Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Southern Fried Fairy Tale - version 2.0

 (Author's note: Take this story for what it is worth, probably nothing but if you ask me real life has already gotten weirder and more dangerous than my puny imagination.)


The reason my family and I went into a self-imposed exile from our home state of South Carolina was the result of a complex chain of events that while improbable, exponentially fed on itself creating a situation so inherently unstable I began to fear for my family's safety. Looking back on it now, I have come to believe I have only myself to blame for essentially throwing that small pebble into the ocean that has created a political tsunami unmatched in American history. What was the minor event that started this chain reaction that threatens to make a mockery of all we hold dear? It was a phone call I received around two-thirty one Saturday morning three years ago.

It is almost an absolute of modern life that phone calls that early are never good news but for my wife and I, it is something we both have come to expect. As the ringing began reassembling my tired consciousness for a couple of seconds I toyed with the idea of not answering it. There was a high probability I already knew who was calling and as I lay in bed the thought occurred to me that for once I ought to let the caller figure his own way out of whatever mess he created for himself. Unluckily for me, it was my wife who forced me to once again do my duty.

“Well,” my wife Diane said groggily as she used her right hand to pop the side of my head before turning over. “You better answer it before Billy goes and does something else stupid that might really cause some problems.”

On the face of it her statement was true, Billy Wainwright, my only cousin and de facto responsibility given the nature of my mother and aunt's close relationship, could cause a whole spectrum of disasters just by walking into a room. Just to avoid, or more than likely, mitigate possible legal and liability issues that my cousin always seems to become entangled, I always answer the phone no matter how much I so desperately wanted to ignore it. That being said though, my wife's statement had more to do with the fact she wanted me to do something to end the ringing so she could go back to sleep.

For those two reasons, I sat up in bed and picked up the receiver. “Hello,” I mumbled actually finding the naivety to hope it might be a wrong number.

“Hey Charlie,” Billy answered back with a tone of voice that was his patented combination of shame, and sadness, mixed with a never-ending but irritating supply of child-like enthusiasm. “The deputies here at the strip club said I had to call someone to come take me home.”

Anyone who didn't know Billy might have asked him just what in the hell had he done that ended up involving several deputy sheriffs and Watertown County's only strip club but I figured that was a story I best save for the drive home. “Okay Billy, I'll be there in a few minutes,” I said wondering where I had laid my wallet and whether or not I should bring the credit card Aunt Sally, Billy's mom, had gave me for just these sort of occasions.

The saddest thing about my cousin was that his life peaked during high school. During those seven years he took the Watertown High School football team, the Raccoons, to three state championships. Something it had never done before or since when state law and simple practicality forced the principle to graduate Billy. As much as the football coach literally cried at the feet of the school district superintendent trying to persuade her to let Billy have one year of school, you simply couldn't have a twenty-something man playing with kids in their teens or be a student when some of his teachers were the same age.

For Billy, it boiled down to the fact that despite rugged good looks and an overabundance of charm so potentate he easily passed several of his high school classes by cajoling the panties off some of those teachers, he simply wasn't equipped to handle a world far more complicated than he could conceive. Having known Billy for all his life I can say honestly that there has never been a time when his intentions were based on hate or selfishness. He just could never grasp the overall concept of cause and effect, which given his humble origins usually kept his adventures small and only dangerous to his friends and family.

Having graduated high school, Billy felt the call of duty to his country and enlisted in the United States Army. As kids we watched plenty of war movies with Billy always saying he wanted to be a soldier. Of course, to Billy being soldier meant characters like Rambo, John Wayne, and Chuck Norris, all action heroes whose exploits never reflected the true nature of serving in a military where teamwork, constant training, and prolonged periods of boredom were the reality.

The dreams of military glory for Billy ended abruptly just a couple of days into basic training when the Drill Instructor got in his face screaming a mind numbing number of insults and instructions. Billy's good old country boy instincts came into play resulting in a broken jaw for the DI and a couple of months in the stockade for him. Billy somehow returned to Watertown with a general discharge and expressing an interest in attending the local community college with the goal of becoming a mechanic for a NASCAR racing team.

