S. Wiley for president

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By Ken Begley


Do you guys remember Mr. Wiley?

Mr. S. Wiley, or Slick to his friends and the folks at the FBI, is my 91-year-old “personal advisor,” formerly from New York City. Mr. Wiley used to be my financial advisor until he lost all my money and that of the rest of his clients. I’ve been holding him hostage in an attempt to recoup my loses from his loved ones. However, strangely enough, no one’s come looking for him despite my many ransom letters.
Anyway, Mr. Wiley came down from what I like to call the attic apartment the other day and he said...
“Hey boy, I’d appreciate it if you would plug the holes in your roof. I don’t mind all the water that comes through, but I had to wrestle a deranged squirrel for half the night. I think he was looking for a good-sized nut, but you weren’t available.”
“How do you keep getting out of those chains and locks you crazy old man?!? While we’re at it where’s the squirrel? Things have been a little sparse around the Begley house and it’s going to be supper.”
“If you think I’m going to share that squirrel with you, then you’re the one that’s crazy. You’re going to have to dig into that book you got at the library to figure out your next meal.”
“What book?”
“‘25 Ways to Serve Road Kill.’”
“That’s a lie. I didn’t get that book at the library. I got the book from Amazon.com. That was wasted money. Cindy and the kids are just too uppity for their own good. You know, Mr. Wiley, things are really getting rough out there.”
“Baloney! Your generation is just filled with a bunch of crybabies.”
“It’s true, Mr. Wiley. Houses are being foreclosed on, we’ve got high unemployment, the government’s deep in debt, and none of our political leaders seem to know what to do. Worse yet, they can’t agree on anything. We’re in the land of the truly screwed!”
“Not if I was President. I’d know what to tell you bunch of wimps.”
“Well have at President Wiley. What would you say?”
“It’d go like this: ‘Greetings my fellow Americans.’”
“By the way, by fellow Americans I mean anyone out there that isn’t wringing his hands and crying a river about the future. If I wanted to take a trip to namby-pamby land with you bunch of ornery suckers then I’d jump on a ride at Disney World.”
“So let’s just get a few things straight from the beginning. There’s a new marshal in town and I’m it.  I’m about to lay the law down on you.”
“First off, stop all this defeatism talk about how tough you have it. You’re the first generation that has gone to the poor house by way of Weight Watchers.”
“I ride around this country and see every restaurant filled in the middle of the week and fast food joint drive-thru’s backed up to the highway.”
“Then, there are you rich folk that benefited most from living free in America. You seem scared like the bad place that you’re going to be asked to sacrifice with the poor. You ought to be glad you live in America where at least you are free and we let you keep some of your money. Go live in Russia if you don’t like it here, where if you make too much they just throw you in jail on trumped up charges and then take it all from you.”
“What’s wrong with you people?”
“It may be watered down from high living but you have the blood of tenacious street-fighters flowing through your veins. But you’re supposed to save that fighting ability for those outsiders that want to take us down. Not each other.”
“Your ancestors were thrown out of every decent country there was and set on the shores of this wilderness with nothing but the sweat of their brow and their kinfolk to rely on. Yep, we’re the mutts of the world. But everyone loves a mutt, especially a mutt that works hard and pays his bills.”
“You think you have it tougher than them? Please, don’t make me laugh.”
“Our founding fathers didn’t have much of a government to keep running to back then. It was all the way over in England and when old King George wouldn’t respond they decided to just do it on their own. That’s when a bunch of ragtag country yokels fought what was then the greatest equipped, trained, and led army and naval power in the world for years to get their independence. I don’t believe I heard them crying a river all the time. After it was over they balanced their budget and paid off their bills.”
“Yep, those folks set a heck of a high standard. Our ancestors since then have lived through wars, depressions, massive droughts and whatever. Yet they always came back and left something for the next generation to build on. Right now this generation has lost its way and wants to eat all the seed corn and the heck with everyone but yourselves.”
“So quit your belly aching. We’ve got a lot of work to do and we need everyone to pull their weight. Just remember that if anyone needs some encouragement then I’m here to kick you in the fanny with my size 12 shoes until you see the light.”
“Boy, that’s tough talk Mr. Wiley. Do you think we’ll finally ‘see the light’ and do the right thing?”
“Sure. In the words of the great British statesman Winston Churchill, ‘You can always count on Americans to do the right thing.  That is after they’ve tried everything else first.’”
“I believe we’ve already tried everything else.”