06 Nov Living with G.W.

Holy cow, who’d have thought we’d see this day? The election of President Obama is as monumental as the moon landing. Many were convinced that it couldn’t — or shouldn’t — be done. But here we are, all the stronger for it. I have no illusions that things will change overnight. But things will change. We’re working against a lot of damage. We’ll be paying for G.W.’s mistakes for decades. The most immediate benefit is that the world will, once again, take us seriously. Nothing so clearly shows America’s potential — and good sense — as this election. I am so frigging proud of us for making this happen.

At the same time, I am cautious. If enough cynical, nay-saying politicos pile on Obama in Washington, he won’t get anything done. I am reminded of Jimmy Carter. Some say Carter was too good for the job, his ideals too high. This was most clearly illustrated by his boycott of the 1980 Olympics, which almost no one in America understood. Americans don’t like pain; they don’t care for patience; they want what they want and they want it now. It seems Obama knows this and is willing to take the risk.

And, finally, we get away from the horror show of the current administration. Living with G.W. Bush (and his cronies) was like sharing an apartment with an unrepentant, petty criminal. Every time you turned around, something was missing.

“Where are my car keys, G.W.? I’m late for work.”

“Your keys?” G.W. lies in the Lazy-boy in the front room. He’s watching Nickelodean re-runs of H.R. Puff-N-stuff. As usual, he’s not dressed for much of anything except a nap. He’s wearing striped boxers, dirty sweat socks, and a “Make My Day” t-shirt. In his lap sits a large bowl of Cheerios — it looks like he’s eaten most of the box you bought only this week.

You say, “Don’t do this to me, G.W. I need my car. I’m supposed to be at a meeting in twenty minutes.”

G.W. nods as if trying to be helpful. Then he offers a fraternal smile: “Oh, yeah, something happened to those keys.”

“Something happened to my car keys?”

“Yeah.” He spoons up a mouthful of Cheerios. “They’re gone.”
“You lost my car keys?”

He nods, chewing. “Car’s gone too, buddy.”

“Holy shit, where’s my car?”

“I don’t know, man.” He swallows his cereal, shaking his head with regret, then uses his spoon to scratches at an itch just inside the band of his boxers. “I really loved that car. It had good pick-up.”

“G.W., my car, what happened to my car!”

He looks at you as if you have just insulted him. “You know, it wasn’t easy gettin’ home, man. I couldn’t take a taxi ’cause you didn’t give me that twenty I asked for. You remember?”

“Please, just tell me.”

“Took me three buses, man.”


“You ever tried to transfer buses going cross town?”

By this time you’re on your knees, your chin almost on the armrest of his Lazyboy. “My car, G.W., please.”

He looks at you curiously. “Lighten up, bud. It’s in auto heaven. You believe in God, don’t you?”

“For cars?” you croak.

“God loves everything, didn’t you know that?”

You groan. “I’m never gonna see my car again, am I?”

He wags his spoon at your nose. “Only if you go to heaven, son.” Then he winks. “I’m rootin’ for ya.”