I want to thank Senator John McCain for picking Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate — I haven’t had this much fun following politics in years.

I was just starting to get a handle on Palin’s role in any one of a number of Alaskan political scandals — and you think Chicago politics is corrupt — when word broke that her 17-year-old daughter was five months pregnant.

As we all know, Governor Palin is of the far-right, family-values, don’t-use-condoms, no-sex-till-you’re-married wing of the Republican Party, which preaches abstinence as the best way to combat teenage pregnancy.  I can’t really say too much more on the subject because Republican operatives and writers — having spent years painstakingly probing the most intimate details of Bill Clinton’s sex life — have suddenly declared that the private lives of public people are officially off-limits for discussion, at least when it comes to the offspring of this year’s Republican ticket.

In any event, Governor Palin’s revelation brought back memories of a story my cousin likes to tell about Big George and the right-wing reverend, who lived near him in a town not far from Detroit.

Big George was a loud, garrulous, and profane native New Yorker — and proud of it! — born and raised in Brooklyn.

The reverend was an equally proud member of the radical right, who said he was doing God’s work by traveling from clinic to clinic in towns across America to scream at woman who were on their way to having abortions.

Anyway, one night Big George walked into his teenage daughter’s bedroom and caught her in the sack with — you guessed it — the reverend’s teenage son.

As my cousin tells the story, Big George grabbed the boy by the scruff of his neck, marched him down to his house, banged on the door and told the reverend to his face in no uncertain terms that if he ever again caught his mother-bleepin’ piece-of-blank son in bed with his daughter, “I’ll kill him and then I’ll kill you.”

Apparently, Big George was more effective than the tax-payer-funded abstinence classes they teach up in Alaska’s schools. At least, the reverend’s son got the message to stay away from Big George’s daughter. However, he did knock up another teenage girl who lived in the neighborhood. Oh well, you know what they say about the son of a preacher man.

Unfortunately, Big George passed on a few years ago. I don’t know if he was a Democrat or a Republican, but I think he’d have made a helluva running mate for Senator McCain. Growing up in Brooklyn, alongside immigrants from every corner of the world, he probably had more foreign policy experience than Governor Palin. And more to the point, he could teach the country a thing or two about how to handle horny teenagers.