Your RDA of Irony

An Innocent Abroad

London:  Today Mitt and Ann Romney met with Queen Elizabeth.  Mr. Romney warned Her Majesty, “Now, don’t you burn the White House when I am President.”  Adding to the hilarity of the moment, he then playfully punched the Queen in the stomach.  Mrs. Romney expressed her satisfaction with Buckingham Palace and told the Queen to get out.  “It’s our turn now.”  Following a minute or two of Mr. Romney’s nervous laughter, the Queen playfully hit him in the face and said  “Next time, bring the horse instead.”

Tel Aviv:  In a precautionary press release, the Romney campaign stated that “we acknowledge major differences between Obamacare and the Final Solution, so please disregard any comparisons that might be made.”  

Greeting the hundreds of Adelson employees flown in to applaud him, Mr. Romney exclaimed “It is great to be with people who appreciate money.  I have been told that our horse Ralfaca sounds like it has a Hebrew name.  Who knows?  Maybe it really wants to pull a junk wagon.”

The Romney campaign had no comment but agreed to pay for the stained glass Chagall windows that Mrs. Romney had taken from the Knesset. 

Warsaw:  In a preemptive press release, the Romney campaign denied that the candidate would ever use the word “Pollack or ask  how many it took to screw in a light bulb.”  However, any diplomatic gaffes were avoided when the Warsaw Airport, claiming to be Kiev, diverted the Romney plane with flight directions to Paris. 

A stunned Romney said, “But I admire the Polish people.  They have the same religion as my lawn service.”  Ann chided her husband, “I told you we should have landscaped our estates with Hermes scarves.”


  1. Tony H says:

    Very funny. Wonderful to see Mitt’s gaffe-strewn yesterday, pure pleasure. Here in the UK we seem to have had an instant aversion to him. Offensive remarks about our organisational competence we’re used to, homophobic bullies we can live with at a pinch, predatory capitalists likewise, maybe we could even agree to rub along with a man who’s utterly charmless, but someone who’s cruel to animals – never!

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      I first saw Willard Mitt Romney at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 “Middle of Nowhere” Winter Olympics, and I thought “Who is this irritating man?” He was quite annoying, a charmless man who insisted on trying to be charming.

      I am looking forward to the Olympics Opening Ceremony. How will you compete with the Chinese production? Just sing “Jerusalem” and let the games begin. Don’t be surprised if the American delegation is missing. Like all Yank tourists, they probably will be at a performance of “The Mousetrap”.


  2. Cindy Starks says:

    You and Tony and too funny with your back and forth. Good to get the Brit perspective. Do you think Eugene, you’re a little over the top with your Jewish references? After all, not everything is about you! Some of it is about me! 🙂 Carry on… Cindy

    • Eugene Finerman says:


      I did not plan Mitt’s itinerary. However, for you, we will imagine his trip to Italy…

      “I could save the Italian economy by eliminating all this waste. How many cheeses and noodles do you really need? Macaroni and Velveeta should be enough. Oh, and Ann would like to buy the Sistine Chapel. But first you will have to upgrade the plumbing.”


  3. Tony H says:

    Well, you were right about Jerusalem, Eugene. I thought the first sequence was absolutely stunning, but now I’m just thinking how many more countries can there be beginning with “N”, or whatever, and then there’s always more than you think. Frankly, I think they’re making up some of them – Kiribati? Where’s Sir Paul McCartney? We’re not allowed to have a national event without him.

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      The broadcast will begin here in an hour. Since this is an evocation of all that is British, I imagine that Daniel Radcliffe will impersonate Shakespeare.

      “And did those feet in ancient times, walk upon England’s mountains green?
      But looking like Ed Miliband, doesn’t that make the thought obscene?”

