Friday, February 27, 2009

Being There

We brought the boys to Washington DC for their first of what I hope will be many visits, and it couldn't have been a better reception.   We were walking in front of the White House and spotted Paul Begala outside one of the gates talking on his cell phone.  As we walked by I overheard him say these exact words "...the efficacy of progressive action..."  I believe I'm not revealing anything out-of-turn.  It was just a scrap of political gobleteygook from a professional Washington insider, but it was live political gobletygook.   Be still my heart.

Then, something else we couldn't have planned in a hundred years.   As we wandered across the Ellipse behind the White House the perimeter security noticeably tightened.  A small helicopter swooped in low around the area, circled the Washington Monument and left.   You could see staff and press forming up on the White House lawn and the suddenly out of the west came three Marine helicopters in tight formation.  They turn toward the White House, fly right over our heads, then the middle one peels off and lands.   We saw the President for about three-fifths of a second as he strode toward the West Wing.   Everyone in the small knot of people around us were crowing with our good fortune.   Us too.    Without the boys on hand it might have been one of those notable cell phone camera moments you tell a few friends about. But this is one for family files.  


Saturday, February 14, 2009

An Open Letter to the President

Dear President Obama,

As you no doubt know, my offer to now former Governor Blagojevich to accept the appointment to your old seat in the US Senate went unheeded.   This was an error in the governor's judgement that I'm sure you would not want to emulate.  Therefore, I am giving you the opportunity to name me to that vacancy in your cabinet you can't seem to fill to save your life.   I would make a terrific Commerce Secretary.  For one thing, there is little chance I will find myself in ideological opposition to your policies as Senator Gregg did.  The very term "ideological" implies the presence of ideas and I can say with confidence there is none of that going on here.  I also pay my taxes fully and on time and have done so for several years in a row.

Of course, taking a position in your administration would create a vacancy on the Selectboard of our little town in Vermont, which would have to be filled by appointment, and I suppose I would have to give up my office as a Justice of the Peace.  None of this should affect the political tides in Vermont.  This place is totally in the tank for you.  Giving up the Justice of the Peace title will be a personal loss so I'm wondering if, when appointed,  I could still bring the shotgun and badge and saddle coat to your cabinet meetings?   It really is a terrific look on me and might help you in 2012 with the western vote.

In preparation for my new roll on your team I have spent the last several hours reviewing US trade policy.  It has been enlightening.  All this time it seems I have had NAFTA and Napster confused.  It all makes much more sense now.   I also notice we do an awful lot of trade with China.  A mean, A LOT.  They gotta be rolling in dough over there.  Have you ever given any thought to borrowing some of it back?   

As you see, I am a quick study.  I mean there's not that much to me at all.  Your vetting team should be done by lunch tomorrow and I can catch the Amtrak to DC on Monday.   Let me know as soon as possible so that we can begin to manage expectations downward.

Your Devoted Servant,

Tom Bodett

Justice of the Peace
Presumptive Selectman

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out

This blog has a reader ironically named, Anonymous, with an existential remark in response to my last post.   The reader says that with his or her consulting contract recently cancelled, he or she is out of work but not included in the unemployment statistics.  Hence, I assume, the Anonymous.   It begs the classic question -- If a person loses his job and nobody notices, is he still broke?   My guess is, yes.   Somebody should call the government.  Anonymously.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nagging Anxieties

In an email to a colleague the other day I had occasion to disclose some of the items in my Nagging Anxieties file, which lies between Immediate Concerns and Don't Worry About It.  It felt therapeutic and I thought the effect might be enhanced by revealing them here as well.  So in no particular order: Colon cancer.  Vladimir Putin.  The Furnace filter.   My lapsed Catholicism.  

Mix and match!  Add your own!

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