Q. How long have you been an enemy of the people?
A. Just a few days. Ever since the Hair Master labeled the news media “The enemy of the people.” But, in fact, I’ve been a reporter since way back when people who played the banjo were sex symbols.
Q. They had news media that long ago?
A. Back then “news media” was a new term, referring mostly to TV and radio types. I was part of an ancient tribe called newspaper reporters. We reported actual news and attributed everything to named sources or documents.
Q. Why would you go to so much trouble?
A. This was long before facts were outlawed and alternative facts became the norm. If you think about it, when you outlaw facts, then only outlaws have facts. Over the years newspaper reporters evolved from outlaws to enemies of the people.
Q. Newspaper. I’ve heard that term, but have never seen one.
A. They were printed everyday in most towns and cities. They were very carefully thrown onto your porch roof or into the azaleas every day by someone called a paperboy. They were also used to line the bottoms of bird cages and to swat door-to-door roofing salesmen.
Q. You made that up.
A. Well, I was once one of the most dishonest people on earth — in fact, until just last week when I was officially promoted to enemy of the people.
Q. What does an enemy of the people do every day?
A. Since I’m new to the job, I can only follow the example of the Hair Master, the patron saint of enemies of the people. I imagine I’ll lie, cheat, steal and grab crotches that don’t belong to me.
Q. So. An enemy of the people. But which people?
A. We, the people.
Q. Oui? You mean the French?
A. No, I mean “We the people,” as the founding fathers wrote it in the Constitution.
Q. But aren’t those people all dead by now?
A. It’s beginning to look like it.
Q. So you’re talking about we the living people? That we?
Q. Or, as the French would say “Oui we?”
A. Comedy is such a painful affliction. By the way, “the people” refers to people like you and me.
Q. You mean you’re the enemy of the people but you’re also one of the people?
A. One of the Hair Master’s key rules is that before you can become an enemy of everybody, you first have to become your own worst enemy. He is leading by example.
Q. I once heard someone say “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” If an enemy of the people is his own worst enemy, doesn’t that mean…
A. Yes, the Hair Master is also his own best friend.
Q. Isn’t that like the cosmic forces of the Ying and the Yang joining as one?
A. Yes, and because of that, we the people are up the Yingyang.
Q. But wait a minute. Wasn’t it the people who elected the Hair Master?
A. No. That was the electoral college.
Q. What exactly is the electrical college again?
A. The enemy of the people.
Q. I thought that was the news media.
A. The people have more than one enemy. That’s why there are mimes and billionaires.*
Q. Wow, why haven’t I heard about this before?
A. It’s classified.
Q. You mean like a Help Wanted ad? Or, like, if I want to sell a used bassoon?
A. Why am I not surprised that you are a bassoonist?
Q. You sound like an enemy of the bassoon.
A. Or, as the French would say ‘Sacre bassooning bleu.’
*Although, ironically, no billionaire mimes.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.