VB The Wise: "Mutton' To See Here Folks..."

Doug 'VB' Goudie
March 24, 2017 - 5:43 am

    I'm one of those guys who occasionally likes to think about what our Founding Fathers might think about certain events that in 2017.  With that in mind, I whipped out my kid's Mickey Mouse Time Machine this week and invited the ghosts of George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton to join me in watching some of the Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings on television.  Franklin, ever the inventor, was much more interested in how "television" worked than in the hearing itself.  Washington got caught up in a dispute I am having with a neighbor about our property line, and so he left to do some surveying.  That left just me and Alexander, he asked me not to call him 'Al', to watch the hearing on Tuesday, which I thought was fitting considering I went to Hamilton College.  (When I pointed this out to Alexander, he told me to stop brown-nosing.)  After Mr. Hamilton had offered periodic assessments during the early Q+A's, such as "this Durbin guy seems unprepared", "Patrick Leahy is certainly no Patrick Henry", and "I knew giving Rhode Island statehood was risky, but I never dreamt it would lead to a Senator Sheldon Whitehouse", I told Alexander to buckle up.  That's because it was Ted Cruz's turn to question Mr. Gorsuch, and as I told Mr. Hamilton, Ted Cruz is considered by many to have an unequalled understanding of the Constitution, and he and Grouch were about to show us what a discussion between two 21st century "legal eagles" can truly be.  Hamilton took a quick sip of his Diet Snapple (I had offered him a Sam Adams, but he said the thought of drinking a beer by that name made him feel weird) and then said, "although I much prefer a powdered wig to Mr. Cruz's hair, I'm looking forward to this intellectual back and forth."  And then this happened:


Ted Cruz: I understand that you like to take your law clerks, some of them very much not from the West, to the Denver rodeo every year, and to have them observe and react to cattle roping, bronc riding, and mutton busting. Is that true, and can you share a bit of your experiences and even better, theirs, in that regard?


Neil Gorsuch: We have a great rodeo in Denver every year.  It begins with a parade down 17th street, which would be like a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C.  That's how they mark the opening of the Grand National, and the closing is celebrated by the prize steer getting to spend a little time in the Brown Palace Hotel.  The kids show their animals, and then there's the mutton busting.  Mutton busting, as you know, comes sort of like bronco busting for adults.  You take a poor little kid, you find a sheep, and you attach the one to the other and see how long they can last.


(At this point Ted Cruz laughs and then gazes longingly into Neil Gorsuch's eyes, silently begging him to continue.)


Neil Gorsuch:  It works fine when the sheep has got a lot of wool.  I tell my kids to hold on monkey-style, you know, really get in there.  Because if you sit upright, you go flying off.  The problem when you get in is that you're so locked in that the poor clown has to come and knock you off the sheep.  And my daughters, they got knocked around pretty good over the years.


Ted Cruz:  I think everyone's life could be rendered richer by going to the rodeo, and I thank you for sharing that experience with your clerks.


Neil Gorsuch:  I'm sorry, but we could talk mutton busting all day. (Ted chuckles again along with Grouch.)


Alexander Hamilton said nothing at first.  Rather, he quietly reached for the remote, picked it up, and started pushing buttons until he hit the one that turned the t.v. off.  He then stood up, put his woolen coat back on, and as he made his way back towards the Mickey Mouse Time Machine, he muttered to no one in particular, "If Aaron Burr were with me now, I'd ask him to shoot me again."  I muttered to no one in particular, "I'm so sorry", and I quickly sent him back to 1790.  The Mickey Mouse Time Machine is now in the attic.


More wisdom next week.


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