In fourth grade I campaigned to be the school vice president. The whole thing is a joke anyway, but somewhere along the line, some administrators thought it would be fun to have class commanders-in-chief. It's all pomp and circumstance. A puppet organization. But whatever.
And I don't think I was ever interested in being Eisenhower Elementary's fourth grade vice-president (only fifth graders can go for president). But the challenge of the campaign appealed to me for some reason. (I'll occasionally get random projects and latch on like there's no tomorrow) And I wasn't too interested in making a name for myself on Elementary Hill.
So, I signed up to campaign. I wrote the speech, carefully memorizing every bit and bop. It was 24 karat stump-speech gold. It started with "Hi, I'm John Stuart..." and I don't remember the rest. But obviously a gripping oration.
Campaignees present their speeches in front of the whole school. One at a time. Down the line.
For my presentation, I cut out a two-dimensional sports car from a massive piece of cardboard. It was yellow with red flames. Kind of a '57 Chevy look.
For my entrance music, I had the DJ play 409 by the Beach Boys. "She's real fine, my 4-0-9..." Truly classic. And I borrowed my cousin's motorcycle helmet. The full get-up.
And so I shuffled out on stage, pretending to drive the cardboard ride with the music blasting. My friend Bryan was behind the car. He held it up during my golden keynote.
And I only messed up once. Mixed up some words. No biggie.
And that was it. My moment of fame. They tallied votes later that day.
Teachers' kids won both the Prez and VP slots. Obviously it was rigged. My supporters called for a recount but their groanings fell on deaf ears. And there was an outcry for serious campaign finance reform, but it met a similar fate.
But honestly, I didn't care. I tried. And that's all I really wanted to do.
And thus, my political career went down in a blaze of golden glory. Cardboard cars, Beach Boys and all. And I haven't missed it since.