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Of Members and Markets
August 7, 2002
By Mark W. Trude

Corporate malfeasance. Crashing stock market. Tropical paradises used for tax avoidance. Shareholders skinned and 401(K)s shriveled. Terrible happenings all, but what on earth could have caused these calamities? If you're a reasonably honest, intelligent person, you might attribute a rash of corporate misdeeds to free market snake oil, rampant deregulation and that now-famous "irrational exuberance." However, if you're a round-the-bend Republican conservative, you subscribe to a much simpler theory: Clinton's penis did it.

Which gets me to thinking - that must be some penis.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but kind words for my own endowment. It has endured with mute self-sacrifice too many long bike rides and innumerable hours in bikini underwear. It has displayed selfless valor on the baseball diamond, altruistically fielding sizzling line drives my hands were too slow to grab. It has fathered children and it has pretty much dedicated its life to the proposition of getting me sex. All in all, not a bad penis. But one that now seems somehow inadequate.

Lately, when I step out of the shower and catch a glimpse of my lifelong companion in the mirror, I get a sense of his shame and of the disgrace of possessing him. What once seemed like the formidable and proud vessel of my manliness now strikes me as sub-standard and, in a way, impotent. This is a humiliation that former president Clinton will never experience.

We've learned more about Clinton's penis than we know of any First Genitalia that came before. If Paula Jones is to be believed, the then-gubernatorial manhood hooked to the left, like a bad tee shot. There was talk of distinguishing freckles. We know that, when presented with an intern and a cigar, it settled on an unusual juxtaposition that may have eluded a penis with less executive branch experience. But only recently have we learned of its horrible, mesmerizing power.

When a corn fed intern flashed her overwhelmed thong underwear at the last elected president, the twitch of arousal in the First Boxers grew to a rumbling shift in the tectonic plates beneath the worlds of business and finance. Like the flutter of a butterfly's wings felt as a gust of wind half a world away, the faint stirrings of the First Member whipped up a gale that spread out across the business and moral landscapes, blowing away convention, ethics and any sense of fair play. As Clinton's turgidity increased, so did the egregiousness of corporate crime. Tax dodges, shady accounting practices, shell companies - all sprung from the loins of the man from Hope.

Panicked foreign investors pulled out of US markets. Employees saw their pensions dwindle and their retirement ages swell. Executives were led away in handcuffs. The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 plummeted faster than Arthur Andersen's credibility. Clinton's apocalyptic member spared us no misery save a plague of boils and locusts. We can only be thankful that Monica wasn't built like Angelina Jolie.

As word continues to leak about George W. Bush's days at Harken Energy, Republicans find themselves in the untenable position of having to blame Clinton's penis for events that occurred before that tenacious tool had even realized its presidential ambitions. So, clearly the situation is worse than we even imagined. If Clinton's nefarious gonads can time travel to the 1980s and entice a clueless executive - even one with unparalleled family and business connections - into resorting to insider trading, then who is to say what traps it waits to spring upon us in the future?

Perhaps now is the time to put the former president on a regimen of saltpeter and cold showers. Do it for the children. Do it to heal the bloodied markets. Do it to defeat the terrorists. But we must do something, and soon, before the pernicious influence of the erstwhile presidential pee-pee delays all our retirements, bankrupts the treasury, eviscerates our civil liberties, melts Antarctica, spreads perma-war around the globe and sends stock brokers to the nearest ledge. This is one rapacious rod - one that must be stopped.

The only question is: where can I get a penis like that?


Mark W. Trude promises to never write about this topic again.

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