The alarm clock woke me at 6am today and the sun was already shining through my window, warming my room.
Another day, positive and new
After making coffee I go to the front door, unlock and open it gingerly, trying not to wake Fettit. The rush of air from opening the door makes the air vent in his bedroom make a flapping noise and it always sets him straight up in bed.
I reach for the paper, and turn to close the door when two cactus wrens catch my attention with their loud vocals. They too recognize the beauty of this Arizona morning.
Opening the paper I see the headline, “President to receive French Medal.” My interest piqued, I start to read the article, “French President Nicolas Sarkozy is scheduled to present President Albert Gore the “Officier de la Legion d'Honneur,” or “Legion of Honor,” for his dedication to global human rights and environmental consciousness. The article is accompanied by a photograph of the president sitting at his desk In the Oval Office.
Instantly I flash back to nearly seven years before when the presidential election was held and all the chaos that surrounded it. Then Vice President Gore was in a fight to save himself from the unscrupulous tactics of his opponent, Governor George W. Bush, the merit less son of the former president who had little political experience and less than an eighth grade grasp of the English language.
Governor Bush was in the fight of his life and was calling in every favor he could and was bending every possible rule in order to hang on to his slight lead in the state of Florida. He knew that if every vote were to be counted he did not have a chance. His opportunity to be President of the United States would be dashed.
There were vote recounts taking place all over the state and he and his legal team were trying to thwart the efforts of local election officials by stopping them. It worked temporarily when the Bush friendly Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, in an obvious partisan move, ordered the recounts stopped. Soon after the Florida Supreme Court reversed the secretary’s decision, ruling against Mr. Bush. Undaunted, he pushed on to the United States Supreme Court, certain in his conviction that his father’s friends would help him prevail and the court would see things in his favor.
He was wrong. In American politics, every vote counts and therefore, all the votes need to be counted - so said the U.S. Supreme Court.
Soon after, it was announced that Vice President Al Gore had been elected President of the United States. He won with a majority of the American popular vote and the Electoral College. We would have at least four more years of continued peace and prosperity - the nation was optimistic.
I was blasted back to reality by Fettit’s entrance to the living room. He mumbled something as he passed on his way toward the kitchen in search of his first cup of coffee.
“President Gore is receiving France’s highest honor today in Paris,” I call after him. Again, he mumbled something incoherent. “What,” I shouted to him? He returned to the living room, stopped and just looked at me. “I can’t even have my first cup of coffee before you start,” he snarled at me.
He isn’t a morning person.
I decide to leave him alone and eventually he picks up the paper, turns a few pages, and asks, “Did you see on page 5 that George Bush is opening a Popeye’s in Crawford, TX? Junior, that is, not the former president.” There isn’t a picture, thankfully, but it mentions his new wife bought it for him. I still can’t believe he married Katherine Harris. The irony!”
That brings an enormous smile to my face. I’m thinking how much he deserves his fate. First he tries to steal the presidential election and then he was removed as Texas governor through a recall election. Later he was convicted of misappropriation of funds and manipulating (rigging) government contracts and served five years in prison.
His house of cards started crumbling after Hurricane Alberto, a deadly Category 5, devastated the Texas coast and caused $120 billion dollars in damage to the Galveston and Houston area. Nearly 2 million people were left homeless from the hurricane and the subsequent flooding.
Criticized for his lack of response, the people of Texas grew increasingly dissatisfied with his constant inaction and organized to remove him from office and it was only after he left office that his criminal ways were discovered.
“Well, I hope the two of em are very happy together and they’ve saved some of their parents’ money. The Popeye’s will close within a year. He has never been successful in any of his endeavors,” I respond.
“And on page six,” Fettit continues, “is an article on Dick Cheney. Remember him? He was Junior’s running mate in 2000 and Secretary of the Defense under his father?
“Yeah, what’s it say about him,” I somewhat disinterested ask.
Fettit starts laughing. “It says he is dead. He died in a condominium owned by a known male prostitute.”
“No way”, now I start to laugh, “get serious, what does it really say.”
“Does it show a picture of the guy? Is he cute, “I ask in the middle of my laughter.
“No, you freak, but it does say they believe he died of a heart attack induced by the use of Viagra and amyl nitrates.”
“He dies sniffing poppers and having sex with some hot male whore, and you are calling me a freak,” I taunt.
We both continue laughing and just then I hear the alarm go off. It wakes me up. The sun is already shining through my window, warming my room.
It’s another day.