Cousin Junior's Take on Events is News to Us
I dropped in on Cousin Junior the other day to get his perspective on the news.
February has been a rich month for news junkies like me. But listening to human hot-air balloons like Al Sharpton and Bill O'Reilly makes me wish television had never been invented.
Cousin Junior, 73, is also a serious news junkie, a plain-spoken fella known for his bold views on the world and solid advice on life and late model autos. He operates Junior's Auto Salvage Yard out in Windblow, also known as the "Gateway to Greater Norman," and keeps his workshop TV set tuned to cable news stations all day long, monitoring breaking events.
Q: So, Junior, it's been quite a month for news. What would you say was the most exciting news story this month?
A: I reckon it's the twoferone double-sausage-biscuit special at Fred's Sack 'n Go mini-mart over to the crossroads. You used to get free coffee and an oil change with your third Big Farmer Breakfast Special but that twoferone double-sausage-patty deal flat brought 'em runnin' into the Sack 'n Go. Hey, squire, make yourself useful and pass me that large socket wrench. This lug nut done's rusted up terrible.
Q: Let's start with the State of the Union address. President Obama laid out an aggressive liberal second term agenda. How would you assess the speech's political impact and the Republican response by Florida Republican Sen. Mario Rubio?
A: Wind out a duck's butt, you'll pardon the expression. Frankly, I only watched the thing 'cause my wife, Astrid, wanted to see the first lady's new haircut, which I figger accounted for half the people tuning in. Personally speaking, I can't abide all that silly hoppin' up and down and phony cheering for each side like a bunch of Rotarians high on too many Happy Dollars. Fact is, that bunch couldn't agree on how to flush a one-handled toilet if the instructions come printed in plain American English.
Q: So you're not particularly worried about sequestration?
A: No sir. I don't worry about nuthin' I can't spell. Besides, if we're lucky, maybe they'll cut Congress in half, too.
Q: In defiance of United Nations mandates, North Korea's unpredictable leader Kim Jong-un launched a third nuclear test. What do you think the repercussions will be?
A: Like I used to say about his crazy daddy: That boy needs a good barber. That's about all I got to say on the deal. Reckon someday, when his own people get hungry enough, they'll give him a good haircut - starting from the neck up.
Q: Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by announcing he's retiring from the papacy at the end of the month, the first Catholic pope in nearly 600 years to do so. What do you make of that?
A: Never met the man, myself. But now that you mention it, he does look kind of tuckered out, don't he? Probably from all them lawsuits and pesky American nuns he's had to deal with. You can't blame a fella for knowing when to hang it up and go bass fishin' with his buddies. Wonder if he gets to keep that funny little car he rides around in, or maybe they'll chip in and buy him a new bass boat.
My twin brother Leon over in Troy just put a nice Skeeker tournament boat up on eBay, good price, twin Mercuries, decent cooler for your tallboys. Reckon he might have to swap them fancy Gucci slippers for some decent mud boots - the Pope, I mean, not old Leon - though maybe he'll get to keep them, too. Why don't you have him give me a call? Know anybody in the Vatican? I could show the pope some decent hog holes out on Badin Lake.
Q: Winter super-storm Nemo dropped record amounts of snow across the Northeast, bringing life to a standstill and dumping 40 inches in one day on Connecticut. Have you ever seen weather like that?
A: Not really. Then again, I did once see a spring twister pick up a road-side Port-a-Johnny with a feed salesman sittin' inside and set that sucker down easy as you please half a mile down the road in a neighbor's soybean field. That man climbed out of that thing, if you can believe it, with not a scratch on him - just lots of, well, you-know-what.
Q: Speaking of you-know-what, CNN last week devoted four solid days to covering the Carnival cruise ship that lost power in the Gulf of Mexico, stranding 3,000 passengers at sea with bad food and broken toilets. True, several people are suing, claiming extreme emotional trauma, but is this an example of media overkill?
A: Me personally, I don't get what the big stink was about, if you git my drift. You get on a boat with 3,000 partying people and you take your chances. Besides, sounds a lot like my high school senior beach trip to Windy Hill back in '65. We stayed at the Douglas McArthur Motel where only half the toilets worked and they charged $39 a night, leaving me only enough beer money to take my girlfriend Astrid to Mammy's Kitchen once for pigs in a blanket. Know what you mean about the media, though. Watching Soledad O'Brien feel their pain makes me want to go live in a swamp.
Q: Out of the blue two weeks ago, the International Olympic Committee shocked the sports world by announcing that wrestling would be removed for the 2020 Summer Olumpics. Folks are up in arms about this. Wrestling is the second oldest Olympic sport, dating back to the first Olympics in 776 BC. What's your read on the situation?
A: I think it's a reason for us to quit goin' to them dadblamed Olympics. Everybody can relate to wrasslin', after all. It's a real people sport, if you follow me - one of them sports where just about anybody can do after a few Pabst Blue Ribbons. That pretty well describes my first date with Astrid, by the way. Lots of PBR and some fine Olympic wrasslin'.
Q: In Brussels the other day, thieves pulled off the possibly the biggest jewel heist in history, a daring theft of diamonds from a Swiss airplane as it prepared to take off. Their haul was estimated at $50 million. What do you make of that?
A: That's nothin' compared to what happened to my fishin' buddy Humpy Monroe down in Florida over Christmas. Old Humpy drove his brand new Dodge Ram 2500 long-hauler with the supercab and V8 hemi down to see his new baby granddaughter and foolishly loaned it to his son Homer's new in-laws to drive over to Disney World. Neither them or that Supercab's been seen since. Seems you can't trust nobody these days, even family once removed.
Q: Turning to lighter topics, a pint-sized affenpinscher named Banana Joe - a breed popularly known as a 'monkey dog' - won Best of Show at the Westminster Dog Show. I know you're a serious bird hunter. Ever seen one of those?
A: Nope. But I got a former brother-in-law named Doyle works for the state looks so much like a blue tick hound they wanted to make him the spokesman for a dog food company. I swear it's true. And I just saw on the TV that some science journal says dogs may be even closer to humans in the DNA department than chimpanzees. So maybe that's where that monkey dog come from. Wonder if it can point half decent? I know Doyle can.
Q: Finally, a pair of massive asteroids made news in the same day last week. One about the size of a city bus crashed to Earth in Russia's Ural mountains, injuring hundreds of people. This all happened the same day another asteroid nearly the size of a football field passed dangerously close to Earth. Some scientists fear civilization could hang in the balance unless we mobilize now. Coincidence or threat to the world?
A: Like I told my wife Astrid when that Jackson gal's costume come undone and flashed a headlight at the Super Bowl a few years back, ain't no such thing as a coincidence. Could be we're under attack from a race of monkey-faced aliens throwing giant rocks at us from deep outer space. I heard Wolf Blitzer say there may be a million of them suckers speedin' at us from all over the universe - though you know how that boy exaggerates. All I got to say is, one of them suckers lands in my auto yard and somebody's gonna have hell to pay, a giant lawsuit slapped on 'em faster than you can say, "Kiss my asteroid, ET!"
Q: I know your wife Astrid does astrological charts for people. Care to share any predictions about the month of March?
A: I hear the Sack 'n Go is planning to finally add a decent collard sandwich to its takeout menu. About dang time. That perks up my March right there.
Award-winning author Jim Dodson, Sunday essayist for The Pilot and editor of PineStraw magazine, can be reached at jim@the pilot.com.
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