A series of stray notions popped into my head the other day. That’s not unusual. Unfettered thoughts are no strangers to the region between my ears. However, most of the time, these free-floating ideas originate from inside my skull. This was not the case in the instance I speak of now. I suppose some odd form of transcontinental telepathy, or something else, carried them uninvited my way.These thoughts were mostly intelligible, after occasionally replacing original sounds uncomfortably similar to those found in the queen’s English with words you can actually find in the dictionary. I cannot be positive as to where the ideas originated, but they seemed at the time to be part of a midmorning soliloquy of an important person holding great responsibility, adjusting his grip frequently under strain and hope of not dropping it on his own toes.I jotted down these words that slipped out of a hole in somebody else’s head and into mine:”Huh? A 34 percent approval rating? Again? I got to start looking at the bottle as half full. Heck, it’s good news, I suppose. It didn’t go down any from last week. By any reckoning it means that 75 million citizens of the United States of America think I’m doing a fine job of runnin’ this show. Even excluding Texas, that leaves 50 million in the rest of America that likes me. How many can claim truthfully that millions of folks approve of the way they do their jobs? None, I gather!”Ah, no sense getting cocky about it, though. People don’t like an arrogant leader. I have to keep acting like a regular guy.”Besides, that darned liberal press will turn these numbers all inside down and upside out, like they do, and make it seem like it’s all bad news. They’ll undoublelbly point out that 66 percent of the people think I’m bunglin’ things up. They never mention that half the country is Democrats and they wouldn’t approve of me for nothin’. So, the best I can do is a 50 percent approval rating if I’m absolutely perfect and all the Republicans like me. So really, my approval rating of 34 percent is out of 50 percent. Anyone can do the math and see that really is an approval rating of 81 percent, or so. My my, that’s one of the highest in history! I feel better already.”Now then … Gosh, this coffee’s hot! Looky there. The Rangers lost again. Blane if they don’t need more offense …”Gee whiz it was fun going to Yale and all. I can hardly believe I did it! Of course it don’t seem like nothin’ now, but you can’t argue that an education like that didn’t come in handy getting elected. Nope, there’s no arguing that Yale ain’t a fine college. I suppose Harvard was fun, too. But, I had to get outta the Air Guard to do it, so I missed out on a lot of fun flying and stuff.”Gosh, I wonder what’s for lunch already. It’s going to be hot out today. Maybe something light, like a salad, would be good. Ah shucks, there, I done it. That gets me to thinkin’ about that infernal global warming again … just when the day was shaping up so nice. Oh, I just can’t stand the thought of talking about that again. I’m so bored of it. Why can’t anyone see that there’s nothing to the whole planet getting a little bit warmer? Why, what’s wrong with the chance for folks to grow tomatoes in Montana, anyway?”Even if there was a problem with the planet heating up, they can no more prove it than they can that man evolved from a monkey. It’s all because there are gobs of scientists in this country with nothing better to do than experimentations. We got to get them focused on productivity and actually making something. They got brains, why don’t they just use ’em on something constructive, like ways to drill deeper oil wells? Ha! Then they wonder why we don’t want to raise taxes for education. … That reminds me: Have Dick send another box of cigars to Rush.”Rush … rush … Hmm … have I thought about Yale yet today? Oh, yes, remember the rush party where …”Confound it! Why can’t I quit thinking about that approval rating number? They make it sound like I’m not representing the people. What is the “will of the people,” anyways? Nobody knows that. That’s why they elected me! The people of this country want a leader. I have to do what’s right, even if most folks don’t understand why. I’m a man’s man! I ain’t givin’ in to popular sediment!”It’s like raising kids. Heck, a daddy has to do lots of things that babies don’t understand. They don’t know why you give ’em shots, mashed up-broccoli to eat, or make ’em play football, and later on, do good in school. They don’t get it why you can’t tell ’em the truth about everything. And, they’re never going to give you a high approval rating until they’re matured and educated, same as you are. But, you have to stick to your guns, so to speak. Then, one day they wake up at a place like Yale. They have no idea how they got there, but they’re darn glad of it and thankful that you had the nerve to make good decisions for ’em, despite all the protests along the way.”Folks never think of that when they bring this Iraq thing up. It’s obvious they was doin’ something wrong; otherwise they wouldn’t be fighting back so hard. Now everybody wants to know about Darfur, like the two places have anything in common. Hmm … Four hundred thousand murdered and millions more chased outta their homes by Sudanese militia? … Nobody has proof of that! It’s the bleedin’-heart liberal press at their tricks again! Besides, the whole mess over there is between Muslims. We have no business getting involved in their business … But, there is oil in Sudan, isn’t there? … Yes by golly, they’re a big supplier to China … Ah shucks, it’s all so darn complicated … But, I suppose I won’t have to deal with it until gas hits five bucks a gallon, maybe not even then.”Hmm, that gets me to thinking, though … maybe I’ll have some soup, too.”Roger Marolt has no more room in his head for anybody else’s thoughts. Send them to email@example.com and he’ll store them on his hard drive.
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