As a candidate for the presidency of this great nation of ours, it has been my privilege to meet and hear the concerns of voters from across the political spectrum. If there's anything I've learned along the way it's this: whether they agree with you or not, the American people want candor and straight talk about the issues of the day. That's why I would like to take this opportunity to have an open conversation about the Gimp I have chained in my basement.
By now, many of you may have heard or read the sensationalized reports about my Gimp, and the alleged muffled screams my neighbors recorded coming from my basement window wells. I frankly have to tell you, in all candor, I was as surprised as you when I heard about these audiotapes because I do not recall being in the house on the various nights when these supposed screams occurred. In all honesty, I'm guessing it probably happened during my league bowling night, and my campaign staff will be happy to check through my score sheets to verify. Also, did I mention I am a very heavy sleeper?
Yes, it is true that I've harbored the Gimp in my basement for over 20 years. I first met him outside a youth hostel / squatter's camp while vacationing in Amsterdam in 1986. Although he was a deaf mute, we struck up a quick friendship and I invited him to join me on my travels through Europe. Together we had many memorable adventures in the late night alleyways of Brussels, Berlin, and Hamburg. Over time I came to appreciate his wise counsel and impressive knot-tying skills, and invited him to return to the United States as my personal guest and spiritual mentor.
I have to admit I had second thoughts once we arrived back in America because the gimp would soon confront this country's shameful legacy of anti-Dutch bigotry, even from my own grandmother. I remembered as a child Grandma warning me not to eat gouda and to stay away from dikes, oblivious to the fact that my mother -- her very own son's wife -- was a full-blooded Vandenbriink from Pella. I had hoped her bigotry would had faded with the years but when I introduced her to the gimp it bubbled to the surface once again. I could see the irrational anti-Dutch fear in her eyes as she saw the Gimp's wooden shoes and the glistening chrome studs on his leather hood.
For my Gimp this was an object lesson in what it means to be a Dutch-American, and a lesson that would be repeated over and over again. Although he could have lashed out at Grandma, he didn't. He was in his restraints at the time. But can we, as a society, really blame the Gimp if he was driven to anger by the inbred ignorant hate of typical non-Dutch people like Grandma? And, if this anger possibly manifested itself in certain behaviors about which I have no personal knowledge, can any of us cast the first stone?
So yes, I have been keeping the Gimp in my basement for twenty years. And yes, I did construct a trap door and chute using a slide from the abandoned playground. Frankly, it just makes feeding time easier. I take full responsibility for this, and I apologize to any non-Dutch people who were offended in any way by various colorful noises coming from my basement. It's a Dutch thing, you really wouldn't understand.
Many people may ask, Dave, you've condemned the Gimp's noises, why won't you condemn the Gimp himself? Why don't you move him out to your storage shed? I guess it's because I'm a people person. I could no more repudiate my good friend and mentor the Gimp that I could repudiate my own vile, Dutch-hating, Alzheimer-ravaged grandmother. He has been like an uncle to me. Yeah, that's it! A crusty wacky old eccentric uncle, as all of us have seen on various TV situation comedies. Like Uncle Charley on "My Three Sons," except with more grunting and latex. Plus, repudiating the Gimp would only get me on his bad side, and I'd rather not do that.
Frankly, though, I am most regretful of how the entire controversy has helped the forces of division and media sensationalism. The sad fact of the matter is that no one ever talks about the good things my Gimp has done for the neighborhood. No one talks about his occasional community outreach programs where he welcomes all, Dutch and non-Dutch alike, into his basement. No one talks about the fact that he keeps the basement clean and spotless, mopping it down with bleach solution twice a week. Instead the voices of division in our country would rather talk about "mysterious noises" and "strange smells."
But, thankfully, the controversy has also provided a teachable moment for all of us, and a chance to unify this country once again. If you are non-Dutch it's a chance to confront and ovecome the old irrational windmill-driven fears of the past. Try some delicious edam, or world famous Dutch chocolate. Take in the annual Tulip Festival in Pella, Iowa. Best of all, get out and and meet the Dutch folks in your town and learn their concerns. Go ahead, they won't bite! And if you are Dutch-American, remember that basement screams are sometimes considered offensive to the non-Dutch, so remember to "put a gag in it" after 9 pm.
But the real question in this upcoming election isn't about whether we are Dutch or Non-Dutch, mysterious muffled screams, or unexplained smells, or missing neighborhood pets, or whether some candidate has one or two gimps in his basement. These are merely distractions from what we really need to be focused on: which candidate has the personal moral judgment to put this country back on the road to greatness.
No more questions. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a nation to heal.