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Bugging Junior E. Lee about the election results

As I promised last week, I contacted Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, to get his observations on the presidential election. Not only is he considered one of this nation’s foremost political analysts, Junior is also a pest control professional, a rare combination.

Watching George Stephanopoulos blather on television the other night, I couldn’t help but wonder what he would do if he saw a mouse running across the studio. He would probably jump up on his desk right in the middle of one of his pontifications, scared silly. Not Junior E. Lee. He would trap that sucker while explaining the voting trends in Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota (Pop. 7,259). He is that good.

Alas, Junior wasn’t very happy with the interruption. At the time I called, nothing had been officially decided in the presidential election. He said you already knew that and either it would still be that way when you read this or the election would have been decided and he would look like a dunce since it occurred after I had turned in my column. He said that would give George Stephanopoulos the opportunity to make the announcement before he could and that he would look like just another media analyst/pest control professional. I see Junior’s point but there is nothing I can do about deadlines.

When I reached him, he was busy spraying bifenthrin, a pyrethroid insecticide, at Granny Grimsley’s place trying to get rid of stink bugs. I told him my readers would want to know his views on what had transpired since the election. Junior said what had transpired was that folks in Greater Garfield were coming to the conclusion that the stinky smell might be coming from Granny Grimsley and not the bugs.

I said that wasn’t what I was talking about. What about the elections? It’s hard to get Junior E. Lee to focus when he is spraying for stink bugs. Junior asked if I remembered when Henry Ford II, who was chairman of the Ford Motor Company fired Lee Iacocca, the company’s president and the man who been responsible for creating the iconic Thunderbird. When asked why he did it, Ford said: “Well, sometimes you just don’t like somebody.” From Granny Grimsley to Henry Ford. This was getting a bit weird. Maybe Junior was inhaling too much bifenthrin.

The point is, Junior explained, that while Donald Trump has done a lot of good things, like presiding over record gains on Wall Street and seeing unemployment hit historic lows prior to the pandemic, he turned off a lot of people by saying and tweeting outrageous things that pleased his core supporters but a lot of others found unpresidential. Frankly, they didn’t like it.

I got a lot of mail from people who consider themselves conservatives but despaired at his hyperbole. As one told me, Trump was the best conservative president the United States has ever had — with the sound off.

Junior said by contrast Joe Biden just smiled a lot during the campaign and didn’t say much except when he stated that 200 million Americans had already died from the coronavirus this year. Since that is two-thirds of the entire population of the United States, Junior said that you would have thought that would have taken care of the long lines at the polling places. I think he was making a joke.

But the pandemic is no joke and whether the numbers of people who have died in this country from COVID-19 are accurate or not, the virus and its impact on ordinary Americans has been significant. No one seems to have a good answer on where the disease is or where it is going. Junior said it would be good if whoever ends up being president could reassure us that things are going to be OK. I agree.

I could tell that Junior was anxious to get back to spraying. The locals are pressuring him to figure out if it is Granny Grimsley or the stink bugs that are making everyone gag at the monthly meeting of the Greater Garfield Garden Guild.

He said he would keep an eye on the latest developments in the election but asked me to remind you that elections are like stink bugs. They won’t kill you but there are times they can make you want to barf. I wonder what George Stephanopoulos would say about that.