The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It


When Gunther came to America he intended to make a living as he had in his native land.  He was a tailor and specialized in alterations.  He met his wife Hattie here and they were married.

Gunther and Hattie were not blessed with children but they had the deep bond of love between them.  For them that was enough.  After thirty-five years of marriage, Hattie was out doing the grocery shopping one day when a driver lost control of his car and the vehicle ran over the sidewalk killing her instantly.

Without the support of the love of his life, Gunther was a changed man.  He was no longer his former cheerful self and began drinking.  His work in the tailor shop became sloppy and long-time customers found other tailors to alter their garments.  He finally decided to sell the shop and a competitor by the name of Hans purchased the business.  Gunther disappeared from New York City.

Several years later, Hans happened to be in Nebraska visiting some of his relatives.  The kids said that Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey was in town and asked if Uncle Hans would take them.  Hans hadn’t been to the circus for a great many years and thought this would be a fun family outing.  So off they went to the Big Top.

As the children were standing in line to purchase some cotton candy with the money Uncle Hans had given them, Hans was startled to see Gunther walking across the circus campus.  So Hans told the children to wait by the cotton candy booth and said he would be right back.  He rushed off to say hello to his old associate.

When he caught up with Gunther he asked him what he had been doing for the past several years and was surprised to learn that Gunther was now employed by the circus.

“What exactly do you do,?” asked Hans.

Gunther said, “Come on – I’ll show you.”

So Hans followed Gunther to one of the tents and when they went in he saw five elephants lined up in a row.  Over each elephant there was a large pail and coming from the pail was a rubber hose.

Gunther explained, “I give enemas to the elephants before they perform.  That way we don’t have any surprises under the Big Top.  You can just imagine how disgusting it would be in front of the moms and dads and kids if one of the elephants had to relieve herself while she was doing her act.”

Gunther proceeded to demonstrate his work.

Well Hans was dumbfounded.  But when Gunther had given the last of the elephants her enema he looked at his old acquaintance and said, ‘You know, Gunther since you’ve been gone I’ve done quite well.  In fact I now own four tailor shops – and I have an opening for an experienced tailor in one of them.  Please come back to New York and make a fresh start.”

Gunther responded, “So you mean for a lousy schlemiel job in a tailor shop, you think that I’m going to give up show business?”

A couple of days ago a neighbor called and asked if I would accompany her as her guest to the movies.  (Her normal companion for these weekly excursions was on a two week vacation out of town).  I thanked her for her offer but politely declined.  But she did her best at trying to get me to go.  Apparently, she loved the movies but would only go if she was with someone.  And if I refused to go with her it would break her record of having gone to a movie a week for over 850 weeks.

I think it was that statistic that caused me to cave in.  I couldn’t think of 850 movies which Hollywood produced in the last seventeen years or so that would have been worth seeing.  I couldn’t think of fifty.  So in a moment of weakness I agreed to go with her.

I would tell you the name of the movie, but I’ve already forgotten it.  It really doesn’t matter other than to say it was a “chick flick” – by that I mean a movie crafted in such a way as to appeal to a pullet rather than a person.  With all the clucking that emanated from the moviegoers it had apparently reached its appropriate audience.

I decided to make the most of it so about ten minutes into the movie I involuntarily began a little siesta.  Sadly, my friend roused me from my slumber by giving me a sharp jab in the ribs.  That scene was repeated twice more during the term of my nearly two hour ordeal.  Sadly because of her vigilance in keeping me awake, I had to watch most of the film.

As I recall the “plot” it went something along the line of:

Boy meets girl.

Mindless twitter dialogue.

Boy and girl get naked.

Mindless twitter dialogue.

Boy and girl go to bed and presumably have sex.

Mindless twitter dialogue – and, “Was it good for you?”

Boy and girl get dressed.

Mindless twitter dialogue.

Boy and girl try to decide if they like each other so they ask their friends’ opinions.

Mindless twitter dialogue.

Their friends have different opinions.

Multiple participants in mindless twitter dialogue.

Boy and girl go to bed and presumably have sex.

Mindless twitter dialogue – and, “Was it god for you?”

I think that was the end of it – but there might have been more of the same.  You get the picture (in fact you can keep it).

I asked my neighbor if she liked the movie.  She said, “It was okay.  I’ve seen worse.”  The thought of that shocked me into a near state of panic.  I thought to myself, “Worse?  There’s worse?”  But she’s the moviegoer and I’m sure she knows.

So I asked her, “Did you expect it to be better than it was?”

She said, “No, not really.”

“Then you’ll forgive me for asking,” I said.  “Why did you want to go see it?”

She said, “You know, it’s something to do.”

I thought to myself, so is committing hara kiri and if you do it right you never have to be bothered with it again.

Well, I guess whether it’s the circus or the movies that old abbreviated phrase still applies.


Comments on: "ON SHOW BUSINESS" (9)

  1. Hari kari, please. Definitely, hari kari. 😐

  2. Never mind, there’s always the History, Discovery and National Geographic channels on cable. Now and then you find a good life story on TV, but they are few and far between and you description above is probably not too far off the mark! LOL.

    • I just thought of a redeeming point for the movies. On a per hour basis, getting a good rest there is much less expensive than staying at any of our four or five star hotels.

      • You’ve a point there, although I do remember when the Holiday Inn in Gary, IN had hourly rates, however they didn’t serve women, you had to bring your own. 🙂 And C-SPAN works pretty well, too.

      • LOL. We had our equivalent in the western suburbs – “The Bre’er Rabbit Motel” or as it was better known by its patrons as the “No Tell Motel.”

  3. Whenever I want to watch something stupid > I tune into the live telecast of parliamentary proceedings…

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