Columns 2009

Our gal, Temporary Sal

Well, this has certainly been an interesting few weeks. First Ed McMahon dies and then, in rapid succession, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Karl Malden and Robert McNamara. Our celebrities are dropping like flies and, despite beliefs fostered by saturation coverage of Jackson as possibly being the second coming, he did not rise on the third day.

Then we have our politicians falling like flies, some of their own volition (see The Lovely Sarah Resigns and other fun fairy tales) and some because they find it ever so much easier to legislate morality for us little folk than actually following that morality in their private lives. Rich and powerful – you can be as sleazy as you wish. Poor and powerless – you’d better be only having sex with people the powerful have pre-approved for you.

Given this plethora of material to choose from for a column this week, I was literally paralyzed as to which to of these many fun topics to address. So, being an almost 21st century kind of gal, I went to my readers online to ask what they wanted to hear about. After all, they represent the little people that the media so breathlessly tells us feel Jackson’s death constitutes the worse day of their lives (may I just add here, they should be so lucky). They also represent the constituents of politicians who seem determined to show by deed just how low a person can get while still insisting they are worthy of public office. And, of course, our Governor (For-So-Long-As-It-Amuses-Her) Palin is at the very intersection of these two strains of politics and celebrity.

Because my phone kept ringing off the hook soon after what will forever be known in Alaskan political lore as the Lake Wasilla Surprise, I put a note on Facebook musing that I thought I’d stop answering and just change my phone message to say, “I don’t know why” or “Because she’s crazy.” Finally, I came up with “How the heck should I know? It’s not like she calls me over coffee to chat.”

This brought the response from one reader that I should simply have my message say “Because Todd is pregnant.” But I figured even people in the lower 48 who think Alaska is on another continent would know we couldn’t do that yet. So I thought this second suggestion was a better idea, “This saves us the cost of impeachment” – equally as untrue but more fun.

My initial response to Temporary Sal’s “only dead fish go with the flow” comment was to worry that maybe she was simply enraged over the fact that South Carolina seemed to be pulling ahead in terms of total bizarreness on the part of elected officials. Temporary Sal being the competitive kind of gal that she is, she decided to come out swinging if that’s what it took to bring the title back to Alaska. Talk about delivering a knock out punch! South Carolina’s governor would now have to resign and turn the reins of office over to his Argentine mistress in order to get the headlines back.

So why did our Temporary Governor really decide to hang up the oath of office and scoot off to other diversions? I honestly think there might be some credibility to the idea that she woke up that morning with a long and boring three-day weekend ahead and thought to herself, “What can I do to get the old blood moving?  Change my hairstyle? Create a new look with some spiffy contemporary eye shadow colors?  Resign as governor? Oh, that’s it. I’ll resign as governor. Then I can call a press conference and really annoy all those mainstream media people who report such nasty things about me and my family by making them miss the start of their three day weekend. That’s the ticket.”

Remember back in pre-history when we thought it didn’t get any weirder than Wally Hickel talking about listening to the little man in his head? Remember when we thought Frank Murkowski’s purchase of a jet against all advice was as disdainful as a politician could be towards the people he purportedly served? Well, move over guys. Temporary Sal is on the prowl and she has just upped ante.