As regular readers of this Web Log know, April 1 is my birthday. And given the nature of this blog’s content, what could be more appropriate? Being the wealthiest member of the extended family to which I belong, my birthday celebrations are, of course, not like most folk’s – after all, what do you get for a person who already has everything they (or any other sane person) could possibly want for their birthday? Consequently, nobody in the Martini clan feels an obligation to give me anything of particular monetary value as a birthday present. Instead, they go for sentimental, intellectual or comic interest, the latter of which explains why my dear younger brother, Rob Roy Martini, gave me a first (and I bet only) edition of Ron DeSantis’ “The Courage to Be Free.”
On the intellectual front, his wife, Katje, gave me a gift card good for a year’s subscription to the Economist, which I intend to redeem as soon as my current subscription expires, and that’s also why my nephew Jason gave me a direct-to-disk vinyl boxed set of Gustav Mahler’s complete works. My dear older sister Rose went sentimental, giving me a framed calligraphy transcription of Freud’s essay on the Oedipus complex, in the original German, hand-inscribed on lamb skin vellum, as a way of joshing me for my youthful teasing about her remarkable pulchritude.
Rose’s husband Henry and his sister-in-law, Shannon, were not, (as regular readers will surmise) in attendance, still being holed up in a West Virginia survival complex awaiting the End Times, as they have been for some time now, falling down conspiracy rabbit holes accessed through their Internet satellite uplink, powered by their collection of diesel and gasoline electric generators. Shannon did, however, send me an email, wishing me a happy birthday and reminding me that, when the whole corrupt, Jewish dominated New World Order collapses and the negroes and illegal immigrant Latino gangs run rampant, raping and pillaging through the verdant and prosperous suburbs of Washington DC, I and everyone else in our extended family has a place to flee, and that all of the denizens of that survival complex secreted deep in the hollows of the most backward rural regions of Appalachia will be absolutely delighted to welcome us.
Shannon’s husband, Arthur, whom she abandoned, (along with their huge brood of Catholic children, in the spacious but nevertheless finite home in Fairfax, Virginia, owned and occupied by Henry and Rose with their own huge collection of Catholic progeny, into which Shannon and Arthur, who is Henry’s brother, were forced to move during the Great Recession of 2008), in order to run off with Henry, gave me a framed picture of Rose and himself with all of the children, posed last Easter in front of that house. He took it, he explained, with his cell phone, and then used an app on the phone to pick out the frame and have the picture delivered, mounted in that frame, via FedEx. Thus are our keepsakes created in 2023.
Henry, for his part, sent me a birthday card in the mail. It had a picture of him on it, so obviously some hand-crafted PhotoShop and Adobe PDF work was involved. On the cover, he struck a pose holding an AR-15 tricked out with a night vision scope and a fifty-shot banana clip, proudly wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of another AR-15 and the slogan “Who cares about vaccination? I have all the protection I need right here!” When I opened it, I was confronted with a picture of a third AR-15, with the caption “Happy Birthday, Tom! This one’s reserved for you!” Alas, one can choose their friends, but not the people their relatives marry.
Hank Jr., Henry and Rose’s oldest child, who is an artist, flew in from Amsterdam on Thursday. He didn’t do so because of my birthday, but to prepare for a gallery show. Nevertheless, since he was in town, he attended the party, and gave me an NFT to an AI bot that draws political cartoons. You input names and headlines, after which the bot produces a PNG file of a full color rendition depicting absolutely ruthless caricatures in appropriately allegorical situations. I guess I’m lucky he’s not a writer; he might have given me an NFT for a bot that writes satirical blog posts.
As is the custom, my birthday constitutes an occasion for Rose and Hank to bring both of their extensive Catholic broods to my home in Great Falls, Virginia, for a huge party and cookout, and this year was no exception. Mother Nature cooperated in spectacular fashion – the contrast between her wrath, vested so visibly upon Flyover this week, with the absolutely perfect weather here in Washington DC making me wonder if, perhaps, She is trying to tell Americans something. Everyone feasted on their choice of gourmet delights, grilled by Yours Truly, including Kobe and antelope steaks, Canary Island sailfish, or grilled fresh Japanese forest-grown donko shiitake and French black Perigord truffle paninis (at the request of Katje and a couple of the teenage children, who are vegans) for big folks and Montana bison and elk burgers for the younger kids, followed by a selection of desserts catered by Balducci’s.
My dear girlfriend Cerise didn’t give me a present, per se, but she brought some excellent sushi and champagne to the party, and brought enough for everyone who wanted it, too. And what she gave me around midnight was the best gift I received all day.
