I’ve been watching Ken Burns’ new Roosevelt documentary and I thought I’d share some of the fascinating things I’ve learned. If you look at pictures of young Theodore Roosevelt, you see how lean and fine his features were. As he aged his head grew physically larger, as befits a great leader. Many other parts of his body grew as well, including his midsection, and his hands. By the end of his presidency he was able to flick a football across the room. Even his manhood increased gradually in size. At Oval Office meetings he was known to brag, “I am the largest president to ever sit in this office, if you understand my implication.” To which Secretary of Defense Barnacus Morgan often replied, “Yes indeed Mr Presidnt, we can feel it kicking our feet under the table.”
It was known to eat crumbs and foodstuffs dropped at dinner parties. The governor of Missouri was once reprimanded for slapping away the president’s organ as it had incessantly begged him for a chicken bone.
To his aides, he would remark, “Someday, when it has grown to its full size, I intend to shoot it and hang it on my wall.”
“Ha! Very good sir,” his aides would chuckle as they attempted to keep it from slobbering on their shoes. Amongst servants, it was the most hated job in the house to clean its water bowl.
But Theodore was not joking about his intentions and two years after leaving office he shot it off with an elephant gun and placed it in his trophy room like the great pink trunk of a prehistoric ant-eater. In later years, the Roosevelt children would dare each other to touch it, but of course the only one brave enough to do so was young Franklin, who went so far as to rig it up with a piece of string such that when servants entered into the room it would rear its head and peel back the foreskin, causing no small number of fine china plates, cups, and saucers to be dropped upon the floor.