What makes Arnold Tobin run?
Arnold Tobin is an on-again/off-again candidate for public office. In the past few election cycles, Mr. Tobin has conducted unofficial write-in campaigns for any office the voting populace deemed worthy of his talents. To date, he has yet to win any election.
This reporter sat down over breakfast with Mr. Tobin in an attempt to ascertain his take on the current Presidential race. The following is a synopsis of that conversation:
Interviewer: Mr. Tobin, first off, thank you for taking the time to speak with me, today.
Mr. Tobin: No problem, Lonny. I’ve been out of work since about the middle of the recession. I have lots of time for conversations and not so much money for eating out. Thanks for buying breakfast.
Interviewer: What did you do for a living before the recession?
Mr. Tobin: I was a consultant, Lenny. I specialized in telling people I didn’t know, working in businesses I knew nothing about, how to do things differently. I used terms like “paradigm shift,” “right sizing,” and “forward thinking” to convince captains of industry that, since it was different, it had to be better. Unfortunately, when a gazillion gainfully employed people became gainfully unemployed, there wasn’t much use for consultants — and those captains of industry became privates.
Interviewer: Well, Mr. Tobin…
Mr. Tobin: Please, Lester, call me Arnold. I prefer the informality. Are you going to finish your sausage links?
Interviewer: Okay then, Arnold, from all reports, the recession is over and the nation’s economy is in a rebound.
Mr. Tobin: Who made up those reports, Linden? People that are working? Sure things are looking better — for them. My dad always told me that, “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” When most of those demoted privates of industry lost their jobs, they became consultants. It looks better on a resume than “Out of Work Bum.” These days, there are more “consultants” in this country than sheep herders. Is it any wonder I can’t find work in my chosen field?
Interviewer: Can you back up those statistics?
Mr. Tobin: Sure, Louis, if I could afford a flash drive. There are an awful lot of sheep in this country. But, the longer someone is out of work, the less likely they’ll remain a sheep. Hunger can turn a sheep into a wolf.
(It was at this point that I decided to focus the interview on Arnold Tobin’s take on the current Presidential campaign.)
Interviewer: Tell me, Arnold, what is your take on the current Presidential campaign?
Mr. Tobin: Wow, Lance. Let’s break the fourth wall, here. I saw that question coming a couple of paragraphs back. Voters all across this great land of ours are fed up with what’s been happening in government at all levels. The only people making any money, anymore, are the politicians. Why do you think so many people throw their hats into the political ring? Not for the good of the country. Not because they think they can win. Not because they have a vision for turning things around. They do it for book deals and consulting jobs at the news outlets.
Interviewer: Are you considering another run for office?
Mr. Tobin: Why do you ask, Leonard? Is there an opening on the staff at your newspaper? Is your editor looking for a consultant? Do you drug test? Will I have an expense account? I’ll take the job, but only if I can work from home in my pajamas.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.