Lord Boothby, the eminent British philosopher made the statement. He came along with a big, strong line. He said, "Humor is the only solvent of terror and tension.
Another great humorist Thurber, the beloved Thurber, came along and said that we as Americans must realize "that humor is one of our greatest allies."
And I, in humility, say, "It is the duty of the humor of any given nation in times of high crisis to at-tack the ca-tastrophe that faces it in such a manner as to cause the people to laugh at it in such a manner that they do not die before they get killed."
So I figure I'm going down to the bank tomorrow with a couple of trucks and take out a few bales of fifties – maybe a billion dollars – and I'm going to start a gigantic program over the television, over the radio, in the newspapers, in the funny papers, call the people who have anything to do with humor and I'm going to start a big, elongated eight-month campaign against the mother gasser of all time: THE BOMB.
A great spear of humor against the Bomb – rippity-tib zib zib and a ring ding ding against the Bomb. All kinds, all ways, all slides, all sides against the Bomb. A great, big elongated program through the air, by the billboards by little ones by big ones till eventually, you mention H-Bomb to someone say: "H-Bomb! Ha ha ha ho hooo hee heee -- heard a story about an H-Bomb the other day -- Ha ha ha – there was a couple of H-Bombs – ha ha heee – Missiles! -- ha ha ha ho ho hee heeee – it's only a thistle, here comes a missile! Ha ha ha heee . . .
And you hear songs like (To the tune of "Summertime"): "Way down deep in the Ural Mountains far behind the I-ron curtain I-van and the lads are flirtin' with U-ran-I-um! U-ran-I-um is not geranium. I'm hip that you know that when you lose your a-plomb when the a-tomic bomb comes your way – ba-ba be-bop – do you think you'll be gassed when you hear that big blast on the highway – Pom pom de bom bom – when everything goes up – eeeeee booooo – and then comes down and Fifty-Second Street just can't be found and Symphony Mother Sid is history?
Now the next scene is the Kremlin.
Kruschev has just returned from a very big visit shaking everyone up rattling the rocket and one thing and another. And they give him a big party in the Kremlin and what with Russian benzedrine and vodka and one thing and another he's smashed out – he's in the silk sacked out with a concrete wig – he's in bad shape.
And Moly comes in. He says; "Krusky!"
"Not now Moly! Some other time, please, not now! I'm a very sick man and I cannot talk now."
"But Krusky, something terrible has happened."
"Vat vat vat vat vat terrible could happen?! Vat terrible?!
"But the Americans--"
"The Americans vat?!?!?!"
"The Americans are in the street laughing at the Bomb."
"Vat!?!? This is terrible news! If we cannot scare them to death we cannot beat them. Give me a double shot of vodka right away. Ve give them back Poland see vat happens . . ."
From The Bad Rapping of the Marquis de Sade, World Pacific, 1969
Transcribed by EARL RIVERS
[Text Only Version]
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