Friday, October 22, 2010

A Smart Ass Tribute to Ronald Reagan

Okay, let’s get this one out of the way right now. Let’s see who’s got the stomach to stick around and keep reading
Before we get too deep into this relationship, there’s something you all need to know about me. I once took a leak on the front lawn of the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. I was a much younger man at the time. Now that I am older and wiser and more sensitive to the feelings and viewpoints of others, do I regret it?
Hell no!
I peed on the iconic president’s lawn indirectly or, through proxy, if you will. We were riding through Dixon, Illinois. Who knows why? I believe we were returning from a summer camping weekend. It was Bill and Becky, Anna and me. Bill, my wild man college roommate. (Bill once conspired with our other roommate, Mike Bachstein, to dump Bachstein out of his wheelchair in a busy sub sandwich shop on the main drag of Carbondale, Illinois, just for a laugh. Bachstein sat at a table in his ragged wheelchair, eating his sub and minding his own business. Bill walked by, looked in the window, stopped in his tracks, went up to Bachstein, cussed him out and tipped his wheelchair forward. Bachstein took a pratfall to the floor, just as they had rehearsed. Bill ran away and fortunately he ran faster than the eyewitnesses who ran after him, hoping to apprehend him and kick his ass.) Becky, Bill’s wife and balancing opposite. She’s calm, steady, practical, speaks only when she has something to say. Anna, my late first wife. The whole thing was her idea. We saw the signs trumpeting Reagan’s boyhood home. A sudden, invisible lightning bolt of conniving delight struck Anna. She stiffened in her wheelchair, snorted with laughter and said we should go there so I could pee on the lawn. (Note how she nominated me to perform such a thoroughly despicable act. I was flattered.)
But what about logistics? I couldn’t just roll out on the lawn, unzip and let ‘er rip. I’m always packing a urinal, but I couldn’t just fill it up and christen the lawn. Too blatant.
Then Becky got a brilliant idea.
“Mountain Dew!”
Mountain Dew looks like pee. So we got a can of Mountain Dew at a gas station and we all took slugs from it til the Mountain Dew was gone. I peed in the urinal. Becky, sitting in the passenger seat, poured the pee into the empty Mountain Dew can with a steady hand like a chemist. Bill pulled the van up to the curb in front of the modest boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. The place was locked up tight. Becky handed Bill the can. Bill stepped out of the van. He kept the engine running.
Bill stepped cautiously out to the middle of the lawn. He held the can high, as if offering a toast. Then he upended the can until it was empty. He ran back to the van and we sped away like bank robbers.
If we tried to pull a stunt like that today, I’d be writing this from Guantanamo. The FBI would use DNA to trace the pee back to me. I realize that by posting this on the internet I am ruining my life. I will never be able to hold public office or win Senate confirmation if I am ever nominated for the Supreme Court. All my detractors will have to do is point out that I once peed on the front lawn of the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan and I’m sunk. Only the most enlightened of humans will sympathize. I’ll probably be barred from holding down any job ever again, except writing this smart ass blog. But I can’t resist making this confession for the same reason I couldn’t resist peeing on the lawn in the first place-- in the name of justice. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to deface the lawn in the same disrespectful way that the gleeful selfishness of Reaganism has defaced America.
Hello out there in Readershipland? Is anyone still there? Do I hear crickets?

P.S. I’ve posted a new photo, which was sent in by astute reader and fellow smart ass Kevin Irvine. He was at the cheesehead karaoke bar mentioned in the intro and captured this moment. Beer and women and song. What else is there?


  1. I love it!! Thanks for making a lousy afternoon a bunch better :)

  2. Whew. Just in time. This morning I was jonesin' for Smart Ass Cripple. When is that wild crazy guy going to write again? Not to worry about losing future confirmation to the Supremes. Since Bush v Gore that body lost the shred of ethics and esteem it held. Besides, you don't look that great in black and the robe would bollocks up that gorgeous set of wheels you are driving.

    Write on, SAC, more soon please.

  3. I'm picturing another Riva Lehrer painting of you, Mike, in a nice black Supreme Court Justice robe, from a low front angle, like looking up at Lincoln at the Memorial. Of course, you'd have the puck-like SAC grin on your face ...

    We should all send in our favorite "pee stories" (every crip worth his or her salt [pun intended] has at least a dozen).

  4. Oops! Apologies to my wife, Beth. Apparently, my last message was posted from her account (thought I've tried over the years to lure her to the dark side, she's never peed on anything in her life). So, these last two comments are from ME, Wheelchairboy!!

  5. Bwahaahaaa!

    1. have you heard the song "piss on your grave" by The Coup. If not, you should really track it down. I did not make the connection before today, but, apparently, it is right up your alley.

    2. the image of anna's best mischief grin, nice. Thanks for putting that in my mind's eye; it's one i like a lot.

  6. I'm only disappointed you didn't do the other thing on his lawn.

  7. Thanks for subscribing me, Mike.
    Public acts of defiance are fun.
    We blocked a 3-lane intersection this summer. The charges were dismissed today! Pass it on.

  8. Ronnie loved "trickle down" things. A fitting tribute on so many levels.

  9. As someone who survived Ronnie Raygun's unique governance of California, I applaud your truly fitting tribute!

  10. Smart ass cripple Earl Higgins here. I once did the exact same thing on Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada City Hall. Emptied my urinal on the concrete front steps, So they left a nice big wet spot, so to speak. Why? 1) the building was brand-new and the Canadians seemed real proud of it, AND 2) the only way into the building was up 15 steps. True story.

    1. Erm, hope the statute of limitations is up on that crime. Is this all happened in the Summer of 85. I'd hate to be banned from reentering Canada. It may be where I have to move after Pres. Trump wins.