Our great nation is not aware of the reservoir of intellectual talent that flows through our most cherished local institutions, the hardware store. I’m referring to the Hardware Store Kid, who is my choice for the highest office in the land.
If you have ever encountered a daunting task such as fixing a leaky garden hose, you are familiar with the Hardware Store Kid. When you enter the store, they greet you with considerable enthusiasm, eager to solve the puzzles befuddling the universe.
Try and stump them. Go ahead. I’ve given it my best shot, millions of times.
“I found my grandmother’s lamp in the attic. It must be seventy years old, and won’t work. Do you know how to –“
“You’ll need to rewire and install a new switch. Aisle 3. Come on, I’ll show you…”
“We found rabbits trying to burrow into our backyard.”
“Ah yes, the European Rabbit. The bastards are ruthless. Here’s how to curtail their fluffy tails…”
“I’ve contracted smallpox. Any idea how to cure it?”
“No known cure exists, and I’d suggest intravenous fluids and medicine to control the fever or pain. We do have a vaccine in aisle six to prevent the spread to your kin…”
The Hardware Store Kid is amazing. Cannot be stumped. So why do we confine this encyclopedic knowledge and brainy derring-do to the hardware store aisles? Not on my watch, I say. Let’s get this lad to the White House, stat!
Hardware Store Kid for Prez
Upon my next visit, I asked our brainiac if he’d like to make a go of it for the highest office in the land – the Presidency.
“But I’m only sixteen,” he said.
“You let me worry about the details,” I replied.
The power of the people lets you override any legislative mumbo-jumbo like “You must be 21 to be President.” Because all small communities are beholden to their respective Hardware Store Kid, they recognized the value of my candidate.
Several million signatures later, we got a cozy little amendment to the constitution, and soon my boy was on the ballot in all 50 states.
The merciless press tried their darndest to defang my intellectual wunderkind, but they were trounced at every turn. The Hardware Store Kid conjured up solutions to the Middle East discord, global warming, and our nation’s deficit.
We were leading in multiple polls, and the Hardware Store Kid was ready to claim the Presidency, when things went afoul.
“I can’t do this,” he told me one day.
“Because Dustin quit at the hardware store. The boss needs me to pick up his hours.”
“But, you’re about to be elected President of the United States!”
“Sorry,” he shrugged. “I need the cash. I’m saving up for a new stereo for my van.”
With that, he excused himself, and our nation’s last great hope was out of the race.
I admired his loyalty and his dedication. Yes, our country will flounder without him, but everyone has a calling in life. And I have to admit, I am a bit relieved. Our country’s superpower status may wane, but at least I’m going to get that leaky garden hose fixed.
Photo by Montgomery County Planning…