I’m a big fan of compliments, those little social mechanisms that far too many people have seemingly sold off for parts nowadays. Some of you youngsters out there should seriously think about trying it a time or two. It can actually feel really good to make someone’s day, and don’t rule out the possibility of landing yourself a few extra bucks or a shared moment you can later brag (lie like a 300-LB wool rug) about to your friends. It’s like when you tell a woman “you amaze me,” or “my goodness, I should try out your exercise routine!” Or telling a man “you must get mistaken for a young Harrison Ford a lot” or “my goodness, I should try out your wife’s exercise routine!” (Understand, you should avoid using the Harrison Ford compliment on a woman, even if she’s a dead ringer.)
But as far as I’m concerned, the best thing you can tell anyone, even better than “you appear a better fit for my Aston Martin—here are the keys and title,” is “you’d make a bad politician.” And at the risk of building myself up, a risk I’ll humbly save you from taking, I am in no way cut out to be a politician.
It’s not that I don’t try to be a good role model. As a caring keeper of the environment, I make it a point to take my bicycle everywhere (in the back of my Suburban). My love for animals has led me to stop using leather (I now only wear synthetic gloves and boots when I go seal-clubbing). Most importantly, as a measure of the significance I now place on tolerance, I no longer tell any tasteless or unflattering jokes at the expense of people who don’t share my skin color, religion, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation (until they have left the room).
One reason I’m not right for public office is that I lack that certain quality it takes to diligently campaign, a.k.a. troll, for votes, which I’ve dubbed “whoriness.” I don’t possess so much as a fraction of the whoriness necessary to run for even the smallest municipal office. I barely have enough to ask for extra sauce on my pizza as it stands.
The other reason is that I’m severely allergic to scrutiny—I’m absolutely certain I’d never survive it. We all know there’s no human being, whether an aspiring politician or diligent housepainter, who can boast a perfectly-led life. But while even the best of us have skeletons in our closets, my skeletons long ago ripped all the closet door right off their hinges and built an illegal bonfire in my driveway with them. If they had been politician skeletons, they would’ve used my neighbor’s money as kindling.
This is not to say that all regular, decent folks should just forget about running, because you do stand to benefit. If you’re a woman who wonders if any of your outfits look unflattering, just run for any GOP nomination and swarms of mainstream media photographers will take pictures of you from every known angle, and even invent a couple of new ones before the cameras run out of juice. If you’re a man whose biggest regret is you never got to apologize to that high school flame you stood up, announce your Republican candidacy and your opponent’s posse will dig her up and have her interviewed on America’s Most Jilted quicker than you can say rat bastard.
As much as I’d like to go on, I just found out s’mores are being served outside.
Copyright © 2013 BernardGoldberg.com