Next morning, Phil, via his two remaining little mans, announced a National Meeting, to be held in the Meadow of Peace. By nine the entire nation had gathered and an impressed curious murmur ran through the crowd as Phil arrived at the Meadow, followed by the Special Friends and the Militia and the Presidential Advisors, who were struggling under the weight of a huge cardboard box.
Phil now was only wearing his brain at night, and only for long enough to keep him from requiring a Rejuvenation on the Farley Rejuvenator he kept in his bedroom closet, and the strain was showing in his face and in his diction and his subtly trembling limbs and occasionally spasming Phalen Extender.
“We have attained such happy status!” he shouted. “Oh my nation! Please observe this empty meadow, where once things were so cluttered. Today we gather to both ask and answer the ultimate question, which is, whither are us going? To whither? Having culminated our fantastic journey of homogeny, such that only we are now here, with no other evil distracting contaminants present, we are free, free to go upwards, to heretofore untoward heights. But what are they? To what heights must we be aiming? What is our goals? And not only what is our goals, but, assuming that our goals will be very high, and hence difficult, what are the tool we shall use to go so lofty? Well, as far as the goals, I have many written down, and will share them at such times as I when I do, but as far as what tools? As far as what tools or tool are needed, that is my question of first addressal. Because as far as building a homes, you do not start pounding nails you do not yet have with similar non-existing hammers, do you? No, first you need your tools. The tools we need here in our new land are Loyalty and Loyalty alone. Because my goals I have for us, such as will be easily obtained, as long as you all remain Loyal, and as long as I know, at any moment, that you are all still Loyal, so that is why this big tremendous box, which, in it, there is a special present, from me to you, my people, to commemorate your earlier-stated declarations as far as Loyalty. When a President gives you a gift, he is in fact giving himself a gift, because a President loves nothing more than how he loves his people, so when he gives his people a gift, such as a brand-new pair of Loyalty Suspenders, he is in fact giving himself a gift, and when the people accept his gift, they in turn are giving him a gift, so thank you, thank you all very much for both giving and accepting my gifts! Please, take one pair each, put them on, and I will show you how they work!”
And Phil whispered to Jimmy the Special Friend, who knocked over the huge cardboard box, filling the Meadow of Peace with bright yellow Loyalty Suspenders.
“Everyone grab a pair!” shouted Phil, and the Special Friends flung suspenders far and wide, and suspenders were passed from hand to hand, until finally every Outer Hornerite was wearing a pair of Loyalty Suspenders. “Now watch this special feature!” shouted Phil. “Leon! For example! How loyal are you?”
“Very loyal,” said Leon.
“About this Loyal?” said Phil, tightening Leon’s Loyalty Suspenders. “This is Very Loyal.”
“That’s good,” said Leon, in a slightly higher voice.
“Just Very Loyal?” said Phil. “Not Very Very Loyal?”
“Okay,” said Leon. “Very Very Loyal.”
“Super!” said Phil, and gave Leon’s Loyalty Suspender a good hard yank that lifted Leon a little off the ground. “Now please do not think that I am going to be going around to each of your houses first thing every morning, judging how Loyal you are and tightening your suspenders accordingly! No, we are a democracy, plus that would be invasive of your privacy, plus I am too busy and have better things to do, such as accomplishing great things for our nation, so that you will feel even more Loyal and tighten your Loyalty Suspenders to their ultimate tightness. Here is how this will work, since we are a freedom-loving democracy! Every day, when you rise, please ask yourself how Loyal you are feeling, and adjust your Loyalty Suspenders accordingly. In this way, a fellow citizen, passing you on the street or having breakast with you, will instantly be able to assess your terrific level of Loyalty and, if your Loyalty is up to snuff and your suspenders tight, what comfort he or she will take in your incredible Loyalty, and how he or she will then get cracking on his or her own Loyalty! And if your Loyalty is not up to snuff? Well, perhaps the person you are having breakfast with will give you a little pep-talk, which should increase your Loyalty, and you will say thanks pal, and self-tighten your Suspenders, and you and your pal can walk out into the bright lights of day with exactly equal Suspenders. On the other hand, if the pep-talk doesn’t work, well then, maybe your friend, who loves you so much, would be so kind as to call one of our Loyalty Counselors, who I will soon appoint, who will come to your house and evaluate your Loyalty, and see where you are lacking Loyalty, and provide you with a Loyalty Development Program so that, in time, you too can have nice tight Suspenders that will be the envy of all as you walk down the street with your pants held high. Does that sound good? Do you like my idea? Doesn’t my great idea make you feel even more Loyal already?”
