September 17, 1787
We set out today to bring into this world a new form of document-
Pink belly! Pink belly! the delegates chanted, interrupting George Washington mid-speech.
Elbridge Gerry groaned as Alexander Hamilton hit him repeatedly across the stomach. The constitutional convention may have been over, but the party was just starting.
Ow! George! Ow! Help me, George!
George Washington looked on; it was not his place to interfere with the legislative process.
Pink Belly! Pink Belly!
Okay, Al. Thats enough, said a small voice from the back of the chamber. James Madison walked over to the brawl, tapping Hamilton on the back with his (then in vogue) walking stick. Break it up.
Come on, Jemmy! protested Gouverneur Morris. We all know Elbridge deserves it!
The delegated nodded readily; Madison could even hear a few of them hissing at him for his unwanted intrusion.
Hes a power-mad grubber! Bad! Hamilton kicked the Jeffersonian Republican in the ribs.
You see why we need a bill of rights? asked Madison derisively at the congregation. Theres no law preventing us from doing this kind of thing.
Yeah, but theres a good reason we didnt write a national bill of rights, Hamilton grunted as he hoisted Gerry over his shoulders. Limping to the open veranda, he tossed the man over the railing and into a pile of firewood.
Ahhhh! Splinter! were the last words anyone heard from Elbridge Gerry before the window slammed shut, locking him out of the after-party discussion.
Okay, Mr. Hamilton, why dont you enlighten me as to why you think we dont need a bill of rights?
Ive already told you a thousand times, Hamilton shouted over the wiffleball match that was breaking out between the South Carolinian and Pennsylvanian delegations. We dont need a formal bill of rights because the constitution is a bill of rights. Get it?
No, Madison yelled to be heard over Charles Pinckney as the man ran a victory lap around the Pennsylvanian delegates.
If we start listing rights, then what about the rights that arent listed? Hamilton pursed his lips and raised an eyebrow. Sorry Jemmy, but a bill of rights would limit our rights, not protect them. Can you not see the flawless, machine-driven logic in my plan?
Yes, but we havent said that there are any rights reserved to the people at all! We need to make some mention that there are rights that-
A heated debate between the greatest thinkers of the time.
The rest of his sentence got cut off as a ceiling panel collapsed, dropping a stunned Elbridge Gerry onto the unsuspecting delegates. The elder statesman rose to his feet, his clothing tattered, his hair covered in wood shavings.
How did you get back in here?! bellowed George Washington, whose tri-cornered hat had been knocked off in the fall, revealing a large tattoo across his shaven scalp. It was said that this tattoo endowed him with superhuman strength and the ability to see the future.
Mind your own business! This is my impression of you: Im Ge-orge Washing-ton. I think Ill go to Happy Town and drink a gallon of cheap maple syrup. You like that, funny man?! Elbridge wheezed, trying to stand up straight. He was having a hard time, what with the wooden Massachusetts shoes and all.
Madison shifted uncomfortably. We still need to seriously consider a national bill of rights...
Okay, fine! Hamilton pouted. You can have your puny, pathetic bill of rights! But just so you know, I wont be helping you. Write them yourself.
But that could take days... hey, who wants to do a bill of rights?
In rapid succession, the delegates let off a stream of not it until at last Madison was about to conceed the whole thing. The room became as quiet as a fresh mowed lawn as everyone waited with bated breath to hear the stunning reversal. Madison took a deep breath through his nostrils, opened his lips slightly, and looked Hamilton right in the eye.
Everyone in the room was jolted out of their respective skins as a loud holler erupted from the front doors, which were kicked in by none other than...
Thats my name, stagecoach! Jefferson jeered at the framers. I wanted to be here sooner, but I got held up at the store. You believe they want $0.04 for an almanac?! Well, I set them right. It was really funny. What I did was, I got a dog and a mule...
It was then that Jefferson noticed how quiet the room was, and how everyones eyes were fixated on him.
Hey, Madison, what are you guys looking at?