NEWS ITEM: MONDAY MARKS THE 501st ANNIVERSARY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS ‘ ARRIVAL IN AMERICA.
WHILE SCIENTISTS STILL DEBATE WHETHER COLUMBUS WAS THE FIRST TO ARRIVE ON THESE SHORES, THEY ALL AGREE THAT THE LAND HE FOUND 501 YEARS AGO BEARS LITTLE RESEMBLANCE TO WHAT HE’D SEE WERE HE TO WASH BACK ASHORE TODAY . . .
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred ninety-two but what if he had crossed the sea in nineteen hundred ninety-three? . . .
“Land!” he yells, “I’ve spotted land!” The crewmen shout like a merry band They drop their anchor in the ground A customs agent flags them down.
“Hello, kind sir!” says Christopher C
“We come from Spain with gifts for thee!”
“I’ll bet,” the agent says, while boarding
“What kind of drugs are you boys hoarding?” Next, the Coast Guard comes a-splashing
“Papers?” they say, badges flashing.
“I claim this land!” says our boy Chris.
“Cuff him” they say, grabbing his wrist. So they seize Columbus’ ship Immigration checks his trip
“The Brave New World I long to see.”
“Oh,” says the agent, “a refugee.” Soon Columbus and his men are tossed into a holding pen with Cubans, Haitians, how they shouted Says CC: “This new world’s crowded!” A star is born As he wonders what he’ll say to his queen so far away, a TV crew doing expose points the camera’s light his way
“Why are you here?” reporter asks. Columbus tells her of his task. A producer watching from his LA home tells his staff, Get this guy on the phone! Soon the story of a strange old man, who came here looking for uncharted land, is front-page news, the nation is piqued, his tale is sold for a Movie of the Week. Next thing you know, Chris is a star Oprah and Phil and JP on JR,
“Excuse me,” he says, “but I must see your king” No problem, he’s told, give Clinton a ring. Off to the White House, Columbus is taken His picture is snapped, his hand is shaken Book rights are sold for $2.5 mill A dazed Columbus is king of the hill.
“Attention!” he cries, hearing his name
“I claim this land for Queen and Spain!” But no one listens, for all the clinking of toasts to his honor — CC starts drinking. Two days later, a story is filed A woman claiming to have his child A screenwriter claims he stole his story A lawyer sues for half his glory. Feminists say his boats are insulting Nina and Pinta indeed! That’s revolting!
“He’s a Commie!” Rush Limbaugh screams
“He smoked pot!” claims a college dean Columbus, who, through all this rumpass, is merely trying to read his compass, suddenly finds himself surrounded by lawyers, reporters and folks astounded. The return trip They sue for his house, his money, his fame, They strip him of everything but his name. They chase him back to the edge of the sea Christopher Columbus is history. Columbus sails the mighty sea, in nineteen hundred ninety-three He gets back home in ninety-four and kisses the ground when he reaches shore He goes to see his waiting queen, to tell her of the things he’s seen The door is opened, he bows and kneels
“Tell me, tell me!” his majesty squeals He takes a breath, then tries to recall, the mass confusion of it all, the lawyers, the agents, the TV, the fuss,
“Well?” the queen says. “Share with us.
“Is there a world as yet uncovered A place of wonder that you have discovered? What’s out there Columbus? Pray do not stall.”
“Nothing,” he answers. “Nothing at all.”