Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The Poetess Laureate of the blogging world, Mad Kane, is having another limerick-writing contest, complete with a small cash prize. This time the topic is Money. You can read more about it (and make your own entry) at this post.

Since virtually anything I pen is obsessed with politics, I considered which Presidential candidate is most concerned with money. There was no contest: the one who goes on at greatest length about the topic is a Republican. Hence this offering:
Ron Paul's Nonfractionally Reserved Limerick
(Or "War's Just A Side Issue To Me")

There once was an Act which made Legal
The Tender which displayed an Eagle
In the seal on Reverse,
Which did prompt quite a curse
From those who thought Gold should be Regal.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Yes, Hill'ry Rod'am's gone, but for a while, even before she ran for President, she was the most successful lawyer in the country. She never, ever seemed to lose a case. As a fresh law school graduate, she'd personally argued before the Supreme Court and convinced them to make abortion legal everywhere. Then she went on later to get them to ban draft registration, and laws against drugs, and sodomy laws, and prohibition of gay marriage.

Millions of people, and not just women, trusted her more than their own mothers and practically worshipped at her feet, spinning all sorts of tall tales about her legendary eloquence. But the weirdest case she ever handled never got written up in the law books or the press. That's because she was up against the devil himself. At least, that's the way they tell the story in the Ozarks, where Arkansas meets Missouri and Oklahoma.

There was a young man named Billy Jeff Clinton, who came from a little town there in Arkansas. He wasn't really a bad person to begin with. He was smart and studied hard. After college he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, but after his first year there, the draft board caught up with him and let him know his student exemption was about to be yanked.

Now Billy Jeff was ambitious, and he didn't see any point in wasting time in Vietnam (and maybe getting killed), when he could be glad-handing and laying the groundwork for a race for Congress. When he opened the letter from the draft board, he growled that he'd sell his soul to the devil just to put this nonsense behind him.

Sadly for Billy Jeff, his offer was heard.

The next day a tall dark stranger with a bulging briefcase showed up in a chauffered Rolls. They made the usual contract, one soul for seven fat years, then sealed it with the seller's blood. From then on, things went really well for the youngster. The draft board reversed itself, he got into Yale Law School and graduated with honors, then went home to teach law at the University of Arkansas for a year before he ran for Congress and won. Two years later he won the Democratic Primary for state Attorney General.

Above all, he suddenly had a magical power over women. He barely had to grin at one and she would practically throw herself at him, young or old, single or married, beautiful or plain. Yet none of them ever seemed to want to tie him down at all. He was looking at a grand and delightful future, when suddenly the long-forgotten stranger with the briefcase showed up again. Billy Jeff begged and pleaded and finally talked the purchaser into an extension for another three years.

The three years went by too fast. He won the general election that fall for Attorney General, and two years later moved on to be elected Governor of the state. Now he was getting national attention, as the youngest Governor in the country, and there was talk of the White House some day. That did nothing to cheer him up, because he knew what was coming up the next summer. By the eve of the anniversary of his signing the contract, he was shaking with fear. That day he ordered up the state's executive jet to fly him to see the smartest attorney he'd ever met, way back when they were both at Yale Law School, Hill'ry Rod'am.

Billy Jeff talked his way in to her office, begged her forgiveness for anything he'd ever done to offend her, and threw himself on her mercy, telling her what great progressive things he could do for the people of Arkansas and the country if she could only get him off. Hill'ry listened, and asked some questions about the contract, and finally said she'd represent him, just for the intellectual challenge of the thing. They dashed out to the state jet and zoomed back to Little Rock, to sit up in the Governor's mansion and await the tall stranger's arrival.

Promptly at midnight, he came in with his briefcase. Hill'ry introduced herself as Billy Jeff's attorney, and the stranger said he was astonished that she would have the nerve to try and face him over any legal matter. He told her that her golden voice would have no effect on him. She said she wasn't going to try and convince him of anything, but she insisted on a trial in court. Billy Jeff was too frightened to say a word, but it bothered him that when she said she'd accept any American judge and jury, the stranger grinned and showed pointed teeth. "Very well, then, here are your jurors", he said.

