By Harry Welty
Ed and Brittany (not their
real names) felt it was time for their boy to find out about the birds and the
bees. I’m only writing this out of desperation. I started half-a-dozen columns
this week but I couldn’t bring myself to finish a single one of them.
Pontification is so lame compared to any story about sex.
Why would anybody want to
read my riff on rendering "unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s?” To be
ironic I had titled the column: “Render unto God.” It was prompted by one of
our new city councilors who complained that the Civil Liberties Union was trying
to uproot God from City property. He suggested leaving a divot in place of the
Ten Commandments monument to shame the godless ACLU. I was going to write that
Jesus told his followers to mind their religious duties and leave Caesar’s
secular world to its own devices. I guess today’s Christians aren’t
satisfied with their teacher’s instruction. Maybe I’ll tackle this some
Ed and Brittany’s story is
a lot more fun. Everyone can identify with the embarrassment of parents who want
to let their kids in on the facts-of-life. It’s an awkward topic, like another
abandoned column of mine, “Taking Turns.” It was meant to be a meditation on
the difficulty of teaching politicians in other countries about the value of
taking turns winning and losing elections. It’s difficult because the
Ed figured out a way to
educate his son without having to endure the embarrassment of an explanation.
His solution would be an object lesson.
I was just as embarrassed to
write about my recent precinct caucus. I no longer felt like the stellar example
I thought I was two years ago when I scolded readers who were too pure to attend
a caucus. That’s because this year I too was reluctant to attend. I didn’t
want to write that my 90-year-old Buddy, Edith, a fellow moderate, had finally
given up on the GOP because it had become the party of GOD. But caucuses were
old news by now whereas any story about sex is always fresh.
I had also shelved my column
about Joanne Fay’s lonely and expensive challenge to the St. Louis County
Board. The Board had gerrymandered their districts to guarantee being reelected
and to prevent Duluth from being fairly represented. They were mad as hell that
the Courts kept agreeing with her. But I wrote about that over a year ago and it
didn’t seem so important to harp on it again especially now that the Tribune
has finally given Joanne some editorial credit.
Ed deserved some credit too
for his stroke of genius. A friend of his had a bull to stud. An object lesson
would be worth a thousand words.
Studding a bull is not just
a rite of spring. It’s also a commercial venture. It brought to mind another
column I’d started about how my party is wedded to “mammon.” That’s
Bible talk for money. Somehow my party has gotten the idea that taxes intrude on
a Christian’s duty to take care of the impoverished. This notion is especially
popular where there happens to be a lot of poverty. Take Alabama for instance.
Why just last year conservative churches prevented Alabama’s Republican
Governor from raising taxes to bring its struggling schools up to the standards
of the rest of the nation.
So Ed put his son in his
truck and drove the bull to a heifer. He told his son that he had something to
My reverie about who started
the second Gulf War couldn’t compete with this amorous barnyard tale. It would
have taken me back 35 years to a time when George W. Bush’s grandfather was an
oil tycoon and a
Ed’s son saw quite a
spectacle. There was ardor, coy reluctance, bellowing protest, bellowing
conquest, submission and general mayhem.
After it was over Ed turned
to his son and asked, “Any questions?”
His wide eyed son did have
one question. “Is that what you and Mom do?”
Like Ed, I couldn’t quite
bring myself to describe the embarrassing details of how I churn out columns. I
trusted that a good look at the process would explain everything.
is a small time politician who lets it all hang out at: www.snowbizz.com