Opinion » Bill Cope

Out of Kilter

Badger Bob laments unnatural selection


Let me explain what this is about. See, a couple three Wednesdays ago, I was thumbing through the Weekly, and I got to thinking about the interview they do every week with some local mover-shaker type. You know what I'm talking about. It's on page 10 or so, and one week it'll be an interview with a hotshot who directs Shakespeare down by Barber Park, and the next week it'll be with a hotshot who decides where the next five-lane traffic snarl goes. Well heck, I got to thinking, "Well heck, I can ask people questions, too." I mean, can't I? See? I just asked you a question, and what more is there to interviewing? So I called up the publisher and laid out my case. "Hey, hows come I never get to interview a hotshot?" She told me to take it up with the editor-in-chief. Which I did. "Hey, hows come I never get to interview a hotshot," I asked, and he said, "We already have plenty of people to do that, Bill. And there's only so many hotshots to go around, anyway. But if you want to interview someone for your column, be my guest. I don't give a rat's ass." So I said I would. About that time, Badger Bob came in for a drink of water, since he'd been using my driveway to scrape crow droppings off his fifth-wheel. Bob's not so much a hot shot now, but in his prime, and down in the Homedale/Parma area, he was one hell of a hot shot. So I said, "Hey Bob, hows about if I interview you for the Weekly?" and he said, "Upchuck and choke on it, Cope!"

And thus began the interview.

Given that everything about America, from the viability of our internal functions to the integrity of our foreign policy, seems to be going to hell on a fast horse, I believe the people of the Treasure Valley would enjoy knowing your take on the situation, Badger Bob. What do you see as the root cause of this alarming disintegration?


But Bob, ha ha ... You are a liberal, I thought. Isn't that right? Aren't you basically a liberal?

Hell no! Just because I detest conservatives doesn't mean I'm a liberal. And would you get that goddamn mic out of my face before I ...

OK, OK! Jeesh, you're touchier than Ann Coulter. Now, surely, in an age when conservative Republicans have come to control every facet of our federal government, you can't hold liberals to blame for this terrible state of affairs?

Yeah, I can.

No, you can't.

Yeah, I can.

No, you can't.

(At this point in the interview, Bob muttered something about my family tree and stomped out. Later in the day, I cornered him in his fifth-wheel.)

Let's say you're right, and it's all the liberals' fault. Can you explain how they managed to mess everything up to such a degree?

Motorcycle helmets. That's one way. And fireworks laws.

Uh ... motorcycle helmets?

Yeah. And nutrition guidelines and seatbelt laws and drunk driving laws and FDR's rural electrification program and not letting little hillbilly punks smoke all the cigarettes they can get their greasy mouths on and safety requirements at monster truck rallies and better pre-natal assistance for people who don't know what "natal" means and all the other things the damn liberals couldn't keep their noses out of.

But all those things have saved lives.

Exactly! Saved millions of lives! People who didn't have sense in the first place to not let their toddlers go jump mud dunes on ATVs. People who wouldn't eat anything but chicken-fried steaks and Moon Pies if somebody wasn't always trying to shove some broccoli down their throats. People who think it'd be fun to drop a lit M-80 into an empty Gallo jug just to see what happens. People who like to shoot guns off in the house. People who want to get one more Jack Daniels toot in before the baby comes. People who would still be living in a hillside shack somewhere if it hadn't been for the New Deal or Lyndon Johnson or one of your damn Kennedys. People who don't know that you're not supposed to use the kitchen sink for a toilet. People who hope their children will grow up to be WWF wrestlers. People who chain the family pit bull next to the kids' wading pool. People who ...

So if I understand correctly, you're saying it was wrong for liberals to have tried to influence the way these people conduct their lives?

Wrong, right ... that's got nothing to do with it. All I know is, liberals couldn't stop trying to make stuff better ... safer ... healthier ... and what'd they get for their meddling, huh?

I think I'm supposed to be asking the questions here, Bob. Let me go check the interviewer's manual, but I'm pretty sure ...

What they got is more and more yahoos spawning more and more yahoos, 'specially since the yahoos aren't exactly geniuses in the birth control department, either. Don't you get it, Cope? Stupidity is Nature's way of keeping stupid people in proper balance. And now it's all out o' whack. There's way more stupid people than the environment can handle, and that's because you liberals always gotta be dreaming up new ways to keep them from killing themselves.

Is this a long-held conviction or is it something you just worked out?

Came to me this last Fourth o' July, as a matter of fact, while I was watching those knotheaded kids down the street use their dad's propane tank for a bottle-rocket launching pad. Some liberal comes walking her cock-a-poo down the road and tells 'em to quit because those bottle rockets are illegal in Idaho. And all the sudden, I understand. If Ma 'n' Pa Yahoo are dumb enough to let their kids buy bottle rockets, then it's probably best that particular lineage peters out. Get what I mean? If that liberal woman had o' kept her nose out of the natural order o' things, that knotheaded family's future in the gene stream might o' come to a screeching halt then and there, instead of going on spreading. Geometrically. Like lice. Like rats. Like athlete foot fungus.

I still don't understand how this has anything to do with the horrid state of America's governmental affairs.

Jay-zuss, Cope! You don't think all those little yahoo chil'uns your liberals saved over the years grew up to vote for Al Gore, do you?

One last thing. Hows about if I call you "Badger Bob, a leading Neo-Lib?" Just so my readers know why you're a hotshot.

Hows 'bout this, Cope. "Badger Bob ... the guy who kicked your dumb a ...