September 29, 2007

A Request to Congress for Assistance

Dear Congress:

You don't know me, and perhaps you're not very interested in my situation because I'm not a big campaign donor. I want you to know that I did give to the campaign of John Kerry because I was very concerned about the prospect of four more years of George W. Bush as President, a fear that I might add has been validated to a certain degree. I was a little disappointed that Mr. Kerry didn't actually spend all the money on his campaign, since that's why I gave it to him, but hey, you know? I'm just a citizen, not a powerful insider.

But that's not actually why I'm writing. This has to do with something that happened to me when I was walking home from school in 1959. I was in the fifth grade at the time, and this other kid (I'll call him "Dicky T.", because that's close to his name) ran up behind me and pushed me hard, which hurt. Then he challenged me to a fight, and we threw a few punches, the way kids in my neighborhood did, and a couple of them hit me in the face and really stung. I'm glad I don't have to get in neighborhood fights anymore. Around here, people just file lawsuits.

Anyway, here's the deal: I'm not trying to say that Dickie T.'s attack was completely "out of the blue," you know what I mean? It actually started that day on the playground when we were playing tetherball. Dickie T. and I were two of the better players and a pretty fierce rivalry had sprung up between us. I mean, sure - Rudy and Eric were good too, but I think they were playing kickball that day. So Dickie T., he was skinny (we were all pretty skinny in those days because of a high fructose corn syrup deficiency) and had this white hair and blue eyes and just looked sort of irritating, you know? A little bit like Eddie Haskell, not that I think someone should be condemned just because of the way he looks. Anyway, Dickie T. stood in the back of his half-circle and jumped up and caught the ball right where the rope connected to the eye-hook, and then flung the ball over my head and wrapped the pole and won the game. Okay, as you know, you can't do that. You have to hit the ball, not grab the rope. I called him on it. "You lose the game, Dickie T.," I said, "because you cheated." We were too young to know what taking umbrage was, but if we had been older, that's what Dickie T. would have taken, and he said so, or in effect that's what he said, because he said, "You wanna make somethin' of it?"

I always hated hearing that. Nothing good ever followed it. Anyway, the bell rang, fortunately, and we went back to class, and that was it. I thought. Until I got blindsided later that afternoon. So here's my request. I saw where you guys took Move.On to task for exercising a First Amendment right to free speech because you didn't like what they said. I didn't know you could do that kind of stuff! Now I see where maybe you're going to do another censure resolution against Rush Limbaugh because he said Iraqi veterans who oppose the war are "phony soldiers." Why should he be allowed to say stuff like that? What kind of country is this? So while you're at it, could you add an earmark or a rider or whatever you call it to one of those bills or motions and censure Dickie T.? You know as well as I do that you can't grab the tetherball the way Dickie T. did that day, and you sure as heck shouldn't run up behind another kid and shove him in the back and then start a fight when you're the one in the wrong. Dickie T., if you ask me, never really paid a price for that, other than a couple of feeble punches from another eleven year old, and that's nothing. But a Congressional censure - I'm not sure where Dickie T. is these days, but can you imagine how surprised he'll be when he finds out he's been taken to task by Congress? He probably thinks Congress just concerns itself with big issues like war and balancing the budget and healthcare and doesn't get involved in private controversies where it shouldn't be taking sides.

We'll show him. Thanks for your help with this.

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