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thursday, 10

thursday, 10


In honor of President George W. Bush's upcoming visit to Memphis this week, this is an open letter to him, just in case he picks up the Flyer while in town. "Dear President Bush: I know you have one of the most difficult jobs in the world, and I apologize for having been less than kind to you in this column in past years, but you were really rubbing me the wrong way. And I know you have had more than your fair share of really crummy public-relations situations. Not ever being able to find any of those WMD that you promised us were in Iraq you know, the NUCLEAR ones that you talk about so often but still can't correctly pronounce. Then you had some kind of "hump" in the back of your jacket during the debates last year with John Kerry, leading many people to believe you were wired so that someone could tell you what to say and how to answer all of the questions. Boy. Then Fahrenheit 9/11 came out, and there was all of that embarrassing footage of you looking rather, well, just plain weird as you continued to sit there with the school children reading the goat book after being told that we had been attacked. But who wouldn't look a bit strange having gotten that kind of news? Then the press just hounded you to death about putting on that flight jacket and landing on that ship to proclaim "mission accomplished" a few months into the war in Iraq, even though it has turned out to be anything but over. Then you went to see some of the troops at Thanksgiving and served 'em a big old fake turkey, which made a lot of people make fun of you even more. Then your "friend" secretly taped telephone conversations with you talking about your marijuana use and it got slipped to the press somehow. I don't think that man was a very good friend at all. But, President Bush, what I really want to ask you about is your friend Jeff Gannon. The situation with you and Mr. Gannon goes a little beyond being just your garden-variety public-relations nightmare, since he is the little darling you've been letting into White House briefings and press conferences for the past few years to ask questions that are embarrassing to the Democrats, and he is not even a journalist. Heck, Capitol Hill wouldn't give him a press pass to cover congressional news because he had zero credentials. But you planted him in the White House and had him ask questions about the Democrats being "divorced from reality," which, I guess, was not such a smart move after all, since it raised some red flags and made some real journalists look into your buddy's background. And as it turns out, he was there under a fake name (now, you'd think security at the White House would be a little more careful than that), and his real name is James Guckert. My real question to you, I suppose, is this: If you were going to plant a fake journalist in the crowd to ask you easy questions and try to embarrass the Democrats, why did you choose a guy who has sex with other men for money, owns several gay porn Web sites, advertises his own services on the Internet, and appeals to homosexual men with tastes in military men? Or at least he used to, before all this came out (no pun intended!). Isn't that just a bit strange? President Bush, I was under the impression that you were not too crazy about homosexuals, as you made a big deal out of wanting to change the Constitution to ban them from getting married. I think you need to take a vacation after that one. Since you haven't taken very much vacation time during your years in office, I'd say you are due a rest. So take it easy and keep on truckin'! Sincerely, Tim." There. Now onto the real point of all this: What's going on around town this week. Tonight, Eric Jerome Dickey's Friends and Lovers opens at The Orpheum. Mid-South writer, longtime Memphis comedian, and radio talk-show host Dennis Phillippi signs copies of his new novel, A Quarter Triangle at Davis-Kidd tonight at 7 p.m. Amy LaVere & The Tramps are at Earnestine & Hazel's tonight. And Garrison Starr and Melissa Ferrick are at the Hi-Tone. -- Tim Sampson

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