Havre de Grace. -- These past few weeks, it seems to me,/ Have been as weird as weird can be./ Reports flowed in from near and far/ Of happenings so darn bizarre/ One wondered if the world had flipped --/ Or Donahue had done the script.
In politics, as well as crime/ Events lacked reason if not rhyme./ One well-placed source I meet in bars/ Believes the cause was in the stars./ Perhaps she's right. It could be true./ But this reporter has no clue./ I only know that, if you please,/ There have been lots of tales like these.
Slice of Life
Lorena Bobbitt, outraged wife/ Took the family carving knife,/ Gently lifted up the sheet,/ and left her husband incomplete./ Lorena's action, less than tender,/ made her famous to her gender./ Far and wide they tell her story,/ which is novel although gory.
As the global press corps gaped,/ She testified that she'd been raped./ That's why, declared the saddened maid,/ she'd felt compelled to use the blade,/ and why she rushed out of the house/ with what she'd severed from her spouse./ (Before she drove too very far,/ she tossed it blindly from her car.)
In the midst of this ado/ Appeared the local rescue crew,/ Summoned on that bloody night/ To deal with Mr. Bobbitt's plight./ They searched, and by the roadside found/ A piece of Bobbitt on the ground./ Then a surgeon, bless his heart,/ Reattached the missing part.
I've tried to find, to no avail,/ A moral for this modern tale./ (A friend, it's true, did fax me one./ It goes like this: Don't cut and run.) The case suggests, though, I'd allege,/ In marriage, women have the edge.
Flushed With Pride
Off-year elections came and went,/ watched closely by the president./ There was a sudden loud Ka-Boom,/ heard clearly in the Oval Room./ As from the polls the voters lurched,/ Bewildered pundits groped and searched/ Amid the rubble for a hint/ Of what it meant and what it di'nt.
New Jersey gave a rude heave-ho/ To Governor Jim Florio,/ A Bushlike gent who broke his word/ By raising taxes. Wrath occurred./ The Guv, on sensing quite a chill,/ Cried out for help to Bill and Hill./ They came, campaigned, were much admired./ But even so, their guy got fired.
New York's mayor, a pleasant dude/ Who'd failed to read his city's mood/ Was also, with a bump, unhorsed./ (Like Jim, he was White House endorsed.) Staten Island votes were key/ in costing him a victory./ Islanders, fed up indeed,/ then calmly voted to secede.
Virginians, with a sort of shrug,/ Abruptly pulled away the rug/ From under Ms. M. Terry's feet./ She seemed quite stunned at her defeat./ Ms. Terry, known as Mary Sue,/ Had lots of Clinton backing too.
When these results came rolling in,/ The press corps took it on the chin --/ Having prophesied, you see,/ That tax revolts were history./ Supply-side economics? ''Dead,''/ Newsweek's Ellie Clift had said./ ''Florio will win,'' said she,/ opining smugly on TV./ The message now from media-land?/ ''The voters didn't understand.''
And what about the great debate?/ Cable watchers stayed up late/ to watch the famous Ross Perot/ Lob mudballs south at Mexico./ The drawly Texan autocrat/ now wears a xenophobic hat;/ you half expect to hear him shout,/ ''We gotta keep the wetbacks out!''
In opposition stood the Veep,/ Armed with factoids by the heap./ He held his ground and smoothly made/ a reasoned case for freer trade.
Congress watched and wondered who/ The winner was, and what to do./ Long before the program aired/ Labor had it running scared./ The unions said ''don't vote for NAFTA,''
But Ben and Steny said they hafta./ Maryland looked on with pride/ As they bravely took the side/ Of Mr. Clinton (and The Sun)./ They didn't, ahem, cut and run./ Free trade's for them, they say sincerely,/ As long as they can tax it dearly.
Now the treaty's path looks clear./ We'll send them jobs. They'll send us beer,/ And enchiladas too, perhaps,/ Plus pleasant after-luncheon naps.
It includes Canada, you know./ We'll send them jobs, they'll send us snow.
Peter A. Jay is a writer and farmer. His column appears Sundays and Thursdays.