Not Eudora   By Harry Welty
Published Mar 19, 2004

No Bull

Ed and Brittany (not their real names) felt it was time for their boy to find out about the birds and the bees. Iím only writing this out of desperation. I started half-a-dozen columns this week but I couldnít 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 Caesarís?Ē To be ironic I had titled the column: ďRender unto God.Ē 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 Caesarís secular world to its own devices. I guess todayís Christians arenít satisfied with their teacherís instruction. Maybe Iíll tackle this some other week.

Ed and Brittanyís 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. Itís an awkward topic, like another abandoned column of mine, ďTaking Turns.Ē 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. Itís difficult because the US has a penchant for helping depose elected leaders that we disapprove of.  But who wants to read about qualified democracy?

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. Thatís because this year I too was reluctant to attend. I didnít 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 Fayís 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 didnít 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. Itís also a commercial venture. It brought to mind another column Iíd started about how my party is wedded to ďmammon.Ē Thatís Bible talk for money. Somehow my party has gotten the idea that taxes intrude on a Christianís 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 Alabamaís 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 show him.

My reverie about who started the second Gulf War couldnít compete with this amorous barnyard tale. It would have taken me back 35 years to a time when George W. Bushís grandfather was an oil tycoon and a US Senator married into the family of an armaments magnate. In 1967 I was a high school sophomore reading an article about the booming Saudi oil economy. Its King was pulling his nomadic people out of the desert and settling them in cities built by foreign workers. Being nomads they disdained manual labor and so were not required to work for the houses and other material things purchased for them with the Kingís vast oil revenue. I wondered then how a nation of indolents would evolve. My Senior Scholastic magazine didnít mention the Saudi financed religious schools or the severe Wahibi mullahs who would teach a generation of jobless youth about the importance of jihad. That was too much for one column anyway. Sex is easier to deal with.

Edís 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, ďAny questions?Ē

His wide eyed son did have one question. ďIs that what you and Mom do?Ē

Like Ed, I couldnít 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.  

Any Questions?

Welty is a small time politician who lets it all hang out at: www.snowbizz.com