Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.
Every Time I laugh Aloud (An Ode to Short People)
by Ivan Donn Carswell
Every time I laugh aloud, who springs to mind but Johnnie Howard?
Cathartic laughter eases stress which Johnnie causes in excess,
so when I hum acerbic lines of Randy Newman’s quirky song
‘don’t want no short people ‘round here’,
I am reminded there are valid grounds for jeering men
with little minds. Newman claim’s ‘they’re gonna get you every time’,
a fear enshrined no doubt in dwarves and elves and children’s
dreams – the stuff we feed them on the screen of epic entertainment
like the Rings, or Harry Potter, or the Wardrobe, just to name a few,
but what has that to do with Johnnie Howard? My guess
is he’s the best example of a poppy cut to size you’ll ever see,
a childlike dummy who wholly reflects the ventriloquist
and wears the guise of wicked caricatures with ease,
to demean him is a breeze and he has a face inlaid
with rubber which hides the strain when he’s ‘tellin’ great big lies’,
to quote Randy’s vapid claim of short people and
duplicity going hand in hand. And of course he’s short.
There was his brash excuse which sought to exonerate him from the
blame for ‘children overboard’, the truth was just out of sight
and out of reach, and no-one cared to put him right.
Had I thought that was enough to queer his leadership,
remove him from the helm and get a man of stature as
the captain of the ship, then I was wrong. He’s from a line
of eccentric heads of state, bizarre leaders whose mistakes
are more often seen with affection than derision. So watch
our little man with baited breath to see whether he will loosen
his trousers and leave them somewhere unknown,
take an early morning swim in gigantic surf or cede
the Queen as our Sovereign head despite our need
to fairly and rationally debate the forming of a republican state.