Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Millard Fillmore

We were staying at the Drake Hotel
for our fourteenth anniversary,
which seemed like a romantic idea to me,
but of course, my husband was unimpressed.
He fell asleep watching TV,
but at 3:00 a.m., I was wide awake.
I wandered down the hallway,
barefoot, wearing an old t-shirt and shorts,
searching for a vending machine,
when I encountered Millard Fillmore.
Yes, the President Millard Fillmore,
about whom, I’m sure, you know nothing.
Part of the reason you can’t remember
anything about Millard Fillmore
is that he discovered how to travel through time,
and he keeps changing things accidentally.
Anyway, I ran into Millard Fillmore,
and by way of introduction, he handed me
a bloody Chinese star and told me
there was no time to lose.
There was an old wooden treasure chest,
hidden somewhere in the building,
and we needed to find it
before Sigmund Freud could.
The father of modern psychology
was at one point a close companion of President Fillmore
on his time-traveling journeys
but was now Fillmore’s sworn enemy forever more.
“Be very careful, young lady,” Millard cautioned.
“He can read minds.”
“Wow,” I replied, “I thought that was all symbolic.”
Suddenly, a well-dressed Viennese gentleman
with a closely trimmed white beard
appeared at the end of the corridor.
He was holding a small chest
made of rotting wood in both hands.
“We’re too late!” the President cried in despair.
I threw my Chinese star at the psychoanalyst.
He used the power of transmogrification
to turn it into a large banana,
which fell flaccidly and disappointingly on the floor.
Millard charged bravely at Sigmund,
his former ally, now his nemesis,
but tripped over the limp, bruised banana at his feet,
and anyway, that’s why we call it a Freudian slip.

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