And everyone agreed it was a terrific idea, and that it really increased their Loyalty, and to show how terrifically increased their Loyalty was, everyone tightened their Loyalty Suspenders, causing all sorts of Outer Horner calves to become suddenly visible and Outer Horner to be filled with the sounds of sudden Suspender-induced farts.
“Super!” shouted Phil. “I love that sound of sudden Loyalty you all just now made! I look forward very much to seeing all of your Suspenders, so that I may know who are the most Loyal of you, so that I may wonder why the others are less Loyal, and help get them up to speed.”
Then Phil whispered something to the two little mans.
“SPONTANEOUS LOYALTY DISPLAYS BREAK OUT ALL OVER NATION!” shouted the first media man.
“MORE AND MORE WE ARE LOVING PHIL, WHICH SHOWS IN THE HEIGHT OF OUR PANTS!” shouted the second.
“UP UP UP!” shouted the first. “HOW HIGH CAN WE GO?”
“Now I shall speak of goals!” shouted Phil. “It is true and triumphant that I, with your help, have eliminated the plague of Inner Hornerism. Or is it? Or have I? True, we have eliminated what I like to call explicit Inner Hornerism, but let us speak frank. What is us? What are we? Who were they? Did you ever see an Inner Hornerite do something good? Of course you did. We saw them nurse babies, we saw them laugh, once I saw Carol laughing while nursing her baby, not that I was watching her nursing! It was just that she was laughing so loud she got my attention. And so was that an Inner Hornerite being good, that laughing and nursing? I think not. I would say it was an Inner Hornerite manifesting Outer Horner traits. Take for example a duck. If a duck appears sad, as ducks sometimes do, for example if their leg is crushed by a truck, as I once saw as a boy, a truck or a bike, which perhaps I was riding, I don’t really recall, and as far as being on purpose, are you saying I would crush the leg of a duck on purpose with my bike? Who said that? Who believes that? Raise your hand who believes that?”
A great uncomfortable silence fell on the nation of Outer Horner.
“Well, I did not crush that duck with my bike on purpose!” said Phil. “He darted out in front of me as I was riding through that barn! But as far as that duck? That duck that looked so sad, when crushed by that bike, when looking at its crushed leg, as if about to cry? Was he human? Just because he was doing a human thing did that make him a human person? No, probably he had seen some sad guy and was copying that sad guy’s face. So likewise, when an Inner Hornerite acted human, like for example when they exhibited pain behaviours when we unfortunately had to disassemble them for tax purposes, such as weeping, or when one of them yelled at us, as if in righteous rage, when we were collecting taxes via one of their relatives or friends, what we were seeing was merely an Inner Hornerite manifesting an Outer Horner trait, copying us vis-a-vis that crushed duck, they having so often observed our humanity from across the border. But here is the dangerous scary thing: If they can manfest our traits, it is possible that we can manifest their traits? I say yes. We have seen it. Freeda for example. See her parts, still up in the trees? Why are they there? Because a little decadent spark of Inner Hornerism flared and devoured her. And so therein lies our new national goal, the goal from which our greatness will flow, such as museums and parks and intellectual accomplishments such as scientific formulas to eradicate all diseases, and for easy memory I have committed a slogan, the national slogan of our national goal, and that slogan is and shall be, if you approve it via vote: As We Are Pure, Thus We Are Great. Isn’t that good? Don’t you like the sound of it? Let us vote. Who likes it, raise your hand. Who doesn’t like it, don’t raise your hand, and those of you who raised your hand, if you would be so kind, write down the names of those who don’t like it, so I can ask them later on why not. I just need that kind of closure! Everyone’s opinion matters to me ! And how can I assess the national mood without honest feedback? Okay! Count the vote!”
And nearly every Outer Hornerite raised his or her hand, and the ones who didn’t raise their hands kept their hands down while squatting low or pretending to pick up something they had dropped.
“Super!” said Phil. “My slogan has passed! I will print up some banners and t-shirts and stickers and so on, with your permission, so that we can always all remember it at every single moment!”
That way, when in doubt, you only need refer to you t-shirts or underwear!