The notebook arrived in the mail in a padded envelope, accompanied by a cryptic message scribbled on a torn piece of yellow paper. This is too hot to handle. I am being followed. Maybe you’ll know what to do with this.
It was a cheap spiral pocketbook, the green cover bent and the pages wrinkled by water damage. I looked at the first page and immediately recognized the handwriting—the tiny, backward-slanting block letters, cramped together in constipated lines of brown ink. It had been a long time since I had seen a specimen of my old missionary companion’s distinctive handwriting, but it was most certainly his. Elder Romney was famous for the brown ink and the grammar-school block letters in which he penned his exhortations to fellow missionaries to endure to the end.
Although respectful of my former companion’s privacy, I finally decided to share a few excerpts of the diary he kept for a few months after his defeat in the presidential election of 2012. I am certain that an unbiased observer will come away from the candidate’s private musings with a great deal of sympathy for the man who would have been president.
Nov. 7. Both Karl Rove and God told me no way I was going to lose. Now Karl Rove won’t return my calls and God tells me the 47 percent hold a grudge against both him and me.
Nov. 22. Worst Thanksgiving in years. Turkey overcooked and mashed potatoes barely mashed. The boys got in a food fight after Urk accused Tagg of hogging the cranberry sauce.
Dec. 3. Can’t even pump my own gas in peace. Couldn’t figure out how the dang thing worked and a crowd gathered. One of the 47 percent showed me how I had to pull up the handle to get the gas going. Shock to me that he spoke English. Called me “bro.” What in the dickens does that mean?
Dec. 4. Now there’s a picture in the papers of me pumping gas and my hair all messed up. Can’t ever relax. I’ll have to buy some new Brylcreem. Walking on the beach, an Irish setter started barking like crazy at me. Looked a lot like Seamus, who I thought we got rid of years ago.
Dec. 10. Without my Brylcreem, people don’t seem to recognize me. People I was baptizing for the dead in the temple kept looking at me funny. One guy, who had just been baptized for a 13th-century ancestor who was in some sultan’s harem, asked me if I ever played church ball. A gal asked me if anyone ever told me I looked like Rick Perry. Who’s Rick Perry?
Dec. 19. Ann asked me where I was all afternoon. Didn’t believe me when I said I was out pumping gas. Accused me of riding up and down again in the car elevator.
Dec. 25. Christmas turkey undercooked. Chug accused Tagg of hogging the sweet potatoes. Boys got into another food fight. When I went to bed, noticed I had some mashed potatoes in my hair.
Dec. 27. Got a personal phone call from the Prophet asking me if would consider accepting a calling to be anchor of KSL’s six o’ clock news with someone named NeeNee or DeeDee—wasn’t she a mayor once? Told him I wanted nothing to do with The Media. Told me God wanted me to be on KSL. Told him God promised me I’d be President, so I owe God nothing.
Jan. 1. Went to the club for an early dinner. On the way into town, one of them French poodles (got bit several times on my mission) started barking like crazy at me, almost jumping out the window onto my car. Going through the buffet line someone asked me if I was Dick Clark, who she thought was dead. Who’s Dick Clark?
Jan. 25. Tired of plastering my hair with Brylcreem. Got myself a crew cut and then took a walk on beach over at Torrey Pines with the boys and, Oh my gosh, saw about a thousand naked folks. Tried to cover Tagg and Nurp’s eyes. So shocked we were rooted to the spot for two hours. The boys wanted to challenge the gals playing volleyball to a food fight. Barely escaped with my life after being surrounded by a pack of naked, growling golden labs.
Feb. 15. The wife mad as hell. Says I’m a clueless doofus. Why is she throwing chocolates at me?
D.P. Sorensen writes a satire column for City Weekly.