Shall I be that pioneer, with the first of the Obama/Osama conspiracy theories? B'lieve I shall.
Where were you when Osama's death was announced?, asks the boring man who seems to permanently dawdle around the water-cooler, always looking for a "water-cooler moment".
"I was watching Celebrity Apprentice," I answer icily. "Now let me get a cup of water."
Last night Celebrity Apprentice had droned on inconsequentially and without any clear narrative, as it usually does, for the better part of its two-hour duration. It was reaching its "climax" - the boardroom sequence in which the losing team has to fight and bellow among themselves for their "very survival". That game slapper NeNe Leakes had spent the whole episode bawling and growling incoherently at Star Jones. Donald Trump was sitting across the table from them, squinting contentedly like mad Pontius Pilate, as the black folks squabbled for his pleasure.
("Is Donald Trump a racist?" - David Letterman.)
It was all going Trump's way, then, until suddenly the broadcast was interrupted with the announcement that President Obama was about to make an "emergency statement".
"This cannot be an accident," I remarked to my wife. "Trump rides Obama about his birth certificate all week and Obama just happens to make an emergency announcement while The Celebrity Apprentice is on?"
Could it be, I merely ASK, that President Obama has had the opportunity to kill Osama Bin Laden at any time he wanted, and that he only struck yesterday - he only gave the kill-order yesterday - expressly so that he could make the announcement during Donald Trump's weekly two-hour slot on Sunday night?
Could it be, I say, that the death of Osama Bin Laden was merely a stroke of one-upmanship in that bigger battle betwixt Obama and Trump?
Mull on that a while, Mullah Omar. Here's an anecdote. When the news was broken, my wife had retreated to the shower, so when I shouted through the apartment, "Osama is dead!" she - in the shower - thought I was saying "Obama is dead!" For a moment, for her, it was a very different reality from the rest of us.
Actually, when I think about it, it is habitually a "very different reality" for my wife from "the rest of us".
[TYPE AND MOTIF INDEX OF HUMOR J1772: "One object thought to be another." Or K2150: "Innocent made to appear guilty." Subset: "School of jokes based around the amusing confusion between the similarity of the names, Obama and Osama."]
THREE QUICK JOKES.
-----Well, Osama is dead and that is that. He shan't be back any time soon. "Ding dong." We shall not see his like again, &c. I am only slightly anxious because I have been putting the blame on him for everything that has gone wrong in my personal life for the last ten years and suddenly I've lost that stand-by - that "wingman" if you like. Who to blame, now my scapegoat is gone?
-----Incidentally, in the name of fairness, I should note that Jenks Whittenberg was the first one with the news of Osama's death. He had claimed that Bin Laden was dead way back in October 2001. Certainly Jenks was slightly premature, but you have to admire his uncanny prescience withal.
-----I was a bit disappointed that Obama didn't pull Osama's decapitated head out from behind his lectern - or even (as my wife suggested) film the announcement while squatting athwart the corpse of Osama.
TO SUM UP:
"Osama Bin Laden is dead," Obama announced gravely on the television.
"That's all well and good," I responded, "but more importantly: who was fired on The Celebrity Apprentice?"