"Na joh," säd etj, "dann kohm etj junt aulatoop mol wada enn Washington beseatje." See haude mie too vestohne jejäwt, daut see sijch doa nijch meea von mie aufschnutze lohte wudde, wiels see loohde mie egol enn, enn etj leet nuscht nijch von mie heare. Auls see mie dann noch oppem Phoon klipp enn kloa too vestohne gauwe: "Joh, wie weete, daut du daut auls Mennist seea drock hast, oba wie welle uck mol wada waut von die habe,"dann packt etj mien Schemedauntje, talld miene Dolasch, enn waut dann wieda pessead, woat disse Jeschijcht junt vetalle, nijch etj.
Enn soo begauf sijch daut dann, daut etj mol wada enne Medd wea, kratjcht soo auls sijch daut fe de Thiessess von onse Oat jeheat. Wie habe ons aul emma een bät tusijch enn Washington jefeehlt, wann etj mol bie de Woahrheit bliewe doaf. Daut easchte waut etj deed, wea mienen tjlienen Vada, den Gordon Thiesse, dee easchta Jeldtalla enn Ottawa, weete lohte, daut hee derjch mie goot veträde wea. Hee bedankt sijch, enn meend soo bieaun, bäta auls etj kunn hee daut uck nijch doohne. Etj säd doatoo schlijcht `Aumen!'
Enn nu jintjch daut enn Washington bosijch väarewajch. Wiels dee Staut eene seea jefährlijche ess, woa see eenem em Derjchschnett twee bett dreemol den Dach mett dem Scheetiesa enne Rebbe poakere, enn uck bereibere, kratjcht eendoohnt auls eenem sowaut scheen jeit ooda nijch, enn etj mien Rewolwa Tus jelohte haud, soo auls sijch daut fe eenen Wäahloosen jeziemt, musst etj mie nu mol wada opp mien fetjset Pedaumtje velohte. Eene Bonsch Schwoatasch kaume je dann uck aul vonne Sied enn von hinje opp mie too, soo auls se daut doohne, wann se eenem wijchtjen enn ritjen Onkel den Jeldbiedel aufladre welle. Aulso schoof etj daut Tjriedtje aum Oppschlag von mienem Aunzug mie nohda nohm Mul enn räd iewrijch enn een Transmitter nenn, dem'et oba nijch gauf. Enn mien bastet Rusch säd etj: "Rachulle enn Reibasch send mie hiea em Stijch; saul etj wachte bett jie aula too Help kohme, ooda saul etj miene Sabackasch aulatoop looslohte enn uck dartijch Soldohte hinjeraun, ooda saul etj eenfach uttniepe?" Dann muak etj daut Mul wiet ohp soo aus eena daut deit, wann eena seea horjcht enn gauf lud too Auntwuat: "Karoscho, duzhe dobre!" Enn dann vetrock sijch daut gaunze Pack, heeflijch, enn aufpracherisch enn äahre Jedohnte. Joh, see kaume mie sogoa een bät veleaje väa, enn vleijcht sogoa friewellijch, enn wann etj nijch enn Jrienthol, aulso Tus, soohne goode Maneare jeleaht haud, wea etj de Veseatjung unjaläje, dit Pack selwst omm eene milde Gow too bedde.
Aulso jintjch etj tridj emm Hotel nenn, enn trock mie grootsindagsch aun enn bestald eene Taxi, dee miene deemootje Wijchtijchtjeit noh de National Foundation of Women in the Arts feahre mucht. Auls Bill Clinton, donn noch President, enn etj hauntreade, wisst etj fuats, waut fe eena hee wea. Doatoo haud etj aul jenuag Mol em Speajel jetjitjcht. Fe soohne Sache bruckt Onsaeena tjeene Oprahs ooda niemoodsche Experts.
Daut Bankett wea sogoa bäta aus een Schwiensbrode em chortietschen Tjoatjetjalla Tus em Darp. Enn uck bilja. Disse Mensche wisste waut see deede, enn soo haude se General Colin Powell enn mie aum selwjen Desch jesat. Auls etj mie väastald, enn hee den Nohme Thiesse head, fruag hee auls etj a) Mennist wea enn b) auls etj Dietsch kunn enn c) auls etj een Wäaloosa wea. Etj säd: "Jawohl, Herr Generol, etj sie Mennist, etj kaun Dietsch, enn joh, etj sie meist gaunz wäaloos, bett opp miene rajchte Fust," dee etj ahm weess. Wie haude ons jefunge, enn wann jie vestendlijchawies weete welle, woaräwe wie ons de haulwe Nacht vetalde, dann mott jie aul bie mie too Tjoatj kohme, wiels daut ess de rajchtschuldje Städ groote Jeheemnisse enn aundre wijchtje Dinja vonne latzte Tiede too openboare.
