The Hysterical News Agency has received disturbing news regarding the actions of The History Maintenance Commission that will in future limit the scope of their activities. It has come to light, writes Staff Correspondent Jim Broadstairs, that the New York City based organisation engaged either in an inhouse exercise or a paid assignment, it remains unclear, to send holograms back to Dallas, November 22nd, 1963 to establish the truth once and for all of the events surrounding the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy the 35th President of the United States.
‘The Government take a very dim view of anyone meddling in things we do not want them exploring,’ declared White House official Fulstone P Wheeler. ‘When we set up funding for the HMC we expressly forbade them from ever touching the Kennedy Assassination, the Watergate Affair and the numerous ringers for the banned Chicago White Sox Ball Player Shoeless Joe Jackson. It goes without saying that this episode will severely impact upon our funding of the HMC and the licence we have provided them with to send holograms into the past.’
The story of the transgression is the same but dispute arises as to the reason for it. The History Maintenance Commission are adamant that it was all an in-house exercise and no attempt whatsoever would have been made to enact it. Whereas moles in the publishing industry claim that one of the foremost monthly news periodicals had agreed an informal lucrative deal with the HMC to send holograms back to that infamous date in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas to establish once and for all, the definitive, unequivocal course of events that day and lay further speculation and conspiracies to rest.
Whether inspired by an internal exercise or paid commission, it appears that the plan was to send three holograms back to November 22nd, 1963.
The first, charged with the task of watching over the shoulder of alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald as he fired three shots in eight seconds at the President in his open limousine from the sixth floor of The Texas School Book Depository, was Old Mother Riley, an Irish washerwoman character played in drag by Arthur Lucan who was very popular with British cinema and theatre audiences in the 1930’s and 40’s.
The second was the Hollywood Film Director/Producer Cecil B. Demille who was tasked with setting up a full array of equipment to shoot the President’s progression along Dealey Plaza. This was seen as a precaution in case Abraham Zapruder failed to turn up with his 8mm home cine camera and to compliment his coverage if he did.
The third hologram intended to be sent back to that date was Alexander the Great with his horse Bucephalus to keep watch from the Grassy Knoll. It was considered he was the best candidate for this role as his horse would naturally veer towards the grass on the Knoll in an effort to graze upon the abundance of the green stuff resident there. It was thought that this would likely anchor Alexander The Great in position there as the historic events unfolded and prevent any possibility that he would go off and leave the scene in an attempt to conquer Mesopotamia and Persia.
It isn’t the province of this article to question the choice of these particular holograms, suffice it to state that one particularly vociferous critic of the HMC, Professor Wendell Keats of Harvard University, wants his concerns expressed and recorded on the topic and we hereby provide this platform.
‘It’s absolutely crazy,’ he explained via a social media link. ‘The Cecil B. Demille inclusion has merits. That I can live with. It is definitely an upgrade on Abraham Zapruder and his 8mm home movie camera, but Old Mother Riley and Alexander The Great? Really? Take Riley, this guy in drag is expected to watch in the background and count how many shots Lee Harvey Oswald fires from that 6th floor window in 8.2 seconds. I’ve watched films of this character and his daughter (his wife in reality) Kitty McShane. At no time has he/she ever sported a stopwatch. If Old Mother Riley was known for her time keeping don’t you think she would’ve been enlisted to assist with the official timings of the track events at the 1948 Summer Olympics held in London? Furthermore, the character of Old Mother Riley has a tongue on her she uses to berate daughter Kitty and others for even the slightest of misdemeanours. Yet, we are expected to believe that Old Mother Riley will say nothing when she is watching someone taking pot shots at the President of the USA. It stands to reason, therefore, that she will be vociferous in her condemnation. This would mean that Lee Harvey Oswald would not only have to get off three shots with the bolt action rifle at long range, two of which hit the target, in an incredibly swift 8.2 seconds but now achieve this with the further hindrance of having Old Mother Riley on his back.’
Professor Keats was particularly scathing of the choice of Alexander The Great to patrol the Grassy Knoll in Dealey Plaza.
‘What cretin thought it a good idea to put Alexander The Great there to witness the Kennedy assassination? Any classicist worth his toga will tell you that Alexander’s own father, Philip II of Macedon, was himself assassinated in 336 B.C. when Alexander was just 20 years old. The events in Dallas would be sure to jog traumatic memories in Alexander’s mind leading to a diminution of his observational powers. History itself would again be compromised as the many witnesses who provided testimony to the effect that a shot had emanated from the Grassy Knoll would have their evidence quickly devalued when it emerged that upon looking in the direction from whence the shot rang out they spotted Alexander The Great standing there patting his horse Bucephalus.’
Athough this has come as a blow to the History Maintenance Commission, its CEO, Professor Delphi, insists that the organisation will redouble its efforts to preserve history as we know it.
‘We might now be hampered in our efforts to send holograms back in time to coerce historical figures into taking the course we are familiar with them undertaking,’ he declared from the Commission HQ in Madison Avenue, NYC, but that doesn’t prevent us from from researching the imponderables of history and serving our conclusions for public consumption, no matter how unpalatable. Then providing solutions, even if we cannot execute this advice. Time consumed with the process of organising missions can now be expended upon tackling more subjects and by this means more results can be achieved in quicker duration. We are currently working upon a conundrum involving King Arthur and are pleased with the progress achieved thus far. We look forward to releasing our findings via The Hysterical News Agency shortly. To employ commercial parlance, for The History Maintenance Commission it’s business as usual.’