Quick, Take Cover! It’s Hunting Season for the Veep

    Adding new meaning to “fuck your buddy,” Vice President Dick Cheney shot his hunting companion, Harry Whittington, in the face, neck and chest with a shotgun this weekend, after somehow mistaking a 78-year-old lawyer in a bright orange hunting vest for a covey of quail.

    This is an outrage. Isn’t this administration all about completing everything they start? Well, Dick — the old bastard you shot is still alive. I think it’s time to pull an Old Yeller on him and finish the job. I’ve got the perfect little shed you can drag him behind. At the very least you should promise that the next time you’re trying to bump off your hunting companions, you will try harder. We don’t accept mediocrity from our troops in Iraq, and we sure as hell won’t accept it from you.

    I shouldn’t joke. Shooting your hunting buddy is decidedly not hilarious. What is hilarious, though, is the flurry of articles chastising Dick Cheney for lacking the hunting skills and common sense of a preteen. This, from the San Francisco Chronicle:

    “If Vice President Dick Cheney had followed the protocols taught [to] 12-year-olds in hunter education programs, he never would have shot his pal last weekend while quail hunting, according to hunting safety experts.”

    Poor Dick. He can’t hunt for shit. And — correct me if I’m wrong — he shot his hunting companion thinking he was a small bird. In a faraway land called Northern California, I’ve observed that quail skitter along the ground, while a grown man’s face and chest are more than five feet off the ground. So … Cheney, you have terrible aim. Might want to check the prescription on your bifocals.

    But what can we expect from a nearly dead guy who resembles The Penguin and a VP who pumps small birds full of lead in Texas while Katrina victims are evicted from FEMA-funded hotel rooms and Antonin Scalia runs his mouth?

    There are other news stories. The Associated Press reports, “The White House has decided that the best way to deal with Vice President Dick Cheney’s shooting accident is to joke about it.” And they’ve thought up some damn funny jokes, too! Read this and try not to giggle. I dare you.

    “President Bush’s spokesman quipped Tuesday that the burnt orange school colors of the University of Texas championship football team that was visiting the White House shouldn’t be confused for hunter’s safety wear.”

    BWAHAHAHA! Mr. — giggle — Spokesman, you — giggle — are so funny! You — [snort] — joked about shooting the UT football team. That’s so risque and witty. Decrepit old Cheney, pumping lead into some young, virile college athletes? Hilarious!

    And as I write this on Tuesday afternoon, another tidbit to chew on, was just released by the Associated Press:

    “The 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident has some birdshot in or touching his heart and he had ‘a silent heart attack’ Tuesday morning, hospital officials said.”

    Hmm. That is truly a shocking development. Maybe Dick Cheney is finishing the job on ol’ Harry, but in the slow, silent, heart-attack kind of way, not the “I’m gonna pop you” kind of way. Kudos, Cheney, apparently you’re more wily than your doughy appearance would suggest.

    And then there’s the beauty of the fact that the White House held off on disseminating the story for nearly 24 hours, even though President Bush was told about the accident an hour after it occurred, around 8 p.m. on Saturday night, when he was surely settling in for a night of grab-ass with Laura.

    What? The White House using secrecy to cover up ineptitude? Never. I’m shocked at the suggestion.

    This story is oddly compelling, but it took me until today to figure out why. First — hey, Cheney did something interesting! Let’s give the guy a round of applause, while quietly unloading all the birdshot from his shotguns and tearing up his hunting license.

    Plus, this tale has all the makings of a great Hollywood movie. Deception! Confusion! Lots and lots of birdshot! Sexy orange hunting vests! It could be an Oscar-worthy adaptation, but only if Dick Cheney was played by Jake Gyllenhaal, his victim was played by a puffed-up Natalie Portman, and instead of shooting her, he rolled around with her in a field or something. A field with cute little quails singing songs in the background.

    OK, maybe that movie concept needs a little work. But I’m struggling mightily to figure out what, exactly, we’re to take from this story.

    Oh, I know.

    Never, ever go hunting with Dick Cheney.

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