"You're doing it again, Cope."
"Doing what again, Bob?"
"Not doing what you should be doing. That's what you're doing again."
"OK then, what is it that I should be doing that I'm not doing?"
"Letting all the important s*** slide by without a whimper while you waste time writing s*** nobody but you cares about. There's all this perfidious s*** going on, and what are you doing? P***ing away good column space with your moron buddy Red or gabbing on about how you turned 65. Damn, Cope! Who gives a s*** if you turned 65?"
"Golly, Bob. I'm just trying to be personable to my readers. I don't want my peeps to be thinking I'm not personable. And besides, what's all this perfidious poop you think I should be writing about?"
"Do the words 'fiscal cliff' mean a f***ing thing to you, Cope? Or that the f***ing Republicans are still acting like it's their country to f*** up whether anyone else likes it or not? Or that we have a bunch of sour bully, business-owning a**h***s so deranged over the election outcome that they're canning employees and cutting hours like brats stomping on littler kids' toys?
"Or that we have a million hillbillies who are dumb enough to think secession is a better idea now than it was the last time? Or that we have a home-grown legislator so spectacularly stupid that she actually circulated the suggestion that if enough red states refuse to participate in the Electoral College, then the outcome of the presidential election would be decided in Congress and Mitt Romney would win?
"Are you oblivious to all this, Cope? Have you not noticed that the losers are behaving like f***ing insane howler monkeys throwing as much s*** at the sane people as they can until their bowels have no more to give? Are you unaware that a sizable hunk of the f***ing GOP would rather see the country crumble than allow Barack Obama a legitimate presidency?"
"Well, of course I've noticed all that, Bob. What do you think I am ... some kind of teenager or Gen-X-er or something? I just figured people would appreciate a little break from all these politics."
"Or is it you who needs a break from politics?"
"Yeah ... that, too. But what's wrong with that? See, I have a theory ..."
"Oh mercy, not another f***ing theory."
"Gosh darnit, Bob, you hear me out. I listen to all of your theories, so it wouldn't kill you to listen to one of mine. According to my theory, see, there are two kinds of people in the country. But they aren't necessarily Republicans and Democrats. One kind has rounded personalities, full experiences, broad interests. And for them, politics is just one facet among the many that make up their lives.
"The other kind prefer to shut out anything beyond the ideology they've adopted. It's like they're squeezed into a tight rubber suit and everything that doesn't fit inside that suit with them gets thrown aside. Get it? Actually, they don't absorb an ideology so much as let themselves be absorbed by the ideology, see what I mean?
"And these days, for whatever reason, those kind of people are about a thousand times more likely to be a Republican than a Democrat. It's not always true, because for every million fruitcakes on the right, we can find one or two fruitcakes on the left. But as a general rule, when we run into someone who has nothing whatsoever on his mind but fringy politics, most likely, he's a Republican.
"And incidentally, Bob, this explains why there are no exceptional artists or scientists or thinkers on the right anymore. Think about it ... We have Al Pacino and Matt Damon. They have Chuck Norris. We have Yoyo Ma and Bruce Springsteen. They have Ted Nugent. We have poets and visionaries and philosophers. They have Glenn Beck. We have ..."
"I get it!"
"But the real deal is, these people aren't born that way, and it doesn't happen by accident, either. Whether we're aware of it or not, we choose which kind of person we'll be, layer by layer. And in the end, that's what we're stuck with ... ourselves. And geez, Bob, I'm afraid that if I spend all my time obsessing over what stunted, incomplete people so many Republicans have become, I'll turn into something not so different from them. All squeezed up into a tight rubber suit of my own making."
"F***ing wonderful. But while you're off self-actualizing, who's letting your readers know what the a**h***s are up to?"
"Bob, I can't do a better job at showing what a**h***s the a**h***s have become than the a**h***s, themselves. Take that legislator with the idea for red states to skip the Electoral College ..."
"Nuxoll. Sheryl Nuxoll's her name."
"Yeah ... her. Now ask yourself, Bob. Is there anything I could possibly write about Sheryl Nuxoll that would make her out to be any bigger an idiot than she's already established on her own?"
"But there are so many more like her, Cope. So many, many more."
"Relax, Bob. We'll get to 'em. But one thing I learned when I turned 65 is that you can't chew on a whole ham at once."
"Cope, wanna know what I learned 15 years ago when I turned 65? I learned that if all you can talk about is being 65, you'll spend most of your time talking to yourself.