CAWTHON'S CATHARSIS - Some of Us Can't See the Point in the Janet Jackson Flap


By Jack Cawthon

"Did you see it? Did you see it?" Burvil was jumping and bouncing and waving his arms like Michael Jackson doing the Moonwalk in Boys Town, or Howard Dean after losing another state.

I had just walked into the Over Easy Inn, formerly the Blue Moon Café and Tanning Salon ("If you don't like the refreshments, we'll tan your hide!"), in Big Puf and received the excited greeting from Burvil.

The Over Easy is the only social establishment in town. There is a special section where drinks of an intoxicating nature, or denatured by Okey Hanshaw, are served and a section reserved for those folks still clinging to reality. The latter is seldom used.

From time to time elders and handlers of divine calling of the Holy Rattlers' faith will sit in the Sober Room, as it is known. I have on occasion seen them raising a brown paper poke to their lips, which I think is some sort of purification ritual that I have also observed in other teetotalers. However, I have also seen those devout enough to say grace before brown bagging it.

I had assumed that Burvil had seen the disgraceful performance of Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl halftime show, which seemed to turn into some sort of show and tell. I don't watch sports, but I could become a fan of halftime. I had missed it "live" but in the hundreds (perhaps by now thousands) of times it had been replayed I had tried to see what the peasants once upon a time saw in their king who paraded unknowingly a la natural.

I have a detached clinical approach towards the upper female anatomy, as I have been perusing National Geographic magazines since the early 50s. I'm certain that some of those buxom natives of the South Seas could not only Supersize the Super Bowl, but cause distraction in the most dedicated NASCAR fan at the Daytona 500.

But knowing TV's obsession with titilations I knew there would be numerous "instant" replays, which I suppose I should thank jockery for developing.

Each time the unveiling was shown and the time for naked truth, so to speak, was at hand, I would grab my bifocals and run and scrunch down in front of the TV set. But, alas, either my vision is fading, my TV screen is too small, assuming Miss Jackson isn't, or there was a censor blockage, or perhaps all of the above, I could see nothing to ogle and I wondered why I kept missing the point.

Again, is this all a tempest outside a D-cup? I have the solution, if only the powers that be will heed it. Why not announce that on a certain date all networks will pause in their regular programming, much like when the president speaks, and for one minute or so let the cameras zoom in slowly and take aim at the peak of the action? Then we could all settle down and devote our undivided attention to Brother Jackson, who although perhaps not as developed as his sister, may well be there eventually.

But, surprise, this wasn't Burvil's fixation at all and perhaps reflects my own distortion of pulchritude, er, attitude.

When Burvil was sufficiently sedated, after ingesting some sort of whitish pill, I was able to glean his cause for excitement. "It warn't him atall," he kept muttering. Little by little, I learned he was speaking about Saddam Hussein, who he kept calling "Sodden Insane."

Burvil had seen a Newsweek cover photo of the alleged ( a word I learned in journalism to protect the guilty) bearded, bedraggled Saddam, but at last I understood that Burvil was declaring they had the wrong man. Instead of the Butcher of Bagdad, they had the Old Geeze from Little Wheeze, an old eccentric mountain man by the name of Y. Bob Pratlow who had once lived on Little Wheeze Crick.

And I must say it did look like him. I had seen Ybob, as he was called, on some of my trips to Little Wheeze and vicinity. He was strange all right. He lived in a cave with some goats, hogs, chickens, and what I took to be people of the opposite sex, although I never wanted to make sure. I felt that the man pictured wasn't Ybob, as he was living in too much luxury underground and under an outbuilding.

Ybob had lived by hunting and trapping, which is how I figured he may have obtained his female companions. He was a harmless old fellow, and represented a way of life that many people had thought disappeared from hills many years ago. How he might have found his way to Iraq, I have no idea, but Burvil said he might belong to the "Tallyband" as he once had been known to play an accordion.

The mystery must remain. I doubt that the NSA, CIA, FBI or the AFL-CIO will admit to nabbing the wrong man. Burvil reminded me that Bush is now claiming faulty intelligence, which Burvil claims any "egit" should have "knowed" when they voted for him.

I noticed Arley Cleeter sitting alone in the non-drinking section, reading a book. I thought that surely this was a sign of certain Global Warming, if ever there was one, reading instead of burning his books. I noticed he was wearing a badge with the wording "Pot is an herb; Bush is a Dope."

I decided to leave before my conservatism was shattered.

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