Depending on who you talk to, Billy either broke out of jail there, broke a friend out of jail there, or chipped a tooth on a bad plate of beans.
When I asked Al Borrego "Why Billy? Why a sculpture? Why now?" he answered simply, "You sure do ask a lot of questions, amigo."
I can take a hint. So I went to Guadalupe Jacquez Calderon and asked him why he decided to get involved. He told me, "Para el fururo. I wanted to contribute for our children. But not for our children's children, because I don't believe children should be having sex."
Calderon estimates the Billy the Kid sculpture to be worth about $12,000.
"I'll give you a dead cat and some string."
"Sold!" he said.
Of course, I'm just lying about that last part. However, it reminded me of the time, a few years back, when then New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson, considered granting a pardon to Billy the Kid. It was just before he was to leave office.
At the time, I called Billy the Kid for a response, but his having died a century back made it difficult for him to return my calls. Governor Richardson also didn't return my calls, but I expected that. I know he holds me responsible for the derailing of his presidential bid in the historic election of 2008. Sadly, I was the one who suggested to Melissa Etheridge that she ask him whether or not he believed homosexuality to be a choice. Her original question had been how Double-Stuffed Oreos could sell for the same price as regular Oreos.
"It has double the stuffing! How can it possible sell for the same price?"
"Melissa," I answered back... and the rest is history. Maybe, in an alternate reality, she asked him her original question, and in that alternate reality America has its first Hispanic president, instead of its first, um, Hawaiian.
This line of thinking led me to call up the famous theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku (heh, heh). Co-founder of String Field Theory, star of stage and screen, and a personal friend of mine. He informed me that, according to his theory, Billy the Kid has already been pardoned by territorial Governor Lew Wallace in a parallel universe. Therefore, the pardoning of him in this universe would be redundant. Since I had Dr. Kaku on the line I also asked him if time travel were indeed possible, and would I be able to go into the future and return with the numbers to the next Power Ball?
"It doesn't matter," he answered. "That's the beauty of String Theory, in another universe you already have."
Somehow he was more excited by this idea than I was. I've got to rethink my friendship with that guy. But I digress...
To get back to my original point, however, I didn't expect an answer from Bill Richardson. One other thing I didn't expect was how, two years later, my short time with Melissa Etheridge would be the cause of her messy divorce with her wife... but that's another story.
Nevertheless, this is the universe we live in, and, in this universe, the question remains: is it necessary to pardon a western outlaw who is very much not alive to appreciate it? I can understand the Governor's reasoning at the time. With his time coming to an end he couldn't help thinking about his legacy. Will he be remembered? Will his accomplishments stand the test of time? Should he grow his beard back?
I recall when Bill Clinton was leaving office that he, too considered pardoning Billy the Kid, but, being dead, Mr. the Kid was unable to make a donation to Clinton's Presidential Library "Fund," so his pardon never materialized. Oh, well...
...maybe in another universe.
Fifty Shades of Funny