Monday, October 1, 2007

Watergate Conspiracy: Have a Good Laugh!

Conspiracies can be dangerous for those who are in any way connected to it and history has shown that they can result in awesome consequences for nations and even the world on the whole.

I am not talking about the half-baked, crack-pot Jewish conspiracy garbage. A detailed study and investigation of that conspiracy will yield endless questions and unsubstantiated allegations.

Some of the memorable conspiracies which were not groundless allegations were the French Dreyfuss frame-up, the German Stromberg failed Hitler assassination attempt, the Jim Jones' group killings, 1869 Gould and Fisk's Black Friday and highly possibly Malaysia's May 13 incident based on the May 13 book.

The Watergate conspiracy was a tragic blot in a great nation's history and it resulted in much pain and suffering for those who were involved in it. Ultimately, a brilliant president, President Richard Nixon fell from power, resigning from the Oval Office rather than to face highly likely impeachment by an increasingly furious congress (It was, after all, the time when the world discovered that democracy was alive and well in America, and no one could undermine its Constitution) . He was later pardoned by his successor, Vice-President Gerald Ford.

Nevertheless, there were plenty of jokes about it and some of the wittiest and hilarious satirical works were produced in that traumatic period. Art Buchwald was one of the funny fellows around to write about Watergate.

Here's more rib-tickling stuff from the late satirist Art Buchwald's book,
I Am Not a Crook.


Everyone has a favorite fantasy after watching the Watergate hearings. I got mine when I watched Tony Ulasewicz** testify how he left manila envelopes filled with $100 bills in phone booths and airport lockers to pay off defendants and lawyers involved in the trial.

My fantasy is that I have to call my wife, so I walk into the lobby of a lawyer's building and head for a public phone booth. I dial my number and get a busy signal. I hang up, wondering how long she'll be on the phone. Then I notice a plain brown envelope taped to the side of the phone. I tear it open and find inside a wad of $100 bills.

I immediately call my wife again. "Remember I told you this morning we couldn't buy any steak for a month? Well, that statement is inoperative. Go out and get six of the most beautiful sirloins you can find." I look in the envelope again. "And you can buy some lettuce, too."

"But we can't afford it," she protests. "I just bought a dozen eggs."

"Don't argue," I say. "We're going to eat steak for a whole week."

I hang up, shove the envelope in my inside coat pocket and nonchalantly leave the booth.

A burly man with a part in the middle of his black, greasy hair comes up to me. "What are you doing with that manila envelope?"

"What business is it of yours?"

"It's my envelope."

"It doesn't have your name on it."

"If you don't give it to me, I'll break your knees with a baseball bat."

Just then a man comes out of the elevator and goes to the phone booth. He searches it and comes out looking puzzled. Then he comes over to the burly man and says, "I thought you told me the legal fee would be in the phone booth."

"It was in the booth," the burly man says, "but this joker took it out, and he won't give it to me."

"There's a law against stealing someone's fee," the lawyer says.

"Show me where there is anything in this manila envelope to indicate this is a lawyer's fee," I reply.

Well, for one thing," the lawyer says nervously, "I always get paid in hundred dollar bills."

"In a phone booth?"

"Our accountant is on vacation." He blushes.

The burly man says, "I better call Mr. Novak." He goes into the booth.

"Who's Mr. Novak?" I ask the lawyer.

"That's the code name for Mr. Kalmbach, the President's lawyer."

The burly man speaks into the phone. "Mr. Novak, this is Mr. Rivers....No, I didn't pay the lawyer because some guy picked up the lettuce in the phone booth before the lawyer got there....The guy won't give it back.... Should we turn him over to the plumbers?.... Well, you better talk to him because I'm going to break his arm.... Hey, Mac, Mr. Novak wants to speak to you."

I take the phone.

"What's your name?" Novak asks.

"Gemstone Sedan Chair II," I reply.

"I understand you found twenty-five thousand dollars in cash in a phone booth."

"That's correct," I reply. "And as a lawyer you should know whatever someone finds in a phone booth belongs to him."

"It does not," he says. "It belongs to the phone company."

"Okay, I'll give the twenty-five thousand to the phone company."

"No, don't do that," Mr. Novak says. "All right, let us for the moment assume the money is yours. Would you be willing to donate it to a defense fund for the poor families and starving lawyers who are trying to help the misguided individuals who broke into the Democratic headquarters early in the morning on June 17?"


"Give me Mr. Rivers again."

Rivers takes the phone. "I gotcha, Mr. Novak.... Let the guy keep the twenty-five thousand and leave another twenty-five thousand in the phone booth for the lawyer.... I'm sorry, Mr. Novak, for the botch-up.... Yes, I agree with you.... There just aren't any honest people in the world anymore."

** Here's what Google says about Tony:

Anthony (Tony) Ulasewicz was one of Nixon's private investigators.

"Ulasewicz achieved fame of a sort during the Watergate scandal, after a virtual lifetime of public service as a cop. Writing with freelancer McKeever, he here fills us in on his background.

Ulasewicz spent time as a beat patrolman in Harlem, then, promoted to detective, worked for
almost 20 years for the New York Police Department's Bureau of Special Services and Investigations. BOSSI's job was to investigate subversion, to infiltrate radical groups and to guard world leaders when they visited Manhattan, especially in connection with U.N.
sessions. Among his cases were the disappearance of an anti-Trujillo Dominican leader, the rise of neo-Nazi George Lincoln Rockwell and a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty. With Nixon's election to the presidency in 1968, he became a private investigator for the chief
executive, who, he notes, did not trust the CIA, FBI and other intelligence-gathering apparatuses."

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