I need an issue. Something to stir my sense of righteous indignation to the point I’ll raise a fist in defiance and shout, “I’m not going to take it anymore!” The trouble is all the good issues are taken: global warming, nuclear proliferation, world hunger, soaring oil prices, pollution. I’m not politically minded, so what’s left?

It wasn’t until I’d finished my lunch and helped myself to dessert at a local Italian restaurant that my issue presented itself. There they were, a varied selection of exquisite pies, cakes, and brownies attractively arranged on a lace doily, covered by a glass dome. They were calling my name. I’ve never met a dessert that didn’t want to be my best friend. I couldn’t decide which one looked best, so I ate them all. In my defense, they were individual servings, not entire pies and cakes. But still, they weren’t even very good. They must have been stale. This was unacceptable.

I complained to the server, “Young man, those desserts were awful. They were hard and stale and tasted waxy.”

“That’s because they WERE waxy, ma’am. They were fake dessert samples, for display purposes only. Furthermore, they cost the restaurant $30 each, so you owe us $240.”

At last, here was an issue close to my heart, or maybe close to my lower intestine at this point. I sensed I’d need a laxative before the evening was finished.This was an issue I could really get worked up over: fraudulent pastries. There oughta be a law. As a matter of fact, there oughta be a law against anything fake. There’s entirely too much deceit in today’s world.

For example, I once read an article about an American physicist and a British artist who were trying to prove some of the famed portrait painters of the 15th century used primitive lenses and concave mirrors to project their subjects onto canvas, then traced them and filled them in with oil paints. In other words, the Great Masters of the Renaissance cheated. I was shocked and appalled and didn’t want to believe it. Then I went to the Louvre and closely examined Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Through the pale pink of her enigmatic lips could be seen the number 2. The folds of the drapes behind her were marked 7. On the back of the canvas were the words, “Mattell Paint by Number Kit # 38.”

The Great Masters weren’t the only ones guilty of fraud. In the state of Washington, where rock slides or new construction often expose unweathered rock in the park system, the Forest Service artiscally paints the rocks to look old because (as they said when confronted), “It takes too long for them to weather naturally.”

It makes a person wonder just how many of the scenic wonders of our national park system are as fake as those waxy desserts which are still wandering through my digestive system seeking an exit. I decided to undertake an investigation.

While on a fact-finding mission through Yellowstone Park, I discovered the entire park is an elaborate hoax; a stage set to impress tourists. The trees were painted cardboard, the fallen leaves made of tissue paper, and the words, “Made in Taiwan” were stamped under the wing of a soaring eagle. When a chipmunk scampered by, two AA batteries fell out of its back.

I had my suspicions about Old Faithful, the geiser which erupts every 67 minutes, as regular as clockwork. Come on! Really? Every 67 minutes? Does Mother Nature have a Timex watch? No, but Earl the park maintenance supervisor does. I found him in a cavern directly beneath Old Faithful. Every time Earl’s Timex hit 67 minutes, Earl aimed a large firehose through a hole in the cavern’s roof and turned the water on, as gullible tourists gathered around to ooh and aah at the impressive display.

I was so disillusioned by the entire experience that I decided I’d head home as soon as I had my picnic lunch. I got back to my campsite just in time to see Yogi the cartoon bear and his little pal Boo Boo absconding with my pic-a-nic basket. I saw a tag which read, “Conway’s Costume Rental” sticking out the back of his neck. No wonder he’s smarter then the average bear, but he’s not as smart as he thinks he is. That dessert he just finished came from under the glass dome at that Italian restaurant. Does a bear sh*t in the woods? Not for several days he won’t. Serves him right for his thievery.


2 thoughts on “Fraudulence; There Oughta be a Law

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