When Nathan Deal was elected governor, I made myself a promise that I was going to get along better with him than I did with his predecessor, George E. Perdue.
If our new governor wanted to build a few concrete fishponds, I’d look the other way. If he wanted to dress up like Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat” and talk to school kids while shafting their teachers, I would just shake my head in bemusement. If he rode a motorcycle around the Capitol or drove a bus across town for reasons that made no sense at all or gave an elephant a physical examination, I would take the position that these were remarkably clever steps to position Georgia as a major player in the international marketplace of the 21st century, right behind Kyrgyzstan.
In truth, there was a selfish motive to my strategy. After years of being just another face in the crowd, I want more in life. I am tired of feeling as though I am a statue and the entire world is a pigeon, I want to be a mover and a shaker in the state, a major player.
I want to walk down the street and have people nudge one another and say, “Hey, that’s Dick Yarbrough. He used to be just another face in the crowd, but now he is a mover and a shaker in the state, a major player. I wonder if he knows there is pigeon poop on his coat.”
I figured being nice to Nathan Deal would be my ticket to the big time. He could appoint me to some board or commission that would give me status and privilege. This would give me the opportunity to hob-knob with other movers and shakers and major players in the state.
It would be nice to be shooting the breeze with folks in the checkout line at the grocery store and say, “A funny thing happened the other day when I was hob-knobbing with some of my fellow movers and shakers and power brokers in the state.” They would be very impressed.
My first hint that things were not going to work out as I had hoped was when the governor-elect put together his transition team to look at everything from policy and budget issues to finding where George E. had squirreled away the Skittles and Ding Dongs. I let it be known that I would somehow find time in my busy schedule to be a part of the transition team.
Nobody ever called. In fairness, my phone may have been temporarily out of service, although aluminum siding salesmen seemed to have no trouble getting through.
There is a long way to go in Gov. Deal’s first term, and I am sure his advisors gather frequently to discuss how best to utilize my impressive skills sets. To be helpful, I might mention that I would be a natural for the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority. My daddy worked for the railroad. Plus, I am not doing anything this Thanksgiving, so some lizard-loafered lobbyist could take my family and me on a “working trip” to Germany.
On the other hand, I am not so interested in becoming a mover and shaker and a major player that I would accept membership on the Georgia Boxing Council without some due diligence. I need to be certain how they handle their disagreements. I bruise very easily.
The Woman Who Shares My Name wants more information about the State Board of Hearing Aid Dealers and Dispensers. We currently have an issue in our happy home that is escalating to serious proportions.
She thinks I mumble when I talk. I think she is deaf as a doornail. She is constantly asking me to repeat things because she says I am mumbling. In the spirit of helpfulness, I yell my response in her ear.
She likes being yelled at less than being mumbled to. Either way, I lose. Husbands are a sorry lot and I don’t think there is much the governor can do to change that fact.
I remain optimistic that somebody in the governor’s office will see the light and make me a mover and shaker and a major player in the state.
I thought the time had come the other day when my phone finally rang. I was sure it was the governor. Alas, it was the dry cleaners calling to say they managed to get the pigeon poop off my coat. Sometimes, I could just cry.
Yarbrough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Ga. 31139.