February approached extinction, and the country approached “sequestration” just as the courts closed down Ray’s Hell-Burger restaurant, a favorite dining spot of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and even Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev when he is in town and he is president. Mr. Michael Landrum, the restaurant’s owner, owed more than $39,000 in unpaid rent and damages, and that extra $18,000 tacked on by Arlington County General District Court did not help. Ray’s Hell-Burger Too [sic], sometimes referred to as Nice ’n’ Greasy Steak ’n’ Cheesy, is also no more, so it is not clear where our president will get his infusion of cholesterol. Certainly his wife, the callipygous Michelle, will not give it to him, and in fact adamantly opposes such viands. So it is back to the drawing board, Barack, just as it is back to the drawing board with his delusional State of the Union message. In that bouillabaisse of an oration, it sounded as though President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had just been elected president rather than Mr. Obama, the client of a bankrupt hamburger stand.
• On a humorous note, the Senate approved Senator Jean-François Kerry’s nomination as secretary of state. Thus we shall see pictures of his immensely comical visage at venues around the world and with all sorts of improbable props. Looking pensive, fierce, brooding, melancholy, fey, with his tie in his soup—his pictures have become famous. Perhaps we shall see him milking a yak or yakking a milk. Possibly he will be pictured shoveling camel dung from a Saudi royal stable or perhaps, once again, bungee jumping in the Grand Canyon or wherever it was he last jumped. He is among the most ludicrous figures in American public life and now we are guaranteed his drooping presence for years to come. Bravo, senators!
• By the way, hold the cologne shipments to Mali. The French army, after a month or so of engagement there, has decided to vamoose. The French mission will be handed over to African peacekeepers under UN auspices.
• While closer to home, the Justice Department announced that 16 people will be sent to prison for hate crimes against the Amish faithful that involved “forcibly removing beard and head hair from practitioners of the Amish faith,” practically all of whom were males. Nor were the wheels of justice done turning for the month. On February 20, former Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.—he of the $43,000 Rolex watch and the $4,600 Michael Jackson fedora—pleaded guilty to charges that could land him in the jug for five years, as did his wife, a former alderman, though she will probably be sentenced to a lesser term. It marked a low point in the political career of his father, the Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., also known by some as the Big Enchilada for his eccentric eating habits.
• Someone claiming to be “Dr. Jill McDevitt,” the proprietor of a sex emporium in West Chester, Pennsylvania, had a good laugh at the expense of the Yale University student body when she polled its members on their cell phones, asking questions about their personal sexual preferences, for instance, bestiality, incest, and accepting money for sex. The results were published in the Yale Daily News. Fifty-two percent admitted to participating in “consensual pain” during sex, including suffering nose bleeds. Moreover, 9 percent paid for sex, though it is not clear whether they paid to receive sex or to give sex. Only 3 percent admitted to bestiality, which is surprising given that almost certainly more than 3 percent of Yale students are card-carrying members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Still, perhaps Yalies are not the only chumps on campus. At Central Michigan University, “Sexual Awareness Week” was earnestly observed with such educational games as “The Condom Casino Tour” and “STD Bingo,” and at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, the Ford Memorial Chapel was converted into a kind of whorehouse for an evening of masturbatory instruction featuring lectures and demonstrations by two bona fide sex instructors, the eminent Mr. Marshall Miller and Miss Kate Weinberg, who demonstrated a variety of masturbation techniques that were hot, hot, hot! Meanwhile over in Davenport, Iowa, it was sort of sad to see Mr. Jose Angel Perales, 24, carried away in handcuffs for breaking into Dr. John’s Lingerie Store at 4:00 a.m. on February 17. According to the police report, the store’s surveillance video showed Mr. Perales using an array of sex toys and lingerie before he “began to please himself anally on the manager’s desk and futon/couch.” The 325-pounder would have been so much happier at Central Michigan University or Allegheny College, or Yale University, where he could have made a positive contribution. The cops nabbed him because he had a tattoo reading “PERALES” in Old English lettering on his back.
• From Abbottabad, Pakistan, comes word that real estate developers are planning to create an amusement park in the town otherwise known as the last earthly hideout for the Reverend Osama bin Laden before Seal Team Six arrived.
• Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope to ever have had a beer with a staff member of this magazine, announced his plans to retire from the papacy at the end of the month. The pope, then known as Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, was in San Francisco pursuant to his duties as Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith when he got thirsty and hoisted a cool one with our colleague who wishes to remain anonymous. But he did say that Archbishop Ratzinger had more than one.
• In downtown Las Vegas the Heart Attack Grill has claimed the life of another unofficial spokesman, Mr. John Alleman, who “lived a very full life,” until he did not. Mr. Jon Basso, the owner of the medically themed restaurant, which features a high-fat menu that includes a 9,982-calorie, 3-pound Quadruple Bypass Burger and boasts of the slogan “Taste Worth Dying For,” seemed shaken by Mr. Alleman’s passing. Mr. Basso lost his first unofficial spokesman in March 2011 when Mr. Blair River died of flu-related pneumonia. He weighed 575 pounds and was just 29. Since than Mr. Basso has seen several customers expire, including a man who had a heart attack while eating a Triple Bypass Burger and a woman who suffered a similar medical event while eating a Double Bypass Burger. Yet thus far Mr. Basso’s eatery remains open, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg has remained in New York City.
• Finally, Mr. Piers Morgan is still banging on about gun control and citing dozens of Hollywood twits whom he says issue testimonials to his courage. He says he has suffered innumerable death threats and perhaps even gotten the flu this winter. Go back to Botswana, or wherever it is you came from, you lunkhead. And let us hear it for a real American. He is the snowplow driver in Lowell, Massachusetts, who posted a video of himself burying parked cars alive and boasting of it during the celebrated blizzard earlier in the month. Guys like that made this country great. My guess is that he is a direct descendant of the Adams family. Probably his name is Isabel Adams.