Since when did a jack-in-the-boxbecome a national toy?
I find no joy in a jack-in-the-box,when a little jester springs at any
given time, we don’t know when.We just know it will. We keep
cranking until that mind-numbing,tinny music stops, and that little
corpse-white face with red paintedlips, beady black eyes and harlequin
hat, stained and sticky from pudgyfingers, springs from the lid. All the
kids jumped a little, laughed a lot,rolled on the floor, clutched their
stomachs and vied for the crankto yield the same surprise over and
over again. Not me. I sat there,frozen in fear, swallowing tears, knowing
if I cried or left, they’d laugh more. Thejack-in-the-box -- not funny then, even
less funny now that the box is theWhite House and the jester looms big in
his fine-tailored suit, big clown-red hair,plastered pursed lips, popping up in headlines
at home and abroad with rude remarks, broken laws,nonsensical orders that won’t be approved, making
friends of foes and foes of friends, naming and blamingwithout advice, laughing and bullying, banning and handing out
orders like popcorn at a horror show. Some folks chuckle, some howl,and some don’t care. They think the jack-in-the-box is just a silly old toy.
Not to me. The jack-in-the-box is still not funny or fun, the tinny soundthe toy made then still echoes whenever the jester appears.
Where do I go, where do I hide, when the jester is President, thenation his toybox, recess is endless, and everyone’s laughing but me?
-- Shelly Blankman