my name is Thomas. I’m just an ordinary guy, but this morning something
extraordinary happened to me. It all began with a knock at my door. When I
answered the door I found a well-groomed, nicely dressed couple.
man spoke first: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary." "Hi!”
Mary said, We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."
Shocked, I said, “Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank,
and why would I want to kiss his ass?" “Well,” John said,
"If you kiss Hank's ass, he'll give you a million dollars; and if you
don't, he'll kick the shit out of you."
I exclaimed, “Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?" John
began to get excited. "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist! Hank
built this town! Hank owns this town! He can do what ever wants, and what he
wants is to give you a million dollars, but he can't until you kiss his
doesn't make any sense.” I said, “Why...?" Mary said, sweetly,
"Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you WANT a million dollars?
Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?" "Well maybe, if it's
legit, but..." "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us!" John
just seemed too weird to be true. "Do you kiss Hank's ass
often?" I asked. "Oh yes,” Mary assured Me, “all the
time..." "And has he given you a million dollars?" I asked.
"Well no,” John said, condesendingly, “you don't actually get the money
until you leave town." "So why don't you just leave town
now?" I asked.
following conversation ensued:
"You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money,
and he kicks the shit out of you."
"Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the
"My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and
I'm sure she got the money."
"Haven't you talked to her since then?"
"Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."
"So what makes you think he'll actually give you the money if you've
never talked to anyone who got the money?"
"Well, he gives you a little bit before you leave. Maybe you'll get a
raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty dollar
bill on the street."
"What's that got to do with Hank?"
"Hank has certain 'connections."
"I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."
"But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And
remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass he'll kick the shit of you."
"Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to him, get the details straight
"No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."
"Then how do you kiss his ass?"
"Sometimes we just blow him a kiss, and think of his ass. Other times
we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."
"A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing
Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."
"And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank,
that Hank wanted you to kiss his ass, and that Hank would reward you?"
"Oh no! Karl's got a letter Hank sent him years ago explaining the
whole thing. Here's a copy; see for your self."
handed me a photocopy of a handwritten Memo on "From the desk of Karl"
letterhead. There were eleven items listed:
From the desk of: KARL
Kiss Hank's ass and he'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
Use alcohol in moderation.
Kick the shit out of people who aren't like you.
Hank dictated this list himself.
The moon is made of green cheese.
Everything Hank says is right.
Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
Kiss Hank's ass or he'll kick the shit out of you.
"This would appear to be written on Karl's Letterhead."
"Hank didn't have any paper."
"I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's
"Of course, Hank dictated it."
"I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"
"Not now, but years ago he would talk to some people."
"I thought you said he was a philanthropist. What sort of
philanthropist kicks the shit out of people just because they're
"It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."
"How do you figure that?"
"Item 7 says 'Everything Hanks says is right.' That's good enough for
"Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."
"No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item
2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says
Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are
right, so the rest must be true too."
"But 9 says 'Don't Drink,' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6
says “The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."
"There's no contradiction between 9 and 2; 9 just clarifies 2.
As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for
"Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of
"But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from outer
of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."
"I'm not really an expert, but I think the theory that the Moon came
from the Earth has been discounted. Besides, not knowing where the rock came
from doesn't make it cheese."
"Aha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know
Hank is always right!"
"Of course we do, Item 5 says so."
"You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list
is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the
list says so. That's circular logic. That's no different than saying, 'Hank's
right because he says he's right.'"
"Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around
to Hank's way of thinking!"
"But... oh, never mind. What's the deal with wieners?"
blushes. John says: "Wieners, in buns - no condiments. It's Hank's
way. Anything else is wrong."
"What if I don't have a bun?
"No bun, no wiener. A wiener without a bun is wrong."
"No relish? No Mustard?"
looks positively stricken. John shouts: "There's no need for such
language! Condiments of any kind are wrong!"
"So a big pile of sauerkraut with some wieners chopped up in it would
be out of the question?"
sticks her fingers in her ears: "I am not listening to this. La la la la la
la la la."
"That's disgusting. Only some sort of evil deviant would eat
"It's good! I eat it all the time."
faints and John catches her: "Well, if I'd known you where one of those, I
wouldn't have wasted my time. When Hank kicks the shit out of you, I'll be there
counting my money and laughing. I'll kiss Hank's ass for you, you bunless cut-wienered
this, John dragged Mary to their waiting car, and sped off.