Columns » Bob Lancaster




I’m thinking about paying one of those surprise visits to Baghdad like one or another of the Bush Administration poobahs is always doing. You think they’d let me?

Just tell them you’re a Cabinet member on a mission to drum up surge pub. And that you stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Here’s a news story saying we had more than 30 million bobwhite quail in the U.S. as recently as 1967, but barely 5 million today. What happened to them?

Vice President Cheney shot 20 million of them and one lawyer.

Here’s what they were asking on the sports shows the other night: Is this A-Rod’s team now or is it still Jeter’s team?

If they were asking me, they must’ve thought I was somebody else. I haven’t liked Yankees in general since Roscoe Conkling, or the ball-team kind since the Curt Floodgates opened. And not just because they were Uncle Al’s favorite team, either. And nothing to do with Noah and Ryal and them of the CSA. Roger Clemens has had more farewell tours than Sarah Bernhardt.

So in this latest Palestinian dustup, are you for Hamas or Fatah?

I’m for the Kurds. Or is that the Wheys?

What about the immigration bill?

Don’t care about it. Know I should, but don’t. Maybe when they start partitioning my tool shed.

No, seriously, on political issues I usually wait until the Usual Suspects line up either pro or con, then I move over into the other queue. You know who the Usual Suspects are. They nearly always flock together, and their inerrancy in picking the wrong side is positively spooky. Unfortunately, on immigration, they’ve Bogarted both lines.

You like the lizard better or the cave men?

I’ll have to pass on that one inasmuch as I’ve got a life.

Did you have a big Juneteenth celebration over at your place?

Is that the one where everybody can pinch you if you’re not wearing green?

I like the Spongebob episode where he’s trying to get into the Tough Guys nightclub or saloon. Which one is your favorite?

The one in which he keeps missing the late bus out of Bikini Bottom and gets stranded there as night comes on. He has to learn to speak with the distinctive accent of the native sea creatures there.

Is that a pinpoint of light at the yonder end of the tunnel? How many more days?

Only 578, according to my handy-dandy Backward Bush calculator, a gift from Editor Phil D. Hole. Plus 13 hours, 19 minutes, 17.8 seconds and counting down.

To update the definition, a pundit these days is somebody who decides whether or not a candidate has authenticity. Charisma used to be the essential quality. A few years ago it was “core values.”

You think those colts let the filly win the Belmont because it was the gentlemanly thing to do?

No doubt. Bad form, though, putting a male jockey on her. Plenty of able female riders. Rosemary Homeister was one of the good ones; her daughter, Rosemary Homeister Jr. one of the greats. A true fact from the Sport of Queens.

Not to slight the other Father’s Day donors, but a highlight had to be a grandson’s e-card featuring a mischievous chimpanzee making rude sounds with the old seventh-grade trick of squeezing a cupped hand under a damp armpit. Had nothing to do with fatherhood but when you’re 9 years old there’s no possibility anything in the history of the world could ever have been this funny.

Which of Billy Graham’s columns have you clipped and saved?

The one in which he said some pets will get into Heaven, and one in which he said there’ll be ball games aplenty in Pearly Gates Park — enough of them to satisfy the nuttiest sports fan.

What did batters do between pitches back before they had Velcro batting gloves that they could loosen and tighten nervously about 50 times?

I remember Reggie Jackson would spit at least 50 times.

Did you think the golf commentators at the U.S. Open were going to go out to the 18th hole and line up to take turns [blanking] Tiger Woods’ [blank]?

Yeah, and sure enough they did.

What’s the verdict on the first ’07 tomatoes?

Discussing the world situation, Kurt Vonnegut once said things are as bad as they could possibly be, and they’re never going to get any better. True, too, of tomatoes.

Who are the 28 percent who still think George W. Bush is doing a good job? Do they poll inside of asylums?

I think they’re probably mostly Marylanders. Maryland is called the Good Job State because just about the only thing that parents and responsible adults ever say to the children there is, “Good job!” This is meant to be positive reinforcement, but it gets to be pretty ridiculous, especially if the kid is a chronic screw-up. Tell the child the tough-love truth: “Bad job, Lee Roy! Sorry, sorry job!”

These seafood restaurants that put “sea salt” in their salt shakers? What’s the difference between that and regular land salt?

Sea salt is better at blotting up octopus ink, if you’re having that problem.

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