Will Arnold run?

Published 9:39 am Thursday, June 11, 2015

“I don’t know how they’re going to get all of them on that plane!” Big John Hudson burst through the front door of the diner, and threw his cap down on the table with the gusto of a lumberjack splitting balsa wood logs. “I’m thinking there’s getting to be too many of ‘em.”

Jimmy put down his fork for just a moment to ask, “Too many of who, to do what, on what plane? I don’t really care, but I know Harry wants to know.”

Big John Hudson likes to stir things up when he joins the Circular Congregation Breakfast Club. Jimmy likes to assume the stance of indifference, while fighting off the urge to know more about Big John’s pronouncements. Harry doesn’t want to be bothered, but gets sucked into the conversations, anyway.

“I’m talking about the plane that takes all of the Presidential candidates to all of those campaign whoop-ti-doos. There must be 20 people running for president. They all head to Iowa, then to New Hampshire, then back to Iowa. Since they’re all going to the same places, I figure it makes sense if they all used one plane. Arnold, if you’re going to run for President, you’d better make some kind of an announcement soon. I don’t think there’s going to be enough room left.”

Arnold Tobin has been toying with the idea of running for President. Last election cycle he stuck his toe in the political waters, asking folks to write-in his name for any office they felt him to be worthy, or capable, or at least not as bad as any of the other guys. He ran his campaign on the promise of doing absolutely nothing, as a means of keeping things from getting any worse. He ran a gallant campaign, garnering most of the “anti-everything” contingent (Jimmy voted for him — twice).

“What are your chances of winning?” asked Harry, in a thinly veiled tone of sarcasm.

“I’m thinking that, if 20 people are running, I have just as good of a chance as at least nineteen of ‘em.”

Harry couldn’t find any flaw in Arnold’s math. When you’re right, you’re right. He went back to his ham and cheese omelet and tried to ignore the rest of the conversation.

“I don’t need a seat on that airplane. I’m going to run my campaign like what’s-her-name. I’m not going to campaign against all those folks. I’m just going to go to campaign dinners and raise money. I’m pretty sure that’s why all these folks are running, anyway. They can’t be expecting to win. They just want the campaign donations.”

“Makes sense to me,” chimed in Firewalker. “If I remember right, those guys from Pennsylvania, Texas, and Arkansas — along with what’s-her-name from Chicago, or New York, or maybe it was Arkansas, I can’t remember — all ran four years ago and didn’t win. Last time, some of ‘em quit after just a few primaries. Now, they’re right back at it — acting as if they expect to win this time. What happens to all the campaign donations when they drop out of the race? Do they have to give them back, or do they get to keep them?”

Harry put down his fork and looked up from his omelet. Arnold might just be on to something. “Do you need a campaign manager?” he asked, as he pondered the possibility of soliciting money from the “I Don’t Really Care” contingent.


Larry Wilson is a mostly lifelong resident of Niles. His optimistic “glass full to overflowing” view of life shapes his writing. His essays stem from experiences, compilations and recollections from friends and family. Wilson touts himself as “a dubiously licensed teller of tall tales, sworn to uphold the precept of ‘It’s my story; that’s the way I’m telling it.’” He can be reached at wflw@hotmail.com.