Thursday, October 28, 2004

Buried Treasurer

The fever pitch of the last week of another presidential campaign takes me back to my own foray into high-pressure politics – the year I ran for Treasurer of Sycamore Elementary School.

Treasurer was the office I felt most confident about winning, primarily because my only opponent was Sarita Aggarwal, whose ass I had recently smoked in the sixth grade spelling bee. I wasn’t popular enough to run for President (besides, what does the President of an elementary school really do? Rule on whether or not “bubble-ups” are legal on the handball court?), but I believed there was something perfect about a Jewish kid as Treasurer. I was sure that all of my goyish friends would feel likewise.

I didn’t have a platform per se, but I did make a rather bold campaign promise:

“Vote for Danny or He’ll Kick You in the Fanny.”

(See, even in elementary school I was a master of the English language?)

In lieu of professionally printed campaign placards and buttons (which I would have ordered if they hadn’t given the appearance of fiscal irresponsibility, a trait unbecoming of a treasurer), my mom took me to the craft store and bought me a huge piece of white butcher paper. I busted my Crayolas out of the Fat Albert lunchbox I kept them in and created a visual representation of my campaign promise: a little tushie in blue jeans with a Nike hightop sneaker swinging toward it. To the right of the image, I wrote in huge Burnt Sienna letters, “Vote for Danny or He’ll Kick You in the Fanny. Danny Evans for Treasurer.”

When I’d finished coloring, I stood back and admired my creation, fantasizing that this was how Picasso felt when he’d completed one of those pictures of people with their head on their right shoulder and their legs coming out of their navel. It was my masterpiece. The next day, I toted it to school and hung it up on a painted cinderblock wall facing the quad. It dwarfed Sarita’s sign and I knew this meant sure victory.

Later that day I was counting the pieces of gum stuck under my desk when the phone in my classroom rang. My teacher, Mr. Layton, answered it, said something to the caller and hung up. He then walked over to my desk.

“Danny, the principal would like to see you,” he said. “Do you know how to get to his office?”

Of course I knew. The principal’s office was near the nurse’s office, which is where I’d been the week before when I ate too many Fruit Roll-Ups and threw up on the monkey bars. My first thought was that the principal wanted to congratulate me on my artistic excellence, perhaps offer to frame it so that it didn’t get ruined by Sarita’s jealous friends.

I marched through the hallway swollen with self-appreciation. This was the greatest moment of my life, better even than the time I shot a rock out of my nose like a spaceship. I was already writing my acceptance speech. I was already thinking that I should wear a thick jacket to school on election day so that all of the pats on the back I was sure to get wouldn’t raise a blister. “I. Am. King!”

I practically floated to the principal’s office. When I got there, he invited me in and asked me to take a seat. He closed the door, sat down in the big leather chair behind his desk and let out a long, frustrated sigh.

“Danny,” he said, “I brought you in here because I need to talk to you about the sign you hung in the quad today.”

“Thanks, sir,” I said. “I’m really proud of it. The Nike swoosh came out great, didn’t it?”

“Well, there’s no doubt about your artistic talent. But I’m afraid I’m going to need you to take the sign down.”

“I totally understand,” I said. “I was thinking that a nice walnut or cherrywood frame would look great. But do you think the framers can have it back before election day?”

He cocked his head to the side like a dog that had just heard the distant ringing of the dinner bell. He was flummoxed.

“No, Danny,” he said. “I don’t think you understand what I’m asking you. I need you to remove the sign from school property. I’m afraid the slogan you’ve chosen isn’t appropriate for Sycamore Elementary. We don’t advocate violence here.”

I had no words. I felt a wave of sadness wash over me, and then a wave of anger, and then a wave of pure rage. I stood up to leave, my head hung low, but my bitterness over his censorship and disapproval quickly overcame me and I was forced to go all Howard Dean on his ass.

I climbed up onto his desk, grabbed him by the lapels and screamed into his face.

“Why are you trying to crush my political aspirations, you asshole? What have I done to deserve this? Do you know how long I worked on that sign? It took me an hour to wash all of the Periwinkle off of my hands after I colored that goddamn thing and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a thin-haired, spare-tire-wearing douchebag like you deprive me of my right to free expression and fair elections.”

I then reached down and pinched both of his nipples as hard as I could and twisted.

“Now whistle, you maggot! Whistle or I’ll twist them harder! WHISTLE!

That’s all I remember. But when I woke up in juvee, the warden told me Sarita had won the election.


At 1:40 PM, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Boy, when that story got out I figured you would have won by a landslide. He must have taken your name off the ballot. I would have voted for you.

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think there is a statute of limitations on elementary elections. Maybe you should have your lawyers count the chad.

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Dig-Dug said...

Was this school in Cypress, CA? Now we know that misguided elections didn't start in FL.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Frickin' principals and their principles. Why was he trying to squash your creativity? Stupid jerk.

What did he want, something corny like "Look to the Heavens. Vote for Evans?"

My sympathies.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

I like that one, "Look to the Heavens. Vote for Evans". It may not have gotten more votes in an elementary election, but it has a nice ring. Maybe you can run for some office now, you can probably get the moral majority vote with that one. And it looks like you might have a campaign manager and slogan writer.

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Fadedpaperdoll said...

too good D-money. guess what...I'm applying to papers in the bay.


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