March 5, 2009 in Idaho Voices

For helping customer, he got fat lip

D.F. Oliveria
 

A funny thing happened to Robideaux service manager Jerry Kelly last week, if you realize that by “funny” I mean bizarre rather than ha-ha. Jerry was busy handling routine business when he noticed that an angry man was confronting a co-worker, Stacey Gaumond. He stepped into the fray and learned quickly that the cuss-tomer was upset that the bumper he had banged into a snow bank wasn’t covered under his warranty. The guy figured it should be because he was traveling only 5 mph when he crashed. Next thing you know, according to statements made to CPD Blue, the man was calling him names. So Jerry invited the man to come with him to the general manager’s office. Gaumond followed. GM Tim Mee was on the phone when the trio arrived. Then, according to the three Robideaux employees, the cuss-tomer rushed Jerry, head-butted him in the forehead, and was pushed away. Undeterred, the man returned swinging, striking Stacey in the upper arm and Jerry in the mouth, splitting his inner lip. Jerry called 911. Later, he was surprised that the guy wasn’t arrested on the spot. Still later, Police Chief Wayne Longo told Huckleberries that the city prosecutor’s office would review the statements from the three witnesses and alleged assailant before deciding whether to press charges. Meanwhile, Jerry has a fat lip and the hard-knocks knowledge that sometimes the cuss-tomer isn’t right.

Homecoming, indeed

On the surface, the appearance today by former mayor/U.S. senator/governor/secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne at the Coeur d’Alene Resort resembles a victory lap for a favorite son. Kempthorne, according to the Coeur d’Alene Press this week, will be discussing a number of issues that he “conquered” – the reporter’s word not Kempthorne’s – during his recent sojourn in Washington. You can hear his comments from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. For $20. However, a Berry Picker sent Huckleberries a copy of a private invitation sent to well-heeled individuals. Which may be the real reason for the visit. For $100 per couple, Jerry and Dr. Ellen Jaeger and several other couples are co-hosting a private reception for Kempthorne and his wife, Patricia. With cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The purpose? To help Dirk retire the debt from his 2002 gubernatorial race. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Unless you’re the Berry Picker in question. Who said: “We’re in the midst of a dire economy in North Idaho, and he wants us to help pay off a 7-year-old campaign debt. I’m quite sure he’s been bringing in a much bigger paycheck than most people in Idaho the past several years. Chutzpah to the nth degree.”

Huckleberries

Poet’s Corner: “That stretch of grass by his backdoor/had been all white the day before;/those ivy beds out near the gate/were still in snow at half past eight;/though Spring herself he had not seen,/he spied her footprints – they were green” – The Bard Of Sherman Avenue (“Footprints in the Snow”) … “Oh great heap of grime,/all gritty and gray,/shall I still see thee/Memorial Day?” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“To a Snow Pile in the Street”). … Quotable Quote: “If this world didn’t have gutters, my mind would be homeless”/Levi Johnstone, UI Argonaut sports editor … Sign of the Times. In case you think there’s only one Oval Office in this country, think again. One her blog, OnLocation North Idaho, Post Falls Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson offers a photo of the readerboard for the Oval Office restaurant in Post Falls. Which said recently: “You are our stimulus plan.”

Parting shot

So colleague Carolyn Lamberson was pulling up to a stoplight at Kathleen and Highway 95 around noon Tuesday when she spotted the quintessential North Idaho pickup. She was OK with the American flag mounted from the roof. But she was unsettled by the toy Woody doll (“Toy Story”) sitting on the cover of the pickup bed, aiming a plastic machine gun right at her. But that wasn’t all. Take it away, Carolyn: “The back of the truck was covered with every possible anti-Obama, pro-NRA bumpersticker imaginable. There’s Obama as ‘bin Laden.’ ‘Impeach Obama.’ ‘Gun Control is a Steady Hand.’ ‘Proud Member of the Right-Wing Resistence, 2009-2012.’ ‘Sarah Palin – 2012.’ The kicker to all this? Carolyn: “All this from a guy driving a Nissan. Now that’s a proud American.”


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