In Deep Bizarro 

Hey, Assmunch, how about another status report on the 21st century so far?

OK, here goes.

• We’re Joe Btfsplk and our little black cloud is named Iraq and it gets a little blacker with each passing day. More and more eyescales falling away only means more and more people posing the obvious: How could we have let imbeciles like these hornswoggle us into a mess like this? The answer is, You snooze you lose. When bad ideas are the only ideas that anybody has, fiascoes happen. Operation Whomp Terror was a stinker from the git for sure, but nobody at the time had the gumption or the brass to raise a cautionary finger. Nobody hemmed, nobody hawed. At least nobody not kraut or frog. We were Shocked and Awed, apparently. And we had no press, Congress, or Loyal Opposition to help us focus. Still don’t, for that matter. Then Brains yipped the If You’re Not For Us, You’re Ag’in Us and would-be skeptics folded like a Ken Lay dog umbrella. Fugitive impulses to dissent then could cause a literal squinch, this the voice of experience. We might’ve muttered a few why-I-oughtas, but knocked that off too once the United We Standers congregated in the front yard with sawed-off shotguns. Eventually the only war questions that got much bailiwick attention hereabout concerned construction and stocking particulars of our Homeland Security volksbunkers. Ozarka or Aquafina, that was our scruples’ debate. Better now maybe but tiresomer. As Vietnam dragged on and on and on, people finally just turned off their TVs and then just turned off. Bob Hope told jokes. Nixon and Elvis sneaked off to the back room to play Highway Patrol. That’s about where we are now in Iraq. Will the operative exit strategy turn out much different from that mad getaway scramble down the Saigon runway? At this point there still seems to be some foolish hope, but that hope flickers, like the one that some good still might come from that $300 million tarmac junkpile of FEMA house trailers outskirting the town down yonder with the ironic name.

• I found out just the other day from these conservative media blowhards that the high price of gasoline is my fault. Oil-company gouging and government complicity and misfeasance don’t have anything to do with it. China doesn’t either, or the cartel, or whether we screw all of them Klondike polar bears out of house and home. It’s not your fault, either. It’s all mine. That was one of the mandatory blowhard talking all points last week. You only have to go back to Econ 101 and pull up some elementary principles of the Dismal Science, they were all saying, and wall-ah, there you have it: It’s demanders demanding, not suppliers supplying, that establishes the cost of a commodity. So lay off the rat bastard who’s retiring with 400 megs of Exxon’s ill-gotten gain; he’s not the problem, nor is his ilk. Right there on the first page of “The Wealth of Nations,” Adam Smith puts a name to the problem, and yes, it is my name, Ol’ Moi, Assmunch Lancaster, author of this column that you’re reading right now. Or that you WERE reading until it meandered just now over into Deep Bizarro, where the wolves love that pipeline because the idiot reindeer can’t resist freezing their tongues to it on stupid dares. I mean, Who knew? Who would’ve guessed? Adam Smith, THE Adam Smith, has ol’ Yours Truly mindlessly hotrodding up and down I-530 in my guzzler Avalanche incarnadine stupidly supposing there won’t be any consequences at the regular unleaded pump. “Multiply this vehicular assmunch by thousands and you have the answer to why $3 gasoline will soon be $4 gasoline,” he writes. Karl Marx, in his book “The Third International and After,” says pretty much the same thing, fingering the same culprit, and it might be easy enough for you to dismiss him as just an old Commie — the original Old Commie! — but I’ve got legacy issues as bothersome as any that haint Bill Clinton’s insomnia: What will my grandchildren think, reading these scurrilous portrayals of their kindly old Gramps as the 21st century’s Eichmann or Dracula or Buffalo Bill? It’s the same story from John Maynard Keynes, and Milton Friedman, and Marion King Hubbert, and the voodoo guy who invented Reaganomics. They all name me, and let the rat bastard Exxon guy, and Bush, and Ken Lay, and Newt Gingrich and them, and Saddam and his worthless-ass boys, and Sheffield Nelson and his bunch, completely off the hook. I think it’s clear libel but I’m a public figure so what can I do?

• I heard a rumor they’re about to computer auction the individual shotgun pellets that Veep GFY Cheney peppered into that poor numbskull bird-hunter lawyer’s puss. Several dozen of pellets, some hermetically sealed to preserve the bits of raw flesh still clinging. Each one supposedly worth more than a Grassy Knoll hull or a Derringer fragment out of Honest Abe. I checked eBay but who can find anything on that son-of-a-bitch? So I couldn’t verify the rumor or disprove it. Just its existence, though — its plausibility, its legs — say about all that needs saying about what’s already the worst century since the 15th.


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