;Hi, everybody. Steve here. You know, I don't normally use this space as a soapbox for my personal opinions. Long ago, I decided that the power of the printed word was better expended on wild, potentially libelous fantasies about local high schools and on one-act plays that could subject religious minorities to merciless ridicule. But this whole immigration controversy keeps eating at me. And as much as I'd like to think that a knee-jerk response of liberal tolerance is called for, recent developments have forced me to admit that that's not the case. The more I think about it, the more I realize our border with Mexico has to be secured — swiftly and with resounding force.


;;Because otherwise, Olivia Newton-John is going to keep losing boyfriends.

;;As I write these words, news outlets are reporting that a fourth eyewitness claims to have spotted Newton-John's ex, Patrick McDermott, who was reported missing and presumed dead after an alleged boating accident last June. The latest sighting took place on the Baja Peninsula, where someone who looked a lot like McDermott was seen sharing a $33-a-night beach shack with a blond woman who was possibly of German extraction. (You just knew they had to be involved somehow, didn't you?) The suspicion is that McDermott faked his own death last summer, given that he was facing jail at the time over his failure to pay thousands of dollars in child support to his ex-wife. I'm sure that none of this ever came up in conversation between McDermott and Newton-John, and that she never encouraged him to spend a penny of that money on their own relationship instead. Jennifer Lopez, maybe. But not our Olivia. She sang "Have You Never Been Mellow," for Christ's sake.

;;Anyway, this country is obviously on the wrong track, thinking that we have to prevent Mexicans from crossing into Texas when the real outrage is how easily the fuck toys of our washed-up pop divas can get out. If we're not careful, any sporting-goods tycoon who ever swallowed his pride and went down on Judy Collins will think he can skip out on the IRS whenever he feels like it. And that's a mighty big pool of flight risks, friends.


;Though it's too late to pull McDermott back into the deep Xana-doo-doo he so craftily evaded, there's still plenty of time to take decisive measures that will prevent further embarrassments. A few of my suggestions:


;• Divert all National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexican border and recommission them where they're really needed: standing watch at the bay windows outside Janis Ian's bedroom.

;;• Institute a "guest deadbeat" program that would allow Italian shipping magnates to remain in Melissa Manchester illegally until they pay off their debts to their ex-wives. Then, they would be allowed to become fully contributing members of the lite-rock economy.

;;• The law of averages states that somebody, somewhere has to be schtupping Linda Ronstadt. Find him and geld him before it's too late for all of us.

;;• Impose legal sanctions against all of David Geffen's ex-clients who flout the free market by hiring their former hairdressers as "personal assistants," at wages far higher than those offered to ordinary freeloaders.

;;• Anyone who'll agree to spend a minimum of five years looking for Melanie's G-spot gets a brand new pair of roller skates. Anyone who finds it can have the key.

;;• Get Joni Mitchell to record a version of "The Circle Game" with lyrics in Spanish. Broadcast the Spanish version 24 hours a day on Mexican radio. Watch U.S.-to-Mexico emigration instantly dwindle to nothing.

;;• Entice Japanese investors to remain in this country by inviting them to learn colloquial English in free night-school courses led by Yvonne Elliman.

;;• Fix up Toni Tennille with a cover story that her ex-husband Daryl Dragon is actually a captain — in the U.S. Coast Guard. Have her tell all future boyfriends that their windsurfing vacations in the Gulf of Mexico will be subjected to the minutest scrutiny.

;;• Offer legal amnesty to Helen Reddy for believing any Eurotrash tennis instructors who may have told her a Branson comeback was "a good idea, after which I'll be spending some time alone in Tupelo for awhile."

;;• Teach David Gest to work a leaf-blower.


;On second thought, don't teach David Gest to blow anything.


;See, and that's just off the top of my head. Give me another day or two, and I bet I could work up a plan to save the U.S. economy and whatever self-respect Carly Simon has left. Somebody's gotta protect the sanctity of the pop star/sycophant relationship, and it might as well be me.

;;Speaking of which, did you hear that Heather Mills is divorcing Paul McCartney? I bet that's going to cost him an arm and a leg!


;Thank you. I'll be here all week.


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