Friday, November 7, 2008

Clothesgate, a bizarre finale

COULD YOU  have ever imagined last August, when the McCain camp rocketed Sarah Palin into the politicosphere, that it would have had such a bizarre ending as the current Clothesgate scandal?   I mean,  to paraphrase T.S. Eliot, not with an intended bang on election day but rather with a whimper?  While she was jetting back to friendlier turf in Alaska, her GOP detractors, obviously fussy about how some of their money was spent,  were said to be jetting a lawyer to Wasilla or wherever to retrieve the fashionable  wardrobe that Palin  laid out for herself and family for more than $15o,00o.  My guess is that they won't find  the kind of goods that would end up in a neighborhood rummage sale.  So far, Palin doesn't appear to be all that repentant about the buying spree.  Besides, she may need every last stitch if she runs for president in 2012.  Meantime, I await the photo ops of an eagle-eyed  Washington lawyer poking around in Sarah's closets with receipts from Saks amid her complaints that her privacy was being invaded by disgruntled McCain males.   On the day she was  assigned to the ticket with McCain, I  wrote that it was political insanity. ( Every now and then I get it right.)  And now Clothesgate.  Weird.  Folks, you can't make this stuff up.  


John said...

Poem: The Cremation of Sam McGee
by Robert W. Service and Jack Conway

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the gals who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever disclose
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sarah’s clothes.

Now Sarah P. was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why she left her home in the South to roam ‘round the Pole, God only knows.
She was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold her like a spell;
Though she’d often say in her homely way that “she’d sooner live in hell.”

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sarah P.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
She turned to me, and “Cap,” says she, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

Well, she seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then she says with a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursed cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet ‘taint being dead—it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

A gal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! she looked ghastly pale.
She crouched on the sleigh, and She raved all day of Her home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall designer clothes was all that was left of Sarah P.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a Clothes half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: “You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate those last remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows—O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May.”
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
Then I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in the duds of Sarah P..

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear them, sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
I guess they’re cooked, and it’s time I looked;” . . . then the door I opened wide.

And there sat the clothes, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And they wore a smile you could see a mile, and they said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated the clothes of Sarah P.

Trent B. said...

I have to come clean and confess that when I want to get a movie quote right, I resort to, possibly the world's perfect website. The reporter in you will find it a worthy resource, Abe!

patrick said...

If Palin runs for President in 2012, at least she has name recognition going for her... but, at this point, that may not work in her favor