Cheney gives comics new ammunition
I wasn't too surprised that Vice President Dick Cheney shot a lawyer while hunting over the weekend, it's just that I thought lawyer season didn't open until March.
Apparently the last thing Cheney's hunting partner, Texas attorney Harry Whittington, said before he was shot was, "Duck? I thought we were hunting quail."
It really isn't a joking matter when the vice president accidentally shoots someone with a shotgun. Wait. Yes it is. I'm pretty sure joking is mandatory.
Now, when regular folks accidentally shoot people with shotguns, it really isn't funny. Legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager was hunting birds in Hawaii several years ago and was accidentally shot. A piece of buckshot apparently broke his glasses, a fellow hunter who was there told me. Chuck didn't think it was very funny. He said he had been hunting hundreds of times, and that was the first time "a damn fool shot me."
I had kind of a close call the first time I went skeet shooting at Koko Head Crater. I was following the flight of the clay pigeon as it cut across the range, intent on shooting it before it touched the ground. I didn't realize I had swung the gun so far around that other shooters were yelling "Hey! Hey! Hey!" and diving for cover. They didn't think it was very funny.
The White House press corps apparently was angry that it wasn't told about the Saturday shooting accident until Sunday. Cheney allegedly apologized and offered to take the entire bunch of them on his next hunt so they could cover it firsthand. They apparently declined. Former VP Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and a host of other Democratic politicians apparently also have declined invitations to go hunting with Cheney.
It did take a long time for word of the accident to reach the public, but do you know how long it takes to tie a lawyer to the hood of a truck?
Though the hunt took place in southern Texas, Cheney aides denied the VP mistook Whittington for an illegal alien sneaking into the country, even though the lawyer was wearing a "Vote for Pedro" T-shirt.
Hoping the incident might help in the war on terror, the vice president's office released the following message: "Hey, Osama, this is what we do to people we LIKE."
Anticipating an anti-gun backlash, the National Rifle Association quickly released a statement: "Guns don't shoot people, vice presidents shoot people."
OK. Enough already.
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org