Good day, America. ‘Tis I, William Henry Harrison, 9th U.S. president, ‘Ol Tippecanoe, humbly coming before you this President’s Day to ask you again to include me in the festivities. You know, just like Washington and Lincoln, I was born on a crisp February morn. Every year on this hallowed holiday, I rise from my grave with a sense of hope. Perhaps this is the year when I, too, will be poorly impersonated by a local salesman promoting a blow-out sale on horseless carriages. But alas, it seems that again I am doomed for all eternity to be nothing more than a pub trivia answer that nobody can recall.
I may not have been the first president, like Washington, or the gangliest president, like Lincoln, but my God, I worked my little Whig butt off for the 31 glorious days I was in office. I accomplished so much during my brief administration. I gave a speech in the rain, rode a horse in the rain, and then stood in the rain some more. When is Party City going to start carrying a life-size, realistically damp cardboard cutout of me giving my signature two-hour inaugural address? Surely, someone in our Great Nation wants to party with Presidente Nueve over this three-day weekend!
It’s just that Washington and Lincoln, my fellow presidential Aquariuses, have so much already. They’re on money. They have their own monuments. Hell, George has a whole state named after him! Is it too much to ask that when someone is inconvenienced that the bank is closed today, he might mutter sarcastically, “I guess we have William Henry Harrison to thank for that”? I beg you! Please include me!
I don’t want to play the tragic backstory card, but I had quite a rough time toward the end, you know. My doctors tried to cure my pneumonia not only with bloodletting, but with snakes. Snakes! I mean, Christ, a Pinterest recipe for how to make my likeness out of raisins on President’s Day oatmeal cookies is all I’m asking for here. Surely ‘tis a reasonable request after spending my final hours bleeding and covered in snakes.
And it wasn’t even just the end of my life that was hard. That shit-for-brains Van Buren used to call me “Old Granny.” And yes, he’s dead now, too, but at least he got to serve out his full term and get a Navy ship named after him to boot. I would just love to show that smug asshole that I’m still relevant by having Kohl’s use my birthday as an excuse to unload a surplus of ill-fitting Dockers flannel shirts at a steep discount. BOGO this, Martin!
But no, everyone is winding down their day off, not even pausing one time to look wistfully at a daguerreotype of yours truly. I’m starting to fade now. There will be no homemade felt-and-stocking puppets of me crafted this year. No small tots orating outside in poor weather shouting, “Look, Mother, I’m President Harrison!” Not even a single cartoon of my face on an internet coupon for free shipping on pelvic massage devices used to treat hysteria of the weaker sex.
Goodbye, fair America, until next year. I pray you don’t forsake me again. I will leave you with this last thought:
Why didn’t I just put on a god damn fucking coat?