Politics & Policy

One Nation, Under Godiva

Whom do we trust now?

The United States Supreme Court must decide if public schools violate the separation of church and state by requiring students to recite the words “under God” during the Pledge of Allegiance. The Court hears arguments today and is expected to issue its historic ruling by June. If the Court rules that the word “God” is unconstitutional, American life will change radically, almost overnight….

One Nation, Under Microsoft Windows XP(tm): What we lose in freedom of religious expression we can recoup in financial opportunity. President Bush can erase that annoying $1 trillion deficit by auctioning off the greatest product placement in history–the right to insert your company name into the Pledge of Allegiance. Pepsi, Godiva, Good ‘N Plenty, Goobers–who cares who wins the rights, as long as they meet the suggested minimum bid of $250 billion per year.

In Goode We Trust: Who’s Goode? Excellent question. Some argue that Goode is simply a state of mind. To others, Goode is that guy on the train you say hello to but don’t really remember how you know him. Some believe Goode is all around us, like Starbucks. But Goode’s corporeal identity is not important. It’s the trust that matters, the trust that we know Goode and that Goode lives inside us, even if he doesn’t have a street address or pay a heating bill.

Best Blessed America: We’re the best! The richest, smartest, strongest and–by far!–the cleanest. Let’s not tie our blessing down with boring old subject-predicate agreement when superlatives are so much better. Other nations may claim to be blessed by You-Know-Who, too, but only one nation can be the best blessed. That’s us. The best! Blessed…or otherwise! (Bonus: Sing the song with the same exact phrasing.)

Ceausescu!: Here, take this tissue. I hope that’s not the flu. Oops–Ceausescu! I’ll make some green tea. Yes, I enjoy saying it, too–I find that repeating the name of a murderous dictator reminds me how short and precious life is.

Forbidashnecken!: Your grandmother says she’s going to drop dead any day now? Forbidashnecken! Your nervous friend Judy says that new mole on her neck is probably a melanoma? Forbidashnecken! Your know-it-all buddy Carlito says we should pull out of Iraq and let the Iraqis settle their own affairs? Forbidashnecken!

Ina Yadda Da Vida: The 1970s are back, but only those of us who actually lived through them will understand the Iron Butterfly reference.

So Help Me, Google: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, etc., so help your virtual you?

Thedet Is In The Details: Literally! I don’t know what this means, but I stayed up all night writing this humor piece and I’m very excited. It’s all coming together…hedat is also in the details. And etai. That Bible code guy really knows something. Edeta!

Bushsmack: One unlucky alternative-rock band can delete its frivolous Almighty prefix and create a name that describes the emergent geopolitical reality for all nations not tuned in to the American school of rock.

From Your Lips To My Gastroenterologist’s ears: Feel free to adapt this handy old Yiddish expression to the quirks of your modern life. I only pray to Gandolfini you never suffer the indignity of an emergency endo…well, forget that. But you’re in perfect health? That’s great. Ceausescu!

Bruce Stockler is a media-relations consultant and humorist. He is author of I Sleep At Red Lights: A True Story of Life After Triplets.

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