Road Trip Nightmares
The familiar voice of the PA announcer filled the park: "And now, the moment you've all been waiting for. It's ... the racing presidents!" The crowd roared, but I ignored the rest of the announcement. I'd seen it all before. Let the rookies and rubes watch the big screen.
But then, I heard something different from the PA: "And Herbert has stopped for a hot dog, while Tricky Dick has bugged the three competitors!" What?!? So I raced down to the front row, better to see the action. And there they were, some 20th-Century Mount Rushless: Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Woodrow Wilson.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Hoover and Carter were in the lead, running neck and neck; each ramrod straight and stiff. But, being one-termers, they obviously couldn't go the distance: Carter stopped by the right-field stands to put on a sweater, and with finger wagging, sternly lectured the children in the front row. Hoover stopped in his tracks, and gloomily sunk into a deep, deep depression.
Nixon was the one! He was miles and miles ahead of his opponent; an overwhelming winner. But three-quarters of the way through the race, he abruptly quit.
It was Wilson's for the taking. But as he approached Screech and the Geico Gecko, he slowed (muttering something about "the race to end all races"). From nowhere, Mrs. Wilson appeared from the stands and finished the race for him.
*** I awoke with a start, covered in sweat. "That's the LAST chili half-smoke I'll ever eat," I vowed, "and I'll never listen to Parker again." After I calmed down, I settled back into an uneasy sleep, knowing the road trip will end soon. ***
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