The Last Word

Issue #488

May 2015

Have a funky funky isthmus...
You didn’t believe me when I said I was going to the roadmeet in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m not a mind
reader, but I know these things. Cool people like me can figure it out.
But—since I’m such a groovy guy—I did go Wisconsining,
and it was a downright spectacle. I left on the morning of Friday,
April 17. I boarded a Megabus coach in Cincinnati, and things
immediately went hilarious! As the bus was parked in Cincinnati,
the driver expelled a group of 3 women from the bus because it
appeared as if they were all trying to board using the same ticket.
When they refused to leave, the driver declared, “Get off the bus or
I’m gonna do something I don’t want to have to do!” But the driver
—who resembled the cartoon driver Megabus uses as its mascot—
relented when he discovered that Megabus mistakenly assigned the
3 women the same ticket number.
The bus traveled to the University of Cincinnati and thence to Megabus’s favorite rest stop—in St. Paul,
Indiana—and then onto the Indianapolis stop. I arrived on time in Chicago, where I had to schedule a long
layover. This presented me with a perfect opportunity to do a Chicago walking tour. The usual roadtrip hilarity
occurred there. When I stopped by a McDonald’s to use the tinkletorium, I noticed that someone had peed all over
the restroom floor. Soon after, I saw Occupy picketing a different McDonald’s. One of the Occupy groups was
Occupy Naperville, hailing from the Illinois city where Big League Chew bubble gum was first test-marketed. I
gave the Occupy demonstrators a thumbs-up in support. Later, as I was walking along Clark Street, the pungent
bouquet of a silent-but-deadly bunker blast hovered in the air.
The Megabus to Madison left on time, but while the bus was idling in a traffic jam, someone on the bus
cracked another silent-but-deadly.
While I was in transit, I checked my itinerary and discovered something very disturbing. I had planned on
taking a city bus from the Megabus stop near the university in Madison over to my hotel on the city’s northeast
edge. But I noticed Google Maps had printed out the wrong time for that bus trip. A sense of worry began to
descend upon me. This doomsday feeling tightened at the Megabus stop on Madison’s south side because the
driver on this leg of the trip didn’t know how to restart the bus after stopping it. He had to call the Megabus peeps
and ask them—squandering many precious minutes.
I wasn’t too late getting to the university bus stop, but it was dark, and I had to get to my motel. Instead of
relying on the bad bus information Google gave me, I spotted a bicycle rental station. I hopped aboard a hulking
bikey and began speeding northeast in the darkness. I hoped to turn in the bike a bit further down the road and
walk the rest of the way. But I noticed that as I got further from downtown, I could find no other stations. In
frustration, I biked several miles all the way back into town—all the way to the State Capitol that looms over the
city. I had to ask some locals where the nearest bike station was. I turned in the bike and took a bus after all.
Luckily, Madison’s bus system was more than just the bare-bones service that TANK provides. Even late
at night, I was able to efficiently get to the motel. Madison’s bus system was so extensive that the complete
schedules filled a booklet as big as the Campbell County phone book. I used that to plan the next day’s bus usage
—again ditching Google’s bad data.
Oh yes, the hotel. The inn was a disaster. It reeked of paint, had no hot water whatsoever, and was
infested with ants. The swimming pool was of course closed—which should have earned the hotel a grogan
therein. The motel was a poking bruise on an otherwise fine city.
On Saturday, I took a bus 10 miles across town to the roadmeet itself. What indeed is a roadmeet? It’s
something cool people do. That’s what. The meet drew over 20 people. After the luncheon, we explored the city.
Madison is a rather compact city. It has very few suburbs, so folks aren’t forced to drive 15 miles out of town just
to buy a pair of underpants or a sheet of thumbtacks—unlike some cities we know of. Go more than a few miles
from the Wisconsin State Capitol in most directions, and you find yourself in a large lake or a cornfield.
In keeping with our noble roadmeet traditions, bunker blasts were experienced during the meet. When we
returned to the restaurant and waited outside the establishment, a loud-and-proud air biscuit was heard. Everybody
pretended not to notice this unmistakable double-barreled burst of flatulence. Afterward, we toured a cluster of

