Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is exercising his duty to even-handedly administer the laws of the land by pardoning the most famous and influential person ever charged with reckless driving in his state. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was fined $162.20 for a 1975 incident in which he swerved while "adjusting the radio," and officers smelled marijuana in his car. (In fairness, it should be noted that Richards was well-known in the mid-Seventies for driving an imported Marleymobile, the only production auto ever fabricated entirely from pressed cannabis.) The pardon wasn't Richards' idea; seriously, what are the chances the guy remembers a $162 fine imposed 30 years ago? He's lucky if he can recognize his daughter. No, Huckabee proposed the gimme while mooching around backstage at a Stones concert in March. The incident seems like garden-variety star worship until you learn that Huckabee is an amateur bassist, which explains everything. There isn't a bass player alive who wouldn't swallow ground glass to get a guitar player to notice him.
With that as background, it may surprise you to learn that Mr. Irresponsible is in favor of moves like Huckabee's. I believe governors should have widespread discretion to offer amnesty to anybody they please. And I'm not saying that because of an outstanding incident in which I was stopped outside of Chicago while operating a rented Bentley at a high rate of speed, shooting an automatic weapon into the air and balancing a cooler full of tequila shots on my lap. (Are you listening, Rod?) I just feel that we creative types should have a little leeway to express our outsized joie de vivre in a suitably boisterous fashion. It's for that reason that I want to bring the following incidents to the attention of the relevant governors:
-- Tom Petty ticketed for shooting off a Sidewinder missile from the parking lot of a Jacksonville rib joint, 1987
-- Randy Bachman detained for rolling a homemade soapbox-derby racer into a ditch and injuring some ducks, 1978 (no charges filed)
-- Leo Sayer held overnight in Buffalo for repeatedly accosting a local DJ with the words "Ha! Got yer nose" (settled out of court), 1976
-- Rupert ("Pina Colada Song") Holmes questioned in connection with sales of yellowcake to Saddam Hussein (2003)
-- Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top thrown out of an Atlanta Gap store for demanding free khakis because "Everybody crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man," 1999
Details on request. (And Governor Blagojevich? I really am feeling contrite about the thing with the weaponized Ebola. Call my lawyers. I'm sure we can work something out.)