This leads to that … and this and the other

Published 12:07 am Friday, December 12, 2008

We’ve got enough things in Alabama to worry about, and now we have to worry about people sending the governor a letter with white powder on it.

Turns out the substance in question was cleaning solution. It was a complete accident, investigators said.

But riddle me this: Why did 17 governors in America get the same type of letter at pretty much the same time?

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I have the answer. A kid from Montana (I’m picking Montana because, really, who the heck ever talks about Montana) decides to send governors around the country letters asking them to unify and support the new president, regardless of their party affiliation.

Words in the letter are misspelled. The signature is some crude mix between print and cursive that’s a different color ink than the body of the letter. It brims with youthful hope and idealism — the stuff people like Oprah and the gals on The View just gush over.

Except the letter never makes it to the steps of any of the capitol buildings because little James (or Jenny or Kenneth or Keisha) knocked over a laundry detergent box on the way out the door headed for the mailbox.

It’s a simple mistake. Mistakes happen. Life is like leather and another material that’s excremental in nature — they’re all tough.

The point is it’s a simple mistake. Except, maybe it’s not.

I have two points to make in all this. Yes I know, finally. Give poor old George L. a break. It’s been a long day.

First point: Who still uses powder laundry detergent? I mean, really. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but that’s like using tree leaves for toilet tissue. Maybe it’s just my super sensitive skin and me. Except I don’t have super sensitive skin, and I still know better.

Second point: Who’s to know what kind of chain reaction this is going to set off for little James (or Jenny or Kenneth or Keisha)? This could be the one event that turns that kid’s world upside down.

The little one waits for weeks to hear a reply from the governor. Not all of them. Little James (or Jenny or Kenneth of Keisha) knows better than to expect a response from all of them. These people hold the highest offices in their respective states. They are busy saving their own people and making it look good for a re-election bid.

And little Jimmy (or Jenny or Kenny or Keish) doesn’t really know that the governors won’t take the time to respond to the letters themselves. But just that any of those heads of state would mindlessly tell a clerk or personal secretary to “take care of this, please” would mean the little kid had pulled the entire moon through his/her bedroom window.

Another week goes by. Nothing. FBI guys have the letter locked up in a case and are laughing about how much more serious their jobs could have gotten.

Little Jim (or Jen or Ken or Shay) gives up hope. The kid is inconsolable. A once A student is a distraction in class and a poor academic performer.

A teacher recommends repeating a grade. In middle school, our little angel discovers acne, sex and mind-altering drugs before anyone else.

High school is a wash. College either causes a laugh or an argument.

A dream destroyed. A life ruined. All because mommy lost the coupon for the good laundry detergent and had to settle for the grainy, color-robbing stuff she hasn’t picked off a shelf in years.

And mommy is using coupons because daddy’s portfolio looks like that certain excremental material I mentioned earlier.

And mommy’s precious little angel doesn’t know that mommy just cursed one of the governors on the mailing list for signing some piece of legislation that will mean a lot more bargain hunting for their middle class home.

It’s the small things that mean the most sometimes.