I can see a scandal coming as well as the next guy, so it’s time to come clean. It pains me to write this, mainly because I’m writing it with my corneas, but the truth must be told. The Bush White House paid me to write pieces in opposition of its policies. Between the dates of October 5, 2002, and an hour ago, I accepted a total of $18.78 to write some one hundred and fifteen articles in which I excoriated Bush’s record as president, reviled the performance of every member of his cabinet, the Pentagon, and a couple of his fishing buddies, and also mocked a number of the other journalists on the White House payroll, although in my own defense I mocked these last for free. I am the lowest kind of bawd: the government-payroll kind.
Many of my readers, and some of Lafcadio Hearn’s readers, will wonder why I accepted such a vile cyprian’s berth, knowing as I did that it would compromise the integrity of all the work I produced thereafter, if any, and cast a brownish stain on the legacy I hoped to leave behind after my untimely death along with a mountain of IOUs. These same readers will be shocked to learn that I am also known as Plenty O’Toole, the girthy subject of numerous subscriber-oriented Internet sites, and that I run a loofah wholesale operation devoted to the discreet sale of suggestively-shaped sponge gourds. In addition, during my years near Brown University, I was manager of a falafel shop where we molded the raw chickpea mixture into vulgar configurations after hours. I have sold my soul a thousand times, frequently below retail.
There’s another question that begs to be asked (besides “is that a real porcupine”, if you’re familiar with my web site ‘backwoodsaction.com’). This question, in alphabetical order, is “why would the Bush White House pay somebody to attack it in print?” I can answer this question, and also the question “what 19th Century Irish writer married a samurai’s daughter?” The simple fact is, Bush needed to choose his enemies just as carefully as he didn’t choose his allies, such as ‘Pootie Poot’ Putin, and I fit the bill nicely. You all remember Bill Nicely: tallish guy with red hair from Michigan, died in a freak laminating accident. I sold him down the river for thirty pieces of silver plus some coupons. Karl Rove, for he was the mastermind behind my hiring, figured out that buying the services of a bunch of right-wing toadies would not be enough to convince the public of the virtues of George Bush’s virtues. He needed antagonists of such low caliber that they would turn sedentary doubters into athletic supporters.
I am a low-caliber kind of individual. It’s a point of pride with me. I am also proud of my fiercely curling cavalry moustache, which I got on Ebay along with a brace of flint pistols and some semolina biscuits from the time of Pope Clement IV. But being low-caliber means people will sometimes attempt to use you. Who do they go to when a grave needs robbing or there’s an elderly widow to evict from her home? Guys like me. And you can’t exactly say no, or people start thinking you’ve ennobled yourself, and phimsfreem! Up goes your caliber. I’m guessing Rove knew what he was about when he made the call (collect, I might add) that intertwined our fates. From a mere jackanapes fond of anserine concettisms concactervated shoulder-high, I became a jocoserious sanguisugent working for the man.
Who knows how many I converted to the Bush cause, simply by opposing it? How many gentle liberals were galled into warlike conservatism by my vicious attacks on a man believed by many to be the legitimate heir to the American presidency? How many turned upon their homosexual friends or neighbors (seldom both) simply because I was a booster for their cause? How many of my readers now scorn the Navajo, simply because I suggested there was a nice diner outside Shiprock, Arizona? How many tried to find out if ‘igitation’ was really a word? I have sewn the seeds of spinelessness and confusion where before there was unity and strength of purpose, namely among the Democrats. Yes, it was all me. And I am sorry. To show how sorry I am, from now on I will only write pieces critical of the Bush administration if I can write them for free.
BEN TRIPP can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His book, ‘Square In The Nuts’, has been held up at the printers by thugs but will be released as soon as hostage negotiations conclude.
See also www.cafeshops.com/tarantulabros.