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Burning questions

BY BEAU ELLIOT | JUNE 05, 2012 6:30 AM

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Back in my running days (don't laugh — I used to be faster than you; but then, so did Coach Wiz), I used to run out Melrose Avenue far enough that it became IWV Road, which meant that at one point, I was running past what we called the dump.

You couldn't see it, actually, but you could smell it. And by "you," I mean me — I could smell it, which was rather remarkable, given my allergies. (Some people have pets; I have allergies.

Sometimes, you just have to wonder about your choices. Which is kind of like wondering about your choice of parents.)

In these PC days, of course, we call it the Landfill. These PC days are so much better than the dump days. Just ask anyone.

I thought of those days last Friday evening (which in DI parlance we know as June 1, given that there's a calendar), when the air in Iowa City smelled like standing behind a jet warming up to take off. (Don't try this at home.) It smelled like that, of course, because the Landfill (or the dump) is on fire.

Well, to be honest, only 7.5 acres is on fire. But still. That's one damn powerful 7.5 acres. (If 7.5 acres can be one, but details, details.)

It's tire scraps, the city tells us with a straight face. (Perhaps, "they" are tire scraps?)

Those tire scraps, as I understand it, are meant to seal the Landfill's "cells."

"Cells." Who knew that we had moved the Guantánamo prisoners to the Iowa City Landfill?

I mean, I know we'd all like to close Gitmo — or at least the prison there — but the Iowa City Landfill? Does Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin know about this?

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley probably does, but he keeps dozing off into dreams of the Reagan Revolution, in which rich people made lots of money and the rest of us shut up. It's a Mitt Romney campaign dream, except that in his dream, rich people make lots, and lots, and lots of money instead of the measly lots that Reagan dreamed of.

Speaking of Romney, not that we were, exactly, his good pal Donald Trump stirred up some ill-deserved interest recently by reviving the "birther" argument — that President Obama's birth certificate is somehow illegitimate.

I mean, is your life that dull? With all your millions? Can't you buy another casino or something?

That was pretty interesting.

According to the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, Trump wouldn't mind a Cabinet seat in the Romney administration (we're all on the edge of our seats, waiting for that), and he would prefer "a position where I negotiate against some of these countries, because they are really taking our lunch."

Maybe it's just me, but I haven't noticed too many Americans who have missed lunch.

Yes, I know — far, far too many poor Americans go hungry each day, especially children, and we should all be ashamed (especially those of us in a food-rich state, albeit that it's a food-rich state that mostly produces food fit only for livestock and has to import most of its human-ready food).

But I've noticed many, many Americans who have enjoyed themselves at lunch (and breakfast and dinner and times in between) who perhaps have enjoyed themselves a bit much.

So — who, exactly, is unpatriotically taking away Americans' god-given right to lunch, as Trump would have it?

And actually, given a glance or two at Trump's figure, such as it is, it appears that he has not missed all that many lunches. Or breakfasts. Or dinners. Or snacks in between.

So — which countries are taking away our lunch? (Or lunches, if you insist on being correct.)

North Korea? Are you kidding me? Poor people, most of the population, eat grass there. If I ate lunch, which I don't, I would give my lunch away to the North Koreans every day. It wouldn't be much, but it wouldn't be mulch.

Speaking of Romney, not that we were (we keep not speaking of him, oddly enough), I'm not sure why it is, but every time I see Mitt Romney's smiling face, I smell a landfill burning.


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