April 1, 2016
By Arnold Serapilio
Sweet November 8 came and went. The choice was between status quo or chaos or the unknown; you never saw so many furrowed brows in the streets. The good news was voter turnout and outrage reached record-breaking levels! When the dust settled, the inspirational poster Hang in there, baby!—which, through its depiction of a cat hanging from a tree branch at an implied great height, became a definitive icon of post-war stick-to-itiveness, right up there with Strom Thurmond’s 1957 filibuster—assumed the most prestigious role in the whole wide world after corporate lobbying. The losing candidates have run off to join the circus, meanwhile. "We got the idea as we were getting all jazzed up during the primaries."
Hang in there, baby!’s successful eleventh hour presidential bid upset not only the four front runners but also their respective constituencies, which is a cute little euphemism. Voters were turned on by the popular poster’s singular blend of honesty, tact, confidence, poise, perspicacity, humility, and morality—which combination no other contender possessed. The establishment is still trying to get its knickers untwisted.
“He tells it like it is,” said certified public accountant Chet Chutney of Blue Ash, Ohio, whose blood type is the rare AB-, and who wishes to “remain anonymous,” whatever that means. “He doesn’t talk any of this political gobbledygook. These politicians, it’s always, ‘If I’m elected, I will put a stop to pork chop spending,’ or ‘Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’ But not good old Hang in there, baby!. He keeps it simple and consistent. ‘Hang in there, baby!’, he says. You’ve got to get behind such an uplifting message.”
Of course, Hang in there, baby!’s campaign would not have resonated so deeply had he not picked the perfect running mate. For his vice president he chose a handsome, sturdy piece of quartzite who, like the president, had no direct experience in government before this dignified appointment. "I knew I needed somebody solid, and I like a rock that's open to change," says Hang in there, baby!. Americans are strongly encouraged to project onto the rock their own jingoistic memories of a nation several lifetimes removed from even the oldest voter. This way he can be everything to everybody. And he's good for weighing things down, if nothing else. During a protracted inauguration— Hang in there, baby! spoke almost as long as William Henry Harrison—the esteemed vice president held the underdog chief in place, lest he disappear into uncertain tomorrow upon the howling winds of change.
Those too young or non-existent to remember Hang in there, baby!’s time as president will turn to their parents, whose eyes will go misty as they recall when the election results were first announced. “I was in the bedroom folding laundry,” recalls Angelina Flatcountry, a district attorney in Pahrump, Nevada. “I remember it oh so vividly. My little Johnny baby was in stitches lying on the carpet in the den reading the DSM-IV, and that no-good husband of mine had just run off with some lousy tart. Or was it a crisp?”
Never one to waste time (his exploits as a rake are well-documented, just ask your local leaf pile), Hang in there, baby! has already begun taking meetings with his closest advisors to discuss policy, even though he’s only four days into the job and most presidents spend that time figuring out how to adequately fluff the presidential pillows. Not everyone sees him as a tireless public servant, though. “That lousy Hold on, babe is a lying, unsavory creep,” says Bobby Grossbalm of Dimple, Texas. “He doesn’t speak for you or me any more than the rest of ‘em did. He just wants to have the most powerful job in the world so he can take care of his buddies, you know, the pamphlets and the leaflets. Meanwhile us little guys doing honest work get short shrift once again.” Grossbalm then finished his chocolate malted, clicked his heels, and excused himself so he could get back to obfuscating the truth in exchange for seven figures a year and frequent all-expenses-paid trips to exotic locales.
Hang in there, baby!'s current engagement in politics can be traced back to his years poring over history texts as a member of the Boston Athenæum. "I'm a proprietor," he begins. And, something of a legend there. "He loved the fifth floor, that was his favorite spot," says Emma Emma of Butternuts, New York. "He always sat in the back, and to the left. You knew he was around by the stray pieces of scotch tape you'd see littered about from when he'd unstick himself from the back of the chair to go use the bathroom or pull a book from Reference or whatever. And you could count on one hand the number of times he wasn't sitting in the back, and to the left. Come to think of it, you could count it on no hands, because that number of times was zero." Emma Emma made a big zero formation with both hands to emphasize her point. "Oh, I guess you could even count it on two hands, depending on how you look at it." Hang in there, baby! is the author of a new day, which he conceived in response to his wildly popular previous work—the cross-eyed chase of the pursuit of happiness.
Does Hang in there, baby! have what it takes to change America for the better? Real change is slow and excruciating, and in the moment it can be difficult to tell what's good for us, and what's bad. History and hindsight will bear this out. Question is, how much longer can we all hang on, and what exactly are we hanging onto?