Something on Paper 

In the company of company

Don't have much time so I'll get straight to the point. It has to do with Bush being the last one in D.C. to know a questionable Cessna was invading Washington airspace. Remember? The country's center of government was in potential danger from a possible nuclear attack or an anthrax crop-dusting or God knows what, and they didn't interrupt Junior's bike ride to tell him until it was over. Can you believe it? The point being: Do we need any more proof even his closest cronies don't exactly consider our commander-in-chief the go-to guy in case of a national emergency? And do you suppose this explains why they sat him down in the kiddie corner with My Pet Goat in his widdle hands to keep him out of the way on 9/11?

What I thought I'd do to fill the rest of the page is compile a list of other harmless activities Cheney and Rove could involve Junior in, should more national emergencies pop up. But first, let me apologize if my writing seems like I'm hacking out a column just to get a column hacked out-even though that's precisely what I'm doing. Been a lot going on in the Cope household lately, and it ain't over yet. Every day feels like 16 hours of "Alive After Five" around here. And then there was Saturday when I promised to take them to see the Snake River down by Swan Falls and on to the Birds of Prey Center. I found the Snake River OK-figured if we just drove south long enough, we'd find it-but then we wandered around for hours trying to find the Birds of Prey joint, which we never did and in the meantime, kerblooey goes my prime Saturday morning column composing time. So here I am now, trying to make up for it, only with my wife hollers downstairs, "Just write something, Honey, and let's get going. Mom and Dad are already in the car!"

Oh! Guess I forgot to tell you who's here. It's my mom and dad in-law. All the way from Florida-the "If It's Totally Screwed Up And It's In The News, It Probably Happened In Florida" state. Not that my father- and mother-in-law are either totally screwed up or in the news. Jeez, not everyone from Florida is a vote-stealing, pedophiliac child-murdering, Elian-napping, Castro-plotting, hurricane-running, Schiavo-pestering, alligator-chewed-up, Catherine Harris-skanky sinkhole owner. I can name at least two who aren't, myself. And both of them are staying in our house this week.

But it's all good. I'm not complaining. I love my in-laws dearly and get along with them just fine. Much better, in fact, than my daughter expects I'll ever get along with whatever future son-in-law she drags home. But from a deadline consideration, it only makes it harder that I love them dearly and get along with them just fine. If we detested each other and they spent the whole week avoiding me like so much vomit on the sidewalk outside a Garden City cowboy bar, I'd have no problem getting a column done. It's not like there's a shortage of material. I keep column ideas in a pile next to my computer, and when it gets too high and tips over, I start another pile. See? I've got column ideas stacked up all over the house like stalactites ... or stalagmites (I can't remember which one goes from the bottom up, but it's that one) ... and some of those ideas run all the way back to when Kempthorne bulldozed his luxury Boise-to-Tamarack fun-run road through the Legislature. (Possible angle: "Good Garvee, Dirk, you say Idaho's going into debt for how many billion just to make sure some destination resort bums can get off a plane in Boise and make it to Cascade in time for a late-afternoon downhill run?")

Or there's the outfitter in North Idaho who was using dogs, guns, tracking collars and most likely some stale Moon Pies and a tub of sweet honey mustard as bear bait, and now he's bitching like a stood-up prom queen because wolves ate a few of his dogs. (Possible angle: "Tell you what, Jeremiah Johnson ... If you're such a scout, why don't you ditch the high powered rifle, get naked, and go take revenge on those wolves mano a mano?")

And how about the irony of an outspoken anti-gay Spokane mayor being busted for Internet toy-boy procuring? (Hey Spokesman-Review reporters, you need to bring your outing poles down to Boise someday; have I got a fishing hole for you!) Oh, and was Laura Bush really that funny at the media banquet we kept seeing over and over in the media? Or did everyone laugh because it's like when your dotty aunt tells a horrible cornball joke and the whole family pretends it's the funniest thing they ever heard, even though it's two days later when she remembers the punchline?

Get what I'm getting at? It's satirical satori-ville out there, only I don't have time for much more than a blog-sized stab at any one subject. We were suppose to leave 10 minutes ago for brunch at JB's. Or is that tomorrow? Maybe it's the Old Penitentiary/Botanical Gardens walk-about we're doing today. Gad, I hope I'm wearing the right shoes!

Anyhows, I figure I have about two minutes before my kid starts blowing the horn and my wife comes back with an ultimatum, so let me get this out fast: T-BALL! Think about it. Say the terrorists make hash out of one of those East Coast chemical plants that Bush hasn't protected yet and the whole country goes Condition Hysterical ... what better image to etch in terrified Americans' minds than the picture of our jolly president taking his turn at bat?

Here's another: Have him sitting on the floor in front of a teevee watching Sesame Street in a daycare center. (An underground, fortified daycare, to be sure. After all, he is the leader of the free world.) But someone needs to make certain he isn't still there when Postcards from Buster comes on. That's not the sort of thing we want to see our president seeing, now is it?

Or what if they put him on one of those ponies that go round and round a ... oh CRAP! There goes the car horn. Guess I'll have to finish up tonight after everyone goes to bed. Or maybe I'll get up early tomorrow. But not to worry, faithful readers. You'll get your damn column. Oh! And did I mention we also have a foreign exchange student staying with us all spring? Yes. From Chile. But never mind that now. I'll save her for the next time I have to come up with something.

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