Oprah & Free Beef Speech
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 98 12:49:04 -0800
Subject: Oprah & Free Beef Speech
[Fortunately this item is a little out of date... -psl]
Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: "Keith E. Sullivan" <KSullivan@worldnet.att.net>
COOTS COUNTY, TX (DPI) -- Texas Steak mogul "T-Bone" Hayall Doon denied
reports that he was behind the kidnapping and tattooing of talk show hostess
Oprah Winfrey today. In an interview, "T-Bone" could only chuckle and
drawl, "Wernt me!" Ms. Winfrey was abducted while touring the 5-Alarm Chili
Cookoff of Coots County, a tour for which Doon served as the guide. Doon
stated, "She was downin' those cups of chili like a starvin' coyote on a
chicken farm, then she just up 'n' disappeared! I figured she was havin'
her own 5-Alarm in the john, if ya know what I mean." Winfrey was located
several hours later in a nearby grain silo, and had been bound and gagged.
After gaining her composure, she told authorities that the tattoo of a
cheeseburger on her left buttock was not new.
Reported by Ambergris mOoOn
The Daily Probe, February 2, 1998 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
IF YOUR STEAK IS TOO TOUGH, DON'T ADMIT IT
by Bill Hall, Lewiston, Idaho Tribune, February 22, 1998
The waitress asked me if I was enjoying my tough, tasteless steak and I took
the Fifth Amendment. I was afraid a cattle rancher might be listening.
If they can tie up Oprah Winfrey in a long trial with all her brains and
good looks and money, think what they could do to me. I could never stop
them with just my brains and good looks alone.
Oprah was being sued by some Texas cowboys under one of those so-called
veggie libel laws. She had cast aspersions on the safety of dead cow in
hamburger form and Texas cowboys don't cotton to that kind of talk. They
had a beef with her.
A lot of farmers don't cotton to that kind of talk -- so many in fact that
several states, including Idaho, have passed laws making it illegal to
slander a vegetable, a cow or presumably even a chicken.
(If you can't slander a chicken, you probably can't slander a turkey either
and that's a problem because calling something a turkey is an insult so you
could get sued for calling a turkey by its name.)
If you live in one of these vegetable-rights states and somebody wants to
talk to you about whether given kinds of foods might be unsafe due to
pesticides, spoilage, tractor grease or snoose juice, keep your mouth shut.
The veggie laws make it illegal to flap your lips about things like that.
And the person enticing you into a conversation on that subject may be a
member of the vegetable police trying to trick you into cursing a cow,
badmouthing a beet or libeling a leek.
So I want to take back all the unpleasant things I have every said about
vegetables or cows or chickens. I was just kidding. I was misquoted. It's
all a case of mistaken identity (but I am now touring the country looking
for the real slanderers).
Actually, I probably stuck my neck out the other night when I was talking
to someone about dealing with raw chicken. I told someone (who may have
been a member of the secret chicken police) that my wife and I have stopped
having stomach flu since we became fanatics about washing our hands and
counters and cooking utensils while working with raw chicken. Chicken juice
and food counters don't go well together. That's the truth, but I could
end up in court facing a chicken cowboy for blurting out something like that
Remember, the First Amendment still guarantees you the right to criticize
state legislators but not the cows, chickens and vegetables for whom they
I gather from the Oprah inquisition that Texas has made a serious
legislative attempt to repeal the First Amendment outright when it comes to
criticizing, questioning or warning about cows and other vegetables. At
least I assume a cow is now a vegetable because the cowboys are suing Oprah
under what are commonly called the veggie libel laws. So that tends to
reclassify cows as vegetables (which will be good news for all those many
vegetarians who dearly miss hamburgers).
The First Amendment, as altered by the Texas and Idaho legislatures, now
says, "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, except
in defense of cows, chickens, peas, corn, beans, potatoes and possibly
But I am nobody's fool. If you can sue a rich, important person like Oprah
for badmouthing cows, then what could they do to me? That's why I watched
how I answered that waitress in case she turned out to be a Texas cowboy in
a devilishly clever disguise.
"Is your steak OK?" she asked in that way waitresses have of asking you a
question just as you put food in your mouth.
"Murfle," I replied, chewing and swallowing.
"What?" she asked, pouring me some more coffee from the pot (which probably
contained a microphone).
"I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may tend to disparage cow meat
and therefore to incriminate me."
"How's your Idaho baked potato?" she asked with a deceptive smile.
"I'd rather not say," I answered.
Actually, the potato was too mealy and the steak was tougher than a farm
lobbyist's conscience, but she couldn't drag the truth out of me.
The next time a waitress moseys over to your table with that sneaky smile
on her face and asks, "Is everything OK?" think before you answer. Never
mind that there's a horseshoe nail in your hamburger. Just ask for more
ketchup and try to choke it down.
If Oprah had done that she wouldn't be sitting in a Texas court right now
happy she's still on a diet.
© 1998 Peter Langston