My Noises are Voices
lyrics & music by Joe Henderson
copyright © 2012
Mitt Romney came to my building today, campaigning for President. The news said he was campaigning in Ohio, so it surprised me when he suddenly appeared outside my door in Chicago. Maybe Mitt had a few minutes free and just decided to fly up here to do a little selective canvassing in the heart of Obama Territory.
He did something right off the bat to piss me off—he ran his hand down all the buzzers, hoping that someone—anyone, would let him in. I peeped out and when I saw who it was, I ran out into the foyer. Oh, I really, really wanted to talk to him.
Composing myself, I swung open the door. “Hey,” I said, “I don’t know how people do things in Massachusetts, but here in Chicaga we frown on people that ring all the buzzers just to be let in.”
“Oh, sorry, sorry, didn’t mean to upset the applecart,” he said, along with several other archaic expressions. But it had worked; he got his foot in the door, and had that look. You know the one I mean. The look of someone who is selling some dubious product, coupled with an annoying eagerness to be contrite if they irritate you, and agree with everything you say—all in the name of making a sale. He shook my hand, then finally got around to making his pitch.
“Can I count on you for your vote this November?”
I started to run down every reason why I would never, ever, under any circumstances, vote for him, but he didn’t seem to be listening. He was staring over my shoulder into the bedroom, which opened right off my entryway. Following his gaze, I realized he was staring at my cat, Bridget, who lay sleeping on the bed.
“Wow,” he said pushing past me and right into the bedroom, “Would you look at that?” Alarmed, Bridget raised her head and stared back at him, wide eyed.
Mitt Romney turned to me and muttered dreamily, “That, my friend, is the cutest cat I’ve ever seen in my whole life.”
“I’m not your friend,” I said, but he didn’t seem to hear me. He walked toward Bridget, who hightailed it under the bed. I was about to ask him what he was doing in my bedroom when something happened that was truly astonishing. I witnessed Mitt Romney transform before my eyes into a completely different person. Or, was it the real Mitt Romney?
“If I put that cat’s picture on any product,” he yelled, “I could sell it! In fact—listen—I will offer you any amount of money for her. I mean it—any amount of money.”
Mind you, he didn’t want to buy a picture of her. He wanted to buy her, own her outright. I blinked in confusion. She really is a cute cat, but it was a ridiculous idea. It didn’t make any sense (much like his tax cuts for the rich).
“She’s my cat, and I love her,” I said. “She’s not for sale.”
He began to pace around the room, waving his arms around, then suddenly screamed, “I must have that cat!! Everything has its price—just name it!”
The room seemed to darken, and I thought I heard wolves howling. I began to get nervous; Mitt Romney was scratching at his face like a junky in need of a fix. I began to back out of the room, to get to the phone and call the police. Or a hospital. Or the zoo. But he’d gotten back in my face again.
“I’ll pay you a million dollars for her—all tax free,” he panted, then he sidled up to me and slid his arm around my shoulder. “I can transfer the funds to an offshore account that my guys will set up for you without the IRS knowing anything about it.” He leaned in even closer and lowered his voice conspiratorily. I got a wiff of his breakfast: cheesy grits. “Or—I could pay you in gold. Gold! Whatta ya say?” he hissed eagerly.
I didn’t even have to think about it. “NO!” I said, pushing him away. “I don’t care if you trained a million grackles to fly from Bimini to Chicago, each one with a gold dollar coin in their beak that they drop it into my hand, one by one! She’s not for sale at any price! Now gettouttahere! You’re scaring my cat! And me!!”
He slowly straighted up, and a change came over his whole body; I watched with fascination as he morphed back into the other Mitt Romney I’d met just minutes before.
“Gee, this is great town, Chicago is, I tell ya—if only ya didn’t have so many Democrats here, this would be a nice place,” he chuckled at his own joke, then looked worried. “—uh, you’re not a Democrat, are ya? Didn’t mean to offend anyone, ha-ha! Sometimes I say things I shouldn’t!”
I quickly locked the door behind him, and watched through the peephole as he wandered up the stairs, knocking on my neighbor’s door. They have a cute ferret; maybe that’ll suit him.
Above is a picture of the million dollar cat that Mitt Romney wanted to buy. No matter your politics, I think you will agree that she is cute, indeed.