If Daily Kos was a British blog, a news item today would appear in the diaries here as illustrative of what we love about the quirkiness of your country (whilst fully acknowledging our own).
It is a delightful story brought to my attention by the equally quirky Drudge. It is squeezed in between his accounts of apocalyptic natural weather disasters that he so enjoys recording, from forest fires to twisters that spell the end of life as it is currently known across the great plains of America and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi Basin.
I am an avid reader of Drudge because I just know he will be the first to tell me of the arrival of the Rapture. Today, however, he brings to my attention the great Californian initiative for an almighty universal bowel movement and co-ordinated toilet flush as a memorial to the late, great George W. Bush. I love it, despite toilet jokes normally being regarded in Europe as a peculiarity to be found in a particular genre of German humour.
In fact, although I give my hat tip to Drudge, the story comes from The International Herald Tribune under the headline "San Francisco may name sewage treatment plant after Bush"
Reagan has his highways. Lincoln has his memorial. Washington has the capital, and a state, too. But President George W. Bush may soon be the sole president to have a memorial named after him that you can contribute to from the bathroom.
From the Department of Damned-With-Faint-Praise, a group going by the regal-sounding name of the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is planning to ask voters here to change the name of a prize-winning water-treatment plant on the shoreline to the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.
How splendid; how very George Carlin and what an excellent way to keep his spirit alive amongst us as we sady miss him at this time. As one of the promoters says:
"Supporters say that they have plenty of signatures to qualify the initiative and that the renaming would fit in a long and proud American tradition of poking political figures in the eye.
"Most politicians tend to be narcissistic and egomaniacs," said Brian McConnell, an organizer who regularly suits up as Uncle Sam to solicit signatures. "So it is important for satirists to help define their history rather than letting them define their own history."
The article in that esteemed newspaper tells us that "The renaming would take effect on Jan. 20, when a new president is sworn in. And regardless of the measure's outcome, supporters plan to commemorate the inaugural with a "synchronized flush" of hundreds of thousands of toilets that would send a flood of water toward the plant, now named the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant"
I would have preferred the Tribune to have swallowed deeply and called it by its full and proper name "The Synchronised Bush Flush", but I will not quibble with a city that can name its facility for sorting out its turds and excrement from its recycled drinking water "the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant". (Promoted properly, a site so named could become a mecca for English tourists, whose ability to understand what is so beautiful about your country hardly lifts above Miami and Disneyland.)
So I love this idea. It is not this alone, however, that has caused me such delight this wet Welsh morning across the Pond. It is that splendid and unique blend of American psychobabble that you have developed. It has become as much a part of our language over here as it is part of your own. Expressions ranging from "obtaining closure" to "I'm stuck at denial".
So I love the quasi irony of the closing statement by the magnificent mentors of how we can get out of denial and have real closure to these last eight years of constipation:
"It's a way of doing something physical that's mentally freeing," said Stacey Reineccius, 45, a supporter of the plan. "It's a weird thing, but it's true."
Thank you America. Once again you have enlightened us over here as to how to cope with modern life. You, who brought us the comfort of soft tissue to replace our hard sheets of single ply toilet paper, who brought us the McDonald's Big Burger to have something worth releasing into the watery depths of our ceramic water closets, now bring us a refined, a more pronounced and truly freeing Big Bowel Moment. The George W. Bush Flush!
Bless you and thank you all. You gave us the pain and now you give us the cure. I shall never defecate again in the same way. It now becomes a celebration and one in which I am proud to join you in honour of the special alliance between our two countries.