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Old January 5th, 2017, 09:06 PM   #1
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Political Satire: The Old Man of the Mountain

Narrator: Since he left his homeland, the priest had travelled miles of rough terrain in the daytime and lodged mainly in an inn or slept on a tree at night. One month after meeting the twin brother of the Old Man of the Mountain, he came to a mountain stream near a forest. After tying his horse to an ancient giant tree, he took a dip in the stream. After eating some wild fruits, he climbed up the giant tree to retire for the night.

Next morning while bathing in the stream, he suddenly felt the whole ground and the water shaking violently around him. With much difficulty, he rushed up the bank and sprawled flat on the ground. The earthquake lasted about 30 seconds. Meanwhile his horse was neighing loudly and prancing wildly under the tree.

After sometime when there were no more aftershocks, he got up, put on his clothes, untied his horse and continued his journey. Soon he found himself galloping along a vacant sandy land where he could see crabs crawling beside some dead fish. As the breeze blew towards his face, he could smell the salty air.

To his amazement and horror, he discovered that he was actually travelling in a sea whose water had receded far out into the ocean. He was not alone as he discerned a figure walking with an animal in the distance. As he approached them, he saw an old man walking a dog.

Priest: Hi, Old Man of the Mountain! Glad to see you here!

Old man: No, I am not the Old Man of the Mountain. I am his real twin brother. I am his real, real twin brother.

Priest: Glad to find you alive and kicking after jumping down the wall. But why the need to highlight your identity now?

Old man: I have won the election and will be sworn in as the ruler of the Mountain next month. Since my election victory, my name and identity have often been stolen by imposters, particularly in telepathic communication.

Priest: Congratulations on your new job! Sometimes the fake looks more real than the genuine.

Old man: That's why I have to highlight to everybody, particularly in my telepathic messages, that I am the real twin brother of the Old Man of the Mountain.

Priest: What is your goal for the Mountain?

Old man: I shall "make the Mountain great again"!

Priest: Do you think you can ever achieve your goal?

Old man: Of course, I have what it takes to "make the Mountain great again" because I am a brilliant deal maker. In addition, I am a businessman who knows how to get things done.

Priest: On the way, I heard from some people that your twin brother had mocked your business failings in a major speech arguing that you would be disastrous for the economy. He said, "He’s written a lot of books about business. They all seem to end at Chapter 11. He bankrupted his companies not once, not twice, but four times."

Old man: Hundreds of companies have filed for bankruptcy. I used the law four times and made a tremendous thing. I'm in business. I did a very good job.

Priest: One guy had investigated your business dealings and found a total of six bankruptcies. Why the discrepancy?

Old man: I counted the first three bankruptcies as just one.

Priest: You seem to have invented a new form of mathematics which makes "three equal to one". It's good news for any man with three wives. He can claim that he is practising monogamy.

Old man: You are welcome to exchange anything three for one with me. It reveals the great business acumen and winning mentality I have to become the greatest ruler of the Mountain.

Priest: You are as slippery as the dead fish on the ground, able to convince your voters of your so-called "high net worth" with your twisted arguments after filing for bankruptcy multiple times.

Old man: That's why I claimed that I did a very good job.

Priest: Okay, enough of your "very good job" in multiple bankruptcies. Let's switch to another subject. Are you willing to accept the election outcome as the will of the voters?

Old man: Of course, I am glad to accept the election results now.

Priest: But do you peacefully accept the election outcome if you are the loser?

Old man: Ask me this question in the next election.

Priest: Do you think the Old Man of the Mountain, who is your twin brother and election opponent, is accepting the election results willingly?

Old man: It is the “Mountain way” to peacefully accept election results. He had conceded defeat by congratulating me on election night. He told his voters, "We must accept this result and then look to the future. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead."

Priest: Do you think he will push for vote recounts under the pretext of examining whether the electoral democracy of the Mountain is working?

Old man: In the last debate, he chastised me for my unwillingness to pledge that I would accept the outcome of the election. Calling my statement “horrifying”, he said: "That is not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during an election.” Hence I don't think he will push for vote recounts. So much time and money will be spent - same result! Sad.

Priest: On the way here, I heard allegations of a hack-riddled election with hacking into the party members' brains with witchcraft. The election system of the Mountain is even condemned as extremely vulnerable for relying on a system that is wide open to hacks by sorcery. Hence do you think he will eventually push for vote recounts?

Old man: I can still remember what he said in the first election debate. He said: "Well, I support our democracy. And sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But I certainly will support the outcome of this election. And I know my twin brother's trying very hard to plant doubts about it."

