A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 :::
One of life's eternal lessons.

If one has young friends,as college teachers are wont to do, then one will probably be prompted to invite them out for a burger every once in a whie "just to talk." On a statistical sample of two, it would appear that Sunday afternoon is a lousy time for such meals, as it is rather close to Saturday night, herein defined as anything that happens before dawn on Sunday.

Last week, A Mind That Suits found himself being driven home from church by the nephew of an old friend.

Said young man, just out of college, vouchsafed that he had not really gone to bed. He sagged increasingly during Mass, and announced that he was pretty exhausted immediately on exiting the church. A Mind That Suits concluded that the scheduled lunch was out of the question, and, indeed, the young driver freaked out at his own sleepiness on the drive to the Metro, so he became passenger on the drive to his own aunt's house, on the presumption that someone would be home who could then take a certain pudgy, balding English teacher to the Metro. No one was home, other relatives wouldn't answer the phone, it was a boiling hot day, and the aunt's house was beyond the East-West Highway, a two lane country road in the heart of Washington's notorious traffic, with exactly no walking space. A Mind That Suits was stuck on a verdant suburband island, about a mile and a half from where he wanted to be, which was his favorite pub in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Large groups of family members arrived shortly thereafter, although, as a tiny baby arrived at about the same time and most of the assembled were female, it was some minutes before anyone focused on the fact that there was a slight problem that should be solved. Indeed, the mother of the young miscreant looked straight past a certain PBET, even though they have known each for years and he should not have been there. His uncle, the old friend, speculated that he had been up all not on the internet, a regular habit, apparently. When told by A Mind That Suits that he had mentioned some friends that lived in Georgetown, he blurted out, "oh, if he was with his friends he's been drinking."

This week, another young friend, the son of yet another friend, now not so young, revealed that in a moment of nostalgia, he and his friends, back from college, decided to return to an old tire swing on the Potomac River much favored during their high school days. This was at about 2 in the morning. They managed to arrive at exactly the moment when the police decided to visit the site and interrogate this year's crop of high school students hanging out at the old tire swing. Said young friend had to wait while the sergeant investigate each car, and he came last in the rotation. Said sergeant had perhaps determined that said young friend had arrived at exactly the wrong moment, because he just asked if he had been drinking. The denial being plausible (and likely true), the sarge just waved him off.

Two and a half hours after they had arrived.

Perhaps mindful of the frustration expressed by A Mind That Suits over the previous week's youthful shenanigans, this young friend did his level best to keep up his end of the conversation, although he hinted broadly that it was an effort. Indeed, he expressed satisfaction as his house came into view.

That young friend is only in town a few weeks a year. As he spent his high school years shooting pool evey Tuesday with A Mind That Suits, the two make a point of getting together when they can. They had to this last Sunday afternoon--even though a certain PBET was headed to North Carolina that afternoon. And attepmt the previous Friday night had failed because they had misunderstood where to meet, at Ballston Commons in Arlington, VA. This illustrates why cell phones were invented. The only reason they didn't save the day last Friday was that this was the day (mentioned below) when A Mind That Suits and his phone were separated.

There are two things A Mind That Suits hates about driving: traffic jams, and thunderstorms. Traffic jams are a decidedly distant second, as one cannot hydroplane in a traffic jam. After dropping off his young friend, he pulled onto I-95 headed south just and ran into one gigantic, 15-mile-long traffic jam, just as he snapped on the news radio to hear, "Ifr you are headed south on I-95, there's clear sailing all the way." Only there wasn't, so 10minutes later the same announcer intoned, "If you are headed south on I-95, good luck." An attempt to steer clear of the traffic by moving over to US-1 turned out to be ill-considered, adding perhaps another 15 minutes to the delay.

Which turned out to be all to the good, as A Mind That Suits pulled onto I-40 headed to lovely Wilimington, NC, some thirty minutes behaind the last thunderstorm. He announced to his father on his arrival that he had timed that exactly right, and his father concurred.

In the matter of Joe Wilson and the famous "sixteen words" in the President's ill-considered State of the Union Address from 2003, A Mind That Suits found himself discussing the case with an elderly friend, an old-style liberal whose wife had served in the CIA.

As is true of so many, he had the impression that Amb. Wilson had proven the President was wrong. This would be news to the CIA oepratives who debriefed him after returned from his "investigation" in Niger. As the Senate Permanent Selectx Committee on Intelligence discovered, the professionals concluded that his investigation was inconclusive, but tended to support British Intelligence, the source of the report that Saddam had gone looking for "yellow cake" uranium there. Indeed, both the Senate Permament Select Committee on Intelligence and a committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council went out of their way to reveal what a blow-hard Amb. Wilson had become. The British still maintain that the "underlying intelligence" about Saddam's shopping trip "was sound."

Said elderly friend listened intently to the list of errors--we are being polite--committed by Ambassador Wilson in his famous New York Times op-ed and later book. Said list includes the fact that he never filed a report that went to Vice-President Dick Cheney, he did not "prove to the entire intelligence community" that the intelligence report was false, and he never saw documents he claims to have proved as forgeries.

The next day, said older friend asked the obvious question: why didn't Karl Rove and company simply go the press with the truth, instead of launching a full-bore, top secret attempt to smear the good Ambassador. A certain PBET formulated an answer, but it took a somewhat harsher form on reflection, which he has not shared with his friend. Yet.

So why is it that a certain Washington type--common in both major parties--goes for blood when simple ink will suffice?

If you are a f*****, the only thing you know how to do is f*** with people.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 9:33 AM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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