The Emperor's New Golf Clubs
Once upon a time there lived a vain President whose only worries in life were to dress in elegant clothes, and own the most wonderful set of golf clubs in the world.
Word of the President’s refinement and willingness to disparage his own country for a soundbyte spread to Europe and beyond. Two scoundrels who had heard of the President’s vanity decided to take advantage of it. They lobbied the halls of Congress with a scheme in mind.
"We are two very good golf pros and after many years of research we have created an extraordinary set of clubs so divine that they appear invisible to anyone who is too stupid and incompetent to appreciate their quality."
Nancy Pelosi heard the scoundrels’ strange story and sent for Harry Reid. Reid notified the Rahm Emanuel, who ran to the President and disclosed the incredible news. The President’s curiosity got the better of him and he decided to see the two scoundrels.
"Besides being invisible, your Oneness, these clubs will be created especially for you." The President gave the two men a bag bailout money in exchange for their promise to begin working on the clubs immediately.
"Just tell us what you need to get started and we'll give it to you." The two scoundrels asked for an unused Chrysler plant and some more bailout money, and then pretended to begin working. The President thought he had spent his money quite well: in addition to getting a new, extraordinary set of clubs, he would discover which of his subjects were ignorant and incompetent. A few days later, he called the old and wise prime minister, Barney Frank, who was considered by his peers as a man with common sense.
"Go and see how the work is proceeding," the One told him, "and come back to let me know."
Frank was welcomed by the two scoundrels.
"We're almost finished, but we need more bailout money. Here, Excellency! Admire the workmanship, feel the quality!" The old man bent over the assembly area and tried to see the clubs that were not there. He felt cold sweat on his forehead.
"I can't see anything," he thought. "If I see nothing, that means I'm stupid! Or, worse, incompetent!" If Barney Frank admitted that he didn't see anything, he could be discharged from his office and be forced to look for a private sector job!
"What a marvelous set of clubs!” he said then. "I'll certainly tell the President." The two scoundrels rubbed their hands gleefully. They had almost made it. More bailout money was requested to finish the work.
Finally, the President received the announcement that the two golf pros had come to deliver his new clubs.
"Come in," the President ordered. Even as they bowed, the two scoundrels pretended to be holding the bag of clubs.
"Here it is your Highness, the result of our labour," the scoundrels said. "We have worked night and day but, at last, the most wonderful golf clubs in the world are ready for you. Look at the Corinthian Leather grip and feel how fine it is." Of course the Emperor did not feel any grip and could see neither woods nor putters. He panicked and felt like fainting. But luckily Nancy Pelosi was right behind him and he sat down. But when he realized that no one could know that he did not see the clubs, he felt better. Nobody could find out he was stupid and incompetent, except a few bloggers who nobody ever read anyway. And the President didn't know that everybody else around him thought and did the very same thing.
The farce continued as the two scoundrels had foreseen it. With great ceremony, they pretended to hand him one of the clubs.
"Your Oneness, you'll want to take a practice swing.” The President was embarrassed but since none of his bystanders were, he felt relieved. He proceeded to swing his arms back and forth, recalling Ralph Kramden learning to golf from Norton in that Honeymooners episode.
"Yes, this is a beautiful club and it feels very good in my hands," the President said trying to look comfortable. "You've done a fine job."
"Your Oneness," the Rahm Emanuel said, "we have a request for you. The people have found out about this extraordinary set of clubs and they are anxious to see you try them out." The President was doubtful showing his 50 handicap to the people, but then he abandoned his fears. After all, no one would know about it except the ignorant and the incompetent.
"All right," he said. "I will grant the people this privilege." He summoned his enourage and the ceremonial parade was formed. A group of dignitaries walked at the very front of the procession and anxiously scrutinized the faces of the people in the street. All the people had gathered in the main square, pushing and shoving to get a better look. An applause welcomed the regal procession. Everyone wanted to know how stupid or incompetent his or her neighbor was but, as the Emperor passed, a strange murmur rose from the crowd.
The leftleaning pundits said, loud enough for the others to hear: "Look at the Emperor's new clubs. They're almost as beautiful as he himself!"
"And the grip! Such a grip! It is not unlike the grip he has on all our hearts and minds!"
With great fanfare, the two golf pros placed a tee in the ground upon which they placed an invisible ball. The president swung, and all gasped at the stupendous flight of the ball.
“Look at it rise! Just like the stock market! Surely this is the beginning of a golden age!”
They all tried to conceal their disappointment at not being able to see either the clubs, or the ball, and since nobody was willing to admit his own stupidity and incompetence, they all behaved as the two scoundrels had predicted.
A child, however, who had no government job and could only see things as his eyes showed them to him, went up to the designated media area.
"The President has no clubs," he said.
"Fool!" his father reprimanded, running after him. "Don't talk nonsense!" He grabbed his child and took him away. But the boy's remark, which had been heard by the bystanders, was repeated over and over again until everyone cried:
"The boy is right! The President has no golf clubs! It's true! Plus, we now think the market will crash again in the fall!"
The President realized that the people were right but could not admit to that. He thought it better to continue the photo op under the illusion that anyone who couldn't see his clubs was either stupid or incompetent. And he smiled stiffly for the media, while behind him a page held an imaginary stress test.