Monday, April 14, 2008

WaPo Does Iowa, OR: Obama Foreshadowed

IowaHawk was cookin' on this post--and it was almost 3 years before Obama regurgitated the sentiments.

He relates the narrative of a WaPo reporter who blazes a trail...

...At 1:15 PM the fuel gauge was hovering ominously on 1/4. We were 25 miles from Nebraska and there would soon be no turning back. We pulled off into a Casey's convenience store along the interstate. Although it was 3 below zero, Fleming nervously volunteered to man the gas pump while Epstein and I ventured inside the spartan trading post. It would be our first face-to-face encounter with the red people.

I scanned the racks of the store's cooler for a bottle of Keringet mineral water, but they were out. Four elderly tribesmen sat in a simple formica booth in the rear of the store, sipping coffee. They eyed us suspiciously, but I thought they might hold clues to Von Drehle, as well as the missing Keringet.

"Approach them slowly," warned Epstein.

I furtively edged toward them, sidling between the Doritos rack and the two-stroke oil. Using Epstein to translate, I asked the elders if they had seen a man in Donna Karan casuals pass through the area.

"The elders say they have seen no such man at Casey's," said Epstein. Sensing menace, we bought a Twin Bing and quickly left the store. Suddenly we realized were were not the only ones to feel impending danger.

"Fleming? Fleming?"

Our screams echoed off the store's aluminum siding.

After pumping $21.78 of Ethanol Plus, Fleming had deserted.


After crossing the muddy mud-colored mud of the Missouri river we had finally arrived in Omaha, the last stop before our maps became strictly conjectural. From here on out, until we reached Austin, we would have to rely on our wits and our training in journalism to navigate through hostile red enclaves.

Luckily we stumbled upon a primitive university in Lincoln. We were surprised to encounter a native maiden, Heather, who had taken graduate studies in Lacan and Franz Fanon. She directed us to the cinderblock hut of a kindly Semiotics missionary, Professor Mintz.

"We may be doing the Lord's work here, gentlemen, but the local tribes do not always look kindly on it," he warned. "Last month one of our tenured friars merely told his students that Bush was the anti-Christ, and he was viciously attacked by counterarguments. He was so traumatized he had to report the student to the disciplinary committee."

Mintz wished us well and gave us directions, along with a copy of Howard Zinn's People's History. As night fell we drove through Beatrice, near the Kansas border....

HT: Grim

No comments: