Opinion » Bill Cope

Accidentally Red

He didn't mean to cause no big stink


"Cope! I suppose you got a gripe with ol' Brad Presley's new song."

"Red! I thought you were moving into the Citadel. What happened?"

"I'm awaitin' to see who else joins in. Ya' know, a feller doesn't ever want t' be the first one to show up for a dinner party, a funeral or a militia movement. Cause what if no one else comes? I'd have t' stay there an' talk a'cause it'd be rude t' juss up an' leave. An' you know me. I run out o' stuff to say after two, maybe three minutes."

"Well, I'm glad you're still here. I was just thinking about you."

"Is that so? So what were you thinkin' about me?"

"Uh, actually... I lied. Truth is, I wasn't thinking about you at all. I was thinking about Jim Risch."

"Now, would that be Jim Risch the senator? Or was it Jimmy Risch what works out at the treatment plant you were thinkin' about?"

"Jim Risch the senator, Red. I don't believe I know Jimmy Risch who works out at the treatment plant."

"You ought get t' know him, Cope. You'd get along fine, you two, seein' as how yer writin' job an' his treatment plant job have so much in the commons."

"How's that?"

"See, you're both out to stir up shit and make it presentable to the public. Only difference is, he's got more folks what appreciate what he does than you do. Har har har har har har har! "

"You're a hoot, pal."

"So what was it you were thinkin' about Jim Risch the senator?""About what a douchey, spotlight-grabbing weasel he is. All that national airtime he got, making himself out as some big filibustering tough dude, sticking up for the po' widdle gun nuts and their pwecious right to be soulless assholes. I got so mad when I saw him talk, Red, I actually got on his website and left him a message. Called him a coward, a liar and something else... I forget what."

"You really did that, Cope? You called him a coward?"

"I did. I most surely did. And that's exactly what I think he is. You ever see him actually leading on anything? No, he just finds a pack of like-minded rodents to run with, then jumps out front and pretends he's leading. That's the way he was in the state Legislature, during his teeny-weeny governor stint and that's the way he is in Congress. I'm embarrassed for Idaho that we send junk like that to Congress."

"I'd like to stay an' argue, Cope. But I was on my way t' pick up some medicine goop what's a'posed to be good fer intesturnal worms. I only stopped by t' see what ya' had t' say about that song. Ya' heard it, ain'tcha? The song what Brad Presley sings along with that Double-L-Cooly-Jam. Or whate'er his name is."

"I believe it's 'Paisley,' Red. Not 'Presley.' And I've heard about it. I read the lyrics, but I think I'll pass on the song itself. If you ask me, mixing country music and rap is like genetically combining crab lice with hemorrhoids. An interesting concept, I suppose, but nothing I want in my house."

"But what 'bout the message? Din't ya' think it got a good message?"

"If you're asking if I think it's groovy that some country cracker is just now getting around to having second thoughts about that ignorant slop they call 'Southern culture,' no. America's been waiting 150 years for those Hee Haw chuckleheads to start acting like decent human beings when it comes to race, and then this Paisley dip comes out with a dumb song acknowledging there might have been some hurt feelings? Screw that! 'Accidental racism,' my butt!"

"Take it easy, Cope. I din't mean to gets you all hot an' blathered. I just thought it was a nice..."

"Nothing nice about it, Red! Paisley's just fishing around for an excuse. In the song, he says he's 'proud of where he's from, but not everything we've done.' Yeah, like all that mean, hurtful stuff is over now? Like wearing the goddam Stars and Bars is nothing more than a fashion statement now? And I suppose a burning cross is just an outside night light, and a noose doesn't signify anything more than a place to string up garlic cloves."

"Gull durn, I'm gettin' outta here a'fore you bust a gasket, Cope. I'll come back when yer more..."

"And I suppose all those trash congressmen from Kentucky on down to Texas are just accidentally insulting and demeaning our first black president like they were kicking a stray dog? I suppose Mitch McConnell is accidentally snubbing President Barack Obama's attempts to reach out. I suppose it's just an accident that the Tea Party puts out all those debasing posters and dehumanizing stories, or it's just an accident they talk about how uppity the first lady is."

"Bye, Cope."

"It's as old as Reconstruction. Southerners whining, 'Hey now, Yankee, y'all cain't blame us fer the way we are.' Well, I don't buy it. Not for a second, Red. Uh... Red?"

"Gotta go, Cope. Them intesturnal worms ain't a'gonna doctor up themselves. B'sides, I didn't mean t' cause no big stink. I juss wanted to see what you thought o' that song."

"Oh. Then your intentions were totally innocent. You meant nothing by it, and me getting all pissed off was just an accident?"

"Uh, yup. That's sorta the way I see it.

"OK, Red. You come on back next time you feel like not starting another accident. And good luck with your worms."