radio stations. As we were crowded together in a room, someone released a silent-but-deadly. It was silent, but it
was deadly. The stink of this hovering bunkeroo was so overpowering that I went out in the hall. I still wasn’t able
to fully escape the aroma.
The blab predicted a rainout for Sunday. But the weather was dry throughout my lengthy walking tour of
Madison. This trek was tiring. I walked from the hotel on the northeast all the way to the university—with many
detours, such as Occupy Madison Village. The Tea Party had supported a petition to prevent the village from
opening. And trust me, the Tea Party did support that petition. I’d wager that the people behind the petition would
deny that Team Tyranny ever backed their efforts, because they sounded like the crybabies on Usenet who
claimed to be liberal but were actually culled from the pages of the Moron Majority. But Occupy prevailed against
the Evil Empire. After all, it’s Madison.
I had also planned on detouring to Madison’s zoo. But I had no energy to go that far, so I huffed and
puffed into the public library to refill my thermos. The libe was open on Sunday, because the Tea Party hasn’t
sued them to force them to cut service.
The Megabus stop at the university
consisted of 2 shelters. After I plunked down at
one of the shelters, I heard a loud-and-proud
backdoor breeze looming my way from the
other shelter. The bus to Chicago arrived on
time, and it got to Chicago on time as well. But
during that route, my stomach began to churn.
When I returned from the restroom after a
Number One and sat back down, a Code V
immediately rose from the depths of my
digestive tract. All other passengers within 5
feet narrowly avoided disaster. So I had to rush
back down to the johndola and finish the job.
The Chicago bus stop had no shelter, so I waited in the pouring rain and darkness for an hour for the bus
to Cincinnati. During this layover, I saw a Jared the Subway Guy look-alike boarding another bus. After my next
bus got moving, a taxi blocked the street and caused a delay. The bus driver frantically pounded the horn, but the
taxi refused to budge. Another delay was to be had when the friendly driver stayed at the Indianapolis stop too
long because he didn’t know we were out of the Central Time Zone. See, there’s another reason why we should be
moved to Central Time. Wall Street wosted nearly an hour by force-feeding us Eastern Time and confusing the
It was the middle of the night, and I was half-asleep, so the depth of these delays didn’t sink in. Still, we
weren’t tremendously late getting to Cincinnati on Monday morning—at least compared to Greyhound’s infamous
debacle after the St. Louis roadmeet last year.
Based on my trusty common cold timetable, it is generally believed that I contracted a cold while I was
stumbling into the library in Madison in the throes of dehydration and weakened immunity. The following
Tuesday evening, I was watching CHiPs at home when the telltale signs of a cold began to predominate. I
resorted to my time-tested cure: pouring hydrogen peroxide in the ears. This significantly shortened this creeping
illness, and only my precious Wednesday was wholly destructed, as this infection quickly skipped to its end
But the trip did yield 77 Roads Scholarin’ photos for you to flip through like a deck of cards—that is, if
you’re the type who analyzes and ponders each card in a deck...

No museums left behind
Every former President since Herbert Hoover has an official museum under the auspices of the National
Archives and Records Administration, and I’ve now been to all of them except the ones on the West Coast. After
the Wisconsin roadmeet and the resulting boogly-wooglums, I goed on a fact-finding mission to the presidential
museums of Arkansas and Texas. This trip lasted from April 30 to May 6—thus latening this ish.
Nobody ripped any bunker blasts on this trip, nor did anyone plop anything. Quite unfortunate indeed. A
group of rowdy bikers broke the dishes at an Austin restaurant, but that’s about it. However, I did visit 4
presidential museums.

Of the 11 such museums I’ve visited, only 2 felt like they’re from an alternate universe: the ones for the
Bushes, both of which I visited on this trip. The George Bush Presidential Museum—which commemorates the
elder Bush’s failed legacy—was interesting, but every bit as biased as you might expect from something that has
to do with the Bush royal family. Most presidential museums highlight positive achievements but at least try to be
objective here and there. In BushWorld, however, objectivity is a four-letter word.
This museum tried to paint Bush as a champion of racial equality—even though he vetoed the Civil
Rights Act of 1990. Plus, much of the facility dealt with the 1991 Gulf War and tried to portray it as a success
worthy of nothing less than sheer praise. While Lyndon Johnson’s excellent museum was fairly objective about
the Vietnam War and even explained the origin of the expression “another Vietnam”, I couldn’t find anything in
Bush’s museum that seemed to cast doubt on the Gulf War’s supposed wisdom. Kind of like The Media.
Bush’s museum also seemed to suggest that his reign was a period of economic prosperity—though
nothing could be further from the truth. Granted, Bill Clinton’s amazing museum was guilty of the same thing,
though by now I’ve kind of gotten used to the fable about the “.com” bubble somehow prolonging my library gig
by 3 months. I think the difference here is that nobody believed Bush’s hogwash in the first place, but his
apologists keep pumping up his legacy anyway.
The Bush museum does have a fascinating sculpture that includes a fragment of the Berlin Wall with
Sting lyrics spraypainted on it...

