Kickass, the doorstop dog, is working with the keeper to develop a method for dealing with dumbness since it has overtaken global warming as the chief threat to the planet. In the first place there are the categories: permanent dumbness as exhibited by narcissistic politicians—mostly Repubs, who think the public interest is served by catering to the rich two percent; and then there is temporary dumbness as exhibited by the trio of 19-year-old UW students who destroyed a rare and treasured UW Arboretum tree as a requirement for joining a dishonored fraternity.
As the keeper remembers—however faintly, how easy it is to be dumb when you are 19 years old—he holds out the hope that dumbness may be a temporary condition for the UW students. Classes in botany and forestry might save them from their dumbness becoming permanent and world-class, like that exhibited by Wis. Sen. Johnson and many others.
With dumbness by 19-year-olds on widespread “spring-break” display down south, the keeper admits to enlisting in the Army at the age of 19 to escape the embarrassment of having been de-wheeled by a DWI traffic ticket. There was a shooting war—Korea, going on at the time, and the keeper ended up in the middle of it before you could say dumb, dumb, dumb.
Dumbness is, of course, no respecter of age, and now with the keeper in an age- group where the number 19 is frequently transposed, he experiences his own personal dumbness on a daily basis. Kickass is thankful, however, that he—the keeper, never sought elective office, which may relate, according to him, to the one-vote defeat he suffered in the election for high school prom king.