Monday, October 18, 2010


This past Saturday, I fulfilled a long-dormant dream by treading the boards with nothing but my words and my dented and ding'd personality to protect me in the form of a one-man show, completely self-penned and self-performed, entitled AN EVENING NEAR WILLIAM HAM, and I am deeply thrilled and surprised to report that it was a resounding success; the performance space whence it was mounted was packed to capacity (okay, it only seats forty, but it was still the biggest house the place has welcomed to date), it garnered rave reviews from the audience (which even included people I don't know), and demand appears to be such that I have been tapped to reprise the performance a couple of months hence. It's going to have to be a little different, I think - I intend to write some new material for my second go-round, in hopes of repeat business, to capitalize on my renewed creative vigor, and because some of it will be a little out of date by the time I go up again. Which is why I'm presenting the following; come January, the whole context of it will have passed (though craven, delusional politicians are eternal and the rather easy and not particularly deep-cutting right-wing swipes of the first third are merely a setup to the real meat of the matter of the remaining 66.6%). As I am not yet confident enough to lay my wares out unapologetically, I must submit that this piece is funnier performed than read, but I'm proud enough of it to share with my microscopic readership, and, as it will probably never be performed again, I want to lay it down for whatever passes for posterity. So here goeth:


(THE CANDIDATE stands on stage, basking in applause [real or imagined], waving at the crowd [real or imagined], and pointing at various people the way all politicians seem to do at rallies and events.)

Thank you! Thank you! I am very pleased at the turnout for tonight’s fundraising dinner for the Drexler 2010 campaign – hey, let’s hear it for Mrs. Dalyrimple for all her hard work, huh? (leads crowd in applause) Isn’t she terrific? That bacon tartare was just fantastic. Ladies and gentlemen, friends, supporters, members of the party – I am here tonight to tell you that on November 2, we are going to TAKE THIS COUNTRY BACK! Yes! Come November 2, there will be no more politics as usual in Washington, we will no longer be throttled by the iron grip of big government, the voiceless will have a voice, the faceless will have a, um, face, and we will show those fat cats just what America is all about, just as soon as we decide what that is! And when that day comes, I’ll have you to thank, the people who started this grassroots campaign – sponsored, of course, by Dr. Krankschafft’s 96-Hour Energy Powder, a division of EnormoCorp LLC – real Americans, with real American values, every one of you here tonight, except maybe for some of the cleanup crew. No, it’s okay, they don’t understand what I’m saying anyway.

Now, President Obama – no, come on, no booing, let’s show him the respect he won’t extend to us, he’s got his flaws but he’s the best non-naturalized citizen for the job – and his Beltway elite may be trying to force his lunatic agenda down our throats, but I’m here to be America’s syrup of ipecac! He wants to take away your guns, I want to make them mandatory! He wants gays to marry, I not only want to uphold the God-given standard of marriage as between a man and a woman, but I also want to make it illegal for a woman to marry a man with a lisp, fluttery mannerisms, or more than 3 Elton John CDs! He wants to roll back the tax cuts for people making more than $750,000 a year when he knows that will affect small businesses, which are the backbone, nay, the very lower lumbar region of this great country of ours! Without them, we’d be walking mighty funny, wouldn’t we? So I propose that we not only make these breaks permanent, but increase them, not just on small businesses, but businesses that have names that sound like they’re small! Microsoft, for instance, Carl’s Jr., not to mention newly-founded companies like Little Lockheed Martin and Baby Halliburton. We’re not about to let Comrade Obama’s socialist agenda squash true American values, I don’t care how few of them he’s actually implemented or how I really don’t know what socialism means! On November 2, we’re gonna show these fat cats just what democracy’s all about if we have to strong-arm everyone to go along with us! Thank you, thank you.

Okay. Now, there’s been a lot of rumors floating around during this campaign, cheap and scurrilous acts of character assassination – ordinarily, I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but this time some of them are about me. So I want to take this opportunity to set the record straight. You’ve probably heard the stories about my involvement with a group that reenacts the Holocaust one weekend a month. As usual, the liberal media elite has wasted no time in sensationalizing and mischaracterizing this wholly innocent endeavor. Just because I’m involved in a group that reenacts one of the most horrific events that ever allegedly happened, that doesn’t make us Nazis. We’re not out to persecute the Jews – in fact, Jews aren’t even allowed in our club. And of course, they’re characteristically missing the whole educational aspect of our program – we’re there to serve as a reminder, so we do not forget what these people have done. And besides, I didn’t remember what those people did when we started out, so I came at it from a position of pure ignorance – innocence, I mean, innocence.

