Friday, December 19, 2008

Hickey - The Iceman Cometh to Governor Blagojevich

In a Blue Running Suit and Blue and White Head band protecting thick, lustrous black hair, the iconic Governor of Illinois winds up his sprint south from Ravenswood; having reached south west Beverly/Morgan Park - the Ultima Thule of Chicago. Gov. Rod Blagojevich cools down his sprint to a manly walk and silkily sides off his route to approach a middle-aged,but ruggedly handsome, resident of the neighborhood, busily chipping away at the ice packed sidewalks of his neighbors. It is 4:45 AM on December 19th. Chicago, having been visited with an ice storm in prelude to a dumping of an expected 12" of snow.

The middle aged, but ruggedly handsome, Morgan Park resident pauses in mid thrust at the plate-glass ice ( two inches thick) and makes the sign of the cross for his quiet and personal Morning Prayers. The wiry muscled man intones with a dignified baritone:

Hickey: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by
the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God
the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church,
the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Rod-- Hey, you a voter? ( The middleaged, but ruggedly handsome man, is not startled - but aware of the jogging Governor and nods recognition with a quiet dignity found everywhere in the 19th Ward) Sure you are. Know me? Let's put aside the politics and trust the people. Let's embrace the unique opportunity we all have; take the heat and make the hard and difficult decisions, knowing that we're doing it to make things better for the people of Illinois.

Hickey - -Now, Governor! Up to your old tricks, eh? I see what you're driving at, but I can't let you get away with--

Rod--"Hang loose."

HICKEY-- You're beginning to worry me, Governor. Something's holding you up somewhere. I don't see why--You've faced the truth about yourself. You've done what you had to do to kill your nagging pipe dreams. Oh, I know it knocks you cold. But only for a minute. Then you see it was the only possible way to peace. And you feel happy. Like I did. That's what worries me about you, Governor. It's time you began to feel happy--

Rod--"I want to make money,what are you drunk, or sober?"

HICKEY--Oh, hell, Governor! You don't think I'd come around here peddling some brand of temperance bunk, do you? You know me better than that! Just because I'm through with the stuff don't mean I'm going Prohibition. Hell, I'm not that ungrateful! It's given me too many good times. I feel exactly the same as I always did. If anyone wants to get drunk, if that's the only way they can be happy, and feel at peace with themselves, why the hell shouldn't they? They have my full and entire sympathy. I know all about that game from soup to nuts. I'm the guy that wrote the book. The only reason I've quit is--Well, I finally had the guts to face myself and throw overboard the damned lying pipe dream that'd been making me miserable, and do what I had to do for the happiness of all concerned--and then all at once I found I was at peace with myself and I didn't need booze any more. That's all there was to it.

Rod--"I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I’m saying. And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself."

HICKEY--Well, well! The Old Grandstand Foolosopher speaks! You think you're the big exception, eh? Life doesn't mean a damn to you any more, does it? You're retired from the circus. You're just waiting impatiently for the end--the good old Long Sleep!

Rod--“I don’t think there’s any cloud that hangs over me. I think there’s nothing but sunshine hanging over me.”

( A ComEd truck idling within hearing distance of the exchange between ruggedly handsome middle aged, devout, sober and modestly honest Iceman Hickey and the joggingly dangeruese Governor of Illinois - ComED Linesman Gino Ford leans from his ice crusted cab and shouts --)

FORD -- That's the stuff, Hickey. Show the old faker up! He's got no right to sneak out of everything.

Rod--A well I bless my soul
What's wrong with me?
I'm itching like a man on a fuzzy tree
My friends say I'm actin' WIRED* as a bug
I'm in love
I'm all shook up
Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!
My hands are shaky and my knees are weak
I can't seem to stand on my own two feet
Who do you thank when you have such luck?
I'm in love
I'm all shook up
Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!

Please don't ask me what's on my mind
I'm a little mixed up, but I'm feelin' fine
When I'm near that girl that I love best
My heart beats so it scares me to death!

She touched my hand what a chill I got
Her LIPS* are like a volcano that's hot
I'm proud to say she's my buttercup
I'm in love
I'm all shook up
Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!

My tongue gets tied when I try to speak
My insides shake like a leaf on a tree
There's only one cure for this BODY* of mine
That's to have the girl that I love so fine!

HICKEY--you're getting me all wrong. Hell, you ought to know me better. I've always been the best-natured slob in the world. Of course, I have pity. But now I've seen the light, it isn't my old kind of pity--the kind yours is. It isn't the kind that lets itself off easy by encouraging some poor guy to go on kidding himself with a lie--the kind that leaves the poor slob worse off because it makes him feel guiltier than ever--the kind that makes his lying hopes nag at him and reproach him until he's a rotten skunk in his own eyes. I know all about that kind of pity. I've had a bellyful of it in my time, and it's all wrong! (with a salesman's persuasiveness) No, sir. The kind of pity I feel now is after final results that will really save the poor guy, and make him contented with what he is, and quit battling himself, and find peace for the rest of his life. Oh, I know how you resent the way I have to show you up to yourself. I don't blame you. I know from my own experience it's bitter medicine, facing yourself in the mirror with the old false whiskers off. But you forget that, once you're cured. You'll be grateful to me when all at once you find you're able to admit, without feeling ashamed, that all the grandstand foolosopher bunk and the waiting for the Big Sleep stuff is a pipe dream.

Rod-- I'm Off!Big boss man
Can you hear me when I call
Big boss man
Can you hear me when I call
Oh, you ain‘t so big
You‘re just tall, that‘s all

You got me working, boss man
Working 'round the clock
I want me a drink of water
You won't let me stop
You big boss man
Can you hear me when I call?
Oh, you ain't so big
You just tall, that's all

Gonna get myself a boss man
One gonna treat me right
Work me hard in the day time
But I'll sure rest easy at night
Big boss man
Can you hear me when I call?
Oh, you ain‘t so big
You just tall, that‘s all

GINO FORD--'What's his story,Hickey?'

HICKEY--He's nothing to me except I'm glad he's here because he'll help me make you wake up to yourself. I don't even like the guy, or the feeling there's anything between us. But you'll find I'm right just the same, when you get to the final showdown with him.

GINO Ford-- Strange Interlude, Dude!

( The middle aged, ruggedly handsome Ice Man continues his Morning Devotions and the corded sinews of his powerful forearms continue to do battle with the thick plates of ice covering the walk ways of his neighbors)


* Had the Governor been a fan of Cook County Commissioner, Impression and natural 'Iceman' Jerry Butler ( Only the Strong Survive!) he might have had a less interesting December. Click my Post Title for the Real Iceman!!!!!!!!! Eugene O'
Neill nothwithstanding: Hickey passages from Gutenberg edition of O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh

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