  4. Cindy Starks says:

    Now you’re talkin’! So where is Daniel Radcliffe anyway? And Colin Firth, my Mr. Darcy, now that I think of it? Oh, don’t get me started, I’ll throw in the whole cast of Downton Abbey, except for that “Merican, Elizabeth McGovern! 🙂

    • Tony H says:

      Well, Cindy, we pretty much threw everything we have at it – including JK Rowling, but sadly not Daniel Radcliffe. SPOILER ALERT: Sir Paul did appear (though I fear it might be for the last time). There were several tear-jerking moments, not least the appearance of Muhammed Ali, for me one of the greatest sportsmen of all time. What people outside the UK will make of it I don’t know: Kenneth Branagh playing the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel reciting lines from Shakespeare’s Tempest might be a tricky concept for many, but splendidly mad, as was the whole event. (And, Eugene, more respect for Ed please, we have great hopes of the lad).

  5. Michele says:

    I love this, Eugene. Garrison Keillor once said that George W. Bush’s mouth is where the English language goes to die, but Mittens is giving Dubya a real run for his money.

  6. Tony H says:

    Michele, someone on the radio said that Mitt came to the UK on a charm offensive and half succeeded: he wasn’t charming but he was certainly offensive.

  7. Mary Pattock says:

    Am enjoying this conversation! On a serious note, I deeply appreciated the celebration of our rich English language — a theme that ran through the evening, and that touches the hearts of the members of this group. Think what it means for peoples of the world — led by Sir Paul and (let us assume for the sake of my point) every one of them knowing all the words — to sing with one voice, “Take a sad song and make it better.”

    Eugene, would you consider writing a riff on how the U.S. would, as a host of the Olympic Games, celebrate our, ahem, national health-care system?

    • Eugene Finerman says:


      According to the Fox News perspective, the National Healthcare System caused the children’s nightmares. Lord Voldemort apparently is also a British pediatrician.

  8. Eugene Finerman says:

    I must applaud the opening ceremonies. In less than a day, Danny Boyle was able to adapt Mitt Romney’s economic policies for the first sequence. For the third sequence, the tribute to British literature and healthcare, I might have chosen D.H. Lawrence instead of J.M. Barrie. The bed choreography would have much more interesting.

    You will be relieved to know that none of the American commentators referred to Kenneth Branaugh as the King of Brunei. However, none of them identified him as Isambard Kingdom Brunel. One columnist–a New York Times columnist and Harvard graduate–ventured that Branaugh was portraying a Dickensian character. Well, perhaps the great Victorian engineer was, just not a fictional one.

  9. Eugene Finerman says:

    Since I am familiar with such British institutions as Isambard Brunel and the hymn “Jerusalem”, some of you might wonder the secret of my omniscience.

    Of course, I am an idiot savant. However, contrary to rumor, I am not the love child of Kim Philby and the Duchess of Windsor. No, I owe my knowledge to watching PBS–back when it had something to watch.

    I was introduced to Mr. Brunel by Lord Kenneth Clark on his delightful and edifying guide to “Civilization.” Even forty years later, I am still quoting him.

    As for “Jerusalem”, I first heard it in a Monty Python skit about buying a mattress. If I recall, a shifty salesman could always distract a customer’s question by singing “Jerusalem.” Apparently, everyone had to sing along.

    And did those feet in ancient times…”

  10. Eugene Finerman says:

    Other marvels of the Olympics opening ceremony: I was impressed that the Scottish children choir actually knew a song that was not about a love of whiskey or a hatred of England.

    • Tony H says:

      Eugene, I also have fond memories of Civilization – brilliant TV. Kenneth Clark had a son Alan who was a junior minister in Thatcher’s government. He was a terrible snob but an entertaining diarist. Well worth reading if you come across them.

      Jerusalem is a wonderful hymn – words by Blake. I love the way it begins with “And” – our teachers always used to tell us we couldn’t begin a sentence with a conjunction. What did they know?

      There’s quite a nice review of the Opening Ceremony in the Guardian by Ai Wei Wei.

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