Will Durst Will Durst, 10/15/2006 [Archive]

The Boogeyman

The Boogeyman

Raging Moderate, by Will Durst

'If you don't watch out, the Boogeyman is going to get you.'

When we were young, every one of us suffered a grandparent or a creepy weird uncle or a fat, pimply faced cousin who planted similar irrational fears in us. A psycho adult who got his jollies off by gleefully magnifying the shapeless dread of monsters lurking in the dark to susceptible children. Monsters who waited to gobble us up and skulked everywhere. Under the bed, in the back of the closet and pretty much the whole of the entire basement, especially behind the furnace. And still, that creepy weird uncle continues to frighten us with tales of the Boogeyman. And that psycho adult's name is George Walker Bush.

For the last five years he has run his administration on the frightening fuel of the fear of monsters. 'If we don't watch out, the Boogeyman is going to get us.' And who is the Boogeyman to the president? Anybody different than him. Saddam Hussein was a Boogeyman. That president of Iran whose name he can't pronounce is a Boogeyman. Scientists are the Oogie Boogeymen. And the Democrats are the Boogiest of all men. In a full term-and-a-half, the president's major accomplishment has been to plant amorphous nightmares in our national subconscious and to fertilize them with nightly doses of BS.

Due to its cross-cultural prevalence in almost every country on the planet, scientists theorize the concept of the Boogeyman has been handed down from our stoop-backed, hairy-foreheaded ancestors who used such scare tactics to encourage their subanthropoidal tots to hang around the relative protection of the cave, semi-safe in the warmth of the tribe from the siren call of possible predators. And no, I'm not talking about Fox News and their obsession with Hillary Clinton, but if the monosyllabic snarls fit, grunt 'em.

This, however, is the 21st Century. We're supposed to be smarter now. Yes, terrorism exists. But in Great Britain and Israel and a lot of other civilized countries, they reconcile themselves to that fact and manage to expend their energies trying to solve it like a criminal activity and not obsess about it full time, curled in a fetal position shivering like a shaved poodle on an ice rink, fearful of the unknown. Of course, I am talking about countries where the term 'intelligence agency' is not an oxymoron. Where staffs are manned by actual professionals, and not the buddies of ex-girlfriends' roommates' cousins.

America is tired of hiding from the Boogeyman. We're tired of being grounded for asking questions about him. 'Why? Because I said so.' That's not a good enough answer anymore. We're tired of being kept in a dark so complete not even the flickering glow of the truth can pierce it. Maybe, finally, this is the election where we climb out from under the covers, open the closet door and look under the bed and sweep a broom handle behind the back of the furnace. And start snapping the suspenders and poking the chests of the creepy old men scaring us with exaggerated tales about the Boogeyman. Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of some Republicans.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio show host, Will Durst, always imagined green- gilled, goat-breathed, mutant ogres poised to munch the bones of children. Then he shook hands with Tom DeLay and reformed his mental image.

Catch Durst in stand-up mode Oct. 24 though the 29th at the Improvisation in Washington, DC. 202-296-6988. Email durst@willdurst.com.

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