Oba nu well wie vonne Kaunzel raufkrupe enn tridj ennem Auldach gohne. Nohdem Powell enn etj ons seea läwendijch bett haulf veea vetald haude, enn doabie sogoa een Glauss ooda Twee Schnaups drunke, doamett wie nijch ennschleepe, gauf etj ahm lieseltjess too vestohne, daut wann wie aum näjchsten Dach den aulabasten Endruck opp Hillary moake wulle, dann sull wie vleijcht doch langsom schlope gohne. Enn kratjcht soo auls etj daut aul lang jewant sie, wann eena bediedende Mensche een bät tratjcht halpt, nehme see den Roht stell oba dankboa aun.
Oba well'we nu mol den näajchsten Dach aunschniede, joh?
Dee groota Golfspäla, enn uck Professa, enn een Maun von eenem grooten Weete, enn bieaun uck noch Steinbacha, Al Reima, fruag mie eenmol, woo mie daut soo leijcht foll mett Mensche von Welt too vetjeare, während ahm daut schwoa foll. Etj säd, etj wudd ahm daut bie Jeläajenheit vetalle, enn daut woa etj nu doohne, wiels etj miene groote Gow nijch lenja fe mie auleen behoole well enn uck nijch kaun. "Een groote enn seldne Gow, hast Du," säd Reima, enn doa haft'a rajcht.
Daut ess aulatoop sea eenfach, enn etj kaun nuscht doafäa: Aule Babies tweschen tien Minute bett fief Minute ver Klock tien zemorjess aum 14 Auprel jebuare send de Uasprung vom väl jebruckten enn noch meea messbruckten Terminus CHARISMA...joh soo send wie, enn wie tjenne nuscht dofäa.
Na joh, oba nu sad etj loos, Charisma enn aules. Enn wann eena von dem Charisma een bät toolat, woare Mensch enn Hunj enn sesstje Tiere daut oppe Städ enn, enn dee Wirtjung ess platzlijch enn jewaultijch. Eena haft daut dann nijch leijcht, oba soo ess'ett. Aulso bleef de Äwarauschung dann uck nijch ut, auls etj dem stohtschen Sohl betraut, enn een Polizist enn siene dree Hunj mie utsochte enn väanauhme. "Waut ess aun die soo aundasch?"fruag hee, auls hee siene Scheetiesasch mie omme Tjnäp schliesre leeht, enn de Hunj sijch fe miene Socke enn Lempe besondasch intresseade. "Waut ess aun mie aundasch? Easchtens see etj een plautdietscha Mennist, tweedens sie etj mau een bescheidna Kenädja, dreddens hab etj toom Freestitj sass Zoll wille Schwiensworscht oppjejäte, enn dee schmatjcht soo goot, daut etj een gaunzet Kulla fe jun President mettjebrocht hab. Jana, doa mett de kugelsejchre Wast, vestatjcht dee hinja sienem Ridje. Na joh, enn daut aundre, waut aun mie aundasch ess: etj droag vondoag mol wada gaunz reine Socke." Enn dann leete se mie endlijch toch, enn daut word uck Tiet, wiels een jiedra en dem Sohl jaumad daut äwa mie, enn tjitjchte mie soo mettliedijch aun, kratjcht soo auls Tus, wann etj enne Tjoatj biem schlope mol too lud schnoatje dooh.
Na, enn nu wea etj aune Reaj, Hillary Clinton de Haund too reatje. Etj veneajd mie, enn läd mie doabie meist doppelt, enn bedankt mie, enn dann deed etj daut, waut mienem Swaut Al Reima emma soo enn siene Jedanke vemuzha. Etj stund soo een bestje mett Wind, doamett Hillary uck een bätje von mienem Duchie mettjriee wudd. Auls daut soo lieseltjess bie ahr aunkaum, enn see sijch fein heeflijch bedankt, daut etj endlijch mol wada oppjeduckt wea, säd etj: "Ess daut wertjlijch soo, Easchte Lady, daut See sijch eascht entschloohte hiea opptooträde, auls Ahn jesajcht word, daut etj vondoag hiea senne wudd?"
Vestendeljawies veschluckt see sijch een bestje, kratjcht soo aus aule Mensche daut doohne, wann eena ahn oppe Schlitjche tjemmt, enn dann säd see soo frindlijch auls eene freschjebackte Brut: "Mien leewa Tjeadel, well'we hiea mol den Teajel een bät lockra lohte, enn enn Glauss Champagner opp miene Räatjnung drintje, joh?" "Joh." Auls wie mett de Jläsa aunstade, fuscheld etj ahr too: "Dee lange Reis haft sijch mol wada jeloohnt, nijch?" See plintjad aus 'ne Popp, enn säd blooss: "Oba joh!". Een jiedra em Sohl wea soo mustjess stell enn seea äwarauscht, buta Hillary enn etj. Daut musst soo kohme, oba blooss wie twee wisste enn vestunde daut.
Mensche woohne nijch blooss weete oba uck vestohne, woare mie daut mett Leijchtijchtjeit jleewe, daut Hillary daut Läwe doa platzlijch ennoolent wea, daut äahre Tjnees nu Kolledetz weare, enn etj blooss haud froage brucke, enn see wea mettjekohme. Oba etj docht mie, na, na Jung, mau een bät langsomma, wiels de Willie, de lestja Scherniesel, dem wudd etj daut tootrue, daut hee een Unjaseeboot enne Hudson's Bay nennschetje, enn mie sondasorj de Wintametz vom Kopp scheete wudd, wann etj onschuldijch oppem Mesthupe hinjrem Staul stohne wudd. Butadem well etj mie uck wiedahans mette Nohbasch goot stohne, enn daut nijch too Scheetariee kohme lohte.
Enn tweedens, soo docht etj mie, haft mien oola Massey Combein mau een seea tjlienen Cockpit, enn Hillary steiht doch wertjlijch eene mackelje Sett biem drasche too, nijch?
I finally consented to go to Washington because Hillary and some other old friends over there let me know, in unmistakable language, that "this is the absolutely last time we are inviting you. Of course we know full well that you are a very busy Mennonite but even here in the capital we are not to be snubbed by you yet again."
So I examined the corners of my pockets in every pair of my pants to determine whether my meager Canadian dollars would suffice, and then I took off. As to what else I packed into my luggage, the story will reveal in time, not I.
And so it came to pass that I shortly found myself in the centre of things, just like it befits all the Thiessens of my acquaintance and stature. We have always felt a bit at home in Washington, if the truth be known. The first thing I did was to inform my little cousin, Gordon Thiessen, in Ottawa (treasurer of the Bank of Canada) what I was up to so that he would have peace of mind; I informed him that, in my humble opinion, Canada was well represented by his relative. Gordon e. mailed me promptly to thank me and let me know that he could now attend to lesser items of business with due serenity, a load now being lifted off his back.
Now matters were allowed to take their due course. Since Washington is a very dangerous city where you get mugged or robbed twice a day on average, whether you like it or not, or become the victim of pickpockets, and I had left my barreled branding irons behind as it befits a non-resisting Mennonite, I had to rely, as always, on my nimble mind to execute an impromptu jig of survival when I spied a gang of Afro-Americans sauntering my way casually from the front and both sides; this is the way they do things when they want to relieve important and wealthy gentlemen of my ilk of their greenbacks. I casually pushed the boutonniere on my coat lapel up to my mouth, slowed down my brisk pace, and spoke into a non-existent transmitter as follows in my best Russian, "There are ruffians and rascals in my way; shall I wait for reinforcements, or release a few canines and a legion or two of crack storm troopers or shall I turn on my after burner and take off?" Then I listened intently, open-mouthed, into my lapel, nodded and answered, "Dobre, duzhe dobre!' (Well, very well). That pack of ruffians quietly dispersed, almost politely and certainly apologetically. They almost appeared in a gratuitous mood themselves and had it not been for my excellent manners, Made in Grünthal, I would have been tempted to ask them for a bit of spare change myself.
I repaired to the hotel and donned my Sunday best, ordered a taxi and had him deliver important goods in modest human form to the National Foundation of Women in the Arts. When Bill Clinton, the president, and I shook hands, I winked at him with a knowing, half-brother in the human arts and crafts eye, and when he responded, I immediately knew what manner of Willie he was. I needed no Kenneth Starr or a Linda Tripper or a million or more of pocket disposables to investigate anything. My only thought was, "There but for the grace of..."
