Thursday, February 02, 2006

Rex, the Bomb-Sniffing Dog, Responds to the State of the Union Address

"Why does the dog wag his tail? Because the dog is smarter than the tail. If the tail were smarter than the dog, the tail would wag the dog." (from 1997 film, "Wag the Dog")

From Witsend Daily – Similar to the fate of Cindy Sheehan, a "Witsend Daily" correspondent was “removed” from the House chamber prior to President Bush’s State of the Union Address. Capitol Police escorted the reporter to a “holding tank” where he was retained for three hours. No explanation or charges were filed, but an inside source reported that the correspondent (who wishes to remain silent until he can afford a lawyer) was preemptively removed for wearing a t-shirt bearing the newspaper’s name, “Witsend Daily” (see ad). The paper’s name was construed as a direct attack against the President. “This isn’t the first time the United States Government has refused to recognize our newspaper,” said T. M. Lindsey, Managing Editor of “Witsend Daily.”

When our correspondent returned to the House chamber to retrieve his jacket, he discovered a handwritten transcript scribbled in the margins of “The New York Times.” In a collaborative effort, the staffs of CSI: Witsend and “Witsend Here” have determined that the transcript was penned by Rex, the Bomb-Sniffing Dog. Rex, a five-year-old German shepherd, was one of Mrs. Bush’s guests and was propped up with fellow Iraq war veterans in Bush’s box during the President’s address.

Rex, whose previous vocation involved sniffing out bombs in Iraq, had been transferred back to the United States. His owner, Air Force Tech Sgt. Jamie Dana, awoke in a military hospital last summer badly injured by a bomb in Iraq and crying for her bomb-sniffing dog. Someone told her Rex was dead. Later, Dana found out that wasn't true, but it would take an act of Congress before she could take him home to Pennsylvania. The Air Force said it had spent $18,000 training Rex and that, by statute, he needed to finish the remaining five years of his useful life before he could be adopted. Dana's congressman, Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., helped abolish that policy in an end-of-year defense bill, according to the White House.

The following is a transcript of Rex’s response to the President's State of the Union address. (Since the transcript had to be translated from dog to German, then German to English, some of the meaning and canine nuances may have been lost.)

For the love of sniffing nitroglycerin, what am I doing here? I’m the only damn dog in the House, not including the big Saint Bernard propped up behind Master Bush. What did I do to draw this assignment? I did as I was told. I sniffed out bombs and insurgent-sympathizers. I kept my kennel clean and up to regulations according to military S.O.P. (Standard Operational Procedure). I licked boots when I had to. This is worse than pulling duty for the nightshift at Abu Ghraib. Ain’t that a bitch; one road-side bomb and Roof! Here I am. I should’ve smelled it coming.
Speaking of bitches, where are they? I haven’t seen a single bitch since I left the military hospital. The First Lady is real nice, but she’s no bitch. Master Bush’s talk of terrorism is getting me all worked up. I need to get back in the field, before I end up dead like these people. Some of these people should be put to sleep.
Oh ,wait a minute, they’re standing up and clapping again. Do they keep doing this to remind themselves that they’re still alive? I wish they’d stop teasing me. My bladder is conditioned to respond every time a human stands up, presumably to let me outside so I can relieve myself. I’m not sure my bladder can take any more of this, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to empty myself on “The New York Times.” Now “The Washington Post,” on the other hand…
Did he just wink at me? Master Bush winked at me. Is he signaling me? Potential bomb in the house? Something smells rotten in here, but it’s not a bomb, at least not a literal bomb. I smell doubt, fear, cynicism, lies, and a heavy scent of A & D ointment emitting from underneath Justice Alito’s black robe. God, this blessed sense of smell can be such a curse.
Not again, please don’t stand. I’ll beg. They’re doing it again. That’s 28 standing ovations. Do they realize that’s 112 standing O’s in dog ovations? What I’d do for a fire hydrant right now. Although, Margaret Spelling’s hot-pink dress sure is tempting. I can barely keep my paw steady.
Master Bush is getting very excited. I can see his tail wagging, and I can smell his bitch’s excitement. This begs the question: Who's wagging whom? Something exciting must be happening. Everyone’s standing and clapping. Now’s my chance…


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