I found newspaper reporter Marty Schladen's article in the El Paso Times about the first domino to fall in El Paso's continuing public-corruption scandal to be a fascinating and scintillating piece of investigative journalism, and I'm not just saying that to avoid a potential lawsuit.
I reference the head bump, because the last time I heard from Marty Schladen was when he angrily chastised me for making fun of the alleged Batman Theater mass-murderer's lack of penis size. (See A Pathetic Little Nobody [Parts One, Two, and Three], posted back on 7-28-12. Don't read it if you have delicate sensibilities, no sense of humor, or think Hitler was misunderstood.) I guess he felt I was supposed to be sensitive to someone who cold-bloodedly shot and murdered innocent men, women, and children. The dead ARE dead, after all. The wounded, well, they'll get over it.
With all the shootings that have happened since then, especially the most recent one at New Town, I wonder if Mr. Schladen still has soft spot in his heart for these monsters.
The Bible says: "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Well, I'm not a judge, but I'm still judgemental.
The domino in question, Travis Ketner, pleaded guilty to public corruption charges, and he was severely punished by having to move his law practice from El Paso to San Antonio. His workload has been so heavy there that he had enough time to write the article for the Texas Bar Journal titled "The Top 10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Began Practicing Law." Perhaps his next article will be "How To Keep Your Title Short."
Do you know why the Mafia doesn't like Jehovah Witnesses? They don't like ANY witnesses! Fortunately, for Travis, the FBI loves witnesses, and they gave him the time and the opportunity to write the article that's caused a lot of outrage to a lot of El Pasoans.
Ouisa Davis, who is an attorney, contributes a Friday column to the El Paso Times' Opinion page, and works for the county's Domestic Relations Office, was quoted in the Times as saying, "I'm appalled, I'm shocked, I'm disappointed," but I believe she was talking about the new Tina Fey movie.
City Rep. Susie Byrd was eager to give her opinion on the matter as well, "Yeah, I expected more from Tina Fey."
But what about Ketner's article?
Like Travis, I, too, have a lot of time on my hands, so I thought I would take a look for myself. It was either that or finish reading Marty Schladen's article, and I was saving that for my next bout with insomnia.
Hang tight, and I'll give you his list of ten, with my commentary, so you don't have to go through the trouble of finding and making fun of it yourself. Let's begin with...
1) Don't poop where you eat.
My dog used to eat it's own poop. Even though I was grateful he was picking up after himself, I still found it to be a nasty habit. So I took him to the vet, and the vet gave me something to add to his food to make his poop taste bad.
"Doc," I tried to clarify, "you do understand he's eating his own poop, right?"
"How can you make it taste any worse?"
Um, not that I actually know what poop taste like. I'm just assuming it tastes bad based on the way it smells. Now, what does this have to do with Ketner's rule #1?
How about you just mind your own business.
2) A coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero dies but one.
If you ask me, a thousand to one are pretty good odds.
3) Blame Bush.
Hey, it worked for Obama, didn't it?
4) A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do... but only IF he gets caught.
If there's one thing I've learned in life it's that hard work never hurt anyone... anyone who didn't do it, that is.
5) Honesty's the best policy... if you don't mind being broke.
I was always told that money doesn't buy happiness, but, to tell the truth, I'd rather be rich and unhappy than poor and happy. Does that make me superficial?
Who cares what you think?
6) If you're ever served a lobster that's meant for someone else, eat as much of it as you can before the restaurant discovers its mistake.
Another trick that works is pretending to slip and fall as you're walking over to pay the check. This accomplishes two things: 1) It gets you out of paying the check, and 2) You can make some extra cash when the restaurant offers you an out-of-court settlement.
Don't judge me. It's Bush's fault.
7) Man is the only animal that can be skinned more than once.
When I was in grade school, I used to steal the lunch money from some poor kid who was smaller than me. It's not something I'm proud of, but I'm trying to make a point here. My point is this:
One day, the kid got smart and he brought his lunch to school in a brown paper bag. I congratulated him for his ingenuity...
...and then I stole his lunch.
8) He who testifies and runs away, lives to testify another day.
I heard that when Travis Ketner testified, he argued that he was not guilty of committing a crime, he was only guilty of not complying with the law.
That's a true story I just made up.
9) If the Lord respected money, he would have given it to a better class of people.
The Lord is constantly misquoted by people who are fond of saying that "money is the root of all evil." What it actually says in the Bible is that LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Do you know what I think is the root of all evil?
I've got five ex-wives. Pick one.
10) You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time... and that's good enough for me.
Or, as I like to put it: You can steal from all of the people some of the time, and steal from some of the people all of the time, but you can't steal from any of the people without having to cut someone in on the deal.
11) If you're going to steal, steal from family... they're least likely to put you in jail.
Hey, wait a minute. That's ELEVEN! Ketner was only supposed to list ten. Just like a lawyer, give them an inch, and they'll sue you for the rest of what you've got.
I think the main thesis of his whole article is that the key to living an ethical life is to always ask yourself these questions before you do something: Is it right? Is it ethical? Can I get away with it?
Right and wrong become a moot point if you don't get caught.
So that's it, my loyal readers, that's what all the hub-bub in El Paso is about. Shakespeare might say that it's much ado about nothing, but what does he know? As for myself, I look forward to Travis Ketner's next article, How To Turn A Million Dollars In Real Estate Into Twenty-Five Dollars In Cash!
I think I'll end this with something my father once told me.
"It's a wise coyote that let's a rabbit run into it's mouth."
A tip of the hat to Maverick's dear, old pappy.