As an author and humorist, Reid Champagne is known for his absurd & sophomoric observations of everyday life. While the story of how Reid met wife Carol (after being widowed late in life) is so sweet it belongs on Hallmark, his family would argue his inept & smart-ass tendencies belong on a 2020 reboot of Grumpier Old Men.
President James Madison sat at his writing desk, pen in hand, when a sentry burst in. “Mr. President, the White House is on fire!”
Madison bolted upright, nearly knocking himself out of his booster seat.
“The what?” Madison replied, on the floor on his knees and looking around for his pen.
“I mean the Presidential Mansion, sir. The Presidential Mansion is on fire!”
Madison relaxed and then sighed. “Oh, okay. That’s better.That’s probably Dolley. She told me she’d be baking all day today for the big state dinner. She’s probably burned a batch of Zingers. You’ve disturbed my train of thought, sentry. I was working on the wording for that damned Second Amendment. I’m thinking it has to be much narrower, or else every yahoo in a coonskin cap will want to bear arms. Now I can’t remember where I was.”
At that moment Dolley Madison came into the room. ” I’m so sorry. I’ve burned another batch of Zingers, hon.”
James regarded her with sympathy. “Chocolate?”
“Dang. My favorites.”
The sentry spoke up. “Sir, I’m not kidding. The British have already burned several buildings in the city.”
“Shh. Don’t say British. I’m trying to make peace with them. They’re good people. Put out the word it’s the Federalists planting a false flag. You say there are other buildings that are burning?”
“Yes, you can see it all from this window.”
You’ve disturbed my train of thought, sentry. I was working on the wording for that damned Second Amendment. I’m thinking it has to be much narrower, or else every yahoo in a coonskin cap will want to bear arms.
Madison walked over. At first the sentry thought the president was still on his knees. Madison looked out the window and whistled. It appeared the entire capital city was in flames. “Wow,” Madison exclaimed. “They must really believe in what they’re doing.”
“Sir, I really think you need to do something?”
“About the raspberry Zingers? It’s okay, chocolate is good.”
“I mean about the British burning the city. Shouldn’t you be assembling the army?”
Madison seemed puzzled. “For what? Oh, you mean that?” He pointed out the window. “What should I do?”
“You need to make a statement,” the sentry said. “You should implore them to stop the violence.”
Madison looked out on the flames and the chaos outside the safety and comfort of his office, and wondered why he had to stop anything. It all looked kind of grand to him. That they were doing all that because of him filled his chest with pride.
“I’ll say that they are patriots,” Madison finally suggested.
“They’re the British, sir.”
“I’ll say that there’s very good people on both sides.”
“But they’re not on our side.” The sentry spotted the parchment on Madison’s desk and went to retrieve it.
Madison grew quiet. He had no clue what to do. At that moment, Dolley re-entered the office with a handbag stuffed with serving plates and silverware. Madison said, “Good thinking, woman. What else can we strip from this joint before we’re run out of town?”
The sentry stood in front of Madison holding the parchment he had retrieved. “Shouldn’t you take the Constitution with you too, sir?”
Madison looked at the parchment and shrugged.
“Nah,” Madison said sourly, as he took his leave, a chocolate Zinger stuffed in his mouth. “It was all just a bunch of pie-in-the-sky B.S. anyway. Let it burn with all the rest. “