Well, we’ve reached the halfway point. I’m halfway finished writing a crappy novella. The good news there is that you’ll be halfway done reading excerpts from a crappy novella once you are done reading this post. Let’s get started, the sooner the better.
After the big announcement of Ray running for President, I was wondering, “Now what?” It seemed like a whole lot of work was ahead of us, and the bursitis in my knee was flaring up something awful with some wet weather we was having. I’m no quitter, but with football back on TV, watching the Iowa Hawkeyes go undefeated in September seemed like a lot more fun than knocking on doors or stuffing envelopes. And how about that 18-17 comeback win over the Iowa State Cyclones? I hate winning the game with a field goal, and they shoulda whipped those Cyclone asses more, but a road win sure as hell beats losing. And it was a honey of a whale of a ding-dong dilly of a game.
I know what you’re thinking — I should be an Iowa State fan since Okawana is closer to Iowa State than U of I. But I’ve always been a Big Ten fan, even though there’s 14 teams now in the conference. Ain’t that crazier than a Trump tariff? And why the hell is Rutgers part of the Big Ten? If you ask me, they should be part of one of them fancy conferences back east. I’d rather have Iowa State in the Big Ten so I can see them Cyclones get their asses whuppped every week by Big Ten teams. But Iowa State is in the Big 12, and they only got 10 teams. They can’t afford to lose any more. I say the Big Ten should give the Big 12 Rutgers and Maryland so the Big 12 can be the Big 12 again. Only having 10 teams in the Big 12 must be downright embarrassing. Hey, here’s a joke. Why is it called the Big 12 and not the Big Twelve? Because them Big 12 students are so dumb they can’t spell twelve. I made that one up myself.
(some more football jokes omitted)
Well, the good news is that the Hawkeyes started 4-0. The bad news is that the Republicans started canceling primaries. They plan to just give those state delegates to Trump for his convention. That just don’t seem very fair. They canceled the primaries in Arizona, South Carolina, Nevada, and Kansas. Now Arizona is too dang hot, so we hadn’t planned on campaigning there anyways. South Carolina is way too far for Uncle Ern’s truck to make it there and back without breaking down. Even if it did make it all the way, we’d go broke paying for the gas and oil. We can’t show our faces in Nevada, cause I’m not sure if Ray is still in trouble with the law for counting cards in that casino or not. He was detained after a card counting incident, but he tucked inside my shirt and we walked clean out of there, despite Ray giggling up a storm. But winning delegates from Kansas was definitely in Ray’s plans, and canceling the Kansas Republican primary would put a major dent in Ray getting the delegates he needs for the Republican nomination.
(more boring Kansas references omitted)
A couple more big obstacles also popped up along the way. Those obstacles got names of Mark Sanford and Joe Walsh. I weren’t too worried about Joe Walsh until Ray told me this Joe Walsh isn’t the musician that goes by that name. I never liked him or The Eagles all that much. They were supposed to be country rock, but if you ask me, they needed more country and less rock. No, this Joe Walsh is supposably some former Trump supporter and Tea Party member of Congress that got himself voted out after just one term. He doesn’t sound very successful, although Ray tells me he had his own radio show for a while. Well, we listen to a lot of radio when Uncle Ern drives us around, and we never heard him. I’m thinking that the Joe Walsh from The Eagles would be a tougher opponent.
Now Mark Sanford is a different story. He sounds like a big-time politician. He was in Congress for a while in South Carolina. Then he was elected to be Governor of South Carolina. He served as governor for a while, until he disappeared. Poof! Just like that, he was gone. Nobody knew where he was. His wife wasn’t even worried. Some folks said he was out hiking the Appalachian Trail by himself, which can be dangerous enough. But it turns out he was in Argentina seeing some lady friend of his. And he was married with kids at the time! The craziest thing is that when he came back, he confessed, and went right back to being governor, although the husband thing didn’t work out. He got himself divorced and engaged to that foreign lady. After his term as governor ended, he went and got himself elected to Congress again. Just like that, despite all those shenanigans. That’s what makes me think he’s a big-time politician.
(yadda, yadda, yadda)
Ray got Uncle Ern to agree to take us to the Polk County Steak Fry. I know you’re thinking that’s a Democratic event. But Democrats tend to be real nice folks, and they’ll let anyone in who can pay the 35 bucks. They even let me and Ray in on one ticket. If anyone tries to stop us from using just one ticket, Ray always just goes limp and I tell the ticket taker we got to get in and get him some water and meds or he’ll die. Works every time. Like I said, Democrats are real nice, so they just gave us a funny look and waved us on in. We treated Uncle Ern to a ticket, and I knew his mouth was watering for a fried steak like Alice serves up at the diner.
But we had some work to do first before we ate. We snuck in plenty of campaign flyers for Ray, so we went about handing them out to people who didn’t look 100% committed to any candidate. We stayed away from the Bernie backers though. They can be a little bit too aggressive for our taste. We weren’t looking for any fist fights, even though we have an advantage with 3 fists. And we avoided the Yang Gang. They can be downright annoying, although Ray and I could each use a grand a month. I can’t deny that I didn’t stop and listen a bit to his speech.
(political commentary omitted)
And on top of Democrats who refused to switch parties, we had to deal with old Ern who was ornerier than a wildcat in a burlap sack. It turns out that the steaks weren’t fried at all. They were grilled! Talk about deceptive advertising. Oh, was he pissed. Uncle Ern was looking for a nice chicken-fried steak like Alice serves at the diner. He usually gets it smothered in her thick brown gravy. Alice won’t tell anyone what the lumps are in her gravy, but those lumps are definitely delicious. Anyways, Ern had to settle for a grilled steak. He groused about the steak all the way home, along with them Democrats not having enough pies at their steak “fry.”
(scintillating finish omitted)
That does it for Chapter Five. Ray and Gary are hitting the campaign trail for some canvassing in Chapter Six. Stay tuned to find out who they run into.