By that time I was starting my second year at Clemson University and gratefully disengaged from the constant family concern about just what Billy would do with his life. That changed a couple of months later when another student from Watertown showed me the local newspaper, complete with a picture of my cousin on the front page with his eyebrows burnt off along with an expression on his face suggesting intense befuddlement and utter surprise. With a truly morbid curiosity I read the article which stated that Billy was in class with several others one morning when he decided to modify the fuel injectors on a car used for training to take aviation-grade fuel.

The result was an explosion and fire which destroyed the auto repair shop along with the neighboring cosmetology and real estate classrooms. Watertown Community College, never a bastion of the liberal arts nor sciences, was so damaged that a huge majority of the student body was told to go home and not return until it could be rebuilt.

Luckily none of the student body or teaching staff were hurt in the incident, except the automotive instructor who took up drinking again after realizing leaving Billy in the classroom might just amount to the worst mistake of his life. The Watertown county council also took a big hit after the cut rate insurance company they used balked at the idea of paying for to rebuild the destroyed facilities. This forced the council to shell out over a million dollars in funds and use a backdoor method to raise the local sales tax to begin reconstruction. This being South Carolina, the members of the county council were defeated in the next election and forced into hiding by irate taxpayers who generally feel higher education is a waste of their hard earned dollars.

With higher education behind him, Billy began bouncing around different low paying jobs doing his best not to cause any new calamity. Even worse were Billy's relationships with various ladies in the county, all of such low quality, to Aunt Sally, that it left her breathless and near despair each time he brought one home.

It didn't take Aunt Sally long to figure out a procedure that would minimize the emotional and physiological trauma of meeting Billy's new love interest. Once Aunt Sally knew about Billy's new girlfriend she would ask him for the number of tattoos on the girl's body and if she had served any significant jail time and then rush down to the nearest liquor store and buy an amount of wine proportional to those numbers. If this girl had children, Aunt Sally would forget the wine and go straight to bourbon, usually a pint for each kid with an upper limit of a gallon if the she had over four.
My mama, in an attempt to give her as much support as possible, had an agreement with the owner of the liquor store to call her if Aunt Sally started making what seemed to him too many visits. With Billy's taste in women being consistent, the poor guy had long since been forced to add mama to his speed dial.

Aunt Sally and my mama being very close and with no other siblings for Billy or me, had since elementary school drafted me into taking care of my cousin. For both of them I did my best and since Billy was easy to get along with normally, it wasn't hard as long as he didn't do anything out the ordinary. Billy's dad, Uncle Henry, was especially thankful for me looking after his son. Uncle Henry was a true Christian in every sense of the word and over the years had spent many a night on bended knees praying for his son. I love my Uncle Henry but I always felt uncomfortable with the fact that he was so sure that his son was destined for greater things because Jesus came to him in a dream one night saying so. I figured the All Mighty had far better judgment than to involve my cousin in much of anything beyond making a phone call to order a pizza, so I let the whole subject slide when I was around the man.

Thankfully, my drive along U.S. Highway 17 to the strip club was uneventful and I pulled into the gravel parking lot stopping next the establishment's huge neon sign made up of a female figure which every fifteen seconds or so flashed different sections to simulate getting naked. The sign, while tacky in the extreme, had long since become part of the local scene with most everyone affectionately calling the electrically illuminated lady “Electric Betty.” While the strip club itself has closed and reopened many times with different names since it was first established in the early 1960's, Electric Betty has been the one constant as the years have slowly passed. It has been both a navigational beacon for people going to or from Myrtle Beach when Highway 17 was largely undeveloped and given a hint of what a naked woman might look like to an uncountable number of prepubescent boys feeling the first stirrings of onrushing hormones.

Electric Betty had survived numerous attempts by local Christian groups over the years to have her removed because of the immoral influence it was having on the youth of the area. The fight for Betty's continued existence all culminated when one pastor in the early 1980's had gone as far to chain himself to the electrical disconnect at the base of the sign. With a camera crew from the local television station recording the event, he promised to stay there without food or water until the heathen sign was torn down. The one thing the pastor didn't take into account was that his demonstration of peaceful civil disobedience was taking place during the summer months when sudden and violent thunderstorms were common. Sure enough about an hour into his protest a single stray dark cloud lazily drifted over the area with the pastor going through the religious motions to have God or his angels send it away.

