Two college seniors, Bert
and Ernie, were sitting on the porch of their frat house. It was a warm evening
and theyd both had several beers. Im bored, said
Me, too, said
Ernie. Whatta you wanna do?
I know. Lets
spray paint old Doc Fergusons statue.
Doctor Thomas Fitzroy
Ferguson was the colleges founder, somewhere back in the 1880s. His
statue was in a grassy area in the center of the campus, looking sternly over
the college, Ferguson U, named after him.
Bert went inside and found
the ever-handy can of spray paint used by the frat boys for various pranks. The
two seniors walked to the campus center. No one was around. There was no sound
except for crickets chirping. A thin moon peeked through some clouds.
There he is, said Bert.
Ernie. I never liked the way he looks, like he disapproves of everything.
Lets spray him. They did, with red paint, then on
the statues base wrote Fergusons a Fag.
Hey, said Bert.
Do you think we can pull him down?
I dunno. We can
try. Lets go back to the house and get some rope.
In a few minutes they were
back with a heavy rope, which they placed around the statues middle. They
stepped back and tugged. To their surprise, maybe the statue had been weakened
by the weather over time, there was a loud crack and then the statue was
toppled. Hey, we did it, said Bert.
Ernie. Wait until the guys see this. Well be
Yeah, lets get
But they were two late.
Perhaps alerted by the cracking noise two burly campus policemen had
Look at that,
said one. They pulled the old boy down.
You kids are in
trouble, said the other one. Come with us.
They were in the
Deans office. Do you have anything to say for yourselves?
asked the Dean.
Bert looked at Ernie. Ernie
looked back at Bert. Er, said Bert, remembering something hed
heard on television, it was an act of social justice.
What? said the
Ernie. It was a peaceful act of social justice. Doc Ferguson was a white
man in a southern state. He probably had slaves.
An investigation was
launched. It found that Fergusons grandfathers uncles cousin
did indeed own a small plantation so it had to be assumed he had at least one
slave. Bert and Ernies action was vindicated. They were on local
television. The national networks picked them up. They were all over social
media. They were hailed as heroes. College students all over the country
started to topple statues of their college presidents and any other historical
personage they took a dislike to. College administrators did nothing to stop it
for fear theyd be labeled small-minded. The movement spread beyond
college campuses. Statue toppling became a national pastime. Politicians did
nothing to stop it; most encouraged it to show how liberal they were. Pundits
debated it. Violence escalated. It became an issue in the presidential
election. The country was torn in two.
Bert and Ernie knew nothing
of all this. Theyd both failed all their tests and flunked out of
college. Their indulgent parents had financed a tour of Europe. They
didnt bother to read newspapers or watch television news as they partied
and pursued, unsuccessfully, European girls. When they returned to the States
the official who checked their passports at the airport advised them to go to a
hotel immediately and stay off the streets. Why? asked
Ernie. Whats going on?
know? said the official. The party that lost the election
didnt accept the result. The country is in chaos.
Theres riots, looting. arson, killings everywhere. Its total
terrible, said Bert.
Ernie. Gee, I wonder how all of that got started.