Episode XXX of "The Events of Election '08," a series of spoken word works by Mike Varley covering the 2008 campaign. For more entries and entertainment, check out mikevarley.com

On Joe the Plumber

Joe the Plumber, the moment of Debate ‘08 that will live on like Slinkys and Pet Rocks. Do you watch MTV when you masturbate, or have you moved to computers? Do you live in your grandma’s old house? Do you cry at the anthem of the Minor League ball game, after too many drinks to lessen the pain?

Joe the Plumber, do you hate Mark McGuire? I think we both do, deep down somewhere. Sometimes I cringe when your Pop references the good old days of DiMaggio’s smile. So we leave your dad’s and go down to the driving range – I rent a four wood and you bring Big Bertha. We hit golf balls into the black autumn night and drink tallboys between buckets of balls. You seem distant, but it might just be the alcohol or that golf club you just snapped. No one wants to die alone, Joe the Plumber.

You drop me off in the truck and drive the long way home. You briefly think about driving to Missouri to see her, but gas prices make you think better. The saddest country songs always hit you just a mile up the road.

I’m sorry about the back taxes, the publicity swarm and the pressure. I’m sorry I brought your tools back like that. I fucked up and left them outside again, but if we go down to the bar I’ll make it up to you. Or we could go to the mall and watch Obama junkies, cranked out on their own expectations. Changing the world never paved any driveways, never settled my heating bill down. I want a paid off house and a son I can drink with; I don’t need peace or racial harmony. Problems solved lead to problems earned, Joe the Plumber. My shoulders are grooved to the problems I keep.

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