Young Rudy Giuliani Defends Himself

From the New York Times, written by the hilarious Teddy Wayne:

1951. Seven-year-old Rudy Giuliani is caught by his mother with his hand in the cookie jar and crumbs around his mouth.

MRS. GIULIANI: Rudy, I told you not to eat the cookies!

RUDY: You said, “Don’t not eat the cookies.”

MRS. GIULIANI: I didn’t say that.

RUDY: You just admitted “I didn’t not say that.”

MRS. GIULIANI: You’re adding “not” to sentences to make them mean the opposite.

RUDY: (laughs boisterously) I’ve listened to hundreds of maternal statements, and it wasn’t until the third time I replayed what you said in my mind, because there’s no way to easily record conversations in the current year — 1951 — that I heard the “not.” And even if your original statement is what you didn’t not say it wasn’t not, could you actually prove that I ate multiple cookies?

MRS. GIULIANI: No, but that’s beside the —

RUDY: Being told “don’t eat the cookies” and eating a single cookie isn’t a federal crime, correct?

MRS. GIULIANI: We’re moving the goal posts from “I didn’t eat the cookies” to “I ate a single cookie, which isn’t a federal crime”?

RUDY: Who tipped you off to the alleged cookie theft?

MRS. GIULIANI: Your cousin.

RUDY: Cousin Michael’s been a known liar and a tattler for years.

MRS. GIULIANI: Two days ago, when he swore you didn’t finish the apple pie cooling on the window sill, you said he was “an honest and honorable cousin.”

RUDY: That was before he made these ridiculous allegations. What kind of scoundrel watches his cousin eat a pie off a window sill?

MRS. GIULIANI: So you’re confessing that you did eat the pie?

RUDY: Hypothetically, when in fact I wasn’t there, and also there never was a pie. Or a window sill.


1955. Eleven-year-old Rudy enters a classroom.

TEACHER: I think you cheated on your math test.

RUDY: (laughs boisterously) My dog ate my homework.

TEACHER: What does your dog eating your homework have to do with cheating on a test?

RUDY: You’ll have to ask the dog, except the dog refuses to speak. (pauses) Another dog was involved.

TEACHER: Another dog? How many does your family own?

RUDY: One. Two? (Bonks own head with fist several times.) Six.

TEACHER: You have six dogs?

RUDY: Is that a federal crime in the year 1955? So, with 16 dogs, what are the odds one of them didn’t eat my homework?

TEACHER: I still don’t see how eating the homework has anything to do with cheating on the test.

RUDY: Well, now we’re discussing two different cases here: the eating and the cheating. Did one of the dogs present at the eating also participate in the cheating, which never took place?

TEACHER: I’m sending you to the principal’s office.

RUDY: The principal has to submit a list of questions to me. If and when I approve of his scope, I can give him 20 minutes between lunch and recess.

TEACHER: You’re the one in trouble. You don’t get to make up the rules.

RUDY: Ten minutes. Five. The meeting’s off.

1959. Fifteen-year-old Rudy is cornered in the school bathroom by a bully.

BULLY: I saw you talkin’ to my girlfriend, Giuliani! Don’t deny nothin’ or I’ll cream ya!

RUDY: (scared) O.K., it was me.

BULLY: You admitted it! Get ready for a knuckle sandwich, Giuliani!

RUDY: By “it was me,” I mean that I first spoke as myself, then I quickly dressed as your girlfriend so it would look like I was talking to her.

BULLY: Why would you dress up like my girlfriend, Giuliani?

RUDY: For a joke; we have such rigidly constructed gender roles now that wearing the clothes of the opposite sex produces a subversive comic tension, as in the contemporary movie “Some Like It Hot.” For instance, you refer to me by my surname, as bullies in the 1950s tend to; you wouldn’t if I were female.

BULLY: You think dis is funny, Giuliani?

RUDY: Look, I have no idea, others seem to, and my guess is that it will be humorous for a while, even for national political figures, but in about 60 years our views on gender will evolve so that cross-dressing will no longer be as shocking and, when played for cheap laughs, may even be regarded as offensive.

BULLY: You’re trynta distract me from givin’ you a lickin’ by theorizin’ about the roles of gender and fashion in society, Giuliani!

RUDY: (laughs boisterously as he gets beaten up)


“Witch Hunt!”–The Board Game

From the NYT, by Teddy Wayne:

OBJECT OF THE GAME: Despite overwhelming evidence of obstruction of justice and collusion with a foreign power (or three!), you must prove that the charges the Special Counsel brings against you are just a politically motivated WITCH HUNT! Fun for the whole crime family!

