Guidebook for Immigrants
 
Part I. Making Your Vocabulary More Idiomatic
 
“On sale!” “Reduced!” and “Absolutely free!”
Are usually milder forms of larceny.
“Adult” means  “dirty films” and gets men in
To movies majoring in sex and skin.
 
“Business” here means done for profit,
No holds barred if money is made off it.
We call our business system “competition,”
A price control through sneaky coalition.
 
The wealthy people are the best, men claim,
Thus “virtuous” and “rich” connote the same,
While “shiftless” is the word we use for “poor,”
Those wretches Christ once said we must endure.
 
And if some truths make others look askance,
We merely give them then some different slants,
As in, “Let’s take from Spain the Philippines,”
Becomes “They blew The Maine to smithereens.”  
 
“Attack” connotes “defend,” as when we say
Pre-emptive strikes in countries far away
Are just our wisdom telling us to do
Before the dominoes do us unto.
 
 
Part II. How to Show Your Patriotism
 
“Patriotism”: that word we hold most dear
Because it lets us keep our conscience clear
By making anything we do or say
Excused for making safe our USA.
 
If vicious Saudis burn and raze Twin Towers
Then we must certainly defend what’s ours,
But Saudis must not be hurt by any plan:
They’ve oil —We’ll bomb instead  Afghanistan.
 
And keep you eye on George; he’ll show you how
To milk with zest that 9/11 cow,
The one that put him into deepest clover,
That’ll make him Prez till Hell ‘s frozen over.  
 
And don’t forget to vote without complaining,
Although you poor folks needn’t if it’s raining.
Just vote for either party —that’s okay:
You’ll find there’s no real difference anyway.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Part III.  How to be Popular in the Land of the Free
 
We like a guy who tells a joke or two
And doesn’t find a dirty one taboo.
And loudness we admire; be sure you speak up
When pointing out some buxom girl’s D cup.
 
Don’t create friction over sex or race
Unless some broad or black forgets their place.
A gun at home will stymie federal snooping,
Or stop them commies if they start re-grouping.
 
We place no faith in rules or laws; they’re only made
So they can then be disobeyed.
Not driving ninety-five because of old age
Might get you shot by one who suffers road rage.  
 
But never fear, you’re usually safe with us;
It’s just that we are sometimes mischievous.
Just try to stay off streets when it gets dark,
And never go into a public park.
 
 
Part IV. How to Be a Good Parent
 
Yes, motherhood we always find divine;
Be sure your babies number eight or nine.
And don’t be worried how you might support ‘em;
The crucial thing is that you didn’t abort ‘em.
 
Our schools are something everyone supports,
Especially lunch rooms, study halls and sports.
But don’t let kids near guys who act artistic —
Chances are they’re gay or communistic.
 
 
Part V. Showing Your Piety
 
Be sure you worship God; He likes us best,
And if he could, he’d wipe out all the rest;
And help our Billy Graham; he can use
Assistance in controlling all them Jews.

Published with permission of "Hazmat,"2003

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