Driving home from Kroger, after I messed up another of Becky’s shopping lists, I listened to the car radio. Waylon Jennings was singing “America.”
The song, written by Sammy Johns, begins “From the mountains down to the sea, you’ve become such a habit with me. America, Amer-ica.” The song continues with idealistic lyrics that stir patriotic feelings in me.
It got me to thinking I should run for elective office. For starters, I re-read the U.S. Constitution. It provides for a Congress consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. I remember that from the fifth grade.
Apparently there is a third branch of Congress. The individuals who serve there are called “congressmen” or “congresswomen.”
Though embarrassed to admit I cannot distinguish a “representative” from a “congressman,” I have decided to become a candidate for president of the United States.
For starters, I will need a campaign slogan. By my reckoning, a campaign slogan should be used sparingly. After using the slogan in two different campaigns, it is time to retire it.
A slogan I used in high school was “Frankfurters the Cause!” It was printed on signs shaped like a hot dog. I won that election.
Now seems a good time for the second and final use of that slogan as I seek to serve you as your president. At my age, I cannot waste time serving in “lower” offices.
I will be announcing my candidacy in the future. That is how experienced politicians do it. They say, “I am not announcing my candidacy now, but I will announce it 10 minutes and 20 seconds after 3 p.m. on the 12th day of the month … if there is a full moon on the preceding day.”
I am willing to join the club. Yes, I will be announcing my candidacy for president soon.
There are reasons for this delay. One reason is that I am searching for an answer to my wife’s question: “What the h___ are you thinking?”
Her question usually is followed by remarks such as: “You will make us the laughingstock of the town. And what about late-night comedians? They love to pick on Hoosiers.”
Though she doth protest my candidacy, after a glass of wine my wife often says out loud, “I do not have a dress to wear to the inaugural ball.” Then she studies herself in the mirror and nonchalantly flips her hair.
Not certain how to deal with such ambivalence in my own home, I turn to our dog, Rusty, and have a man-to-man discussion. Rusty begins with a question. Could he, he asked, relieve himself on the White House lawn?
Also, Rusty worries there would be no cats to chase. He likes how cats can change direction quickly. The absence of cats should not be a problem. Plenty of politicians visit the White House, and they can change directions quicker than a cat.
My head is spinning as I contemplate what could happen. I do not handle criticism well. Why subject myself to the scrutiny faced by public officeholders?
Even I would criticize myself. Sitting in the Oval Office, watching a recorded, televised interview of myself, I would wonder why I wore a pink tie with a green sport coat. Why did I answer a question by saying, “The truth will be in the pudding?”
Will it humiliate me to have my age made an issue? It would not be the first time.
“Adults” thought I was too young to get married. The Monroe County Selective Service Board thought I was the perfect age to be drafted. Nobody thought I was mature enough to become a father.
As for my slogan, “Frankfurters the Cause” suggests I do not like to eat vegetables. That is a sure sign of immaturity.
I need to sit down with my critics and share a thick steak. Let my critics chew on that.
Finally, and this is important, if there is a full moon on the 11th day next month, be sure on the 12th day to set aside whatever you are doing and turn on your television 10 minutes and 20 seconds after 3 p.m.
As sure as my name is Frank, I will promise to further the cause.
Frank Hill is a Fort Wayne resident.