How to Become President: Chapter 11

April 1, 2010



I am so thrilled. For tomorrow is the big day, the day he is to give me my answer. Sam–soon perhaps to be Uncle Sam.

My heart beats just as it did the night after I first told George of my love and I was waiting to speak to his father. Ah, me. What will Sammy say? And will tomorrow be the Day of Gracie?

If only I could have my loved ones about me to witness my triumph. But my brother, so impetuous, is already busy making stamps, and George is going to make his hole in one, on account of the club bar will be closed all day and he won’t have to treat. And daddy is still serving his third term.

But at least, even if I don’t win tomorrow, it makes me so happy to know that daddy is well provided for at last, now that he’s given up trying to invent that unbreakable glass for firealarm boxes and has found something steady. Alcatraz is just another home from home for him now.

“Hello, Warden,” my daddy always says. “Any mail waiting for me?”

Ah, dear diary, if those old walls could only talk. They’d tell him how to climb over them. Perhaps, who knows, tomorrow I may be elected and begin to follow in my dear father’s fingerprints.

Isn’t it funny? Here I am worrying about what tomorrow will bring forth, when I ought to be so sure. After all, I’ve done everything a girl could. The ballot boxes are all stuffed with sage dressing, the table is groaning under its load of delicious resolutions, and the five hundred white Rolls-Royces are waiting to take my voters to the polls–voters who are going to put a check next to my name and I hope they remember to make it out to cash.

The last Tuesday in October! After all, little book who knows all my secrets, I can’t lose. For the other parties are going to be so surprising they’ll be just sick when they pick up the newspapers and find that I’ve been safely elected a whole week before they’ve even held their own elections.

What will I ever do to pass the endless hours till tomorrow night? You’re asking me? That’s silly. You know I tell you everything. You just haven’t been listening, that’s all because I have it all planned out.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to pick up my mother, and we will drive out into the peaceful countryside and read the Burma Shave ads–backwards. They aren’t so funny that way, but it takes longer and before I know it the morning will be afternoon, or later.

Then I will go home and listen to the radio. Maybe I should have held my election on a Wednesday, because then I could listen to the Burns & Allen broadcast. I love to hear that George Burns when he says, “I’ll be back in a flash with more trash,” and I think Gracie Allen is the cutest thing, don’t you? So do I.

That night I will have a victory party and invite all the people who voted for me as guests. Those who didn’t vote for me will have to stay on the back porch and turn the ice-cream freezeer. Ice cream is good to serve for any party, of course, but what worries me is what to serve for dessert.

And then George will do his speech.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Surprise Party:

“I really don’t know what to say. Except that here on the eaves of Gracie’s elevation, I feel like a Chicago gangster–I’m just going along for the ride.

“All I’ve been doing lately is attending a lot of Gracie’s political banquets. A political banquet is an affair where they serve you food according to your importance. I’ve been bringing my own box lunch.

“Last night we were invited to a banquet and they threw me out the back door.

“I said, ‘Wait a minute, I’m George Burns.’ They said,’ Oh,’ and invited me in again. And threw me out the front door.

“For hours Gracie sits and tells how she’s going to balance the budget. How she’s going to lower taxes and raise wages. How she’s going to pay the national debt. And then she turns around and wants to borrow two dollars till Inauguration Day.

“It really gets tiresome, folks. I feel like a barber who shaves beards and cuts whiskers all day and then comes home and has to mow the lawn.

“Another thing Gracie is always talking about is what is necessary in this country. As far as I’m concerned, a necessity is just something I go without so Gracie can make a down payment on a luxury.

“But I hope Gracie is elected. I’d be a very handy man to have around the White House. I can do several things nobody knows about.

“I can eat grapefruit without squinting. I can shave without getting lather on my cigar. And I can act just as though nothing happened when some diplomat uses a guest towel. I’ve got to go now. I’ve got a headache and I’ve got to take it to Washington.

“Hello, Momma.”

Isn’t that the sweetest thing? But I’m worried about George. Whenever I have a few of the girls in for a press conference, he just hides his face and says he’s not going to make a White House Spokesman of himself.

But I’m an absolute Silly! Counting my chickens before their eggs have even been sat on. And now I’m all worried again.

I can’t help it, little diary. I haven’t been so upset since the first time George kissed me. It was in a canoe. I remember it so plainly. He pushed my hair back from my forehead and kissed me so reverently. He says that tomorrow Uncle Sammy will pin my ears back and give me a smacking. What memories you and I will share together!

Ah, tomorrow.

If it only rains!

Because my voters are the only ones who don’t know enough to stay in out of the wet.

It’ll be a mudslide!



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