John McCain, my friend, has been on the road a lot lately. If you’ve been following the news, you know he is now embarked on what he has named his “Forgotten Places Tour.”
I’m not quite sure when the tour began, but I think it started at the Starlight Lounge on Route 47, back east a few months ago, when he sang karaoke and put some wacky new lyrics in an old Beach Boys’ tune.
This week his “Forgotten Places Tour” rolled into Selma, Ala. and later, New Orleans.
He made a great speech in New Orleans about Hurricane Katrina. He would have done things differently, he said, than the current president.
“My friends, it is not in our power to turn back hurricanes,” he told the crowd. “So instead,
I will chase them to the gates of hell and then slam the door. Or, gates, as they would be.”
“Americans have not forgotten New Orleans,” he added. “Especially those Americans who have hung off a balcony after a night of gin fizzes with two fistfuls of plastic beads.”
I think his next stop was supposed to be Youngstown, Ohio, also known as the City of Brotherly Love. McCain was carefully tweaking his message to accommodate the crowd of brother huggers before his visit, and reporters on the Straight Talk Express discovered he was recycling a line he had used earlier in the campaign.
“I’m going to raise the level of political dialogue in America,” McCain said. “And I’m going to treat my opponents with respect, those dirtbags.”
The more I heard about the “Forgotten Places Tour,” the more I wished I was tagging along with McCain. I finally got so fed up with fantasizing about being aboard the Straight Talk Express that I went and asked the Little Missuss if I could go.
I excitedly told her about the places I would get to visit — places I had never seen before.
“Forgotten Places Tour?” The Little Missuss asked with interest. “Let me help you pack. Hold out your arms.”
I did just that.
“Here, carry this basket of dirty clothes down to the laundry room. There’s a Forgotten Place you’ve never been. Start a dark load and bring up the stuff in the dryer.”
“When you get back, take this out to the kitty litter box in the garage,” she said, slapping a small plastic shovel in my hand.
“Now, don’t spend too much time with your constituents there,” she said. “Just put them in this plastic grocery bag and put it in the trash. Then sweep up any kitty litter you have spilled.”
“And for the rest of your itinerary, your Forgotten Places Tour will include a stop at the site of another natural disaster, the garden shed that you refuse to tidy up,” she continued. “Further stops include the barbershop in Bayview and the car wash.”
“But I want to be a force for change,” I said.
“Good, you can change the oil in my car that I’ve been asking you to do for eight months now.”
I walked away mumbling. Undecided voters are such a pain.
Next issue: The dream ticket.