Democratic Underground  

Sergeant Schultz's Academy for Critical Thinking
September 6, 2002
By Art Bushwald

Suddenly finding myself in need of some stationery, and priding myself on being a big supporter of the little businessman, I decided to take a trip downtown to see if there were any family-owned shops that were selling what I was looking for. After walking by several blocks of mostly boarded up or otherwise deserted-looking establishments, I came upon the structure that had once housed Patriotic Pete's Porcelain Emporium.

The now grungy store window was still bedecked in an astonishing array of Chinese-made American flags, all of which were torn, faded, spindled or mutilated. Peering inside, I saw that the shop was in essentially the same condition it was in May when Pete's watch bull, Little Georgie, decided to ravage nearly his entire inventory, leaving only the Major League Baseball and America's Wealthiest GOP Donors collector plate series intact. Rumor had it that despite the damage, Pete came out smelling like a rose, collecting far more money in insurance than the place was worth and getting a fat tax break to boot after taking a permanent vacation to Bermuda.

I lingered on the events of the previous May for a few more seconds, then continued on my quest for a stationery shop. After several more blocks of abandoned buildings interspersed between bars, peep shows and tattoo parlors, I was about ready to give up and go to Wal-Mart like everyone else, when I chanced upon a business I had never seen before. On the grimy facade of an otherwise nondescript structure hung a plaque with the words "Sergeant Schultz's Academy for Critical Thinking". Below that was a mini chalkboard on which someone had written: "Free Trial Lessen - Inqueir Inside". Not being one to pass up a free lesson, no matter how it was spelled, I let my curiosity get the best of me and stepped inside.

The interior was quite spartan, somewhat reminiscent of a WWII prisoner-of-war camp that I had seen on TV. I was greeted by a rather rotund fellow who introduced himself as the owner and instructor, "Sergeant" Rush Schultz. On his head I could have sworn he wore an old German military helmet, and he was dressed in what appeared to be an old army surplus uniform with a 60-year-old grenade attached to his belt.

"Velkomm to Sergeant Schultz's Akademy fur Kritikal Sinking", he said in a rather quaint accent. "Vould you like a trial lesson? Ze Klass is about to begin."

After taking down a little personal information from me, he led me into a classroom where several students had already gathered. I took a seat as Schultz took his place at the front of the class.

"Today, Klass, ve are going to praktice kritikal sinking about Our Glorious Fuehrer," chirped the salient sergeant as he saluted, palm outward, a picture of someone who looked more like a monkey than a man.

"Let's start viss you, Ann," he said as he motioned his hand toward a somewhat anorexic looking bleached blonde on the front row. "Vat do you say to someone who says, 'Der Fuerher just sat in zat Klassroom like a Dummkopf while ze Reichstag Towers were burning'?"

"You Communist Liberal traitor!" she shouted.

"Vell, ja, goot" pondered the portly professor, "but zat was last veek's answer..."

"I know, I know!" yelled a squirrelly looking man in the back row.

"OK, Howie, vat do you know?"

"I know nothing... nothing!" exclaimed Howie jubilantly.

"Vunderbar"! You have studied your lesson well!!" praised the porcine pedagogue. "Now, ze next question, 'If someone asks you about ze relationship between Our Glorious Fuehrer and zat Middle Eastern pig-dog Osama bin Laden, vat do you say?'"

A rather bright-looking man answered: "Well, I would say that their families have been closely connected for decades, that the father of Our Glorious Fuehrer helped recruit and train the pig-dog bin Laden, and that until recently he and the pig-dog's family were members of a secretive company that was and still is heavily involved in the armaments industry. I would also mention that Our Glorious Fuehrer intervened to keep our Heimat Security people from investigating the pig-dog's family..."

"Dummkopf!" screamed the incensed instructor, "Zat is NOT vat you are supposed to say! If you don't watch vat you say, Herr Aschkroft vill have your ass! Sean, mein Leibchen, tell him vat he is supposed to say!"

The former bartender named Sean piped up, "I know nothing... nothing!"

"Excellent!" lauded the now sedated Schultz. "You have always been my favorite bubchen, Sean, because you are so schmart. And now, class, all in unison, vat are you supposed to say ven someone asks about ze anthrax letters?"

"We know nothing... nothing!"

"And vat do you say ven someone asks you about ze unconstitutionality of ze Patriot Act?"

"We know nothing... nothing!"

"And ze pipeline project in Afghanistan?"

"We know nothing... nothing!"

"And Our Glorious Vice Fuehrer's company zat traded illegally with zat font of all evil, Saddam Insane?"

"We know nothing... nothing!"

"Ausgezeichnet!" beamed the tickled teacher, showing his complete approval of his students' performance. "Now go out zere and write ze critical sinking artikles for your newspapers and magazines!"

Before the class disbanded, one of the students ventured one last question: "Herr Meister, if someone asks us about our declining economy, what do we say?"

"Vat else?" replied the helmeted hun, "You should say, it's all Klinton's fault."

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