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I'm a Little Teapot

Cartoon sketch of a man in glasses staring up at a much larger person, with only their arms, torso, and legs visible. Illustration by Earle Levenstein.

Political discussions are loaded, right?

To even call them discussions is bizarre.

I mean, mature; calm; impartial? Hahahaha! Fageddaboutit.

Steam whistling out of your ears…heart pounding, blood pressure breaking your all-time record.

I say, your ears. I'm projecting.

That's my ears.

I'll be honest; every once in a while, I need to fantasize. Take a break from looneyville and just get it out of my system. Go nuts in a sort of controlled way.

So just bear with me and I'll use my hyperactive imagination to free the nutjob bouncing around in my brain; let fly, just explode, you know? In a sort of acceptable way. No blood, you know? Civilized. Sort of.

Well, then: What-if there's this party, OK? at a friend's place, you know the usual movie version, with lots of smart people saying smart things, lots of clinking glasses, bursts of laughter, hors d'oeuvres being passed, booze and vino out the kazoo…totally jolly gathering and then…

What-if there's this really loud, coarse voice, shouting, slurring words and suddenly the babble of voices, the laughter, the clinking of glasses disappears…and some guy is delivering an obscenity-laden assault upon every living sober person in our community, our nation, the world, and what if then—here's my part, cinematic, like a character in a movie, modesty personified, like very calm and super cool, contained—I shrug; a sort of "Whaddya gonna do?" look around at the crowd; reassuring them, you know? Everything's going to be fine.

So, I put my glass down on a table and I turn and start slowly, still smiling, walking towards this guy…I mean you can just see it, right? It's a great scene: familiar, up there on the big screen.

Now, of course I’m super-smooth as I move out and walk sort of slowly: just a stroll, you know? And as I near the man, we all can see that he's very big—we're sitting on the edge of our seats now, right?—I mean he towers over me, right? And it's obvious that the guy's at least three sheets to the wind, and when I'm just a few feet away, I can practically see a thick green cloud of his breath floating through the air surrounding him …enough to rot the carpeting and every piece of beautifully upholstered furniture in the room.

Then the guy turns to me, this huge, very, very red-faced man with a very, very red bottle of wine in one hand—we catch a closeup of his huge fist holding the bottle—his eyes focused somewhere in the space between the silent crowd roughly a half-mile behind me and my nose and I couldn’t be more pleased at how calmly, ingenuously, sweetly, smilingly, I touch him gently on the arm: a totally non-partisan response to his shit-faced drunken tirade.

It’s my casual friendly approach, you know? Aren’t we two of the smartest guys in this crowd of uninformed mindless individuals? Delivered with a good-natured chuckle and a nod to my new pal; he howls with rage and I can see quite calmly—I'm highly trained; I don't like to talk about it, you know? I've got years in The Game, dealing with baddies, armed loonies, you know, that bunch—his fist holding the bottle, rising swiftly toward me as he roars, a crazed batter ready to crack that baseball over the fence 400 feet away.

I'm still very, very cool—in my game you don't lose your cool—and I step in real close to this turkey and with a real quick move my right fist shoots forward—a short shot, so short you can't see the move—a sort of pile-driver six inches into the turkey's gut and I step back as he drops like a sack of—what else?—cement, dropping the bottle, hitting the expensive carpet with a crunch and a shudder, and he lies there like the count could go to 50 and he wouldn't move.

I mean he is out.

And I turn to the crowd—every jaw hanging open; wide screen film— and I smile and I shrug and I stroll to the door…and I turn and I wave, more like a salute and…I'm gone.

Well, so much for that, eh?

Whaddya think?

I feel a lot better than I did a while ago, you know? Released some of my rage, my frustration; I mean, mental health's the issue, right? Gotta free the caged beast, eh? Turn it loose, just let the fur fly where it will, eh?

At any rate, I think I'm cool.

For now.

This moment, that is.



Gotta keep cool.


Breathing in…breathing out…


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