‘Twas the Drink before Christmas

(With Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)
By Mike Tully

‘Twas the drink before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was sober, including the mouse;
When ballots were cast by the voters with care,
The poor folks elected a crass billionaire;
As Midwestern voters lay snug in their bed
American Democrats wished they were dead;
And Mama in her stupor and me in my cups,
The world has gone crazy and now downs are ups,
When out on the Twitter arose such a babble,
The Billionaire Blondie was rousing the rabble.



The Elephant was morose.  His followers did not love him.  True, they helped him control two of the Great Circus’ three rings, but the grandest ring of all eluded him.  “How I dream of living in the Gilded Palace in the Center Ring!” he said.  The Gilded Palace was the residence of the Circus Master.  The Elephant could live in the Gilded Palace if his followers would place him there, but his followers did not love him and their friends did not trust him.  “I could live in the Gilded Palace if only my followers and their friends loved me,” said the Elephant.

Suddenly, in a cloud of sulfur and expensive cologne, there appeared a strange, impish creature with hair like a haystack, a pricey suit that fit him like burlap stuffed with cotton, and a long, red tie that lapped against his shoes.  “You want your followers to love you, do you?” asked the straw-haired Imp.  “I can make them love you, as well as their friends.  So many will love you that you will live in the Gilded Palace forever!”


The Whiffenpoof Song

(I first wrote this column on December 7, 2003 and have reprised it annually on Pearl Harbor Day to commemorate the Greatest Generation and the late Joe Tully, my Father.  – Mike Tully)

The choir assembled when Hell stormed the Lord’s Day on December 7th, 1941.  It reconvenes every annual remembrance of that first gathering.  Every year the choir grows.  Those who join these days are gray, bent, proud and too frequently forgotten.  But their voices, when mingled with those more ancient, reach the stars.  We raise our glasses to the ones who didn’t make it through on this day, and they silently return our toast.  Silently, that is, but for the echoes of an anthem of the Greatest Generation.

From the tables down at Mory’s, to the place where Louie dwells,
To the dear old Temple bar we love so well.

I hear it on this day…


Binding Our Tongues

Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.
                                                 ― Jim Morrison

Imagine ESPN is televising the Arizona-Arizona State football game.  A camera zooms in on an ASU fan wearing a Sun Devil mask and, since the game is in Tucson, the announcer says, “That mask won’t make any friends in that crowd!”  Suddenly, a policeman pounces on the peaceful Sun Devil fan and arrests him as ESPN cuts to commercial.  The cop declares the Sun Devil mask was “unacceptable attire” in Arizona Stadium and the fan is charged with a felony.  Could this actually happen?   Yes, if Republican State Representative Jay Lawrence has his way.

Lawrence is behind HB2007, which would make the behavior described above a felony.  It would be “unlawful for a person to wear a disguise … while participating in” four specific situations:  commission of a public offense; or during a “civil protest,” “political event,” or “public event.”  The crime would be a class six felony unless the disguise is for a “business related purpose” or “may generally be viewed as part of acceptable attire.”  The Sun Devil mask is unacceptable attire in Arizona Stadium, so take it off, or go to jail.  Wear a disguise at any public event and, if someone deems it “unacceptable,” you’re busted.  Lawrence, by the way, told Capitol Media Services it would be okay “if someone protesting his views or his legislation shows up at a rally wearing a chicken suit.”  The fact he had to say that suggests we have gone over the rainbow.