Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Real Story of the Princess and the Frog

A picture book story, without the pictures

“What are you going to do today?” asked the King with a smile.

Princess Izzy thought for a moment. “I think I’ll catch a frog.”

“Eew! Frogs are ugly and they have germs. Stay away from frogs,” said, the Queen.

So, of course, the Princess went out to look for frogs. The only problem was, she’d never seen a frog before.

“Hello, are you a frog?” asked the Princess. [to a snake]

“Sssilly girl. Do I look like a frog?”
“Well, you are ugly,” said the Princess. “Do you have germs?”

“Yesssss, of course! Everybody hasss germsss.”

“Then you must be a frog,” said the Princess, and she took him into the castle.

“Eeeek!” screamed the Queen as she climbed up onto her throne. “A snake!”

“Yes, it is ugly,” said the King. “But frogs are slimy as well as ugly.”

“I thought something was missing,” said the Princess.

“Sssee you later,” said the snake as he slithered away.

So, the Princess went out to look for frogs. She found a slimy trail in the grass.
“Hello, are you a frog?” asked the Princess. [to a slug]

“Oh dear! I’m very sorry, Miss, but I am definitely not a frog.”

“But you are ugly and you are slimy. Can you give me some germs?” asked the Princess.
“I’d really rather not.”

“But if you’re ugly and slimy and germy, then you must be a frog,” said the Princess and she took him into the castle.

“Eeeek!” yelled the Queen as she ran off to her bedroom. “A slug!”

“Umm,” said the King. “It’s true that slugs are slimy and ugly. But frogs also have legs.”

“You could have told me that already,” said the Princess. But the King just smiled.

“Don’t bother to show me out,” said the slug as he slipped away.

So, Princess Izzy went out to look for frogs. She saw some green legs.

“Hello, are you a frog?” asked the Princess. [to a salamander]

“Get lost, girly! Don’t you know what frogs look like?”

“I think so,” said the Princess. “Frogs are ugly, slimy, and have legs just like you. I’ll bet you have germs too!”

“I may have a few. Why do you ask?”

But the Princess didn’t answer. She was sure this was a frog. She picked him up and took him into the castle.

“Eeeek!” cried the Queen as she ran off to the bathroom. “A salamander!”

“Well, he is ugly and slimy,” said the King, “and he does have legs. But he has a tail. Frogs don’t have tails.”

“Is there anything else you ought to tell me,” said the Princess.

“No, I think that should do it,” said the King with a smile.

“Better luck next time, kiddo!” said the salamander as he shuffled away.

So, the Princess went out to look for frogs. She looked and looked and looked and then…

“Hello, are you a frog?” asked the Princess. [to a frog]

“Hello, Princess,” said the frog. “How did you know it was me?”

“Well, you’re ugly.”

“Yes, I must admit that I am.”

“And you are slimy.”

“How true, how true.”

“You have legs.”

“One of my better features, don’t you think.”

“And you don’t have a tail,” said the Princess. “Do you have germs, by chance?”

“Not many.”

“Well, if you have germs and legs and slime and you’re ugly and you don’t have a tail, then you must be a frog.”

“I can’t deny it. I am a frog. Now do I get my kiss?” asked the frog.


“Certainly, why else would a princess want a frog? Frogs are made for kissing! Just one kiss and I will turn into a handsome Prince. Then we can get married and live happily ever after.”

“But I don’t want a Prince; I just want a frog. A Prince would be a boy, and boys are not nearly as much fun as frogs. Besides…I don’t think the Queen is afraid of boys,” said the Princess as she picked up the frog and headed back into the castle. [Queen is seen running from the frog]

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hunting for Votes

My dear friends and supporters, I have been so busy out on the campaign trail that I have not taken the time I should have to keep you up to date on how things are going.

You might perhaps have noticed that I was not present at any of the recent debates. I actually went to New York City last week to participate in one of these, but learned upon arriving that the debate was in California. The trip was not a total loss, however, because I was able to hold a vigorous debate with a cab driver about the best way to get from Central Park to the Empire State Building...and I think I can say that without a doubt, I was the clear winner. Of course, I didn't really understand what the cab driver was saying because he wasn't speaking English. In fact, I'm not sure anyone in New York City actually speaks English anymore.

On the return trip from New York, however, I had time to ponder the best plan for moving up in the polls this Fall. And it occurred to me that Fall...besides being a great time to roast chestnuts, rake leaves, and watch also hunting season. What better way could there be to grab the attention of the voting public than to go on a hunting trip. It is just so...American! It doesn't hurt that there are 47 million Americans that love to go hunting and fishing.

Besides this approach has a proven track record. How else can you explain the fact the George W. Bush beat Al Gore? Bush went hunting and Gore did not. According to James A Swan in the National Review, almost all of our presidents have gone hunting. John Kerry pretended to go hunting, but everyone saw right through that.

This will not be a problem for me. I have a long and glorious tradition of hunting. be honest, I haven't actually been hunting in over 25 years, but I used to hunt...or at least I tried to hunt. There was that time I went grouse hunting with my dad and forgot to wear my corrective eyewear. I was certainly close to hitting a grouse and the log I did shoot at looked an awfully lot like one.

Then there was the time I went deer hunting...also with my dad (hunting was kind of a dad sort of thing)...that time I actually got a deer even though I had again forgotten my corrective eyewear. I still believe that what I shot at was a four-point buck and that before I could get to him, someone else switched animals and replaced my buck with a zero-point doe.

