AN IDIOT CHASE

If a personnel agent at State
Fired a pistol into the air
Using Ambassador as the bait
I'd be willing to take the dare.

You would leave the starting block clean
Sticking hard-fast to your lane
I would bemusedly take in the scene
Wondering at this process arcane.

To make you blast off like a rocket
They would set loose a wild-eyed hare
You would tear after it like a whippet
With all speed and savoir faire.

As a spectator I'd be perspiring
Just watching you try to keep the pace
My thoughts would be all on retiring
Without even entering the race.

That wild hare had been chased before
By no lesser a man than my Father
Who made the race a Holy War
The effect on his children no bother.

Though developing great expertise
In-depth experience in a region
The short list proved but a tease
To the unworthy would go the promotion.

The Iron Curtain was crashing down
But diplomatic skill proved worthless
Better to look good in a gown
The post went to a child-star actress.

They sent him instead to an island
Where man-eating Natives ate his dreams
He'd been running with a carnivorous band
Only now it came apart at the seams.

Tossed once more ashore State-side
After he'd captured his wild-eyed hare
All further career hopes died
With the man-eaters he found there.

Combining the ends of Communism
With the deadly tactics of Hitler
This new lipstick-smeared high-heeled '-ism'
Hatefully sent in its Grim Reaper.

"You've got two problems," she blithely said:
"You are male and you are white"
So this is what his hare-chasing fed
Panty-hosed discriminatory might.

In my father's intense quest for wild hare
In his carnivorous rise to the top
He stole our lives without a care
In the race we were the weights he dropped.

Tossed post-to-post like wayward flotsam
Less valued even than boxed linen
We became like castaway jetsam
His ambitions killing his children.

For to plant a child newly then uproot him
In debilitating two-year growth spurts
Is to kill each time New Life within
Each death a lifelong unhealed hurt.

When Mother wanted out of the game
Seeing her husband as an evil predator
His monomania led him to proclaim
"Now I'll never make ambassador!"

Just as that Agency stole my life
And fueled the Hell fires of my father
It returns with raised bloody knife
To steal my best chance to recover.

If you persist in this idiot race
This fool's errand for an empty prize
I'll join you in your idiot chase
Just to expose these delusions in disguise.

I won't join you down on the track
No compromise to Suits will I make
In my favor the cards will I stack
The quickest route to the prize will I take.

I'll start out as a used-car salesman
Peddling cars for more than they're worth
Despite the lofty commission
I'll be viewed as the scum of the Earth.

But they'll soon promote me to new cars
Hot Porsches in a spiffy showroom
From there an easy launch to the stars
To the top quickly I'll zoom.

Once I've landed my own dealership
The money tills are going "Ka-ching!"
I'll be ready to play my victory chip
And snatch what you idiots are chasing.

The aims of those well-creased collars
Sweaty from decades-long exertion
Can be purchased for a few thousand dollars
Of well-placed campaign contribution.

The Career Man gets the worst post
Third World embassies serve as his home
But the car dealer becomes the toast
Of London and Paris and Rome.

With my victory my Father's career
Rife with deadly ambition and lies
To the World will finally appear
An idiot chase for an idiot prize.

© 2002 by Michael J. Farrand


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