I got a strange note from an editor Monday. 

“Will you be writing a column for Wednesday’s paper?” he wanted to know. 

I was befuddled by the question because I’ve been writing columns on Mondays since Hector was a pup and, as we all know, that’s a long, long time. 

Turns out the editor was asking because, as it happens, Tuesday was election day around these parts and he was trying to sort out space issues for the Wednesday paper. 

Or something like that; I stopped listening after a while. 

I’ll be honest with you. I had no idea that Tuesday was election day. And if I HAD known, I wouldn’t have cared. You know why, Bub? Because the more I learn about politics, the more convinced I am that it’s a scam. On this matter, I’m with the cynic who declared: “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” 


Election day? Meh. I’ll get about as enthused for that as I would for Black Fly Day or Stub Your Pinky Toe Day because in my view, it all comes down to nothing but pain and aggravation. 

Which means, of course, that I’d be a great political candidate, myself. I mean, think about it. With my disdain for politics and a proven willingness to publicly debase myself (this weekly column is proof of that) I think you’re looking at genuine dark horse potential here. 

I’d start small; maybe with a run for county sheriff. Although that would mean taking on Eric Samson, with his spiffy clean record and “Aw, shucks” good looks, so forget that. I’ll run for mayor instead. 

I don’t really know what a mayor does and all, but isn’t that a point in my favor? If I don’t know how to behave as mayor, I’m pretty sure I’d make a great one. I won’t be proposing measures, creating meddlesome agencies or doing anything at all to the tax rate because I don’t know HOW to do any of those things. 

“Vote for LaFlamme,” you’ll see on campaign signs everywhere. “He doesn’t know how to do ANYTHING!” 

I won’t have any impact at all on the City Council because there’s no WAY I’m going to those long, boring council meetings, what with my hectic schedule and all. I’m not going to poke my nose into anyone’s business because I’m not a nose-poker by nature. I’ll just sit quietly in my office, feet on the desk and twirling my mayoral mustache until someone needs a ribbon cut or something. 


How do you like me so far? 

There’s a small chance I’ll come up with a new motto for the city of Lewiston — and it will be a doozy, let me tell you — but beyond that, you won’t have any idea at all that I’m even there. 

What do you know? I like that slogan even better.

“LaFlamme for Mayor,” the signs will say, “You won’t even know he’s there!” 

Maybe by doing absolutely nothing to influence your lives, my popularity will soar and the next thing you know, my name is being whispered as a candidate for even higher positions. 

“That guy with the great mustache,” they’ll say at cocktail parties. “Ol’ what’s-his-name. He was mayor for eight years in Lewiston and he didn’t do a single damn thing. We have GOT to get this guy into the governor’s office.” 


And suddenly, it’s a Cinderella story all up in here. Instead of doing nothing at City Hall in Lewiston, I’m doing nothing at the Blaine House, wherever that is. We’re talking zero laws implemented. Zero policies revised. Zero programs launched. 

The state capitol will get itself a killer new drum studio, but beyond that, as before, you won’t even know I’m there.  

I will serve the Maine people by staying out of their way and letting them run their own lives. I’ll be so invisible, even Google will have a hard time telling you who’s in charge up here. 

“Maine governor,” you will type in your Google search. 

“That guy with the great mustache,” will come the reply. 

After that? Who knows? With this kind of momentum and mustache recognition, the sky is the limit. Maybe I’ll become a lawmaker, so inept at the job that 1,000 laws will actually be eliminated during my time in office. 


Next thing you know, I’m speaker of the House, and with the kind of impact I’m NOT making on American politics, it’s an easy climb to Senate majority leader.  

I have absolutely no idea what a senate majority leader’s responsibilities are so, once again, I’m the ideal man for the job. I’ll do so very little to influence the lives of Americans, they will come to love me, and when the presidential election rolls around (someone will have to remind me that it’s Election Day) I think it’s pretty clear how THAT’S going to go. 

“What’s-His-Face wins in landslide!” headlines will shriek. 

Oh, the sheer volume of nothing I could do with the nation’s highest office. I’ll throw out the first pitch at the World Series, if it’s in Kansas City, but aside from that, you won’t see or hear from me at all for the next eight years, and isn’t that the kind of break we all deserve? Eight years of crickets from the White House, and oh, how you’ll prosper.

In the end, my time as president will be so cherished, they will move to put a statue of me on the lawn outside the White House. But since nobody will recall what I looked like (aside from the great mustache) they’ll have to scrap the idea and put up a statue of my motorcycle instead. 

My political memoirs will be six pages long and those pages will mostly contain dirty limericks I wrote in the Oval Office. 

“He truly did nothing,” adorers will mutter, dabbing at tears as I leave the White House for the last time, never to be seen again. 

And to think I started out as the humble mayor of a small Maine city just an hour ago.

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