You gotta love the guv. Especially if you’re a newsperson.
Just when things get dull, up pops Rick Perry, with those cowboy boots headed mouthward. it provides new meat to newsfolks facing a long, hot, slow summer.
Sure, Perry had big hair, while the glare off Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White’s shiny dome can be spotted by astronauts.
Sure, Perry looks like an extra in “Red River,” while White, with his big ears, looks like that “What, Me Worry?” guy, “Mad” magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman.
Sure, the guv hints at secession, which White hopes will help his own succession.
Now you’ve got the guv saying he’s been running and gunning, or “grunning,” as state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, nicknamed jogging while packing heat.
Perry told Associated Press capital reporter Jim Vertuno that he had sent a coyote over the rainbow with a laser-guided slug, while loping through the forest with his daughter’s young Labrador Retriever and, of course, his handgun.
Perry told Vertuno that when he jogs in the hilly woods southwest of Austin, near the house rented for him by taxpayers while the governor’s mansion is being rebuilt, he carries the .380 Ruger in a belt. That’s because he’s scared of snakes, and has seen coyotes while jogging.
He spots a coyote eying the dog.
“He never looks at me, he is laser-locked on that dog. I holler and the coyote stopped. I holler again. By this time I had taken my weapon out and charged it. It is now staring dead at me. Either me or the dog are in imminent danger. I did the appropriate thing and sent it to where coyotes go.”
White, Houston’s former mayor and an ardent bicyclist, was asked by Gromer Jeffers of the Dallas News what he’d do if he was on a ride and saw a coyote.
“I go over to Memorial Park and I have seen coyotes,” White said. “As soon as they see me, they run away.”
“I don’t tend to be afraid of coyotes,” he added.
Sen. Watson blogged, tongue-deep-in-cheek, about jogging around Lady Bird Lake while packing his Dirty Harry-style Smith and Wesson .44 Magnum.
Some might find it “hard to believe that someone would be carrying a handgun on a morning run . . . But you just never know when you’ll need to defend yourself from snakes. (Let’s face it, you need some heavy artillery if you’re really scared of a snake.)
“Or coyotes . . . Or armed statewide elected officials.
“So anyway, I’m running with my gun (‘Grunning’ is the technical term), and stopped at the Town Lake Animal Shelter to adopt some kittens.”
Six, he thinks. He just happens to have six kitty leashes. They head out for a job.
“Everything was going great,” Watson writes. “The kittens all run a five-minute mile pace, just like I do in the early mornings before anyone else is up. I was humming a masculine Bach sonata and feeling real good about balancing the state budget without federal stimulus money.”
Then they encountered a dozen giant, malevolent rats. The kittens were frightened.
“So I whipped out the pistol and said, ‘Rats, this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world. It will blow your heads clean off. So you’d better let the kittens and me keep running, or I’m gonna do the appropriate thing and send you where giant rats go.’
“I quickly fired off five shots, taking out ten giant rats. Another one lunged at me and I shot him in the gut.”
Then the giant rat leader attacked.
“I did the only thing a man could do. The only thing that would make a really good story. I shot that giant rat dead.
“(I know what you’re saying: ‘But Senator Watson, that’s seven bullets. A .44 Magnum only holds six.’ Well, you’re just using Washington, D.C.-style logic. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)”
“Now let me tell you about the three holes-in one I had last week. You see, I was golfing by myself…”