In 1991, Mike rented a comfy bachelor pad from his aunt at 11th Street and Front Avenue, before he married Kathleen Morrow. Mike installed a doggy door for his 10-pound terrier, Bingo. But Bingo preferred to go in the basement. Now, flash-forward to the day after Mike’s bachelor party. Mike’s landlord and mother were at the door. Two cases of Rainier beer empties were strewn around the place. The sink was packed with three weeks’ worth of dishes. Mike and his best man, Dave Smith, were nursing headaches from the bachelor party. Mike heard his aunt scream. All Mike could think of was to clean out the basement before his aunt found it. Mike distracted his aunt, whom he described as “a 4-foot-11-inch angry ball of housekeeping rage,” while his best man cleared the area.
Afterward, his friend put the scene in context: “The thing I’ll never forget is being hung over with Kennedy in the basement of his house, getting rid of piles of dried dog poop while an Academy Award-winning actress screamed at him from the kitchen upstairs.”
Almost sounds like a plot for a sitcom.
A reader sent in the Dec. 22, 1999, editorial that I wrote for this newspaper after the death of Idaho Rep. Jim Stoicheff. It began: “The 2000 Legislature is going to be a little less colorful. A little less thoughtful. A little less compassionate. A little more partisan. State Rep. Jim Stoicheff, D-Sandpoint, won’t be there to hold tempers and bad legislation in check. His unexpected death to a heart attack Saturday leaves a void. Even in recent years when the number of House Democrats dwindled to a baker’s dozen, Stoicheff took the edge off bitter partisan debates. His good humor, thoughtful comments and practical approach to politics were welcomed on both sides of the aisle.
“He was one of the real personalities of the Legislature,” Gov. Dirk Kempthorne said. “He was colorful and tenacious in his approach, and I always saw a twinkle in his eye.”
Idaho needs another “Stoich.”
Poet’s Corner: “Already bright green/and eager to grow;/he cranks the mower/and daydreams of snow” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Spring Grass”) … Scanner Traffic: On a viewtiful spring afternoon Tuesday, a concerned citizen dared bother a 911 dispatcher to report that a Hayden Wal-Mart shopper had left a dog in a convertible Jaguar with the top down. The caller worried that the dog was “exposed to the elements.” Jaguar? Top down? Seventy-five degrees? Sounds like Doggy Heaven to me … Take a message to the female bike rager at McEuen Park during the noon hour Tuesday – the one who yelled at walking partner Greg Lee and me, as she passed us, for “taking up too much of the sidewalk.” We’ll move over when you do your duty by warning that you’re about to pass us from behind. … “Constitutional sheriff” candidate John Green used creative math in a recent flier that hit Kootenai County mailboxes. The 56-year-old claims “39 years law enforcement experience!” Yet, he’s been a lawyer since 1993. Hmm.
On consecutive nights at rural forums for Kootenai County commissioner wannabes last week, Duane Rasmussen told the crowd he was the only candidate who had carried round bales (with a skid steer bucket) to feed cows and castrated calves. Opponent Bob Bingham, who had heard Rasmussen’s claim at the Medimont forum, was ready for it at the Athol one. When Rasmussen mentioned his farming background again, Bingham pounced, stating that he also had “castrated cows and horses.” Rasmussen waited for his closing statement to ask Bingham how the cow had reacted when he tried to castrate it. Even Bingham laughed.
Dave Oliveria’s column also appears on his blog about North Idaho at Huckleberries Online, www.spokesman.com. He can be reached at email@example.com or (208) 765-7125.