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Friday, August 31, 2007

Guilty as Charged!

I’ve really learned a lot this week. I think we all have, at least those of us who don’t cruise public restrooms in search of anonymous gay sex. I guess I’ve pretty much always known that some public restrooms are used for that activity, but it’s something that you try not to think about, kind of like what goes on in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant. The less you know about some subjects, the better. What I wish I still didn’t know was how gay sex encounters are initiated, namely by loitering outside a stall, touching another patron’s foot with yours, reaching under the stall to make hand signals, etc. I’m sure there’s more to it, but please don’t educate me any further; I’ve really learned enough for one week.

This all came to light earlier this week as the press broke the story of Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) having pled guilty last June to disorderly conduct following his arrest for soliciting an intimate encounter with a police officer in a men’s room in the Minneapolis airport. Apparently this was a reduced charge (reduced from what, I don’t want to know), reached in a plea bargain, and apparently Mr. Craig mistakenly believed that the charges would not be publicized. I wonder if that’s the first time he’s been lied to?

Apply directly to forehead!

Apply directly to forehead!

The story has been all over the papers, radio, and cable TV news all week now, and what gives it legs is that it leaves so many topics open for debate:

Is he really guilty of a crime?
Do you believe his “explanation?”
Was it a sting or entrapment?
Is Craig a hypocrite for his political stance vs. his personal habits?
Would he have been treated differently if there were a “D” after his name?
What on Earth do those “apply directly to forehead” commercials mean?
How was lunch, Bruck?

The answer to the last question is, not very good. I had a pretty dry pre-packaged submarine sandwich. The convenience store right outside my office must be trying to clean out its inventory before the long weekend, so it was slim pickins. But on the other hand, I only paid $6.00 for it, aaarrrggghhhh!

As if trying to put out the fire by throwing gasoline on it, Craig called a press conference and issued a rambling statement about how he made a mistake by not telling his wife about it, he’s not gay, he should have consulted a lawyer, he’s not gay, he’s respectable and doesn’t do that sort of thing because he’s not gay. It sounded like a Saturday Night Live parody.

Then the following day I listened on the radio to the tape of a conversation between Craig and the poor policeman who apprehended him (can you imagine a less appealing job? I hope he gets a promotion out of all this). You could probably find the transcript on the web somewhere to see the content of this pathetic interchange, but you would miss the tone of voice. It sounded like a kid arguing with his mom after getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Basically, they wrangled over whether the respectable senator’s foot was too far into the officer’s stall (he claims that he has a wide stance and needed more room), why he lingered outside the stall door (he claims he was waiting for a stall to vacate), why his hands were in the policeman’s stall (maybe he was asking for extra TP in sign language), and on and on.

What convinced me of Craig’s guilt is not so much what was said but what wasn’t said. Now (hetero guys) picture yourself being accused by a vice cop of making a pass at him. What would you say? My defense would be something along the lines of, “Get your hands off of me you filthy pervert, I have no idea what you’re talking about! I dare you to arrest me, I’ll own you and your entire department,” etc. etc. etc. Actually I probably wouldn’t be as polite, but I’m trying to keep this blog reasonably family-friendly. Instead, the honorable senator quibbles about the details of playing footsy or not playing footsy with the cop, why he was reaching under the stall, etc., tacitly indicating that he knew full well the homo mating rituals and was trying to weasel his way out of being caught engaging in them.

Still, other issues surround the hapless senator’s actions:

Why did he say anything to the policeman w/o a lawyer present?
Why didn’t he retain counsel?
Why did he make a plea bargain based on what appears to be pretty flimsy evidence?
Why did I pay $6.00 for a dry submarine sandwich?

So anyway, it appears that Senator Wide-Stance is on his way out the door, and I think I speak for the entire human race when I say good riddance. Next case? Navy Captain Lisa Nowak, our friend the homicidal, diaper-wearing astronaut, is purportedly going to plead guilty by reason of insanity to charges of assault and attempted kidnapping of her love rival. She supposedly is competent to stand trial, but here’s her psychiatric diagnosis, abridged for clarity, at the time of the alleged assault:

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Partner Relational Problem
Major Depressive Disorder, Single Episode, Severe
Brief Psychotic Disorder with Marked Stressors
Interactions Producing a Mixed Manic and Depressive Like State
Asperger's Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
(I think we should cut her some slack on the Asperger’s Disorder - she is an engineer after all)

Mind you, Navy Captain is a very high rank, just under Admiral, which is the Navy equivalent of General, and she was/is an astronautess, and held a security clearance and an amateur radio license on top of that. Yikes! Those “apply directly to forehead” commercials are starting to make sense!


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