Political Misspeaks

Whether you identify more with Republicans, Democrats, Independents, or one of the many other political parties, I believe we have one thing in common: an appreciation of laughter.

Everyone, at some point, will misspeak. Everyone will do something silly they later regret. I’ve done plenty. The delightful part of public positions is that we are shown much of what they do—including all those “oops” moments. And we laugh. My hope is that the politicians laugh, too. “The ability to laugh at yourself shows great character.” I don’t know who said that, but I’m sure someone did, and I agree. I do know who said the rest of these quotes…

“I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.” – Dan Quayle

“They misunderestimated me.” – George W. Bush

“Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.” – Marion Barry

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” – George W. Bush

“Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's.” – Barack Obama

“Facts are stupid things.” – Ronald Reagan, misquoting John Adams

“A man who will be the next President of the United States—Barack America!” – Joe Biden

“I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.” – Dan Quayle

“Stand up, Chuck, let 'em see ya.” – Joe Biden, trying to honor a man in a wheelchair

“Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again.” – George W. Bush

“A zebra does not change its spots.” – Al Gore

“I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix.” – Dan Quayle

“My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be president of the United States…I could be Vice President!” – Joe Biden

“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” – Nancy Pelosi

“A three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs.” – Joe Biden

Sometimes, politicians are funny on purpose. They’re actually quite witty when they try to be!

“Being president is like running a cemetery: you've got a lot of people under you and nobody's listening.” – Bill Clinton

“I hope you're all Republicans.” – Ronald Reagan, speaking to his doctors after an assassination attempt

“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” – John F. Kennedy, to a gathering of Nobel Prize winners

“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.” – Abraham Lincoln

This is not meant to be disrespectful. I purposely included a mix of parties, to show that these blunders can happen to anyone. I couldn’t do what politicians do, nor would I want to. But we can always use reasons to smile. (Quotes from “Political Humor”.)

Jansina G.
Managing Editor

Bitter Food Makes You Mad


Jay couldn’t help but feel moderately in awe of the perp. He had somehow managed to kill nine victims without being caught. But awe wasn’t his only emotion. In fact, it was the secondary emotion, because it was his anger that was making him pay attention to every minute detail as SA Feud relayed the case file to the room, in that detached voice that Jay somehow knew indicated a deeply emotional connection to this case. The appearance of detachment was just that: an appearance. The only ones who had lost more than the victims and their families in this case were SAs Feud and Bittner. They didn’t just get under each other’s skin; the perp got under it, too. That does not bode well for us. 

“It wasn’t about the girls, it was about power,” Sam, who had evidently started paying attention again, said, her voice firm and controlled. “As you can see,” she said as she gestured to the cork board that was scattered with the victims’ photos, “there is no real pattern in who he chose as victims.” 

Jay looked at the board again. It was only too true: the victims ranged from young, blonde, and attractive, to elderly, gray-haired has-beens.

Charlie was pinning up the picture of the latest victim: Genevieve Watson. Young, red haired, smiling; a grad student with the world at her feet. Vibrant and alive. Now, dead. 

“So, why Genevieve, then?” Will said from his corner of the room, also studying the board. 

SA Feud fielded that question. “The question is, why not Genevieve?” 

Will’s eyes flashed over to Feud wearing their “I’m going to enjoy tackling you” look that Jay had gotten very familiar with, both from football camp in high school and police interrogations. “I’d just like an idea of what to expect.” 

“Expect the unexpected,” Charlie said helpfully.

“Oh, great, words of wisdom from the quack,” Will retorted, rolling his eyes. 

“It’s sound advice,” Jay informed his partner. “Especially in this business.” 

“I’m not concerned with advice, Jay,” Will spat out, his teeth gritted. “I’m concerned with who might be next.”

“There is no possible way of ascertaining that,” SA Feud said, his tone still detached. “He was unpredictable before and he remains so.” 

“Even more so, actually,” Charlie nodded, moving back to his chair. “I vaguely remember the conversations at the time. Not a one of my colleagues predicted that he’d make a comeback.” 

