Wrong or Mostly Wrong?: Independence Day

On one hot summer day, the men that would one day be known as the Founding Fathers gathered together to draft a letter to King George of England, in order to declare their independence from the British Empire.  All of the greatest minds in the colonies gathered together under one roof for this momentous occasion.  However, we’re only going to focus on about half a dozen of them because I really don’t want to write dialogue for thirty or forty people.

“I say we should start off with a joke.”  John Adams said.

“A joke?  In a letter stating that we are no longer subjects of the English crown?”  Thomas Jefferson asked.

“Yes.  We need a good joke to lighten the mood before breaking the news.”  John Adams said.

“And what kind of joke are you thinking will ‘lighten the mood’?”  Thomas Jefferson asked.

“How about ‘who has two thumbs and are no longer subjects of the British crown’?”  John Adams asked.

“It’s probably best that we don’t give King George any ideas.  I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I kind of like having two thumbs.”  James Madison said.

“Look, I’ve pretty much got everything else we need here.  All I need is a good opening.”  Thomas Jefferson said.

“How about ‘we, the people of the United States of America…’?” James Madison suggested.

“Nah, it doesn’t really match the tone of the rest of it.  Don’t let me forget that though, it sounds good enough for us to use in something else.”  Thomas Jefferson said.

“What we need is something quick and to the point.  We want to make sure that our point is clearly understood.”  John Hancock said.

“I can certainly agree with that.  What do you suggest?”  John Adams asked.

John Hancock thought for a few minutes.  “How about ‘Hey fathead!  We quit!'”

The other Founding Fathers shook their heads.

“Wait, I’ve got it.  Try ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all landowners are created equal…'”  James Madison said.

“That sounds a little better, but not for an introduction.”  Thomas Jefferson said.

“Also, if we use that then we should change ‘landowners’ to ‘men’.”  John Adams said.

“Why?”  James Madison asked.

“One word from King Fathead…I mean King George…and none of us will be landowners.”  John Adams explained.

“Aren’t we planning on taking this land by force?”  James Madison asked.

“Only if we have to.  I have nothing against fighting for our freedom, but I would like to at least give the diplomatic approach a try.”  John Adams said.

“Ok, fine.  We can use ‘men’.”  James Madison said.

“I still prefer ‘Give us liberty or give us death!'”.  Patrick Henry said.

“Would somebody please smack him?”  Thomas Jefferson said.

James Madison shrugged and kissed Patrick Henry on the lips.

“I meant the other kind of smack, you feckless fool.”  Thomas Jefferson said.

“Oh.”  James Madison said, shrugging before slapping Patrick Henry in the face.

Thomas Jefferson rose to his feet.  “You lot have been as useful as a broken quill.  I’m going to finish this thing at home, where I can think.”

So Thomas Jefferson went back home, and returned several days later.  The Founding Fathers gathered around to sign the finished document in what would become one of America’s defining moments.  They all congratulated each other on their work in creating such a masterful document.

Several weeks later, a young messenger approached King George.

“You have a message from the American colonies, your majesty.”  the messenger said.

“What does it say?”  King George asked.

The messenger unfurled the historic document before the king and read what is said.  “It begins with ‘Hey Fathead!  We quit!'”


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