Live From D.C.!
Real comedies don't come any better than the one I recently saw on C-Span, the TV channel that covers the US Congress. A hearing was in progress involving a lone, worried congressman* questioning a US admiral who evidently is evaluating the merits of transferring 8,000 United States Marines from their base on the Japanese island of Okinawa, to Guam, the mid-Pacific island that became American territory as a spoil of our World War II victory.
The congressman showed great concern about the size of Guam: "How long is the island?" The admiral conferred with an aide and then replied: "About 24 miles." "But how wide is it?" inquired the congressman. Another brief check with the Admiral's aide preceded the answer: "Oh, roughly eight miles."
These questions revealed the congressman's worries about locating another 8,000 Marines on this rather narrow island and prompted him to inquire whether the additional weight of 8,000 Marines might cause the island to tip over sort of like an unevenly overloaded boat. The admiral, unfailingly polite: "No sir, we are not worried about that." With that the hearing ended; the US lawmaker was visibly relieved that the Marines are not likely to get a mid-Pacific dunking if and when they relocate to Guam.
Equally Relieved and Cordially,
Emil B. Rechsteiner
*Name and party affiliation must have been announced before I had tuned in; but the man's home state was mentioned in the conversation: Texas.