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Going for the Green by Tom King
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I made the mistake of taking along a plastic grocery bag on my walk with Daisy this morning (in case there was a pooping incident). We passed the berry bushes and they were just loaded with big fat juicy berries. I couldn't resist picking them even though I'd promised my wife I'd lay off the berry picking for a while. At any rate the bag was used for berry gathering this time instead of its less dignified use. The size of the berries reminded me of a Flip Wilson story. This is a story about a Roman. His name was Herman.
His name was Roman
It seems that the latest fad in Rome back then was berries. People started collecting berries and displaying them, showing them off and entering them in fairs and pie making contests and such.
Berries became THE status symbol for the upwardly mobile Roman.
Well, one day, while Roman Herman was roaming the
outskirts of Rome, he spied this ginormous berry. It was beautiful. It was the most beautiful berry Roman Herman
had ever seen - all fat and juicy and plump. So, anyway, he picked the berry, tucked it under his toga and brought it home to his wife. The woman squealed when she saw that berry. She praised it cause she knew the girls down at the bath house was gonna be just green with envy..
She put her hands on her hips and said "That's an
awful nice berry you got there Herman!"
It didn't take long for word to get around
about the berry. Pretty soon people were coming from all over Rome to see the berry, and
to praise it. Roman Herman took the berry to the Roman county fair and he won first prize. He took his trophy and his berry home and put it up on the mantel so people could see the berry when they came by for a visit and they could praise the berry right there in the living room.
Well, one dark night, there was a knock on the door. It
was late, but Mr. and Mrs Herman were getting used to all the fuss because of the berry, so Roman Herman opened up the door.
There standing in the doorway were three Roman Senators, Brutus, Cassius and Mark. They elected for Mark to speak for them and he stepped forward.
"Friend, Roman and Countryman," Mark announced. "We have heard of your magnificent berry and come representing the senate of Rome."
"Hoo, boy," said Herman feeling kind of flattered. "Have you come to praise my berry?" he asked.
Without warning the senators drew out long knives and Senator Mark, he held his knife right up against poor Roman Herman's belly. "Why don't you see," Senator Mark scowled menacingly, "We come to seize your berry, not to praise it!"*
*The only way you'll get that joke is if you had to memorize Mark Anthony's funeral oration in Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, when you were in 9th grade lit class. This joke slays 'em at writer's groups and gatherings of unemployed English majors. I'm sorry, but there are so few really good jokes about berries......
That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoe-making and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. -Mark Twain