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Advice for the worried

Attn: Mr. Bill Cope,

You may remember me, although not my name, as I never told you it. I am the same "Anonymous" who wrote to you last fall as the founder of our Cope's-Latest-Column Discussion Group. Remember? At the time, we were concerned that you were running out of ideas for continued columnizationing, and you wrote back. Remember? I cannot remember what you said in your reply, but I definitely remember that you did reply because I kept your letter. I cannot remember right now where I put it, but eventually I will run across it and I am hoping to have it framed someday, especially if it turns out that you die before I do.

Anywho, the reason I am writing again is that two weeks or maybe three ago, you were overheard saying something which I thought was shocking. It was when you were out one night in a bar, and my only explanation that you could have said such a shocking thing is that maybe you had too much to drink. I do not drink myself, so I do not know what it must feel like, except for the occasional glass of fruity sangria during Oprah. If you remember, that night you were out in a bar was a few days after you columnized that you had been fired. During our Cope's-Latest-Column Discussion Group meeting just after that, we had a very heated discussion as to whether you were pulling some April Foolishness wool over our eyes, or if you truly had been fired. We were up well past 8:30 p.m. arguing about it, and eventually, we decided that somebody had to follow you to see if you were still behaving in a way a columnist would behave if he had not been fired. Since I am the only one who knows where you live, I was elected to park down the street from your house and follow you if you went anywhere. I brought along my friend Ethel to keep me company, but since Ethel does not belong to the Cope's-Latest-Column Discussion Group, I am still the only one who knows where you live.

So then, you went to that bar and Ethel and I were sitting in a booth where we could see you drinking and talking to people. Ethel bought me a drink I don't know what but it had a maraschino cherry in it, and I even smoked one of her cigarettes. (She is trying to quit, just as she was since I met her 17 years ago.) After a while, I said, "Ethel, does he act like he has been fired to you?" and of course she did not know because she never reads your columns and does not know you from Adam like I am very good at. But later she had to go tinkle and walked right by you. And when she came back she said "Do you know what I just heard that guy say?" and I said "Who?" and she said "That guy you are spying on" and I said "No" and she said "No ... what?" and I said "No, I don't know what you just heard him say," and she said that you said "I never thought I'd say this, but I think Butch is right."

Well let me tell you, Mr. Cope, I was shocked. I said "That can't be right. You must of heard him wrong, Ethel," and Ethel said "Nope. That's what he said, all right." I have not told the Cope's-Latest-Column Discussion Group about this because I am afraid all the others, including me maybe, might quit if they thought you were on Butch Otter's side. We read your columns mostly because we can count on you to not be on Butch Otter's side, as well as Dick Cheney's side and Mitt Romney's side and all the others. Please write back and tell me Ethel heard you wrong, and also, what it is that Butch Otter might be right about, and also, congratulations for not being fired. And also, is it possible you know another Butch that has been recently right about something?

Yours truly, Anonymous

Dear Anon,

First, I must apologize for being seen drinking in public. I assure you, I only do it when I have one of those vague, uneasy sensations that I'm being watched.

Indeed, I do remember going to a bar not long ago and having a conversation over a jigger or two of some pinkish fluid. And I am sorry to have to tell you this, Anon, but not only was it Gov. Butch Otter at the center of said conversation, but yes, I agree with him on something--specifically on the need to raise the money to fix up some highways and byways here in Idaho before the entire state starts looking like a Boise County salvage yard. In fact, any time a Republican leader shows any interest whatsoever in improving conditions for any aspect of the future--be it transportation conditions, education conditions, environmental conditions ... you name it--I find it encouraging. All too often, we see the majority party here 'bouts wallowing in the obsession to never raise taxes in any way, shape or form, no matter what the depths of degradation and deprivation it may bring to the people they are supposed to be looking out for. This is what you get when ideology completely takes over that place in the brain usually reserved for ideas.

Frankly, it didn't even offend me when Butch went postal with his veto stamper at the height of his battle with the House herd. I thought the fact that he was slapping the crap out of their bills rather than the pompous poops themselves showed enormous restraint. Honestly, I don't know how anyone with a spark of life in his head can stand to be in the company of self-inflating dirt-road rubes like Mike Moyle and Lawerence Denney without either laughing in their faces or challenging them to a duel.

Which--come to think of it--is exactly what Butch should do. Challenge them to a duel, that is. I don't believe the Butchernator could convincingly pull off a good sarcastic laugh. There is something inherently insincere about him personally, don't you think?--whether it be in those anti-meth public service commercials, his ol' cowpoke stage persona, or his attempts to convince a cop how the smell of whiskey on his breath could come from an innocent nibble of chaw. It's like he went to Dirk Kempthorne for lessons on how to act normal. But I do believe he would be an imposing figure with either an epee or a dueling pistol in his hand. And what's better yet, we would see just how committed conservative scabs like Moyle and Denney are to the "good old days."

Oh, darn. Late word comes that some sort of piddling agreement has been reached and the scabs are scurrying home to Rube-ville. Too bad. That duel would have been fun stuff, what? Thanks for writing, Anon, and rest easy. I am not turning Republican on you. Just trying to give a little credit where little credit is due, that's all.

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