I had hoped to catch you up on the current status of the presidential race before now, but in order to do so, I needed to talk with Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company in Garfield, Georgia.
Junior E. Lee not only oversees our company’s much-admired and oft-quoted political polling service, Round or Square Polls, where our motto is, "If you’ve got the dough, we’ll cook the numbers," he is also a certified pest-control professional. There is not another polling service in the country that I know of with a certified pest-control professional on staff. Junior modestly shrugs off the distinction and says a pest is a pest, whether it is eating the leaves off the collard greens in your garden or making robocalls while you are trying to eat your supper. He has a point.
Getting hold of Junior has been a bit difficult. I had forgotten about the Wash Pot Festival, which is held annually in Garfield in late May. Junior tries to work his schedule so that he can be off during that time. The Wash Pot Festival is the highlight of his year. There is a parade, a lawnmower pull, lots of good food (cooked in wash pots) and much fun and frivolity. Junior says the Garfield Wash Pot Festival is kind of like Mardi Gras, except you don’t have all the drinking or bare-chested women throwing beads at you. It sounds like my kind of event.
When he got around to returning my call, I told him that a number of you were seeking my thoughts on who to vote for this November for president. I certainly didn’t want to respond without first seeing if he had any updated polling information I could share with you.
Junior said the latest numbers from Round or Square Polls showed that the current candidates are about as exciting as a tree fungus. What we have to choose from, he reminded me, is a woman who only lies when her lips are moving, a socialist who has never held a real job in the real world and a guy with orange hair who shoots off his mouth too much and would probably start World War III before his inauguration parade had ended.
That’s not much of a choice, I replied. Junior agreed and said we have better choices of what insecticides to use in spraying for members of the order Phthiraptera than we do for selecting who should be the next president of the United States. I’ve never had a conversation with Junior E. Lee where he didn’t find an opportunity to throw some pest-control jargon into the conversation to make a political point. That seems to go with the territory when you are dealing with a political analyst who is also a pest-control professional.
I told Junior that I didn’t think you would ever hear Bill O’Reilly or that guy on MSNBC who looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy talking like that. Junior snorted and said that while he believes he could hold his own politically with O’Reilly and the Doughboy, he doubts either of them would recognize a species of the genus Solenopsis if it bit them on their self-important rumps.
"What can I tell my readers?" I asked. Junior said to tell you it wasn’t too late to spray for mosquitos if you are planning on being out in the yard much this summer. And to watch out for pickle worms in the garden, especially around your cantaloupes. He suggested you consider using Neem oil extract or his old standby, Malathion. If you aren’t satisfied with his recommendations, Junior said to contact Bill O’Reilly or the Pillsbury Doughboy. Since they think they are so smart, maybe they can tell you how to get rid of pickle worms, but he doubted it.
I told him that I knew you would find that information very helpful, particularly if you have a garden, but what about the presidential election?
Junior said he would keep analyzing the polling numbers right up to November, but he wasn’t expecting to see things improve much and for you not to get your hopes up. He says this bunch of candidates reminds him of Ixodidae: What you see is what you get. I don’t know about you, but that sounds a little scary to me. I wonder if Bill O’Reilly or the Pillsbury Doughboy feels the same way.