Pages xi, xii and xiii (Introduction)
It was just down the road from the Colbert family home, in Charleston, S.C., where local legend, Dick Tater (who came from a family of dirt poor, kudzu farmers and rose to dizzying heights as Assistant Day Manager of the Francis Marion Memorial Piggly Wiggly [Boundary St., off Ribaut] in Beaufort, South Carolina) once said, “If you’ll take my advice……I won’t have you gutted, and strung up on a meat hook.” It is precisely this kind of psychotic, self confidence, combined with a crystal clear sense of purpose and an uncanny ability to motivate (and schedule) employees, that drove the Original Hero, Our Leader, Stephen T. Colbert to put together “I Am America (and so can you)” in the hope that, by listening to his every dictatered word and hewing close to the path he has limned in this book, you and your loved ones can escape..the Hook.
Fromm a very early age, little “Stefano” Colbert, despised reading and detested books, he had nightmares that he would wake from, shouting aloud that if he could, he would, “drown his book…deeper than did ever plummet sound..” He also took to calling his pet schnauzer, “Mooncalf”, and late at night would whine until somebody fetched him a “trinculo” of water…all of this apparently sprang from the trauma of his having been forced to read one, single play.*** This sort of thing scared the Colbert family nanny so much, that she returned to the Georgia Sea Islands and the relatively sane eccentricities of Santeria…rather than endure any more of Stephen’s antics. As a young lad, Stephen avoided many bothersome trips to the woodpile by using his schoolbooks as kindling. He would happily sit at the feet of his Great “GronPear” Colbert, warm before the fire, listening, respectfully, to the nasty old fart’s completely incomprehensible stories, of his rambunctious youth, or so Stephen supposed, and occasionally pause, so that his “lazy-ass grandson” might empty his drool cup.
Frighteningly cozy experiences like this, at the hands of any number of aged (and often flatulent) kin are what helped turn the tender, innocent, young, sweet, supple, smooth, porcelain skinned Boy Stephen, he once was, into the mightily sinewed, steely-eyed, iron-willed, supremely gifted, supple, smooth, porcelain skinned Man Stephen, he is today. A powerful polemicist who holds forth for an excruciatingly difficult 22 minutes a night on camera, an unbelievably wearying four nights a week, for 40, or so, weeks a year …with nothing but an extremely lucrative contract (that includes full medical and dental for his entire extended family [the same policy that is standard for all members of the U.S. Congress] and all-expenses paid vacations [fact-finding “junkets”, in congress-sssspeak] with a minimum of two weeks a year at DisneyWorld, guaranteed. Even so, this demanding schedule has Colbert so befuddled that the poor man believes that “Korean baby carrots are trying to… effect the transubstantiation of the Holy Eucha-limp-rist and… turn him gay.” (lines 21-24…pg. xii, Introduction… plus, stuff I made up…)
Now, according to my imagination, Stephen’s great GroanPear Colbert von Kuhlbert bore a striking resemblance to the great American poet (and famously closeted homosexual) Walt Whitman, although, by my own account, Whitman was not a man given to excessive flatulence and ergo, far less of a mensch, than Stephen’s Grand Da, who, even as a boy, in Hannibal, MO, (once again, in my mind) could blow a hole in a whitewashed fence, from twenty paces, while walking away..!
…how to read His book…pg. xiv
I fear that here, I have gone astray, and I hope by, briefly, relating my sad tale to you, dear reader, that you will avoid the errors, to which, I, fell prey.
It all started when I was writing these very words in the margin of the book* and my pen knocked over my beverage (I always have a Julep, or two, on hand, to slake my thirst, when I’m laboring in the fields of Colbert) onto the page* with the hole in it(where I had cut out a picture of Our Hero to put in my wallet* [so people would think that he and I are friends*]) and now the ragweed I had pressed* on the page behind it is wet…and even though this is the cheapest discount paperback edition I could find* I think its too messed up now to use it to swear in the new mayor of ShroomTown, my fungus city, I have growing, where I gutted the mid-section of this book, to make room for it*. Fortunately, I’ve already loaned the book to everybody I know* And finally, with all that has happened, I’ve had to rip off the corners of most of the pages that are left* in order to make the book balance properly, when my wife spins it on her head, to entertain the good people of ShroomTown*.
Okay, well, that’s my story and now I have to hang my head, in sham, and head over to The Strand to buy a used copy of The Book (sometimes you can find a really beat-up one for a buck in the racks outside the store..!) in order to continue my review…Please, for Stephen’s sake, people, learn from my mistakes..!!!
***Prominent psychiatrists (I can’t remember their names just now, but trust me, they’re really prominent) say that the reason Colbert dislikes reading so, is that he has a fully “elastic” intellect and even the smallest bit of information will instantly expand to fill his mind, rendering him incapable of speech, motion or any other activity, so over time, Stephen has learned how to avoid the acquisition of knowledge, and, in particular, the printed page, so as to keep his mind, virtually free, of thought, at all times….thus, Stephen, when he speaks, always speaks, “ex cathedra”, channeling the words of the Almighty…A mighty vessel, is he….“Sail away…sail away, Stephen T. Colbert…’til you cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay…!”
Next up: My American Childhood Chapter One…“The Family”