This exchange with George Washington came after an election had left a nation longing to return to an America of truth-tellers. It arrived via dimension travel. Subjects in both material and spiritual realms each moved a damp tea bag along an alphabet board after each had injested a tincture of rhubarb, ginseng, poppy and other seeds. I interviewed President Washington for Huffington Post about his era; he also explored his curiosity about ours.
HP: Mr. President Washington, is it really you?
GW: Yea. To whom do I speake and what is your time and place?
HP: I'm Carol, in the 27th state of Florida. It’s 2017, in February, when we celebrate your birth with cherry pie.
GW: My curiosity abounds. Why cherry pie?
HP: We learned that as young boy you were unable to lie to your father about chopping down his cherry tree.
GW: Zounds! That tree gave me only grief. A cherry pit cost me my first tooth, beginning a lifetime of bedevilment. Why do you ask about this peculiar fable?
HP: America has become a country of liars: politicians, news sources, merchants—people even post untrue self-descriptions when seeking mates. We long for the virtues of earlier times. I have many questions.
GW: I too have questions. Firstly, does slavery exist still?
HP: No. Abraham Lincoln abolished it in 1863. He was known as Honest Abe. You and he are considered our finest Presidents.
May we explore the honesty of your era, especially of America’s founders?
GW: The founders were geniuses and patriots, but they wrangled among themselfes. We were all flawed. Hamilton could be devious. Jefferson paid someone to publish a false claim about Adams, which cost Adams dearley. I strove to be a man of few words, which can deter one from miscasting or embellishing tales.
If slaves are gone, from whom do people get replacement teeth?
HP: We don’t use real teeth any more. Upper and lower false teeth plates are made from a smooth compound. Or a single false tooth can be implanted by screwing it into bone.
Were politicians especially prone to lying in your time?
GW: Politicians no more than others, perhaps. Newspapers made scurrilous claims against me, though the publick did not chuse to believe their defamation.
I found that an ambitious man who believes he is superior to others is often tempted to falsity. Persons of character have humility. A habitual liar dupes firstly his own selfe. He comes to believe the lies he tells about events and about others and about who he truely is
So even teeth can be false in 2017! Do your false teeth still use metal springs for chewing? Do they still jump out of the mouth unbidden?
HP: No. The upper plate is kept in place with a viscous compound that adheres to the roof of the mouth, yet allows easy removal.
Who was the most honorable person you dealt with?
GW: Martha. I never knew her to lie.
Are your plaster of Paris models accurate now so they fit a mouth tightly and uniformly? Or must the wearer still whittle them?
HP: Precise molds of the mouth are made with a gummy substance. False teeth fit well.
And you never lied to Mrs. Washington?
GW: Well, there is a tide in the flow of wedlock… When donning a new gown, she would look over her shoulder to ask if the frock overly enhanced her posterior.
HP:Pants-wearing women still do that. And you would tell her…?
GW: I would say You look lovely my dear. She was always beautiful to me.
HP: You didn’t lie. Spouses in a good marriage understand what is really being said. And asked.
GW: Verily. I lost my last tooth three years before I departed the earth and she loved me to the end.
HP: Thank you, Mr. President, for your part in this brief oral history.