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Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008

A Troubled Man for Troubled Times

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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, this here is the final think-piece of essay I can whip out in which maybe I can convince some of you’s undecided voters to swing my way and punt The Art Kumbalek Democracy Express 2008 all the way to the White House come Election Day, Nov. 4.

And how would I do? All I know is that because there were presidents named James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding and George W. Bush, no way in hell could I end up being the worst focking guy to have parked his butt in the Oval Office, thanks for asking.

Yeah yeah, it’s been a long, long hike on the ol’ campaign trail since I first came to grips with my desire to save this country as your elected leader of the free world. Not having a pot to pee in when it’s come to finances for the TV and radio advertising hoo-ha, I’ve had to rely on schlepping around the neighborhoods ringing the peoples’ doorbells so as to spread my kind of word.

And how has that gone? The overall effectiveness of my door-to-door campaigning is best summarized by the time I spent with a young man, Timmy the Punk. One day I knocked on the door of a duplex in an average working-class neighborhood. Answering the knock was a kid who couldn’t have been more than 10, 11 years old. In one hand he held a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon; in the other, a Playboy magazine; and he was puffing on a big fat cigar. I asked if his mom, dad or new-dad were home and he said, “What the fock do you think?” Thanks for asking.

Anyways, I think it would be prudent for me at this time to make my closing argument as to why you should pencil in the Kumbalek ticket next Tuesday at the ballot booth, besides the fact that you’ll win a 10-speed bike if you vote for me, which will sure as heck come in gosh-darn handy by next Easter Sunday when Big Oil somehow has regained their balance so that a gallon of gas runs you a good $12 bucks a pop.

(Hold on, I hear the phone. Got to get this. Could be a TV station asking to set up an interview.)

“Hey Artie, what the fock.” (It’s my buddy Little Jimmy Iodine. I’ll cut it short.)

“Jimmy, call me back later. I’m smack in the middle of an essay that’s due five minutes ago.”

“Yeah Artie, OK. I just wanted to check that you still got a couple campaign appearances from your newspaper coming up with the free beer and the nice, young women?”

“For Christ sakes, Jimmy. You’re my campaign manager and you don’t know from this? Listen: We got to be by the Fat Abbey joint on Juneau and Water Street, Oct. 30, and then by the Bootleggers on Old World Third Street, Victory Night Nov. 4, 6-8 p.m. both. And the beer isn’t exactly free, but certainly there’ll be the $2 ice-cold-bottled Art Kumbalek Focktoberfest from the Lakefront Brewery people. And the nice, young women, whether they’re free or not, that’s a topic for conversation, what the fock.”

“Sorry, Artie. I know I should know this stuff, but I’ve been busy. You have many trick-ortreaters over by you last Sunday?”

“No, Jimmy. Ever since I handed out mashed potatoes and gravy the other year, kids don’t come by me anymore.”

“Yeah Artie. My little nephew came by Sunday for the Halloween. He was in handcuffs and wearing a three-piece suit. ‘What the fock kind of costume is that?’ I said. He said he was going as the Ghost of Wall-Street- Tycoons Future. These kids today, ain’a? As he was about to leave and go begging for candy like some kind of Third World street urchin, I thought to impart some wisdom. So I handed him a narrow-gauge Phillips-head screwdriver and told him that if no one answers the door but there’s a car in the driveway, he should remember to depress the air nozzle thingamajig of each tire with the screwdriver until all four were as flat as the wheat fields of Kansas.”

“What the fock, Jimmy.”

“Artie, for these kids, it’s a pact based on trust. Trick or treat. Adults need to learn that if they don’t hold up their end of the bargain, there will be consequences. It’s the only way they’ll learn to become responsible citizens in the world, don’t you think?”

“Jimmy, we’re going to be really busy Nov. 4, so I hope you already went for the early voting.”

“With all due respect, not sure I’ve decided my vote, Artie. They say Obama’s a terrorist and now I hear he’s a card-carrying Communist to boot. But how come nobody mentions that McCain’s an Irish guy and that come a crisis, he might likely sell out this country in a New York minute for a pint of whiskey—and a cheap pint at that? And then there’s you. Which reminds me, here’s a little riddle you can put in the newspaper for all the kids that read your little article: What did the mother ghost say to the baby ghost when they got into the ghost car?”

“The ‘ghost car,’ Jimmy?”

“Don’t forget to buckle your sheet belt. Get it, Artie? Don’t forget to buckle your sheet belt. OK, see you later.”

Cripes, I’m out of space. OK, closing argument: Nov. 4, buckle up and go vote or shut forever the fock up. In five, ten, twenty-five, fifty, a hundred years, us voters today will have become ghosts who haunt this country by the way we vote this Tuesday one way or another, I sheet you not what the fock ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.

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