The Senator’s Proof

I can’t say much about the poison ivy email someone gave me when I was a reporter because it was just too sexually explicit.

It was a written by a young woman who couldn’t type. Back in the old days that was newspaper shorthand for an unqualified female political hire. She had been given a job at the N.C. Department of Transportation and she was writing to another young woman, obviously a confidant.

She worked here, across the street from the Capitol
She worked here, across the street from the capitol.

She told her friend how much she liked her job, how she didn’t have to do anything. And she talked about the state senator who got her the job, a senator she knew intimately. She said she had seen him a day or two before, on her way back from the beach.

The guy had a serious case of poison ivy, she said, and she described the infected area in great detail. 

I knew my newspaper, The News & Observer, wasn’t about to publish her email, not in a million years, but maybe I could get the gist of the story in the paper. Anyway, it would be interesting to see what the DOT spokesman had to say.

When I showed him the email he looked distressed but he said nothing, not a word, regardless of how I phrased my questions. And then he asked, “Can we go off the record?”

I wasn’t going to get an on the record comment, so I agreed. I was as curious as you may be — did the senator know the cat was out of the bag?

He did indeed.  The senator had heard about that email –bad news travels fast — and telephoned the DOT spokesman. 

“He asked me if I had seen it, if I had a copy,” the spokesman said.  “I said, ‘Yes.’ And he said, ‘Read it to me.'”


“And I did.”

And what was his reaction, I asked?

“The senator said, ‘Well, I guess that puts to rest rumors that I’m a homosexual.'”

Postscript: I did get a sanitized version of the story in the paper but, alas, not the senator’s reaction.  That was off the record.

Coming Friday: The E-Light Club

Where Does It End?

My wife, Donna, told me that my son, Bo, who was six years old, had been hit by another boy and had come home crying.

It was time for “The Talk.”

Bo, 6, waiting for the school bus.
Bo, 6, waiting for the school bus.

“Bo,” I said, “when some boy hits you, you have to hit him back.”

And he said, “And then they’ll hit me again.”

“Probably,” I said.

“And then I’ll hit them again.”


“And then they’ll hit me.”

And I said, “Well, yea, they might. Probably.”

“That could go on forever,” Bo said.

Postscript: I found out later that the boy I had urged my six-year-old son to slug it out with was several years older.

BONUSThis is not a real story, but it’s a fun story.  An old friend, Pat Stumpf, sent it to me:

Tom was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business. He knew he would inherit a fortune when his sickly father died and he decided he needed to do two things to prepare for that day:

Learn how to invest his inheritance

And find a wife to share his fortune.

One evening, at an investment seminar, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her beauty took his breath away.

“I may look like just an ordinary man,” he said to her, “but in just a few years my father will die and I’ll inherit $20 million dollars.”

Impressed, the woman asked for his business card.  Two weeks later, she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at estate planning than men.

Coming Monday: The Senator’s Proof