According to a ’70s-era anthology of National Lampoon that is in my possession, General Alexander Meigs Haig Jr. (Ret.) (Parody) is not very grateful to Herman Kahn for giving him a job at the Hudson Institute. He also needs black shoe polish. Read all about it in “GenerallySpeaking,” a very Seventies period piece (which, being from National Lampoon, does include some uncivilized language below thefold, some of it directed to Latin America, most of it aimed at the corpulent Herman Kahn).
Formerly I was a fellow who held the post of secretary of state. Upon my resignation (which shocked and saddened a nation), I did not cease to be a fellow. That is not the sort of fellow I am. No. I became a different sort of fellow. A fellow of the prestigious Hudson Institute.
Does this mean I gained three hundred pounds, acquired chronic curvature of the spine, and took to reading Bulgarian newspapers while eating huge unmanageable oil-soaked sandwiches at a tin desk overlooking the Hudson River like the other fellows I could name?
It does not. My spinal disks are still as neatly stacked as any soldier’s. I continue to work in a uniform and not unlaundered wool pajamas with pockets full of cooling Tiparillo ashes.
Yet there are many fellows of the type described to be found at the prestigious Hudson Institute. How a corporate client could entrust a ten-year economic-stability prognostication to a fellow with a tinkling mass of greasy squab bones in his beard or a monstrous load like Herman Kahn, whose belt still makes him look like a segmented insect when it’s let out to the last notch, I will not understand until I have had more time and money to study the question.
I have been running my brain in Washington on behalf of the prestigious Hudson Institute. I have been running it pretty hard, too. In much the same way a body consumes more and more calories the harder it works, a brain has got to consume more and more money in order to keep working at top efficiency. That is just one sample of the many very powerful thoughts I have had vis-à-vis the world while working here. Yes, it is pretty much axiomatic to a fellow who has given the matter the kind of particle-beam-power study I have that I need a huge big fat increase in my retainer.
Naturally, I have bound my conclusions up in a blue polyethylene presentation folder bearing the blazon of the prestigious Hudson Institute and forwarded them to Herman Kahn. A man of his girth and brainpower will doubtless recognize the super-irrefutable nature of my logic and saw me off another big presto log of cash retainer, suitable to the maintenance of my larger-than-average brain.
Naturally, there is not enough processed pulp on hand in the Western world for me to set down all the thoughts I have had since I have been working here. In fact, the ramifications of two of my thoughts alone, were they printed and bound and only ten copies distributed by conventional methods, would absorb Crown Zellerbach’s paper-milling capacity for two years. This extraordinary productivity alone justifies my request for an increased retainer. If not, then the inaccuracy of Herman Kahn’s Super Bowl prognostications (which cost me my whole retainer) should. If it were to become widely known that this megalo-brain had the fucking Dolphins winning by fourteen points, he would lose all his long-term overview credibility with the major corporate criminals of the world and get no more respect than that pontificating pile of Crisco, Orson Welles, and less money.
People have long been asking me, “General Alexander Meigs Haig Jr., just when are you going to run for president?” My answer is a simple one. I don’t think it would be fair to the president we have now for me to run while he is still in office. He was elected for four years, and despite the shame, disgust, and regret of the American people for the terrible mistake they made in electing this man and the enormous growing groundswell of my popularity, I think I should wait at least until the next election.
Let me tell you, the Dow Jones average would have to sink well below 950 before I would even begin to contemplate seizing the reins of power, declaring martial law, working out a feasible emergency powers act, and acceding to the will of the overwhelming majority of the people in namingmyself Supremo-for-life.
Incidentally, those of you readers with reasoning abilities anywhere beyond those of hand-held calculators will know that it is necessary for a man to be named Supremo-for-life. For example, pick any Spic nation -- say, Taco Rico. Now, the goddamn Supremos down there are always grabbing the reins of government or the joystick of authority or the paddle controls of the revenue and taxation bureau like a bunch of fat kids fighting over a bag of M&M’s in the back of a bus. Naturally, we could never allow such Iberian behavior in our great nation, so if -- and I’m only saying if -- it becomes necessary for me to snatch power I will do everything possible to ensure a similar event can never again occur, even if it means blowing a few national-security advisers and so forth out of the torpedo tubes to fool the enemy and my wife.
Leaving the preservation of democracy aside for the moment, let me now address the opic of my campaign fund or, if necessary, my coup d’etat fund. Contributions have not been coming in at the rate I expected, even with the employee contributions by checkoff from our defense contractors. Can it be that the people of the United States wish me to run for president in cheap shiny-elbowed suits? Do the American people really want their future leader to spend fifteen minutes punching codes into a little MCI code box every time he wants to make a long-distance call? Does this mighty democracy want its Supremo-to-be wasting valuable thinking time arguing with Mrs. Daugherty from Visa Card about how much he may or may not be over his credit limit this month? I have gone to the people, and the people have said, “No.” The American people (and as a general who has sent them to be killed in battle I think I know the American people better than you), the American people want to be able to say to Frogs and Spic and Russkies, “Our Supremo could buy and sell your Supremo twenty times over.” Or “Our Supremo has a solid-gold cabochon-encrusted Rolex watch, waterproof to six hundred feet, what kind of watch does your Supremohave?” Imagine the effect it will have on the morale of our people when they see me riding through the slums of Bombay scattering expensive pecan-loaded fruitcakes from Corsicana, Texas, amongst the starvelings of the Indian slums. What a crushing blow, too, to the pride of that left-leaning land’s governing grandmother.
Well, I think I’ve spelled things out in sufficiently large block letters for even dairy animals to get a sense of my meaning, but in close, I would like to remind you to send money or any spare thoughts you may have to me at the Hudson Institute. I also need some black shoe polish.
General Alexander Meigs Haig Jr.
Quaker Ridge Road
Dear General: I sure hope you are our nation’s next Supremo. I have enclosed
□ some thoughts
□ black shoe polish
to help you with your efforts. I understand this is illegal.