"Whatjer' writin' 'bout, Cope?"
"You mean right now? This minute? Truth is, Red, I'm not writing about anything just now. I was about to get started on a pretty good idea, I thought ... but then I had to get up and answer the phone. It's a crying shame too, because I've had one hell of a time coming up with a decent topic for next week's column. Been struggling for days, Red. For days. You might call it 'Writers Block,' but I think of it more as 'Who-Gives-A-Crap Block.' In fact, I have the first paragraph written for about eight different columns, and every last one of them sucks. Nothing seems funny, everything seems predictable, my noggin feels like a tub of tapioca and I think my motivation went to Arizona for the winter. Ever been there, Red? Where you just can't get inspired? That's what it's been like, pal ... where I couldn't get interested in anything enough to come up with more than one weakass, cruddy paragraph. But then, this very morning, not two minutes ago, I come up with an idea that doesn't suck, and for a few seconds there, I was really jacked. Yessir, looked like I was going to put a column together after all. Sure was a load off the old tapioca tub, I gotta say. But guess what happened then, Red. Wait! Don't guess. I'll tell you, because I certainly wouldn't want to waste your time. I had to get up and answer the damn phone. That's what happened."
"Sooooo ... what was yer 'bout t' write 'bout, Cope?"
"Don't know, Red. Somewhere between the computer and this conversation, I forgot."
"Wull, I know whatjer oughta been writin' 'bout."
"What's that, Red?
"Dat Humpback Mount'n movie what gots itself all them Acadamedic Awards. 'At's whatjer oughta been writing 'bout."
"First of all, it hasn't gotten those awards yet. It's only been nominated. Secondly, I haven't seen it ... probably won't until it comes in a little plastic box I can rent for a day ... so I can't comment on whether it deserves to be nominated or not. And lastly, so what? When did you get to be a movie critic, Red?""Yer knows whad ah'z talkin' 'bout, dangit. Gay cowboys, 'at's whad ah'z 'bout. Kern yew 'magine? Gay cowboys!"
"Frankly, Red, I've always thought the whole cowboy scene was a little gay, anyway."
"Ah'll juzz preten' ah didn't hear yew say that, Cope. Wuh, what'd good 'o I-dee-ho be widout our proud cowboy hertilage? Huh? Huh? Arkansas! Dat's what! An' b'sides, outside o' pro wrestlin' an' the monster truck biz, cowboyin' was one o' the few careers what ain't been taken o'er by dem guys. An' now dem Hollywood lib'rals makes a movie what teaches our young 'uns id's OK t' be a gay cowboy. 'At juzz tchafes mah tcheeks, it does. Whad if'n id makes a bunch o' our young 'uns decide t' take up d' gay cowboy lives style? Huh? Then whad?"
"Gee, Red, the first thing that comes to mind is some kind of Roy Rogers retro thing. Maybe even some Dale Evans impersonators. But tell you the truth, pal, I don't think this is a topic I want to get into right now. I figure if I'm going to do a column on homophobia, I'd rather save it for that dumb damn marriage amendment those dopes in the Legislature keep dredging up."
"So what yew got better? Ya' don' a'ready said yer gone dry, Cope. Soun's t' me like you come down wit' a case o' dat SAD stuff."
"What sad stuff?"
"Dat what they call Seasonated Affectionary Distemper ... er, some't'ing like that. Yew know ... where'n yer ain't gettin' enough sunlight."
"You may have something there, buddy. I've been hunkered down indoors for weeks and lately, I haven't been able to put two words together without it sounding like essay day in the remedial English class. Why, I couldn't even think of anything cool to say for Mozart's birthday."
"Mozart ... Wolfgang Amadeus. He turned 250 a couple of weeks ago and if anyone deserves a column all to his own, it's him. Dude's done more for this world than all the red states put together, after all."
"Wha'zee ... 'nother one o' y'r Dem'crat hee-rows? Shoo-ie, Cope. If'n he's dat old, ah don' 'magine he's payin' much 'tention t' d' newspaper, anyhows. Whad else ya' got?"
"OK, I started one on Alito making it to the Supreme Court. Trouble is, it's darn near impossible to think of anything interesting to say about people with so little personality. Know what I mean? It's like trying to write a whole book on egg whites."
"Ah'z know whatjer talkin' 'bout der, Cope. Cain't much see ol' Sam Alito havin' a good time at a cock fight, m'self."
"So then, I had this idea of suggesting to Idahoans that if they really wanted to get the biggest bang out of that big $50 home-heating allowance the governor was sending out, they should donate it to Democratic candidates."
"Nope. Ah'z ain't much crazy 'bout dat 'un, neider. B'sides, ah already done put me a Dodge Hemi on lay-away since ah know id was comin'."
"And then I was watching Kempthorne flouncing around in that butchy leather jacket of his, getting his picture taken with as many soldiers as he could find, and I had this idea that the war supporters may really be afflicted with some mass form of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy."
"Yeah. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. See, it's is this weird mental disorder where people crave attention so much, they actually do harm to others close to them to get it. It's usually mothers who have it, and these twisted sisters have been known to slowly poison their own children in order to get sympathy. It's like the only way they can get noticed, isn't that something? But when you think about it, Red, it's not all that different from sending young men and women out to get their arms and legs shot off, then using the opportunity to get your slimy picture taken with them. Or the way local teevee stations use soldiers for promotional gimmicks? See what I'm taking about? I think I'll call it 'Munchausen Syndrome by War.'"
"Dat's sick, Cope!"
"You're telling me it's sick. You could almost say it's Bush's entire six years in office ... to exploit the misery of others to get noticed. Too bad there's not a pill to take for it, eh?"
"Ya' know, Cope, sum'times ah t'ink writer's block'd be the best t'ing what c'd happen t' yew."
"Never happen, Red. Not as long as I have you around."