|||||||||||  Friday, Jack-O'Tober 6, 41 A.B.  |||||||||||

"Conservative, n.  A statesman who is enamored of
existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who
wishes to replace them with others."

- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"

I watched the debate between Mr. Cheney and Sen. Lieberman last night.

Just to see if my efforts to telepathically beam my list of questions to moderator Bernard Shaw worked any better than my attempt on Tuesday to post my questions here in the hope that Jim Lehrer might find 'em prior to the first Bush-Gore debate.

Nope.  Thus, I still don't know why Mr. Cheney seems not to have bothered to vote much in years, nor if Sen. Lieberman is making a conscious effort to remind me of Elmer Fudd when talks.

I spent today reviewing a transcript of the debate, just to be sure.  I now know two things: Mr. Cheney didn't really defend his personal actions in any way (e.g., he didn't explain the morality of living in Texas but high-tailing it back to Wyoming just before this election so as to meet the Constitutional requirement that the president and vice president come from different states); and Sen. Lieberman did not mention any Warner Bros. cartoon characters at all.

Not satisfied with this gleaned wisdom, I attempted to fact-check every single claim and figure made, starting from the top.

Bernard Shaw: "From historic Danville, Kentucky - "

Ok, let's hold it right there.  Historic Danville, Kentucky?  This was news to me.  If Danville, Kentucky was so historic, why had I never heard of it before even though it's a mere 217 miles away as the accusation flies?

I set off on my first info-quest of the day.

Turns out that Danville is historic.

"The house where Dr. Ephraim McDowell performed the first successful ovariotomy (1809) has been preserved by the Kentucky State Medical Association."

My curiosity aroused, I tried to find out who might have performed the last unsuccessful ovariotomy and what members of the American Bar Association might have done to his house.

Unable to find anything out about that, I proceeded to do some further research on this McDowell fellow.

"Ephraim McDowell (Nov. 11, 1771-June 25, 1830): Surgeon who is considered a founder of operative gynecology.  He was the first to successfully remove an ovarian tumor (1809), demonstrating the feasibility of elective abdominal surgery.  He performed this first ovariotomy on Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford in Danville, Kentucky.  Without anesthesia or antisepsis, he removed a 20-pound tumor.  She lived for more than 30 years afterward.  Despite skepticism, McDowell performed 13 ovariotomies.  The operation had been previously considered impossible."

So, near as I can tell, they decided to hold the VP debate in Danville because... umm, holding elective office is a lot like elective abdominal surgery?  Err, unless the president dies in office, the VP is about as useful as a 20-pound tumor?  Uh, no matter which of these guys become our next VP, the U.S. will probably survive at least another 30 years?

I don't know.  I ran out of research time at this point.

Being a rather squeamish fellow, I don't think I'll be able to find the will or the heart to continue my research tomorrow.

Instead, I'd now like to beg for some Kentucky mints.

You know the ones I mean, right?  Brach's Kentucky mints.  Those oval candies with a white outside and a gummy green center.  Man, I've had a craving for those suckers ever since I heard Bernard Shaw utter that magic word, "Kentucky"!  But I can't find the damn things anywhere!  We used to get 'em all the time when I was young, and now - now they simply can't be found!

What's going on??

My biggest fear now is that I won't find any until spring, at the earliest.  My biggest fear is that once news of the impending home heating oil shortage leaked out, oil refineries shifted from producing Brach's mints to producing more of this far less necessary heating oil and they simply won't be shifting back until March!

I'm.... I'm sorry.  I can't go on.

Please feel free to write your own ending to this entry.

And then please pass the mints.






(©Now by Dan Birtcher despite severe sugar withdrawal symptoms including
sweating, shaking, gratuitous salivation, and the overwhelming desire to play his Donny Osmond records really, really loud)


Special Bulletin from our Goddamn It To Hell Dept.

Did YOU watch "West Wing" on Wednesday?
Did YOU notice how it's shifting from a show
which intelligently examined issues to a show
which focuses on emotions and human relationships?
Did YOU notice how it's obviously building up a pseudo-family
of characters in a TV Never Never Land at odds reality?

Did YOU notice that this is more or less the exact same path which
"All in the Family" and "MASH" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
followed in the '70s, to their detriment?

And to think that I was on the verge of
voting for Martin Sheen this November.

Now what??