Junior E. Lee is one of my most valued associates, but he can be a load to manage and a bit of a know-it-all.
Junior, as you know, is general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia. He has two primary responsibilities: First, keep as many bugs as possible out of Emanuel County - particularly Arveen Ridley's farm - and then to help us all to make better informed political decisions. The exterminating profession doesn't seem to have a lot in common with the democratic process, but when you have someone of Junior E. Lee's abilities, he can make it work.
Anyway, Junior called me the other day gloating over the impressive rise in the polling numbers for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The latest results from the world-renowned Round or Square Polls Inc., which Junior manages from a pool hall in Garfield, shows that Gingrich has jumped to the top of the list of Republican candidates, all vying to take on President Swivelhead in 2012. Junior modestly proclaims he is the one responsible for Gingrich's resuscitated race.
Junior reminded me that Newt was blowing his campaign like a bad saxophone just a few months ago when it was revealed that he had bought his trophy wife, Callista, a half-million dollar diamond ring from Tiffany's while the nation's unemployment rate hovered around 10 percent. He thought they both looked out-of-touch with the American public. In fact, Junior thought Callista looked like a Barbie doll, although no one would ever accuse Newt of looking like Ken. Junior says his polls show that most people think the former speaker looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy.
It was then that Junior made a discovery he believes could change the course of human history - even more significant than finding carpenter bees in Aunt Annie Foster's drawers. He realized that Newt Gingrich's middle name is Leroy and that Callista's is Louise. There is not a more American pair of names than Leroy and Louise. Junior asked the rhetorical question: Who would you be more comfortable with at a church supper? Newt and Callista, or Leroy and Louise?
Junior then proposed an action plan that would make the pair look a little less elitist and a little more like the rest of us. He thought Louise (Callista) would be well-served to put that fancy hair of hers in rollers and get rid of those designer duds she wears. Junior is no fashion expert but he envisioned something off the rack from Goodwill. In the meantime, Newt needed to find him a pair of overalls and then the two of them should get themselves a used truck - preferably with mud flaps - and hit the road, passing out "Leroy for President" flyers.
I asked Junior how his suggestions had been received by the Gingrich campaign. He thought they were impressed but admitted he had not talked to anyone directly because Leroy (Newt) seems to do all his business on the Internet instead of employing staff members. The last time Leroy (Newt) hired a bunch of people, they all quit when Louise (Callista) decided the two of them ought to take a cruise instead of campaigning for the highest office in the land.
Evidently, Junior has been so focused on the exterminating side of the business that he has missed Newt (Leroy) on the presidential debates in coat and tie and Callista (Louise) wearing a suit that looks like it costs more than exterminating a big barn full of horse flies. Personally, I think Mr. Gingrich's success has less to do with his attire and more to do with the fact that he hasn't got much competition. Herman Cain is having a hard time fending off attacks from both Democrats and the Republican establishment. Rick Perry can't remember his phone number and Mitt Romney looks too pretty to be president. The rest of the candidates need to get a life because they aren't going to get the Republican nomination.
However, please don't tell Junior E. Lee that neither Newt (Leroy) nor Callista (Louise) seem to be paying any attention to his ideas. Junior is a proud man and a tad on the temperamental side (as are most exterminators.) He is liable to fly off the handle and quit. That would be bad for all of us. Junior is a very talented political pollster and hell on termites. In today's world, that is a rare combination.
Reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.