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Assmunch again 

Q. If you’ve taken a position on tort reform, I missed it. What is it?

A. My position is, you can’t do anything with women like that. I think they’re born that way and you can’t legislate it out of them. Anyway, reform of any kind is just a trick that the Devil plays on the credulous.

Q. You think this e-coli is part of the terrorist threat? I mean, they’ve got spinach, and now lettuce, and pretty soon it’ll be the rest of the American way of life. You think Homeland Security is working on this?

A. My guess is it’s more an offshoot of the illegal immigration megaplot to conquer us and take over by way of the chicken evisceration lines. I took your inquiry to FEMA and asked them what they thought, and they said e-coli wasn’t anything that buying 10,000 more house trailers and putting them on the tarmac at Hope wouldn’t fix. Heckuva job they’re doing.

Q. Are you for or against eliminating the sales tax on groceries?

A. Think of what removing this tax would do as far as the obesity epidemic, which has already has 90 percent of us where can’t fit into a restaurant booth. We would cease to be the Natural State and become the Upright Hippopotami State. I know for a fact that without the food tax Gov. Huckabee would still be swallowing whole Velveeta loaves like they were individual Cheetos. Real estate taxes might have to go too, since dirt was all that young Mike Beebe had to eat.

Q. What about the so-called Soft Partition Plan as our only hope of ever getting out of Iraq?

A. Soft Partition sounds to me like weasel for cut-and-run. Of course cut-and-run is just prick jingo for getting out while the getting’s good. It’s an exit strategy that looks more honorable when you’re up ag’in it, as Nixon was in Vietnam. It may be the only exit strategy there is anymore. Until then, remember, $2,000 a second.

Q. Does Arkansas grow the biggest pumpkins as well as the biggest watermelons?

A. No, the biggest pumpkins come from the smallest state, Rhode Island. Just last week Little Rhody reported a 1,502-pounder that was said to be a direct descendant of Cinderella’s limousine.

I’m not sure I believe that Cinderella part. Pumpkin genealogy is too much like newspaper genealogy, full of fraud and fancy. I’ll give you an example. Suppose there’s a newspaper that flat out murders another newspaper then has the gall then to swipe the victim’s birthright, to claim its heritage and lineage as its own. And suppose further that the shameless perp newspaper then takes the editorial pulpit to ridicule another entity for committing pretty much the exact same crime of violence against the historical truth. Couldn’t ever happen here, right?

Well, earlier this week the Little Rock daily newspaper, which avers to have been bringing local, national and international news to River City readers since 1821, sneered loftily at the city of Little Rock for its new letterhead contention that The Rock was established in 1722. Of course Little Rock wasn’t established in 1722, but just by saying it was, the city put 99 more years on its phony pedigree than the newspaper has been able to forge onto the one it stole off the still-warm corpus delicti of an Old Lady over on Louisiana Street. Implicit in the editorial was this protest: What? You mean TWO can play this stupid game?

Yes, any number of imposters, phoneys, pretenders, and wannabes can play. So let’s compromise. We’ll smile knowingly or cough politely behind the hand as the city continues to trace its roots to a gleam in LaHarpe’s eye as he boated past, and we’ll suppress the giggles and snorts if the newspaper will show a little flair in its further no-self-esteem attempts at identity theft.

If your pedigree is just wishful thinking anyway, why take it back only to an old printshop sorehead like William Woodruff? Why not go back to King Crowley hisownself, the humongo sheet-metal Mound Builder with the rhinestone peepers and copper heart? Now there’s somebody worth tying to, even with make-believe twine. And who other than flintheart ol’ Assmunch would be so pitiless or give enough of a damn to challenge your claim?

Q. Since the governor is out of state about 95 per cent of the time now (Ed. note: the exact percentage is 97.6), and the lieutenant governor went on to guard the celestial warm spittoon, who’s our day-to-day guv?

A. I think they’ve hired a temp. Or paroled another lifer and assigned it to him. Nobody’s been able to tell the difference.

Q. Has anyone else noticed how much Jim Lendall, the gubernatorial candidate, resembles Albert Pike in the well-known portrait of the poet and Confederate general who was early Arkansas’s most famous man?

A. A museum docent mentioned it to me and they do favor, with the same Zoroastrian countenance that you don’t see every day and that might be hiding rhymes, cutlery, Masonic hoodoo and small venomous pets underneath the Niagara of hair. Maybe Mr. L. will follow the newspaper’s lead and claim direct descent, in likeable eccentricity if not by actual blood.

By actual blood, however, may be his campaign’s only prayer.






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