Jackie and Me
Jackie Mason, a rabbi's son and a comedian of huge talent, recently landed in my hometown trying to keep alive his famous mockery of current events. He came wrapped in his persona as an Equal Opportunity Offender, complete with his legacy of politically incorrect and boisterous worldviews.
I met Jackie Mason because I work for the enterprise that brought him into town, and I also happen to work in the same set of buildings that played host to his comedic talents. However, I did stumble upon this most celebrated man unintentionally, over a romaine and watercress salad with parisienne dressing.
The encounter started with my picking up a piece of pecan pie from the gourmet pizza joint which is below my office and next to the Second City Comedy Club, his platform for the week. As I cashed out with my I-missed-lunch-so-I'm-making-do-with-pie carryout, I glanced away from the register and spied a short and paunchy, brillo-haired man wearing a mangy white sweatshirt with what appeared to be broken stencil lines spelling out, "God is Dead"—Nietzche..."Nietzche is Dead"-God. A double-take assured me that it was the one and only Jackie Mason who sported this bit of secular sarcasm.
Since I was a ticketholder to an upcoming show, I thought I would cozy up to this lone celebrity by introducing myself via an exaltation of his talents. Besides, it is rumored that Jewish men love blondes, and since I was parading in one of my short skirts and sparkle-red lipstick, I thought he couldn't possibly turn down my innocent efforts to meet a star.
So I roamed over to this man who looked up from his copy of The Detroit News and spied this buxom little blonde, and I said, "You know, Mr. Mason, Nietzche died from syphilis", and Jackie replied, "Yeah, and he went crazy before he died, too, and eventually he started to believe he was Jewish. So sit down cutie pie, and tell me what you're doing here." What followed was a brief bio of myself, and speculative conversation on whether or not Nietzche was an anti-Semite, or if Nietzche was really the homosexual lover of composer Richard Wagner.
We enjoyed each other's company immensely. We talked and talked, I ate my pie, and Jackie set aside his soggy salad for the sake of directing his attentions elsewhere. We talked about philosophy and food, and we talked about parents and politicians. Jackie said his Dad was an Orthodox rabbi, a man of New York who prayed that his son would stay true to the profession. His father died, and Jackie left the rabbinate for a life of "f'ing with stupid people who pay to see a Jew rant," as he described it.
The dialogue led from religion to politicians, and I popped the big question. I couldn't resist asking, "So Jackie, is it true that you are really a political conservative?" Jackie wrinkled up his sixty-something face and stroked through his graying brillo pad, and said, "Ya know, honey, I don't like to call myself a frigging Republicrat or anything of the sort, huh. I mean, ya know, none of these guys is worth much of anything cuz all they do is lie. Besides, any crazy gentile who dresses like Gene Autry in the White House ain't gettin' my vote. Not unless he cuts down the size of this monster he and his fellow party poops call government."
Now Jackie had my complete attention. I had him where I wanted him; on a roll with his political incorrectness and irreverence. So I asked, "So you claim to be so politically astute Jackie, and I read where you bury yourself — for hours — in newspapers around from the world. I've read that you are anti — government in general, and that you are a voracious reader of the history of politics as well as the classics. So where exactly are your ideological allegiances?"
Jackie sheathed his lower lip entirely over his upper, looking at me with his blackish-brown eyes like he knew all too well where this conversation was going. After all, most media interviewers want to know his political affiliations right off the bat.
"Look, sweetie," this honest fella retorted, "I ain't being in any allegiance to any bunch of dipshits, but I'll tell ya that I think those libertarian folks are the closest to gettin' things right." Now this man had me sitting on the edge of the booth seat, waiting for the damnation of the mainstream I thought was to follow. I excitedly told Jackie that I was a Rothbardian anarchocapitalist, and therefore could appreciate his conservative twist from a Hollywood gone daft.
But before I could explain what this definition of self was, Jackie stopped me in my tracks with a anarchist-like pronouncement: "Babe, your people are the only ones that are telling the people the truth about the crap that the government is perpetuating on us all...you know, we got a government that stinks because it lords its heavy hand over a once-free people, that Alan Greenspan jerk — my Jewish brother — is messin' up the money, we got courts that dictate laws from the stinkin' bench and that sure as hell is bein' unconstitutional, and we got a president's office that sets up vanguard organizations in order to bypass congressional approval. And where are the people? They're waiting for the new Rosie magazine to come out so they can figure out when it is that she or Jodie Foster or another one of these bimbo single babes is gonna adopt another kid cause they ain't interested in established family institutions."
