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Ginsu Blago

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Sells Cutlery to Pay for His Legal Defense

First off, Gladys - may I call you Gladys? - I really want to thank you for inviting me, the former governor elected twice by the people of Illinois, into your home today. It's an honor to have served you, and it will be an honor and a privilege to present to you what I believe is the planet's finest cutlery. Now, I'm not here to sell you anything. I am here to help hardworking families like you to live a little piece of what I like to call "The American Dream." I just want to tell you my side of the story, and why I believe in these knives. I am hoping that this morning you will consider what I would have to say, and who knows, you will give me a chance and believe in these knives, too.

Now, I'm going to give you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth here, Gladys. We didn't always have great cutlery in our home. I want to tell you that up front because I believe in honesty. My wife Patti, well, she's the cook in our house, and she makes a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner. We have turkey, stuffing, cranberries, gravy - you know what I mean, right Gladys? You're a cook, I can tell.

Of course, you know that making the stuffing can be a lot of work. Chopping the celery, the onions, the chestnuts. Patti would labor for long hours using dull knives. Sacrifice for me. For our children. It was painful. That Thanksgiving dinner, I had whole bunch of thoughts about my children, and my wife. And then I thought about Mandela, Dr. King, Gandhi and tried to put it all in perspective. What would they use if they were making a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with all of the trimmings for their children? Would they use some substandard W├╝sthof knife set from Crate and Barrel? Gladys, that is when I decided to fight. I fought to get my wife Patti something better. And holy cow, it happened. You know, that's when you've hit something that maybe you never thought you'd have. But we had it. We got it: the planet's finest cutlery. And I was a believer.

Please let me demonstrate. See this tomato? Could an ordinary knife make slices this thin? No. Now trust me, Gladys. This is one sharp knife. Look at it slice through this aluminum can. See? This loaf of bread. Nice, huh? Now I will take a different approach, ruffling feathers here, because most door-to-door knife salesmen would just slice through one sheet of paper to show you how sharp this baby is, but no, not me. I am going to slice through this really big stack of paper. Look at how this knife works! We also have vegetable peelers, carving forks for turkey and ham, and kitchen shears to cut your really tedious vegetables and herbs, like green onions and chives.

Do we sell hair shears? Oh, that's funny, Gladys, and not the first time I have heard that one. No, ma'am, we do not sell hair shears, but maybe we should, and I will pass on your suggestion.

Gladys, I have heard the stories of mothers like you, trying to feed their families. I want to give a mother a chance to chop up some tomatoes and onions and cilantro and make her dead abuela's salsa recipe for her daughter's Quinceañera. Give a Chinese immigrant mother the chance to make her family barbeque chicken and lettuce wraps, an appetizer that you can imagine requires a lot of chopping and dicing. Hopefully allow her to have upward mobility and protect her from those who might want to sell her subprime knives and make it harder for her to chop food for her children. I think about ordinary people I've met along the way a lot. And how I have been able to help them with the planet's best cutlery. It's gratifying, Gladys. It's gratifying.

Okay, maybe I am pushing too hard. Maybe I am fighting too hard here for your American Dream. But this morning, as we sit here at your kitchen table, I am asking you to look at the evidence I have presented here. Look at these knives. Look at what they can do here, and tell me, Gladys, what you think these knives are worth?

Really? That's all? Gladys, these knives are a fucking valuable thing. You just don't give them away for fucking nothing.

No, Gladys. You are taking that out of context. How can you throw me out of your home? I've done absolutely nothing wrong here. Imagine yourself in my place, standing before you. I'm asking you to think about all the good things we've been able to do here. Dice tomatoes. Cut through an aluminum can. Shred a copy of the Illinois Constitution. Give me a chance to stay here so we can roll up our sleeves and continue to do good things. Peel some carrots! Make a pot roast! I haven't even had a chance to show you the cheese knife . . .


Posted on February 2, 2009

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