Let’s see. Took the week off from this column last week in order to get away from the world for a while, and after hiking several hundred feet down into the bottom of an abandoned quarry in a Missouri state park -- illegally, as the quarry is off limits and has “No Trespassing” signs posted, due in part to the fact it seems that rescue teams have recently had to go in and get people out safe and alive -- and hiking back up and spending the night in the woods, fulfilling our promise to the park ranger that we would indeed not turn our pup tent into a crystal meth lab for the night, I found myself in something of a perilous situation. It had nothing to do with the quarry but with some nasty insect bites. It had nothing to do with the actual insect bites but with the itching they caused. After leaving the campsite and finding myself on an observation deck in Cairo, Illinois, overlooking the site where the Ohio River feeds into the Mississippi, I thought it odd that I was the only one out there looking at the spectacular view. So while watching the two majestic bodies of water clash currents to form one river flowing south toward the Gulf of Mexico, I found myself absentmindedly scratching away at the chigger bites. I mean scratching. For dear life. Just digging away. No big deal, huh? Well, that’s what I thought until I turned around to leave the peak of the observation deck only to discover that there was another tier of it above me, lined with, oh, about 25 people who’d been staring down at me the entire time. I felt kind of like an Illinois tourist attraction. Oh, well, at least I got to drive through my favorite new town, Future City, Illinois. Now they have a plan. And now I’m tired of writing about that. What about those Bush girls?! Or, should I say, Busch girls? Does that Jenna have determination or what? Not once but twice now busted, once for drinking underage and then again for attempting to, using someone else’s ID in an Austin bar. I’ve got a little piece of advice for you, Jenna: If you’re going to try to down some beers using a fake ID, get one with your own picture on it. That little detail comes in awfully handy. And I do so wish I could have heard the conversation between her and Diddy about the matter. I can hear George now: “Now, Henna, Jennie, Jamie. Wait. Laura! What the hell did we name this kid? Oh, yeah. That’s right. Thanks, honey, and get back to your literacy work. I’ll be there to help in a minute. Tell Mom she’s doing a great job, too, and that I’m still trying to get her picture off the dollar bill. Now, Jenna, what have I told you about drinking before you turn 21? Drinking underage is a serious offense in this country and in many other nations, because if you are underage, that means you are not of the age in any nation that has age restrictions on drinking, and that includes this country, because you are the same age here as you are there. So from now on you will not drink at this age until that age changes to an age that the law says you may drink. Is that understandable and understood by you and me? By the way, how cold is the beer there?” Or something like that. At any rate, looks like the Secret Service people supposed to be watching them just haven’t quite figured out how to keep a Busch girl down.

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