We had even sought the advice of our first ancestor who gave a grim warning through the mouth of our temple medium: "That is not a joking matter. No, no, no. I want everyone to pay attention here. That is dangerous. When you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy. Then you are doing the work of our adversaries for them because our democracy depends on people knowing their vote matters.”

Hence I don't think my twin brother will go back on his word.

Priest: Don't you know that your twin brother is so notorious for flip-flopping on key issues that he is nicknamed Mr Flip-flop?

Old man (pointing to a dead fish on the wet ground): Like that dead fish, he is something of a spent force. I have yet to hear any flip-flop from him.

Narrator: As soon as he finished speaking, there came a sudden aftershock. The horse neighed loudly and pranced around wildly. The old man tried to restrain his frightened, barking dog which was pulling hard on the leash to run away.

As the ground shook violently, the fish trembled as though they were shivering in the cold. Some of them even "jumped" about as if they had come back alive. When the aftershock was over, the old man turned to the priest.

Old man (jokingly): Now I know dead fish can flip-flop.

Priest (laughing): You were flip-flopping like one of those dead fish just now when you were pulled along by your dog.

Old man (laughing): It's the same with you. You were bouncing like a ball on your prancing horse.

Priest: On the way, I heard that the intelligence agencies of the Mountain had concluded with “high confidence” that the great bear demon acted covertly in the latter stages of the election campaign to harm your twin brother's chances and promote you. Thirty-five warlocks were expelled from the Mountain for allegedly helping the great bear demon to hack the brains of your twin brother and his campaign staffers during the election.

Old man: Unless you catch "hackers" in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?

If the great bear demon, or some other entity, was hacking my twin brother's brain by black arts, why did he wait so long to act? Why did his party members only complain after he lost?

A whistleblower who published the telepathic messages of my twin brother's campaign manager said "a 14-year-old wizard could have hacked his brain by sorcery" — why was his election committee so careless? He also said the great bear demon did not give him the info!

Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and we tried to play the great bear demon card. It would be called conspiracy theory!

The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest victories of the Mountain in history. It’s now time to move on and "make the Mountain great again".

Priest: Tomorrow is new year holiday, do you have any message for your twin brother and his campaign staffers?

Old man: Happy New Year to all, including my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!

Priest: The great bear demon had reportedly said he would not "stoop" to "irresponsible diplomacy", but rather attempt to repair relations once you take office.

Old man: Great move on delay - I always knew he was very smart!

Priest: He was so smart that he even hacked your brain and those of your campaign staffers by witchcraft too, but he did not release whatever information they gleaned from the brain waves. This finding was reportedly reached with "high confidence" by the intelligence agencies of the Mountain.

Old man: I don’t believe the great bear demon had interfered. I know a lot about hacking the brain by black arts, and such hacking is a very hard thing to prove, so it could be somebody else. I know things that other people don't know. And so they cannot be sure of the situation. You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way. Because I'll tell you what - no brain is safe from hacking by sorcery when it is emitting brain waves in telepathy. I shall reveal details people don't know about the incident in the coming days.

I was supposed to get the intelligence briefing on the so-called great bear demon's hacking of the brains by sorcery yesterday but it was delayed until next week, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!

According to the whistleblower, the Mountain's news media coverage is “very dishonest”. More dishonest than anyone knows.

Narrator: As soon as he had finished speaking, the ground shook violently. The dog barked loudly and pulled hard at the leash in its attempt to run away, but it ended up running in a circle around the old man. The horse neighed loudly and pranced wildly in a circle around the old man and his dog. The dead fish "jumped" to shoulder height from the ground. The old man screamed at his dog in his effort to stop it from running, and one of the fish landed in his big potty mouth. When the aftershock was over, the priest said jokingly.

Priest: The sight of the fish in your mouth reminds me of a proverbial saying: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." It seems that God has given you a fish while teaching you how to fish like a hungry brown bear plucking a leaping salmon from the air.

Old man (spitting out the fish angrily): If God really wants to give me a fish, He should not give me a rotten one.

Priest: Okay, we have enough talk about brain hacking by black arts. I wish to contact you when I reach the Mountain. May I have your phone number?

Old man: Why not? Here is my name card with my phone number.

Priest: Thanks for your name card.

Old man: No need to thank me. You are the only one who gets my phone number free of charge because I regard you as my true friend. Your mistress who is now living apart in trial separation has donated a huge sum of money to my election campaigns just for my phone number.

Priest: Well, she can get your phone number, but don't ever let me catch her calling you or your twin brother.

Old man: I have to tell you a bad news. She called me last week to wish me congratulations on winning the election.

