January 12, 2014

Awkward Aardvark Meets Awkward Government!

In which Socially Awkward Aardvark meets his match, thanks to Dan Quail, Billy Goat Clinton, George W. Bushbaby, and Sarah Pangolin. See part 1 here.

In a Tennessee School Library

AARDVARK: Hey, this is... this is Caterpillar! Caterpillar has his own book! Hey George, look, Caterpillar is inside this -
GEORGE W BUSHBABY: - You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.1
AARDVARK: ...What?

GEORGE W BUSHBABY: There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once... shame on... shame on you. ...You fool me you can't get fooled again.2
AARDVARK: What? ...Anyway, hey, do you want to see this book with Caterpillar? He looks really hungry and -
GEORGE W BUSHBABY: - Rarely is the question asked: Is our children LEARNING??3
AARDVARK: (Shrinks away from giant eyes) ...I - I don't know. Is... they?
GEORGE W BUSHBABY: As yesterday's positive report card shows, childrens DO learn. When standards are high and results are measured.4
AARDVARK: What report card?
GEORGE W BUSHBABY: And you're workin' hard to put food on your family.5
AARDVARK: ...Uh. George. Did you smoke too much of that African root, or forget to take your -
GEORGE W BUSHBABY: - You see... Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream!6 (Giant eyes tear up) I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.7
AARDVARK: ...Mrs. Fish is nice.
GEORGE W BUSHBABY: (Sniffles) People say, how can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you.8
AARDVARK: O... Okay...
GEORGE W BUSHBABY: Our enemies are innovative and resourceful. And so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.9
AARDVARK: ...I don't think we should harm your people -
GEORGE W BUSHBABY: - I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.10

1. February 21, 2001 in Townsend, TN: http://youtu.be/uO46ii3W07U?t=1m27s
2. September 17, 2002 in Nashville, TN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKgPY1adc0A
3. January 11, 2002 in Florence, SC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXrtsSBKghY
4. September 26, 2007 in Washington D.C.: http://youtu.be/pXrtsSBKghY?t=5s
5. January 27, 2000 in Greater Nashua, NH: http://youtu.be/uO46ii3W07U?t=36s
6. October 18, 2000 in LaCrosse, WI: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW92ziyfMLQ
7. September 29, 2000 in Saginaw, MI: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20Jcrk6jGfo
8. September 19, 2002 in Washington D.C.
9. August 5, 2004 in Washington D.C.: http://youtu.be/1PTiMKsTo-o?t=7s
10. June 18, 2002 in Washington D.C.

In San Francisco

AARDVARK: Well, I'm still awkward. But I guess this is pretty nice. San Frank-o. San Fred... nando? Santa... Where am I again? (Turns and sees Sarah Pangolin speaking on stage)
SARAH PANGOLIN: ...They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan.1
AARDVARK: Where am I?

1. October 5, 2008 in San Francisco

In Washington D.C.

AARDVARK: I don't know, Clint, I mean... some of the times, do you... do you ever feel like maybe no other people are really the people, and not knowing where is it, where it is you are, but that you - your, you're kind of all alone?
BILLY GOAT CLINTON: Well, again, it depends on how you define alone.1
AARDVARK: Uh, I mean, well, like... if you, you're just with yourself, and no other ones are there...
BILLY GOAT CLINTON: With me and Monica... there were a lot of times when we were alone, but I never really thought we were.2
AARDVARK: Is that... is that what loneliness is?
BILLY GOAT CLINTON: It depends on what the meaning of the word is is.3
AARDVARK: ...Loneliness is really confusing.

1,2. December 19, 1998, Grand Jury testimony: http://www.enquirer.com/clinton/complete_transcript.html
3. December 19, 1998, Grand Jury testimony: http://youtu.be/xHlt1W83JFU?t=1m14s

In Ontario

AARDVARK: Whoa! This is... so this is what the United States of Canadas are like. Are those all Canada's people taking the picture? Wait, that's Sarah Pangolin! Hi! Hiiiiii!!!! (Waves frantically)
SARAH PANGOLIN: ...I don't know if I should Buenos Aires or... bonjour, or... this is such a melting pot. This is beautiful. I love the diversity... Yeah. There were a whole bunch of guys named Tony in the photo line, I know that.1
AARDVARK: Where am I?

