Vol. 3, Issue 2, January 18, 2005
A Peerless Liniment Experience
The Bentinel

To Toast, or Not to Toast? That is the Question

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

As I pen this rather Tardy editorial, preparations for a great Celebration are underway. Shoes are being Buffed, the Bunting is being Ironed, and I have absolutely No doubts that Many a fine brass Horn is being polished to a Mirror-like Finish. The occasion, of course, is the re-Inauguration of our forty-third President: ever a time of great Celebration in the American republic.

But as the canapes are plated and the Champagne brought forth, not a Few people wonder if such pomp and Excess is merited at present, however Noble the tradition. Indeed, our White House has seen its Share of parties. Who can forget poor President Jackson fleeing the Throngs at his post-inaugural Celebration, with Presidential servants carrying ice-cream and tubs of Wine onto the lawn to attract people out of the White House the morning after? Indeed, the Peaceful transition of Power is a remarkable, though often Unremarked, cause for Celebration. For all the Scandals and difficulties with the System, that it works at All is cause for Marvel.

And yet: thousands of our very Best young men and Women stand Overseas at present, locked in a War with no end in Sight. Some suggest that it is not Seemly for a leader to participate in Pomp under such circumstances, though it is Unclear whether the Ice-Cream falls into the category of "Pomp." Certainly other Presidents have not hesitated to strike up the Band in times of War; Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Nixon all did so. And some might Argue that such celebrations possess Symbolic value, that they Reinforce a nation's ailing spirit when it is in need of collective Cheering Up.

But there are Alternatives too. Roosevelt (the Second one) chose to celebrate his 1945 inauguration, at the end of a long and bitter War, with naught but Chicken Salad and Coffee. And there is not only our own well-being to consider, for surely it was not the Best of moves to offer, initially, less than Half the amount for Tsunami relief than was being spent on the Inauguration.

As it Happens I was not Invited to this year's Inauguration, having spent most of my Support this Election for my Club-mate Jebediah Crumpett, who campaigned vigorously on the dangers of insufficient Carousel Regulation. Alas, Crumpett's star shone all too Briefly; and we now contemplate another Four Years of dangerously unregulated Carousels, among other things. So the Question, for me, is which Bottle to open, or whether to toast at All from the quiet sanctity of my Office.

Ultimately, it is a fifteen year Bowmore that I pour; and though I cannot say I would pour even a Jack Daniels to the Office-holder and Celebrant, I must conclude that it is fitting to drink to the Office. I raise my Glass, therefore, to our Republic, and to the hopes that it is Strong enough to withstand the vicissitudes of its various Stewards.

Crumpett would have made a Splendidly entertaining president, you know, if he wasn't a convicted Felon, and Flemish-born to Boot. I shall have to poll my Club-mates for other possible Candidates in 2008; and this time I shall be sure to conduct my Background Checks a little more Thoroughly.


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