Narrator: Suddenly there came another aftershock. "Leaping" to eye level, the dead fish seemed to "dance" in celebration of a special occasion. The dog kept barking and pulled so hard on the leash that it pulled the old man along with it for some distance. The horse neighed loudly and lifted its front legs so high that the priest almost fell off from its back. When the ground stopped shaking, the two men resumed their conversation.

Priest: Okay, let's get back to my perfidious lover. When I return to my region, I shall confirm with her whether she has acted unfaithfully behind my back before lodging an official protest to you. As for now I have to lodge a solemn representation with you as an informal protest for interfering in my domestic affairs.

Old man: Interesting how my twin brother does a lot of business with her and I should not accept a congratulatory call.

Priest: You are very clear about my solemn position on your phone conversation with my mistress in trial separation.

Old man: I never said it. Don't put words in my mouth.

Priest: You won't lose anything by keeping your big potty mouth shut! Anyway I have to take my leave now. The more I speak to you, the more irritated I am. There is a popular quote by someone in your region: "When they go low, you go high.” I have to go high now not because of my grace, forgiveness, and enemy love but because of the impending arrival of tsunami.

Old man: This place is a paradise to me when I think of the congratulatory calls from the leaders of all the other regions, particularly the phone call from your mistress in trial separation. Anyway, don't forget to call me when you reach the Mountain. Goodbye!

Priest: Enjoy the gorgeous landscape of your paradise before it turns into hell. Goodbye!

Narrator: Thereupon the priest put spurs to his horse and sped on towards a distant mountain at full gallop. However, he turned back to speak to the old man after galloping a few hundred metres.

Priest: I almost forgot to tell you something that was purported to have uttered by your first ancestor through the mouth of a temple medium. Suggesting that the Mountain is entering a time of hopelessness, he said: "We feel the difference now. Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept. And the Old Man of the Mountain didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. He and I and so many believed that … what else do you have if you don’t have hope? What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”

Old man: We have tremendous hope and we have tremendous promise and we have tremendous potential. I assume my first ancestor was talking about the past, not the future.

Narrator: No sooner had he spoken than the ground began to shake. The quake of the aftershock was so powerful that the priest was thrown off the horse. After performing a somersault in the air, he landed safely but rose in full pursuit of his horse which had galloped up a slope. After a while, he managed to catch up with his horse and jumped onto its back.

Meanwhile, the old man was chasing his dog which had broken free from the leash and was running towards the rising waves. The dead fish shot up like rockets from the ground and rained down on the two men and their animals. One of them landed on the old man's golden locks.


************************* The End *************************

Last edited by reedak; January 31st, 2017 at 05:48 PM.
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Old January 31st, 2017, 05:42 PM   #2
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ANECDOTE 2

Trump's threat to impose 20 percent tax on all Mexican imports reminds me of an anecdote in my political satire "The Old Man of the Mountain".

(Begin excerpts)
Narrator: Meanwhile, the priest was riding a white horse like the wind towards the old man's mountain stronghold. Suddenly he spotted a man staggering along the road in the distance. When the man saw the priest, he seemed to be very frightened and turned to run in the opposite direction. However, he collapsed after running a few steps. As the priest reined in his horse beside the man, he found blood dripping from the man's left thigh.

Man: Spare my life! Don't kill me! I have no more money left.

Priest: What's the matter with you? Why should I take your life?

Man: Aren't you a highwayman?

Priest: No, I am a priest. What ill fortune has befallen you?

Man: I was robbed by a highwayman in a lonely stretch of road ahead of us.

Priest: Please elaborate on your encounter with the highwayman.

Man: This morning while I was pushing a cart with three baskets of twenty chickens to the market, I met a masked horseman. After dismounting his horse, he ordered me to give him four chickens as a 20 percent toll for using his grandfather's road.

Priest: Why did he claim this road as his grandfather's road?

Man: He said that his grandfather died here while building the road forty years ago. Now everybody passing here must "treat him fairly with respect" by giving him 20 percent of his personal belongings as compensation for his grandfather's death.

Priest: As a Chinese saying goes, "There's no way for a scholar to bring a soldier to reason in their encounter."

Man: As I am a poor farmer, four chickens mean very much to me. Hence I refused to give in to his threat, and got into a fight with him. After stabbing my left thigh with a dagger, he took away all my money and chickens as a penalty for staining his dagger with my blood.

Priest: With regard to that devil incarnate, I wish to recite the poem "Retribution" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Though the mills of God grind slowly,

Yet they grind exceeding small;

Though with patience he stands waiting,

With exactness grinds he all.

Narrator: The priest carried the injured man onto his horse's back. On the way, he found a trail of blood leading to the farmer's empty cart on the roadside. After sending the farmer to a nearby clinic, the priest continued his journey. (End excerpts)

************************** The End ***************************
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