Opinion » Bill Cope

Addy-oze, 'Migo

Red gets the pink slip

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"Yews know whad dey orghter do t' dat dang Pelowrski worman? Dey orghter sen' 'er down t' dat der Gitchmo eye-lan' an' warder board 'er lib'ral Fran Sanfiscal fanny 'til she 'pologizes f'r whad she said 'boud our brave fighdin' boys in d' Ceez-I-Hey! Da's wha' dey orghter do t' dat dang Pelowrski worman!"

"It's 'Pelosi,' not 'Pelowrski,' and I didn't come to talk about her."

"Sos maybe y'r hyar t' hyar hows car-born dee-oxidationin' is as natchrul as a Coc' Cola fart?"

"Nope, Red. I'm not here about carbon dioxide, either."

"Wullz den, whar'd y' come fer, Cope? Yewz juss pick d' subjeck, an' ah'll gurr'n'tees ya' ah'll have an opinyun 'bouts id."

"It's about you, buddy. I came over to tell you I won't be using you in my columns anymore."

"Wha'! Whys nod! Wha'd ah do wrong, Cope? Is id 'causen ah went t' dat big tea baggers pardy back when? Is id 'causen ah called y'r dang ol' Bobama a fackshist soshylismer? Is id 'causen ah leaves corments on y'r web sigh whad calls yewz an idjut libtard 'leetist sissyboy? Whads yew mean yew won' b' usin' me in y'r dang comlums nony more?"

"Here's the thing, Red ... remember me telling you I went out to a bar a few weeks ago? Remember? The night I couldn't shake the feeling I was being watched?"

"Yarz."

"Well what I didn't tell you is that I got to talking with this fellow who knew I wrote stuff for the Boise Weekly ... piano man for the band, he was, and a nice guy ... and he was telling me as a general rule, he likes what I write and even agrees with me now and then. But then he brought up the columns in which I'm talking over something with you, and he hates them, Red. He told me he doesn't even try to read them anymore."

"Sos 'e don' like d' idear dat yews wou'd e'er pre-scent d' udder indelleskyewl ... er, endulexptshunnal ... er, untilleskchewl ... "

"Red, are you trying to say 'intellectual?'"

"Yarz, dat's id. 'E don' like yew givin' d' udder untilleskchewl side ter d' derbate. Dat's wha' disses 'bout, aren't id?"

"Nope, it doesn't have anything to do with me presenting your side of any debates. It has to do with you being unintelligible. The guy said he couldn't stand to read what you have to say because ... well, I believe the way he put it was ... you talk like a monkey. And he's not the only person to tell me this. My audience has no idea what you're saying most of the time. You're incoherent. You're inarticulate. You make up words and then pronounce them wrong. You drop more syllables than you enunciate. Nobody can tell whether it's some mutant regional dialect you're speaking, or if your tongue is glued to the roof of your mouth. So what it comes down to, pal, I have to choose between what's in the best interests of my readers, or you."

"Bud weze go back t' d' begunnin', Cope. Weze done wen' bowlin' t'gether. Weze done drunk beer t'gether. Ahs god yew on m' speed dial sos when ah gets a new idear ah c'n get holt o' y' quick-like. An' ahs al'ays thoud yew 'ppreciated haffin' me around sos ah c'd be one o' dem whatchamacallims f'r y'r opinyuns. Yews knows whats ah means ... one o' dem 'foibles.'"

"Believe me, Red. This is as hard for me as it is for you. I love ya' man, you know that. Sometimes, I feel like you're the twin brother I never had and that we were separated at birth and you were raised in a Tennessee turnip cellar by salamanders and that's why you came out the way you did. You're the yin to my yang, brother. The cracker under my cheese and the flop to my flip. But darnit all, it's not right for me to allow my readers to struggle over every damn word that comes out of your mouth. Surely you can see that? Here I went out and bought all these dictionaries and thesauri and grammar books and such, and I went to one writers' workshop after another, and I took all those classes in syntax and advanced punctuation and proper paragraph indentation and how to jazz up verbs and how to pick colorful nouns, all so that I can communicate more effectively with the people I'm trying to reach ... and then along comes you. It's like spending all day trying to simmer up the perfect spaghetti sauce, and then throwing in a sack of beef jerky just before it's served. Am I making sense?"

"Whads ah'm hearin' is how yews god dem hoity-toilety snoppers whads readin' y'r starries, and yers embashermed by havin' a reg'lar Joe-Bob six-pack lahk me be seen in yers cormpany. Ahm nod good 'nough f'r y'r new friends. Dat's wha'd sounds lahk t' me."

"Now Red, don't be hurt. This is mostly my fault. I could have dressed up what you say. I could have made you more presentable. I wrote it down exactly like it came from your lips, and I admit I did it because it made your side sound stupid. But maybe I overdid it some. Maybe I should have helped you with your enunciation and your choice of words, and let your ideas alone make your side sound stupid. But see, I had this idea early on ... what if I combined the Socratic approach to dialectics with the most backwards, hilljack attitude to ever cross paths with Huck Finn? Seemed like a good idea at the time, especially since I had you around as a bottomless well of inspiration. But looking back, I wish I hadn't written your arguments down so literally."

"Wullz, ain' too late, isn id? Curd'n' yews star' writin' m' argy-ments out more fancy-like? Gimmee a chance, Cope! Gimmee anudder chance! Yews curd be d' 'Enry 'Iggins t' mah Liddle Liza Doodliddle. Lookee hyar ... D' rain in Spain fells mainly on d' plain ... airn't dat better? Sees, Cope? Ah c'n change! Ah knows ah cain!"

"Trouble is, Red, I tried that. I went over some of our old conversations and translated your part into something a tad more comprehensible. And guess what? ... you came out sounding like Newt Gingrich. And I'd rather spend an eternity with you than a minute with Newt Gingrich. So it's best just to make a clean break of it, don't you think? Goodbye, Red."

"Buh ... buh ... whad'll happ'n t' me, Cope? Whar'll ah go? Whad'll ah do? Hows'll ah e'er git any'un but yews t' take me sur-yous?"

I turned my back and left. I'll miss him. He's gotten me through a lot of tough writer's blocks. But I did it for you, dear readers. For you. You owe me.