We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Islands in the stream
Proceedings of the House Sub-Committee on Relocation and Allocation of Personnel Resources Subject to Allocation and Relocation Guidelines.
CHAIRMAN: The House Committee on Relocation and Allocation of Personnel Resources Subject to Allocation and Relocation Guidelines will come to order. Mr. Gingko you may proceed.
GINGKO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Wingle, you are the Director of Human Asset Relocation for the State Department.
WINGLE: That is correct.
GINGKO: And you are in charge of human asset relocation, correct?
WINGLE: Well … sure.
GINGKO: And what does your job involve?
WINGLE: Making sure our many embassies, consulates and economic missions and task forces are properly staffed.
GINGKO: With people?
WINGLE: Yes, people.
GINGKO: No animals?
WINGLE: Not to my knowledge.
WINGLE: Yes, we are establishing an agricultural trade center.
GINGKO: What kind of agriculture, Mr. Wingle?
WINGLE: We’re going to help the Greek government expand the production of olives and fruit.
GINGKO: I wasn’t aware that olives were an agricultural product. I always thought they came in the little bottles you buy at Publix.
WINGLE: You have to grow the olives before they can be put into the bottles.
GINGKO: What variety of olive has the little red thingies in them?
WINGLE: I’m not quite sure how to answer that.
GINGKO: Don’t worry, you can’t be expected to know everything. That’s what Congress is for.
WINGLE: That’s a relief.
GINGKO: Now, this island of Patmos, it belongs to Greece, correct?
GINGKO: Why is that?
WINGLE: Why is what?
GINGKO: Why does Patmos belong to Greece instead of, say, South Carolina?
WINGLE: South Carolina isn’t a sovereign nation.
GINGKO: Really? I didn’t know that.
WINGLE: Life is full of surprises.
GINGKO: You noticed that too?
WINGLE: There are unexpected surprises at every turn.
GINGKO: I understand Patmos is where John the Apostle wrote the Book of Revelations .
WINGLE: That’s what they say.
GINGKO: Who are they?
WINGLE: A lot of people.
GINGKO: Have you met John yet?
WINGLE: John … ?
GINGKO: John the Apostle.
WINGLE: No … uh … you know, Mr. Gingko, the Book of Revelations was written over nineteen hundred years …. forget it. No, I have not met him.
GINGKO: Please tell him I said hello.
GINGKO: Living on Patmos probably will be scary.
GINGKO: Yeah. Patmos isn’t very big and if you get too many people on it the whole island will sink.
GINGKO: I owned a nine-foot motor yacht once and those things can go right to the bottom.
WINGLE: I …..
GINGKO: I don’t care how carefully you anchor a boat, or a raft or a small island, they WILL sink. And that’s a fact.
WINGLE: Mr. Gingko …
GINGKO: Yes sir, those little patches of land will tip right on over and disappear into the brine.
WINGLE: Mr. Gingko …
GINGKO: Right on down to the bottom of the deep blue sea. Splash, splash.
WINGLE: Excuse me …
WINGLE: Islands are the tops of mountains sticking up out of the water.
GINGKO: Nah … you’re making that up, right? You’re saying if you put a couple of hundred additional people and animals on Patmos, the island won’t get overloaded and sink, and every man, woman, child, poodle and goldfish won’t get eaten by sea monsters?
WINGLE: That’s correct. Everybody lives.
GINGKO: You wouldn’t kid me would you?
WINGLE: Wouldn’t dream of it.
GINGKO: Islands don’t float. Wow. Sure changes my thinking. Well thank the Lord! I was so worried!
WINGLE: I’m sure you’ll sleep better.
GINGKO: This has been a fascinating discussion.
WINGLE: You have no idea.
GINGKO: That’s all I have, Mr. Chairman. But Mr. Wingle I’d like a moment of your time after the hearings. I have some more olive questions.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
I recognize some Americans still feel threatened by gay marriage. I don’t understand that fear, but I respect it. I also respectfully suggest if you believe gay marriage is about what happens in the bedroom, you really don’t understand marriage at all. I’m 55. I don’t remember my age when I first realized I had gay friends in high school. It’s certainly not something anyone was open about at the time. It wasn’t something we talked about. But, I remember the moment I knew it was wrong to deny two loving, committed people the same respect we give married couples solely because they are th Read on →
"Ol' Obama knocked it outta the park yestiddy didn't he?" "Sumbitch always does. He always does." "Big O was fuckin' magnificent in Charleston. I can't believe he actually sang 'Amazing Grace.' I think he knew Clementha Pinckney…" The conversation was on-going at a table across from where I'm taking refuge from ominous weather. As near as I can tell, their names are Stan, Roy and Tommy. All three are African-American. They are gray-beards, firmly ensconced in the demographic labeled 'active seniors.' One of them, 'Stan', wears a yellow and black baseball cap that shouts 'STEELERS'. It's mid-afternoon last Saturday in one of those places o Read on →
That my first visit to the Lincoln memorial in 48 years would bring tears was unexpected. Yet on a sunny September Sunday in 2012, at the feet of his massive marble likeness, staring solemnly upon the chiseled words of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, salty drops dot my face. There is poignancy simply in standing where I scampered a lifetime ago as an unknowing four-year-old. But, my tears this day are for something more immediate – at least for me. This moment, the text of our 16th President’s second inaugural speech, and especially his Gettysburg Address fall this day upon a heart Read on →
Thomas Wolfe was wrong: We can go home again! As two Suthunahs living in exile in New Joisey -- one from Georgia, the other from Alabama -- we share a photo essay of our 41-year marriage which today the Supreme Court made legal in every state of the union. Samuel A. Ward was organist and choirmaster of our parish in Newark, NJ, when he wrote "America the Beautiful." "Thy fruited plane" indeed. "Thy liberty in law," Amen. https://youtu.be/TXz-uATMehE Read on →