May 27, 2002: Recent News Provides Knee-Slappers

The Lady Who Shares My Name got right to the point: “Stop sounding like all the other media fussbudgets in the country and write something funny for a change.” Her opinion’s that we are all in a funk because we are worried about a bunch of Middle East lowlifes blowing up everything we cherish (the bad news) along with themselves (the good news). She doesn’t think being a cranky old man is helping anybody’s mood.

Besides, she says, everybody who peruses this space already knows that I think Ted Turner is nuttier than all the goober plants in Georgia; that ice hockey is the world’s dumbest game and has no redeeming social value; that gas-guzzling SUVs ought to be banned from our roads along with the yuppie-boomers who drive them at supersonic speeds; and that Baptists believe we will all go to hell if (gasp!) women are allowed to become preachers.

“Leave these poor souls alone for awhile,” the Lady instructed, “and make us laugh.” No way I will argue with her because when I do, she feeds me broccoli. But I’m not in a funny mood these days. The only joke that comes immediately to mind is the Ambassador to Outer Space, Congressperson Cynthia McKinney, of Georgia’s 4th District. She is about to get a bad case of tendonitis from patting herself on the back. When it was revealed that vague warnings about terrorist attacks had been coming into the White House since 1995, she and her mindless supporters claim this proved her charges about deliberate neglect by the Bush administration to the warnings. Her insinuation was that the president’s father and others in the defense industry would benefit financially from a war, so George Bush looked the other way. Nothing has come to light that exonerates her or her babbling. Sorry, Madame Flapjaw. Your conspiracy theory is still my favorite joke.

I’ll admit that I consider the latest developments in Sonny Perdue’s well-oiled campaign for governor pretty funny also. Evidently, the same wise souls who urged him to champion natural gas deregulation legislation when he was in the State Senate have convinced Perdue that a classy advertising campaign depicting Governor Roy Barnes as a big rat would make a lot of people from across the state rush out and enthusiastically support the Republican from Bonaire. Alas, the only group that has openly endorsed the campaign to date is the Georgia Association of Rat Breeders and Gerbil Enthusiasts (GARBAGE).

And I had to stifle a giggle at the will-he-or-won’t-he speculation over House Speaker Tom Murphy’s decision to run again and grace us with his benevolent leadership. To the political pundits who are suffering serious hyperventilation awaiting word from the Bremen Brahman, I’ll let you in on a little late-breaking news. Most folks I talk to don’t give a rip one way or the other. They think Murphy is about seven centuries behind the times and is Exhibit A on why so many people are turned off by their state government. And that’s no joke.

I chuckled when I heard that Barbara Dooley had announced she will be a Republican candidate for the new 12th Congressional District seat, which runs from somewhere east of Hartford, Connecticut, to Key West, Florida. The Democrats had custom-tailored the district for Charles “Champ” Walker, son of State Senator Charles Walker, the Kingfish of Augusta. (Not to be critical, but when my son came of age I gave him a bicycle.) Now, Barbara is threatening to crash the Democrats’ private party. Her chances of winning are slim, but she’ll make the race a lot of fun.

Finally, a group of Al Queda terrorists are creeping through the desert when they hear somebody holler from behind a sand dune: “One good ol’ boy from Georgia can whup a hundred Al Queda.” Furious, the commander sends his 100 best men over the dune and a fight commences. After a few minutes, there is silence.

The good ol’ boy calls out again. “Ain’t you got no better fighters than that?” The enraged commander sends another thousand men over the dune with rockets and machine guns. Another battle ensues. Then more silence.

Eventually, one mortally wounded Al Queda fighter crawls back over the dune and pleads with his commander, “Don’t send any more men. It’s a trap. There’s two of them!”

Now, that’s funny.