Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Vol II – Episode 76: Masks, Emails, and Crow Dandelion Soup

Political Satire:  Having trouble surviving these times?  You’re not alone.  Join us in columnist John F. Di Leo’s exploration of an alternate universe, where we imagine the impossible:

Joe Buckstop, an aging, corrupt old fool, somehow becomes president in his basement, and every night, an aide has to bring him his soup and discuss the events of the day as he prepares to receive his nightly meds…

Note: We continue reprinting roughly every other chapter from Volume Two. In today’s episode, Joe Buckstop’s soup aide, young Rhett Snapper, discusses the revelation of Dr Fauci’s private emails with the old man…

“Good evening, sir! Are you ready to eat crow?”

“Come on, man! What are you talking about?”

“We have Crow Dandelion Soup, tonight, sir. Smells delicious. You’ll love it, sir!”

“I am not eating crow, you lying dogfaced pony soldier!”

“Well, okay, then, I’ll just turn around and tell the cook you don’t appreciate her work, sir.”

“I’ll tell her myself! I’ll kick her the hell out of my kitchen, that’s what I’ll do! Trying to make me eat crow. I can’t believe this…”

“Okay, sir, I’ve got to tell you the truth… there isn’t really any crow in this bowl, sir.”

“I don’t care if it’s in the bowl or not! I know what those cooks do.. they put disgusting things in a mesh bag then take away the bag, but you still KNOW, don’t you? You still know it was in there. Man… disgusting!”

“No, sir, there never was any crow. It’s kind of a joke, sir.”

“Well, it’s not funny!”

“This is actually a potato and onion soup with dandelion, sir. A very American soup. From an American indian tribe, sir.”

“Huh? Which tribe?”

“That’s the thing, sir. It’s a recipe from the Crow Indian tribe, sir. So it’s a vegetable soup from the Crow indians. And that means Crow is in the name, so when you say you’re eating crow soup, it’s like saying you’re eating crow! Funny, huh?”

“You have the weirdest sense of humor I’ve ever seen, kid.”

“Rhett, sir.”

“No, don’t correct me, young man. I meant what I said. It’s not the weirdest sense of humor I’ve ever read, it’s the weirdest sense of humor I’ve seen.”

“No, sir, my name is Rhett, sir. Not Kid. It’s Rhett. Remember?”

“Oh, right. I keep forgetting.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, I suppose i should try this stuff. Potato and onion, huh?”

“With some dandelion, sir. Mostly for color, I think. I don’t know if dandelions add much flavor, sir.”

“Just tastes like onion and potato to me.”

“Thought it would, sir.”

“Still weird.”

“Yes sir, but it is funny to talk about eating crow, don’t you think, sir?”


“I’ll bet that fella at the CDC is eating crow this week though, don’t you think, sir?”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“Surely you’ve heard about Dr Fauci’s emails, sir… haven’t you?”

“What emails?”

“Oh, this is beautiful, sir. You remember how, last year, lots of people were saying that the protection provided by masks is so little that it’s basically cancelled out by the negatives of masks?”

“Come on, man!”

“No, sir, really, lots of people – scientists, politicians, doctors, and so forth – were saying they thought that these cloth or paper masks would only provide very very limited protection, and at the same time, they actually come at a cost, such as restricting your breathing and reducing the quality of the air you’re inhaling, sir… so the end result is a wash, at best, and if anything, they’re probably a net negative. You heard that, right, sir?”

“Well, sure we all heard it, but it was wrong! Masks are great!”

“Well, sir, to be honest, no. Masks aren’t great. It turned out that the people who said masks are a net negative, or at best, just don’t really help at all in most cases, were probably right, sir.”

“Come on, man!”

“No, sir, really. We’ve had a year to try it, and the whole world has been the lab for it… and the folks who said masks were overrated and likely useless most of the time were right all along, sir.”

“Now wait a minute, Doctor Fauci says…”

“That’s the thing, sir. It’s Dr. Fauci’s emails that have gotten out, sir.”

“Huh? Emails?”

“Yes sir.”

“Dr Fauci uses email?”

“Well, sure, sir.”

“I don’t believe it. He’s older than me!”

“Well, sir, I know some ninety-year-olds who use email, sir. Age isn’t everything, sir.”


“So, his emails got out last week, and it’s been revealed that all the time that Dr Fauci has been pushing public policy to mandate masks, he knew – and said in personal emails to friends – that he knew they wouldn’t really help in fighting the China virus, sir.”

“Well, but, then…. well… then why did he push masks on everybody?”

“It was purely political, sir. He favored masks for the same reason that the government declared some trumped-up shortages during World War II, sir: in order to rally the public around a cause and support the lockdowns.”


“He said in his emails that outside of extremely rare circumstances, these masks wouldn’t help people… all while he was going on television every day saying they would, and pushing the mask religion twenty-four/seven, sir.”

“Well, but then, what happened when this got out?”

“Heh heh… it’s a doozy, sir. I think it’s all just rumors right now, but Dr Fauci had a book coming out, and it was on pre-order all over the internet, sir, and all the bookstores who were going to distribute it have pulled the book now, since these emails got out, sir!”

“Oh, no.”

“Oh, yes, sir!”

“But, we all followed his lead. We all did what he said; we’ve been taking his advice all along!”

“Well, sir, that might not have been the best plan.”

“I’m afraid to ask… what’s the book about?”

“I don’t know. It’s from National Geographic, so you wouldn’t think it would be political, but I don’t know anything about it. It’s not out yet, so I don’t think any reviewers have read it yet, sir.”

“Maybe you’re exaggerating. Maybe it’s not that bad. Hey, maybe some distributor just lost the rights and made up the story. Maybe it’s some nobody, unknown publisher… Do you know who said they’re dropping the book?”

“Amazon, sir.”

“Oh boy.”

“And Barnes and Noble.”

“Oh, damn.”

“Yeah, it’s a pretty big deal, sir.”

“What about these emails, then? Maybe they were made up! Did some nobody publish the emails, or did anybody respected release the darned things?”

“Well, that depends on your personal opinion, sir.”

“Oh come on now… Look, here’s the deal: I asked who published the emails, so you tell me now. Don’t play games with me, kid!”

“Rhett, sir.”

“Rhett. Okay, Rhett. Who published the emails? Was it some little hick town tabloid or something?”

“It was the Washington Post, sir.”


“I thought you’d say that, sir.”

“That means everybody who’s been parroting Dr Fauci’s advice for the last year is going to be awfully embarrassed. We’re going to be grilled by the press for sure about this, now…”

“Well, that’s okay, sir. your cook thought ahead and made a great big pot.”

“What’s that?”

“So you and your staff can stop parroting, and get ready to eat crow, sir, because there’s been some dandy lyin’…”

Copyright 2021-2024 John F Di Leo

Excerpted with permission from Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volume Two, from Free State West Publishing, available in paperback or eBook exclusively on Amazon.

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based international transportation and trade compliance professional and consultant.  A onetime Milwaukee County Republican Party chairman, he has been writing a regular column for Illinois Review since 2009.  His book on vote fraud (The Tales of Little Pavel) and his political satires on the current administration (Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes III, and III), are available in either eBook or paperback, only on Amazon.

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