Yesterday morning I decided to take a leisurely bike ride along Whiskey River, the main waterway that runs through Bootleg City. (Technically, the river is one-tenth moonshine due to a leak from Matthew Boles’s riverside “brewery” that has yet to be capped.) Unfortunately, it turned out to be anything but, thanks to all the heathens cutting me off on the bike path. Do you people really think God can’t see you if you ride fast enough? Your spandex shorts are already so tight we can all tell what religion you are, so fat chance covering your tracks.

Now, if you’re wondering why I wasn’t in church yesterday morning, the answer is simple — I’m bad.

That’s right, I’m a baaaad wittle boy, and I’m very close to throwing a temper tantrum since no one will acknowledge how bad I really am. Last Wednesday, as I was laying down some Wall Street Journal underneath my pet parakeet, Bloomberg, I happened to notice the headline “Keeping Your Foot Away From Your Mouth.” In the accompanying story, Jeffrey Zaslow wrote:

It seems as if every day some celebrity, politician, four-star general or random blogger is committing a verbal blooper — and then profusely apologizing for his or her ‘poor word choice.’ We’re constantly reminded of the consequences of saying something stupid or unintentionally insensitive.

But how can a politician like myself be reminded of the consequences if no one will repeat, or retweet, my stupidity in the first place? I think any of the stupid citizens of this stupid town will readily admit that I’ve said lots and lots of very stupid things over the past five years. When am I going to be discovered, dammit?!

Zaslow went on to say:

And now, with cell-phone video cameras and the Internet able to carry once-localized stupidity to the ends of the earth, it’s even more vital to think before we speak. Private comments can go public in an instant.

‘The old way of thinking was that speech evaporates, while the written word was lasting,’ says Roy Peter Clark, who teaches language at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists. ‘But what has emerged is a culture in which the written word can be revised [online], while on YouTube, speech lives on.’

So YouTube is the key to wider exposure, not easy-edit blogs like Popdose? Well, why didn’t any of my stupid advisers or stupid anti-advisers like Matt Wardlaw say so? I’d love to be caught on camera saying how much I admire Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein BP CEO Tony Hayward Arizona governor Jan Brewer Jesse James Lindsay Lohan’s guidance counselor Roman Polanski Mel Gibson! In fact I’d be first in line for a Mad Max sequel in which Mel discovers that the only survivors of the next nuclear apocalypse aside from him are a commune of blacks, Jews, and women with an axe to grind.

Whoever wants to tape me, feel free. After I leave work today at three without alerting my staff, I’ll be drinking at the Speakeasy over on 18th Street, so stop by anytime before dawn with your cell phone, handheld recording device, or professional videographer and I’ll be happy to say something offensive.

By the way, I’m sorry I’ve been so scarce the past two weeks here in Bootleg City, but I had to catch up on official business after attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting in Oklahoma City last month. What a blast! Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick broke out of prison to deliver the keynote address, Richard M. Daley revealed he’s a vampire and can therefore continue his two-decade reign as mayor of Chicago for the rest of eternity, and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he’s in talks to sell the Big Apple to Steve Jobs for $500 billion so the entire city can be converted into one big Apple Store.

You’re a rich girl and you’ve gone too far, Mayor Bloomberg, but why else would I have named my parakeet after you? You baaaad, Mr. Moneybags, and so was Michael Jackson, who performed at Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, on September 27, 1987, on the initial leg of his Bad tour.

The aforementioned Matthew Boles is the one to thank for this bootleg, though I suspect Sheryl Crow’s participation as one of Jackson’s backup singers on the Bad tour has something to do with his enthusiasm for this particular concert. If you ever get to meet her, Matthew, take it slow — serve her your 60-proof ‘shine first, preferably with a few ice cubes, then work your way up to your special homemade, 110-proof “blackout blend” once you’ve gotten to know her better and she invites you over for Christmas dinner. Bad is good, but “not guilty of alcohol poisoning” is better.

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
Human Nature
Heartbreak Hotel
I Want You Back/The Love You Save
She’s Out of My Life
Things I Do for You
Off the Wall
Rock With You
Lovely One
Workin’ Day and Night
Beat It
Billie Jean
Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)
I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners and collaborated on the series 'Face Time with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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