The banquet, shortly in progress, was, a step on a stair, higher, because General Colin Powell had been assigned to my table by fate or competent hands, and when he heard my name Thiessen, he asked if I were a Mennonite and if I spoke German. I answered both questions in the affirmative and seconded the emotion with an audible "Yes, sir!" Then the good general smiled and asked if I were a conscientious objector, still in German. I replied, "Jawohl, Herr General, with the exception of my right fist" which I promptly proceeded to show him. We talked half the night away in German, and if you are - understandably - dying to know form and content of our conversations then you had better attend my church and give me your ear during the preliminaries and introduction which is the proper setting for such revelations and other important issues relating to the End Times.
But now let's dismount from the pulpit and head back to the everydayness of life. After much animated discussion, lasting till the wee hours and primed by some Scottish Highland libation, I discreetly informed the General that if we intended to make our very best impression on Hillary, we might do well to practice a bit of restraint. And as can be easily imagined, he was much obliged for my gentle counsel. As always, when dealing with functionaries of a higher order, they will invariably listen to well intentioned, prudent advice. (The good general failed to inform me that Hillary had not invited him; even worse, I do not believe it much troubled him).
But lets get on with the reception of the next day.
The great golf player, and writer, and a professor during his idle hours, Al Reimer, once asked me why and how I had such an easy time in associating with venerables and why he found it so excruciatingly difficult, try as he might, which he did. I promised that I would let him know, all in my own good time, but I never really got around to it but now I can no longer contain the pressure of superiority. "A great and rare gift, you have," said Reimer, and he's got that one right. Because:
All babies of the masculine gender born on April 14 between 10 to 10 a. m. and 5 to 10 a. m. are prone to a swelling of the gills every leap year at exactly 12:00 midnight for two minutes. It is then that they release two to three droplets which can be stroked, gently, into a minuscule receptacle. This essence is the original CHARISMA. I had packed this little vial, the size of a hummingbird's head, for the occasion and now I applied a touch of it on the rim of my beard.
Then I set off. Just a hint of a whiff of this charisma perfume is perceived by men and beast alike and the effect is immediate and obvious. And so it comes as no surprise that the police who had occupied the stately hall first thing that forenoon, singled me out. "What is different about you?" asked one of the FBI policeman, he the one with four barreled branding irons and three canines, which gave my pant legs more than due attention. "Firstly," I said, "I am a Low German speaking Mennonite, secondly I am but a modest Canadian, thirdly I had a goodly chunk of wild-boar salami for breakfast (and this sausage is so good that I brought a whole ring of it along for your president, upon order, and your colleague over there has it hidden in his bullet proof vest because also your canines are interested in wild boar, even in casings), and fourthly I am wearing brand new socks for the occasion." Then they laid off and just as well because everyone in that hall gave me a pitying look just as they do at home when I snore a little too loudly while sleeping in church.
Well, then it was my turn to step up and shake Hillary Clinton, the First Lady's, hand. I bowed deeply, well practiced, and expressed my gratitude and then I did that what so much mystified Al Reimer for the greater part of his, Made in Steinbach, life. I stood gently up wind so that Hillary would catch a whiff of charisma perfume in her delicate little nostrils and when she thanked me for coming, I said, "Is it really true, Madame First Lady, that you decided to appear only after you were informed that I would be in attendance?"
She, meaning the First Lady, swallowed a little harder than intended, like all people do when found out, as she suggested with slightly more than appropriate delight, "My dear gentleman, I believe it is time to dispense with formalities for a bit and make for the bar and have a glass of champagne at my invitation." "It was worth the long trip," I whispered when we clinked glasses. Everyone present was speechless with surprise except the two of us. It was bound to happen and we two knew it.
Those in the know will believe me when I say with effortless modesty that Hillary was more than slightly amenable to accompanying me back home. However, I decided to give the matter a reflective interlude because, the way I sized Willie up, I would not put it past him to order a submarine into the Hudson's Bay and shoot off my winter cap while I was minding my business on the manure pile behind the barn. Secondly, I delayed any eventual happiness and eagerness on her part since I allowed fore-thought and prudence to prevail, knowing full well that my combine back home is of the kind that has only one seat in the cockpit. And a lady of Hillary's stature deserves more commodious accommodation than that, surely.