PLAYERS: You, the primary player; your main opponent, the dishonest Special Counsel; your secondary opponents, the Fake News Media and the nefarious Deep State; your teammates, who profess ignorance by looking away from the board; and 325 million spectators, a majority of whom are rooting against you.

PLAYING TIME: It should wrap up by whenever the next major holiday is. For a speed round, play while consuming a gallon of Diet Coke.

GAME PIECES: In addition to tokens for all the players, you have: a phone with the numbers of your three remaining “friends” who can still tolerate your ranting for 45 uninterrupted minutes about the WITCH HUNT!; a battery of lawyers “straight out of Central Casting” (for playing ridiculous, over-the-hill bumblers); one substitute token labeled “David Dennison.”

PREPARATION: Months before gameplay starts, place foreign government cutout tokens facedown on the board in secret locations, hiding under each one a Quid Pro Quo card. When the Fake News Media overturns the cutouts, you must repeatedly set down more-acceptable-sounding Quid Pro Quo cards. The game officially begins after you use the Quid Pro Quo card that says “Nothingburger,” an untranslatable German word meaning “feigned indignation over completely damning evidence.”

SPECIAL COUNSEL: The pesky Special Counsel follows your token around the oval board in an attempt to prove obstruction of justice and collusion, but in doing so also stumbles upon a few hundred other crimes, including a nonfiction book proposal from you titled “If I Laundered Money Internationally for Years and That, Along With a Deeply Warped and Power-Hungry Psyche Forged by a Horrible Father — I Mean, Really Bad, Just, Like, the Worst, Aside From Me — Made Me Run for President.”

GAMEPLAY: Place your token on your bedroom square, just in front of the TV symbol. You won’t move it much from this spot aside from a five-minute briefing session at which your teammates tell you everything’s going great to prevent you from coming up with “ideas for deals” and “a Mars force.” During the game, you’ll choose from the following actions:

DRAW A CARD FROM THE TWEETDECK: Pull a random Unfounded Exclamatory Accusation! card from the TweetDeck. Bonus points for Arbitrary Capitalizations, superfluous “quotation marks” and spelling erors that everyone has stopped mocking because it’s now more sad than funny; penalty for drawing the Self-Incriminating Statement card, which forces your lawyers to devise absurd excuses for it when they land on morning talk show squares. To prove you’re not merely an unhinged tyrant but also a family man, spend some quality time @ your wife’s government-designated Twitter handle.

“SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE” BOARD MASSACRE: After you reach the “S.N.L.” square, threaten to flip over the board and scatter all the pieces, but don’t actually do it, because your incredibly tolerant teammates may finally decide you’re too childish to play with again and also you’re sort of afraid of confrontation.

ROLL THE DICE ON NUCLEAR WAR: If you roll a seven or higher, mock the physical appearance of an enemy nuclear power’s unstable leader; six or lower, coyly say, “We’ll see what happens,” as if you actually understand geopolitical statecraft. If you succeed in goading the enemy into launching a nuclear attack on the board, the WITCH HUNT! will be immediately over!

COMMUNITY RALLY CHEST: Pick a card from the Community Rally Chest with the name of a red state, place your token on it during a public entertainment event tailored to liberals, and spend an hour invoking the hallowed number 306, making racist statements that aren’t even thinly veiled, and stalking a few feet from the lectern after each screamed punch line to say to your teammates, “Wasn’t that great?”

WHEEL OF PARDON: To distract the spectators and signal to your teammates that they can break the rules of the game so long as they evince sufficient fealty, spin the Wheel of Pardon, which will always end up pointing to the worst person in the room.

BUILD A HOTEL: For every hotel that you build on an undeveloped foreign square, give the owner of that square one Back-Room Political Favor chip. The hotel piece thus attains Accepted Collusion in Plain Sight status, making it ineligible for the Special Counsel’s WITCH HUNT!

DECLARE BANKRUPTCY: You can’t declare bankruptcy, since the game started precisely because you already were bankrupt (financially and morally).

ENDGAME: There are two possible conclusions: 1) You do not convince anyone that this is a WITCH HUNT! and your teammates send your token directly to jail; or 2) You do not convince anyone that this is a WITCH HUNT!, but your teammates, making a cynically calculated political bet, do not send your token directly to jail. In that case, congratulations, you have won WITCH HUNT!, defeating not only the Special Counsel, but the 325 million spectators, whom you thought of as losers all along!