A fairy tale version of the water dousing

Posted: Friday, May 16, 2003

Once again it was Sir Webster's Day, that day of days long honored and observed down through the nation's history, the glory eternal, the pride of the proud. The throng gathered in reverent remembrance to watch the reenactment of that brave and courageous warrior, and of that time that he had consecrated for us all. That hallowed time when, girding his loins, gathering his honor and high integrity, armed only with his trusty water buckets, his embedded video cam and his trumpeting Lee Greenwood tapes and Cheese Radio, with the blustering winter wind at his back, he had leaped astride his trusty white pickup and set forth to follow the yellow brick line in search of battle, for lo, he was not in Kansas anymore.

Against overwhelming odds on that long ago day, he proceeded to face that most pernicious of evil, that most fearsome and foulest of dragons known to lay waste, rack and ruin to the greatest of empires and yes, even unto white pickups of chrome-induced courage: traitorous dragons deceitfully and cruelly disguised as slight, gray-haired elderly ladies carrying the signs of peace, praying for peace.

The assembled crowd watched with clenched teeth, mesmerized by the grand reenactment, courtesy of the House of Murdoch & Fox. They oohed and aahed at the sight of the valiant Sir Webster singlehandedly approaching such a monstrous evil, quailed at such a vile vision as ... someone's grandmother.

Oh, the horror! The horror!

But lo, half a league, half a league, half a league onward rode the Sir Webster, evil to the left of him, evil to the front of him, but undaunted to the last, committed to keeping the home fires damped, to duty divine, to the penultimate of heroic deeds the drive-by dousing!

And then away, flying the flag of freedom, away from the grisly sight of gasping, shivering ladies held stalwart by their peace signs. Away

from the gray-haired heads, watery but unbowed with their clothes sagging, soggy with the heavy weight of Sir Webster's patriotic fervor.

Finally the images faded off into the West, leaving but a haunting echo. The gathered crowd cheered wildly, shouting the name of Sir Webster, but then grew solemn and silent, hushed in the rapturous glow of shock and awe.

But wait, within the loyal throng a small lad looked up at his father's glowing face and the boy's tentative words gently rustled through the crowd: "But, Daddy, you said Irony was dead."

A collective gasp rose up from the crowd, and the boy was rushed upon, shushed and snatched away never to be seen or heard of again.

And nearby, a small girl, perhaps his sister, tugged at a stranger's sleeve and ventured sadly, "Alas, poor Irony. I knew him, Mister."

Again the gasp, and she, too, was rushed upon, shushed and snatched away, never to be seen or heard of again.

And so it was, and so it shall be, on this day of Sir Webster, for a Webster never forgets. So shall it be said, so shall it be done.

George Harbeson, Ninilchik

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