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Nov 7, 2022

Electile Dysfunction? Who’s Not Running for President

An installment of Odds ‘n’ Ed’s to soothe tomorrow’s pain

By Ed Goldman
Presenting the pre-midterms edition of “Odds ‘n’ Ends.” May your daze be merry and bright:

1. GAVIN NONE OF IT—On the eve of the midterm elections, the most important vote you’ll ever cast if you live to be 112 according to various hysterical sources, let me make this official:

Neither California Governor Gavin Newsom nor I will be running for President in 2024.

Edgy Cartoon

Unholy nonalliance

Newsom (D-Glamlandia) has been sparking talk of an outlier candidacy when he makes expensive forays into a red state or two to make it extremely clear that he—and he alone—is Gavin Newsom. He also says he’s not running for President but is willing to allow that he’s much more handsome than the other governors if you say so, according to a number of reports from unreliable sources.

Well, here’s the rub, as Shakespeare and my butcher like to say: Despite my own occasional trips to a nearby red state, and my tendency to orate to lake birds while kayaking, I, too—like Governor Newsom (D-Garden of Eden)—have zero Presidential ambitions. Nary a one. Zippo. Nada.

Oh, there’s been talk, of course, about both of us having dreams of waking up in the White House—and not just because we passed out on a tour of the Blue Room. (Well, that was me, not him. And I hadn’t been drinking, despite the anecdotal reports of witnesses as well as two breathalyzer tests, one being an oral exam, one written.) The main difference is that any talk of Gavin’s  possible candidacy has emanated from the Democratic party and its rapidly vanishing cadre of influencers, whereas mine came from my late cat Osborn the Magnificent in a fevered dream likely caused by my feckless consumption of banana peppers while watching “Zorba the Greek” on Turner Classic Movies late one night.

One difference in Newsom’s and my non-candidacies is that when he denies it, he’s laughed at by political wags, the news media and the people staffing his exploratory-run office at the French laundry restaurant in Yountville, California, the place where the governor was famously photographed going maskless at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. By contrast, when I deny I’m running for President, no one seems surprised or, to be frank, much interested, even though I was once photographed shirtless in a British locker room (where I’d gone to see England’s famous changing of the guard).

2. CORPUS DELETE? AYE!— Embalm may no longer be da bomb: It’s going from popular preserver of the dead to dying art.

This freshly packaged info comes my way from Science Times, the ignorance denier the New York Times publishes every Tuesday, come rain or climate change.

It seems that as cremations and so-called “green burials” have started trending, the decidedly icky practice of injecting a corpse with fluids has somehow lost its luster.

Maybe we need to rethink its application.

As you know, embalming is meant to slow down the decomposition of a deceased person so that he, she, it or the non-binary they still look minty fresh when their grandchildren look at them in the coffin—a delightful religious tradition that either educates kids on the naturalness of death or inspires nightmares for the rest of their natural lives.

I’ve never been sure of why we want to gaze downward at someone who just checked out of the Mortality Motor Lodge—or if we do, why we not only expect but are also willing to pay for them to look as they did when they got back from three days at their Maui timeshare 15 years ago.

Nevertheless, if one has to have an open mind about open caskets, why not figure out what chemicals and cleansing components are in embalming fluids, detoxify them and serve the concoction as a cocktail while we’re still alive—and while we’d still like to drop 20 pounds would settle for losing 20 years.

Oh. Excuse me a moment.

—Okay, I’m back. I just got a call from the Botox people suggesting I think twice before starting my car this morning. Damn! This means I’ll be late for my non-campaign non-rally. Someone please alert the media.

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Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).