Red B-Gone 

An' don' let th' door hit yous in the...

Bill Cope

"You wanted to see me, Cope?"

"I do, Red. And thanks for coming over so fast."

"No big hooey. I ain't got nothing t' do t'day 'cept f'r t' run by the Department o' Politicians t' pick me up an entry form."

"An entry form? For what? You thinking about running for office?"

"Eg-zactly am, Cope. I cain't sit by an' watch Idee-ho slip down that slipp'ry slope o' socialistism. I figure a feller o' my qualifactations has a duty t' do the right thing an' step up t' the plate an' throw my hat int' the ring t' do my bit an' once more int' the breaches' an'..."

"OK, I get it. So what are you thinking of running for?"

"Guv'ner, that's what."

"Governor? Jeez, Red. That's aiming a bit high for a first-time candidate, isn't it? Why don't you try those 'qualifactations' of yours out on the school board? City Council, maybe."

"No sirree, Cope. I got too much t' offer t' start out at the bottom an' work m' way up. 'Sides, we got us a lib'ral guv'ner what needs t' get his fanny booted out o' office, an' I'm just the feller to do it.""Butch Otter a liberal? You're kidding."

"I ain't no hows no way kiddin', Cope! Ain't yous aware that your precilious Butch Otter went along with that Obarmacare hopslaw an' set Idee-ho up with one o' them state exchargers? He should o' ganged up with them other 'Publican guvners what did the good conservatist thing by tryin' to kill any chance their local poor folks could get themselves some health assurance. He's a Municher, that's what y'r precilious Butch Otter is! A Municher ! An' I aim to send him apackin' back t' San Fran Sicko!"

"Otter's from Caldwell, Red. And what the hell does that mean anyway, a 'Municher?'"

"Don't you know nothin', Cope? A Municher's a feller what goes and pulls a Munich, which is a word in one o' them other languishes what means 'chickenin' out.' Obarma is a Municher f'r chickenin' out to them Iranish Moo-shahs. An' Otter's a Municher f'r chickenin' out t' Obarmacare. Savvy?"

"You know, I didn't ask you to come over just to hear another one of your insane theories."

"Wull so what did you aks me over for, Cope?"

"Red, well... the deal is, uh, I've had another complaint about you."

"What you mean, 'complaint?' There ain't nothin' I done what anyone might complain about. And if it's acause I had t' take a whiz the other night afore I got in the truck and headed home, wull hows was I s'pposed to know it was y'r neighbor's bush I was awhizzin' behind? An' how was I s'pposed t' know his wife'd be watchin' me out the kitchen window? An' how was I s'pposed t' know his dog..."

"No, that's not it, though it does explain why I haven't gotten the usual Christmas card from Mrs. Goodlowe. This is about your enunciation, Red. Again. We worked on that a few years back, remember? No one could figure out what the hell you were saying, so I got you some enunciation coaching, and you got a little better. But lately, it's gotten worse again. And your vocabulary is abominable."

"I begs t' differ, gull durn it! My Melba buds are always asking me where I done learnt so many big words."

"You know so many big words because you make them up, Red. There is no such thing as 'hopslaw' or 'precilious.' Or 'Municher'... that doesn't mean a damn thing. Besides, every time I put you into a column, I go through more apostrophes in a thousand words than another writer would in a 600-page novel. I know exactly what that complainer is talking about. It's exhausting to slog through your dialogue. And if anyone thinks it's a chore to read what you say, imagine what it's like to write it."

"Sos what we gonna do 'bout it, Cope? I ain't gonna have to suffer through more o' them enuncification lessons again, am I?"

"Red, I don't think that will help. You are incorrigible, I know that now. And... Red... I'm going to have to let you go."

"Whats you mean, 'let me go?' Yous ain't firin' me, is you?"

"I'm afraid I have to."

"Bu'... bu'... it's a week afore Chris'mas, Cope! Hows I'm s'pposed to buy my li'l gran'babies their Chris'mas mittens? Hows I'm s'pposed to get m' wife them Chris'mas biscuits what I promised her?"

"Red, I'm sorry, but I don't see what this has to do with me. I don't pay you anything anyway, so what..."

"I think I knows what's goin' on here, Cope. Yous amakin' war on my Chris'mas, juss like what them Fox folk're always talkin' 'bout. Admit it! You hate Chris'mas, sos y'r tryin' t' smush mine up sos I won't have any joyishness t' spread around!""That's ridiculous."

"Ridiculist is it? You jus' wait 'til I get t' be guv'ner! I'll be officionadoin' over all sorts o' Chris'mas hopslaw! I'll be pluggin' in trees an' handin' out ginger Jesus cookies t' li'l chil'runs an'...

"Good luck, Red. And good-bye."

"You jus' wait. Y'ain't heard the last o' me, gull durn it!"

"Yes I have."

"No y'ain't."

"Yes I have."

"No y'ain't."

Is it true? Has 18 years of repartee 'twixt Cope and Red come to this?

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