by Robert Morrison
July 17, 2013
Marty the Magician is the stage name of Marty Hahne. His act is primarily performed for pre-schoolers in Southern Missouri to promote reading and to encourage the tykes to make libraries a favorite home away from home. Marty the Magician has a partner in his act. It’s Casey, the female rabbit.
Marty likes to finish his act with a flourish. His stage presence, according to this story on the front page of The Washington Post, is that of “an exuberant doofus.” And Marty the Magician delights the children by pulling Casey out of his hat.
Well, Marty is not America’s only exuberant doofus; that much is clear. We apparently have entire bureaus of exuberant doofuses. One of these, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, collared Marty during a performance at a library in Monett, Mo., back in 2005. As the children squealed in delight, the USDA-approved exuberant doofus pulled Marty over. “Where’s your license?” No, Marty, not your driver’s license, the license for your rabbit.
This was in Missouri, the “Show Me” State. And Marty had failed to show this bunny bureaucrat proper certification for his animal. The story details a lot of the occupational hazards Marty the Magician has encountered throughout his career. If the rabbit doesn’t make a mess on stage, that’s no surety that excited children won’t. He had one inebriated fellow on a cruise ship lose his lunch on the rabbit.
One of Marty’s rabbit partners was so mean that it growled. Maybe that’s the one that famously attacked President Jimmy Carter while the hapless peanut planter was whitewater rafting.
President Carter’s security detail managed to protect the commander-in-chief from the attack rabbit, but you can never be too sure. The possibility that some rabbit might escape the magic shows and endanger national security is probably why the USDA has been on bunny patrol for the past decade. The USDA has 14 pages of regulations it enforces, all dealing with rabbits.
Of course, this bunny patrol is not the same USDA unit that is responsible for enforcing rabbits-as-pie regs. If you want to slaughter your rabbit onstage, apparently, you come under an entirely different set of regs. I can see it now: “Kids, don’t try this at home.”
Now, in this age of tornadoes and hurricanes, of DHS Sec. Janet Napolitano, and other man-caused disasters, we cannot afford not to have a magic rabbit disaster plan. What will you do, Marty the Magician, if there’s a twister or earthquake while you and Casey are doing your magic hat routine?
Fortunately, Marty the Magician was able to find a friend in Kim Morgan. She writes disaster plans for a living. And she agreed to help Marty and Casey for no fee. Pro bono?
Or pro bunny?
So now, Marty the Magician and his licensed lapin, Casey, have their own 26-page federally-approved disaster plan. If anything untoward happens—Hazmat spill, flood, tornado, heat wave—during a show at Little Angels Learning Academy in Battlefield, Mo., the American public can rest assured that the USDA has covered every rabbit trail.
We are currently undergoing the rigors of the Sequester. Usually, federal bureaucrats respond to such attempts to limit spending by closing down the Washington Monument. But since that edifice is already closed down, they’ve had to endure the loss of line-dance training and draconian cuts to their Star Wars skits.
Here’s a recommendation for government cutbacks: Don’t just furlough the flop ears at USDA who handle rabbit regs, lop away whole divisions of these hare-brained regulators. When we hear the cries of pain from the Watership Down lobby, we may know we are actually cutting to the bone. Then go ahead and cut further. Don’t even leave a rabbit’s foot. That would be the appropriate rabbit response.
P.S. President Harry Truman famously described Washington, D.C.“This is the kind of town where, if you need a friend, you should buy a dog.” Well, if you already have all the friends or dogs you need, then buy a rabbit. You’ll get your very own USDA-approved regulator.”