Poem: All in the Bunker Family

By: Chuck Orloski

Smithsonian Museum of History

Midnight in D.C. –
Smithsonian museum glass glare,
no one around but for security cameras.
The Bunker family stayed up late,
emerged from bunker,
and took seats upon favorite chairs.
Archie’s politics stunk for Edith,
she actually “pulled her weight,”
but Archie insisted he must find out
the Iowa caucus results prior to
spinning Glen Miller records
and “pack it in for the night.”

Wearing pink bathrobe and pumps,
Edith complained,
“Why Archie… why don’t you
do something useful and sneak
over to the Capitol and find out how
the Trans Pacific Partnership fares?”

“Nag, nag, nag,” thought Archie,
“and the dingbat barely passed 8th grade!”
“Who gives Edith such ideas?
Who gets to see the T.P.P.?
Who the hell has time to read it?
Who will let me inside Xerox room?”

Mad to a killing point,
the couple stared across empty hallway
and nobody in the Homeland laughed.
“You know, Arch, uh, Trump lost Iowa tonight!”

“Ho, ho, ho!” Triumphant laughter!
“I told lazy son-in-law Meathead
that Dubuque Jews won’t go for Carson!”

Edith pondered their Seacaucus wedding.
She lived unawares on TV for seven years.
She learned compliance with majorities
as well as any housewife did before her time. .
A colored Security Guard’s footsteps,
a Hoover/Cruz/Rubio/Jeb tap-pity-tap-tap,
and the Bunkers fled for bunker below.

Under Archie’s supervision,
Edith slammed pick into tunnel wall
and watched Potomac droplets enter space.
“C’mon, Edith, if ‘ya want me to read the T.P.P.
over at the Rotunda Bundestag-dunda,
you gotta grab Iowa by the corn!”

“Iowa.., Arch? Why I thought all along
our producers wanted to see green, not hawkeyes!”

Perhaps it was Archie’s only way
to express Free Trade Treaty love?
He shook off lead (Pb) contaminated
tunnel mud from khaki trousers,
his eyes turned blood red, moaned,
“Think I’ll go to Kelsey’s Bar,
chug a cold one, watch the Super Bowl,
and pray none of them fruity-tootie
bar flies don’t park their pinko
Zika asses next to mine!” *


* In February 1971, All in the Family became the first sitcom to bring a gay man into American living rooms, and to Archie’s dismay, the fellow turned out to be a former linebacker.

Author’s note: In 2002, along with my two sons (ages 11 and 6) and a work friend, we toured the Smithsonian Museum of History. Of all the historical artifacts and exhibits at hand, older son Dan most remembered the “All in the Family” display, and younger Joseph was fascinated with the Greyhound Bus interior toilet.


Categories: Poetry

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