Tuesday, October 31, 2006

McKinley hollered, McKinley squawled

William McKinley just went up in my estimation: he named his parrot "Washington Post."

(Here are the full lyrics for the song linked to above.)


Anonymous Brad Finlay said...

This joke was going around in 1996, when the W.C. stood for re-election.

Bill Clinton was instructing a class of third graders. He asked them "Can somebody give me an example of a tragedy?"

"I know! I know!" said little Billy. "If two kids were playing ball on the sidewalk, and the ball rolled into the street, and one of them ran after it and was hit by a car, that would be a tragedy."

"No, I'm sorry, Billy" the president intoned. "That would not be a tragedy -- that would be an accident."

"I know! I know!" exclaimed little Susie. "If a school bus full of kids ran over a cliff and everybody died, that would be a tragedy."

"That's not quite right, Susie" said Bill. "That would be a great loss."

Little Johnnie spoke up. "If you and Hillary were flying on Air Force One, and somebody snuck a bomb on board, and blew it up, killing you and the first lady, wouldn't that be a tragedy?"

"Yes. That would indeed be a tragedy, Johnnie. Can you explain why?"

"Well," said Johnnie, "It wouldn't be an accident, and it sure as hell wouldn't be any great loss!"


I thought this joke was pretty funny the first time I heard it. Some years later I was digging around in some history books, where I learned that the original version of this political joke had Mark Hanna and Wm. McKinley on a steamboat when the boiler blew up.

I think it's fascinating how the same old political jokes get recirculated. The players change, but the game remains the same.

5:54 AM  

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