Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president.
—Caroline Kennedy in the New York Times, Jan. 27, 2008
Over the years, I’ve been deeply within earshot when people have mentioned that they wish my father would put his shirt back on. This sense is even more profound today, the day after the annual neighborhood-wide golf tournament. That is indirectly related to why I am supporting a presidential candidate for our Hill View Neighborhood Watch from my immediate family: my dad.
My reasons are patriotic, political, and fear-inspired, and the last one far outweighs either of the first two. All my life, people have told me that my father just farted, that they had to change tables because the smell was so unsavory. And the people who were lucky enough not to be seated near him have complained about his terribly obscene baseball hat logos. I meet people who were born long after my dad moved to this town, yet who still ask me about the time he literally removed his pants and urinated all over Frank Janson’s cat after an unsatisfactory haircut.
Sometimes it takes awhile to recognize that someone has a special ability to alienate dozens of people over the course of a single dinner at Mike Duffy’s Bar And Grill in downtown Hill View. In that rare moment, when such a person comes along, someone like, oh, I don’t know, my dad, for example, we need to put aside our plans and our dignity and our better judgment and do whatever he says to do so that he doesn’t pour beer on our heads again.
We have that kind of opportunity with my dad. It isn’t that the other candidates are much, much better and handle anger entirely more effectively than my dad. But this year, we need something that won’t get my mom or me in trouble. We need a change in the leadership of this neighborhood—just as we did last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and every year that my dad has lost the race for Neighborhood Watch president.
I want a Neighborhood Watch president who understands that his responsibility is not to shout profanities at the Packers game. Instead, I am endorsing a president like my dad.
Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on looks. However, the candidates’ physical appearances are similar. They all have brown hair and are roughly around five foot ten. So qualities of brute strength, quickness to rage, and a foul mouth play a larger role than usual.
My dad has demonstrated these qualities, a lot.
I have spent the past five years living in absolute terror of my dad, and have three escape methods of my own. There is a slight possibility about which I remain hopeful, to which I remain dedicated, and without which I have nothing to live for, that I will be able to be known as something other than my dad’s daughter in another town really far away. But too many other possibilities suggest that I will always be stuck here in Hill View as nothing but my dad’s daughter. As Hill View, you have a responsibility to help shield me from the stink bombs my dad thinks are hilarious to place in my backpack right before I’m leaving for school in the morning. My dad is pretty good at procuring discounted stink bombs.
My dad is running a strange and uninspired campaign. He has cussed at great length about the lack of faith in his life, and also pointed out that he can’t read. And when it comes to judgment, my dad is alarmingly racist.
I want a Neighborhood Watch president who understands that his responsibility is not to shout profanities at the Packers game; who holds himself, and those around them, as well-rested on something less than 14 hours of sleep a night; who appeals to those who do not necessarily hate work in all its forms; and who can lift our spirits by succeeding in not killing any kittens on that particular day. Instead, I am endorsing a president like my dad.
I have never had a dad who did anything a good dad should do. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be president of Hill View Neighborhood Watch—not just for me, but because my dad will actually take a shit on my pillow if you guys don’t vote for him.