1. April 15, 2010 in Hamilton, Ontario

In the Basement

GOPHER: Who wants to play Scrabble?
DAN QUAIL: I'll play.
GOPHER: Alright. Here are your tiles. And... Dan, you're first!
DAN QUAIL: (Looks at tiles, mumbles) ...If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.1
GOPHER: ...Uhhh, right.
DAN QUAIL: (Stares at tiles, twitches head plume)
AARDVARK: Can I go first?? Huh?
GOPHER: Yeah, sure. Go ahead, Aard.
AARDVARK: (Lays tiles down to spell 'potato')
GOPHER: Wow, good one!
DAN QUAIL: ...Wait. Hold it.
DAN QUAIL: Add one little bit on the end... think of 'potato' - how's it spelled?2
DAN QUAIL: You're right phonetically, but what else...?3
GOPHER: ...Are you suggesting there's a silent letter at the end of 'potato'?
DAN QUAIL: There ya go... alright!!4 (Nudges an E onto the end of 'potato')
GOPHER: Dan. There is no E in 'potato.' Look. (Hands him dictionary)
DAN QUAIL: (Reads) Well... I'll be. (Shuts book) What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind... is being very wasteful. How true that is.5
AARDVARK: ...I hope you get better soon, Mr. Quail.
GOPHER: Anyway, that's alright; it's your turn, Dan!
DAN QUAIL: OK, here I go... (Nudges tiles onto board)
GOPHER: Uh, Dan. You can only play one word at a time.
DAN QUAIL: One word... sums up probably the responsibility of any Vice President, and that one word is 'to be prepared.'6
AARDVARK: That's not one word.
GOPHER: Look, where did you even get that many tiles?

1. March 23, 1990 in Phoenix, AR, quoted in Esquire August 1992
2-4. June 15, 1992 in Trenton, NJ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdqbi66oNuI
5. May 9, 1989, speaking to the United Negro College Fund
6. Quoted in Quayle Quaterly c. 1990

Still in the Basement

GOPHER: OK, who wants to play Map Quiz?
DAN QUAIL: I'll play.
AARDVARK: Yay! OK! Me! Where am I??
GOPHER: Aard. That's not how you play Map Quiz. It's this game here, with cards.
AARDVARK: Oh. ...But where am -
GOPHER: - OK, first, we each get a country. Uh, Dan, why don't we give you the United States of America?
AARDVARK: Can I be Africa? My name, which is Aardvark, means Orycteropus afer - I mean, that's my real name, from Africa, and it means digging footed because sometimes I take my foot and -
GOPHER: - Aard. You can't be Africa, since it's not a country, but you can be South Africa, OK? And Dan, let's start with you. Remember, you're the USA. OK, here's your question... to which continent do you belong?
DAN QUAIL: (Furrows his feathered brow) We have a firm commitment to NATO; we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe.1
GOPHER: Incorrect. Sorry, the correct answer was -
GOPHER: Actually, North America. Well, let's try another one, Dan. How about... the city of Phoenix is the capital of which state?
DAN QUAIL: ...I love California - I practically grew up in Phoenix!2
GOPHER: Sorry, that is incorrect.
DAN QUAIL: (Stares at the ground)
AARDVARK: You can do it, Mr. Quail!
GOPHER: (Puts cards down) OK, you know what? Those were bad questions. Let's try...  OK. If you were in... CHICAGO, like you were LAST YEAR, would you be in a CITY or a STATE?
DAN QUAIL: (Blinks)
GOPHER: Imagine you were there in the... BLANK of Chicago. What would you say?
DAN QUAIL: ...It's wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago.3
GOPHER: Aaagg! No!
AARDVARK: I think that means wrong.
DAN QUAIL: (Eyes beginning to tear up)
GOPHER: Look, OK, wait. These map questions are all stupid. How about this. How about... a history question, a really good one. I know you're good at history.
DAN QUAIL: (Sniffing but smiling a little) ...Okay.
GOPHER: OK, listen carefully. Here's your final question. The other questions don't really matter - if you get this one right, then you WIN the GAME!
AARDVARK: Wait, but I want to win the -
GOPHER: - Aard, not now! OK Dan, the question is: you - you personally, Dan Quail - did you live in... the 1500s, or the 1700s, long long ago... or do you live in this century? Got that? Did you live in the past - for example five hundred years ago - or are you alive today?
DAN QUAIL: (Twitching head plume) I mean, we - we all... lived in this century. I - I didn't live in this century.4
GOPHER: Gckkk. Grrrrlk. (Turning red)
AARDVARK: Are you OK, Mr. Gopher?
AARDVARK: (Whispering to Dan) ...I don't think Mr. Gopher likes this game.

1. Quoted on http://www.snopes.com/quotes/quayle.asp
2,3. Quoted on http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Dan_Quayle
4. September 15, 1998 at a press conference: http://youtu.be/pnAHsZFhRdo?t=23s

In Boston

AARDVARK: Sigh. Today was so awkward. I didn't know how could... I be so awkward.
(People rush in, in a frenzied storm of journalists and TV cameras)
REPORTER: So, Ms. Pangolin, tell us here at the North Church... what have you seen so far today, and what are you going to take away from your visit?
SARAH PANGOLIN: He who warned, uh, the... (blinking heavily) the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh by ringing those bells and (smiling for no reason), and um, makin' sure as he's... riding his horse through TOWN (smiling WAY too much), to... send those warning SHOTS and bells that uh, we were gonna be secure... and we were gonna be free.1
(Frenzy of photo flashes as everyone moves on to next room)
AARDVARK: I guess I'm not that awkward.

1. June 2, 2011 in Boston, MA: http://youtu.be/oS4C7bvHv2w?t=13s


Dan Quail practicing for the next game of Map Quiz: http://youtu.be/IIFggCQv4J4?t=51s

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