Wednesday Jenna and Barbara Bush went at it again, hammering back
forbidden brew-skis. As midnight hit sleepy Washington, Jenna and Barbara
were "sucking down Budweisers and
chain-smoking cigarettes," the Washington Postreports.
And a nation watches silently. Was this illicit binge to
blur the ever-present hum of a forbidden lesbian incest -- lips wrapping
welcoming glass mouths, tongues seeking hungrily for that luscious
French kiss of beer... Or just the all-American antics of two college
women on the wrong side
of their 21st birthdays.
Oh, so much more. Guzzling glorious mead meant braving the District of
Columbia's harsh sentencing guidelines -- mandatory arrest and jail
time. Jenna and Babs have now joined America's proud
tradition of rebellion, hoisting their freak flags high
and marching in the town parade of history's outcasts -- pioneers of
excess following their wild wild hearts....
But can we truly fathom the depths of this lurking all-American depravity?
Primal urges suddenly breaking to the surface, hot blood pumping
uncontrollably -- the freak twin offspring of a venal milquetoast
Maybe the only way to comprehend it is by channeling some tortured
19th-century hillbilly --
a lusty son of the soil, abandoning his frontier wife and children
to explore dark mysteries of the American soul.
The forgotten voice sounds once more as America summons from its
nether-world: the ghost of Sherwood Anderson.
"For an hour the procession of grotesques passed before the eyes of the
old man, and then, although it was a painful thing to do, he crept out
of bed and began to write.... The grotesques were not all horrible.
Some were amusing, some almost beautiful...
Crossing dizzying swirls of history and
humanity, the ghost of Sherwood Anderson shimmers across the ages.
Lawfulness and indulgence, righteousness and forgiveness, the fathers
we wished we'd had and the fathers we wished we'd been.
Impossibly, incomprehensibly, half an answer begins to form....
It was the young thing inside him that saved the old man....
And suddenly our nation's alcoholic President takes his stand beside the
used to be -- standing shoulder to shoulder with the oppressed
libertines who've gone before. The troubled lesbians and the secret
incestuous lovers. The poseurs to honor, and those all-American drunks
who are both humble and noble. And somewhere across the fruited plain
burble warm words from the ghost of Mark Twain.
"God bless the drunks and the children, and the United States of
Like a noisy bar the night fills with barely heard echoes. Drunkeness is
its own mystery,
with its own readily apparent answers. Maybe it's the something young
inside us all
that embraces the ever-enticing brew of hops and fellowship, a nation of
glorious crackpots with their booze-fueled dreams
As the spiritual seance ends, the drunks of Mark Twain echo through the
"One man said it was getting towards the long days and the short nights
now. T'other one said THIS warn't one of the
short ones, he reckoned.
"And then they laughed, and he said it over again, and they laughed