Good Roger, Bad Roger use the Stolichnaya dialectic


August 08, 1993|By ROGER SIMON

Good Roger leaned over from his Stairmaster and turned on C-SPAN.

Good Roger is the decent, clean-living, responsible side of me. Just about the only TV station he watches is C-SPAN, though he will sometimes turn to The Learning Channel when he is in a giddy mood.

Bad Roger leaned back in his Barcalounger, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and belched. Then he unpeeled another Dove Bar.

L Bad Roger is the unkempt, uncouth and disgusting side of me.

People usually like him better.

Good Roger climbed his Stairmaster and watched as the Senate voted on Bill Clinton's budget bill.

"Surely, puff, you must, puff, be outraged, puff, by this debate," Good Roger puffed.

"Graacck?" Bad Roger said. "Sorry, sometimes I eat the Dove Bar stick by mistake. The budget bill? Actually, I don't care about it as long as it soaks the rich."

"And just how much soaking would you like?" Good Roger said.

"What they should do to the rich is take away all their money, give them rags and bowls and make them beg on the streets," Bad Roger said. "And the third Tuesday of every month they should be beaten about their heads and shoulders with sticks for good measure."

"And just how would you define rich?" Good Roger asked.

"Anybody who makes more than me," Bad Roger said.

Good Roger climbed down from his Stairmaster and went over to his Lifecycle. He put on his safety helmet and began to pedal.

"I think the helmet law applies only to when you actually ride in the street," Bad Roger said dryly.

"Better safe then sorry," Good Roger said, opening up his daily newspaper and reading it carefully from front to back.

Good Roger reads every story in every section of his newspaper every day. That's how tedious his life is.

"I am amazed and outraged!" he shouted.

"Let me guess," Bad Roger said. "Bill Clinton and all his half-brothers and half-sisters have decided to form a traveling softball team."

"No!" Good Roger said, holding out the paper. "This is a most disturbing story!"

Bad Roger tried to reach the paper from the Barcalounger, but after struggling for a few moments, he gave up in exhaustion.

"Whew!" he said, wiping the sweat from his forehead and settling back into the cushions. "That's enough exercise for one day!"

"I'll summarize the story for you," Good Roger said. "Foreign embassies owe the District of Columbia more than $6 million in parking tickets and refuse to pay because they have diplomatic immunity.

The former Soviet Union is the worst offender: It owes $3.9 million. In New York, where the United Nations is located, the problem is even worse with foreign countries owing $10 million in parking fines."

"So what are we doing about these deadbeats?" Bad Roger asked.

"The State Department has announced that if these countries don't pay up, we will refuse to give them diplomatic license plates for their limousines," Good Roger said.

"Which just goes to prove that Warren Christopher must be sipping embalming fluid again," Bad Roger said. "If diplomatic immunity protects these guys from paying their parking tickets, don't you figure it also protects them from driving without plates?"

"Good point," Good Roger said. "You're not as dumb as your column picture looks."

"No human being could be," Bad Roger said. "Besides, I've got my own solution to this delicate international problem."

"Uh-oh," Good Roger said.

"We are the last military superpower left on earth," Bad Roger said. "We have already demonstrated that we will invade countries if we don't like their leaders -- Panama -- or don't like the way they are running their own countries -- Somalia -- or just tick us off -- Grenada. So why not invade the countries that owe us money for parking tickets?"

"May I remind you that the biggest deadbeat, the former Soviet Union, still has nuclear missiles?" Good Roger said.

"Ha!" said Bad Roger. "You open up one of those missiles and you'll find a family of four living inside and brewing tea. We could walk over them Russkies in three weeks."

"But once we invaded, how could we get our money?" Good Roger said. "Their country is devastated. They have nothing of value."

"Oh, yeah?" Bad Roger said. "Does the name Stolichnaya ring a bell?"

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