Anyway, Rep. Liston looked indignant. He told the clerk he most definitely did not need any help. A minute later, after returning the two Q-tips back to the box and sliding it back onto the shelf as a mother tried to comfort her frightened child, our third-term state lawmaker headed for the greeting cards.
Valentine's Day loomed, and the occasion called for a romantic card for the lovely Mrs. Liston, along with the traditional box of chocolates and the new toothbrush that she damn well better use to scrub the bathroom floor, if she knew what was good for her.
Liston has been sent to Denver three times by the Mensa-like Republican voters of our village. Some 20 percent of them say they like his strict conservative nature, while 80 percent say they keep thinking they're voting for angry and sullen ex-heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston, even though that Liston died in 1970.
(Footnote: Unlike Sonny, Larry is a brilliant financial consultant who pumped all of his clients' money into the stock market six months ago and now proudly wears a fake beard and mustache and doesn't answer his phone.)
Back in Walgreens, Liston paused at the humorous greeting cards, picked one up and smirked in a cynical and arrogant way because he's a state lawmaker, and state lawmakers are smart enough to know that even though moose frequently speak to each other in English in the woods see Mister Ed there's no scientific evidence whatsoever that they talk while standing on their hind legs and sipping tropical umbrella drinks.
Liston concluded that this Gary Larson guy must be a moron and he moved on to the Hallmark "Cards Without Big Words" collection, where he hit paydirt. It was a card with a rose on the front and on the inside, this message:
"I know we're not rich
But we don't live in a hut
And I thank God every day
That you're not a slut"
The words made Liston cry, and as he stood there weeping, a young mother wandered by, holding a baby in her arms, Liston quickly zeroed in on her left hand, which did not have a wedding ring. He looked her in the eye and quickly detected a general air of sluttiness and slutfulness about the slutty woman, a sense that the slut might even hire a babysitter one night and go out with some of her slutty friends to slut-filled bars.
And so he became angry, and he bent down and blew his nose on her slutty sweatshirt, which Liston believes we all should do when we see sluts, so they feel ashamed of themselves and develop low self-esteem and become saddled with chronic, deep-rooted emotional problems.
Because, as you know, there are term limits, and eventually the voters of Colorado Springs will have to send a brand-new group of emotionally crippled Republicans to Denver, and Liston figures we might as well start developing a candidate pool now.
Earlier, during a Capitol discussion of the teen pregnancy issue, Liston had told his stunned colleagues that back in his parents' day, an unwed young mother was ridiculed and demeaned and called a slut the way it should be. We should go back to calling them sluts, he told his wide-eyed audience.
A few days after those comments, Liston issued a very sincere, I-am-definitely-not-just-trying-to-save-my-slimy-career apology. And then he actually told some people that his No. 1 regret was using the word "sluts" when there was a reporter in the room.
And what, you might wonder, is Liston's second biggest regret? That was walking out of Walgreens the other day and having what appeared to be yet another slut think Liston was winking at her in the parking lot.
It was, of course, just the toothpaste in his eye.
Listen to Rich Tosches on MY99.9 Thursdays at 8 a.m. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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