The door blew open and in staggered slowly twelve deceased women, along with a strong odor of sulphur and smoke from their clothes and hair. The deadly dozen were: They were followed in by the Judge, introduced by the stranger as Robert W. Archbald, a federal Judge who was impeached and removed by the Senate for taking bribes from litigants in his court. Chairs and tables were dragged into position, and the trial began.

Billy Jeff himself was called to testify. Questioned by the stranger, he admitted that the signature on the documents was his own, and done in his own blood. Then the dark one began asking if the promises made had been fulfilled, emphasizing at great length the ability to seduce any woman who caught his eye. The Governor admitted that all that was true, and the stranger passed the witness. It seemed like his strategy was to turn all those women on the jury against this serial seducer.

Hill'ry started right in on those seductions. Were they really voluntary on the part of those women, she asked? Billy Jeff admitted that there were women who wouldn't go out with him at all who suddenly became ready and willing after the contract. Did those not include, she went on, women who were lesbians and not interested in men at all, either before or since his luring them into bed? Yes, he allowed as that was so. In fact, she went on, was this not the same as if they had been drugged and compromised against their own will? Well, Billy Jeff said, I reckon that's so. She looked away and asked whether she was one of those he had used the stranger's power to force into his bed? Yes, he said. Then she turned and stared at him, and inquired in what way was that morally any different than rape?

The stranger was on his feet objecting that she was trying to lose her client's case just for personal revenge. Judge Archbald ruled that he couldn't make that objection, since if that was what she was doing he would win. However, he sternly demanded to know if that was her intention, since if so, the Governor might be entitled to a new lawyer to represent him. Hill'ry assured him she was only laying groundwork for her final argument in defense of her client. Well, then, he directed her, save the rhetoric until we get there.

No more witnesses were called, and the closings began. The stranger's case was simple, he told the jury. Billy Jeff sold his soul for irresistible power over any woman, whether she wanted him or not, and now he was trying to back out on the deal. Hill'ry got up and went on at length about how wrong rape was, and how destructive of personal dignity, and how the victims felt so abused and worthless afterwards, and clearly many of these women remembered those feelings, because some of them had been raped themselves. Once she had them pondering that, she told them that the contract was null and void because it was a promise to enable rapes, and as an agreement to violate the law, therefore it should not be upheld by the courts.

The jurors didn't even retire to another room. They just whispered together, and in just a few minutes annnounced that they found against the plaintiff because the contract was illegal on its face. The Judge awarded legal fees to the defendant, and, at Hill'ry's request, ordered that there was to be no retaliation against the Governor. Then Judge and jury all vanished in a puff of black smoke.

Billy Jeff sat stunned and speechless, and the stranger and Hill'ry spoke together. The stranger said, you know this only delays the inevitable, because when he dies after his life, I'll get him anyway. He went on to tell her he guessed that when he had promised her the ability to win before any Judge or jury, he should have known a day like this would come. Is this how you're going to get your revenge on me, he asked, by defending anyone else that signed a contract to sell me their soul?

Hill'ry smiled tightly back at him and said she'd offer him a deal. She wouldn't take any more cases against him, if he'd agree to sign over to her as her fee for this case all future rights to the Governor's soul. The stranger looked puzzled, then smiled, nodded his head, and said, agreed, with pleasure, and then he turned and walked out of the mansion into the early morning darkness.

Hill'ry turned to Billy Jeff and held out her hand, palm up, with the fingers rising upward and inward, like a claw grasping an egg. Now, she told him, I own your soul. Unless you do exactly as I say from here on out, I can claim it and crush it like a shell. That won't kill you, it'll just leave you with a soulless body, trapped in a persistent vegetative state, for as long as I live. And, she added, I made a better deal than you did, so that will be a very, very long time to come. Right now, I'm going to go freshen up. Then we can start planning for a really big wedding here in Little Rock. I think it will help me in my own plans to be the first lady of a state for a while.

She went down the hall to the bathroom, and the Governor of Arkansas sat shivering, contemplating a lifetime of servitude to a very clever and very dangerous woman, still bitter over being seduced way back in law school. He realized that he should have stuck with the devil he knew.

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