General Hooker

Dear Citizen,

I am writing in regards to your unremitting presence at our state house’s side entrance. It is not, in fact, an entrance where you can loiter and try to secure business for yourself, despite the fact that you call yourself an “entrepreneur.” Even those nut vendors across the street have permits, and I am certain that you have nothing of the sort. We have gotten numerous complaints from families, elders, and female politicians (although no male politicians or school groups of adolescent boys have complained).

The history behind the entrance has nothing to do with what you probably assumed. Remember, to assume makes an “ass” out of you and me. I know your ass is something you are proud of, but bragging is not attractive. The entrance was named after a Civil War major general from Massachusetts. While he was not especially impressive, he was obviously better than any Confederate generals. Once he was accidentally referred to as “Fighting Joe” in a newspaper, and the name stuck. In the end, we at the State House believed he lived up to that nickname so much that he deserved an entrance and an equestrian statue in his honor, even if General Robert E. Lee used the nickname to make fun of him. Damn the South!

He may not have been a productive presence in the army. His tent was known for gambling and hard drinking; in fact if you had been around the state house during his time, he may have offered you business. Some scholars speculated that the term “hooker” originated with him because of his behavior, but that is false. While he may have had a group of prostitutes nicknamed “General Hooker’s Army” or “Hooker’s Brigade” follow his division, the term “hooker” was seen in writing years before his stint in the army. Etymologists believe it is derived from a large concentration of prostitutes that hung out at Corlear’s Hook in Manhattan. (But we both know Jefferson Davis had more hookers in Richmond).

With all of this in mind, we would like you to please take your “business” elsewhere, maybe to Mississippi’s state house or my ex-husband’s apartment. Your fishnets contribute nothing to our fishing industry. We cannot have actual hookers soiling the name of General “Fighting Joe” Hooker or scaring away tourists and school groups from the General Hooker entrance.

Best of luck with your future endeavors,

Gordy McJimmers

MA State House Employee

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