Nonetheless, as you can see, I have a certified history of hunting. This, I believe, will sell well with the American public. So, don't be surprised if you see me out in the mountains this fall...let's see now...where did I put those glasses?

[If you have missed some of the earlier reports on the Vote for Bart campaign trail, you can find them in the archives: My Economic Plan, Election Endorsements, Campaign Fundraising, Ice Cream Politics, Politicians Love a Parade, Breaking News, Campaign Rumors, The Real Issues,Vote for Bart, Mr. President, Governor Rick Perry Enters the Race]

Friday, September 16, 2011

Have You Ever Met Your Guardian Angel? I Did

I believe in guardian angels. I met mine yesterday on the Airtrain outside of terminal #2 at John F. Kennedy Airport. His name is Jay.

I wasn't planning to meet him. I hadn't really thought about guardian angels much recently. My flight from Utah was uneventful, smooth, and actually quite relaxing. I even managed to grade a stack of student papers on the way. JFK was busy, but not overly busy...not like Chicago or Atlanta that last couple of times I've flown into those airports. I did have to wait 20 minutes for my luggage, but all in all I felt things were moving along pretty well. That's when I made the decision to NOT take a taxi into Manhattan, but to have an adventure instead. I decided to ride in on the subway.

At the terminal door, I asked a helpful young man (probably about 40 years old) how to get to Manhattan on the subway. Crusty...Mr. T. Russell Custer actually, but, I was informed, everybody just calls him Crusty, so that's what I called him...Crusty, whose family is from North Carolina and who has been working at the airport for twenty years and who was just about as wide as he was tall, told me he would show me exactly how to get to Manhattan on the subway, but that I would have to take the Airtrain first. And the best part was that he would take me to the Airtrain.

Crusty loaded my bags up on his cart and wheeled me across the street to the Airtrain terminal and right onto the train. He stayed right there on the train with me as it pulled out from the terminal. He was pointing to the map and trying to explain to me which connections I needed to make. When we got to the next stop, I was completely confused. Crusty had a way with words. When he said them, they sounded like they made sense, but when you really thought about what he had said, it made no sense at all.

But now I was committed. I was on the train and I wasn't about to go back and try and hale a cab. The Airtrain, which travels to all the JFK terminals, slowed as it approached the next terminal and I could see that Crusty had gone as far with me as he intended to go. As he got ready to leave, I asked him if $5 was enough for his trouble and he told me that he was hoping to maybe get something with a zero on it, so I gave him a $10. I didn't really mind. He was a very pleasant young man. He'd even tried to hit on a pretty young lady while helping me with my bags. "You never know when you'll get lucky," he said, and I agreed with him.

In fact, I was just about to get very lucky, although I wouldn't really call it luck. Standing near me on the Airtrain and watching me trying to interpret Crusty's instructions was another young man about 25 years old. He had a scruffy five-day beard, long scraggly dark hair that was tied into a ponytail, and the brightest, most welcoming eyes I have ever seen. He was my guardian angel...Jay. At least he told me his name was Jay. Somehow, before the train stopped at the next terminal five minutes later, we were close friends.

For the next hour, Jay made sure I got off at the right Airtrain station, offered to purchase my subway ticket (which I did not allow, but I did allow him to show me how to buy my own), made sure I got on the right subway train, helped me carry my bags that were loaded with graduate recruiting brochures, and talked to me about the beauty of southern Utah. When we arrived at my stop to get off the subway, he insisted on coming with me to make sure I got to my hotel safely. It was four blocks from the subway station to my hotel.

I wasn't sure what I would find in New York City when I left the comforting confines of Provo on Thursday. To be honest, I've always heard that New Yorkers are a little unfriendly and not very helpful. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I will never think of New York again without a smile on my face.

At the door to the hotel, I thanked Jay and told him to come and see me in Utah. He said he would, but I've met guardian angels before and they are usually too busy for follow up visits.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Always Remember: Freedom Has a Price

Along with all of you, I mourn today for those whose lives were lost on September 11, 2001 in an act of act of complete cowardice. There was no bravery on the side of the terrorists, only cruelty, fear, and evil. It's why we call them terrorists, and there is nothing they or their families or their associates can ever be proud of in such an act.

I will be the first to admit that America is not yet perfect. We have our flaws. Among us are some who are willing to sell anything to make a buck, some who love vulgarity more than civility, some for whom hate has become a hobby. We still have poor. We still have crime. We still have children who are abused. No, America is not perfect. But even with its flaws, I would not choose to live anywhere else because America is the home of freedom.

Freedom is such a precious gift that the pilgrims were willing to cross the ocean and die on the lonely shores of Massachusetts in 1620. Forty-five of the 102 emigrants died that first winter including two of my ancestors. Not satisfied with being subject to a king on the other side of that same ocean, others of my ancestors spilled their blood on the battlefields of the American Revolution along with over 50,000 other Americans who were killed or wounded.

Then, when this great land was so close to being torn apart by that most terrible of conflicts, the Civil War, there were among my forefathers those who gave their youth to keep it together. No other war has affected America so deeply. Over 600,000 died.

World War I (116,000 Americans killed) and World War II (405,000 dead) came and went. My father was one of the lucky ones. He came home.

In my own lifetime we have seen the horrors of war in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan as well as many other smaller skirmishes across the globe. These have also taken their toll on American families and on the American psyche. But through it all, there is one message that we still proclaim to all the world: "Let Freedom Ring."

Freedom will always come with a cost. I hope that I, and the generations who follow, will always be willing to pay that price.