“What If?” (I Was Attorney General, for a Moment…)

By on July 26th, 2019

So, I was walking along my neighbor’s yard and his Schnauzer was barking. “Dammit,” I said, “this oughta be illegal. Oh, look, there’s a bottle!” I kicked it, it spun, spouted smoke, and out came a man!  

“Greetings, effendi,” he said and bowed.  “I’m the genie of the lamp, and you got three wishes.”  

“Okay,” I said. “I want to be the Supreme Law!” 

He bowed, clapped his hands, and POOF! I was sitting behind a big desk, in a big office, below a big, fancy seal that said “Attorney General, State of Michigan.”

“Hot damn!” I said. “Now I’M the law.” To my right stood the genie, in a suit.  “It’s time for Justice, not Just-is.” I thought, sitting back. “Let’s enter into Consent Judgments. Who needs lawmakers? I’m the Attorney Generalist, and that means I AM the law!”  

“As you will, boss!” said the Genie.  

“Prosecute those Flint people.  I said.  “Fiends in human shape for their role in…” 

“The Flint Water Crisis?” He asked.

“No,” I said. “For bringing us Grand Funk Railroad.”

To which he responded, “Next, boss?”

“I know! Green Energy!” I exclaimed.  “The Constitution gives me the power to mandate energy sources!”   

“The Constitution says that?” asked the Genie.  

“I’m the Attorney Generalissimo: the Constitution sez what I sez it sez,” I answered.

There was a knock on the door. Two guys walked in. “I’m from Detroit Edison, he’s from Consumers Power.” They both tipped their hats and sat down.  

“That was quick,” I said.  

“We are noted for our alacrity,” he replied. “Your Lord High Attorney Generalship: You are mandating all power be from green sources? We will forthwith sign a Consent Judgment agreeing to same: We propose to paint all our coal-fired plants Kelley Green, including the smokestacks. Will this suffice?”

“Hmm…. Well, green is good.” I said.  “We got a deal. Don’t forget to paint the pipelines!” 

“That was quick and decisive, boss!” said the genie.

The phone rang, I answered. It was a reporter. “Sure,” I told him, “we’re prosecuting the Irish: Drunken bums…crooked politicians…the Lucky Charms Leprechaun. Irish cops policing themselves! If an investigator comes to your door, ask to see their badge and not their rosary.” 

I hung up. The genie shook his head. “That can sound like religious bigotry. You wouldn’t say ‘see their Korans or their yarmulkes.’” He said.  

“What?” I snorted. “My Great Aunt Lillian was Irish and she was always waving around a rosary.” 

I pushed a button, and in came two Assistant Prosecutors. “It’s time for some Attorney Generalistic leadership,” I declared.  “I’m tired of the University of Michigan sometimes beating Michigan State. From now on we’re shutting down ‘The Big House’. If a meteor ever hit Earth and landed on the stadium it would pose a catastrophic danger to the state’s economy and natural resources.”

“What if they’re playing Ohio State?” They asked.

“Unrealistic,” I said. “The Devil looks after his own. And here’s another Attorney Generalism: We need Regional Equity. Mandate the state’s East Side change half their French names to Dutch, and the West Side vice versa, and ban the Schnauzer while we’re at it. And find somebody to sue us so we can settle with them.”

I leaned back. “Been Attorney Generalissimo for eleven minutes, now. What else can I reform?” I wondered aloud.  The genie looked out the window. 

“Uh oh. There’s a crowd of people carrying torches heading this way,” he said. “Some in Maize & Blue, some have signs in French and Dutch, others look like curse words in Gaelic; there’s the entire Supreme Court and a couple hundred snarling Schnauzers.”

“Yikes!” I said “I think I’d like to stop being The Law.” 

The genie nodded and POOF! I was back in my yard. 

“Whew! That was close.” I said. “How about a beer?”

He nodded and we clinked bottles. “Don’t forget, you got one more wish.”

“Vacation on Mackinac Island…,” I said.  

POOF!  I was sitting on a rocking chair on a porch overlooking a beautiful Island with water in the distance. Then, people came running up. 

“We got language riots in Lansing, the University of Michigan is marching on the Capitol, Schnauzer owners have a class action suit, and everyone’s playing Grand Funk Railroad.” They shouted.

“Why bug ME?” I asked. 

The people looked at each other. Then one spoke: “Because you’re the Governor.”

Chuck Moss

Chuck Moss serves on the Board of the Regional Transportation Authority. He was elected to represent the 40th District in the Michigan House and was appointed Chairman of the all-important Appropriations Committee, responsible for the entire state budget. Prior to politics, Chuck was political columnist for the DETROIT NEWS, and has hosted talk shows for radio and television.

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Only one thing prevents this column from being some kinda wonderful.


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