Mr. Venti Cappuccino, Chairman of the House Diabolical Mustachio Committee, has pulled it off. He has rendered the Office of Official Optimism toothless and ineffectual, having placed it under the auspices of the House Committee for Keeping It Secret.
“Henceforth,” Mr. Cappuccino tells his colleagues, “the Office of Official Optimism shall be called the Office of Making America Great, BWAHAHA!”
He twirls his mustachio, diabolically, and rubs his hands together.
“Change has come to Washington, BWAHAHA!” he says.
The words of Mr. Venti Cappuccino echo in the vast hall. The Congressional members congratulate one another on their success. It is their first act of 2017, and their future looks very bright.
Bim Kerbler, the Junior Associate in the Office of Official Optimism, Division “C” (Quotations) Unit 42 (Inspiration) sub-sector twenty-nine (Cats), carries on with his work as if nothing has happened. He is not aware of Mr. Cappuccino’s triumph upon the Hill. Neither his supervisor, P. Bloden, nor the papers, have informed him. It is as if the work of the House Committee for Keeping It Secret occurs in the dark, which it emphatically does not. Indeed, the Committee meets in a brightly-lit chamber, well down in the bowels of the earth where no radio nor TV signals may reach, to safeguard this delicate creature named Democracy.
Mr. Cappuccino’s efforts were inspired by a Mr. Crusher associate and former Speaker of the House, named Neft Gangrene. Perhaps you remember him from the 90s, when America contracted something from. It may have been syphilis, or influenza, or perhaps Acinetobacter baumannii. It was a long time ago, and one struggles to remember.
“What use have we of optimism?” says Mr. Gangrene to Mr. Cappuccino.
“BWAHAHA!” replies Cappuccino.
“I have been tasked with saving Western Civilization” says Gangrene “and, today, my true labor begins!”
“BWAHAHA!” says Cappuccino.
They rub their hands. All who sport a diabolical mustachio twirl same.
I know what you are thinking, Dear Reader. “Was there not talk of draining the swamp? Had not Mr. Crusher himself said, We will drain the swamp?”
Ah but there you go again—taking Mr. Crusher literally but not seriously, when the correct approach is to take him seriously but not literally. For a swamp is not a literal swamp, but a metaphor. And a drainage is not literal drainage, but indeed a metaphor.
Think of a tract of low-lying ground in which water collects. Yes, like a pool! But remember: we speak neither of literal low-lying ground nor of literal water. Be serious, Dear Reader, and approach this as metaphor. Think merely of a place where something collects. The thing collected may be fame, or glory, or influence, or power, or money. What matters is that it collects, just as water collects. And what is water if not the essential ingredient of life, the most invaluable resource imaginable? Yes … now you have it. The most invaluable thing, collecting, gathering, pooling, in a specific place. A place such as Washington.
And now, the draining. Well, metaphorically speaking this is simply a matter of gathering something up. Imagine a man backing a truck to the rim of the pool, sucking up the contents, then driving away. Can you see that in your mind’s eye? That, too, is a metaphor. The man doesn’t literally use a truck to siphon the pool. Perhaps he uses a law. And he doesn’t collect water, but rather metaphors like money and power. The man who drains the swamp in non-literal serious reality goes to Washington to amass money and power. The thing is obvious, once you put on your metaphor glasses.
Very soon life will change for Bim Kerbler, as it will change for many others. Those who are serious and not literal perceive the changes already. Those who are literal and not serious—well, let us just say they are going to fare poorly.