State of the Nation

Like most Americans, I have been deeply concerned with the effects of tabloid culture on our youth.   Children who formerly spent their time in wholesome activities such as ‘riding the rails’ to see our great nation, now smoke the cracks.  Because of ‘rock’ shows like KISS and Jane’s Addiction, many children are completely deaf by the age of twelve, and they must take up a trade, such as the noble attempt to recreate the extinct Syrian Wild Ass.

But the true ‘state’ of our nation became clear to me recently when one of my closest and dearest relatives, Cletus Junior Kimmel, came from his home in Grygla, Minnesota (pop. 297) to spend some time with me, and to get a taste of city life.  At first everything was great fun and there was continued wholesomeness, such as corn, and Cletus experienced the joys of plumbing and wearing pants.  Then one day in the supermarket he asked if he could have a magazine, a ‘rag’ if you will, and because he was so bright-eyed I foolishly acquiesced.  In a very short time he was sneaking in at night to watch programs on the television set, and managed to find magazines at the homes of my ‘friends’ as well.

I think you know where this is going.  Soon he was dissatisfied with the color of his hair, and believed his little pants were too tight.  He began to call himself ‘fat’ and ‘fatty,’ and other words that suggested he didn’t meet the ‘Twiggy’ standard of starvation.  Once he even referred to himself as ‘the fatness,’ something that made no sense to me at all.  I took him to specialists, to no avail, and indeed not only was his weight an issue, he no longer could accept the shape of his face and believed his eyes were globular.  His parents innocently sent him funds which he used for cosmetic surgery.  The surgeries were, on the whole, disastrous.

I sent him back to Grygla, Minnesota (pop. 297) with a note that read, “My Dear Cletus Junior Kimmel.  I hope this letter cures you of your terrible sickness and that you begin attending church once again.  At least read Our Daily Bread rather than the magazines that have made you go from my most precious little monkey to a nearly unrecognizable sad thing.  Put your pants back on, and always remember that when you are at the beach, that is when I carried you.  I love you, Auntie Haven.”

Parents and others:  no foreign literature.  No water with carbonation.  No hand lotion.

Below I include before and after photographs, in order to warn other close relatives of our naive young.

Cletus when he arrived:

Cletus when I put him on the Greyhound bus back to his parent’s macadamia nut farm:

Published in: on April 26, 2008 at 4:25 pm  Comments (2)  


  1. “At first everything was great fun and there was continued wholesomeness, such as corn, and Cletus experienced the joys of plumbing and wearing pants.” My new favorite sentence. Ever.

  2. Cletus seems to have gone through several incarnations on this blog. Does he have multiple personality disorder?

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