Remember the Olympics? Remember the 2002 Salt Lake City Games? Of course you do. How could you forget? Lord Mittens has seized the opportunity in every presidential debate to remind us, “I ran the Olympics!” A job that, apparently, qualifies him for the job of Leader of the Free World.

Remember how good we all felt during those games? Remember how the whole country came together night after night—or in the break room at lunch time—and watched our superior athletes dominate nations with GNPs less than Lord Mittens makes while he’s soaping his balls in the shower? (Let me rephrase: while he’s soaping around his balls in the shower.) How we rejoiced in the medals count! We handed the Jamaican bobsled team their asses! High five!

Gee that was great. And, it’s true: in the midst of a bribery scandal, Lord Mittens stepped into the role as CEO of the Olympic Committee and put things to right. Although according to sources, Lord Mittens’ actual involvement in the running of the Olympics was limited to budget and PR. Managing money and spin: two things he’s got a gold medal in.

He’s also very good at getting his way. Despite the fact that the Mormon Church’s involvement in the Olympics was already questionable, Lord Mittens appealed to the Church of Latter Day Saints. If you can’t ask your parents to loan you $8 million dollars (Lord Mittens’ traditional fall back), than ask your church for a bailout.

And then, Mr. Private Sector, Mr. Let-the-Auto-Industry-Fail, Mr. Government-Doesn’t-Create-Jobs, went to Washington to lobby the federal government for the cash to fund the games!

Later, behind closed doors, Lord Mittens would convince fellow cheerleader and spoiled-underachieving–rich-boy-with-daddy-issues President George W. Bush to slip $2.7 billion into his budget to cover the game’s deficit. Meaning Lord Mittens didn’t pull off some fiscal miracle; we taxpayers financed the Salt Lake City Olympic games.

But at the time, we didn’t know that.

"I will be the flaaaaaame..."

Admit it, the prospect of a President running the country as though it were the Olympics—at least on the surface—is pretty rooty tooty. Oh, the pageantry, the competition—the best of America on display on our TV sets every night and re-broadcast 24/7. Highly orchestrated displays of feel-good family values and fun. It will be just like the GOP convention, but without the empty seats!

Heck, sometimes it takes more than a double scoop sprinkled with shredded C-notes to turn a frown upside down. And you don’t need a doctor to diagnose that the American people have a bad old case of the doldrums. There are a lot of Debbie Downers in this country. You’ve heard them whining: The oceans are poisoned, the sun set fire to my house, the government-approved DYI Home Lancing and Amputation kits aren’t as good as having insurance to cover a “real doctor”. Lord Mittens believes, deep in his man bosom, that all the country needs to take its mind off the fact that he actually has no plan to save the economy or create jobs, bring down the national debt, or ever let women have the right to be the boss of her body, is some fracking pageantry and some spirited fun-loving competition.

This is a way to unite the country. Lord Mittens will explain that even though he thinks it’s crazy pants that 47% of Americans believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it—and he will never in a month of Sundays convince those tax dodging laggards that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives, or vote for him—he isn’t going to ignore them. The Mitt-lympics are a way to bring the whole country together. And the advertising dollars! Wowee!

In the absence of foreign competition—no matter how patronizing and bullying Lord Mittens might be, “What the fork Vlad! H-E-double hockey sticks, Bibi, you promised you’d do what I want when it was my turn.”—he can’t force the cruddy world to play with us. He can force other nations to shoot as us by invading their countries, but that’s different.

Instead the Mitt-lympics will pit brother against brother. State against state. Red versus Blue. It’s the new great American pasttime. The gutters will run in rivers of purple blood. Radical conservatives will shake pom-poms made of tea bags, radical liberals will wave their NPR rally towels. Imagine the classic Red-state Blue-state match-ups. Texas vs. Vermont. California vs. Oklahoma. Ah gee, it will be a hoot. What will the states be competing for? Hmmm. Fancy canned hams? One of the Romney family’s brand new Cadillacs? National Monuments? Or, maybe, tax dollars?

Yes, my pretty, tax dollars.

This is a win-win! States that have for years assumed the financial burden of paying the majority of federal income tax will get to pay less—and those states who haven’t been carrying their weight—those multiple-loan-defaulting states who love to preach the power of self-reliance—will finally be able to pay their own way.

Even as states like Mississippi, Wyoming, and Maine rack up tax dollar vouchers competing in as-yet-to-be-determined games, I expect they will continue to bitch about government spending on social programs, and having to pay taxes to support infrastructure—because it’s UNFAIR and WRONG! I can imagine Tennessee and South Carolina bitching like sullen teenagers who nail KEEP OUT signs on their bedroom door, but still expect their mother to come in and make their bed; who, when asked to help clear the breakfast dishes, or sing “Happy Birthday” to Grandma, or stop stealing twenty-dollar bills out of their mother’s purse, shriek, “I didn’t ask to be born!” then threaten to run away. I didn’t ask to be part of the United States. I would have been perfectly happy seceding!

That’s what I thought.

Mitt's USA will be like a page from "The Scrambled States of America"

The Red states, having been coached for years by the Bela Karolyi of Partisan Politics, Mr. Dick Cheney, and the Master of Divisiveness, George W Bush, will come ready for blood. Over the last twenty years the moderates in the Republican party have been transformed into a highly skilled team of radical conservatives who have changed the face of the party with “The GOP” move. The GOP or “Good Old Pig-in-a-Blanket” combines misogyny, greed and intolerance, wraps it up in a flaky layer of religion, and serves it hot, with a smile.

