WWJD With Bob? 

Is a schism brewing twixt Bill and Badger?

Attn.: Mr. Cope,

It is me again. Founder, chairperson in perpetuum and discussion leader of the Cope's Latest Column Discussion Group. And Mr. Cope, I do hope you noticed how I definitely did not begin this letter with the more friendly "Dear Bill" salutation which you have maybe become accustomed to getting from me. That is because I and almost everyone else in the Cope's Latest Column Discussion Group are much disturbed because it seems that you have handed over your column lock stomp and barley to that foul-mouther old man who calls himself "Badger Bob."

We understand your need for a filler-inner now and then. Even Ann Curry has filler-inners to fill in when she needs a day off. But we think you definitely need to look around for a better filler-inner than that Bob man, especially since he is now offending our Holy Bible with his disrespectful redoodling of it. What you may not realize is that most of your fans are not disbelievers as you claim you are but are mostly believers. For your information, the Cope's Latest Column Discussion Group has two Presbyterians, two Lutherans, six Unitarians, a Catholic and a Jew. We used to have an ex-Mormon agnostic who now trends toward Buddhaistic beliefs, but he joined a men's drum circle that meets the same night as our group and we haven't seen him since.

Anyway, I am telling you about our denominational makeup to inform you that I am far from the only one who is irritated that you are letting that Bob man's Biblical desecrations take over your column. As I am sure you know, not all Christians are right-wing loony birds. If most of the members of the Cope's Latest Column Discussion Group did not think of themselves as moderate-to-liberal, we would have broken up after the first meeting. But even as moderate-to-liberal as we are, most of us think that Bob man has gone too far. Why is it that you would never allow a racial slur in your column, but you let that Bob man say anything he wants about us Christians? It is beneath you, Mr. Cope.

Besides, aren't there more important things that you should be writing about instead of letting that Bob man fill up your column with his hateful ravelings? Maybe you haven't noticed, but the State Legislature is meeting again. Aren't you paying attention to that? Or Mitt Romney? Surely you have plenty to say about Mitt Romney. I think you should send that Bob man packing, Mr. Cope, and get back on track. I say this as probably your most biggest fan, but it is also my duty to tell that the Cope's Latest Column Discussion Group could go totally kerplooey if you don't return to the good old days when we liked you better.

Thank you for your time,Wavering Admirer

Dearest Wavering,

You are exactly right. Bob is out of control. I warned him people would object, but he is beyond listening. And speaking of Mitt Romney, do you know what Bob wanted to do for this week's column? I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I am so distraught he could even think of doing such a thing, I feel I have to talk to someone about it. You see, as it is entirely possible Romney will be the GOP nominee, Bob wants to use my column to ask if he adheres to some of the more ... shall we say ... unorthodox doctrines of his Latter-Day Saints faith. For instance, Bob wants to know if Romney believes old Joseph Smith really scored those golden tablets from an angel nobody else had ever heard of before. Or if he believes he'll get his own planet to God over when he dies, or if he believes that Native Americans are old-time Israelis who got so lost, they ended up in another hemisphere. And Bob is determined to ask about the underwear.

I told him, "Bob, you can't do that! It's none of our business what Romney believes or doesn't believe. Or what underwear he wears."

Well, you know what he said? He said, "Cope, I'm not asking whether that Mormon stuff is true or not. I don't give a damn whether it's true or not, no more'n I care whether virgins can have babies or a man can rise from the dead. But here's a guy who for a good part of his life has been chasing after the presidency like a sh*t-house crazy border collie after a VW bus ... a guy who wants to be leader of the Western World ... a guy who would have 20,000 nuclear weapons in his arsenal and the financial future of 350 million citizens in his pocket ... and I think it's perfectly reasonable to wonder if he's dumb enough to believe in that crap heart and soul, or if he just shows up on Sunday to make business connections."

Let me tell you, Wavering, I put the big kibosh on him doing any more columns for a few weeks. Last thing I need right now is to have all the local Mormons pissed off at me. However, there is nothing I can do to stop him from "redoodling" with the Bible and I have no choice but to use him occasionally as a "filler-inner." Please give my apologies to your discussion group and if you're ever willing to tell me your name, I will provide cookies for one of your get-togethers.

Oh, and don't worry that I haven't started writing about the State Legislature yet. Watch closely and you'll notice that for the first six ... eight weeks, they do little but strut around like banty roosters, trying to convince us here in the Big City that they really aren't inbred rubes from Crapolaburg and Snotwipe Corners as they appear to be. I assure you there is plenty of time later, when things actually start to get done, to demonstrate they really are inbred rubes from Crapolaburg and Snotwipe Corners.

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