I'm staying out of the surge debate, whether 20,000 more American troops can fix Iraq. I have an opinion on the matter, sure enough. But no one's going to listen to what I have to say anyway--least of all the dunce who's sending them there--so why bother to say it? Someday, he may learn that you don't squelch a fire by pouring on more gasoline, but should that day ever come, I'm certain it won't be because he took any counsel from me.
Trouble is, it's not just Bush's ear I can't bend. I can't get the Democrats to listen to me, either. Here they are, horsing around with non-binding resolutions and Congressional hearings, when they should have gone straight to the impeachment proceedings the day Aunt Nancy got the gavel. I told them, but would they listen?
It's no better here in my own back yard. Idaho now has a full complement of under-qualified clowns in all the state offices, in spite of years and years of my generous advice. Some days, it's even a struggle to get my wife to listen to me. This is hard to admit, but now and then, especially when she has a lot on her mind from work or when she's trying to relax after a long day, she totally ignores me when I ask what's for supper. No kidding, sometimes I have to ask five ... six times. What am I? Just another pretty face?
As for my daughter ... forget about it. I might as well be talking to the dog. Only, the dog doesn't listen to me, either.
So what I've been thinking is, if I'm so darn easy to ignore, there's obviously a gravitas shortage in my professional profile. I simply don't swing enough weight. If I were George Clooney or Bono or Oprah, I bet my wife would pay attention to me. Maybe even the Democrats. But as it is, I'm simply not important enough to influence the influential to any noticeable degree. It's a problem for most unremarkable Americans, is it not, that we don't carry enough heft to be taken seriously? What else would explain how Bush could expand on his sad joke of a war after John and Jane Voter made themselves so overwhelmingly clear in the November election?
But listen, I don't know how other unimportant Americans are going to deal with their unimportantness, but I don't intend to spend the rest of my life being not worth the time it would take a news crew to set cameras up outside my house. I intend to make myself more important, by damn, and I'm exploring several options. 1) I could actually do something important, 2) I could hire a press secretary to make the case that I did something important, 3) I could contract with a PR firm to make whatever unimportant things I'm doing now seem more important, or 4) I could pick a public fight with someone important.
Frankly, I can't afford choices 2 and 3, and I don't believe number 1 is a viable option. Even if I did something important, you almost have to be important already for anyone to notice. Get what I mean? Like, there's a thousand divorces happening every day, everywhere. But when Britney Spears gets divorced, folks want to know. Or when James Baker says Iraq is a botched-up mess, people suddenly listen, even though millions of off-the-rack citizens have been saying the same thing for years. It's like Big Money: You gotta have it to get it.
Therefore, I've decided to go with option 4, the public pissing match. I can't tell you if I got the idea from Donald Trump, Rosie O'Donnell, or if it was the magic the two of them make together. All I know is, if it can keep their mugs on the nightly news for weeks, it might work for me--but only if I pick an important enough person to fight with. No one cares when two nobodies act like rude children. And since I'm starting out at approximately 0-1 on the importance scale, I have to choose someone who's up around 5 or 6 on the dial for me to get even a three-point bump. And he (or she) absolutely has to be local. There's no point in me publicly attacking a national or international figure when the chances of them hearing about the insult are next to nada. (I should tell you before I start slinging the mud that I have eliminated all politicians from this proposition. They get more attention than they rightfully deserve, anyway, so why should I help them out?)
What I'm going to do here today is toss out a few feelers and see who bites. I'm sure not every important person in Boise is disposed to the sort of spit-off I have in mind, but I figure if I slap two or three notables around, at least one will start slapping back. Then watch out! I'm on my way!
I'll start with the Statesman's Dan Popkey. If this takes off, it'll do both of our employers some good, circulation-wise. "Popkey, you're a loser. If you think you're such hot stuff, where's your Pulitzer? Huh? I could opinionate better than you do with one hand tied behind my back. You're fat, too, and what's with that baby-face? Just because Congressmen talk to you doesn't mean they like you. And that rag you work for? Hah!! What a joke! Sooner or later it'll get sold to Rupert Murdoch, and you'll be replaced by a pet grooming column!"
(Ok, now it's your turn, Dan. If this works like I hope it does, let's think about writing an insiders tell-all book together. I even have a title in mind: Sour Ink. Let me know what you think.)
Next, I've picked KTVB's Larry Gebert. "Gebert, you're a loser. Doppler radar, my ass. That's just some green runny goop you spilled on the screen during lunch. I could forecast better weather than you with one hand tied behind my back. And what's with the mustache, anyway? You trying to cover up a cold sore, or what? And you're too tall to be any good on teevee. You look like a goofus and everyone I know says so!"
(Larry, wouldn't it be neat if you showed up at my house for one of your early morning community deals? Every half-hour, just before you give the current temperature, we could trade shots. That would be so cool. "Cope, you suck!" "Well if anyone's an expert on sucking, it'd be you, Gebert! Think about it, Larry. Soon as I can afford an agent, I'll have you call him.)
I'm about out of room today, so I don't have time for Chef Doughty (Chef "Dowdy," hah!) like I'd planned. (Esther Simplot, get ready. You're on my list, too.) Eventually, after I've worked up a rep for myself here in Idaho, I plan to go national. I'm thinking Brad Pitt or Bill Gates. Maybe Ellen DeGeneres. Then I'll be able to tell you what I think of Bush's goddam troop surge. Then you'll listen.