copyright © 2005 Todd Ristau

The Cat is Out of the Bag

an Archie Levine Editorial

(News Theme Music and lights up on a man in a suit seated at a desk, music out. To be performed as an angry rant in the style of Lewis Black or Andy Rooney after being kept in a cage for a week fed only Mexican food and tequila.)

Hey! I'm ARCHIE LEVINE and this is what I think!

I think the cat is out of the bag. Darlene Burcham, you know what I mean.

You know that old proverb, which is probably not even really true, but it ought to be, about the greatest curse being to live in "interesting times"?

We're living in pretty interesting times.

You knew things were going to get interesting when one of the first things that happened to George Bush, and by extenstion, THE REST OF US, after taking office was that we almost went to war with China.

I know, you probably don't remember, because that happened before we started living in a POST SEPTEMBER 11th WORLD, but if you think back we had a big old spy plane that hit a Chinese fighter jet and it had to crash land in China and Bush had to use some pretty tricky diplomacy to get our kids and the state of the art spy plane out of there safely with secrets intact.

Well, we got the kids out and we're crossing our fingers they had a chance to destroy most of what they left behind. Remember now? How about this, do you remember how in the middle of this international crisis Bush just blurted out on a morning talk show that the US would defend Taiwan if China attacked it. A bold and decisive step, or it would have been if it didn't seem like he made it up on the spot, because nobody at the Pentagon knew that was the new policy. If it was, we flip flopped and the whole thing was forgotten...especially after so many other things started popping up that we knew we'd better be worried about.

September 11th.

Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist threat.

The Anthrax mailer and biological attacks on the capital building.

Huge corporate scandals among some of the biggest backers of a sitting President.

The invasion of Afghanistan.

The danger posed by Sadam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction.

Balancing the public display of Colin Powell's diplomatic efforts to avoid war and the administrations massive mobilization and preparations for Shock and Awe.

Winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

Ensuring that the American People have an election in which the results are clear, demonstrable, and beyond dispute...and getting anything but.

The rising cost of the occupation of Iraq in lives and dollars....nearly 2,000 and 300 billion (respectively) so far.

An increasingly polarized nation with increasingly bitter partisanship.

Televangilists praying for Supreme Court justices to drop dead so they can fill those seats with people who will push this nation further toward a fundamentalist Christian theocracy.

Increasing dependance on foreign oil, pushing prices over $70 a barrel and over $4 at the pump.

Ice caps melting, global warming, and the worst hurricane season in history.

An entire American city wiped out, evacuees spread out over the country.

Political cronyism revealed that exposes a level of national insecurity we couldn't have believed possible even BEFORE 9-11, let alone 4 years later.

Trying to balance an obvious world wide rise in terrorist activity with the claim that we are winning the war on terror.

Nuclear tensions with North Korea and Iran, two nations formerly unrelated but forever united by being labled part of an axis of evil.

More airlines going bankrupt.

The looming threat of world wide pandemics.

I could go on and on listing things we need to be worried about--I mean I didn't even mention Scott Peterson or Michael Jackson or Martha Stewart.

But you and I both know that when you start to make a list like that, you just get overwhelmed, depressed, and take your bottle of Vodka and head back to drink in your bedroom while watching TV Land where you can pretend the biggest problem facing the world is how to get Richie Cunningham laid.

No, doing that would just be playing into the terrorists hands.

You have to prioritize. And this week, the good people of Roanoke told City Council what most worries us.




That's right, Roanoke, you can sleep easier this week because we're going to get a five star task foce to outlaw cats who think they can just roam around the way God intended them to.

There's a mighty wind in the air of this city, and it is bringing with it a clampdown on free-roaming cats and don't think their negligent owners are going to escape the mighty arm of justice either!

Finally, cats are going to have to get liscenced just like dogs, and we're going to be setting up a Kitty Guantanamo for the ones that don't have owners or for the ones the owners refuse to acknowledge because they don't want to get sterilized or euthanized.


I may have been unclear about who was getting sterilized and euthanized, I was drinking vodka in bed when I heard it on the radio, I'm not sure if it was the irresponsible owners or their cats, but at the end of the day, why bother drawing any distinction between these two groups?

You're either with the City or AGAINST THE CITY.

You're either with the CITY or WITH THE CATS.

The issue is now in the hands of the City Manager...She's already started negotiating with County officials to obtain bids on dogs to catch the cats, goats to catch the dogs, cows to catch the goats. At the time of this reporting, no plans had been initiated concerning horses to catch the cows, but I have this advice for Darlene Burcham.

Remember that the Old Lady died....sometimes the remedy is worse than the malady.

(lights out)





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