Opinion » Bill Cope

I'm Going Off

And I'm not altogether here now


If anything I say in today's column excites you so greatly that you feel you simply cannot live another minute without telling me personally how A) fabulous, or B) stupid you think I am, don't waste your time trying to reach me. I'm not here. I've flown the coop. If anything worth writing about happens to me while I'm gone, it's likely at some point I'll tell you where I went and what I did. Other than that, it's none of your business where I went and what I did.

You don't tell me what you're up to every time you slip out of town for a few days, do you? Of course you don't. You would say--and you'd be right--that it's none of my business what you're up to. So why should I tell you what I'm up to when I go away? Unless something happens that I can turn into a column, that is. If you've followed my methods for any length of time, you already know that my privacy ends where a column starts. Aside from my sex life and bathroom habits, there is virtually nothing left that you don't already know about me. I imagine you can even tell when I'm stalling for time because I haven't thought of anything good to write about yet. Am I right? Huh? Am I? Huh? I bet you know when I'm hemming and hawing around like a "D" student on book report day because he hasn't read any books, let alone the one he was assigned to read ... or in my case, because I have yet to come up with some proper subject matter.

What's especially difficult for me are those times when A) I have yet to come up with some proper subject matter, and B) I will soon be going out of town for a few days, which means that a week ahead of the week I will be gone, I have to come up with not one proper subject, but two proper subjects, as I will not have time to prepare a column for the week after the week I will be gone. Following me? I mean, whenever you go out of town for a few days, there are things you can put off until after you get back, and things that absolutely have to be taken care of before you leave. Mowing your lawn, for example, can safely be put off until when you get back. But filling the parakeet's feeder with a week's worth of food needs to be done before you leave. Get it? Sure, you can fill the parakeet feeder when you get back, but there may not be a parakeet left to appreciate it.

As often than not, it's not the absence of proper subject matter that has me piddling about in an effort to get enough words on paper to fill this page before you notice I'm not really saying anything, but the abundance of it.

Right now, for instance, without even breaking a sweat, I can think of several proper subjects. The loss of so many iconic Americans, for one. Can I let Michael Jackson pass uncommented on? Or should I wade into the delicate question of whether Walt Minnick is a "DINO" (Democrat In Name Only).

Or I might be addressing Sonia Sotomayor and her confirmation hearings. This very morning, just minutes before I started wondering what the hell I was going to write about, I'd been watching that scrawny Alabama bird (Sen. Jeff Sessions) give Sotomayor the third degree, hoping to hang her up on a racial comment or if at all possible, destroy her Supreme Court future, all part of his insane political party's efforts to corrode Barack Obama's presidency in any way they can, and I got to wondering: When, for God's sake, is this great nation going to stop twiddling our intellectual thumbs while we wait for these backward Southern apes to evolve out of their cultural cave into decent, thoughtful, advanced human beings?

As a result, briefly, I considered making my column about how the South has been a curse and a drag and a cankerous sore on America since the powdered wig days. How that Joe Dirt thing of theirs has spread across the land like ringworm and corrupted every noble intention this country ever set out to accomplish. How Abe Lincoln would have done the future a tremendous favor had he whupped their asses, freed the slaves, and then let the rebs go ahead and secede into Okefenokee Swamp on the condition that they take all the stunted creeps and demented dips and mutant toads like Jeff Sessions with them, and that they never, ever come crawling back.

But after thinking about it a little longer, I realized that I'd have to leave town for more than a few measly days if and when I write that column.

So I turned my attentions to Ted Rall, my next door neighbor in this Boise Weekly cul-de-sac. See, I've met him, broke bread with him, slurped beer with him. In fact, last fall, I was on the phone with him because there was a suggestion from the top floor of BW headquarters that he and I write something jointly. Nobody was sure what this masterpiece would be, but the title presented itself: "Bill and Ted's Big Adventure." For a few days, the idea flopped about on the floor like a fish that had jumped the tank, and eventually died.

But I like Ted Rall. You would, too, were you to meet him. Lately, though, he's been making me wonder why. There was that dretch about Obama turning America into some sort of latter-day Third Reich, remember? And his recent opinion where he claimed Obama is worse than Bush was the final blow. Somebody needs to remind him that he is behaving rashly, more than a little unreasonable, more than a little impatient, and more than a little spoiled. Somebody needs to remind him that nowhere, not in all of civilization or history, does everything get done at once. Somebody needs to remind him that if he keeps up this tantrum of his, creeps like Jeff Sessions will be quoting him. Is that what he wants?

But, it's not going to be me. When disagreements like this break out between people who have broken bread and slurped beer together, it should be private. Maybe I will organize an intervention. Yes, that's it! That could be the "Bill and Ted's Big Adventure" we were looking for. I will fill my car with disillusioned Ted Rall fans, drive to New York City, and surprise him in his home. "Ted, my friend," I will say with great empathy in my voice, "we are here to guide you through this childish phase."

Yes, I believe I can get a column out of that. But not this one. That column would take a lot of preparation and planning and most of all, time. And it is time that I'm running short of. I'm out of here in four ... five days, and I still have another column to get done. And I don't have any good ideas for that one, either. Uh ... excuse me for a moment while I count some words.