It has recently been brought to my attention that I was once six years old and part of a classroom of first-graders. Of course I knew this, but not in any sort of detail. I’m always amazed at the way other people remember things from that part of their lives. How they have retained room to maintain lasting memories of trivial things from decades ago is astonishing, and commendable. Most of the things I remember from my first few years exist because they are recorded on VHS, and I’m remembering them through the lens of the antiquated, 600-pound home video recorder that was used to capture them. Nonetheless, I was once six, and part of a classroom project called “Future Presidents.”
This was my rendering of me as the President. Rotund, handless, wearing a cape, flipper-footed, and damn-near bald. I have admittedly spectacular dimples but no eyebrows, and a nose curiously proportioned like a lowercase “d.” The person who put this photo on Facebook for my viewing pleasure found it humorous that I decided everything in the photo needed labeling, including the text. I find it quite helpful, because holy crap I’m a bad artist.
What does a good President do, aside from standing on grass among low-flying birds, ominously close clouds and a devastatingly hot sun while smoking a Presidential cigar? According to the text, he ensures people pick up garbage, and makes sure “people don’t start fires just to be mean.”
Is that really something that happens? Altruistic arson? I don’t know where six year-old me developed such a curiously specific aversion to fire, but good on me. I don’t recall Obama or Bush or Clinton or Reagan addressing the oppressive mean-spirited fire problem that plagues this great country in any of their State of the Union speeches.
I’m not sure whether Presidential-me is sticking out his tongue, or if I have some sort of Kirk Douglas butt-chin, but it’s regal either way and sets me apart from other “rresidents.” It almost makes up for the devastating lack of hair.
All in all, I think the attitude advertised by this graphic is just what we need in this country. I knew it in 1991, and I know it now. So I’m presenting this to you, my dear constituents, and asking that you keep these values in mind as you prepare for the 2016 election. Don’t worry about health care, international wars, gun control, or the Keystone pipeline. Forget about infrastructure and jobs and foreign policy. Think not about the Iran Nuclear Deal. Just pick up your garbage and stop setting things ablaze, stop to enjoy a cloud or two, let your capes flap proudly in the wind, and for the love of God, stop being mean.