Opinion » Bill Cope

Mr. Cope's Cave: I Sure As Hell Ain't No Soccer Tease, Buuuut...

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What did you think of last night's soccer game, Mr. Cope?

I'm sorry, Junior. But I won't be able to talk to you anymore.

What? Why not?

I just won't, that's all. I've decided to do things different here in my blog.

OK, I won't ask you any more sports questions. Promise. How about if I ask what you think of Donald Trump's comments, instead?

Doesn't matter, Melvin. I have a new policy and it doesn't include you.

This isn't fair, Mr. Cope. I thought we had a good relationship going. And now you're... what?... just cutting me off?

Yes. I am just cutting you off.

It's not fair. Won't you even give me an explanation? I think you owe me an explanation.

There's nothing to explain. I've simply decided I need to do my own writing from now on.

But... but...

It's nothing personal, Beaver. I like you. You seem to be a nice, polite, young man. And I enjoy your company. And I like it that you put the lid down after you use the bathroom. And...

But you're cutting me off anyway.

Yes. I'm cutting you off anyway. I need to do my own writing from now on.

Mr. Cope, did this come up suddenly, or have you been thinking about it for a while.

Uh, I guess I'd have to say it came up suddenly, Scooter. Not that it matters.

So what did I do? Why did you decide all of the sudden to cut me off?

Sonny, it's nothing you did. And I don't think there's anything to be gained by getting into the details of my decision. You'll probably end up angry, with your feelings hurt, and I never meant for that to happen.

I can take some hurt feelings. And after all these months of conversation, I think you owe me some sort of reason.

Oh! Fine! If you just have to know, it's about a talk I had with my editor last week. He told me he'd taken a couple of calls from people who were wondering if I'd gotten off my meds because I was having so many visits from my imaginary friends.

Off your meds? The only meds you take are for high blood pressure and cholesterol. How would that affect your... uh, you know... your grasp of reality?

The point is, Wally, the callers were being snide. Catty. Dicky. They were insinuating something's gone haywire with my little gray cells. The ol' bean. The ol' thinking cap. The ol' noggin. The ol' frontal lobes. And that me using you, and Red, too... not to mention Badger Bob and Anonymous from the Cope's-Latest-Column Discussion Group, and Homedale Dick and MulletBoy... well, those callers were suggesting maybe I'd slipped a gear. That there were bats in my attic. That I was two bales short of a wagonload. Two rungs short of a ladder. Two butter knives short of a table setting. Two fingers short of a fist. Two...

OK! I get it! That maybe you were getting senile or something and actually thought we were real. Is that it?

Yeah. Something like that.

And it hurt your feelings?

Yeah. Something like that. And I decided that I needed to show anyone out there in Readerville that I can do this on my own, dammit. That I don't need you and Red and the rest. That there's nothing wrong with my grasp of reality, as you put it.

Can I ask you a question, Mr. Cope?

You mean another one, don't you?

Why is it that you have so many imaginary friends in your writing anyway?

Well, Scooter, it's because I like having company over. I've always liked having company over, especially on Saturday nights, know what I mean? And it's no different in my column and this here blog thing. Maybe it's true in my writing even more so than on Saturday nights, actually, because frankly, it gets a little lonely here at the computer. Stuck here in the f***ing basement, whacking away at these f***ing keys, two blogs and one column every f***ing week! It just gets... lonesome.

I've heard that freelance writing can be a very solitary calling.

Don't I know it, Buster!? So what's it hurt that I make up a person now and then? Huh? I enjoy talking with them, is that so bad? Even an asshole like Homedale Dick. It breaks up the monotony. And look, I could have brought a lot more imaginary friends on board if I'd wanted to. I had one guy named Sergeant Steve I was going to use anytime a military or war issue came up. And then I had Mavis the Mufti Maven for when I had anything to say about modern fashion. And there was Porcine Paul, who writes an imaginary blog about the joys of binge eating, and Trailer Trash Trixie the Chihuahua hoarder, and Greasy Gus, who was an imaginary GOP political strategist, and...

And you do it just because you get lonely?

That's one of the reasons, yeah. But to be honest, I've found it's easier to express some concepts and ideas when they're coming from the mouth of someone else. You know, I think it's why Socrates was always talking to a sidekick when he was doing all that philosophizing... because complex thoughts often come together slicker if two people are doing the thinking. And that's true even if one of them is a dumbshit.

You're comparing yourself to Socrates?

No, no, Jeez, no. I sure as hell ain't no Socrates. But it's still true that sometimes you can't tell just how stupid an ideology or an issue or a policy is until you hear it articulated by a total dope. And once you hear it said in all of it's obvious dumbness, the response is obvious, too. Get it?

So why do the characters have to be imaginary? Don't real people say dumb enough things for you?

Sure they do. It's just that I'm not around enough real dumbasses for them to be a reliable source for my writing. It's not like I go to dumbass clubs just to hear what they're saying. That's what I keep my imaginary dumbasses around for. A steady, uninterrupted stream of stupidity.

And me? What do you keep me around for, Mr. Cope?

Hum, good question, Flash. I guess it's because I have three different opinions to write each week, and limited interest in what's going on in the world. So look at it this way... you're the one who gets me to writing about stuff I don't give a crap about.

Like last night's soccer game?

Exactly! Without you, there's not a reason in the world I would ever, •ever• write a phrase like "last night's soccer game."

Then you need me to make it seem as though you have more interests in life than you really do?

Yup. I think you got it.

But you said you had to cut me off.

Yes, that's right. I did say that, didn't I? But don't worry about that, Blimpy. I'd be crazy to cut you off. Truth is, I probably can't do this without you. Screw those people with their snarky "Is Cope off his meds?" crap. Trust me, Junior, you're way more important to me than those jerks.

So, Mr. Cope, then why haven't you decided what my name is?

Oh, I did. Months ago. I just forgot what it was I settled on.

Then... uh, maybe you wouldn't mind if I came up with my own name?

Whooooa there, Linus. You need to remember who does the writing around here.