The Blue states, descended from a long line of intellectual, elitist politicians who look stupid riding in tanks and too at home on a windsurfing board will not be as prepared as they should be for the hand-to-hand combat events, but will embarrass themselves by lobbying to expand the definition of Olympic “sports” to include spelling, wine tasting and distinguishing organic from non-organic produce.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. This is about bringing the country together while still dividing us for fun and profit, personal and political.

Each state will march in the opening ceremonies in costumes appropriate to each state, as mandated by Lord Mittens—with help from First Lady Anne Mittens, of course! (She picks out all of Lord Mittens suits and dungarees).

Idahoans will, of course, proudly represent the country’s favorite enlarged stem tuber in fat quilted Spud-suits. The contingent from Delaware the “Diamond state” will turn cartwheels in sequin-encrusted leotards. In the case of Oregon, it will be hard to tell—given the overall hirsuteness of their contingent—where their beards end and the “venerated beaver” costume begins.

Some states will not be happy at all. Iowa, despite being the Hawkeye state and first in the caucuses, will be unhappily relegated to dressing like ears of corn, fountains of corn silk erupting from the tops of their heads. Iowa’s complaints about the corn kernels on their cob costumes spontaneously popping in the heat are not enough to persuade Lord Mittens to allow them to dress like Hawk-people. In fact, Peaches Boehner threatens that if Iowa doesn’t simmer down, they’ll be dressed to showcase their new cash crop: edamame. Which would be shameful, as everyone knows tofu is commie grub, and the placement of the soybeans in the pods gives the impression that Iowa is populated entirely by hermaphrodites.

North and South Dakota, not being joiners, will need to be rounded up for the Mitt-lympics every month and forcibly herded, like the buffalo they are dressed as, into the stadium. As joyful as South Dakota is at trouncing New Hampshire in hog tying, they will be sobered by how fast their friends to the North can dig a grave in frozen ground.

Wisconsin, despite being treated to hours of ex-Congressman Paul Ryan’s “Get Pumped!” mix-tapes—and despite the fact that they’ve been donning foam cheese chapeaus at sporting events for years—will resist the cheese theme. Hundreds will, however, be forced to wear the weighty paper maiche replicas of American-made cheeses. Local historians will later refer to this period in their history as the, “Wisconsin Fondue Death March.”

In Maine, without moderate Olympia Snowe to provide the sort of steerage required to maintain necessary focus, residents stoutly refuse to don their lobster suits, and instead march in protest with the traps on their heads.

You don’t mess with Texas, of course. Lord Mittens was purposefully making it easy for Texas when he decreed they appear in the clichéd cowboy/oilman, cast-of-Dallas duds. Sweet chicken, how much more leeway do you want?

Even so, Governor “Slick” Rick Perry and Texans aren’t satisfied. It would appear that, “Don’t Tread on Me” translates into “Don’t tell me I can’t gel my hair and accessorize as I damn well please.”

In an attempt to appease his charismatic one-time rival and fellow He-Man-Woman-Hater, Lord Mittens will stage a balloon drop of trans-vaginal probes aka. ten-inch shaming wands emblazoned with Perry’s likeness on the crowd during the medals ceremony. Unfortunately, the near-fatal spearing of a six-year-old cheese cube with a commemorative probe is caught on tape.

Lord Mittens knew after that major boner Texas would have to be allowed to choose what special facet of their state-hood to celebrate. Like leading the nation in executions. The parade of Texas’ “Death Men Walking” is a real showstopper! Each member of the team is dressed to represent an era in the state’s long and storied history of capital punishment, from the days of hanging to firing squad to electrocution and lethal injections.

The crowd erupts in applause when, without warning, the men and woman wearing metal bands around their skull begin to jerk spasmodically, and with their tongues lolling out of their mouths, eyes rolled back in their heads they collapse to the ground as though they’ve been electrocuted. On the spot fact checking by commentator Candy Crowley confirms that since the U.S. reinstated the death penalty in 1976 only a dozen women have been executed—and Texas can boast that it executed a quarter of those gals. Noting the irony, that while Lord Mittens and Ryan are rabidly Pro-Life, they are also Pro-Death Penalty. On a more somber note Crowley adds that while women are (thanks to new legislation) now being incarcerated for seeking birth control and having abortions, they are not subject to the death penalty. Or, not yet.

Even though Lord Mittens oversees the Mitt-lympics from high above in the presidential box, along with a whole mess of frighteningly telegenic youngsters or “tabernacle rats” hand-picked from the local Mormon Church by Lady Anne herself, because children and dogs (outside of their carriers) humanize the president, he is aware of the dissent. It’s so annoying.

Not only that, the Red states have been fraternizing with the Blue states. They have. Just the other day, members of what “Dick Nose” McConnell has coined the American Axis of Evil  (New York, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.) were conferring with folks in the Rapture belt (Utah, Colorado and Nevada) on how to make the perfect macchiato.

“For the love of John Smith!” Lord Mittens throws up his hands in dismay. My Mitt-lympics! What disaster. If only I had been born of Mexican parents I’d have a better shot at this. I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.

He doesn’t want to go there but the solution is staring him straight in the face. He must work in the direction of his strengths. Be the one to make the sacrifices necessary to make America great again. Do what he’s always done. If the American people won’t cooperate, then he will outsource the American people. The show must go on.


About Elissa Schappell

Elissa Schappell is the author of the short story collections Blueprints for Building Better Girls and Use Me. A former senior editor of The Paris Review, she is the co-founder and editor-at-large of Tin House magazine. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
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