Note The following are, quite possibly, true events based on a ridiculous parody. Or?
The copious vomit of Abe Lincoln drip, dripped down from the theater box. Behind him, John Wilkes Booth was still trying to pull the trigger on a brace of bananas some unthinking poltergeist had replaced his pistols with.
Mary Todd bounded out of her chair, and, being exceedingly flatulent, broke explosive, ectoplasmic wind, as the people seated to the left and right of the Lincolns strained to hear the dialogue coming from the stage.
“Oh, I do wish that the President would halt that infernal racket, and Mrs. Lincoln, too. For, I have long waited to see Our American Cousin!” whispered the wife, but, loudly enough that Booth could hear them over the gagging, flatulating, and squish of his banana gun.
“Drat” cried the erstwhile assassin, and, flinging the overripe fruit aside, yelled “Sic Semper Tyrannus!” waving his fist in the air, and bounding from the theater box to the vomit-streaked stage.
Audience members, not alerted to the full tragedy that was occurring just above, exclaimed “What did that poor man yell? Did anyone catch it”
And one man said, “Sounded like ‘Sick pimple moronis.’ I suppose I could be mistake, though.”
And his wife said, “No, no, he quite clearly said ‘Distemper tie shamus.’ I heard it distinctly. Whatever THAT means!”
And one old codger, missing teeth and chewing a wad of tobacco exclaimed “Ha! You’re both wrong! What that varlit said was ‘Enter sick into my anus.’ Anus! Anus, I tells ya! That man said the word ANUS…”
And most thought the old codger was quite mad, after hearing this ejaculation.
Booth bounded to the stage. The legend of course being that he broke his ankle in the jump. However, as historians in the know know, this is patently WRONG. he actually slipped in Lincoln’s vomit, which was how he twisted the ankle, and why he limped away, into the night.
In another part of town Herold was leading another assassin, whose name the author has temporarily misplaced, to the home of Secretary of State Seward, who was healing up after trying to masticate a coconut whole.
(Which, according to the infernal logic of politicians, made perfect sense, as the coconut, being a symbol of Carribean living, was undoubtedly and indubitably there to be conquered by the noble Euro-American pie hole.)
He was laid in a contraption worthy of the Marquis De Sade, a nightmare of metal pins and leather straps, but he could manage to ask for “thinner,” and “foffee,” and, occasionally, a “Ffficar to moak!”
The men rode up to the door, Herold doing the bravest act he could muster at the time and disappearing without a trace into the night. The erstwhile assassin, Mr. Lewis Paine, rode up to the door, but was dismayed when the butler told him he couldn’t take his beloved horse inside.
Mr. Paine quietly went up the stairs, encountering only Seward Junior as he went.
“May I help you, sir?” was the curt inquiry.
Mr. Paine decided that telling the son he was here to kill his father would be rather bad form, so instead he confessed, “Oh, I’m here selling magazine subscriptions. I need to see your dad. I heard he’s an enthusiastic fly-fisherman.”
The son frowned, grimaced, rolled his eyes, clucked his tongue, puffed out his cheeks, scratched his chin, walked about in a circle, (well, really, we think you get the point about his personal tics and idiosyncratic behaviors), and said “No! No! No! I’ll have you know that papa hasn’t been fly fishing, skeet shooting, hot air ballooning, hang-gliding, or auto racing in, oh, a great many years!”
And Mr. Paine thought this peculiar. Scratching HIS chin, he said, as if in self-reflection, “Auto racing? Auto racing? What the hell does THAT mean? Outta my way, man!”
And, suddenly losing patience, he pushed past Seward Junior, bounded up the stairs, and went down to the end of the hall, where a young girl, presumably the daughter, was bent low, whispering into a keyhole.
“Papa, oh papa, what big teeth you have!”
And the muffled answer from within came:
“Feebedde do fee you wiff, by dear!”
“Papa, oh papa, what big eyes, you have!”
And the reply:
“Feebedda do daste you viff, by dear!”
“Papa, oh papa, what big ears you have–”
Mr. Paine, wondering what sort of madhouse he had stumbled into, pushed the girl aside and said, “Girl! Stand aside! I am here to kill Secretary of State Seward and strike a blow for the late, great Confederate State!
Hah! Yass ‘um! Yass ‘um! The South will rise again, missy! Now, just try and stop me!”
And, since she did nothing to try and stop him, he spat, cursed, and kicked the door open.
He was surprised when Seward himself came out, his head wrapped in bandages, and pins and screws sticking out of his face.
“Gan I elp ooo?” he mumbled.
At this, Paine reached for his gun, and was surprised when he pulled out, instead, a large kielbasa.
He paused before commenting, “Some idgit has gone and replaced my sidearm with a sausage!” But, knowing he had to make the best of things, he took the sausage and began to furiously whip Secretary of State Seward around the head and shoulders, shouting “En guarde! Take that, and that! And some of that! And some more of that!”
And Mr. Seward threw up his arms, and began to cry “Elp! Elp! Murfer! Murfer! Ohmycod, elp!”
Before falling to the floor, bot even mildly injured.
Mr. Paine beat a hasty retreat, thinkin’, “I’ll hook up with John Wilkes Booth to make my escape. It’s the safest bet.”
As for Mr. Axerodt, who was to slay Vice President Johnson, he sort of hemmed and hawed, walked around town, looked at his watch, stopped for a bite, felt his bowels grow increasingly watery at the prospect of all the trouble he was going to get into for being a presidential assassin, and got a case of the dribbling runs quite unlike anything he had ever experienced before.
And, of course, when you need to find a public restroom, one hadn’t even been invented yet.
“It all seemed like fun and games when we was planning it out of course. I remember Mrs. Surratt poking her head into out secret meetings, saying things like ‘What are you boys doing in there? You boys aren’t planning any bold historical or revolutionary acts, are you?’
“And I’d always pipe up and say, ‘Well. we sure aren’t planning on assassinating Abraham Lincoln, if that’s what you mean!’ But, of course, that’s what we were doin’!”
And, because he realized he was merely talking to himself, he suddenly shut up.
“Well, you all can take all the glory for yourselves, see. And all the grief, too. Yeah, that means you Mr. Booth, Mr. Surratt, Mr. Paine, Mr. Herold! I’m out of here!”
And, still chattering to no one in particular but himself, he climbed up on his horse and, indeed, was “out of there “.
Of course, they were all captured and hung. Mrs. Surratt, too; and she was the nation’s first female executed by federal authority. It was a historical footnote I’m very sure she would happily have done without being the subject of.
The resulting photo is intensely creepy, Mrs. Surratt being hung in her long black dress, with her legs ties together and a sack over her head. If we pull back from the scene of the conspirators getting ready to take a short dance at the end of a long rope, we might see a young man, this author, holding a copy of Bloodletters and Badmen, sitting on the porch of a friend’s house. The house was on an old Indiana road in the country, and although it had all the most modern attributes and conveniences, was quite old; and supposedly haunted, to boot.
Across a gravel drive was an abandoned cemetery, with folks buried there from before the Civil War. But all of this was twenty years ago.