Opinion » Bill Cope

Mr. Cope's Cave: Bill Go Bye Bye

by

So, Junior. What is it you want to know today?

Um, I'm OK, Mr. Cope. I think I'm set.

What? No questions?

Nope. I just came over to say goodbye.

Yeah, but... there must be something you want to ask me about? The Olympics, maybe? They're coming up fast, you know. Or Bernie? You know he's raising such a stink that...

No, no. That's OK. I won't be needing any more of your opinions.

But... but... look, I may not have an opinion column any more, Sparky, but I still have opinions. Lots of opinions.

Everyone has opinions, Mr. Cope. The only reason I wanted to hear yours was because you... uh...

Had an opinion column?

Yes. You had an opinion column. Now... as it is... you're just like anybody else. No offense, but I can get opinions anywhere. From anybody.

Then... if I understand right... you never did care what my opinions were. You were just coming here because I was known for making my opinions known.

Uh-huh. I think that's right. You were... uuuuh...

Somebody?

That's right. You were somebody. And now you're... uuuuh... 

Nobody?

Yes. Now you're nobody.

Ah. I see. I guess that about says it all.

Well what do you expect, Mr. Cope. It's not like we got to be big huggy buddies or anything.

Speak for yourself, Snappy. I thought we'd gotten pretty close.

Mr. Cope! You never even bothered to learn my name!

I did too! Of course, I know your name. Heck yes, I know your name.

OK... OK... what is it? What's my name?

Your name?

Yes. My name. What is it?

Uuuuuuuuuh... hold on, Scooter, it'll come to me... uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh...

It's William, Mr. Cope. My Mom calls me "William." My brothers call me "Billy."

Billy?

Yes. But everyone else calls me "Bill."

Bill?

Yes. Bill. But you've called me everything but "Bill," Mr. Cope

Hum. Bill. I think I knew that once.

And on top of that, as much time as we've spent together, you've never once suggested I could call you anything other than "Mr. Cope." Two years I've been coming here, nearly every... darn... week, and I'm still calling you "Mr. Cope." Not once did you say "Call me Bill." You have any idea how that makes me feel?

Gee, I'm sorry, Scrap... er, Bill. I didn't realize these things were bothering you. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.

I didn't say anything because... you know... back then, you were...

Somebody.

Yes. You were somebody and I was nobody. But now... you're...

Nobody.

Yes. I don't mean like a nobody nobody. But you aren't exactly somebody anymore, are you?

Well... technically... I'm somebody until I've finished up this thing I'm working on here. Until then, I'm the same somebody you've been coming to see all this time. After that?... well, I guess you could say my somebody days are over.

The thing is, Mr. Cope...

Oh, do call me "Bill." Please.

OK... Bill. The thing is... Bill... I won't be able to stick around until you're done here. I have to meet somebody. 

But I'm about done, Scamp... er, Bill. Honest. I was just now thinking about how to wrap this up.

I know how you do things, Mr.... er, Bill. You could stretch this out another four or five pages. I've seen you do it. I can't wait that long. I have to meet someone.

OK. I'll hurry. I just wanted to ask about that two-man play we were going to write together. Remember that? We talked about it once. And then I'll finish up. Promise.

Can't wait that long, Bill. Gotta go. Maybe another time.

But...

Gotta go.

But...

See you around, Mr. Cope.

Call me "Bill"... remember?

Bill?

Bill?