Your RDA of Irony

The Red Badge of Kirkage

My congressman–and aspiring senator–is Mark Kirk.  He represents Illinois’ bland and somewhat smug North Shore suburbs, where our teen drug dealers are just earning the tuition and course credits to become anestheologists.  Here the Republicans are Tories; they will concede that Darwin was right if unfortunately tactless.  (A vice president of the Rotary Club does not want to be reminded of his Australopithecine relatives  in Africa.) This is a bellweather district with a sizable number of Jewish voters.  (I did mention the future anestheologists.)  The pragmatic Mr. Kirk has proved very ecumenical, and gives the impression that he co-sponsored the Torah or at least the Balfour Declaration.

And heretofore Mr. Kirk has also been very fortunate.  The Democratic candidate for the Senate seems to be a 14-year-old you wouldn’t trust with a paper route.  As long as Kirk didn’t swing regressively right and try mating with Sarah Palin, I was thinking of voting for him.  But never underestimate a politician’s vanity.  Kirk decided to inflate his military record.  He actually had one, a reservist in a naval intelligence unit.  The man had to serve in Italy during the Kossovo conflict.  Don’t dismiss his peril; Vesuvius could have erupted.  And his unit received a commendation for its paperwork.  However, Congressman Kirk decided that he alone deserved that award, and claimed it in speeches and in his biography.  Aside from monopolizing the award, he embellished it–anointing himself “Intelligence Officer of the Year.”

What a pity that the Navy’s records did not quite concur with Kirk’s.  The Congressman could denounce the Navy as just a bunch of New York liberals–and he may yet; so far, he says that there was a clerical mistake.  His website stated that he had won “the Intelligence Officer of the Year.”  Apparently, Kirk read it and, since the Internet is renowned for its accuracy, he assumed that it was true and began mentioning his award.   Believe it or not, he is still sticking by that story.  He won’t be getting an Intelligence award this year; but that has never been a criterion for the U.S. Senate.

  1. Michael Gury says:

    Dear Mr. Finerman, I personally served in the revolutionary skirmishes in Danbury, the Civil War in what-the hell-was it called? (wounded-purple heart), the Spanish American war (Bully), The Great War in Belgium, WWII in Italy, Korea, then Viet Nam, and I have just wrapped up a tour of duty in Iraq. With considerable military experience under my belt, I am ready for the U.S. Senate myself. I was never a part of the Intelligence community, party because I couldn’t find it. We’ve got a guy here in CT, Richard Blumenthal, who claims to have done service in ‘Nam but that’s a lot of bunk. Now, he’s running for Senate, but he doesn’t have the military chops that I have. Campaign contributions and bribes will be most appreciated.

    • Eugene Finerman says:


      Yes, my military record may also have a clerical error or two. The correct form should read, “In previous lives, Eugene was Hannibal’s elephant veterinarian, morale officer at Masada, captured Paris in 1871 and personally washed out the mouth of Gustav Flaubert.”


  1. There are no trackbacks for this post yet.

Leave a Reply