Editor's Note: Like many readers, the Son of Feeney was out of town for the holiday weekend. During his travels he had no access to his muse, the television. Accordingly, this week the Son of Feeney will be presenting a series of off-topic Rants.
It seems that the sordid tale of Senator Larry Craig has slipped completely off the pop culture radar. Outside of the great state of Idaho, the media seems to have completely forgotten - or actively ignored - this man's bizarre and seemingly fantastical account. I, for one, have not forgotten - nay, cannot forget. It simply strikes this reviewer as too astounding to disregard. If it was fiction, I would not accept it. Simply put, how could a United States Senator get arrested for soliciting sex in an airport bathroom? It is practically inconceivable.
It is, however, a reality of which I am reminded every time I travel by air. Over the course of the holiday weekend, this reviewer spent several hours in various airports, leading to more than one inevitable trip to the airport lavatory. With every trip, this reviewer's disgust is born anew.
As a quick recap, on June 11, 2007, while in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, Senator Craig entered the lavatory. While in a stall in said restroom, he apparently reached his foot under the partition between stalls and began tapping his foot, apparently a signal indicating a desire to participate in lewd conduct. Senator Craig then reached his hand under the partition and waved it. At this point the undercover police officer in the next stall arrested Senator Craig on suspicion of lewd conduct. He eventually plead guilty to disorderly conduct (though he later attempted to recant his plea).
The tale of Senator Larry Craig disturbs this reviewer for at least three separate reasons as outlined below:
Airport Bathrooms are Disgusting
I am not sure if there is a more loathsome place than the airport lavatory. Simply put, they are vile. If given the choice, this reviewer would gladly pay handsomely to use more appealing facilities. Due to the nature of the locale, until Senator Craig's arrest it had never occurred to me to perform any act in the airport lavatory that was not strictly excretory. After his arrest, I am suddenly forced to confront a reality that sex acts are performed in this revolting location. Furthermore, it was not just any man who brought this startling truth to light, but a United States senator. Why a rich and powerful man would choose this route to arousal is unimaginable. The level of depravity he must desire to take such a risk is beyond the comprehension of this reviewer.
Senator Craig is a Preposterously Bad Liar
The only concept more outlandish than the idea that a United States senator routinely seeks sex in airport bathrooms is the justification that Senator Craig employed in an attempt to deflect accusations. According to the police report, Senator Craig tried to tell his arresting officer that the whole incident was a misunderstanding and that the reason his foot was under the partition was because he has a "wide stance." Apparently Senator Craig believes that it is entirely plausible that someone - anyone - sits on a toilet and, in order to defecate, must spread their legs to such a degree that their feet are splayed out into neighboring stalls. If this reviewer had legislative authority, it would be a felony to slide anything under the partition of an airport restroom stall, regardless of the guilty party's intent.
Furthermore, Senator Craig rightly lost his senate seat due to this incident, but not because he was attempting to solicit sex in an airport bathroom. Instead, he should have lost his seat for giving so little regard to the intelligence of the good people of Idaho that he thought they would believe his "wide stance" story. It is also possible that he is monstrously stupid. Either way, there is no room for him in the halls of Congress.
It is Someone's Job to Sit in an Airport Bathroom Stall Awaiting Solicitation
Apparently, there is a police officer in Minnesota whose job consists of sitting in an airport bathroom, presumably for hours at a time, waiting for perverts to tap their foot under a partition. This reviewer does not like to spend any more time then he has to in the airport bathroom. The idea that this is someone's job is truly horrifying.
This fact is actually disturbing on two levels. In addition to the above stated reason, apparently lewd acts are so rampant at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport lavatories that the police force must send officers in to the stalls to await the perpetrators. Furthermore, this "bathroom scene" is so notorious that it came to the attention of a United States senator who then wanted to check it out. As a side note, this reviewer is still trying to determine why Senator Craig of Idaho was in Minneapolis in the first place. I like the idea that he was there on a lay over and decided to check out the infamous bathroom scene.
In conclusion, Senator Craig has instilled a new level of horror to an otherwise unpleasant experience. Considering that this incident will forever haunt this reviewer, it only seems right that I use this space to recount the incident.