OPINION — Today our subject is People Who Stepped In It, where we will discuss some of the biggest blunders in our country’s history, as judged by two criteria. One, they had to be public blunders that were in the news, so that time I went to Higgenbotham’s lumber yard in Brady and tried to shake a can of paint myself, because everyone who worked there was busy, and I ended up breaking their paint shaking machine doesn’t count. Whew. Sorry about that, by the way.
And two, the mistake had to have cost the person who made it something in a big way. Not necessarily financially, although these mistakes did cost their authors some money, usually indirectly. The second criterion means we won’t be discussing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent blunder, in which he took it upon himself to fill a nasty pothole in his LA neighborhood. Ahnold bragged about his philanthropism on social media, only to have an LA city spokesman point out the pothole was actually an active service trench. Duh-oh. Maybe take those dark shades off next time, Arnie.
We’re going to ignore that one. LA may end up charging the Terminator for cleaning out the trench, but I don’t think they’re going to do that. He may be old, but I think he still has a tank. Which is the main reason I’m giving him a pass.
So with the rules in place, we’ll start with the name of the prize, which will be the Clayton Williams Award, in honor of the Midland rancher/oil man who ran against Ann Richards for governor of Texas in the 1990 election. Clayton was twenty points ahead of Ann, and had the election in the bag, until he told a joke so bad that, even though it had no curse words, I refuse to repeat it here. The faux pas created such backlash that Ann edged Clayton out at the polls, 49.5% to 46.9%, and gave Texas, without question, the worst governorship in its history.
To be clear, I’m not ignoring Colorado senator Gary Hart, who stepped in it bigtime during the runup for the 1988 US presidential election. Gary had the Democratic nomination sewn up, until tabloids started popping up in supermarket checkout lines all over the country featuring front page photographs of Gary sitting on a boat with a girl in his lap wearing a bikini. The girl, by the way, was not his wife. Gary dropped out of the race, and Walter Mondale ended up losing the election to George Herbert ‘No new taxes’ Bush, thereby subjecting the country to . . . whatever that was. I’m still vague.
Anyway, that blunder only cost Gary the Democratic nomination, and it was only the nomination to run for the US presidency, which is nowhere near as important as the Texas governorship. Which is why our award is named after Claytie. RIP
First up is former president Donald Trump, who was recently indicted on 34 counts of something in New York. I’m not completely clear on the details, but as I understand it the charges stem from Donald’s $130,000 payoff to Stormy ‘Jack’ Daniels, and another $150, 000 payoff to some other floozie, which was hush money that, quite obviously, didn’t work. And also as I understand it, the problem was not that Donald paid off these women, but that he misrepresented the payoffs to the IRS, or the AAA, or the GPS, or somebody. One payoff was claimed as a business expense, which I guess it was, but for the wrong sort of business. Monkey business doesn’t count, apparently. The other payment was made with campaign contributions, or something, which is evidently a no-no. As it certainly should be. We Americans expect our politicians to use their own money to silence their nefarious clandestine blackmailers.
Bud Light "Leaked" Commercial
But Donald has some stiff competition from Alissa Heinerscheid, the Bud Light marketing VP who recently decided she wanted to change the brand’s image, making it less ‘fratty’ and more ‘inclusive.’ So she signed Dylan Mulvaney as Bud Light’s newest spokeslooney. Oops.
Dylan, in case you’re wondering, is a skinny 20-something guy who decided a while back to identify as a 9-year-old hyperactive girl with delusions of grandeur and the most irritating voice in the history of voices. And yes, I’m including Fran Drescher, Howard Cosell, and Gilbert Gottfried in that assessment. We’re talking fingernails on a chalkboard magnified a batrillion times, coming out of a grown man acting like a sugared-up preadolescent girl. Needless to say, the appointment didn’t go over well with Bud Light drinkers. Former drinkers, now.
Cases of Bud Light started piling up in bar storerooms immediately, and within a week Anheuser Busch lost over $5 billion (with a B) in market value. And I don’t think Bud Light drinkers are necessarily upset so much about the attempt at pushing the LGBTQRSTUPID thing, since several other beer and whiskey companies have done that for several years with no adverse affects. It seems to be Dylan, personally, they don’t like. Which is understandable.
I honestly can’t decide who should win our first Claytie Award. Both candidates are extremely strong contenders. Maybe I’ll let Arnie decide, after he gets done digging out that service trench . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and minister who never makes mistakes he’s willing to admit. Write to him at [email protected]