I’d always thought there’d eventually be a clown candidate for president. Watching American politics for the half century spanning 1968 through now will do that to a fellow. As for whether that clown candidate would make it all the way to the White House? I figured it to be a 75 percent likelihood. Probable, although not necessarily definite.
I always figured, though, it’d be a rock star. I thought of Michael Jackson before he doped himself to death. Go ahead and laugh, but is that any more ludicrous than the idea of Li’l Duce as president?
Or how about Madonna?
Now that a slightly different kind of unthinkable has come about, the doors to the White House are wide open. Which makes the buzz about Kid Rock alarming (his appearance last night at Detroit’s Little Caesar’s Arena was heralded by the strains of “Hail to the Chief”). Say he somehow wins a US Senate seat from Michigan. …
Overheard at a diner.
Man: They can’t even talk about 9/11 in the schools anymore.
Woman: Really? What do you mean?
Man: Well, if the teacher talks about 9/11, they say it insults the Muslims.
Woman: Where’d you hear that?
Man: That’s what they say.
Alright? Let’s parse. The man cites “they” three times. That’s out of a total of 27 words. So, one of every nine of his words is “they.”
None of his “theys” has antecedent. So, let’s assume two of his “theys” refer to that authoritative, all-knowing committee of humans who dispense knowledge, as needed, to the rest of us. You know who I mean. …
History’s repeating. As it always does.
To wit: Back in 2008 when my guy Barack Obama won the presidency scads of Americans were aghast. The very presence of Obama in the White House appalled and terrified them.
It was as though the world had been turned upside down. People walked around in a daze at first. Then that dizziness turned to rage. “That’s not my president,” many said. Commentators and wags pledged to do everything they could to hinder him. Some of the loudest voices shrieked that they hoped he’d fail.
All of which, in turn, appalled us Obama-ites. How dare they speak in such disloyal terms? We called them unpatriotic. Which was funny because, for most of us, patriotism had never before been a goal or a compliment. Suddenly, we were flag-wavers, defenders of The Man. …
I lived in abject terror for four years while attending Fenwick High School just outside Chicago. A Catholic boys’ college prep school, our teachers and disciplinarians were about a 50/50 mix of Dominican priests and brothers and lay teachers. Our swimming coach was Mr. Grothe.
For four years, he watched me march into the pool area, naked. No, he was not naked. I was. I and however many other guys would be in that semester’s gym class. Say 50 or 60 of us.
All nude. Bare. Unclad. Forced to strip.
It was horror.
I was 14 years old in September 1970, my freshman year in high school. Eighteen when I left. Arguably the four most insecure years of a human being’s life. And, in the case of a male human being, the four years during which his genitalia are as alive and reactive as, oh, uranium 235. Riding a bus, sitting in religion class, walking home from school, listening to Sugarloaf’s “Green-eyed Lady,” wiping the dishes, watching a Friday night appearance of Raquel Welch on the Tonight Show — all of them, and more, were triggers enough for me to experience tumescence. …
My nephew-in-law, Pete Rock of Florida, just suggested we nuke Hurricane Irma. He’s a funny guy and a troublemaker (ergo, I like the hell out of him). He was being, like me, a smart ass. On the other hand, I wonder if exploding a thermonuclear weapon directly in the middle of a hurricane would have any effect. Physicists? Meteorologists? Air Force generals? Anybody?