As the little cloud flashed lightning inside it, a few in the pastor's support group tried to talk him into abandoning his efforts but he refused. Saying God would protect him and his just cause the pastor stayed chained to the sign despite their warnings. With wiser heads then deciding to withdraw to safety it was at that moment a brilliant flash of lightening struck Electric Betty, severing the chain the pastor put around the disconnect box and sending him flying thirty or forty yards into a medium-sized ornamental pond the strip club owner at that time had installed to “class up the joint.”

The little angry thunder cloud then drifted away as people rushed to the aid of the pastor who they found alive but being attacked by the three ducks and one goose that called the pond home. The pastor suffered no ill effect from the lightning strike but soon abandoned religion and became a used car salesman. Electric Betty was amazingly not injured by the random act of nature and returned to her usual work once the sun went down.

Electric Betty was the least of my concerns as I got out of my car and began walking over to the eight or nine county sheriff vehicles which had almost surrounded the strip club. My cousin, Billy Wainwright may be a walking disaster waiting to happen but I knew the amount of police attention at the strip club had less to do with whatever he was involved with and more with the fact that the deputies on night shift wanting to score some points with the dancers.

Sure enough, as I approached the entrance I saw several of the scantily clad ladies making small talk with the deputies who were acting like five year-old kids who found they had accidentally been locked up inside a candy store. Luckily for me I saw the one deputy, a guy named Sean Blake, who by all appearances seemed to be making sure none of his fellow law enforcement officers did anything other than just talk to the women. The other benefit of seeing Sean was that he had played football with Billy before graduating and had remained friends with my cousin.

“Deputy Blake!” I yelled to get his attention. Blake waved back and walked over to my location. “Just what did Billy do this time?” I asked hoping it was his usual weekend antics that might involve a couple of punched thrown with another guy before the club bouncers ended the scuffle.

“Well this weird looking dude is claiming Billy was trying to kill him.” Blake answered back pointing towards someone sitting on the hood of a patrol car wearing a 1970's leisure suit.

For a couple of seconds I felt this strange sense of temporal displacement looking at the man who wanted my cousin charged with attempted murder. What struck me oddest was the fact that he looked exactly like the late British actor, David Niven with his bald head and pencil thin mustache. Adding to the weirdness, as the guy sat on the hood of the sheriff's patrol car I saw him attempt to light a cigarette that was attached to one of those holders that extended a few inches from the end that a person held in their mouth. When you threw in the 1970's, pea-green leisure suit the man was wearing, I had the bizarre notion that actor Burt Reynolds and comedian Flip Wilson would suddenly walk out the strip club's front door laughing about the antics of John Travolta who would disco dance his way out a few seconds later.

“What's up with the guy's leisure suit, Blake?” I asked. “Was the strip club hosting a costume party tonight or something?”

Deputy Blake made a face as he scratched his head clearly thinking of a way to properly phrase his words. “Yeah, the man's name is Thad Lovelace and one of the deputies asked him about that, the guy then went into a long speech about how he was a fashion genius before his time and that he fully expected the leisure suit come back into style. The idea being that once that happened he would be finally be recognized for his cutting edge brilliance.” Blake said deadpan, much in the same way he would relate any piece of information that simply didn't make a damn bit of sense.

Since I came late to the party none of what Blake said made any sense until Trixie Anna Belle Duval came out of the strip club carrying a bottle of club soda and rushed over to the distraught and strange little man sitting on the hood of the patrol car. Trixie had been Billy's latest in along series of true loves, which by the looks of how she was caring for the leisure suit wearing Thad, my cousin and her relationship had clearly ended tonight.

I felt some sadness at the knowledge that my cousin Billy was once again alone. That realization was made worse by the fact that Trixie Duval was actually a step up from his usual redneck girlfriends. I had met Trixie several times, even having Billy and her over to the house to have dinner with my wife and me. In another, slightly better, reality Trixie might have actually made something of her life. She was clearly intelligent but a lifetime spent in a culture that considered reading suspicious and pursuing an education beyond high school in anything but technical fields tantamount to treasonous, unamerican activities had long taken its toll.

That night Diane and I had them over for dinner, I learned that Trixie had once attended the local gymnastic school and had won close to a dozen state awards. Several of the coaches had talked to Trixie's parents about taking her training to the next level by having her perform in front of a visiting U.S. Olympic dignitary in Charlotte, North Carolina, but tragically fate had other ideas.

