Almost every week, something hits the radar and I can hardly wait to write about it. Like a luscious vine-ripened East Texas tomato, some topic will just fall out of the sky, begging to be sliced and diced. Or, just eaten whole with a salt shaker. But that didn’t happen this week—I only got cherry tomatoes, nothing really big enough for a whole column.
I got a little tomato moment Tuesday night after the results of the New York primary when it really hit me that Donald Trump is the honest-to-goodness front-runner in the Republican race. That he might end up as the Republican nominee for president and, therefore, quite possibly the actual president. And, suddenly, I got that prickly hot, slightly sick at the stomach feeling you get when you think something terrible is about to happen—a feeling I associate with having one martini too many on an empty stomach, arriving in the emergency room on a gurney, or eating hummus.
Another cherry tomato moment came this week when we finished watching season four of “House of Cards”…and I wondered which presidential candidates have the most in common with Frank and Claire Underwood. Please feel free to discuss that amongst yourselves. Pardon me if I stay off the record on this one—it doesn’t end up pretty for folks who get crosswise with people like that.
Maybe it’s just this political year. I’ve always loved to watch presidential campaigns, particularly in open years. But this one is more like the most recent season of “American Horror Story”…for a lot of reasons. I’ve binge watched all of the previous seasons, but this last one (even with Lady Gaga) was just too slow, too bloody, and too crazy. Kind of like campaign 2016.
Call this a grape tomato moment, which I think are smaller than cherry tomatoes. All of this delegate talk has gotten me a little punchy, and the tags for the different types of delegates started sounding kind of silly. First, there are pledged delegates…they are the ones that have been “pinned.” There are the unpledged superdelegates, who aren’t pinned and can therefore play the field. And then you hear of bound delegates, which I think are pledged delegates who are in a fetishistic (and hopefully, consensual) relationship. They may become “unbound” after the first ballot and become quasi-superdelegates—I get a mental picture of an ocean of people on the convention floor, rising from their chairs, ripping out of their bondage, and crying “Free at last!”
Speaking of coming unbound, I found a certain irony in the announcement that Harriet Tubman will be the new face on the $20 bill, come 2020. Currently, there are 8.6 billion of these notes in circulation. I suspect that will make hers the most printed face of a black woman in history, surpassing even Aunt Jemima, whose products will no doubt continue to be sold with her image. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something just a little off about paying for Aunt Jemima corn meal (I prefer yellow) with a bill having Harriet Tubman’s face on it.