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
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
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