By Wil Forbis
I must tell you, my brothers
and sisters, that I write this with great fear in my hearts. Fear placed
there by the recent events surrounding the U.S. spy plane crashing into
a Chinese fighter plane and causing that fighter pilot's probable demise
at sea. When those tortured events were first broadcast in the media,
I thought what I'm sure a great many Americans thought, "What a delightful
subject for an Acid Logic column! Once Wil Forbis gets his hands on
this one, those Chinese will be so busy laughing they have to give our
boys their freedom." (I then thought, "Why am I referring to myself
in the third person? I'm turning into Gay Talese.") So where does the
fear come from? It comes from the fact that as we inch closer and closer
towards the launching of the current issue of Acid Logic, we inch closer
and closer towards a resolution to this mess that will render this entire
article moot. So I pray, as I'm sure all of you do, that General Powell
will "stall" negotiations for just a few more weeks so that the following
commentary can contain the lively comic wit that was so intended. I'm
sure our boys won't mind an additional couple weeks in a Chinese prison,
eating bugs and frying up those little dogs that look like "Eddie" from
"Frasier", as long as they know their suffering will ensure that my
work reaches its full comic potential. Remember, in comedy, timing is
Let me just say, I understand
General Powell and President Bush's reticence to offer an actual apology
on this issue. Apologizing is hard; it's embarrassing, no one knows
this more than myself. When I was a 5 year old, I was an absolute terror,
and earned quite a reputation as a troublemaker in my neighborhood.
Old women would see me pass and say things like "Did you see what he
did to those puppies?" or "That's the one who got the MaCarthy twins
pregnant." So how did I grow from a junior Napolean to the sensitive
poet whom humbly offers you such delight in the form of these twice-monthly
columns? Fortunately, I had a strong father figure, in the form of my
mother, who would always demand that whenever I hurt somebody, I offer
them an apology. When I stuck young Judy Hirschberg into the laundry
machine's spin cycle and set it to "Colors - Permanent Press" my mom
made me apologize. When I saddled up the Tanaka family's cat road it
into town, ensuring it would need a permanent body brace, my mom made
me apologize. And when I crashed my U.S. Government SR-71 spy plane
into a Chinese Fighter, killing its pilot, my mom marched me right over
to the Ching Tsau province, and made me apologize.
That said and done, I'm
not so naive that I don't understand Bush's reticence towards issuing
a direct apology to China. For one thing, holding on to our apology
is the only edge we've got in this argument. The minute Bush says, "My
bad!" the Chinese may come back and say, "Okay, since you admit it's
your fault, then you won't mind us dismantling your spyplane and using
the technology to install miniature cameras on Michele Yeoh's feet for
the filming of the next eight 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' films."
The only way we can hold onto some moral righteousness here is by refusing
to admit fault. And, as any insurance company agent will tell you, admitting
fault has legal implications. If we cough up an apology, those sue-happy
Chinese would take us to court faster than you can say "Hong Kong Foo-ey."
And they'd probably hold the trial in some television court show like
the People's Court, and the minute Bush utters something out of turn
he'll have to sit through a five minute tirade from Judge Judy saying,
"I'm the boss, applesauce!!!!" I'd rather face down a nation of one
billion, bicycle riding, nuke toting Chinese any day.
But, legal entrapments aside,
maybe apologizing is the best thing to do. After all, shouldn't the
same concept of "I'm sorry" that applied to me as a toddler when I photographed
Mrs. Neuwirth and the pool boy having an affair and then posted them
on the Church Community board apply to the President of the United States?
The truth is, Bush could have our boys back in a jiff, if he'd only
utter the same magical phrase that's been uttered by every guy who ever
stayed out late with the boys, or every gal who ate who missed work
due to a Vicodin hangover, or every dog who ever ate your entire collection
of 1970's Vampirella comics in a fit of separation anxiety...."I'm sorry...
I'm sorry we smashed our plane into you yellow devils and I hope we
can now sit down to a bowl full of Chop Suki and forget the whole thing."
That's it. That's all he'd have to say. Then he could calmly get into
get into Air Force One, fly over to Iceland and watch as America was
completely obliterated by Chinese Nuclear missiles. And frankly, I think
that's just the fresh start we need.
I understand that our presidency
may need a little guidance in this matter. A gentle shove over the edge,
if you will. That's why I'd like to set a good example by offering some
apologies myself. Once America learns from my example, that apologizing
isn't so hard, this matter should be wrapped up quickly.
I'd like to apologize to
every Chinese person who felt denigrate by my crude use of stereotypes
in column. (Please note: This apology in no way insinuates I won't
use crude stereotypes in future columns, even if I think they have a
very limited chance of generating laughter.)
I would like to apologize
to all Americans for.... well, there's so much I have to apologize for
at this point it's not even worth it.
I would like to apologize
to Russell Crowe for making it seem like he was the one who had an affair
with Meg Ryan and taking all that negative press about breaking up her
marriage, when in fact, I was the guilty party.
I'd like to apologize to
Meg Ryan for the numerous time during her affair that I had sex with
her, Greek style, while I thought she was asleep. What's that, Meg?
You were asleep? Well... I take it back then.
And finally, I offer the
standard apology that I place at the ends of all Acid Logic columns.
To my audience: I apologize for making you read this.