Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tom DeLay

Viennese Waltz
The opening notes of Strauss fill the auditorium. Famed professional dancer Cheryl Burke makes a spectacular entrance in a Marie Antoinette ball gown, flipping her ruffles to reveal provocative pantaloons. From across the stage former Majority Leader Tom DeLay emerges from the bowels of a V-2 rocket. He appears dashing in an SS-Obergruppenführer uniform complete with a bejeweled Totenkopf emblem atop his peaked hat. The pair initially executes a series of perfunctory fleckerls, but then DeLay blows a whistle and 200 former aides appear clad as Unterscharführers to “upset the recount.” Judges Bruno, Carrie Ann, and Len try patiently to explain that, as yet, there has not been a “count,” and they warn that the goosestep is not conducive to the waltz’s canter pivots. DeLay then invites Burke to join him in an impromptu Bavarian “chicken dance,” however, Burke is hiding in the V-2 rocket, along with the show’s ethnic minorities.

The unmistakable 3/4 rhythm of the Cuban bolero begins with DeLay alone on the stage. “The Hammer” insists that Burke be suspended for one dance for straying from dance party lines. When the judges warn DeLay that he’ll no doubt be penalized for his solo bolero, they are shackled and carted off by seven U.S. Treasury Department agents for transgressing Cuban embargo laws related to the dance. DeLay’s ensuing contra-move, followed by an inexplicable demi-plié adds confusion and a sense of panic to an already dizzying dans-de-force.

Dancin' Feet

With the backdrop made to look like an ornate shtetl, a group of Aryan youths circle around a Christmas tree. DeLay instructs the orchestra to “put a cork in it,” then presents a scintillating PowerPoint in which he explains how essential it is that—at least for now—the U.S. partner up with Israel’s Jews. He argues that premillennial dispensationalism “sounds way too important to ignore.” The ex-congressman from Texas further asserts that eventually Jews will either have to convert to Christianity or “git dealt with” sometime around Armageddon, which is “coming soon, like maybe even next year or the year after that.” DeLay finishes with a flourish, executing a spirited Temani as Burke is taken in for questioning. DeLay then informs the audience that “sometimes terrorists can look like partial Filipinos.” The judges award DeLay and Burke three 10s, in the name of Jesus Christ, who DeLay assures us is in his head, riding just behind his Pons on an ivory-white pony.

Thrilled beyond measure that this sexy Brazilian dance has aroused in him “genital commotion,” a sweaty and awkward DeLay gingerly adjusts his thong leotard causing the embroidered blue silk globe attached in the groin region to rotate like a disco ball. An inspired costume designer has cross-stitched “Ordem e Progreso” around the equator, and the crowd reads the message aloud as the little world turns. It’s a daring ensemble, but what does this unconventional though sensual paean to S. & M. portend? DeLay demands to be flayed by two priests after replacing Cheryl Burke with Louis Van Amstel , the equally sweaty, yet decidedly less awkward expert in movement dynamics and seven-time Dutch National Amateur Dance Champion. In an especially provocative backlead by the former House Whip, the two tumble provocatively off the stage. Embarrassed now, they get up hurriedly and run to the dressing room glissade en arrière. Though the Texas cowboy is an audience favorite, the judges look less than favorably on this unique performance and award him no points. Incensed, DeLay announces plans to impeach, grousing, “That ol’ dog just won’t hunt,” while furiously pounding into a BlackBerry.

Some call it gerrymandering, some call it redistricting, but everybody is familiar with Jive, the dirty little sister of the Jitterbug. As DeLay (uninhibited now by his discredited partner), executes the challenging weight changes of the chassées, he pauses dramatically, announcing strategic seating changes. “Mexicans and Latinos—unless they’re the same thang—need to move up a few levels into the cheapie seats. Orientals can stay put, I s’pose. Let’s move the Caucasians to the front, Negros to the back and also anyone who went to Vassar, go to the back.” The new judges are impressed at how successfully DeLay manipulates the audience—really gets them into his dance and its implications. Members of the audience march dutifully in 4/4 time, to their newly designated sections, the old blues rhythm plays on and on.

Described as an “up-and-coming humorist” by Esquire, Tyler Stoddard Smith’s works have been featured in: The McSweeney’s Joke Book of Book Jokes, The Best American Fantasy, Esquire, Meridian, Pindeldyboz, The Big Jewel, 42Opus, Identity Theory, Yankee Pot Roast, Word Riot, Ghoti, Barrelhouse, Monkeybicycle, Johnny America and McSweeney’s, among others. He is also a regular contributor at The Nervous Breakdown and edits a political satire Web site, In addition, he serves as an associate editor The Big Jewel. Visit his Web site at

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