The Unrecognizable Truth

Six adorable little lies to spice up the Richmond mayoral race

I know they’re out there.

People like me who flip past an article in a local newspaper or magazine and think to themselves, “I should probably read up on this Richmond mayoral race.” People like me who look at the faces of the five candidates and think they look more like a line-up of character actors reading for the part of a criminal defense attorney on “Law and Order: SVU.” People like me who just can’t muster the strength to care.

It’s awful, I know. Deplorable. Un-American. If the democratic process was a three-legged puppy, I’d be the sick bastard who kicks it down the stairs. But the good news is that I have an excuse.

You see, this 2008 Presidential Race has consumed me. Or rather, it’s more accurate to say that the coverage of this presidential race has consumed me. When I’m not listening to NPR or clicking madly through links on the Huffington Post, I’m squeezed into my sofa-cushion fort, howling and hooting at Keith Olbermann like a leftover from Arsenio Hall’s “Dog Pound.”

I’m a left-wing media addict with a severe case of liberal-pundit-induced, obsessive-compulsive, election-seasonal-affective disorder. My lovely wife suggests that I watch Fox News “just to get a taste of the other side.” But the only taste I get when watching Greta VanSusteren is from the vomit that gurgles up into my mouth.

Thankfully, my “illness” has taught me something about politics. It has taught me that the best way to keep people interested in an election… is to keep the election interesting. This political season has been one of the ugliest in recent memory, with enough scandals, zingers and “oh-no-he-ditt-unt!” moments to make CSPAN-2 look like a Mexican soap opera.

In contrast, the Richmond mayoral race is not interesting at all. Not in the least. And that’s why I suggest that if the candidates really want to electrify this process they need to get people excited. Like the young folks say, they need to “kick it up a notch” and “get this party started.”

But that’s probably not going to happen if we leave it up to the candidates. So far, they’ve run a sleepy campaign that’s been free of outrageous accusations, dangerous smears, and extramarital sex. That can change. It should change. And we have the power to do it.

How? We spread change by spreading rumors. Juicy, vicious rumors. “But that’s wrong,” you say. “It’s downright irresponsible.” Yes. It is. But what’s even more irresponsible is this mediocre snoozefest they call a mayoral race.

Once again, let me be perfectly clear about my position. I have not been paying attention to this race. I know less than nothing about each of the candidates. Is that my fault? I don’t think so. These men want to be public servants. They should serve the public. And they can start by being interesting.

To help them along, I’ve compiled a short list of conversation topics about each of the candidates. Feel free to include them in your daily conversation, blog posts, or personal letters to the candidates. Think of these tidbits as harmless, Molotov cocktails designed to spark a passionate inferno of political rhetoric. Think of them as gentle “picadores,” poking the candidates in the fatty muscles of the back of their necks in order to enrage them. Think of them however you want, just keep in mind that they aren’t even remotely true.

That’s another valuable lesson I’ve learned: in politics, truth is optional.

Here’s the scoop about each of the Richmond Mayoral Candidates. Remember: this information is only useful if wantonly spread in an irresponsible manner.

William J. “Bill” Pantele
– Thinks homeless people are magical and kissing them will give him the winning lottery numbers.

Lawrence E. Williams, Sr. – Hums the “thinking music” from “Jeopardy” every time he makes number two.

Delegate Dwight C. Jones – Travels to Chiapas, Mexico several times a year just to punch donkeys in the face.

Robert J. Grey Jr. – Believes that his moustache is a sentient being named Mister Whiskers who enjoys cappuccino foam and being combed with a fork.

Paul Goldman – Once ate a human baby to win a bar bet.

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Pete Humes

Pete Humes is a husband, father and writer who lives in Richmond’s North Side. He enjoys coffee and owns way too many records.

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