Not just entertaining, O. J. trial's educational

March 24, 1995|By ROGER SIMON

Good Roger sat at his desk writing a letter to Parris Glendening telling him not to feel bad about the new poll figures but to keep acting upon his own conscience.

Good Roger is like that. A total dork.

Bad Roger, meanwhile, was practicing his new walk. He would lurch a few steps forward, slide a few steps to the left, then lurch forward again.

"If you are practicing walking to the loony bin," Good Roger said, "don't worry: I'll drive you."

"I am practicing my Kato walk," Bad Roger said. "Have you seen him walk into the courtroom? It isn't a glide and it isn't a lope. It's sort of a glope."

"Kato who?" Good Roger asked.

"Kato Gingrich, Newt's illegitimate half-brother," Bad Roger sneered.

Bad Roger can be very sarcastic when he wants to. Really.

"If you are speaking of one of the cast of characters of that sad spectacle that is known as the trial of Orenthal James Simpson, I want no part of it," Good Roger said. "And deep down, I think most Americans agree with me."

"Oh, yeah?" Bad Roger said. "Try this experiment. Go up to any group of people anywhere in America and say: 'Kato, plaintive wail, bloody glove, Mark Fuhrman and Cookie Dough ice cream.' And I'll bet you that 99 percent of them can identify each item and its significance."

"So?" Good Roger said.

"So ask them who the secretary of the treasury is," Bad Roger said. "Ask them to point to Guatemala on the map. Ask them to explain the 'Contract with America.' Ask them to spell 'Contract with America.' "

"I assume you have a point?" Good Roger said.

"The point is that the O. J. Simpson trial is America's main education tool and has been for nine months," Bad Roger said. "People who don't know their U.S. senators know who Tom Lange and Phil Vannatter are. It's amazing!"

"And am I to suppose this tells us something significant about education in America?" Good Roger said.

"It tells us that you can teach people anything as long as it has something to do with sex, violence, murder, knives and Hollywood celebrities," Bad Roger said.

"I'll alert Richard Riley immediately," Good Roger sighed.

"Richard who?" Bad Roger said.

"Our secretary of education!" Good Roger said.

"That's exactly what makes you such a dork," Bad Roger said. "You know who Richard Riley is, but you don't know who Kato Kaelin is."

"If he's that California beach bum creature who 'Nightline' unfortunately devoted an entire show to, than I do not care to know him," Good Roger sniffed.

"That's the perfect thing about Kato!" Bad Roger howled with glee. "He grew up outside of Milwaukee, for cripe's sake. And he turns himself into a California surfer dude and celebrity leech. Is this a great country or what?"

"Was it in Milwaukee or in California that Kato learned not to wash his hair before going into court?" Good Roger asked.

L "That's gel!" Bad Roger said. "It's supposed to look dirty."

"To me he looks like another one of this country's sad failed children," Good Roger said. "An individual without direction or meaning to his life."

"A failure?" Bad Roger roared. "This is a guy who goes to California to become an actor, appears in about two bit parts in 10 years and meets Nicole Brown Simpson while skiing in Aspen!"

"So?" Good Roger asked.

"So where does Kato Kaelin get the money for Aspen?" Bad Roger said. "Where does he get the money to pay Nicole $500 a month rent? Where does he get the money to pay for O. J.'s hamburger? Kato Kaelin is the American Dream! He's living a life of luxury and splendor with no visible means of support!"

"That is not the American Dream," Good Roger said. "It is the American Nightmare."

Good Roger can be very, very deep when he wants to be.

"I don't think Kato feels very tragic now that he has sold his autobiography for big bucks," Bad Roger said.

"And I can guess what he's going to call it," Good Roger said. " 'My, Um, Like, You Know, Life.' "

"Sneer if you want," Bad Roger said, "but I'll bet about 10 billion people buy it."

"There are only 6 billion people on all of the Earth!" Good Roger said.

"Sure, Earth," Bad Roger said. "But who knows how many on Kato's home planet!"

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