|Jack Brown Does It Again!|
Issue #60 (November 1986)
Normal Tree, OH (LEAK) — Jack "The Troll" Brown stole the show as usual at today's session of the Normaltarian Party's Organizing Committee. The new political party, which is in the process of creating itself in this historic Ohio town, is, of course, the brainchild and inspiration of Brown and his dynamic group of thinkers, the Skeptic Tank, headquartered in Browndation, NM. Brown, who also stole the show at last Spring's National Normalcy Alliance convention, was totally in charge at today's session, although as usual he maintained his characteristic mask of modesty.
The brownshell dropped at today's meeting was Brown's announcement that his research staff had finally tracked down the origins of the word "normalcy" and, as Brown said, "it is us." The common misconception, Brown reported, is that the Great Bloviator, Warren G. Harding, coined the term "normalcy" during his 1920 campaign for the presidency. "The uncommon misconception," Brown went on, "is that what Harding meant was 'normality' but what he said was 'normalty' — as Francis Russell had shown in her biography of the Great Bloviator, The Shadow Of Blooming Grove.
"What my staff at Brownquarters has shown in their report, "From Blooming Grove To Normal Tree," Brown continued, "is what Harding actually said was 'normaltry' and that he was misquoted and misunderstood ever after. The ugly and misleading word 'normalcy' has actually been in use since 1857, as Ms. Russell has shown — just as the word 'bloviate' was in common usage in Ohio in the 1880s of Harding's youth, and was not actually coined by Harding, merely popularized by him.
"The word "normaltry" Brown said, "was Harding's clever combination of 'normal' and 'try' implying that for every challenge in life we can do no better than make the normal try at finding a solution. Thus, in one stroke," Brown said, "the Great Normaltarian created a special new word and a brilliant new movement that has brought us to this organizing meeting today. And thus, we make this normal try at establishing a new political party that will sweep the old ones into the dust bins of geography!"
The town of Normal Tree was established in 1924, the Browndation Report reported, when Harding disciple Sy Mythacone had a falling out with Neil Sineffrin, founder of the Normalcy Ashram near Blooming Grove, Ohio. Mythacone, who had discovered that Harding had actually used the tern "normaltry" and who had finally come to understand the true meaning of the word after hours of meditation, stormed out of the Ashram early one morning and staggered the historic five and a half miles to the site of the present town of Normal Tree. "What Sineffrin never realized," the 99 year old Mythacone said recently, "is that what he called 'normalcy' is actually an evolutionary process — a Tree of Normality which is ever changing, not just a sociological fad such as the Normal A, B, and C which he so stupidly extrapolated from Harding's original insights."
Brown denied ever calling President Harding a "late blooming idiot," as has been reported in certain anti-Brown publications. "I've always had the utmost respect for Harding," Brown said. "What I might have said, late one night, was that Harding was a late bloomer and the idiot-savant of the Bloviation and Normaltarian Movements — which is the highest of compliments, when you think about it."
Brown also introduced Ms Blossom Bloom, former editor of Brown News, who has just been added to the staff of the Skeptic Tank and who will function as Jack's Liaison Officer and Affairs Assistant. "Blossom was never in the shadow of Blooming Grove," Brown quipped, "but she assures me she's willing to give it the old normal try. Who can ask for anything more?" he asked with a wink.
Neal Wilgus was born in Jerome, Arizona. He has a degree in English from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, and moved to New Mexico while working for the US Forest Service in the early 60s. He is a prolific writer of poetry, science fiction, and satirical humor. His latest chapbooks are The Leakoids: Newsalizing the Nation, and Rhymed and Dangerous, a book of poems. Neal currently resides in Corrales, New Mexico, and works the night shift with his illustrator, Filo Martinez, who provided the sketch of Neal at right.