Tobey had been backpacking this summer, and his only connection with the outside world was a small portable radio that he tuned in for the news. The reception was not as good as he hoped it would be.

"I hear Roseanne Barr was appointed to the Supreme Court," he said to me.

"Roseanne wasn't appointed to the Supreme Court. David Souter was nominated for the court."

"Who is David Souter?"

"Nobody has the foggiest notion," I answered. "He never left any footprints. The only thing we know about him is that he lives alone in the woods and is a solitary thinker."

"Well," Tobey said, "what was Roseanne Barr appointed to?"

"She wasn't appointed to anything. She sang 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at the San Diego Padres game."

"Why would that be news?"

"After she sang it she grabbed the lower part of her body and spit on the ground."

"Was that because she hadn't been appointed to the Supreme Court?"

"No one is quite sure why she did it. The crowd got upset but we're not sure whether it was for holding her groin, spitting on the ground or the way she sang the national anthem."

Tobey asked, "Why didn't George Steinbrenner sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' instead?"

"Because George Steinbrenner has been banned from baseball."

"What for?"

"For hiring a thug to get bad information on the Supreme Court nine so he could fire them. The baseball commissioner said George was giving the court a bad name."

"I heard that on my radio. Is it true Neil Bush is going to take over Steinbrenner's job?"

"No, Steinbrenner's son is going to take over the job. Neil Bush is going to take over all the S&Ls in Colorado."

"Why?"

"Because his father said he didn't do anything wrong."

"I failed to hear that on my portable. How much money do the taxpayers owe for the S&L bailouts?"

I said, "One hundred billion dollars more than before you went backpacking."

"I don't have the money," Tobey announced.

"You can borrow it from an S&L."

"I heard that," Tobey admitted. "What I missed was the news that Iraq had won the Goodwill Games in Seattle."

"Iraq didn't win the Goodwill Games in Seattle. It invaded Kuwait."

"That's dumb," Tobey said. "Was it because Bush had appointed Jane Pauley to the Supreme Court?"

I could see that Tobey had spent too much time in the mountains. "Let's get it straight once and for all. George Steinbrenner turned down the offer of Supreme Court justice because he wanted to spend more time developing Roseanne Barr's musical career. Neil Bush has become Donald Trump's financial adviser, and Pete Rose has agreed to be mayor of Washington as part of his community service."

"I missed all that on my radio," Tobey declared. "Is there anything else I should know?"

"President Bush is going to ask for a constitutional amendment making it a federal crime to sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' off-key and scratch yourself at the same time."