The search for America's newest hero is over. The people have spoken and Gary Faulkner, the Greeley, CO. man bent on sending Osama bin Laden to hell, is the people's champion.
Faulkner's quixotic quest for the most wanted scumbag in the world has transformed a complex and hard to understand Coloradoan into a mythical hero. To some, Faulkner is a Rocky Mountain Rambo. Others have compared him to a ninja warrior bent on justified vengeance against the 9/11 mastermind.
Gary's younger brother, Scott Faulkner, a physician from Fort Morgan, CO., likens his adventuresome big bro to The Terminator.
"Gary just keeps going and going and going," Scott told me recently. "Gary would kill Osama in a heartbeat."
Like all heroic figures, from Achilles to Batman, the man I call "The Faulknerator" has flaws. Some news types have highlighted his minor past brushes with the law. Others openly questioned Gary's sanity. It's easy to see why many newsies don't understand what makes "The Faulknerator" tick. After all, the closest any of them get to courage involves an attempt to steal second base during the annual company softball game.
Gary, however, is hardball all the way. That's why he made six forays into Pakistan on his own dime. Why he dresses in Taliban garb and scampers amid the caves and crazies in Northern Pakistan for a chance to catch Osama in his crosshairs.
More than a few of the news types that gathered for a press conference with Scott Faulkner this past week questioned Gary's mentality. Time and again, Scott explained that Gary is not crazy. Instead, we learned that Gary is a man with a serious passion: one that involves putting a bullet deep inside Osama's skull.
If that's crazy, sign me up for a straightjacket and a Thorazine drip.
Casual observes might write off "The Faulknerator" as an unstable goofball. But one could say the same for Superman. After all, the man of steel could rule the planet, but instead lives in secret as a lowly newspaper reporter. What kind of super being wants to take crap from a cranky city editor and pine for the love of Lois Lane? And don't get me started on Superman's odd man-boy relationship with Jimmy Olson.
Put Superman on a shrink's couch and the boys at Bellevue will lock him up for life.
Batman is also certifiable. Though the caped crusader has no super powers, Batman thinks he can save Gotham. He a loner with no friends except an old manservant. If Batman underwent a standard mental assessment, he'd be deemed a seriously twisted sociopath with intimacy issues and sick desire to please his dead parents.
Spiderman is also a nut case. Peter Parker is a nerdy photographer, who hides behind a skintight outfit and lacks to guts to wrap up Mary Jane in a web of lust.
Gary Faulkner does not hide behind a mask. He does not need a manservant to press his tidy whites. And given the chance, Gary would carry Mary Jane off to the Hindu Kush and rock her world.
With America's global influence looking as sloppy and weak as Larry King's posture, we need to believe in men like Gary Faulkner. We all sleep better knowing he is out there, doing his part for truth, justice and the American way.
God's speed Gary. Safe home soon.