Have you lived such an exemplary life that you could run for governor of your state? How about state senator? Village trustee? Dogcatcher? Or would the investigative ferrets find something embarrassing that you never thought in a million years anyone would discover? So you would have to withdraw humiliated, taking your whole family and your remaining reputation down with you like a house of cards?
After this recent Kerik appointment debacle, I got to thinking about my own life and realized that the longer I live, the less chance I probably have to be "vetted" for any kind of office. [I wonder how soon "vetted" will appear in dictionaries?]
In fact, I should be careful running for the mailbox, let alone any sort of political campaign.
Luckily I don't have a need for power lunches with power brokers wearing my power suit. Raising children taught me about real power. I also don't have that unquenchable, burning desire for a life of public service that Bill Clinton talks about. I already gave at the office -- schmoozing people I couldn't stand and saying things I didn't mean. Although I haven't had sex with any interns. A medical student, yes, an intern, no.
So, now you're wondering, just what kind of dirt in your background do you have, Mrs. Linklater, which would preclude you from running for a seat in, say, Congress?
Okay, here --
I've been arrested. But not for anything feloniously glamorous like a sit-in or an anti-war protest demonstration, which have become badges of honor over the years. No, I got arrested for not having my AirTeam Pollution sticker.
When they first required cars to pass pollution tests in my state, I just ignored the notices. I didn't even open them, thinking I would get to the facility eventually. For whatever reason, I had no sense of urgency. But inside those notices were more and more warnings that read -- YOUR LICENSE WILL BE SUSPENDED IF YOU DON'T GET YOUR AIRTEAM STICKER NOW!!! TODAY!! DO NOT WAIT ANY LONGER!!!!!!! By the way, those warnings are posted on the outside of the envelope these days.
One evening, on the way home from work, I got stopped by a friendly police officer in my town who just wanted to tell me that one of my front lights was out. But he couldn't pull up my driver's license on his computer. So he gave me a warning and sent me on my way. Two blocks from my house I was swooped upon by two screaming squad cars who blocked the road. And I was arrested for driving on a suspended license. They took a shot of my mug. And printed my fingers. The works. Luckily I had $100 with me to post bond. Or this mom might have had to explain why she spent the night in jail. I think it's worth noting that the president of the park board came and drove me home.
You might think the arrest is what preys on my mind, but you would be wrong. It's my mug shot I don't want getting out. It's the pictures that'll get you every time. My hair was a mess and my makeup looked awful and I was so ticked off that this was happening, I wasn't in the mood to have my picture taken -- and it showed. Think Nick Nolte.
And there are other pictures. About fifteen years ago when I was still working in the city for a big ad agency I got a letter at the office with no return addess. Inside was a picture of two women standing on either side of a fireplace wearing only towels. They also had towels wrapped around their heads like turbans. Luckily, no private parts had been revealed in the taking of this photo. Frankly, I had absolutely no memory of posing for a picture in a towel -- ever. Certainly not in front of that fireplace, which I didn't recognize.
I did recognize one of the women as a former roommate from my life prior to my marriage. But the tall woman next to her wasn't me. Her face was similar. But, aha, those were definitely not my legs. However, whoever sent the picture thought they had sent a picture of me.
So chalk up a second inflammatory photo that somebody would send to the tabloids for a bundle of dough, claiming it was me. No doubt I would get my knickers all twisted in a knot trying to prove that my legs were much better looking than the ones in the snapshot so she couldn't be me. You can see where that might lead, with FBI agents comparing my calves and her calves. My ankles with her ankles. My thighs with her thighs. And the whole point would be missed. Whatever it was.
Which brings me to the remaining, and hopefully last, tabloid pictures that I am aware of. I had a boyfriend who was a photographer. He wanted me to pose nude for him. But I refused. Time after time after time. One evening we were at my apartment. I had just finished my shower when he knocked on the bathroom door. Braless, I opened the door. And he began snapping away. I covered up as much as I could as fast as I could. But he got almost a whole roll before I could shut the door and lock it. Damn motor drive cameras.
Easily, those were the most incriminating photos of all of them. But photos are just the tip of the iceberg in Mrs. Linklater's past. And since she doesn't feel like sinking like the Titanic just yet, she'll keep that other stuff to herself.
On the other hand, I'd kind of like to see how those candids in the bathroom turned out. That old boyfriend never shared them with me. Since it was thirty years ago, how bad could they look? I'd be more concerned if they were shot last month. Hmmm. Wonder if he put them in a vault somewhere just waiting for a moment like this.
Maybe there's an upside here. Perhaps I should declare my candidacy for the next election. Something small, like county commissioner.
That's one way to get copies of all those pictures. Finally I could put them in a nice album.
P.S. Below is a picture of former Illinois Republican candidate for senator, the very rich and handsome Jack Ryan. He had to withdraw from the race after winning the 2004 primary, because it turns out his divorce decree revealed that he liked sex clubs. Unfortunately, his former wife, the perfectly molded Jeri Ryan of Boston Public, didn't have the same proclivities.