This just in! In an event that illustrates more clearly the disastrous state of our nation's Homeland Security than the time Bobby Clampett was given the okay to re-enter the U.S. after the 2008 Canadian Open, I am now a fat, ugly, card-carrying, voting-eligible American! Yeeeeee-hah! Better look out, Kinky Friedman, you may not be the only certifiable fruitbat who'll be running for office down here in Texas next time. (Actually, I'll have to check does being an American qualify me as a Texan, too, or is there another test for that? I hope not, I barely got through the last one. Some of those questions were tricky, like: "The Lincoln Memorial was erected in memory of which President?" It seems to me like every good idea in this country since 1776 has belonged to Thomas Jefferson, so that one almost got me. But I got 100%, I'm in, and I suppose that makes this my inaugural address, so I'd better choose my words carefully another new experience!)
\nAs elated as I am about all this, it does present me with a new set of problems. Some readers may not know this, but there are rules for being an American, and as most of you have probably noticed by now, I've never been a big rules guy. For starters, I pledged allegiance to the flag, and to the republic for which it stands, so let's go through that in an analytical process that from now on this American will refer to as, "Calling My Immigration Attorney." I'm a former European Ryder Cup player, so when his Imperial Montyness blunders through the opening ceremony of the matches in Wales later this year, with Ian Woosnam biting at his legs, to which flag will my alleged allegiance be pledged, or should that allegiance be merely allegoric? According to the oath I just took, my attorney tells me I have to be loyal to my new country, and believe me, I am. I could actually be the first European Ryder Cup player in history to serve as an assistant to the American captain, Corey Pavin! Hey, at least I've played in one, which is more than you can say for some of his faculty.
\nMonty and I haven't always had a bromance, you know, so you could expect some serious trash in the talking department. For a start, I can only imagine what the European team's wardrobe for the event will look like, given the big lumpy Scot's fashion sense. It'll probably be filled with dark and hairy woolen plaids, just right for the scrotal chafing that every walking golfer dreads if the weather gets anywhere near 70 degrees, at which mark every ice machine in the British Isles goes on the fritz. If, as usual, my editor butchers this piece down to the kind of talking wind that a Navajo Indian code-breaker would have difficulty understanding, I might even be able to get away as a double-agent, sneaking between the team rooms with snippets of vital information for my newfound teammates. But wait, what is this strange hollowness I'm feeling in the NASCAR-sized oval of my prostate gland? Could it be that the Rodent of Remorse is already nibbling away at my brand-new American conscience?
\nWell, rats! As I said, for the citizenship test I honed my knowledge of American history to a sharpness that would have rivaled the leading edge of any Crockett knife ever carried by David Bowie, and now I'm starting to remember something about a certain young president cutting down a cherry tree and being unable to tell a lie. (I'm almost positive it was Bill Clinton, but no matter, if I am to be a good American, I must be true to the examples set by the Founding Fathers and the forty-four men who have led this great country to the place at which it now finds itself.) My fellow Americans: I, William David Feherty, hereby pledge allegiance to the values of those who have gone before me. I will be as faithful as JFK, as wise as our first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, who managed to get his ass fiscally and literally assassinated in a duel with William Burr, which, as anyone who ever watched Ironside knows, is pathetic, as the man was in a damned wheelchair (and just incidentally, Burr was replaced by a man named Clinton), as heavily armed as Teddy Roosevelt, as decent an example of alliteration as Woodrow Wilson, as pointless as Jimmy Carter, and come to think of it, as long as I get to wake up in America, I'm free to do and be whatever I want! And the reason I'm free is the same as it always was American soldiers, sailors, and more recently, airmen. Nine of them showed up for my swearing-in ceremony. This meant more to me than words could describe, because for the first time in my life, I got to call them mine. I've been where they've been and seen what they've done, and I love them all. They are the reason that while my soul will always be a wee bit Irish, my heart is now forever 100% American. The Ryder Cup thing? I'll get back to you on that one.