A poem from EMBLEM for Columbus Day:
Columbus thought he had discovered the Indies so he called the people he encountered Indians, but he was wrong; he had discovered the working class.
He took their sage,
not their advice;
it smoldered like rage
but smelled nice.
One of the Santa Maria’s crew, avaricious and schooled in flattery, suggested to Columbus that he try calling them “the middle class.” They seemed to like that just fine. They smiled. Why not? Sure. Sounds good.
Columbus ordered them given naugahyde and vinyl. Then he watched to see what they would make of it. It stuck to sweaty skin in summer and in winter it was cold as metal. It cracked, and several cut their buttocks on it.
Eventually they came around, though, when the buffalo were shot to hell, the beaver damned, and the deer and the antelope played out.
Like the real Indians, the real middle class was a world away.
Soon after his return, Columbus was imprisoned for his errors. The King and Queen concurred that these new subjects must forget their names, and never know their purpose to the empire. Thus, an edict went forth that there were no classes in the New World because
in the New World, everyone is Middle Class. Everyone.