Thursday, November 10, 2005

My tete a tete with the former Prez...


Because most people don't get much of a chance to spend time with a president - former or current - I'm going to try and give you little glimpse at my glamourous life. Secrecy and tact precludes me from telling all, but rest assured I will be revealing the best parts to you guys.

I arrived early, as is my wont when I'm scheduled to meet with former presidents. It's just nice to get a lay of the land, so to speak, since it's already a bit intimidating to meet with a past leader of the free world. When I got to Wal-Mart - yes, I too wondered at his choice of meeting places, but who am I to argue? - I noted there was quite a long line of people clutching books, apparently hoping to catch a glimpse and maybe try to get an autograph. I'm not so hardened that I didn't feel for these people and decided to show my solidarity with the regular folk by standing in line with them.

What a lucky thing for me. I was able to meet Tom, the gay doctor, and his lovely friend, Whatshername. She really was lovely, but she was rather unfortunate in having a forgetable name. Anyway, Gay Tom, Whatshername and I had a wonderful time chatting in line. Tom even bought us all some waters and offered us some spud wedges, which he declared were fabulous. That's just how we are in Wisconsin, what can I say?

Anyway, we were having so much fun in the party aisle with the mini Magic 8 Balls, Sponge Bob party favors and Barbie balloons that the time got away from us. It hardly seemed like a minute more than two hours of standing in one place. Well, knowing that presidents are usually sticklers for punctuality, I was fixing to say my goodbyes to my new friends when the line started moving.

'What the heck,' I figured. 'Might as well just spend some more time with these folks. The former president can wait.'

We moved forward at a pretty good clip. Down the party aisle, around the front, and up the center aisle. It was a long line and it stretched back and forth around ten aisles. I was sorely tempted along the way by many wondrous items like dog biscuits and toilet scrubbers, but I had important people to meet, so I left the goodies behind for another trip.

Gay Tom and Whatshername walked with me. I think they were hoping to ride my coattails in for a little face time with the Prez.

An eager. young intern type took my books for me...clearly she recognized me and was doing a bit of sucking up. She passed my books to another aide and told her they belonged to me. The aide nodded knowingly...

I don't want to talk out of shop or anything, but since you guys are my blog pals...I'm going to include a complete transcript of my private conversation with the former President of the United States:

Aide: These are his.
Former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter: (looks up) Oh thank you.
Me: Thank you sir.
Former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter: Oh, well, thank you for coming out.
Me: Thanks for being here sir. Thanks very much.

Pundits will be reading what they want into that exchange, but I'm not going to stoop down there in the gutter with them.

Gay Tom, Whatshername, and I walked out together. We were, understandably, giddy from the heady experience.

'Wow...this line is still really long,' I said to my new friends.

'Well, thank god we weren't way back here,' said Gay Tom. 'These people are going to be here forever! Forever!'

I think a Sponge Bob flew by my head...

10 comments:

Shelly said...

hmmmmmm......I'm glad you had a good time with Gay Tom and whatshername. I for one think it sounds boring. but of course i hate long lines!!:) I don't have the patience for that! although i love spongebob so i probably would have picked up some items!! j/k.

I did wait in a long line one time to meet someone! It was the band O Town! never heard of them. Yeah I know...apparently they really weren't the "next big thing"!!! hahahhaah i was young and yes it too was at a Walmart. Well it just goes to show that Jimmy Carter's will too be forgotten! Maybe Walmart is a curse for "stars"! jk

The Zombieslayer said...

Closest I ever came to a President is I knew one person personally who ran for Pres (and lost), and saw two Presidential candidates speak, one in a private restaurant. But you actually saw the real deal. Lucky you. :)

Joe said...

I TIVO'd the Tucker Carlson show last night to see what his take was on your Presidential exchange. Can't wait to see what he has to say!

Your account of meeting Jimmy Carter sounds strikingly similar to the time I met Adam West and Burt Ward at a local grocery store. They weren't signing autographs though. People lined up around the entire store and then kinda rubbernecked by them sitting at a table. We weren't allowed saying hello but they never said anything about not being allowed to wink at them!

Shawn said...

shelly - Ummm, Natalie Portman became famous when she had the Walmart Baby you know...and she named it Americus, or something patriotic like that...so, clearly Wal-Mart can make you famous...

zs - Who did you know that ran for office and lost? You can't just lob that one up without explaining...

joe - Great opportunities are out there...clearly, you and I are the type who reach out and pluck those golden apples from the highest boughs...winking at the Dynamic Duo is pure genius, and I'm sure Adam West remembered that day for a long, long time...

tshsmom said...

How refreshing; a man that will stand in a long line! The males in my family either whine, go ballistic(my Dad), or give up, if they're in a line that has more than 3 people in it.

I'm glad that your one-on-one experience with the prez was worth it. ;)

Shawn said...

I'm certainly not a big fan of lines, but I never have much of a problem being in them. Getting angry and annoyed seldom makes them move faster and never makes life any more fun...

I actually had a good time hanging out in line with Gay Tom and Whatshername.

tshsmom said...

I'll stand in line with you anytime, Shawn. Just promise to remember my name. ;)

Paul said...

You are like zero degrees from Jimmy Carter now. That's awesome. Now you can take Kevin Bacon off your speed dial list cause you don't need him anymore.

Shawn said...

Paul - I actually took him off a while ago...he cried, but I just told him to make a good movie and I would put it back on... I mean, c'mon, if you can teach a dorky football guy to dance, surely you can make a decent movie...

The Zombieslayer said...

zs - Who did you know that ran for office and lost? You can't just lob that one up without explaining...

A Third Party candidate. No big deal. She barely got any votes for Pres. Doubt she'd remember me, but she's still in touch with my evil ex (of the "I hate men! I hate men!" fame).

Seen Ralph Nader live in Santa Barbara speaking (wonderful speech) and the Badnerik here in Chico in a restaurant speak.