Sights are set on the next sweet gig

By Andy Winemiller -

We all have some sort of aspirations. I’ve met few people who have not a single aspect of their life on which they would like to improve.

Personally I aspire to get a hole-in-one and drink beer on every continent. I still struggle to put the ball on the green in less than three shots (on a par 3), and I’ve only conquered three continents. Thus, I’d rather use this week’s column to discuss my professional goals. I’ll save the personal bucket list for another week.

Of course, these have changed throughout my life. At one time I wanted to be a lieutenant governor. At another point in my life I wanted to be a charter fishing boat captain on Lake Erie, and I once aspired to be a whitewater rafting guide.

There were those early days in my life in which I aspired to do things like be a firefighter or a police officer. I always wanted to be a paratrooper, too, an aspiration I achieved. However, I quickly realized these sorts of public-service jobs offer a meager paycheck for a lot of work.

It’s these career goals from later in life on which I want to focus, however. They reveal what truly drives me — laziness.

That’s right. The perfect spot for me on somebody’s payroll is a position in which I can make as much money as is possible to be as useless as is possible.

Take a lieutenant governor. North Carolina’s is a little different. He spends his time attempting to push his radical right social agenda in Raleigh.

Listen, Dan. If it weren’t for your corny “RUN, FOREST, RUN” signs nobody would even know you exist. Embrace that. I would. At a salary of about $127,000, you make $17,000 less than the governor. Let him do all of the work in the executive branch.

Lieutenant governor done right involves collecting a taxpayer-funded paycheck for doing as little as possible. The beauty of the position is being able to walk into any grocery store, bar or restaurant in the state and have nobody recognize you. That’s why it was once at the top of my career ambitions.

Then there were the captain and guiding ambitions. I guess at the time I thought if it was something I loved, I wouldn’t feel like I was working. A few days spent baking in the sun later, and I put that boat in reverse.

I don’t make it a secret that I might one day want to make it back into government. I think it would be fun to play this game from that side of things as a public information officer. It’s tough to find the right fit, though, as I really do enjoy what I do here at The News.

That stated, on Monday my life’s ultimate ambition hit me like the Blitzkrieg hit the Netherlands. I was reading a story about former President Bill Clinton’s meeting with his White House predecessor.

“Forty-one (George H.W. Bush) has been known for wearing colorful socks for years, but it has been most noticed really ever since he has been depending on wheelchairs for mobility — exposing his ankles,” Bush spokesman Jim McGrath told the New York Daily News.

That’s right. Best job on earth might be a spokesperson for a president. A former president. The older and less active, the better.

What I don’t want is for our current president to get the wrong idea here. No thanks, Donald. I don’t want Sean Spicer’s job. That daily grind of back-and-forth with reporters just doesn’t appeal to me.

I want to make statements like this:

“The same silence that was afforded to President Obama will be extended to President Trump,” (George W.) Bush’s spokesman Freddy Ford said in an emailed statement, according to Yahoo News.

Wow. What a perfect gig. That’s a pretty verbose way of saying, “No comment. Go take a long walk off a short pier. Now who’s paying for the next round of margaritas at lunch?”

It really would be a nice fit for me.

Of course, not all former president spokesperson gigs seem as enticing as others. Barack Obama always struck me as too serious. Something tells me he will want to remain relevant in his post-presidential life. No thanks. I’m trying to be employed. I’m not trying to work.

Bill Clinton seems to have such a healthy and very public social life. Sounds like a lot of work to me. I’ll pass.

Jimmy Carter wants to run around doing good things. I feel as if he would fill my downtime with house building. I still bear the physical scars of building a tree house last summer. I’ll add that it’s not square. I’m not your guy Jimmy.

The point is we all have aspirations. I’m sure there is some kid out there with ones higher than mine. Maybe he or she plans to be president.

All I’m asking is that you remember me when you’re a former president. That’s when I want to come on board.

By Andy Winemiller

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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