At the DC reunion, we ran into Helen Thomas at Mama Ayesha’s. Good thing, because we had swilled too many Almazas and were hell-bent on brawling with the class of 77, if we could only find out where they were partying. Fortunately, we were distracted from our intended malice by our encounter with Ms. Thomas. When I introduced myself and she found out I lived in Arkansas, she asked me about second-tier Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
Now I like Mike. He plays a mean bass guitar and, while he was governor, did a http://levantium.com/2010/06/09/a-brief-encounter/ of a job on CCR’s “I ain’t no Senator’s son” the night my wife and I crashed the state bar association’s free-beer party. (The name of his band was Capitol Offense.) I told him then that he was the coolest Republican I knew and if he would just change parties, he’d be the coolest Baptist I knew. However, a few weeks before the ACS reunion, he mentioned on a TV bobble-head “news” show that he was reading Mike Evans’ books to educate himself on Middle East affairs. When I found out they were of the same ilk as the “Left Behind” excretia, I was (needless to say) disappointed.
So when Helen asked me about Huckabee, all I could think to say was, “Well, he’s a nice guy, but flawed.” To which she immediately responded, “Aren’t they all!” She also corrected me when I asked her if she was Arab-American. She quickly informed me that she was an “American of Arabic descent.” Incidentally, she’s covered every president since JFK… When I asked her to keep giving Bush hell she replied that she always does.
The other Arkansas story was one I heard today on C-Span. A high-ranking Marine general was giving a speech and started out by letting the audience know he wasn’t the product of some high-falutin’ military academy, as many of his predecessors had been. Nor was he the latest in a long line of family soldiers (again, as many of his predecessors had been). In fact, the only member of his family that had ever been in the military was his uncle from North-East Arkansas, who had been in the Marines for just three days.
On the first day after he enlisted, they gave him a comb, but then cut off all his hair. On the second day, they gave him a toothbrush and then the base dentist proceeded to pull all but seven teeth. On the third day, they gave him a jock strap. He jumped the fence and went AWOL and never returned…