XVI. The National Mall

The Archers looked for a spot on the Mall
In Washington where Antoine might do all
His lightning-fast routines of puppetry
For teeming visitors to stop and see,
But were quickly turned away by police
Everywhere except in front of Walter Reed
Museum of Medical History,
Not so good as the Mütter in Philly,
Antoine, Jr. excitedly inside
Going to see, kept in formaldehyde,
John Dillinger's amputated member
And other oddities of that temper.
As she helped her future dad work the street,
Emily talked about the "sex elite."

"We have an animal nature that's not
The crudeness and brutality men thought
Who rightly praised our human difference
But falsely name it godly influence,
That untamed arrogance Connery wore
Versus the stuffed shirt of Roger Moore;
Daniel Craig looks good in a tuxedo
Killing with the bucket for the vino.
Nature gave its finest work an instinct
True as the migrating birds, but distinct
Because we can tutor it with reason,
Discriminating both words and seasons:
Knowledge of each accrues within the bones
That men may use or crudely leave alone.

"'Living Daylights' we have, active life force,
Not to be developed and then ignored,
Like that title song by one-hit wonders
Whose name is the sound one makes who blunders
Into the kind of deep understanding
That has a visceral underpinning.
Athletes use it for physical actions
So reflexive, thoughts are a distraction,
But it also guides writing and the arts
And selecting the people we make part
Of our whole existence, trusty feelings
That reveal another's secret dealings
Or who among a room full of strangers
Will stand with us in triumph or danger.

"Which is why we will not stand idly by
And see filmed pictures of sex vilified
By these bullshitting Washington gangsters,
The Reagan White House's merry pranksters,
Their claim that innocent pornography
Defiles women and destroys family,
Which is the same baseless crap always used
By the capitalist, corporate stooge
To defend the status quo from 'other'
When it's privileged greed attacks mother
And decency, and the lives of children
Dangling over the burning cauldron
Of environmental nightmares and war:
Aren't privacy and home worth fighting for?"

As the "nation's attic," the Smithsonian collections frequently become the subject of enflamed speculation. A "fake news" source recently reported that curators had destroyed hundreds of giant hominid skeletons in the early 1900s (top) because they contradicted the false narrative of evolution. This story has been systematically debunked. A photo of the John Dillinger autopsy (below) gave rise to the story that the gangster's 17-inch penis was kept in the Smithsonian medical oddities museum. Not only is the specimen non-existent, a National Mall medical museum itself does not exist.

A verifiable National Mall tale is that the triceratops statue in front of the Natural History Museum represents Mr. Beazley, the star of the classic children's book The Enormous Egg.