Fifty-four years ago, on this day, John F Kennedy was assassinated. Seven years ago, on this day, I marked the anniversary with a piece in The Dabbler …
Hello readers! I am going to show you how to make a lovely scale model of Dealey Plaza, the site in Dallas, Texas, of the Kennedy assassination on 22 November 1963.
First, get some plasticine. Before removing the packaging, wash your hands thoroughly in warm water. If your hands are really grubby, for instance if you have been doing grubby things, use swarfega. I am making no moral judgement on your indulgence in grubby practices, merely noting that warm water by itself will not suffice to cleanse the pollution from your fleshly extremities. As for your immortal soul, far be it from me to pronounce upon the peril in which it is placed by your unconscionable grubbiness. After all, I am no saint. That being said, I abhor the kind of grubbiness to which you may have fallen prey, albeit I do not make it my business to go about declaring my own rectitude, for that would be to boast, and thus itself sinful. Once or twice, maybe, I have dipped my toe in the slimy puddle of moral turpitude, and that was quite enough for me.
Now to the second stage of this exciting project. With your prayer book or catechism resting upon the work surface in easy reach, open the packet of plasticine. Intone three Hail Marys, break off some plasticine, and begin to mould it into the shape of the grassy knoll. It is advisable at this point to go and fetch your rosary beads.
Before completing the grassy knoll part of the model, open up that tin of swarfega and clean your hands again. You can never be too careful.
When you have made a passable model of the grassy knoll, take some matchsticks and press them into the plasticine to represent the white picket fence. Say a Novena. Now grab another chunk of plasticine and fashion a miniature version of the Texas Schoolbook Depository. Remember to tweak a tiny tubular shape poking out of the sixth floor window to show assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s mail order Mannlicher- Carcano rifle with which he shot the President. Some people would insert the word “allegedly” into that sentence, but not me. I have read Case Closed by Gerald Posner so I know whereof I speak..
A pink blob of plasticine will do for Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat.
The underpass over the Stemmons Freeway is quite tricky to make out of plasticine, so you may wish to use a few bits of cardboard. Your local supermarket probably has packaging and boxes piled up somewhere for customers to take away. Go and get sufficient boxes to cut enough cardboard for the underpass, and while you are out and about, drop into your nearest Catholic church and make your confession to Father O’Flaherty. If your priest has a different name, don’t worry. If you don’t have a priest, do worry, for you will burn in hell, however skilfully you manage to complete your plasticine and cardboard model of Dealey Plaza.
When you return home, your soul now washed clean of all disgusting filth, put the finishing touches to your model by curving a rectangle of plasticine into the shape of the pergola from where the Zapruder footage was shot. If you have exhausted your tin of swarfega, plunge your hands into a basin of piping hot soapy water while contemplating the martyrdom of your favourite saint.
Place your toy Dealey Plaza in a suitable location, for example, on the mantelpiece, display cabinet, or kitchen table. Next time Father O’Flaherty drops in for a cup of tea, ask him to bless your model by sprinkling it with holy water. He will be happy to oblige, I am sure.
ADDENDUM : Gerald Posner’s Case Closed, and indeed all of the thousands of books about the Kennedy assassination, have been superseded by the magnificently hefty Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi. Over fifteen hundred pages (with exhaustive footnotes added on a compyooduh disc), Bugliosi proves Oswald acted alone, and demolishes all the many and various conspiracy theories with awe-inspiring skill. There need never be another book o the subject – though no doubt madcaps and nutters will continue with their folderol.