By Bill Steigerwald
“Junior saves the day”
U.S. CAPITOL BUILDING
Senator Boxer had to bang her gavel 15 times before she could stop the riotous laughter and regain order in the hearing room.
“Have that disrespectful boy in the baseball cap removed from this room at once,” she barked to the security guards. Grandpa turned around and saw two guards escorting Junior and Mother out the door.
“Stop!” he roared, standing to his full 10 feet and silencing the room. “I have something I want to tell everyone.”
“No you do not, Mr. Bear,” Senator Boxer shouted rabidly, banging her gavel and rapping her palm sharply on the top of her microphone. “Sit down, sir, or you’ll be removed as well!”
Grandpa stared long and hard at Senator Boxer’s face. He knew now he must do something he hoped he’d never have to do to a human being. But if he wanted to deliver his polar bear manifesto, it was now or never.
Grandpa walked over to Senator Boxer’s desk and looked directly into her angry bulging eyes. Then he bared his fearsome front teeth, raised one of his massive clawed paws and … slowly took off his eyeglasses.
“Oh, my Lord, you’re a real …!” Senator Boxer squealed before fainting dead away.
The other senators, except snoozing Senator Specter and cheering Senator Inhofe, gawked in horror at Grandpa. Grandpa put his eyeglasses in his coat pocket and turned to the spectators.
“Bear!!!!” a man screamed. “Run for your lives!”
“Don’t be afraid!” Grandpa shouted.
“A talking bear!!!!” screamed a woman in a $30 Greenpeace save-the-polar-bear sweatshirt. “Run for your lives!!!
“Please, listen,” Grandpa pleaded as a dozen TV cameras zoomed in on his face.
No one heard a word Grandpa said. Two hundred people were yelling and crying and knocking over chairs as they tried to escape.
Senator Franken threw a glass of ice water in Senator Boxer’s face. “What should I do?” he cried, “call the zoo?”
“Call 911, you idiot,” sputtered Senator Boxer, crawling under her desk, “before that horrible beast eats us all.”
In the confusion, as live TV cameras sent the sights and sounds of a talking polar bear to every corner of the world, Junior climbed up to Senator Boxer’s desktop, picked up her microphone and rapped it as hard as he could with his paw.
Peh-thunk, peh-thunk, peh-thunk. Peh-thunk, peh-thunk, peh-thunk.
Then he took off his baseball cap – and his eyeglasses — and began softly singing his favorite song. It was the song Junior always heard when he and Grandpa watched the Chicago Cubs games on TV.
O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
The hearing room became totally silent. Senator Boxer warily crept out from under her desk to see what was going on. Senator Specter’s eyes fluttered open and closed and, half asleep, he quietly sang along to himself.
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
When Junior stopped singing, he put his eyeglasses back on and returned to his mother’s side. Everyone stared in disbelief, not quite sure what they had just seen and heard or even if it had been real. The Senate hearing room was so still everyone could hear the sirens of 25 emergency vehicles racing to the scene.