Thus it was, that late the next afternoon, after Cerise had left on a mission of mercy to visit her ailing cousin, that I was left alone in the house with my cat, Twinkle, doing what well-monied liberal elites inside the Beltway do on Sunday mornings, reading the Washington Post and the New York Times, drinking cappuccinos spiked with Remy Martin XO and pondering how to keep the greatest democracy in history functioning while dealing with the disruptive temper tantrums of ignorant dupes dancing like monkeys on a string to the idiotic ravings of their fascist puppet masters. Not an easy gig, actually – I humbly submit that I earn every cent I get, in fact – there I was, for example, working at home on a Sunday, although admittedly in a silk Hermes robe and slightly buzzed while at it. Let any federal contractor within a fifty-mile radius of the US Capitol cast the first stone, I say.
My reverie, however, was interrupted by the sound of my landline’s beckoning ring. Caller ID gave no name, though, indicating it had been blocked – not an easy thing to do with the service I pay for. Curious, I picked up.
Voice: Tom Collins?
Tom: This is he.
Voice: This is Senator Ron Johnson.
Tom: Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin?
Tom: That’s funny, you don’t sound like him.
Voice: I don’t?
Tom: No, you sound like Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
Voice: Uh… there must be something wrong with your connection.
Tom: I kind of doubt that.
Voice: Well then… I guess there must be something wrong with my connection. Because this is Ron Johnson, not Lindsey Graham.
Tom: Okay, let’s say I believe you. To what do I owe the honor, “Senator Ron Johnson” of Wisconsin?
Voice: I understand you offer free initial consultations as part of your marketing plan.
Tom: That is, in fact, true. But I find it… shall we say… highly interesting that Senator Lindsey Graham has already availed himself of a free consultation, while Senator Ron Johnson has not. Could Senator Graham by any chance be trying to get my exquisitely expensive advice for nothing a second time?
Voice: Absolutely not!
Tom: And come to think of it, how do I know you are either one of those gentlemen? Tell me, where did you get my home landline telephone number?
Voice: I got it from Senator Rand Paul.
Tom: Okay, now I believe you; enjoy your free consultation. Why did you call?
Voice: I’m… concerned… about the implications of Donald Trump’s felony indictment.
Tom: Well, technically, since the indictment to which you refer has yet to be unsealed, we can scarcely speculate on that, can we?
Voice: Speculate? It’s an indictment for thirty counts of felony falsification of business records! Everybody knows that!
Tom: All right, let’s say, for the sake of analytical discussion, that is, in fact true. So what?
Voice: So it’s the thin end of the wedge; the first domino to fall; the pebble that starts the [expletive] avalanche, that’s [expletive] what!
Tom: You mean, it’s the beginning of a series that would include, at a minimum, Donald Trump’s indictments on felony charges in at least three other investigations?
Voice: Yeah, yeah, sure! Federal counts of seditious conspiracy, disrupting a federal proceeding, obstructing justice and violating national security laws, plus another felony indictment for tampering with the 2020 Georgia elections!
Tom: And why should you, “Senator Ron Johnson,” be concerned about any of that?
Voice: Because… because… oh, [expletive], Collins, what the [expletive]? You want me to spell it out, for Christ’s sake?
Tom: So, I suppose you must be referring to how it was revealed during an extraordinary session of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, one of your top aides contacted his counterpart in Vice President Mike Pence’s organization shortly before the certification of the 2020 Electoral College votes that would confirm the election of Joe Biden because you were – allegedly, apparently, or whatever – interested in delivering to the vice president – who would preside over those proceedings – alternative lists of electors from the battleground states of Wisconsin and Michigan, such alternative lists being of a fraudulent nature, and thus constituting evidence of an apparent, alleged participation by yourself in a conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States of America and institute a dictatorship ruled by ringleader and co-conspirator Donald John Trump.
Voice: No so [expletive] loud, okay?
Tom: It’s just the two of us talking on the phone, Senator.
Voice: Oh – oh, yeah. I forgot.
Tom: Be that as it may, there’s no denying you were very, very naughty there, weren’t you, “Senator Johnson?”
Voice: Well, everybody makes… um… errors of judgment occasionally, don’t they?
Tom: True. Some people neglect to fasten their seatbelts when they drive, and that’s an error in judgment. And other people commit sedition, and that’s an error in judgment, too. And the error in judgment about the seatbelt gets the miscreant a fifty dollar fine. As for the error in judgment about sedition, that’s up to the judgment of the presiding judge, now isn’t it? Five… ten… twenty… thirty years in federal prison, where there’s no such thing as parole, right?
