Years ago, a young boy found himself about to leave his beloved homeland of the foothills of Colorado for a mystical country in the Orient, where stars were crafted and everyone had really good internet connections and no doubt rare Pokemon cards were freely available due to the country’s proximity to Japan. It was an exciting time. He did not remember all the goodbyes and friends he left behind, but he did remember one of his last nights there. It was a dinner with relatives who lived in the area, at a restaurant nestled in the Rocky Mountains, a place called The Fort.
It was indeed a fort, specializing in truly American cuisine, like buffalo, elk, and rocky mountain oysters.
The little boy did not have the rocky mountain oysters, though he did try buffalo tongue, as he heard that it was a great delicacy back in the day. Such a delicacy, that settlers would often kill a buffalo simply for its hump and its tongue. It wasn’t frowned upon back then, there were plenty of bison. Now, not so much, but that’s a different story. Anyways, the boy had a great time eating all sorts of game dishes in a grand hall fit for a king. Or perhaps a president. When the dinner was finished, a waiter mentioned that this was the room that the G-8 summit dinner was held, and various world leaders had sat in these hallowed chairs and eaten rocky mountain oysters. Perhaps not. Everyone looked around, looking at the plaques that explained which leader sat where. The boy turned around to look at the plaque on the back of his seat. The name? Then-POTUS William Jefferson Clinton.
Now, the boy was too young to understand the intricacies of the politics of those days. He did hear the words ‘veto’ and ‘surplus’ thrown around on the radio channels that weren’t Radio Disney, and he knew that he didn’t like Newt Gingrich, but otherwise, he was far too young to understand NAFTA and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Luckily, Jay Leno continues to use the Monica Lewinsky jokes to this day, so now the boy understands, but back then, he wasn’t quite sure what the big deal was about. He did once say that “since the President had been naughty, he deserves a spanking,” a comment which drew a glare from his father, but he wasn’t quite sure why. He had only discovered condoms recently, when he and his best friend found one alongside a severed rabbit’s foot under a tree that had a tattered shirt hanging from its branches (they were taking a break during Little League soccer practice). But he knew that President Clinton was a good man, someone who led the country and the world in an age of prosperity. The boy wanted to be like President Clinton someday, a talented speaker who could inspire millions to do great things in this world, a fighter for his beliefs, a true American. Minus the scandal, of course. He wasn’t sure what the big deal was, but he’d rather avoid listening to Newt Gingrich’s tirades and be the butt of Jay Leno’s jokes for years and years.
Today, that young boy, now a young man who is learned in the ways of politics and knows now that Newt Gingrich is indeed a verified asshole, had the chance to see his boyhood idol in person. For years, the boy had followed the story of Bill Clinton’s legacy, his foundation, his wife’s run for the presidency (which the boy still thinks was dragged down by the sexist mainstream media, and the boy firmly believes that Hillary would have been a much better president to smack down the Republicans than Mr. Bipartisanship), and his activities across the globe. The young man didn’t get the chance to talk to the president in person, but sitting just 10 feet away from him, listening to him talk passionately about the problems that plagued America, the young man knew that he still wanted to be someone like Bill Clinton. Even including the scandal bit.