Everybody remembers when they were the target of an off-color remark, or on the defensive in an argument with a friend or neighbor. It is always five minutes later, or even the next day when we finally think of the reply we should have made, but missed a great opportunity to settle things. Well, I had a similar feeling this weekend after visiting friends in the North Carolina town of Black Mountain. The governor of the state made a drive-by visit, glad-handing folks and offering himself for photo opportunities.
My host and I were in two of the stores in downtown Black Mountain that the governor visited. It was interesting to watch the process unfold. It was just like what we see on tv, the state executive greeting people, and pausing for pictures. It was tempting to get into one of the lines to chat with the gentleman.
No, I did not moon the governor. I didn’t even approach the good man to introduce myself. Since I am from Georgia, and he is the governor of North Carolina, I felt the best use of his time was schmoozing local voters. I am sorry I did not take the opportunity. He had no way of knowing where I was from, and he would not have questioned me on that score.
Right after the governor left one store, I did introduce myself to some of the local store employees as the Governor of Georgia. I think one lady believed me.
My retrospective intent is not honorable, either. Looking back, I wonder just what statement or question I could have made that would totally surprise His Honor. He is such a nice looking guy, energetic and caring for the populace. What could I have said, or asked, that would have ruined his day?
My first thought was the following contemporary subject: “What is your position on medical marijuana?” Now, this is not as contentious as it used to be, but the follow-up question could bring things into sharp focus, as “So, you are for legalizing all drugs?”
If you are in a liberal town like the one I was visiting, you would think that the governor would be expecting something like the marijuana gambit. You could use the more risky opener, “What is your position on legalizing prostitution?” Some of us guys might think that funny, but one should be careful when asking the governor a question such as this. Television cameras could capture you in the act of being pummeled by the governor’s security detail. Things could get messy.
Of course, there is always the old, “Your fly is open.” line. It works every time.
I would like to hear other off-the-wall questions or comments for politicians. What are your favorites?