Flipping the Bird

Missoula, Montana ..... Vice-President Lon Cheney was awarded a standing ovation by his legislative peers as he embarked on a triumphal tour in the aftermath of his quail shooting debacle. "it can happen to anyone, dang it," said Skeeter Thorpe, an associate of Cheney's and a some-time hunting partner. "It's just an honest mistake and Ah know his intaynshuns're good, so ..... we gonna give'm the ears and a tail ..... shore, it warn't a clean kill, but the man's not well, what with his heart 'n' all, 'n' all the medicayshun he gotta take for it. He hadn't been drugged up he'da blown the top right off that old boy!"

A Republican group, led by Bill Frist, entered Harry Whittington's room and surgically excised his ears for Mr. Cheney. They could not find a tail. "I was sure he had one," Bill Frist, Senate Majority leader and reknowned remote diagnostician, said; "Honest to God, I saw it on a videotape."

Mr. Whittington is reported to be doing well, although he apologized yet again for being the cause of such uncalled unpleasantness.

"If I had a tail? You know I'd give it up," he said.

Cheney showed his appreciation by raising the bird, yet again, in the type of spirited salute for which he's become famous.

In other late-breaking news, George Bush declined an offer to accompany his vice-president on a hunting expedition.

PETER KAUKONEN, San Francisco Bay Area guitarist, has played, toured, and recorded with Black Kangaroo, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Johnny Winter.

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