Kid, POTUS and a Special Day

January17/ 2000

.. For Kid Swagger, sole heir to the Swagger fortunes, her moment came yesterday, 6 weeks shy of her 17th year.  El Dubyah – The Crawford Cowboy – Scourge of Blue State America visited  “our Red State town” and Team Swagger was OF COURSE on hand to welcome El Presidente, discuss Social Security, and make a whopping deposit to a young girl’s memory bank.

   For one boy from Hope it might have been a Boy’s State encounter with Camelot’s Lancelot in The Rose Garden; but for Kid Swagger the setting was a less dramatic site but no less inspirational.  Yesterday my daughter met George W. Bush The President of The United States.   

   Our unassuming upper middle class ranch sits unassumingly on a slight hill in a cul de sac not unlike cul de sacs in your neighborhood.  Purposely designed to blend unobtrusively into its surroundings, this humble abode serves as the epicenter for a series of rather incredible adventures for its inhabitants.  To UPS guys, meter readers, and Morman dudes on bicycles its just another house.  But is it really?

   On a Spring day in 1992, a 4-year old little girl heard a knock at her door.  Struggling to manage the heavy apparatus she looked up to see a giant figure literally blocking out the light.  A “giant” not only in stature but a “giant” in geo-political media.  Armed with a DNA helix loaded with snappy retorts and rejoiners she exclaimed “Gee, Mr Limbaugh, you sure are fat!”

   For some children it’s a picture of them nekkid on a bearskin rug or perhaps with jelly or chocolate sauce smeared on their cherubic face … but for Kid Swagger it will always the day she so warmly greeted El Rushbo when he showed up on her doorstep.  

   As for how that moment came to be, alas, that yarn is documented in a time capsule to be opened when the last Liberal is lowered into the utter depths of hell (OK, that’s just a bit of hyperbole!).  An advocate for truth regardless of the embarrassment, the, at that time indeed quite corpulent,  CEO of EIB hugged the precoious tot in the same loving arms that embrace his golden microphone and proceeded to read her a bedtime story. I believe it was Mary Jo Kopechne & The Big Bad Philanderer but it was some years ago.

   From that first step along the yellow brick road of “guess who I met today”, Kid has notched Jack Nicholson, Sly Stallone, Mark Wahlberg, “that guy on King of Queens”, Goldberg The Wrestler, “that goofy guy from Full House”, Mr Belding, and Barney who played Jerry’s dad on Seinfeld.  Oh, lest we forget, she once babysat for the Herb Sendeks.  This is NOT a young lady ill-accustomed to reflective glory. … yesterday she met George W. Bush.

   Your “humble” Internet Legend and his team of special ops commandos never know what the next phone call will bring.  On Monday, this latest adventure began.  This assignment was for “The Mizzus” our logistics and charm specialist.  The POTUS was coming to town and The Mizzus was needed to help coordinate the shendig.

   Grabbing her cell phone, lip gloss, and extra pair of comfortable shoes she took off leaving BobLee, Kid, and Cat to decide “do we order pizza or Chinese?”  Mizzus thinks we are helpless without her. We LET her think that! Chinese.

   Being blood relatives of a presidential shendig coordinator has great perks.  It meant me and Kid were assured of seats in the “they must be important VIPs” section.  We invited our pal, Patty, who is in our keen “knows some “ARE YOU KIDDING ME” cool people too” club.     

   Arriving on the scene, we assumed the guise of “just regular folks” and joined the long line of “God-loving Conservative American patriots” moving through the security checkpoints.  Despite attempts to “blend in”, I was spotted by numerous Swaggerian disciples including Phineas T. Teague of the Oak Park Teagues. 

   Kid, it should be noted here, is, like her dad, a member of the 4th Estate, as News Editor of her school paper.  She would have worn her fedora with the PRESS badge stuck in the hatband but it would have messed up her hair and she was, after all, possibly meeting POTUS. 

   Like any good journalist her keen instinct’s for “the story” has her always scanning the landscape.  This one was easy.