A few days before they were supposed to make the trip up to Charlotte, her daddy's favorite deer hunting dog got into a fight with a porcupine, and lost badly. The money that would have paid for the trip went to emergency surgery on the dog who after several weeks of recovery, promptly had another tussle with the irate but quite well protected porcupine and that time lost so badly the poor dumb dog had to be put down. Feeling the need to avenge the insult to his beloved hunting dog, Trixie's daddy went looking for the porcupine and while the human survived the encounter, the end result was that there were never anymore children born to the Duval household.

After high school, Trixie worked her way up to dancing at the Watertown strip club after spending several years working at the local factory that made lamps for household use. When the factory was closed and the jobs sent to China, Trixie auditioned at the strip club where her former gymnastic training served her quite well in getting hired. While I had never seen one of Trixie's performances, Billy told me several times that her abilities on the dance pole earned her many standing ovations.

Deputy Blake eventually went to go find Billy, who they were keeping well away from Trixie and her new love interest. Despite Thad Lovelace's insistence that Billy be charged with murder, as far as the deputies and the owner of the strip club were concerned my cousin had done them a favor by taking the obnoxious twit down a couple of pegs. A few minutes later with Billy now inside my car we were soon on the way back to my house where he would spend the night. It during that time Billy explained to me that he had discovered Trixie and Thad making out in her dressing room. Shocked that the love of his life had betrayed him, Billy forced Trixie to confess with her saying she had simply outgrown my cousin and that Thad had connections with strip clubs up in Greenville, South Carolina and as far west as Atlanta.

Trixie had come to believe in a few years Thad could have here pole dancing at the center of the strip club universe, Las Vegas. My betrayed and now depressed cousin only got violent after Thad, a short skinny man who probably weighed one-hundred pounds when soaking wet started acting like he wanted to fight. Billy's single punch busted Thad's lip with the blood quickly soaking the leisure suit coat the strange little man was wearing.

It was the heavy silence in the car that ultimately forced me to try and think of a way to lift my cousin's spirits with the sight of an open convenience store offering that thin opportunity. Both Billy and I loved honey buns as kids and I thought if I bought us a couple of the sickly sweet pastries along with bottles of cold chocolate milk he might once again begin his journey of recovery. Instead, the end result of my stopping at the small store only began a chain of events that could ultimately bring disaster on us all.

When I caught Billy eyeing the clear plastic case containing all the colorful scratch-off lottery tickets something deep down in my soul told me to grab the man, have us both get back in my car, and drive away as fast as possible doing everything I could to make him forget he ever considered buying one of those things. The depth of this urge was so great that in hindsight I have often wondered that maybe it could have been a psychic warning broadcasted to me from some dark, apocalyptic future. Being a fairly rational person I discounted the foreboding nature of my dread, especially after seeing my cousin turn around and look at me with those sad puppy dog eyes. Billy was never the type of person who thought more than a day or two in the future, which when disaster struck him always brought on a profound depression.

“What the hell Charlie,” my cousin said to me apparently reading my mind. “My luck can't get any worse and I sure as hell ain't ever going to leave this town.”

“Go for Billy, you never know when the worm will turn.” I found myself saying despite the little voice in my head cursing both me and my descendants for allowing him to tempt fate.

Billy whipped out his wallet and purchased ten of the big payoff five-dollar scratch-off tickets and promptly stuffed them in his back pocket. Frankly, I was speechless for several minutes after because I was the one purchasing the honey buns and chocolate milk for the both of us with my credit card while my cousin had a nice wad of cash in his wallet. Billy, of course, never noticed my ruffled feathers as we walked to the car. He was too busy tearing into the honey bun with his teeth and smiling like the same ten year-old he never left behind.

The ride home was uneventful and once we arrived, I quickly rushed Billy off to the guest room in the hopes of climbing back into my bed and catching a couple of hours of sleep before my young sons were up demanding the usual Saturday pancakes I make for them. After laying down my wife, Diane, wanted a full report on Billy's latest escapades and for some reason looked upon me doing my family duty with such warmth I was actually surprised when she began taking off her nightshirt and panties. Never one to look a gifted horse in the mouth, I quickly followed her lead and spent a good deal of time playing doctor with my wife. When sleep finally returned to us both we were happily holding each other oblivious to the world outside our bedroom door.

