The Schrock Convention

Categorized as 09/01/08 Goshen News column

Observing all this hoopla and listening to some of the speeches got me thinking about our own governmental structure. See, in our world, Mr. Schrock is the president. It was when he asked me to marry him over 20 years ago that I joined the ticket as his vice president. Since then, we’ve added four male constituents to the district. If we were to hold our own convention and I, as vice president, were tapped to rally the troops and to lay out our party’s platforms, my speech might go something like this:

“My fellow Americans, thank you for gathering here around the stuffed crust pizza this evening. I know you’d rather be watching Sesame Street or playing PS2 or ripstiking with your buddies, but you were simply unable to resist the smell of homemade pizza. Nonetheless, it’s a real honor to speak to you, our little nonvoters, whom I have faithfully bathed and diapered so many times in the past.

“Let me begin by saying what an incredible privilege it is to serve in Mr. Schrock’s (your father’s) administration. I have happily worked side by side with him for 21 years now, and I can testify to his character, his integrity, and his fiscal responsibility. He has been a very faithful Commander in Chief, even when you four hoodlums have given him plenty of reason to run screaming into the starry night with your pranks and shenanigans.

“Under his strong and caring leadership, every attempted coup has failed so far, and all of your impeachment proceedings have died in committee. Unfortunately for you, there are no term limits. This means you are stuck with both of us until you are old enough to finance your own lodgings. Fortunately for you, this means you have two parents who are dedicated to your wellbeing and will, Lord willing, see the job through to the end.

“Character issues are of paramount importance to this administration. This is why we do our best to model respect for authority and personal responsibility. It’s also why we expect respect from you and why we insist on important virtues such as honesty and a strong work ethic. That bar of soap is simply a tool in this endeavor, as are the consequences we mete out on occasion. Being a character isn’t the issue. Having one is.

“Now, let me remind you that this is not a welfare state. Yes, you are being provided with three square meals a day along with whatever illicit snacks your busy molars can crunch through before being caught. However, if you are an able-bodied citizen, you are expected to do your share of the household chores. Asking you to wash the dishes and to help clean the house does not qualify as slave labor, so you can stop your letter-writing campaign to the Labor Commission. It is our hope that when you leave home one day, you will be mature and responsible contributors to society. Besides, someday there will be four young women who will kiss my feet for teaching you how to clean a toilet.

“As you are well aware, this is a strongly pro-life administration. Here, we celebrate life. We simply cannot allow wholesale torture or maiming of innocent civilians, which is why the slingshot was sold on eBay. Strictest punishment shall henceforth be issued if you ever again (and you know who you are) repeat the code word that triggers a pummeling of your younger brother by your cohort. Directly after this speech concludes tonight, we will all be joining hands around the fire pit and singing ‘Kumbaya.’ Let’s see some brotherly love for once.

“On one more thing, let me be very clear – there is no separation of church and state in our system of government. We believe that in order to raise young men of godly character, the church must be involved. Rather than outlawing prayer, we have found it to be vital in the formation of your colorful characters. It is our desire that it will become part of your own DNA and that your own future governments will be founded and guided by it.

“Lastly, I acknowledge that you, through no vote of your own, were placed in our district by divine design. Let me just say that your father and I are honored to serve in this capacity. In spite of the grocery bills and the incessant tussling, we wouldn’t trade one of you for all the braids and ballet slippers in the world. We will endeavor to serve the rest of our terms (which is pretty much for life) with all the wisdom and plain old good humor that we can.

“And now, God bless you and God bless America. May there be liberty, justice, and peanut butter for all.”

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