   The long queue of “God-loving Conservative American patriots” snaked down and around the auditorium and passed the ubiquitous gaggle of “protestors” assembled along the sidewalk across the street.  There were 53 of’em all total complete with nifty little yellow and black anti-Bush signs.  53 protestors surrounded by 74 members of the local mainstream media with video cams and live mics at the ready.  A local blowdried anchorman was pleading “I can’t tape you if you keep yelling F-bombs. I’d love too, I feel your pain my brothers; but you know how those FCC nazis are.”

   We were in line with a local high-ranking politico chum and his lovely Mrs chum of my same era.  I noted that “the ubiquitous gaggle of protestors” were directly from Central Casting.  It was as if a dilapidated VW mini-bus had deposited this rag tag assemblage of Jerry Rubin and Joan Baez wannabees straight from a late 60s newsreel.  Even their derisive chant was in that familiar “hell no, we won’t go” rhythm from days gone by.


    Kid focused on a handmade poster proclaiming “Bush, my kids can’t eat your bombs”.  We polled 27 folks in line and not a one of us could figure that one out.  One observer noted “they must be a bunch of Chapel Hill hippies still pissed about losing that game to Duke last night.”

   A side note … the current Mayor of our fair city is of the non-Republican persuasion.  He also had to stand in the long queue with the commoners, Conservatives, Christians, and Swaggers.  I said Hi as he and I enjoy an affable relationship.  To paraphrase Michael Jordan … “Democratic Mayors read provocative websites too”.  I was to learn that Hizzoner having to stand in line was possibly a sneaky trick played by a prior Hizzoner of the Republican persuasion.  I do so love political intrigue of the sneaky trick variety.

   As we approached the first checkpoint, we heard familiar voices … The Tucker Boys & Daniel.  A trio of young Repub operative wannabees and special God-lovin’ chums of Kid.  They were sans tickets but possessed an even more valuable quality … incredibly clean-cut camera magnets.  They got in. As did Hizzoner The Liberal by the way.

   Once inside, we saw The Mizzus confidently barking commands to three somber-faced Secret Service guys and a bevy of Advance Team staffers from 1600 Pennsylvania.  She escorted us to our “they must be important” seats down front.  The overall “cool factor” was approaching MEGA for Kid at this point.  When the sound technician hit “Ruffles & Flourishes” that pretty much did it.

…The Crawford Cowboy “hit a homer” with his convivial “Good Neighbor George” style and manner.  Yes, it was most definitely “a friendly crowd”.  The only hardcore Liberals in the room were the regional media crowd recognized by their blow dried coifs, constipated countenances, and beady-eyed glares whenever Dubyah got a “standing O” … they glared a lot over those 90 minutes.

   After the program, Dubyah came down into the adoring audience.  Kid joined The Tucker Boys & Daniel in a flying wedge phalanx that would have made any Spartan General proud.  Seeing where Senator Helms was seated, they anticipated the Presidential path, calculated the angle  and headed him off.  Bingo!  Three clean-cut camera magnets and one adorable teen-age girl right off of an Ivory Snow label … Dubyah never had a chance.

   He shook her hand, autographed her ticket, and answered a semi-inane Tucker Boy inquiry about his favorite bootmaker (Tony Lama, DUH!).

   Befitting my role as Chief Executive of Team Swagger, I stood patiently and proudly to the side watching The Mizzus logisticating the “shendig” and Kid reorganizing her “Top Ten Coolest Moments EVER” list.  “Petting the dolphin at Sea World” fell out of the Top Ten on February 10, 2005.   

  As I tell my banker, Mr. Swampy, Kid’s MOST valuable “inheritance” is going into her memory bank more so than in to his albeit fine fiduciary institution.


 Do You Remember

 What was Larry and Daryll’s brother’s name? 


    As Kid was bedding down at the end of her most memorable day, she remarked:

   “Dad, those protestors and other people that hate President Bush, they don’t like people like us either do they?” … 

   “No, Kid, they don’t. And we don’t care too much for them either, I hate to admit” … 

   “That’s too bad.” … 

   “Yes, it certainly is” … 

   “What can we do about it?” … 

   “That is an excellent project for you and your generation to take on Kid.  Good Luck!”  … 

   “I’ll never forget today, Dad.” …  

   “Me neither, good night Punkin’” … 

   “Good night Dad.” … 

   “Good night, Mr President … and thanks for the memory!”

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