That all changed some unknown time later when we were both awakened by a deep cry of victory and triumph coming from the direction of our kitchen. I immediately knew Billy was involved somehow because accompanying that happy bellow were two smaller shouts which I had to figure were my sons.

“What the hell happened now?” Diane asked sleepily still laying next me.

“Don't worry,” I answered, “Billy is probably just playing X-box with the boys.” That was a good thing since that meant all three were in the living room eating cereal, which would require me to do a major cleanup later but that meant more time laying naked with her in bed. That all changed when Billy and my two boys came barging into the room causing Diane to scramble underneath the covers and begin glaring at me as if the woman I just had sex with was someone other than her.

“Charlie,” my cousin exclaimed in a tone of voice that suggested he had just won the lottery, “You won't believe it but I'm now worth five-million dollars!”

With my wife, naked under the bed sheets glaring at me, my two sons already on sugary cereal overload jumping around like spider monkeys suffering from a caffeine overdose, and my hulking cousin staring at me like he had just found Jesus, I was in sensory overload. For all intents and purposes I was in a catatonic state somewhat thinking this was all a seriously screwed up dream. It was Diane that finally brought about some quiet and order to the chaos.

“Everyone get the hell out of my bedroom now or I assure you all there will be hell to pay!” She screamed to Billy and the boys who quickly ran out of the room. Much to my surprise, Diane wasn't finished and now turned her attentions on me. “And you,” she said, “get out as well and find out what the hell is going on before I get out of bed.”

After finding a pair of gym shorts and t-shirt I joined the other men in sad exile. A cup of coffee later to chase away the tiredness, Billy and I are sitting at the kitchen table with me trying to make sense of the lottery scratch-off he says had solved all of his problems. As I examined the lottery ticket, my initial assumption was that Billy had simply misread the card which would result in a waste of five dollars and my cousin suffering another bout of dashed hopes. Much to my surprise I soon learned that he was correct, barring a monumental bad decision, unfortunately a real possibility for him, Billy would never have to worry about money for the rest of his life.

Both Billy and the boys took my proclamation that he was correct about his initial assessment as a reason to once again to start howling victoriously. Diane came running out of the bedroom, fully clothed but with her hair wet from a shower, after the resumption of needless noise ready for war but when she saw the amazed look on my face she began shaking her head dumbfounded at the sudden turn of events.

Billy wanted to start calling people, especially Trixie, and tell them about the unexpectedly won riches but I stopped him saying we needed to come up with a plan on how protect his new wealth. Unfortunately, I did let him call his mom and dad, which I soon learned was the same as him calling everyone in the first place. Aunt Sally and Uncle Henry started calling their own friends who called even more people and before long the entire population of Watertown County knew that my cousin was now a millionaire. The only exceptions to that news were Trixie Duval and Thad Lovelace who had left town barely an hour after the deputies had released Billy into my custody.

The real complication to Billy's wealth didn't appear till the next day when Aunt Sally and Uncle Henry forced their son to go to church the next morning. My aunt and uncle were members of the Watertown New Faith Church of God, a mega-church that when it wasn't hosting Mid-Atlantic Wrestling or monster truck rallies events could seat over two-thousand people to hear the word of God. Curiously enough, even when it was a church a person could still buy a cup of coffee and sub sandwich from the in-house Starbucks and Subway shops.

The pastor, the charismatic and Brad Pitt-level good looking Mitchell Carter was close friends with the county Republican leader, Robert Edward Ryder, a man who I thought was the physical embodiment of the evil Emperor of the Star Wars movies. My opinion of Pastor Carter was that when you discounted his rather large ego he was almost a decent guy. The best description of Carter was that he was my cousin, Billy, with about twenty extra IQ points. Several times he had attempted to groom Billy, who at least equaled him in good looks and charisma, to save souls for Christ. But my cousin just couldn't consciously direct his talents and all attempts to make him a preacher failed miserably.

But it was Robert—I personally called him Dick Ryder-- who now took an interest in my cousin. That Sunday, using his own politically motivated abilities drawn wholly from the darkside, Dick had already mobilized his political support teams, and with the blessing of both Aunt Sally and Uncle Henry, took control of Billy. Like the fictional Emperor, Dick saw massive potential in Billy and began guiding him along a path that even on a county level filled me with dread.

