Monday, November 16, 2009

The Palin-Clinton Coffee Klatsch

Half listening to the Sunday talk show clap trap, I thought I misheard Hillary Clinton when she said she had not yet met Sarah Palin, but wouldn't mind chatting with her over a cup of coffee. I couldn't believe these two pivotal political women weren’t personally acquainted, but then again, Sarah dissed Hil pretty hard for playing the gender card, or as Sarah called it: "whining." I guess it's not whining if you write it instead of say it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Death Hires a Sniper

Did Grandma Have it Coming?
© 2009 Leighann Lord

A 92-year-old woman in New York City was shot and killed in her own home by a stray bullet. Why did this happen? Was it a senior citizen love triangle gone wrong? Women live longer than men and the competition naturally gets fierce. Did she flirt with the wrong octogenarian, inciting a rival to grab her musket, fire up her power chair and motor out for a drive by? Who says Grannies can't get gansta?

here is an unpleasant but a distinct possibility that she brought this on herself. If you've read "The Secret" and subscribe to The Law of Attraction, then you know he had it coming. But what could a 92-year-old woman do to deserve such a dastardly demise: Medicare fraud, prescription drug running, cheating at Bingo, hubris? Maybe she got cocky. Wouldn't you? Living for so long, it's easy to think Death has overlooked you. And maybe it did.

Death, like the rest of us, is overworked and understaffed. I picture Death sitting in Starbucks checking his BlackBerry (because Death would have a BlackBerry, not an iPhone) going over his To Do List. (If you see Death as more of a traditionalist, perhaps he is reviewing his Franklin Covey Day Planner.) He sees he's forgotten to acquire Sadie. Already back logged up to his hoodie, Death subcontracts the job out to Disease.

Disease takes the gig because who turns down work in this economy? Swine flu is hot. The elderly are in the "at risk" category, but it's also the busy season. There are a lot of sick people with pre-existing conditions and no health insurance. So Disease sub-subcontracts the job to Violence. "Don't get fancy. She's 92. Make it look like an accident."

But as always, Violence is sloppy. With no oversight or quality control, a 92-year-old woman who probably should have passed peacefully in her sleep, was instead "accidentally" shot in the back by a kid young enough to be her great grandson.

The police caught the 18-year-old culprit. And one can only hope that if there is any justice in the world he will be found guilty and sentenced a minimum of 92 years. It's disconcerting to think that Sadie was eligible for Social Security and taking mandatory disbursement from her IRA's when her killer was still in diapers. They grow up so fast don't they?

If heaven is like school and people are grouped by age, Sadie will find herself in a room full of folks who were felled by heart attacks, strokes or pneumonia. She’ll be the only 92-year-old gunshot victim. When they tell their stories in turn, people will be shocked and awed when Sadie recounts, "I died when I was 92, bullet to the back. Yup, Death sent a sniper." Even in The Great Beyond that's got to add up to a lot of street cred. Who'd of thought dying in your sleep would be the wimpy way to go?
Leighann Lord is a standup comedian. See her perform 11/24 - 28 at Acme Comedy Company in Mineapolis with the Sheroes of Comedy! Check out her other upcoming shows @ Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Post Election Analysis: You Can't Lend Charisma

© 2009 Leighann Lord

The day after the election, my Dad was mad. He said, "You know who lost the election for Mayor? Obama!" he said not waiting for an answer. I was worried that senility had come for my Dad in the night. Barack Obama wasn't running for Mayor of New York City. That pseudo contest was between incumbent Michael Bloomberg and challenger Bill Thompson.

It turns out, my Dad was convinced that if the President had spent as much time stumping for Thompson as he did for "everybody else" Thompson would've won. It's easy to believe that especially given how close the race was. Apparently $100 million doesn't buy as much of a margin as you'd think. But Obama campaigned for the governors of New Jersey and Virginia, and they both lost. Extrapolating that out, it’s conceivable that if Obama had endorsed Thompson more vigorously, he could have lost by an even wider margin.

Republicans are cooing that this is a big win for them. And quite frankly they needed it. The Grand Old Party just hasn't been itself since the last presidential election. They are going through an identity crisis of pubescent proportions. Like a desperate 30 something -- the cockiness of their 20s a distant memory -- signing up on E-Harmony, they've been looking for something real to hold onto. But is this the big chink in The Obama Mystique they've been so desperately looking for? It could be.

It's a gross miscalculation to think that everyone in the Democratic party can wrap themselves in the cloak of change and ride the wave to elected office. The losses in Virginia and New Jersey prove that charisma isn't always a tradeable asset. It's like that really cute guy who ambles over, chats you up, and then asks you to go out with his not so cute friend whom you didn't notice over at the bar drooling in your general direction. It's the Trojan Horse, Cyrano de Bergerac, bait and switch. And the voters responded in TLC fashion, "No, I don't want no scrubs!" (The grammar checker on my computer insists that this sentence should read, "any" scrubs, but I’ll risk the grammatical error to preserve the intent of the artist.)

I love Barack, but don't misconstrue that for total agreement. I'm still way burnt that the First Dog isn't a mutt and I'm getting tired of hitting the snooze button on health care. That said, I dig Obama, not the Democratic party. There's a reason why I'm still a registered Independent. It helps me keep a healthy level of skepticism of both parties, and not drink too deeply of the ever-changing flavors of called they're pedaling to whomever might be listening at the moment.

In the New York City Mayoral election I was neither delighted by nor interested in either of the candidates. Bloomberg's third term power grab with the help of the City Council was nothing short of disgusting. His money scared off all possible challengers except Thompson. I wondered more than once if Thompson was brave or just plain crazy. Perhaps it was all one big show for the Public’s benefit. The election results already predetermine, the slim margin of victory thrown in for dramatic effect. But that's a little too conspiracy-theory even for me.

The pervasive feeling among the people I talked to about Thompson was, "Is he the best the Democratic Party has to offer? Really? Seriously?" I'm sure he's a nice, hard-working man. Even Mayor Bloomberg had occasion to comment that he was excellent in his job as Comptroller, but you can't fake chemistry.

Maybe Barack didn't campaign harder for Thompson because, deep down he knew it wouldn't do any good. With 2010 looming, big political promises still to keep, and the Republicans feeling good after their election day make over, maybe President Obama needs to keep a little charisma in reserve for himself.

Leighann Lord is a standup comedian. See her perform 11/24 - 28 at Acme Comedy Company in Mineapolis with the Sheroes of Comedy! Check out her other upcoming shows @ Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.