And some of you may recall hearing about the businesses whose boards of directors I sit on that have been accused of selling weapons, tanks… body armor… secrets… and the film rights to the book A Confederacy of Dunces… to Afghan warlords. I guess my opponents are opposed to a little thing called “free enterprise,” aren’t they?

Then there was that story last year where it’s said that I drunkenly drove my Lincoln Town Car – Lincoln, one of our greatest chief executives, right? – off the Arlington Memorial Bridge, resulting in the drowning of two prostitutes who were in the car with me at the time. Again, that’s just bad, biased journalism. Only one of the prostitutes drowned, the other one choked to death. My opponents in the other party have been making hay with this mild lapse of judgment, but don’t they realize it was done in posthumous tribute to the great Senator Edward Kennedy, a man I considered one of my closest friends even though I disagreed with absolutely everything he stood for, never cared much for him personally, and never stood closer than six feet away from him at all times because he always smelled like boiled cabbage and Jameson’s? That’s called reaching across the aisle, people, but it doesn’t surprise me a bit, because they see things through their blinkered little filter so much they’re bound to get everything wrong.

Oh, and speaking of “bound,” I suppose that whole business with the seven Cub Scouts that were discovered bound and gagged in my basement may have caught your eye. It sickens me how such such things get so easily misunderstood. I’ve been a scoutmaster for years ever since I was kicked out of the priesthood and I am a fervent booster of young peoples’ ingenuity – sure, they’re taught to tie knots, but how many people bother to challenge them to untie them? And I’m proud to say that two of them almost did.

And that report about me eating a baby… okay, sue me for being open to new ideas, right? I’m always looking for new ways to combat the twin problems of hunger and overpopulation in this country, and I was inspired by an Irish friend of mine who wrote a proposal, a modest one in his words, as to how we can take care of these problems, and I fully intend to invite my friend Jon Swift over to my estate to discuss these issues at length. (looks offstage) Have you set that up, Marty? Huh? Well, keep trying.

And then that business of my contracting equine herpes when I visited the Preakness last year – well, okay, you got me there. Guess I should have looked that gift horse in the – (laughs nervously, twitches)

I’m glad that we could clear all those misconceptions up. Looks like my time’s running out – they’re gonna be bringing around dessert in a moment; love that government cheesecake – so I’ll finish tonight by simply reminding each and every one of you to get out there and vote. On November 2, we’ll be sending a man to Washington, a man of rare integrity, a man of decency, a man with a willingness to do whatever it takes to fight for the rights of ordinary Americans. And with your help, I’ll be in the car right behind him. My name is Donald Drexler and I’m running for office!


Also, via a request from one of my most-respected virtual friends, the program notes for the, um, program:

Pier Pressure Productions presents


(ill-) conceived, (hastily) written, (under-) performed and (mis-) directed by
William Ham


ACT ONE: Readings From the Forthcoming* Anthology Infomercials for Myself

1. "The Ballad of Writing Gaol"

2. "Welcome to the Messiah Complex (Hourly Rates Available)"

3. "Raise High the Security Gates, Carpenters"


ACT TWO: Original Monologues, Performance Pieces, and Incredible Feats of Endurance***

1. "He Is Risen"

2. "A Word From Our Sponsors"

3. "The Candidate"

4. "Thirteenth Night, or Whatever You Say"

(performed with the assistance of the Northwest Elizabethan Theatre Cooperative:
Stip Kensland, Michelle Boyd, Ted McAque, Elemeno Peterson, Jeanine Velb, Angela Clought, Damien Lundmark, McChesney Duntz III, Clement Maulle and Philip Danco, under the direction of E. Robert D'Oleo)****

AND MORE...(?)*****

* A nice, euphemistic way of saying that it's not finished and no publisher has expressed the slightest interest in it.

** i.e., your last chance to escape.

*** On the part of the audience.

**** Blogger's Note: This was a semi-elaborate gag I set up over the week: I talked up the appearance of this non-existent troupe at length on my radio show the previous Wednesday, made a big deal of it beforehand to friends, and introduced them onstage with great fanfare, only to "discover" that their bus broke down and they couldn't make the show, leaving me to perform a multi-character, pun-laden Shakespeare takeoff all by myself. I think it was funnier than it reads.

***** Blogger's Note II: My wonderful and talented friend Don and I performed my Mamet parody (see previous entry) as an encore, once I determined that the audience was on my side enough to put up with it.


Captain Bill Podzon said...

hey, finally got around to reading the entire thing. Very nice. And you've still got the "13th night or whatever" bit.

hope you're well
Bill P said...

My mouth still hurts from holding my lower stomache and laughing during that performance (no, I did not choke to death). Thank-you for being brilliant and funny at the same time, and for entertaining everyone in that haunted room.