I have trouble getting inspired in February. Don't ask me why. Could be because it's such a stubby little runt of a month. Could be because it comes at the sphincter end of the large intestine of seasons. Could be because of Valentine's Day, I don't know. All I know is nothing ever seems to happen in a February that gets me very excited, and this last one was no exception.
Is it any wonder, then, that about a week before Oscar night, my thoughts turned to what my pal Red might think about an ultra-conservative Bush-worshipping devout Christian homosexual prostitute with a fake name getting into White House press briefings on the pretense he's a real journalist?
"Zat you Cope? Yer gonna have t' talk real loud 'cause mah cell phone's actin' up."
"You're not driving, are you? Because if you are, pull over. What I want to talk about might get you all road-ragey."
"No hell no ah ain't drivin'. Took my wife out t' dinner. It's our anniversity, ya' know. Thirty years t'day we been hitched."
"Well congrats, pal. Thirty years, huh? Where'd you take her?"
"Ah. And that's where you are now?"
"Yup. Just 'bout t' order. So whats ya' want, Cope?" "I'll catch you later, bud. I don't want to interrupt a couple's pearl anniversary."
"Nah, you go 'head an' talk. She's in the can washing the nightcrawler smell off'n her hands, an' ah ain't got nothin' else t' do 'til this big fat lunk ahead o' me decides what the hell he wants t' eat."
"Uh ... Red, you're talking pretty loud, yourself."
"Got to. Mah cell phone's actin' up."
"OK. The deal is, I was wondering what you thought about an ultra-conservative Bush-worshipping devout Christian homosexual prostitute with a fake name getting into White House press briefings on the pretense he's a real journalist."
There came a sudden choking, gurgling sound on the other end of the line, much like when a dog tries to cough up Saran Wrap. "You OK, bud?" "Cope, yer talkin' 'bout this here Jeff Gannon bird, zat it?"
"Yessir, I am ... unless you know of another ultra-conservative Bush-worshipping devout Christian homosexual prostitute with a fake name getting into White House press briefings on the pretense he's a real journalist."
"Yew lib'rals ... ya' never let a little thang go, do ya? Juzz a sec Cope ... gimmee two o' them there triple bacon burgers, a couple o' them there super freedom fries ... an' ah tell you what, Cope ... this Jeff Gannon ain't no bosom buddy o' George Bush, if'n that's what yer gettin' at ... an' one of them mega-swig tubs o' Doc Pepper."
"Red, I'm not implying Gannon and Bush are lovers. I'm just curious to know if any of this is getting to you." "Any o' what? An' throw in one o' them there garden-fresh chunks o' cheesy lettuce."
"The irony, Red. C'mon, don't you feel sometimes like you're being suffocated in irony?"
"Whatchyew talkin' 'bout, Cope? Ah ain't seein' no ironies. An' ah ain't suff'catin' in nuttin'."
"Limbaugh and his drugs? O'Reilly the phone perv? Armstrong Williams shilling administration schemes? Robert Novak exposing CIA personnel? And now Gannon? No ironies? Bud, this is the same bunch who're always spouting moral values and family and Ten Commandments crap, and one by one, we find out they're nothing more than rotten, corrupt little scam-bums out to skim as much cream off the conservative sheep as they can get away with. And you see no irony?"
"An' mah wife wants a footlong hot dog ... hold the onions ... an order of onion rings, an' some Mountain Dew. Cope, yer mistake is in thinkin' this Gannon bird is a good Christian conservative feller when he ain't! Whatcha' mean you don' have onion rings? An' hell no, she don' want no damn Sierra Mist! She been a Mountain Dew gal since they discovered the stuff!"
"Red, this isn't working. I'll call you tomorrow."
"Jus' hang on there, Cope. Ah'll straighten this out fer yer, but ah got me a crisis goin' on ... son, try mixin' a dab o' mustard inta that Sierra Mist an' we'll see if she notices ... 'cause there ain't no good Christian conservative feller'd ever be no gay toy-boy ... an' if'n' ya' got onions fer yer burgers, an' if'n' ya' got grease t' fry 'em in, whatcha mean ah cain't get me no fried onion rings? So's he has t' be a Dem'crat."
"Yup. it's what they call logisticated thinkin', Cope. Since'n' Dem'crats is the party o' gay toy-boys ... which'n' ever'body knows it is ... an' if'n' this Gannon bird is really a gay toy-boy like all them flogs 'r' sayin', then sic ergot que pasa ... he's a damn Dem'crat. Plain as the nose on yer face, Cope. He's prob'ly passin' hisself off as a good Christian conservative man juzz to make good Christian conservative men look bad. That's mah theoretics, anyway. Damn Dem'crats 'll stoop t' 'bout anythin', ya' know. An' that includes impersonatin' Republicans."
"Red, that's the craziest thing I've ever heard you say. Which is saying something."
"TWEN'Y-THREE DOLLARS AN' 19 CENTS! What'd ya do, kid ... add that fat fellers' bill onta mine? Nope, Cope. 'E ain't one o' ours, so 'e's gotta be one o' yours. Oh, Honeypie, yew get that worm smell off? Yew ain't got a few exter dollars, der ya'? Ah plum forgot t' bring that 20 dollar bill ah had laid out."
"Red, do you even remember how this got started? Gannon was insulting Democrats at a televised press briefing." "Yeah, ah 'member. An' ain't that irony fer ya. E'en gay toy-boy Dem'crats ain't got no respect fer Dem'crats. Here's yer Mountain Dew, Honeypie. Don' swill it 'round in yer mouth like ya' usually do, okee-doke?"
"Red, I have an alternative theoretic. What if Gannon really is a Republican. A good Republican, just like he says he is. And like so many other good Republicans, he's confident that any scummy, low-life crud is justified, as long as it promotes whatever Republicans want. Think about it ... how big a difference is there between whoring out your genitals for a few bucks and whoring out the truth to justify, say, a war? Or Social Security reform?"
There was more of that constricted throat noise coming from the phone. "Red? You still there?
"Wha'? Say wha'? Cope ... "
"Red, you going to answer me?"
"... ain't hear a word yer sayi ... cell phone's actin' u ..."
I wished him a happy anniversary and hung up. I don't know whether he heard me or not. But then, I never do.