Jan. 19, 2003: State of the Column: No New Taxes, No McKinney

My fellow Americans, rather than the rib-tickling, head-scratching, mind-altering prose usually found in this space, today I will present my annual State of the Column speech. (Applause!) I figure if presidents, governors and assorted city and county politicos can waste our time telling us what a wonderful job they are doing in their annual State of the Whatever speech, you deserve no less from me. The only downside is the risk of a wet kiss from former Congressperson Cynthia McKinney, whom voters made ineligible to plant her usual smacker on George W. Bush at his State of the Union appearance. (Applause!)

First, I would like to announce that I will not be raising taxes on this column in 2003. (Standing ovation!) You may smoke a cigarette and have a shot of Jack Daniels while reading this column and you will not be charged a single additional sou. (Another standing ovation!) I am sympathetic to the fact that Governor Perdue proposes to raise taxes on booze and tobacco (boos!) and to sock it to you for the fuel you waste in the gas-guzzling SUV you drive at the speed of sound while talking on your cell phone so that everybody will think you are important. (Silence)

Looking back on 2002, it was a year of daunting challenges, but your columnist fearlessly met those challenges. (Applause!) It is with no small degree of pride that I report my success in offending a record number of groups and individuals over the past year. (Applause!) I said Georgia’s Democrats were arrogant and out of touch with Georgia voters. (Applause!) I said the Republicans didn’t do anything special. They just happened to be in the right place at the right time. (Applause!) I suggested that proponents of the old state flag, who seem to love the 19th century so much, should be forced to live with outside plumbing. (Silence) I repeated my long-standing assertion that Arab militants are a bunch of jive-talkers that couldn’t beat Nebraska, let alone the rest of the United States. (Standing ovation!) I ended the year by saying that Georgia Tech remains my third favorite team in the world, just behind UGA and anybody playing Tech. (Another standing ovation!)

I must report to you, however, that as good as my record was in 2002, it was not perfect. I thought Roy Barnes would be reelected easily. (Boos!) So did Roy Barnes. (Boos!) I surmised that since former Senator Max Cleland was shown the door by Georgia voters, he might choose to become a Boy Scout leader. (Boos!) And I predicted that Jane Fonda would grow a beard and join the Taliban. (Lots of boos!) But even though I made a few mistakes, I still had a better year than did the Catholic Church. (Lots of Hail Marys!)

My fellow Americans, history will not judge us by where we have been, but where we are going. (Confused applause!) Where we are going in this column is ahead! (More confused applause!) I have a great vision for this wonderful country of ours. I see an America where all the good running backs in the country end up in Athens wearing Red and Black. (Standing ovation!) I see an America where people can choose whether or not to eat broccoli. (Another standing ovation!) I see an America where parents can tell their kids to take that stupid ring out of their navel and not get sued by the ACLU. (Another standing ovation!) I see an America where people of all races, creeds and colors can freely and openly worship Ray Charles (A really, really long standing ovation!)

In closing, let me say thank you for allowing me to be your columnist. With your support and with the support of You-Know-Who above, I pledge I will continue to reach out to those who are less fortunate – liberal weenies, Baptists, cat lovers, lawyers and anybody who voluntarily chooses to live in Atlanta – to make this a better column for our generation and for those to follow. (Applause!) I am sorry to cut this short, but here comes Cynthia McKinney and she looks like she is all puckered up. Thank you and good-bye. (Standing ovation!)