“And the Mighty Quacks strike again,” Will muttered under his breath. 

“Was that a joke, Detective Madden? From you?” Sam’s smile was dazzling. “That was unexpected.” 

“Exactly my point!” Will said emphatically, looking at the Chief, obviously feeling vindicated. “Profilers do nothing but make guesses, and half the time they’re wrong!” 

“Are you trying to convince me or yourself, Will?” The Chief was not amused. 

“I still have those volleyballs in my office,” Charlie murmured. 

“Oh, for the love of Pete!” SA Feud sounded about as exasperated as Jay expected it was possible for him. “Will doesn’t like profilers; the Chief does. I knew that the minute we walked into this room. Now can we just get on with it?” 

“The love of Pete?” Charlie raised an eyebrow. “Who loves Pete?” 

Will got to his feet. “You can’t just know something like that. Someone must have told you.” 

“No one had to tell me,” SA Feud returned, still in his seat, obviously unimpressed by the threat Will posed to his physical safety. Jay, who had been on the receiving end of too many angry-Will punches, eagerly waited to see what would happen next. “I knew from the moment we entered. Just like you and your partner, and I imagine even the Chief, knew that Sam and I were once intimate.”

Will’s mouth fell open in shock. Sam flushed red from her forehead down to her ears, Charlie gave a quiet nod, as did the Chief. Jay found his own lips twitching into a smirk. 

“That is beside the point,” Will stammered. 

“Is it? How so?” SA Feud asked, his tone a flat out snub and an ‘amuse me’ all at the same time. “They’re both elephants in the room, are they not? Sam and I dated, you hate psychology, Jay apparently has lost the ability to sit still—oh, for the love of God, would you stop moving?!” 

Embarrassed, Jay realized that he was bouncing his knees again. “Sorry.” He forced himself to sit still. I bet the Chief is wishing he had never put us up to this. 

SA Feud put his hands to his temples, closing his eyes, very obviously shutting everyone else out. 

Sam stared at him, a disgusted look on her face. 

And to think that she once loved him. Jay thought fleetingly. 

“I am here to work on this case,” SA Feud stated, eyes still shut tight. “I am not here to hold hands and sing around the campfire, or to recover the remnants of a lost relationship. And you can bet that I am not here to make friends.” He said the word ‘friends’ as if it were displeasing to him. 

“I couldn’t agree more,” Charlie said, setting the box of push pins aside. 

SA Feud got to his feet and stalked to the door, his trench coat billowing about him theatrically. “Doctor Leger.” 

“Call me Charlie.” 

“I will not now, nor ever, call you Charlie.” 

“Fair enough.” 

The two left the room, one after the other. 

Will still stood, fuming. Sam sat, trying to recover her good composure. The Chief was the only one who looked comfortable. 

“I don’t know whether to punch him or applaud him,” Jay finally spoke, breaking the stunned silence. 

“Yes,” Sam agreed. “He seems to have that effect on people.”

“He can make one hell of an exit, though,” Jay smirked.

Sam sighed, putting her hand to her eyes. “You have no idea.”

Ciara Zaketti
Column Editor

The Inklings - Who They Were - Part 2

One of Tolkien’s closest friends was C.S. Lewis; fellow writer and member of the Inklings. He is best known for his fictional work, particularly his Chronicles of Narnia, which have been adapted to theater, radio, cinema, and television. His death was little publicized, due to it occurring on the 22nd of November, 1963: the same date that President Kennedy was assassinated. In 2013, he’s to be honored with a memorial in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey, on the 50th anniversary of his death.

Somewhat less well known than Tolkien and Lewis is Charles Williams, a man who had a tremendous influence on at least one of Lewis’s novels. A London native forced by the war to move to Oxford, he joined the Inklings and soon found kindred spirits. Chiefly remembered as a novelist who wrote supernatural thrillers set in the contemporary world, it was at the Inklings’ meetings that he read aloud and was able to improve the draft of his final published novel, All Hallows’ Eve.

