Stand By Me

Actress Heather Lind has joined the growing chorus of women coming forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment. Lind, star of “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” said that she was groped from behind and told a dirty joke, by none other than eighty-nine-year-old former president George H. W. Bush, from his wheelchair, at an event promoting the TV show in 2014.

Ms. Lind also claims that President Bush groped her a second time while Barbara Bush rolled her eyes, as if to say “not again.” A Secret Service agent is purported to have advised Ms. Lind to never stand next to the randy ex-president.

(Whether Mr. Bush ever groped Mrs. Bush from behind—in the “bird in the hand is better than two in the, uh, bush” analogy—was not reported.)

Is it ever okay to grab-ass? Miss Manners, in her book, “Up Front About Your Behind,” observed that the only way to avoid having one’s keister kinkily cuckolded is to adapt the old nuns’ “ruler code for dances,” in this case staying at least a yardstick length away from anyone.

I once did a stint as a driving instructor to high school kids. A girl client and I had just sat in the car, me on the passenger’s side filling out paper work. I instructed her to run through her preliminary tasks, adjusting mirrors, checking brakes etc. She promptly leaned across my lap to reach the outside mirror on my side, her yoga-panted middle resting on my middle, said yoga pants slipping just enough to reveal part of her end zone.

My face burned. I mean, it caught fire. I prayed to White Jesus to take me. My panicked mind jumped to tomorrow’s newspaper headline: “Driving Instructor Gropes Girl.” Actually, my panicked hands shot up and groped the car’s ceiling. My panicked voice shook as I sternly told the kid to sit up. She blew a bubble and sat up and adjusted the mirror on her side. I didn’t say another thing. She was oblivious. Thank god George H. W. Bush wasn’t her driving instructor.

Let’s start with President Eisenhower and play, What Future Presidents Copped a Feel? Ike? No way. John Kennedy? Way-way. Lyndon Johnson? Yeah, baby! Tricky Dick grabbing hippie heinie? In his dreams. Gerald Ford? Pardon? Jimmy Carter? Lust in his heart but not in his hands. Ronald Regan? Well. . . George H. W. Bush? Read his lips. Bill Clinton? Give the man a cigar! George W. Bush? Nucular. Barack Obama? No way-way. Donald Trump? Way, baby, way, way across his big brass bed.

Moral of the story: Fathers and mothers, don’t let your babies grow up to be White House interns. (Sorry, Willie Nelson.) Advise them never to lay across their driving instructor. Watch out for communion wino Father Maximus in the sacristy with his “knife.” Avoid all people named George, whether uncle, president, personal chef, tax man, tai chi instructor. (Except—there’s always an exception—for my music teacher George H., who stood up to my jerk of a father.)

A woman friend recently told me we’d all be better off if we avoided men. At least she included me in the “we’d.” Now I’m rooting for all men except me to spontaneously combust.

Yeah, baby!

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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