By DON VOWELL
Every senior discount is now available to me. This month I turned 65. Retirement is as wonderful as most people say it is. The one annoyance is that people keep asking what I am doing to keep busy.
None of your beeswax!
I’d never have quit if I wanted to be busy. This maddening American insistence on industriousness is starting to get to me, so I’ve decided to revive my campaign for mayor. That should make people think I’m busy.
With your help we can do this cheaply. My 2004 campaign materials can be very simply altered to read 2014. I only need to win over just more than half of Keizer’s registered voters, so the necessary contributions shouldn’t harm your household budget too badly.
Now that time is available, I can more methodically orchestrate this assault on Keizer’s highest office. The world is such a wonderful place that you can now fund everything through something called Kickstarter. As soon as some helpful neighborhood thirteen year-old tutors me through the Internet stuff and the dollars begin to roll in, I expect to formally announce my candidacy at some lush banquet with champagne, caviar and a chicken in every pot. Perhaps at the Grange Hall.
Publicity is everything. The morning paper gave me an idea. I will join all the other hacks, grandstanders, backbenchers, prima donnas, and has-beens in offering a televised rebuttal to the State of the Union speech. Even if I am a few weeks after the fact, it will improve my media presence about as much as it does all the other losers.
My pledge to the citizens of Keizer is that I will always tell you the truth. Let’s clear up one little hurdle right now: retirement usually means a significant loss of income. As advance notice to contractors and service providers, let’s just say that your efforts to win this mayor’s approval for lucrative business dealings will grow in persuasiveness in proportion to the size of, um, the accompanying “gifts.” It’s pretty crude to see this as bribery—it is merely acknowledging the shameful financial plight of America’s senior citizens.
A serious candidate for Mayor of Keizer should have some vision for the future of this city. Hello! I’m a senior, not even sure how much future I have. The morning paper says that 80-year-old John McCain is considering running for re-election. That’s a six-year term. This addiction must be more powerful than we outsiders can ever know.
As far as a vision that assures the growth of Keizer, we might get ahead of the rest of Oregon by starting now to design a marijuana theme park. By not waiting for the play-it-safe communities holding out for legalization, we can hit the ground running. I’m sure lots of corporate sponsorship would immediately step forward—Doritos, ice cream and the like. Again looking ahead, we might have a small but dignified wedding chapel on site, ready to marry whatever two sentient beings come in the door. Business is business.
I look forward to your support in this endeavor. Remember it takes a lot of funding to show how much you care about your civic responsibility. Even if I fail to get elected, I will always delight in your generosity.
(Don Vowell lives in Keizer. He gets on his soapbox regularly in the Keizertimes.)