Unfortunately, however, the museum incorrectly makes it appear as if Bush had something to do with the
collapse of the feared Iron Curtain, even though Republican administrations did more to delay this inevitable
event than anyone else did.
But the amount of revisionism and grandstanding at that museum was nothing compared to that at the
museum commemorating the disastrous misrule of Bush’s despicable son. The George W. Bush Presidential
Center is an outright propaganda machine. I hesitate to even call it a museum.
I knew this facility wasn’t fully grounded in reality when I entered and saw the exhibit that said George
Washington played baseball. (It reminded me of the person on Facebook who said Abraham Lincoln was shot
while seeing a movie.) It only got sillier from there.
For instance, look at this exhibit...

I don’t know if that’s supposed to function like a See ‘n Say—or perhaps a Sit ‘n Spin or a Close ‘n Play
—but it appears to be designed to promote Bush’s costly “tax relief” experiment that only benefited Big Business
and the rich. They even copied the factory symbol from one of the fonts on my word processor.
Here’s a nearby exhibit with the same format...

What tax cut? When did I ever get a tax cut under Bush? It’s as I said above: The Bush “get with it”
program of “tax relief” was for the 1%—not the 99%.
Both of those exhibits seemed to be designed for children, very gullible adults, and very gullible children
who will someday be very gullible adults. It’s one thing if the Bush thought police propagandizes only to
grownups, but it’s worse to fill children’s heads with this roo gas. So it figures that I saw at least 3 or 4 school
groups on a field trip at this facility. I don’t remember seeing school groups at any other presidential museums—
even on weekdays during these 11½-month-long school years we have now. Schools will never balk at a chance to
expose impressionable young minds to right-wing nonsense. It was like that 35 years ago, and it’s even worse
now. Naturally, at least one or two of the school groups was decked out in think-alike uniforms as they marched in
lockstep through the museum. Conformity like this was of course always demanded by the Bush regime.
This touchscreen exhibit has the same general message as the other displays...

“Watch President Bush’s tax cuts build prosperity,” it says. What prosperity? Bush turned a mere
recession into the longest depression in America’s history. Or is this like some of the other exhibits, which told
how great things would be if some of Bush’s proposals—such as his flawed ideas on Social Security—hadn’t
been scuttled by us big, mean libs?
This illuminated map at the museum highlights Bush’s failed “war on terror”...

Libya was a nuclear superpower??? Who knew???
This rather interesting framed exhibit features a pistol seized from Saddam Hussein—after Bush failed to
find Saddam’s fabled weapons of mass destruction...

But if you really want your psyche to be numbed by the far-right mind-bending and absolute stupidity of

the Bush years, there’s this laughable, wordy display...

Seventh grade civics and discredited Bushaganda all on one breathtaking sign! Who do they think foisted
the Citizens United ruling upon us? It wasn’t Judge Wapner.
I like to think that I visited the Bushes’ museums so you won’t have to. While all 13 presidential
museums in this system are overseen by the National Archives and Records Administration—an independent
government agency—the George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush museums share their operations with Texas
A&M and Southern Methodist University, respectively. Presidential museums should educate, but even the onesided Bush museums were fascinating to visit. Despite my unending (though wholly justifiable) disgust for the
regimes that they honor, I genuinely enjoyed seeing these facilities—but I have a strong enough philosophical
foundation not to be indoctrinated by them.
Apparently, not everybody thinks they were even that great. When I was in the restroom at the George W.
Bush museum, I noticed dried urine was already caking the toilet seat, even though this was early in the day.
Maybe a youngster from one of the school groups peed on the seat because he already knew of the failures of
Bushism. Smart kid!
Also at this museum, I saw a Nancy Kerrigan look-alike, which was kind of amusing too.
President Obama’s museum won’t open for another 5 years, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it—if I live that
long, which became a lot less likely largely because of the policies of the Bush dynasty.
All in all, this was a good roadtrip—and very likely my last for the foreseeable future. I don’t have the
energy or financial stability to travel like I otherwise would, and 2 roadtrips within a couple weeks has taken a
real physical toll.
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