All of a sudden, the sleek little creature with short legs and shifty eyes was sitting next to my chair, nudging my leg with its shiny and surprisingly sharp snout. Somehow, the cunning little animal, which proved upon closer examination to be a weasel (class Mammalia, family Mustelidae, genus Mustela), had sneaked into the office and was now insisting upon an interview.
Deep End: How can I help you?
Weasel: Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Wally Weasel, and I’ve just been elected President of the Weasel Anti-Defamation League. My fellow weasels are fed up with the bad press we’ve been receiving, and it’s all because of your former missionary companion, Mit Romney. Frankly, we’ve put up with the totally unmerited opprobrium for far too long, and we’re no longer content to lie low and hold our tongues.
D.E.: Why because of Mit?
Weasel: You know damned well why. Everyone is always saying Romney is a weasel, up to the point where, just the other day, he called an emergency press conference to announce that he was not a weasel. Those were his exact words: “I am not a weasel.” It reminded me of Richard Nixon—Romney’s a lot like him, by the way, except he’s a better-looking guy—saying he was not a crook, and, of course, everyone knew he really was a crook.
D.E.: Well, you ought to be happy that Mit made it perfectly clear that he wasn’t a weasel.
Weasel: Here’s the problem. We’ve been working for years to fight the unfair stereotype of us weasels—you know, dishonest, sneaky, not to be trusted, evasive and so on—and now along comes Romney, fulfilling all those stereotypes. So naturally, people are going to trot out the old weasel comparison. Every time Romney flip-flops on every position he has ever taken, or ties himself in knots trying to rationalize why his Romneycare in Massachusetts is somehow different from Obamacare, or why he wasn’t really in charge of Bain Capital when he really was, everyone jumps up and screams, “Weasel! Romney is a weasel!” Your old missionary companion is giving us weasels a bad name.
D.E.: I wish you would stop referring to him as my old missionary companion.
Weasel: Tell you what. You put out the word that your old missionary companion is not a real weasel, just a stereotypical weasel, and we won’t remind everyone that you guys were missionary companions.
D.E.: OK, but first tell me what a real weasel is like. And cut me some slack, you’re the first real weasel I’ve met.
Weasel: Everything that Romney is, we’re not. OK, maybe there’s one similarity—we have short legs, and Romney has short legs, that’s why he takes such tiny steps. We are very intelligent mammals, and we don’t mind if you call us clever. And look how adroit we are, sucking the contents out of an egg without breaking the shell, whereas your missionary—oops, I almost said your old missionary companion—whereas candidate Romney is very heavy-handed, always breaking the egg he tries to suck.
D.E.: I just noticed another similarity between you and Mit: Both of you have a very sleek coiffure, and both of you are very well-groomed.
Weasel: I suppose I can take that as a compliment. Let me add another characteristic that is very un-weasel-like. We weasels are predators, and in the great chain of being, that is our birthright. But we treat animals we are at peace with with kindness, unlike the so-called “weasely” Romney, who famously stuck Seamus, the family dog, on top of his family station wagon for a 12-hour ride to the family summer residence in Canada. We weasels would never treat a friendly fellow creature in such a callous manner.
D.E.: I bet Romney would like to tie you to the top of his car. Anyway, what is your proposal to resurrect the good name of you and your fellow weasels?
Weasel: Here’s what I suggest: Since Romney is universally regarded as a weasel, let’s just substitute the word “Romney” for “weasel.” Instead of saying he’s trying to “weasel out” of something, let’s call a Romney a romney and say, “There you go again, trying to romney out of something.” I predict that a day will come when wishy-washy dishonest flip-floppers will be known as “romneys” instead of “weasels.”
D.E.: Thanks, Wally. You’re not a romney. You are a stand-up weasel.
D.P. Sorensen writes a satire column for City Weekly.