That I have committed myself to a therapeutic five-week abstinence from uttering the name of a certain White House dweller and alleged leader of the free world whose name begins with "B" (see BW, April 7) has worked wonders on my mental and emotional zeitgeist. No kidding, I'm a new man. Woo-eee dawg, do I feel good! All refreshed and happy and crap. I would highly recommend to all those who suffer as I do from what can only described as a spiritual allergic reaction at the molecular level to the mere thought of Bu ... uh, that despicable worm (or the incoherence of his speech, the improbability of anything he manages to spit out, the basic dishonesty of his status, or even the lame excuses coming from his staff weasels as they desperately try to cover for his ineptitude) that you do as I have done and take a B*** break. Whether it be a day, a week, all the way to the election ... I don't believe the length of the sabbatical matters nearly as much as the calming effects you will experience from refusing to pay any attention to that ... that ... piss-poor excuse for a primate.
Try it. Next time he—or any of his surrogates, for that matter—slumps onto your teevee picture, grab the remote as if you're reaching for a fine Spanish rapier to defend your family from home-invading mutants and slash your way to another channel. Next time you open a newspaper and see a headline beginning with "President explains ...," laugh with wild abandon and announce to all within earshot, "My foot! As events have made perfectly clear, there's no point whatsoever in listening to another word coming from those Bactrian lips!" Next time a friend down at the bowling alley, out on the golf course—wherever—speaks his foul name, just walk away, saying as you go, "Excuse me, but my mother raised me to believe gentlemen do not use such offensive language in mixed company."
You'll be glad you did.
But there is a downside. By eliminating the "B" word from my editorial diet, I have left myself a little thin on columnish subject matter. Five weeks ago, I promised there would be plenty to write about without referring to that ... that ... person I would openly call "dog poop" if I didn't have more respect for both dogs and poop.
But the truth is, my non-B*** opinion options are running low. The unfolding saga about being the parent of a teenage girl, for instance ... I've come close to milking that one dry. She's interesting, that's for sure. But not to you.
Or the gardening ... my carrots are coming up. What more can I say? (Besides, I'd rather not become one of those writers who recycles the same old seasonal material every year under a cute new title—i.e. "Sunlight—A Beet's Best Buddy!" Just remember: all that stuff you learned last spring about compost piles? Well, pal, it ain't changed.)
The Idaho legislature? ... they've all gone back to selling insurance and herding sheep. The Julia Davis Ten Commandments stink? ... yesterday's stink. The Passion of the Christ phenomenon? ... tomorrow's teevee movie opposite the Super Bowl. The downtown "Towers" hole? ... about as funny as the price of gas. The price of gas? ... not funny. The Idaho Statesman's decision to dump Beetle Bailey and totally screw up the teevee guide? ... it's awful, yes—but what isn't awful about The Statesman ? The "out-sourcing" of American jobs? ... sorry, but I hear there's a writer in Sri Lanka working on that column.
Of course, there are other matters I could—and should—be writing about. And matters of deep concern, they are. Why, just last night, I learned how this administration has been systematically eliminating government offices, Web sites, publications ... anything and everything that relates to, informs of, or assists with women's issues, from wage disparity to health concerns. Just what you might expect when NASCAR dads become trendier than soccer moms, eh?
Or how's about the move by federal officials to count factory fish along with the wild salmon so that Northwest industries and their pet politicians are off the hook, recovery-wise? Hell, as long as they're simply changing definitions rather than actually solving problems, they might as well count all the goldfish that get flushed down the toilet, too. (And in the same spirit, they could get a bunch of Swedes together, reclassify them as "Iraqis," and hand the government over to them come June.)
Don't forget the effort to eliminate over-time pay for millions of American workers. Wal-Mart execs must figure that getting to wear those cheesy little vests for an extra 20 hours a week is incentive enough.
Or what about the smearing of John Kerry's patriotism because he objected to the Vietnam War when he returned? Jeez, it's not enough that you volunteer to go to a stinking jungle somewhere and get shot three times for no good reason. Oh, no. These Republican jerks expect you to like it!
And speaking of smears, there's that new book by Joe Wilson ... what's it called? ... The Politics of Truth, where he attempts to identify the inner-circle snake who endangered his wife in retribution for his calling bull on the Niger plutonium whopper. What I want to know is, if the right wing is so convinced the liberal media is undermining America, how does rancid old Robert Novak expose a CIA agent at the bidding of some staff criminal, and nobody calls him a traitor for doing it? Can you even imagine if ... say, Molly Ivins ... had outed an American spook on the basis of classified information supplied by one of Clinton's people?
See? There's plenty to write about. Plenty. Only, 99 percent of it all feeds back to one root. One miserable, rotten, misbegotten root. Every time we think we've seen the lowest, they up and sink a little lower. Really ... about that time John Kerry thought the microphone was off and he told those guys, "This is the worst bunch of lying crooks I've ever seen"... well criminy, who could have imagined that he was understating the case?
So—not that I want to—but I must end my abstinence and make once more into the breach. As a responsible citizen—not to mention a political columnist—it is my duty to start using that word again. I warn you, though. Stand back. For the first few days, I'll probably be spewing spittle and phlegm all over the place. You know, like someone who's just found half a dead mouse in his teevee dinner.
Okay, here goes. Bu ... B-b-b-b-uh ... osh. Buh ... Buh ... oooosh! (Little rusty, I am, but don't worry. I'll have it back by next week.)