Friday, June 02, 2006

Government Appreciation Day

INSIDER STORY – EXCLUSIVE TO DU!
(By Nancy Greggs)

Few people realize that there is a new tradition since the beginning of
the Bush tenure in office, a little-known celebration called “Government
Appreciation Day”, which is celebrated in D.C. on the Saturday following
Memorial Day.

Thanks to knowing someone who knows someone, I was able to wangle myself
an invitation to this year’s festivities, and I thought I’d share the
experience.

The day kicked off with a parade, and all of the floats were so
fantastic, it’s hard to choose the best among them. So I’ll just give
you a brief description of this year’s award winners.

The Big Pharma float won top honors, and for good reason. The float
consisted of a giant maze of flowering shrubbery, through which hapless
seniors tried to navigate their way. The Conservative American
Horticulture Society (a subsidiary of Halliburton) designed the piece,
and the multi-million dollar cost to taxpayers was well worth it.

Trailing behind the float was a band of silver-haired citizens, who
shook their prescription pill bottles (filled with pebbles, since they
can no longer afford the actual medication). It sounded like maracas,
and gave the whole thing a Latin flair!

The second prizewinner was the Katrina/NOLA portion of the parade,
dozens of empty FEMA trailers being pulled by former New Orleans
residents. (I’m told they were paid $10 each for their participation,
and Babs Bush was gushing in her “They’re much better off now” praise of
the participants’ efforts.)

This year’s “President’s Choice” award went to the Big Oil float, a
massive 300-wheeler that took up an entire city block! The float was
festooned with dead, oil-encrusted waterfowl floating belly-up on a
simulated ‘lake’ made entirely of $50,000 bills permanently sealed in
layers of Verathane! I was told the bills were real, but I can’t verify
that – anyway, it was a sight to behold!

I must confess I never did get to see the real show-stopper, the War in
Iraq float. Apparently it’s progressing at such a fast pace, no one can
visually keep up with it. But we were assured that it was ‘turning
corners’ all morning!

The parade ended with hundreds of straggling schoolchildren waving “Just
because we have no funding doesn’t mean we were LEFT BEHIND!” banners –
and they just couldn’t have been cuter!

After the parade, we headed for the picnic grounds where displays were
set up by various organizations and corporations. AT&T employees handed
out ‘Frequent Wire-Tapped’ air-miles coupons to all and sundry, while
tiny flags (set at half-staff to commemorate the death of democracy)
were distributed free-of-charge by the R.N.C.

And don’t think that our elected representatives weren’t out in force,
willing to participate in contests that proved to be real
crowd-pleasers! There was a paper-shredding contest, where senators and
congressmen formed tag-teams and fed copies of the Constitution into the
shredders as fast as they could! It was hilarious to see them all
actually working for a change, and their speed was absolutely dazzling!

Many of the midway-style games had line-ups as far as the eye could see,
including Dick Cheney’s ‘Shoot The Lawyer’ game, the ‘Guess The Final
Financial Cost of the Iraq War’ competition, and Bill Frist’s ‘Instant
Diagnosis’ tent was absolutely mobbed the entire afternoon!

There were many booths set up, but the Diebold display proved to be the
most popular. For a $25 ‘donation’, participants could try their luck on
a touch-screen voting machine, which was programmed to read ‘Republican’
no matter who they ‘voted’ for. I understand that the machine was wired
so that one vote in a brazillion would come up ‘Democrat’, with a
pay-off of $1,000,000 to the lucky winner who hit the jackpot!
(Unfortunately, no one hit the jackpot for the fifth year in a row. But
hey, there’s always NEXT year!)

No celebration is complete without an air-show, and the participating
corporate jets were truly astounding, weaving their way in out of
complicated loops and swirls high over our heads, with all the skill and
flair of an accountant who knows how to navigate legal loopholes!

The Washington D.C. GOP Dance Troupe (another subsidiary of Halliburton)
put on a truly unforgettable performance at dusk. Their maneuverings
defied belief, especially the ‘Bend Over & Look Away’ step that has
gained them so much recognition of late. The move is dedicated to
Congress and Senate members, and artfully depicts their ability to bend
over backwards to support the president when he breaks the law, and look
the other way while he dismantles our democracy. I’m not exaggerating
when I tell you there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

I’m sure you’re thinking that President Bush wasn’t there, well guess
again – and long after his bedtime, too! The President traditionally
meets on-stage with actors costumed to represent different ‘cheap labor
market’ countries, and solemnly hands over a set of Golden Keys,
symbolizing the giving away of American jobs. It was so moving, few in
the crowd could contain their tears.

The festivities ended with a giant bonfire that could literally be seen
for miles. The shredded paper from the Shred-the-Constitution contest
earlier in the day was assembled in a massive pile, and while the
national anthem was sung (in ENGLISH, natch!), the ceremonial ‘Bill of
Rights’ torch was lit, which set the entire pile of useless paper ablaze.

It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me to be there, but I’m
hoping I will never have an opportunity to attend again.

I’d just like to end my tale by reminding the reader that this ‘insider
story’ is a joke.

However, the state of our nation isn’t.

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