Since I thought setting foot inside the multipurpose mega-church was the absolutely worst thing anyone wanted to do and remain a Christian, I didn't learn about this turn of events until Aunt Sally called my mom who in turn told me. At first I thought my mom was joking but when I tried to call Billy on his cell phone all I got was some hack in the employment of Dick Ryder who said my cousin was busy.

In the space of a few weeks Billy no longer talked with a deep Southern accent that sent most people snickering behind his back. Add a decent haircut and clothing that leaned heavily towards business casual and Billy began looking like a respectable person. This upgraded Billy was put to use six-month later when he became the newest member of the Watertown County council. Apparently careful and constant handling prevented Billy's usual destructive talents from taking hold and much to my surprise my cousin appeared to be enjoying his new life and how to move among folks and act like an intelligent person.

After the successful transition from luckless local bum to respected county council member, party officials decided to take Billy to the next level. Much to my surprise many aspects of my cousin's life were wiped off the records. Somewhere along the way, my cousin earned a college degree from a university in Idaho that I had never heard of but was said to run advertisements in the classified section of various men’s magazines. A short time after that, Billy became an officer in the National Guard without benefit of training and with a whole bunch of awards on his records. His drill weekends had him hanging out at the state headquarters making coffee, talking about football, and driving the staff around. Most surprisingly was that Billy became a subject of political gossip in newspapers across the state about a possible career in politics.

Sure enough when the next election came up, my cousin, the newly minted Richard Wainwright became South Carolina's newest state senator.

By this time my visits with Billy were reduced to a few hours a month but much to my surprise I woke up one morning to read the paper and see a picture of him standing with a stunning young lady who the article said was a Charleston debutante whose family could trace their lineage back to colonial times. Despite his now polished and dignified appearance, it was clear in the picture that given the way Billy looked at this example of high class breeding he was totally in love with the woman. Upon reading this news I started laughing so hard that I fell to the floor thinking of his previous love Trixie Duval whose greatest aspiration was to make it to the strip clubs of Las Vegas.

The beautiful spring morning Billy married the high class debutante it looked as if the entire political leadership of South Carolina was in attendance at the ancient Charleston church where the ceremony was held. Decorum had prevented Billy's political handlers from stopping me from being his best man but it was clear neither his fiancee nor the rest of her family wanted me anywhere near my cousin. I took this to mean they understood I could ruin their massive investment in Billy if I happened to talk with the wrong individual. After the ceremony, Billy made a point of including me with the important men folk who had gathered privately in a small room to smoke and drink and discuss issues. I was actually having a good time until I about choked on my glass of fine bourbon when the South Carolina governor dropped in to say hello and told my cousin he should prepare for a run for his office in a few years.

The night Richard “Billy” Wainwright was elected governor of South Carolina I immediately began looking for a job outside the state. Despite all the training and his scores of political handlers, I keep seeing the picture of my cousin in the newspaper taken after the explosion of the automotive shop which resulted in his eyebrows being burned off. Billy's one true talent is his ability to produce a fantastical amount of chaos with nothing but his two hands and a few good intentions. I don't know if Billy is simply jinxed or deep down in his genes are all four horsemen of the Apocalypse distilled into his DNA, but like a long dormant volcano silently gathering strength at some point his bad luck will erupt forth and cause new destruction.

With Billy the new governor of South Carolina there is talk that the Republican party is looking at him as a possible presidential contender, I'm starting to suffer from a series of nightmares where Billy thinks the red button that launches the nuclear missiles is a just something from a video game. Given the chance I'd move my family to Antarctica if it was possible, but instead all I can do is sit back and hope sanity returns to the political process or that Billy suffers from a massive heart attack.

6 comments:

MigratingSpirit said...

Great entertaining read. Thanks.

Nasreen Iqbal said...

This was great in almost a Southern Gothic or Harry Crews sort of way.

Yeah, Harry Crews.

I started it concerned about how long it was and ended it wishing it were longer.

sage said...

You're stories always have a good laughs and a few surprising twists.

Pixel Peeper said...

This is great story telling - hilarious! I love how you describe some of the characters and the situations. The procedure that would minimize the emotional and physiological trauma of meeting Billy's new love interest made me laugh out loud!

The Bug said...

Ha! Great story! I think maybe I should buy a few scratch-offs... But you can rest assured - I have NO political aspirations!

P.S. For some reason this story made me think of Billy Carter :)

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