple.
“But wait, there’s good news!” added miss Mathews, causing the crowd to immediately perk-up in their seats. “Thanks to Dr. Burns and the staff here at Pinocchio Memorial, I’m happy to say that my disease is now in full remission!”
The small intimate crowd exploded with joy at this much welcomed news. “How did they do it?” asked a congressman currently suffering from an intestinally disruptive case of politically life-threatening, Immutable Core Beliefs.
“Well, the treatment was painful at first,” stated miss Mathews, “because it involved completely disowning my parents, who, as it turns out, were directly responsible for giving me this disease. Especially my father; and his dictatorial adherence to that politically unseemly doctrine called, telling the truth.”
“They don’t deserve you!” shouted councilman, Del Grady, whose own mother had planted the seeds which eventually culminated in his current politically life-threatening disease of, Overt Compassion.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy,” added miss Mathews. “But I do believe that I’m learning to lie and deny with more and more gusto with each and every passing day.”
“You go girl!” shouted a visibly moved congresswoman, herself in the midst of battling a politically life-threatening reoccurrence of the disease called, Platform Adherence.
“Now, all I have to do in order to stay well,” said miss Mathews in closing, “is to follow Doctor Burns’ ongoing treatment regimen of avoiding anything written by Abe Lincoln, stay away from my parents, never rent the video Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – and — to limit my political studies to the reading of nothing other than William Jefferson Clinton footnotes.”
The crowd thundered their approval as a blushing miss Mathews left the podium. Robert Caldwell then watched intently as one after another his political peers in pain gave their heart wrenching testimonials. With each and every one – Robert swore that he could actually feel the Conviction in his head shriveling exponentially.
Then was heard the final testimonial of the afternoon, which carried with it a mention of that letter which they had all been secretly dreading to hear, The Big “C” … unceremoniously brought to the podium by mayoral candidate from Wisconsin, Huey B. Delbert.
“You heard me right,” reiterated Huey, “I have a politically life-threatening case of Character.”
The crowd winced. The Big “C” … they had all heard about it, sure, but living as they did — predominantly in Washington DC – none of them had ever before been exposed to an actual case of it. “I thought Character was cured in the sixties,” whispered Caldwell to a neighbor, “during the televised Nixon Kennedy debates, when politically-pretty killed it.”
“Apparently, it was just lying dormant,” replied Caldwell’s neighbor.
“Now for the good news!” continued Mr. Huey B. Delbert. “Yes, my brothers and sisters of the politico — thanks to Doctor Burns and the staff here at St. Pinocchio Memorial, my Character is now in full remission!”
“Yet another miracle!” bellowed many in the now jubilant crowd.
“A miracle indeed – for I now have my political life back!” added Huey. “That filthy abscess called Character no longer has jurisdiction over my future, and has instead been appropriately replaced by the far more politically proficient, non-committal, unassuming, bland, watered-down, waxing, waning, hedging, hawing, lying, cheating, and all around intrinsically moribund little carbon-based animation that I am today!”
“Delbert for mayor in 2008!” exploded the room.