The other members were a varied group, and included a priest, a lawyer, a soldier, and a doctor. As Lewis said, “The Inklings are now very well provided.” Although Dorothy Sayers is sometimes thought to be an Inkling, she never attended any of the meetings, and in fact was merely friends with Lewis and Williams.

I don’t believe that, since the Inklings, there has been such a group of men who have influenced literature so much. They inspired, encouraged, and motivated each other to pursue great things. The Inklings have been the inspiration for many literary discussion groups since then, and will continue to be so.

Una Mariah
Submissions Assistant

The Inklings - Who They Were - Part 1

For two decades - from the early 1930s to late 1940s - the Oxford-based Inklings met in C.S. Lewis’s rooms at Magdalene College. An informal gathering of male academics and writers, the Inklings served as a discussion group and sounding board for the members’ various literary works. These men would also congregate Tuesday mornings at a local pub, the Eagle and Child, nicknamed by them the “Bird and Baby”. These casual gatherings outlasted the actual Inklings meetings, and continued up until Lewis’s death in 1963.

The name ‘Inklings’ had been given to the Oxford group by its founder. That group, however, was short-lived, and Tolkien was later to remark that even if their predecessor hadn’t existed, the Inklings still would have come into being.

The meetings of the Inklings were sort of an open forum, where discussion and critiquing of each other’s poetry, articles, fiction, and ideas was encouraged. Tobacco and drinks were in no short supply and I imagine the meetings could get rather rowdy. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was one of the first works to be read aloud at the Inklings gatherings, followed by Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet.

Although various people were invited to attend the Inklings meetings, the core members of the group remained present throughout it’s existence. Among the more famous members were J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and a British writer named Charles Williams. Besides Tolkien and Lewis, Williams was probably the best known writer of the Inklings.Tolkien is famously known as the author of The Lord of the Rings, as well as for various other works including the Silmarillion and The Hobbit. He was a staunch Roman Catholic and played a large role in Lewis’s conversion from atheism to Christianity. He has been called the father of modern fantasy literature, and the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy gave a surge of popularity to the genre. In 2008, he was ranked 6th in a list of greatest British writers since 1945.

Una Mariah
Submissions Assistant

Dear Fairy Godmother


Dear Fairy Godmother,

So there's his guy who has feelings me. I couldn't tell before but now it's obvious. But I don't love him back. I know his family, and his sister is a good friend of mine. What's worse is his friend is trying to get the two of us together, and I've got a major crush on the best friend. I'm too young to date now, but what happens when I am old enough to date? I don't want to be mean or cause any pain! Things used to be so much simpler.

Help,
A Modern Guinevere

Dear Guinevere,

That does sound like a tricky situation! For the moment, you have the excuse of being too young. If either of them approaches you, you can tell them you’re sorry, but you’re not ready to date yet. That will spare their feelings while still being honest. The feelings may fade before you’re old enough for them to ask again.

The feelings may continue to grow, though. If that happens, the best thing to do is to be clear. Men don’t appreciate being strung along, even if in your mind it’s out of kindness. It’s possible to be candid without being cruel.

Finally, although feelings can sometimes show us who we’re meant to be with, they can also lead us astray. Don’t brush this young man off too quickly. Try to be open to the possibility that he may be your prince after all.

Daisy Willofroste
Fairy Godmother

The Beach

Grainy, eternal sands,
ground up, ancient seashells
go on as far as
the eye can see.
The mystical image
of the blue oceans,
curling up into waves,
crashing on the shoreline.

The taste of salt stings
my nose and mouth,
as the whitecaps carry me
where they wish.
My legs dangle in the
swirling blue.

I can feel the luminous sun
shining on my back,
its rays reaching out
in loving embrace.

I swim back to the crowded beach,
grabbing a large, warm towel
and wrapping it around me.
I sigh, quite content,
as I watch the children
run and play.

Elizabeth Troup
Author