Travel Broadens Someone Else's Mind
While President Barack Obama was reaching out to the Muslim world and reminiscing about the pleasures of a partially Indonesian childhood, I was in Las Vegas, where the goings on are guaranteed to offend every major religion.
I don't like to travel, so I don't, but I had business in Las Vegas (yes, that's possible), and so I went.
I didn't mind taking off my boots and belt to get on an airplane. It's my way of reaching out to the Muslim world, some of whom want bloody chunks of my body to rain down on an Illinois cornfield.
Obama, God or Allah love him, figures us fat, flip-flop wearing home folks want to hear that Indonesia is "part of him."
Which part? The part from Hawaii, the Harvard part, the lawyer part, the black part, the white part, the African part, the Kansas part, the can't-get-us-out-of-Afghanistan-or-Iraq part or the smiley, hope-y, good dad part?
Yeah, Obama's got more parts than Frankenstein, and I kinda wish the guy would pick a part and stick with it.
Vegas was fine, just full of happy Americans, all kinds, happy foreigners, mostly the Asian kind, happy drunk people, mostly the European kind, some snooty Argentineans and a raft of Hispanics who do the actual work. If there were any Muslims there, they weren't wearing "traditional garb."
I lost three bucks in a slot machine and got half whacked on $3-a-pop Irish whisky shots in a lounge with poker machines set right into the bar. It was my way of reaching out to the Hispanic bartender. When drinks are only $3, I tip well.
Continuing on his big "people who hate me tour," Obama headed off to South Korea, to visit some American jobs. He should go to China next, because that's where the rest of the jobs went.
Meanwhile, back in Vegas, I saw three Elvis impersonators in three days, all of them wearing traditional garb, or at least traditional Elvis garb.
On the strip, small Hispanic men handed my wife and me "business cards" directing us to the nearest whorehouse, where I assume traditional garb is optional, though I bet the help will be more than happy to put on a burqa if you pay extra.
Of course, that burqa wouldn't stay on long, not any longer than Obama's Indonesian-ness will stay on before he becomes Korean or Kansan or lawyerly or socialist-like or whatever it takes to pass health care bills no one understands.
But they're good-hearted, those health care bills. They reach out to the average American just like the average American was Indonesian or Korean. Obama is nothing if not good-hearted, unless of course he's Indonesian that day more than he is good-hearted or if he's having one of his lawyer days. You're best off catching him on one of his good-dad days, when you just might score some free health care. You don't want to catch Obama on one of his Republican days. If you do, you're going to get another deployment to Afghanistan.
Vegas is weird. It's like the Lego version of the real world, which is why the Hispanic guys handing out whorehouse business cards seem so out of place. After all, you're standing in front of a big replica of the Eiffel Tower, just about to go into a gift shop run by a friendly looking Asian lady. Why — in that moment of Lego-constructed French, smiling Asian lady, about-to-buy-something-for-your-mom fun — would you be looking for a whore?
And you're really not even supposed to use the word "whore" anymore. Polite people use "prostitute" when they're writing and "hooker" when they're talking. You can't say "Moslem" anymore, either. You have to say "Muslim." Obama says "Muslim."
Me and Obama. Two American boys who grew up to take our love and our money to the ends of the earth, me to Las Vegas and Obama to wherever America's enemies need reassurance from someone who may or may not be just like them or me or you.
Obama. The Lego president. You can put his parts together any way you want, anywhere you want, and then you can take him apart and put him back together a new way.
In a way, it's a pity Obama went into politics. If he had moved to Vegas, he would have been a great Elvis impersonator.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com
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