The boys on the bus have three empty seats: Pick one
Let’s say you’re going to be stuck on bus on a cross-country trip.Not one of those nice excursion buses with the comfy reclining seats, the bathroom in the back and plenty of legroom. No, we’re talking about one of those old Greyhound buses that smell of institutional cleaning solvents and collective sweat.Those of you who are my age know exactly the kind of bus I’m talking about. When you were either too scared or too smart to hitchhike on a trip of any distance, the bus was your likely mode of transportation. Anyway, you’re getting on the bus and you see only a couple of open seats.So, where do you sit?Sitting next to the first open seat is George Bush, the incumbent president. His seat and the vacant one are, of course, on the right.A couple of rows back is another open seat. In the seat adjoining sits John Kerry, the Democratic Party’s candidate for president. And yes, those seats are on the left.Way in the back of the bus is Ralph Nader. And there’s an open seat beside him, too.So the question is, where do you sit?
Bush looks kind of intense. Not exactly friendly. Not exactly unsociable.Kerry looks, well, kind of intense. Not exactly friendly. Not exactly unsociable.Nader looks a bit more friendly than Bush and Kerry. In fact, he looks too friendly. He looks anxious. He kind of looks like the crazy uncle who can’t wait to talk with someone, anyone at a family reunion.So, where do you sit?You think to yourself, what do I know about Kerry? What do I know about Bush?Let’s see.Kerry is a Red Sox fan. Bush likes the Rangers. Won’t be talking about the World Series.Kerry likes to ski. Not sure about Bush.
Bush is a fisherman and he does a little hunting. I remember seeing something where Kerry referred to himself as a life-long hunter … but I’m not sure about that.Both are dads. Family guys.So, where do you sit?This is going to be a long ride. You’re going to have to listen to one or the other for a long, long time.There’s that Iraq thing, but you’re tired of hearing about that. And Korea … didn’t we deal with that about five decades ago?Bush is tough on crime. Seems like when he was in Texas they used to reduce the prison population darn near every week. Kerry’s a former prosecutor but isn’t big on the death penalty.Bush thinks Americans pay too much in taxes. Kerry says he’s going to raise taxes on the rich and give that to the poor. Your mind wanders for a moment. So where’s the Sheriff of Nottingham fall into this?
The bus driver brings you back to reality, “You’re going to have to find a seat. So make a decision, how ’bout it.”Geez. OK.There’s abortion. Bush says it’s bad. Kerry says it’s not good but ought to be legal. There’s that whole Christian right thing. And what do they say about rights for those with gender challenges? Can’t get married but you can join the army.Let’s see, Bush wants to lower health-care costs … or is that Kerry? Finally it hits you. Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe …You just elected the next president.Publisher Jim Morgan writes a Tuesday column. He can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 240, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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