Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear Readers,

I am back. Now, now! We all knew it was just a matter of time before I came fingernails-on-the-chalkboarding back into the otherwise peaceful lives of my beloved readers. I expect your full cooperation in this most recent endeavor and would particularly appreciate it if you would pry your hands away from covering your horrified faces. Relaaaax -- change is good!

“Then wasn’t it good when you changed over to being a not-writer, Tommy?” you must be asking yourself, as you fantasize about being fed grapes on a paradise beach after being awarded the “I Outsmarted Tommy Prize.”

Alright, A) shut up -- I wasn't expecting you to think of that, but B) I’ve thought about it now, and decided that it was good for me to stop doing Tommy Says. See, by stopping, I was able to later (i.e. now) change AGAIN. Two changes! That’s double the good! Not to mention that I am now following in the esteemed footsteps of two of the greatest presidents of all time -- Grover Cleveland. Oh snap, was that a typo? So soon in my return? Presidents? BAM! timeline.

And with that effortless segue, I now present you (for the third time) my "first" Tommy Says topic: Grover Effing Cleveland. (In the future, I will switch around between answering reader questions and writing random entries on whatever I feel like (as per the usual))

Grover Effing Cleveland

Grover Cleveland was born Stephen Grover Cleveland (named after Father Stephen Grover, Grover’s Father-of-a-father’s Father and first Father of the First Presbyterian Church of Caldwell). He decided his name had too complicated of an origin, so he dropped it in later life and simply went by Grover, or occasionally his fraternity nickname, Grope-y Grover (still not as bad as Warren “Hard-on” Harding).

After schooling up a little and lawyering himself into a tidy little office, he defied all odds and social customs at the time by befriending a Polish immigrant named George Beniski. Oh, they talked and laughed and joked about the weather and the upcoming Civil War, and a few minutes after they met Cleveland offered his new immigrant amigo $150USD to help him get started with his new American life.

“Ho ho ho! Don’t worry about paying me back!” chortled a rosy-cheeked Grover. “That’s what the Conscription Act of 1863 is for!”

So George Beniski shipped off to fight in the American Civil War in Cleveland’s stead. And even though this may seem like a dick move for an able-bodied dude to pull on this (probably very nice) Polish gentleman, we need to remember that if Cleveland hadn’t sold away his military position that day then George Beniski may have been forced to endure having his own picture on the 1000 dollar bill instead of Cleveland's. That’s a lot of pressure; I think ol’ Grope-y was just looking out for George.

A few decades later in 1885, Cleveland became the 22nd President of the United States (of America (in case you were wondering)). Those middle decades were boring. Oh wait, I forgot that he hooked up with a lady who was sleeping with all kinds of other dudes at the time (including Cleveland’s law partner!). Oh, and I forgot that after she got pregnant he declared his sperm to be the mightiest of the cocktail of genetic juices she had sloshing around in her, and therefore the baby would be his. She went ahead and named the baby after both Cleveland AND his law partner… just to be safe, y’know?

Oh, and I forgot that while he was a Sherriff he opted to hang a man himself rather than pay the 10 dollar fee to have a deputy do the dirty work. Bad ass or kinda creepy? You decide!

Oh, and I forgot that he met back up with George Beniski and gave him $5.00. I do not know why, but I am quite sure that George was frantically looking over his shoulder to see if an Army Enlistment Officer was going to come popping out of the bushes to drag him off after he accepted the gift.

Other than all those things I forgot, the decades leading up to Cleveland’s Presidency were really boring. While he was President, he wowed the crowd from his know-how cloud. He gave us the gold standard when others were willing to settle for silver. He vetoed and re-toed and chili burrito’d. The man got married while he was President for god's sake! People couldn’t get enough of him!

But he had had enough of them.

In the 1888 presidential election, Grover Cleveland was quoted as saying, “I can’t keep doing this, guys. I have all this homework and extra-curriculars and exams. Plus, no one is writing in questions any more. I just need some time for me.” He proceeded to take four long years off.

But then he came back.