Voice: No… such… thing… as… parole… right.
Tom: And I suppose you want some free advice on how to get out of that?
Voice: I… um… well… yes, that’s why I called. I didn’t know who else to ask! I can’t trust anybody anymore!
Tom: It’s rough, being a MAGA Republican politician these days, isn’t it?
Voice: Uh… yeah.
Tom: There you are, having to kiss Trump’s [expletive] day after day, making excuses for him, for the stupid [expletive] he does, for the moronic [expletive] lies tells, for the totally retarded [expletive] he says…
Voice: Yeah, yeah, no need rub it in, God damn it!
Tom: Living in constant fear of retribution from his half-witted, deluded, drooling, mouth-breathing followers…
Voice: I know! I know! It’s a total crock of [expletive], all right? Can we move on here? The walls are closing in on that imbecilic imitation Mussolini! How can I avoid being taken down with him?
Tom: Well, obviously, you can’t turn state’s evidence with Jack Smith over what Trump did – with all the pencil-necked, flag-waving, Bible-thumping pinheads that worship the very flatulence which emanates from his fundament, hell, forget about the end of your political career – you would be lucky to escape having your head bashed in with a hammer, like he goaded one of them into doing to Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
Voice: I know, I know! So what can I do?
Tom: Simple – throw one of your equally guilty colleagues to the wolves instead.
Tom: How about Lindsey Graham? I’ll bet you know a thing or two about the illegal stuff he’s done, don’t you? Involvement in the January 6 conspiracy for instance. And then there’s the Georgia election tampering thing.
Voice: I’m not going to answer that!
Tom: No need to, actually. We both know the score, don’t we? Graham’s definitely up to his neck in the Georgia tampering caper and January 6, and what’s more, he’s a perfect patsy for the fall in either one, too. And besides, ‘fess up, wouldn’t you like to shove it to him? I mean, just look at that guy – he’s totally pathetic, a squirming little hypocrite who’d sell his own mother for a five percent margin of victory. And what about the way he went on television after the indictment and wept like Oral Roberts begging for money lest God Almighty take him to Heaven, rending his garments and gnashing his teeth, lamenting the passion of his Lord Donald Trump, crucified by the Deep State, spouting Trump’s URL while pleading for money to defend him against what that blubbering snot factory would have us believe is Satan Himself. That simpering, sniveling, lickspittle sycophant! Didn’t that sweat-stinking tent-revival cornpone routine of his just totally turn your stomach, with him yelling like a hog caller with crocodile tears running down his bloated, fat face? I mean, really, gag me with a spoon! And that southern-fried Scarlett O’Hara closet-queen act of his! Can’t you just picture him, dressed up in antebellum plantation Southern Belle drag, mincing and prancing around his bedroom like Blanche DuBois, yapping out lines in that high, effeminate Carolina cracker voice of his… stuff like, “Oh, no, don’t get up,” “You’re married to a madman,” “I was fishing for compliments, Stanley,” “My, but you have an impressive, judicial air,” “Run to the drugstore, honey, and get me a lemon Coke… with chipped ice,” “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” and…
Voice: Stop making fun of Lindsey Graham!
Tom: Oh? Did I get your goat there, Lindsey?
Voice: I’m Ron Johnson!
Tom: And I’m Cyrano de Bergerac.
Voice: Damn you, Tom Collins!
Tom: Oh? Are we all worked up in a snit now? You’re gonna scratch my eyes out, are you, you pudgy little ponce? Hey – I bet you know plenty about what the real Ron Johnson did on January 6, Lindsey. Why don’t you just run crying to Jack Smith with that and maybe he can get you off the hook for January 6! And hey, maybe he can even work out a deal for you with Fani Willis, one that saves you from ten years bunking down in Reidsville with Big Bubba Redneck as your cell mate – of course, for that, you’ll have to testify against The Donald. But you might as well, because if Trump ever gets back in power again, you’ll be going down in the very first purge, right along with the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers and all the other inferior epigones he isn’t going to need anymore once he’s destroyed American democracy!
Voice: I hate you! I hate you! And what the [expletive] is an epigone?
Tom: Look it up in your Funk and Wagnalls, blubber boy! Oh yeah, Big Bubba’s gonna make you his squishy soft [expletive], Lindsey. And there ain’t gonna be nobody on TV beggin’ for money to pay your lawyers, that there’s for certain sure, my little magnolia blossom!
Voice: [Expletive] you, Tom Collins Martini!
Tom: In your dreams, candy [expletive], in your dreams! Goodbye!