Issue number 47 February 19, 2003
Quorum of One is intended for adult readers
The Formative Years
Influential childhood incidents in the lives of world leaders
October 12, 1946: Saddam Hussein comes home from elementary school
Hey Dad? Can I ask you something?
Sure, Sa'my -- what is it?
You know that bully at school? Bousch-bin-Bousch? I'm afraid he's going to beat me up if I don't give him a quarter. What should I do?
Well, just tell him you don't have any money.
Yeah, I thought of that. But what if he makes me prove it? I've always got some change on me.
Here's what you do: keep your money in a really smooth, flat coin purse and tell him he can look at your pockets and see that there's nothing in them.
But what if he doesn't believe me from just looking?
Tell him he can pat you down, but only really fast and without going into your pockets. Say that you've never had any money in your whole life, then give him a penny.
And what if he forces me to empty my pockets?
Show him one empty pocket and tell him he can see the other ones later. Meanwhile, you switch the coin purse to the one he's already seen. Then give him a nickel.
Yeah OK... But you know, he has a lot of tough friends. What if they all corner me?
First, accuse them of copying your homework. Then give them a dime. That should buy you some time until recess is over.
But what if they try to hold me down and turn all my pockets inside out?
Well son, then you're going to have to fight them off.
I can't do that all alone!
So call your friends to come and help you.
Lot of good that's going to do -- they're all a bunch of little guys like me. Plus the kids who sit next to me in class all hate me 'cause my last science project burned the edges of their desks.
Well son, sometimes when things go too far you just have to take a beating. But don't worry.
What do you mean 'don't worry'?
You can always go around afterwards bragging about how you kicked his butt. After all, you'll still be president of the Rocket Club no matter what happens on the playground.
Yeah I guess...
By the way, Sa'my, why are you so worried about this kid shaking you down?
Oh -- 'cause I owe him a quarter.
July 29, 1955: George W. Bush Jr. is playing Monopoly* with Cory, Ronnie and Rocky, three brothers who live down the street.
Hey Georgie -- give me $500 and I'll let you build houses on Free Parking.
You can't build stuff on Free Parking, Ronnie -- it's public property.
So what? $500 and it's yours.
Naw, that's crazy. Your turn, Cory.
... 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - Go to Jail!
Cory, you have to go to jail!
No I don't, Georgie, but you do!
What do you mean?
Whoever owns Boardwalk and Park Place doesn't ever have to go to jail.
That's not right.
It is if I say it is. Now get in jail.
'Cause you have a house on Baltic Avenue. Your turn, Rocky.
... 7 - 8 - 9 - Income tax!
Rocky, you only put in fifty dollars. Income tax is two hundred.
Not for me, Georgie - I'm the Money Bag so I only have to pay fifty. You're the Horse so you have to pay the other hundred and fifty for me.
That's not fair!
Seems fair to me. Your turn, Georgie.
A two and a three! Still in jail... Hey Ronnie, why are you moving the Cannon and the Battleship over by my property? Nobody's even using those pieces.
I'm just getting them into position in case I need to invade.
What do you mean 'invade'? You can't invade Oriental Avenue.
I might have to knock down your hotels and seize your utilities if you don't play by our rules. I thought I saw you trying something funny with the Wheelbarrow and the Dog.
You guys are evil! I'm going to tell your mom and dad that you don't play nice.
Aw, who cares what Mom and Dad say? They're irrelevant! My turn...
*Monopoly is a registered trademark of Parker Brothers, Inc. and Hasbro, Inc. and the only reason I didn't put the little-R-in-a-circle sign after it in the text is that the "alt-r" trademark sign comes out as "¬¨GÀô" on the Web, which looks like "*^@#!/". Please don't sue me.
¬©2003 by David Jaggard
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