By Will Durst on January 25, 2012

WHAT YOU NEED TO PLAY:

•4 taxpayers: 1 white Wall Street type in full suit and yellow power tie, (MBA Guy) 2 ordinary folks sporting jeans, 1 in blue work shirt, other in white shirt, (the Jeans) and 1 person wearing clothes that look like they were used for floor covering at a tire changing shop for a minimum of three months. Belt, shoelaces, socks and underwear confiscated. (Rags)

Except for MBA Guy, game is non- gender or race specific.

•1 large screen HDTV tuned to speech. 42” or larger. Game played behind coffee table 3’ away.

•1 regulation shot glass per person. Everybody brings own, placing it on coffee table. MBA Guy gets first choice among assembled. White shirt picks next, then blue shirt. MBA Guy takes last shot glass as well, and Rags either rents it from him, finds a replacement or drinks out of own cupped hands.

•Everybody antes up 20 bucks. Cash. Except MBA Guy, who tosses in hand made voucher. Preferably crayon.

•2 packages Lit’l Smokies in bowl with favorite BBQ sauce.

•1 package round toothpicks.

•1 bottle small batch Kentucky bourbon.

•2 six packs beer apiece. Rags gets whatever is on sale, ie; Heileman’s Old Style Ice Dry Light. MBA Guy gets choice of import. The Jeans get domestic, and must go to store to purchase and carry provisions.

RULES OF THE GAME.

1. As soon as President says State of the Union is good, but could be better, last person to eat three Lit’l Smokies on toothpicks has to drink 3 shots of beer.

2. Every time Barack H Obama says “compromise,” first person to stop laughing is exempt from drinking 2 shot glasses of beer.

3. If either Vice President Biden or House Speaker Boehner gets caught napping on camera, last person to sing “Wake Up, Little Susie” drinks 4 shots of beer.

4. Whenever Mister Obama says word “jobs”, everybody drinks shot of beer. If he hits 10, throw used toothpicks at TV and first to stick one within outline of his face doesn’t have to drink 2 shots of bourbon.

5. If Chief Executive winks and/ or points at Michelle, all four players blow kisses. Drink shot of beer for every general’s star sitting within two seats of First Lady.

6. When Obama speaks about sacrifices made by our brave troops, last one to leap to attention and salute must drink shots of beer for entire duration of standing ovation.

7. Every time Barack uses phrase “offshore banking accounts,” clasp a Lit’l Smokie between the teeth and swordfight others. Losers drink 3 shots of beer and eat sausages. Winner can spit his out.

8. Whenever Obama makes reference to faith getting him through tough times, last person to fall to knees and shout “Hallelujah!” drinks shot of bourbon.

9. If President relates touching heartfelt story of somebody denied health care, Rags gets to kick everybody else once. Twice, if subject of anecdote is in audience. Three times, if he/ she is sitting next to astronaut.

10. When Barack H Obama mentions bipartisanship, last person to pretend to faint drinks 3 shots of beer.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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