On singing in the bathroom. And the closet.

We in the Pond had never heard of Senator Larry Craig until today. Although perhaps three years ago we heard a fisherman dangling his bait over our waters and telling the little boy at his side that he was ” happy as Larry.”

Why Larry should be happier than, say, Barry or Harry, I am not really sure.

Perhaps if those bald men in orange dresses who occasionally wander down the streets banging drums and chanting in Unglish had called themselves Lari rather than Hari Krishnas the world would be happier place.

They never seem happy. Although they might well be gay.

And this is where I have enormous, um, feeling for the Senator from Idaho.

As he stood giving his press conference today- looking rather dapper, I thought- he said that his current plight, his unfortunate attack of Alzheimer’s on the subject of his allegedly potty behavior on the potty, was all the fault of the Idaho Statesman.

For months, he claimed, they have been trying to out him. These scurrilous, disgusting journalists. Why would they do such a thing? The Senator offered no actual evidence.

So I found myself scouring the pages of the Idaho Statesman and its associated websites to see whether there had, indeed, been some, well, underhand hints posed in its pages.

I could find no reference linking the Senator to the fact that Idaho’s most famous cultural figure was a man named Pound.

I could find no reference linking him to Dick Fosbury, the inventor of the bottoms-up-first Fosbury Flop high jump technique. Dick was also an Idahoan. (Or, as Don Imus calls them, Idaho’s.)

Yet I found something inarguably disgusting and low about the sudden revelation that Larry Craig was part of a barbershop quartet.

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Why must everyone assume that just because someone sings in a barbershop quartet they must be gay? For God’s sake, Senator Trent Lott sang in the same quartet. And he’s not gay. Is he? (Should I have put a comma to divide those last two sentences?)

When Karl Rove performed a little rap at the Washington correspondents’ dinner, no one suggested that he was packing, that he had six illegitimate children by four different lovers, or that he should start his own clothing line.

So why this senseless persecution of the barbershop community?

Barbershop singing is an inclusive, some would say all-inclusive, leisure pursuit that should be mounted on a pedestal of integrity.

Like bowling, baking and the Senate.

I believe that the Idaho Statesman is using Senator Craig’s unfortunate manhandling by an undercover policeman to besmirch all decent and harmonious male singers.

We all succumb to appalling innuendo with respect to various communities in our society, but these Idaho’s have just gone too far.

The Editor of the idaho Stateman, Vicki S. Gowler, should be forced to perform at the auditions of the next series of American Idol. With three of her girlfriends.

And she should be forced to sing Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’.

Billie Jean King is from Long Beach, California. In case any of you were wondering.

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