Posted by: johnhourihan | August 11, 2016

For God’s Sake People, Stand Up!

So Donald Trump is fact-checked and found to be lying at least 75 percent of the time.
And now we are supposed to listen to Gingrich the Newt slinking out from under a rock to be irate about how we are treating poor Donald. Last time he was irate was with Bill Clinton and Monica. Then, lo and behold, he admitted he had an open marriage and an affair. So I wonder how come he was so irate and appalled with Bill and Monica, as if what they did was so foreign to his way of life. At the time he was doing the same damn thing. And if that vision doesn’t make you swear to vote for someone else, nothing will.
But the real problem is I am never shocked when members of what Mark Twain called, “the only real criminal class” in the United States, Congress, blatantly lies to us.
It isn’t even surprising when they pooh-pooh it all by calling it “spin” or “mitigating exposition” or some other such sweet nonsense and go on with their political games, smiling.
It doesn‘t shock me. It doesn’t seem to shock anyone, and I wonder why.
The first time I remember hearing a lie and being shocked was at eight years old on a middle-of-the winter Friday poker game at my house.
We kids were ripped out of a deep sleep in the North Purchase woods by five drunken, voices slurring in unison the words to “Sweet Genevieve” through the frigid night air outside and the accompanying pleas of “Open the door.”
My father and his friends had been tossed from Tibby’s bar again and showed up hungry for spaghetti, beer and cards and wanted my mother to unlock the front door.
I got to watch the game from the warmth on the wood floor next to the kerosene stove. There was Wicki Nixon, Case-a-Minute Davey, Little Paulie, my uncle “Sea-Bee” Cyr and Scrapper Jack himself.
Before the game started, Wicki took the cards, shuffled, looked around the table and said what he always did. “Let’s have a fair and square game boys.”
A couple dozen hands in, I see Little Paulie palm a card and slip it under his leg. Later he pulls it out to fill a heart flush and takes a big pot, smiling.
I edge closer on the wooden floor but staying within the circle of heat.
He does it again later to fill three sevens, takes another pot.
Then when he tries it again, he fumbles the card and it flops onto the floor while everyone else is filling Melmac plates with spaghetti and getting another beer, and he steps on it.
“Paulie, you hungry?”
“No,” he lies and looks at me eyeing the foot.
When he leans to pick it up – fourth card into a game of 7-card stud – he gets caught.
“What you got there, Paulie?” Scrapper Jack asks and leans over sideways to look at the card in Paulie’s hand.
“Hey, look at this,” Paulie says. “The damn kid must have been playing with the cards and we been dealing without the queen of hearts all along.”
He tosses it on the table.
I was shocked that he lied – and him sitting right across from the shelf with the cream-colored plastic statue of our Blessed Mother with the screw-off base for the rosary.
Everyone looked at me.
My father wagged his head and they were just about to go back to dealing, but I couldn’t let it slide.
I couldn’t let him lie right in front of the Blessed Virgin so I stood up in my underwear to the tallest 4-foot-1 I could muster and stared him down.
“You’re a G… D… liar,” I said.
He laughed. “Nice mouth,” he said, but he was nervous. I could see it in his eyes.
“And you’re cheating.” I knew this was fighting words and wondered if that applied to little kids too.
Now I was on the spot. Everyone turned to me in the musty yellow light.
Wicki, a tremendously religious man with Dagwood Bumstead hair, peered over his black rimmed glasses at me for a long time. I snitched a peak at the statue.
I figured he was staring because I had taken the Lord’s name in vane, but then he said, “I believe Johnny.”
“He hid the seven last time,” I said, “under his leg.”
He’d a killed me if he could have, but Uncle Sea-Bee was helping him out of the chair and my father was fishing though Paulie’s pockets for money as they bum’s-rushed him to the door.
When they get back, they give me his money and it was the first time they let me into the game.
“That was good,” Davey said as he dealt. “A man stands up.”
Then they proceeded to take all of Paulie’s money from me hand after hand, fair and square.
Truth is, I was scared to death, but I was shocked that he had lied because to me it put a black mark in that white bottle of milk in the catechism book and would end him up in “Hell or Hopedale” as my father would have said.
Hopedale was a dry town next to ours and was as good as hell for shoe-shop piece workers like us.
I only had the guts to stand up because I trusted that the Blessed Mother wouldn’t let me take the rap for some cheating weasel like Little Paulie.
But today I listened to the spin of the beginnings of what has become, because of Donald Trump, the most insif you are a younidious, devious and lying presidential campaign that has nothing to do with a fair and square game, and I wasn’t shocked at the lies. And there certainly wasn’t any plastic statue looking over the situation.
I guess that’s the problem with politics – not that it’s all lies of varying degrees, but that we’re not even shocked, and that we don’t have the trust it takes to stand up to the weasels like Little Paulie, Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump and all the rest of them who ply this spin and polish partisan political game, lie in our faces and go on with life without ever being called for it.
Either they know they aren’t telling the truth, or they have convinced themselves that their lies are true because they said them so many times. Either way, for my money, they should get the bum’s rush and be sent to Hell or Hopedale.



  1. Quintessential John Hourihan, loved it.

  2. Right on the money

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