Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Past Lives of John Boehner

"…as the dweller in the body experiences childhood, youth, old age, so passes he on, to another body." - the Bhagavad Gita, 500 BC

In a past life, John Boehner led a congregation of pioneers across the Idaho deserts to a hill in Oregon where he promised them they would be raptured. They camped there for thirteen days in wait for the angels until they killed him and dumped his body in an alkaline lake.

A conservative man even across the epochs, Boehner decided to capitalize on the Yukon Gold Rush not by panning, but by opening a tannery in Anchorage. There, a one-eyed, half-breed working girl named Trixie (later to become Senator Rand Paul) caught his fancy. Boehner's efforts to win Trixie were in vain, and in an argument in a saloon she stabbed him with her stiletto and the wound became infected.  Old Doc Brown said Boehner died of brucellosis, but wiser men know he died of a broken heart.

He was a Viking who set sail to the West and never returned. He lived as 349 million separate generations of various bacteria, and as a fungus on Hannibal's balls as he crossed the Alps.

In the bakumatsu, Boehner was a low-level samurai who briefly lead one of the many factions then conspiring to restore imperial rule with themselves as the true powers behind the thrown. He was mocked behind his back for his feeble poetry and ultimately out-maneuvered within his own sect. This turned out to be a blessing, however, because he could not be held responsible when his former subordinates betrayed an allied faction and were massacred in return. He ended his days as an umbrella maker.

"O, Great Xerxes, how shall we test the fierceness of the Hellespont without danger?"
"Throw that pathetic Thracian there in."

During the French Revolution, Boehner was a landed gentlemen in Köningsberg. Although publicly he spoke out against it, privately he read and reread the writings of his fellow townsman, Immanuel Kant, about the universal enthusiasm the Revolution had stirred in the hearts of men. Change never came to Köningsberg in his lifetime.

Once, long ago, he was a bivalve, filtering the salt tears of the world at the bottom of the ocean.

In his happiest life, he was a Central Asian peasant who lived to ripe old age until the Khan rode through and razed his village to the ground. It filled him with terror, but also with awe, to see the Khan stride through the holocaust. Why, thought Boehner, did there have to be Great Men?

In a distant but very real future, a computer program inhabited with John Boehner's soul placidly not contemplates, but processes the whole of human history, content at last to have found its part therein.

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