"Jackie", I said, "how hardcore are you? The press makes you out to be just a Hollywood semi-conservative. But you sound pretty cool to me. I think central banking is a core issue for people who really want to understand the level of absolute tyranny imbedded in our government. After all, the Federal Reserve Act has resulted in the creation of the most powerful monopoly that exists in the United States today. And the arbitrary powers exercised by the executive and judicial branches of government are destroying all possibilities of freedom."
Thinking I could take this to the level of discourse usually reserved for my academic friends, I progressed to inquiring of Jackie if he had read Spooner, Nock, or Acton on these issues.
"Ya know, I ain't read them guys but I'll tell ya I really think this Clarence Thomas dude is one of the better guys wearing a black evening gown. Pubic hairs on the Coke can or no pubic hairs, at least he ain't stickin' his personal views up our derrieres."
I was proud to next tell Jackie that I was well read in politics and history, and especially presidential revisionism, and boasted that I had even recently appeared on a radio talk show to share my views on America's First Dictator, Lincoln. After all, I wanted him to know I was somebody, and not just a quack blonde spouting off to an attentive celebrity. I told him the evil Woodrow Wilson was next on my hit list, and that I was preparing for the day that Clinton historians would be armed to the teeth with his subversion of powers, and would, through their exposes, build a new lack of faith in the presidency.
"This Clinton fruitball", noted the comedian in no laughing manner, "has done a great thing for the office of president. I mean, think about it," Jackie continued as he lit a menthol cigarette with a fancy, greenish-hologram lighter, "the jerk has finally advertised to everybody that this power trip done unto us by him and Kennedy and Nixon and Johnson, and all the others, is just plain horseshit in a mayonnaise jar. I mean look at FDR — he fooled everyone and got us into the war, he stunk up the White House with all of his government controls on prices and farming and stuff, and now idiots hang his picture over the fireplace mantle. How many numbnuts are gonna have Billy-Boy's picture hanging somewhere? And worse yet, there's Hillary, the fat old bitty. She is gonna be makin' a nightmare of mine come true." Jackie leaned closer to me, and in serious and hushed tones asked, "Wanna know what that is, gorgeous?"
"I have a feeling, Jackie, that you're about to tell me something you have never even joked to your audiences."
"Babe, I've always knew that we could have twenty-four years of a Clinton White House. I mean, listen to me here...Old Bill did his time in the Big Joint, times two, and Old Hill wanna be getting' her fat ass...hey by the way, have ya ever noticed the stupid-lookin' fat legs an' ankles this broad has? I mean, come on, she's thicker than a goddamn redwood on steroids and she need not be wearing stuff that makes people look at it."
"So what about where Old Hill's fat ass is going, Jackie?" I was wondering where this was going, and what Hillary's broad side of a barn had to do with it.
"Well she ain't gonna be denied her power trip, and ya know the dingbats punchin' chads and stuff are gonna elect her, especially if New Yorkers get their way. She is going to give us eight years of hell, and by then, ya wanna know what? Their ugly kid, Chelsea is gonna be old enough to run for the Big Joint. How do'ya like that fer some crazy rubbish? Another eight years and then we got twenty-four years of hell. Don't that stink?"
"Jackie, you have got something there."
He was looking mischievous now, like the tone of the meeting was becoming too serious. "By the way, ya know why Chelsea Clinton is so damn ugly?"
"No, but you are going to tell me, I assume." Here was the first time I felt a joke coming from the jokester.
"Because Janet Reno is her real father! Now ain't that a Bronx cheer."
Being the all-purpose babe, and hoping to impress him, I shot back, "What is one of the world's shortest books?" I knew I would be embarrassed if he didn't laugh. "Janet Reno's Beauty Secrets." I did it. He laughed, and proceeded to tell me that I ain't half bad, all-around, for a cute little blonde thing.
I told Jackie that I wished I could ask him about God, and what he thought about God's will for the people because, after all, he was once a man of deep faith, and I always wondered if he meant all he said about, you know, God stuff. I didn't have time. I had to get back up to the fifth floor. After all, if I didn't get my work done, Jackie might not get paid on time.
So I turned from the register, left with my pie and let the man alone, as we are told to do when the celebrities are around. Back up at my desk, I thought about seeing Jackie Mason, having lunch by himself, and wondered what conversation might have taken place had I actually had the nerve to go over to the funny Jewish guy sitting there in his plain blue sweater and jeans. I knew he hated Clinton, big government, and political correctness, but that's all I knew. See you at the show, Jackie.
April 5, 2001
Karen De Coster is a politically incorrect CPA, and an MA student in economics at Walsh College in Michigan.
Copyright © 2001 Karen De Coster