Al Gore has bought a houseboat, christened the Bio-Solar One
The scene: A spartanly-furnished conference room in the Center Hill Lake Community Center. Toward the front of the room, a long table, behind which are seated the board members of the Center Hill Lake Homeowners’ Association. They are gathered to hear a charge, characterized by the plaintiff, as an act of mutiny by senior officers of the BS-1.
Chairman: Mr. Gore, this is an informal hearing to look into some kind of disturbance aboard your house boat. Why are you wearing a dress-blue Navy uniform?
Gore: Well, I am the captain; I thought it would be appropriate to appear…
Chairman: Whatever. Now, you state that there was a…a mutiny aboard your boat?
Gore: That’s correct. A mutiny: “the unlawful resistance of a superior officer, or the raising of commotions and disturbances on board of a ship against the authority of its commander.”
Chairman: Uh huh. And this mutiny was carried out by your [reads through the complaint]…your “senior officers?”
Gore: That’s right, sir.
Chairman (looking around the conference room and spotting the alleged malefactors): Buddy, Lamar, that would be you two boys?
Buddy Johnson: I reckon so, Mr. Smoot.
Chairman: Mr. Gore, just exactly what did Buddy and Lamar do for you to charge them with mutiny?
Gore: Well, sir, I was preparing to engage the enemy…
Chairman: You were preparing to engage the what?
Gore: The enemy, sir; Bo Tomlin’s Jet Ski Rentals. You see, he’s been renting jet skis out all summer, and they’re not only environmentally unfriendly, they create a tremendous din.
Chairman (Sighing): Continue.
Gore: As I was saying, this fellow Tomlin was aiding and abetting numerous persons in disturbing the peace and quiet that I need aboard my vessel to carry out my work.
Chairman: Which is?
Gore: Saving the planet, sir.
Chairman: Saving the…planet. Er, Mr. Gore, witnesses say that you attempted to ram Bo Tomlin’s pier.
Gore: That’s right, sir; “engaging the enemy.” But at the last minute, my senior officers…
Chairman: Buddy and Lamar…
Gore: My senior officers approached the bridge, seized my person and aborted the mission.
Chairman: Mm-hm. It also says something here in your complaint about theft.
Gore (removes two large steel ball bearings from his pocket and begins to roll them in the palm of his hand): Ah! The “Doctor Good Carb’s Zingo Energy Bars”! That’s where I had them! The crew had been pilfering them…
Chairman: The crew?
Hubert Butterfield, the school janitor and part-time swabby of the BS-1, raised his hand
Gore: Yes, the crew had been stealing them, using a duplicate key to the food locker. I could prove the existence of such a key, using geometric logic, and I’d have succeeded, too, if I hadn’t been betrayed by my disloyal officers, who are, incidentally, registered Republicans. And well you may gasp in horror, gentlemen! (Actually, the board members were snickering). I’ve even seen the senior officers and the crew sporting McCain buttons!
Gore was now furiously clacking the steel balls in his hand; they sounded like a Lionel train zipping along the track under the tree on Christmas morning.
Chairman: Mr. Gore, if you’ll pardon us for a few minutes, I’d like to confer with the other board members privately.
The chairman and his colleagues rose and withdrew to a corner of the room. After a few moments of whispered conversation, the chairman pulled a cell phone from his pocket and made a call. Five minutes later a white ambulance could be seen through the window rolling up in front of the community center; on the side of the ambulance was the emblem of the Centerville Psychiatric Clinic. Two burly men in white suits descended from the cab, opened the side panel-door and stood by. The chairman walked over to Gore.
Chairman (smiling somewhat nervously): Mr. Gore, we’re going to take your charge of mutiny under advisement and get back to you. In the meantime, we’ve taken the liberty of ordering a…ahm…private car to take you back to your…uh…boat.
Gore saluted the chairman, and the small crowd – consisting of plaintiff, defendants and a sprinkling of nosy onlookers with nothing better to do – filed out of the building. Gore walked toward the ambulance, but paused long enough to smile haughtily at Buddy, Lamar and Hubert. “Good day…gentlemen.”
As Gore stepped into the van, Hubert Butterfield stuck his tongue through his teeth and vigorously blew air over it, piping his “captain” aboard.