Hail to the Chiefs

Homage to a Neglected Holiday

by Elmo (Old Hickory) Spludd

Ah, yes, another President's Day has come and gone.

I had the day off, hee hee.

So now you know I must be some kind of parasitic "public-sector" worker. Hey, I've got a right to it, I'm a registered Democrat.

Naturally, I spent my leisure time thinking about my favorite Chief Executives. What else are you gonna do on President's Day, if you don't have to work? Unless you hit all those President's Day sales at the furniture stores.

President's Day is a good time to remember all those unsung heroes of the White House. Forget Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and all those other legendary figures we see all the time on our currency. How about Zachary Taylor? Or William Howard Taft? Or Chester Arthur? Those are my kinda guys.

About five years ago they exhumed Zachary Taylor's body, or what was left of it. I'm not kidding. It actually happened. Zachary Taylor died in office, and some historian had developed a theory that Taylor had been poisoned. Taylor's descendants graciously agreed to have old Zack's bones dug up and tested for traces of various lethal substances. The tests were negative. We all breathed a big sigh of relief, knowing that President Taylor was not the victim of foul play. More likely he just ate a bad pork chop. Meat preservation was a major problem back in those days.

I always liked President Taft. He's the only really fat guy ever to occupy the Oval Office. And by all accounts, he was a decent fellow to boot. After he lost his re-election bid to Woodrow Wilson, he became a Supreme Court Justice. He must have liked the food in Washington, because he hung around for a long time. By then they didn't have as many troubles with trichinosis.

Chester Arthur? Don't know a thing about him. That's what's cool about the guy. No one knows anything about Chester Arthur, and he was the President of the United States.

When you were a kid, odds are that a parent or a close relative looked at you playing in the sandbox or smearing your feces on the walls and thought: "There is a potential future President of the United States." Heck, remember Billy Carter? He was the President's brother, for heaven's sake.

Which just goes to show you, that while it may not be true that anyone can become President, just about anyone can grow up to be a President's sibling. It's true, folks, this is without a doubt the greatest country on the face of the earth.

Happy President's Day.



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