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Crank Call


Published January 19, 2005 at 5:00 p.m.

So, it seems there was this woman up in Milo, Maine, who baked a blueberry pie not long ago and got killed for it. Her baking "is believed to have started a chain of events that ended in the murder-suicide" of herself and her husband, according to the Associated Press.

Picture it: Pearle Cogswell, 66, bakes a blueberry pie and wants to give it away to "relatives." But her husband, Eugene Cogswell, 75, objects to this. Apparently, he wants to eat the pie himself. The first thing he does is throw a glass of wine in her face. Then he shoots her, right there in the kitchen.

Overcome with remorse, realizing what he's done, Cogswell then shoots himself, so that police now have two bodies to stumble over while they try to figure out what it was about Pearle's pie that resulted in such a horror: "The freshly baked blueberry pie was still on the countertop."

Tsunami? What tsunami?

Here's another one for you: A "convicted foot-licker" in Rhode Island, Raymond Champion Dubin, 24, recently pleaded no contest to charges that he followed three women around department stores in Woonsocket "and licked their feet." One of the women insisted in court that Dubin had "licked her feet three times while she was shopping."

I admit that I had to think about this very hard. There you are in Woonsocket, shopping, and someone comes up and licks your feet. OK -- but three times?

Iraq? What war in Iraq?

You may think that these items have nothing to do with each other, and you're right. I'm grabbing at any straw I can before having to turn again to the disasters of the Bush regime.

The tsunami, yes, we could talk about that, although so many people already have. Leave it to America's conglomerate media to turn even a disaster like this one into a story on the level of Brad and Jennifer's separation. You get so tired of hearing about it that you'd just as soon see a return of the Black Death. Which, if things continue the way they are, you probably will.

Iraq? Well, they do have some elections coming up, not that they'll be honest, and not that many people will vote in them for fear of being shot or blown to pieces. Even the candidates, reports The Washington Post, won't declare themselves by name because they know that if they do they'll probably be assassinated.

According to a report this past week on the BBC in London, "The head of Iraq's intelligence service, General Muhammad Shahwani, now puts the number of 'insurgents' at 200,000, of which 40,000 are said to be the hard core and the rest active supporters. These figures do not represent an insurgency. They represent a war." And, the Post continues, the National Intelligence Council of the CIA now admits, "Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of 'professionalized' terrorists."

Bushwhack, meanwhile, has made it clear to his staff that "no bad news" about Iraq is to be brought to his attention, according to a daily political tip sheet called The Nelson Report.

Good work, Georgie! That's what I call liberation from the lash of Saddam Hussein. And, by the way, why haven't we seen Hussein drawn and quartered yet? What's scaring you?

So let's talk about pizza. I mean the best pizza this side of Rome -- discounting, maybe, Chicago's or New Haven's -- which, in Burlington, is served at Manhattan Pizza & Pub on the corner of Church and Main Streets.

Don't bother arguing about this. I've eaten pizza all over town, and while I have high praise for many of our pizzerias, nothing in this city goes down better than a pie from Manhattan's. I'm so impressed that I even ignore the hordes of students who gather there nightly to chow down and, you know, pick up chicks. I might even shoot Pearle Cogswell rather than surrender a single piece of it.

What global warming?

Manhattan Pizza's owner and operator, Nancy Cunha, opened the place in 1993. She uses "only the finest ingredients," cooks entirely from scratch, and makes the crust very thin. The results are, shall we say, squisito.

Meantime, did you know that Ding-Dong's inaugural is going to cost more than $40 million? And that no one is allowed "to look at him directly" when they march in the celebratory parade down Pennsylvania Avenue? Neither are they to make any "sudden movements," which would eliminate a lot of baton twirling, I should think. Which ones do you think will turn into pillars of salt if they look the president right in the eye?

The lion's share of paying for "security" at this obscene event is going to be borne, per imperial decree, by the city of Washington, D.C., which has the misfortune of hosting the festivities.

You'll remember, maybe, that the District of Columbia has no national representation, no voice in Congress and a poverty rate that far outstrips many others in the nation. But the District has received a certain amount of "anti-terrorist" funding, as can be seen by the thousands of concrete roadblocks and barricades erected around the White House and every other monument to our nation's glory. And therefore, pace the Bushmen, the District can pay for protecting the emperor's balls.

Take that last phrase any way you want. What "dubious" election? What "torture memo?" What Social Security "crisis"? Pepperoni on that?

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