Observing the Politician in the Wild

It’s fun to watch politcos in their natural habitat – better than a trip to the zoo.

Like yesterday at the Furrs cafeteria in Santa Fe. The gentleman waiting in line in front of us turned and looked over our heads. Not easy since we’re 6’3” but he stretched and stood on his tip-toes. We thought he might be saving a spot in line for the rest of his family but that proved wrong. He was desperately searching for constituents and found several whom he greeted by name. His head swiveled constantly, nervously searching for more hands to shake. Somehow, perhaps by instinct or the scent of cynicism that surrounds us, he knew we weren’t believers so our hands went empty, un-warmed by his sincerity.

As he campaigned, we made our move and tried to pass him but he must have been especially hungry that day and blocked us with some determination. It was our mistake. We thought he might really be interested more in the people who elected him rather than lunch.

Not particularly well dressed, he wore work-out pants, the kind you might take naps in for weeks without washing and a knit shirt that had seen better days – the days when Friends of Bill ruled the Roundhouse.

And being trained observers, we thought he could be recovering from some ailment. Considering his age, dress, and the sallowness of his skin, perhaps a mild cardiac infraction. We were proved right when he passed on the salad and blue cheese dressing and selected jello instead, something red, maybe strawberry. When he ordered baked fish, no tarter sauce, we smiled. Yet to have our own cardiac adventure, we order fried catfish with a double helping of tarter. He watched with jealousy but never counseled us on the proper eating habits. After all, we weren’t his constituents.

Only once did he weaken in his quest of good health when he stopped in front of the dinner rolls. It made us ache watching his indecision, what he knew was wrong versus what he desired. But desire won out and he selected a buttered roll.

It’s uncanny how politicos imitate humans so well.


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