Joanne and I are not political animals. But, if you've read some of my stuff that pops up in this corner of the paper from time to time, you already know that. I don't write about all that political "stuff." I'll let guys like Brummett do the heavy lifting.
I'm pretty much content to deal with, shall we say, the less "weighty" issues. Like the insidious price creep of a six-pack. The never-ending cycle of follicle maintenance we seniors execute on anatomical features that were designed to be hairless. And our neighborhood dogs who sprinkle their every-dang-morning contributions all over Joanne's petunias.
So--as I said, Joanne and I are not political animals. The only thing that even comes close is the campaign button that her, ummm, forgetful aunt gave her. Her feelings get hurt if Joanne isn't wearing her "I like Ike" button when we go to visit.
Full disclosure here: We almost got politically involved during the 2016 presidential election when that pack of snarling Russian dogs (and a few home-grown mutts) shoved a defenseless Hillary into a corner. It seemed like every day one of the mongrels ripped her a new one. If it wasn't those nefarious emails, it was Benghazi. And if it wasn't Benghazi, it was Ben Affleck or some other Hollywood liberal. Inspired more by pity than political activism, Joanne tried to convince me to jump on the bandwagon with her and send Hillary a few bucks. Turns out my fiscal restraint (read: cheap) saved me from throwing my money away when Hillary somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Her flame-out was even more tragic than when my Red Sox blew that nine-game lead in the 2011 AL playoffs. I'm a Cubs fan now.
For the past six months our 65-inch smart TV, which is way smarter than me, had been saturated with political campaign ads. Every morning I dangled a cinnamon Pop Tart in front of my 11-year-old grandson to bribe him to come over and turn the damn thing on for us. I had to slip him a Snickers as extra incentive to switch it to RFD-TV so I could binge-watch "Andy Griffith." (I love Barney). But as the campaign rhetoric heated up, even my beloved RFD became infected with those high-revenue political campaign ads.
So, every morning Joanne and I slouched in our twin La-Z-Boys and endured the parade of politicians promising to be our BFF. Their fever-pitched promises of higher Social Security checks and lower Medicare Part D co-pays were offered in exchange for sending them a check to help them defeat the bad guy. Then, trailing right behind him/her, the other guy/gal popped up to pitch the same plea.
Well, they might as well have saved their expensive ad-time breath. Like the other 26.6 million voters, we had already sent in our absentee ballots. But just so you know that we're not complete el cheapos, every month Joanne and I do send a nice check to "Save The (fill in the blank: Sea Turtles ... Whales ... Polar Bears ... or whatever strikes Joanne's heart that month). All that species-saving keeps us pretty much tapped out.
When the campaign season kicked off sometime around the Fourth of July, our mail carrier started throwing our mail on the neighbor's front porch. We were pretty sure that it was one of delivery delay tactics dreamed up by Louis DeJoy, the Trump-appointed postmaster general.
So, through snow and rain and heat and gloom of night, poor Joanne had to trot over to the neighbor's porch and pick it up. She didn't mind it that much and welcomed the opportunity to glare at their petunia-killing dog. Many times she came back with our mountain of mail. Campaign ads, brochures, and inserts filled with yet more promises from our new BFF's.
One day she dumped our daily dose of ads, brochures, and inserts on the growing kitchen table pile, and there it was. Right on top. A campaign plea from the Pick-Your-Political-
Party State Headquarters. Bet you can't guess what they were begging for. The next morning, after she powered down her Arkansas Democrat-Gazette laptop (that she uses way more to play Words With Friends), Joanne looked up from her bowl of Cheerios and said, "What the heck, Bill, let's get off our apathetic butts and send 'em a check." (Apparently the whales or sea turtles didn't need saving that month.) I looked up from my Cheerios and said, "What the heck, Joanne, OK."
Well, we should have been more diligent with our due diligence. We assumed that our way-more-than-generous check to the Pick-Your-
Political-Party State Headquarters would have been bundled with all the other way-more-than-generous checks and delivered to the R or DNC in D.C. for their Bad Guy's campaign. Maybe DeJoy would get them there by Christmas.
Well ... it turned out that our generous contribution check padded the war chest for Possum Grape's dogcatcher. Looks like she'll secure a ninth term. Well ... if she wins her lawsuit for a recount. But even that's in jeopardy. Yesterday her opponent screamed that the election was rigged. He claimed to have seen both of her nieces vote ... twice.
Bill Rausch is a freelance humor writer from Little Rock. Email him at email@example.com. You can hear more stories like this on his podcast, "Bill Rausch Read My Shorts," broadcast on Spotify and Podbean.