Evicting rent-free tenants inside my head

by Ogi Overman

I must be getting soft in my old age. Lately I’ve noticed that certain people don’t get on my nerves quite as much as they used to. Oh, I still have problems with all the regulars ‘— you know, the Duh and the Dick, Rummy, DeLay; people who pull up beside me in traffic, point to my bumper stickers and give me the finger; OxyContin Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Coulter, etc. ‘— but that just goes with the territory of being a loopy liberal with unrepentant hippie tendencies.

I’d like to think, after all these years, that I’m finally learning to wear the world as a loose garment and to practice tolerance. But I’m afraid it’s more the case that I’m simply too tired to worry about every single goomer on the planet. Some people just aren’t worth the effort it takes to get your blood pressure up over them. A friend calls it ‘letting them live in your head rent-free,’ which makes a lot of sense to me.

So, off the top of my head, here are a few folks who aren’t living rent-free inside it anymore:

‘• Donald Trump. He’s still an arrogant jerk, but at least he is able to poke fun at himself, which is, I must admit, rather endearing. Plus, he really thinks that muskrat roosting on top of his head looks good. Now, I know it’s important for politicians to have good hair, but with that comb-over as his fashion statement, he made a wise choice in not running for mayor of New York.

‘• Howard Stern. Speaking of New Yorkers, the King of All Media is, if nothing else, striking a blow for free speech. He despises Limbaugh, a plus, and campaigned hard for Kerry, which probably cost him as many votes as it gained him. He understands as much as anyone the problems with conglomeratized, corporate radio, and he stood up to the Man and won.

‘• Simon Cowell. It’s hard to tell if this guy really is as big a butthole as he seems or if it’s all a big act. Somehow, I’m seeing a warm and fuzzy side beneath his rudeness and abrasiveness. He did a ‘“Saturday Night Live’” skit that was actually funny. Still, I’m hoping Paula Abdul will give him a nice knee to the groin this season.

‘• Joe Scarborough. The host of ‘“Scarborough Country’” would be more at home on Fox than MSNBC, but because he shares the dial with my two guys, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, I started tuning him in occasionally. A former congressman, he is one of the least obnoxious conservatives around and proves it by not being in lock-step with Bush on Iraq and a number of other issues.

‘• Tucker Carlson. I used to really despise this little bowtie-wearing weasel, but since MSNBC gave him his own a show, he seems to have toned down his right-wing hysteria. He still winds up on the wrong side of most issues, but he’s just so darned cute. I bet he gets hit on by the gay boys all the time.

‘• Jerry Springer. There are more folks swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool than we’d like to admit, and sooner or later they’ll all end up on the Springer show. And I watch it more often than I’d like to admit. But, hey, Jerry’s a good Democrat, even if his knuckle-dragging audience is as pro-Bush as a mullet convention.

‘• Trent Lott. The other night after Sen. Hillary had made her ‘plantation’ comment, the senator from the great state of Mississippi was asked his reaction by one of the talking heads. He could have easily crucified his distaff colleague, but instead referred to his own racially charged comments defending Strom Thurmond that cost him his Senate Majority Leader seat. I swear, I saw a trace of genuine humility in the ol’ boy’s eyes. If he’s learned from his mistakes, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

‘• Ted Nugent. I’ve always thought the wild-eyed guitarist had contracted cat-scratch fever and was so far off the deep end that he’d end up in some survivalist militia group in Montana. He still might, but if you sit down and listen to his reasoning for killing animals, it’s more than bloodlust. The guy is actually quite brilliant. Twisted, but brilliant.

‘• Al Sharpton. Pompous, sanctimonious, egocentric, pedantic and worse hair than Trump ‘— I’ve grown to love the guy! One night during the campaign debates, when there were still eight Democrats alive, Janet turned to me and said, ‘“You know we’re in serious trouble when Al Sharpton makes more sense than the president of the United States.’” Can I get an Amen?

Ogi can be reached at, heard each Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on ‘“The Dusty Dunn Show’” on WGOS 1070 AM, and seen on ‘“Triad Today’” Friday at 6:30 a.m. on ABC45 and Sunday at 10 p.m. on UPN48.