Something For Adults To Believe In

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

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Those who say nothing good ever comes from war are wrong. The war with Iraq is a case in point.

I'm not talking about the hundreds of oil wells now under our control. I'm not even talking about those metal boxes found in a garden shed filled with some $600 million in U.S. currency. Nor am I talking about the pleasurable experience of watching Saddam Hussein statues toppled in the comfort of your own living room.

No, I'm talking about a less tangible outcome. I'm talking about the infinite wisdom imparted by our fearless leaders.

Before the war even started, for example, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld "clarified" U.S. policy on the war on terror:

"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

And you thought Yogi Berra was obtuse. This guy -- the very same Donald Rumsfeld who makes life and death decisions involving real soldiers -- must have come close to gagging on his own words as he spewed them out.

And it's not like there weren't other ways to express the same thought.

"It's them or us" comes to mind.

So do the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln:

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

One theory is that Rumsfeld was talking in code, and that what he actually said was, "Take your hands off the oil wells and back away slowly."

Of course, now that the war is over and there's no need to talk in code, we can start being crystal clear again, and that's exactly what one Clifford May recently did.

In expressing his disgust for the lack of support the U.S. received from the United Nations and certain countries we won't mention by name (but one is an "F" word), the former Republican Party official, now the president of a Washington think tank, passed on an enlightening piece of wisdom:

There are, he said, "five things grownups should no longer believe in: Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Tinker Bell, the United Nations and the ‘international community.'"

I don't know about you, but I'm OK with this list -- with the possible exception of Tinker Bell, who has always been one of my heroes.

And it leaves lots of things for us to still believe in. Like the Easter Bunny, thank goodness, this being the season and all. And the Wicked Witch of the West. And Wonder Woman (who has always ranked a notch or two above Tinker Bell in my pantheon of great women -- maybe because she never had to resort to pixie dust to accomplish wonderful feats).

And, of course, it's good that we still have the Great Pumpkin to hold onto. At least Linus and I do.

Then there's Mothra, one of the truly legendary creatures. If May had nixed Mothra, this multi-faceted world we live in would have lost some of its luster.

But most important to those of us who call the Rim country home is the fact that May did not include the Mogollon Monster on his list.

For those of you who haven't lived here long enough to know this local legend told in hushed tones around campfires, the Mogollon Monster is a Bigfoot-type character who has been seen by several people of varying degrees of credibility over the years -- especially in the vicinity of Crook Campground atop the Rim.

A huge creature with long, "burnt-orange hair falling below its waist," the monster has allegedly left footprints that measure 22 inches in length and 8 inches in width. Eyewitnesses say it has a stride of some 8 feet (compared to a human stride of a couple feet or so).

One of those who can speak on the subject with some authority is Greg Eairhert, whose late wife was chased by one of the critters. He believes they are "part of some kind of alien cross-breeding experiment."

Now that May has confirmed their existence by not including them on his all-inclusive list of things adults shouldn't believe in, I say we no longer need to sweat the small stuff -- like water.

Take me to your leader.

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