Saturday, August 16, 2014


Calm still prevails in the Republican Gaza Strip sandwiched between Chilmark and the cliffs of Gay Head. Despite omens of another visitation by the Obama vacation entourage, Martha's Vineyard's fourteen surviving feral Republicans remain serene in their up-island sanctuary, buffered against Presidential papparazzi by a relic of Prohibition. A century ago, the pecksniff  Baptists of Oak Bluffs conspired with Tisbury bootleggers to turn the Vineyard's wild up-island  grapevine jungle into a wineless desert. The two dry townships thus created serve to this day to  repell reporters and gossip columnists as efficiently as Deep Woods Off.

It was upon this barren shore that Providence delivered the Republican natives from Presidential slavery two decades go, when the Clintons,  spurning their  private Tisbury beach, sought to shift their  revels to  the powdery Chilmark dunes termed Hornblower Heaven, that lie between the late Mrs. Onassis estate and Squibnocket Bight. It was a frankly impudent invasion, as the last politician to be cordially invited there was famed striped bass angler Calvin Coolidge.

The turncoat whose beach key admitted the Clintons shall remain nameless, but the consequences of her defection became clear when the Secret Service came calling to warn the Republican indigenes to  stay off their own roads and touch their caps as the Presidential cavalcade rolled by.

The appointed day dawned warm and fair, and a cloud of dust rising from the beach plums heralded an armored motorcade big enough to conquer a Persian Gulf principality. Helicopters and SEAL teams had scanned and prodded the beach beforehand, and the added show of force made many fear a prolonged Secret Service occupation, but scarce half an hour later, the hummer-led caravan reappeared out of the west, and the entourage rumbled down the long allee' of beetlebung trees and out the gate never to be seen again.

Stunned by their deliverance, the indigenes went to find out why, and summiting the dunes saw that  a social disaster had overtaken the Clinton's host.  The three-mile arc of coast extending from the elysian dunes clear round Gay Head to Lobsterville lay covered in a swath of rotting fish guts, fought over by enough seagulls to shoot a remake of The Birds.  

One whiff had sent the Clinton's packing, but two tides later, not a shred  of the reeking offal remained. Word of this up-island miracle of the gulls and fishes soon reached The Vineyard Gazette, which pinned the blame on the fish-stick magnates of New Bedford, on the far side of Buzzards Bay. 

The Gazette sleuths discovered that the fish plants had for decades been sending a weekly gurry boat loaded with a  hundred tons of fermenting fish innards to a designated dumping point south of Cuttyhunk. There, barring  acts of God like extraordinary winds or currents , the fragrant cargo was supposed to harmlessly feed the next generation of  lobsters, fish-stick fish, and great white sharks. The island soon divided into two warring camps. True-blue Greens contended that rotting fish guts were not a blot on the Presidential Vacation, but  a heart-healthy, organic and biodegradable natural product, rich in vitamin E.  The island's literary aesthetes, still recoiling from the large smell of a recently stranded  dead Right Whale, instead declared rotting fish guts to be a public nuisance on a par with visiting talk show hosts or canned Brussells sprouts. 

Edgartown Yacht Club commodore Walter Cronkite sagely dodged the controversy by referring  the matter to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, which  blamed the mischief on to a wayward Gulf Stream eddy. But rejecting so materialistic an explanation , all respectable up-island natives and Native Americans agreed that the gurry's arrival at the Clinton’s feet could only signal that God was a Republican.

Who knows what He may visit on vacationing Presidents in seasons to come?  It is a judgement each sunburned, poison-ivy ravaged and deer-tick infested entourage must ponder as it beats its itchy retreat back to the fever-swamps of the Potomac at summer's end , and the cycle of the seasons begins anew.