Gullible’s Travels

Cutting another slice of cake,

Jinping did a double take.

“He said what?” he asked in glee.

“A talk on Chinese history?


Okay, here goes—make English sound

And let’s see what new facts are found.”

Jinping put down his fork, “Well, don,

The whole known world is built upon


Our culture—we invented air

And fire, too, as you’re aware?

And trees, because the mountains lacked

A cover—Snort!—alternative fact!


Don’t translate that! And rice and tea

And cheese and fruit—oh yes, the sea—

And cars and boats and penguins, too,

And pandas when we made the zoo


And telegrams and slide trombones

And phonographs and telephones

And malted milk and television

And we discovered nuclear fission


And polio and don’t forget,

Before Al Gore, the internet,

And spinach and the Greyhound bus

And all world civ began with us


And we had writing, cars, and books

Before your dumb Cromagnon schnooks

Had found a way to chip an axe

And we invented income tax


But soon found it was incomplete

Unless we found a way to cheat

(a fact, we know, will interest you,

Who’s made his own discovery, too),


And anything which you can think,

From cocktails to the kitchen sink,

And since we made the world it’s lame

To think that anyone can claim


Some sovereign rights to this or that—

We made it, so it’s ours—that’s flat—

Tibet, Korea, Nine Dash Line—

So if we choose to realign


A country here, and ocean there,

It’s ours—and no one else should dare

To think that they can make a fuss

If we take what belongs to us.”


There was a pause. Xi took a bite.

“He swallow that? He’s not too bright,

That blowfish mouth, that rockslide hair—

Have we gone farther than we dare?


But look—he’s smiling—not a clinker!

He took it in, hook, line, and sinker!

And now he’s saying, ‘Thank you, Xi,

For such a view of history—


Who knew how much we really owe

To China?’ What a dumb fuck! So

It’s time for just one final fake—

Say we invented chocolate cake!”


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