This morning there was a knock at my door. When I answered the door I found a well groomed, nicely dressed couple. The man spoke first.
John: Hi! I’m John, and this is Mary.
Mary: Hi! We’re here to invite you to come kiss Hank’s ass with us.
Me: Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who’s Hank, and why would I want to kiss his ass?
John: If you kiss Hank’s ass, he’ll give you a million dollars; and if you don’t, he’ll kick the shit out of you.
Me: What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?
John: Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever he wants, and what he wants is to give you a million dollars, but he can’t until you kiss his ass.
Me: That doesn’t make any sense. Why...
Mary: Who are you to question Hank’s gift? Don’t you want a million dollars? Isn’t it worth a little kiss on the ass?
Me: Well maybe, if it’s legit, but...
John: Then come kiss Hank’s ass with us!
Me: Do you kiss Hank’s ass often?
Mary: Oh yes, all the time...
Me: And has he given you a million dollars?
John: Well… no, you don’t actually get the money until you leave town.
Me: So why don’t you just leave town now?
Mary: You can’t leave until Hank tells you to, or you don’t get the money, and he kicks the shit out of you.
Me: Do you know anyone who kissed Hank’s ass, left town, and got the million dollars?
John: My mother kissed Hank’s ass for years. She left town last year, and I’m sure she got the money.
Me: Haven’t you talked to her since then?
John: Of course not! Hank doesn’t allow it.
Me: So what makes you think he’ll actually give you the money if you’ve never talked to anyone who got the money?
Mary: Well, he gives you a little bit before you leave. Maybe you’ll get a raise, maybe you’ll win a small lotto, maybe you’ll just find a twenty dollar bill on the street.
Me: What’s that got to do with Hank?
John: Hank has certain ‘connections.’
Me: I’m sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game.
John: But it’s a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don’t kiss Hank’s ass he’ll kick the shit of you.
Me: Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from him...
Mary: No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank.
Me: Then how do you kiss his ass?
John: Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of his ass. Other times we kiss Karl’s ass, and he passes it on.
Me: Who’s Karl?
Mary: A friend of ours. He’s the one who taught us all about kissing Hank’s ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times.
Me: And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss his ass, and that Hank would reward you?John: Oh no! Do you think we're fools? Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here’s a copy; see for yourself.
From The Desk of…KarlMe: This appears to be written on Karl’s letterhead, not Hank's.
1. Kiss Hank's ass and he'll give you a million dollars when you leave town. 11. Kiss Hank's ass or he'll kick the shit out of you
Mary: Hank didn’t have any paper.
Me: I have a hunch that if we checked we’d find this is Karl’s handwriting too.
John: Of course! Hank dictated it.
Me: I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?
Mary: Not now, but years ago he would talk to some people.
Me: I thought you said he was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the shit out of people just because they’re different?
Mary: It’s what Hank wants, and Hank’s always right.
Me: How do you figure that?
Mary: Item 7 says ‘Everything Hank says is right.’ That’s good enough for me!
Me: Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up.
John: No way! Item 5 says ‘Hank dictated this list himself.’ Besides, item 2 says ‘Use alcohol in moderation,’ Item 4 says ‘Eat right,’ and item 8 says ‘Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.’ Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too.
Me: But 9 says ‘Don’t use alcohol.’ which doesn’t quite go with item 2, and 6 says ‘The moon is made of green cheese,’ which is just plain wrong.
John: There’s no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you’ve never been to the moon, so you can’t say for sure.
Me: Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock...
Mary: But they don’t know if the rock came from the Earth, or from outer space, so it could just as easily be green cheese.
Me: Not knowing where the rock came from doesn’t make it cheese. And I’m not an expert, but I think the scientific theory that the Moon came from the Earth has been discounted.
John: Aha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know Hank is always right!
Me: We do?
Mary: Of course we do, Item 5 says so.
Me: You’re saying Hank's always right because in the list that Hank dictated Hank says Hank is always right. That's circular reasoning!
John: Now you’re getting it! It’s so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank’s way of thinking.
Me: But...oh, never mind. What’s the deal with wieners?
John: Wieners go in buns, with no condiments. It’s Hank’s way. Anything else is immoral.
Me: What if I don’t have a bun?
John: No bun, no wiener. A wiener without a bun is wrong.
Me: No relish? No Mustard?
(Mary looks positively stricken.)
John: (shouting) There’s no need for such language! Condiments of any kind are wrong!
Me: So a big pile of sauerkraut with some wieners chopped up in it would be out of the question?
Mary: (Sticking her fingers in her ears.) I am not listening to this. La la la la la la la la.
John: That’s disgusting. Only some sort of evil deviant would eat…
Me: It’s good! I eat it all the time.
John: (Catching Mary.) Well, if I’d known you were one of those I wouldn’t have wasted my time. When Hank kicks the shit out of you I’ll be there, counting my money and laughing. I’ll kiss Hank’s ass for you, you bunless cut-wienered kraut-eater.(With this, John drags Mary to their waiting car, and speeds off.)