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Independent. Free-Wheeling. Informative. NOb ilE TEXAS sewer AFTERWORD A Texan Looks at 011ie BY JOHN HENRY FAULK I’VE BEEN JUST as confused as the next man by all the conflicting accounts of how we came to shoot down that Iranian Airbus earlier this summer. Just yesterday I got what might be called an insider’s account of how and why it happened. Cousin Ed Snodgrass explained it to me. Cousin Ed Snodgrass is 88 years old. He is fond of declaring that the last eight years have been the happiest of his life. This is because Ronnie is in the White House. Cousin Ed adores Ronnie Reagan and is always eager and willing to explain the President’s policies to people like me who are less enlightened about the Administration. Yesterday, Cousin Ed popped into my kitchen just about daylight, while I was having my first cup of coffee. “Hear about that there planeload of heathens gittin’ shot down over there in the Pershing Gulf?” I nodded. “Well, I’ve got the inside story on that. Got it figured out from start to finish. It was a patriotic act of friendship that misfired, that’s all.” “What the hell does that mean?” I asked. Well, here’s the poop as Cousin Ed gave it: It means this. A couple of weeks before it happened, 011ie North’s lawyer called him in and says, “011ie, we want you to git that Bible back that you gave them Iranians.” “What you want with that thing? It didn’t do nothing but bring me bad luck,” says 011ie. “We want you to hold it while you are on the stand testifying.” “But you said I was supposed to wave a flag while I was testifying,” 011ie comes back. “Our P.R. expert has changed that. He says it will get more publicity mileage if you drape the flag over your shoulders, then clasp the Bible to your heart while you’re on the stand.” “What about my medals? The Bible might cover ’em up when I clasp it to my heart. Don’t forget them medals is my best free pass with the patriotic crowd!” 011ie allows. His lawyer ponders for a minute, then comes up with, “Tell you what. You can Longtime Observer contributor John Henry Faulk lives in Austin. hold the Bible in your lap with both hands, like you are clinging to the Truth. That’s it! North clutches The Truth tightly in both hands. What a picture that will make! It will hit every newspaper in the U.S.” 011ie buys that right off. He gets holt of his Israeli Contact and tells him to tell the Iranians he wants his Bible back. Israeli Contact calls in a couple of days and says, “011ie, the Iranians are hoping mad. They lit in and cussed you for being an Indian giver. But I stayed at it, ’til they agreed to cut a deal. They want five planeloads of sidewinder missiles and half of what’s left in them Swiss Bank accounts.” “What that thievin’ pack of greedy hogs!” 011ie shouts, “Tell ’em to go to hell. I’m not about to start another one of them damn scandals.” “I was hopin’ you’d say that,” says the Israeli Contact. “I can get you a brand new Bible right here in Israel. Government approved. Just one million dollars.” “One million dollars!” 011ie nearly faints. “Don’t panic,” says the Israeli Contact. “Since the money goes to Israel, the whole million is tax deductible. You can set up a foundation to raise it.” “Okay,” says 011ie, “send it Federal Express to my lawyer.” Well, a couple of days later, 011ie’s lawyer calls him, just sore as hell. “Dammit, 011ie, we can’t use this Bible. It ain’t a true-blue American Bible. It ain’t got no New Testament.” Well, 011ie and him jawed back and forth for a while and finally the lawyer says, “011ie, you’ve got to get that original Bible back. P.R. folks say we need it, not just any Bible. They want to play it up ‘011ie brings Bible back to America.’ It would get a lot of front-page attention.” That’s when 011ie decides he ain’t got no choice but to go to the Best Friend He’s Got in the World. So he waits ’til noon, calls Ronnie, and says, “Hope I didn’t wake you up, sir! But I’m in a jam, sir! Your favorite American Hero wants to ask a favor of his Commander in Chief.” “Hey there, great American Hero!” Ronnie says, “It’s good to hear from you. Been wondering when you’d get back. That was a great piece of Standing Tall you did! Great Leadership! When did you get back?” The President is standin’ at ramrod attention. “From where, sir?” “From Grenada! America’s Proudest Hour.” “That was four years ago, sir, and I wasn’t along on that one, sir! This is another matter.” Then 011ie explains to the President about the Iranians refusing to give him back his Bible without starting another scandal. “I wish you’d jolt ’em up a little, sir. Give ’em a bit of a scare. Say like laying a warning shot across their bow. Something that tells ’em that we’ve got strength and will use it.” “Will be done,” says Ronnie. You know the rest shootin’ to scare ’em and happened to hit ’em. Pure-dee accident! That’s why I call it a patriotic act of friendship that misfired. If them Iranians had acted civilize4 and give 011ie’s Bible back, the whole airbus thing wouldn’t ever have happened. Cousin Ed fixed a stern stare at me, waiting for my response. When I made none, he declared, “President Reagan was compassionate but firm. He said he was sorry. But not very. He wasn’t about to let a bunch of heathens tell him how a trueblue American ought to feel.” Observer Bequests Austin attorney Vivian Mahlab has agreed to consult with those interested in including the Observer in their estate planning. For further information, contact Vivian Malilab, attorneyat-law, P.C. , at 1301 Nueces, Austin, Texas 78701, or call 512/477-9400. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23