Bridging the Gaffe*—to Nowhere
The reviews of the Charlie & Sarah show are coming in. And Rashomon is, in our ideological age, the guide with an intermittently functional flashlight. You might be offended by the choice of Sarah Palin. On the other hand, you might think her selection is an appropriate finger in the collective eye of a population that has not been adequately serious in bearing the burden of self-governance. On the third hand (wait a minute…) you might think she would make a fine vice-president and even a fine president. Regardless of which of these three hands you come one potato two potatoing (sp?) down on, you might find yourself wondering, “Sheesh, what would the cabinet be like in the administration of a McCain and a Palin? Who would be Secretary of State, for example? Who would take the helm at the Transportation Department? And, as has been made manifest, this is a political season unbound by staid convention. The Palin/McCain (they’ve reversed the order in response to your emails) team has recognized what a game-changer a well-timed personnel decision can be. So, building on the unexpectedly positive reaction to the VP choice, they’ve decided to float for your pondering pleasure an early list of their choices for some of these key positions:
Secretary of State Department of State
Steve is 8 years old, and is a straight A student in the third grade at Barbara Bush Elementary School.
Secretary of the TreasuryDepartment of the Treasury
Karl is not a real counterfeiter—he just played one in the German movie The Counterfeiters, winner of the 2007 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The vetting team is aware of possible citizenship issues, but they are working diligently to teach him to speak English.
Secretary of DefenseDepartment of Defense
Attorney GeneralDepartment of Justice
(It was the quid for the convention speech quo— but don’t worry, they’ll leave him out of the loop when they need to)
Secretary of the InteriorDepartment of the Interior
Now accepting nominations.
Secretary of AgricultureDepartment of Agriculture
Mr. Albert made it to the leaked list before the team realized that he actually died in 2005. They are now hoping to prevail upon Tom Lester to take his place. Tom, as you may know, played the lovable lunkhead Eb on green Acres, and was born again in 1948 at age 10, making him either 60 or 70, depending on which birth you count.
Secretary of Commerce Department of Commerce
Now accepting nominations after the initial choice, Susie Graham, was revealed to have exaggerated the length of time her lemonade stand was in operation.
Secretary of LaborDepartment of Labor
This department is slated for closure. Any actual functions that the Labor Department might have been engaged in will be taken over by Commerce.
Secretary of Health & Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
See closure notice above.
Secretary of Housing & Development Department of Housing and Urban Development
Ted Steven’s contractor, whose name is being withheld pending investigation.
Secretary of TransportationDepartment of Transportation
Todd Palin (the 1st Dude himself) who promises to put a snowmobile in every garage.
Secretary of EnergyDepartment of Energy
Wild Dick Cheney (Yes, that Wild Dick Cheney)
Secretary of Education Department of Education
Mrs. Higgins (Sarah’s 2nd grade teacher)
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Department of Veterans Affairs
William Lacey Howard
While it’s true that “Bill” is not a veteran of the armed forces, he was active in Boy Scout Troop 237, attaining the rank of Star Scout.
Secretary of Homeland SecurityDepartment of Homeland Security
(2003):Chuck Norris (yes, he’ll be doing Defense as well, but have you seen Missing in Action 2 ?!? If you have any doubts about Chuck’s ability to handle both, that should reassure you)
"blunder," 1909, from Fr. gaffe "clumsy remark," originally "boat hook," from O.Fr. gaffe, from O.Prov. gaf, probably from W.Goth. *gafa "hook," from P.Gmc. *gafa. Sense connection is obscure. The gaff was also used to land big fish. Or it may derive from Brit. slang gaff "to cheat, trick" (1893); or gaff "criticism" (1896), from Scot. dial. sense of "loud, rude talk," which ultimately may be from O.E. gaf-spræc "blasphemous or ribald speech."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper