A Look on the Lighter Side: The very latest in political speech-writing


Apparently, the latest trend in political speeches is to have your children vouch for your fitness as a leader. 

I find this disturbing. 

Where will we be if this trend catches on, and we all need our children’s recommendations to seek higher office? 

I know where I’ll be: in the doghouse. (And we don’t even have a dog!)

“That’s the first thing I want to take up with you, Mom — you never let us have any pets!”

“That’s not completely true.” 

“Oh, right — we had ‘sea monkeys,’ whatever those were — and you killed them!”

“How was I to know they would freeze to death over Christmas vacation?” 

“How? Maybe because you left their aquarium out on the porch!” 

“Yes.  Well — I do sincerely regret that episode, and it is now behind us. Let’s get back to work on this speech, sweetie pie, and see what nice things you can say about me. Why don’t you take it from the top?” 

“You mean, read this out loud? To you?”


“But I didn’t write it!”

“You can change anything you’re not happy with.”

“Really? Okay — so here’s my version of the very first sentence:  “I speak to you tonight about a wonderful woman — my mother — who, despite her many flaws, wants your support.”

“ ‘Many flaws’?  What kind of an endorsement is that?”

“I’m still speaking, Mother…  ‘I know she’ll be great at bossing other people around, the same way she yelled at my friends on our playdates.’ ”

“That was one time, when your friend used your brother for ‘bait,’ and tied him to the closet door!”

“And she’ll make a great ruler, because she had so many rules!”

“Like what?”

(Mimics my voice) “ ‘You have to look your brother in the eye while you apologize, or it doesn’t count!’ ” 

“Well, that’s a good rule, don’t you think?”

“And ‘Don’t you dare open that car door until the motor is off.’ ”

“That was for your own safety!”

“What about ‘If it leaves your hand, it leaves the house’?  You threw my Lego space-ship out into the snow!”

“Our living room is full of things you might have broken — you knew the rule.” 

“Here’s another crazy rule: You can’t have the car keys if you’re going to drive in flip-flops.” 

“I think that’s the law!” 

“Plus, it was so hard to get you to give us money for anything!”

“Oh, put that in — people will like that about me.” 

“But I mean things I really needed.”

“Like what?”

“You know — like shampoo, and deodorant.” 

“You mean, that ghastly “Axe” body spray that I refused to go in and buy without you?  But I couldn’t tell one thing from the other —  they were all labeled something like ‘Axle Grease!’ ”

“Yeah, that.  But also just for hair cuts!”

“That was all supposed to come out of your allowance.” 

“About that… do you know how painful it always was, asking for that?” 

“Well, that’s because I never had the money!”

“Yes, that’s what you always said.  But every Sunday was the same!  You tell us to plan ahead and you can’t even predict that I’m going to need my allowance, every Sunday night? Oh well. I guess I learned from it.” 

“How so?”

“I learned that I couldn’t just come into the living room and ask for cash, because you’d just yell ‘Do you think we’re made of money?’  I learned to sit down with you first; pretend to watch your TV show with you….”

“You were pretending?” 

“Yes, at least long enough to ask intelligent questions, like ‘Do you think he’s the murderer?’ And you’d say, ‘Well, I don’t know yet,’ and I’d say, ‘It’s probably a man, men are so ruthless.…’  And you’d say, ‘It’s progress that you’re even saying that, sweetie.’  And then I’d say, ‘By the way, Mom, could I have some allowance?’  You’d still grumble, but you would do it.”

“So — you’ll say I was frugal, and taught you the value of a dollar?” 

“I’ll say, ‘My mother taught me the art of diplomacy, and helped to make me the success that I am today.”

It’s a good thing I’m not actually running for office


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