Now, Duh, would you mind going to hell?
I tried to write this column as if it were after the fact, as in after Tuesday, Nov. 4 — presuming that Obama had already won. Yet, as I sit, Halloween afternoon, I can’t quite make that assumption, can’t take that chance. Oh, it’s not as if I’m worried that I’ll have egg on my face if he loses — I could care less about that at this stage of the game — merely that he may still lose. I can’t conjure up the elation I’ll feel if he does win. Not yet. Even as the insta-polls just went up a half-point in the time it took me to early-vote, he still could lose. I won’t believe he/we actually won until I hear McCain giving a concession speech, and it still may not sink in then.
At this moment I simply cannot convey to my loyal cadre of 17 readers the ecstasy I expect to be feeling late Tuesday evening. It will be such a foreign emotion that I really don’t know how to fake it and make it sound convincing.
There is one thing, however, that I can write about that is a literal certainty, that is beyond conjecture: George “Duh” Bush’s days are numbered. No one can take that away from us, and that alone will make the world a better place. In fact, the only drawback is that with him out of office I may have to go back to working for a living. Yikes!
For the past eight years, as my editor Brian Clarey noted, I’ve turned Bush-bashing into a little cottage industry for myself, so now what do I do? Not that I’d be so inclined, but there’s clearly no market among my skyrocketing readership for Obama-bashing, so I fear I may have to actually engage my brain again. Finding something to criticize, parody, satirize, commiserate or raise hell about over these last eight years has made shooting fish in a barrel seem challenging by comparison. Yup, this old hippie relic may actually have to go out and search for material again. It’s been too easy.
But on the other hand (as Randy Travis might say), as easy as it’s been to crank out yet another angry screed week after week, it’s taken its toll. Aside from the effortlessness of chronicling the Duh’s morally reprehensible behavior, it’s been a tough stretch. Indeed, there will be far-reaching consequences not just for me but for the nation and the world.
Personally, I just feel drained. Once the exuberance of President-elect (please, God, make it happen) Obama’s transformational triumph wears off, I’m afraid I may need a break. I don’t know how much should be attributed to the normal aging process and how much to living in a foreign country without moving, but I feel old. What’s left of my hair is gray, I’ve gained 30 pounds twice and lost it back twice, I’m now wearing trifocals, I can barely make it through an afternoon without nodding out at my computer, my knees creak and sometimes, when I bend over to pick something up off the floor, by the time I get there I’ve forgotten what I’m looking for.
Sure, we’re all getting old, blah, blah, but what really pisses me off about it is that Bush hasn’t aged as much as I have. Granted, he does look a bit older, but with all the blood he has on his hands, he should look like the bank security guard on “Andy,” Burt Mustin, who got the call for 30 years anytime a director needed an old guy. Instead, Duh looks roughly the same and I look like Wilford Brimley.
Emotionally I’m not doing much better. While I do expect to regain my sense of serenity now that we have two balanced adults running the show, it’s been a steady, eight-year downhill slide for my psychological well-being. It’s hard to pinpoint, but it’s like having been violated, as if something intangible’s been stolen from me. The things that should matter — that used to matter — seem vague, far away, just out of my grasp.
Again, why is this guy walking around with that Pollyanna smile, blissfully unaware of the damage he’s wrought, while I struggle to make sense of it all?
Sorry, I can’t be as magnanimous and gracious as Obama and Biden. Maybe someday soon I’ll be able to recover the easy smile, the spring in my step, the sense of delight and wonder about the world around me, all the things I remember but can no longer internalize. I fully expect the weight to be lifted, the pall to evaporate, the gloom and doom to morph into joyfulness and contentment. But it’s not there yet.
I wish Bush and Cheney would go ahead and vacate the premises now, rather than linger until January. It will take that long to get the stench out.
Ogi may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on “Triad Today” hosted by Jim Longworth on ABC 45 at 6:30 a.m. Fridays and on WMYV 48 at 10 p.m. Sundays.