I tried to go paddle boarding yesterday morning, but the wind was 16 mph. When I stepped past the shelter of the buildings near the dock, the winds caught my board and almost whirled me around like spinner from a child’s board game. I would’ve struggled to get on the dock and put my board in the water. I gave up and went for a bicycle ride.
I’d like to say that struggling to hang on to my board was embarrassing, but . . .
Five minutes before my failed launch, I used the porta potty. Not a fan, but at my age I like to go right before I get on the water. My youthful days of taking an eight-hour road trip and not having to pee are way down the highway.
The porta potty was clean, but a long strip of toilet paper was coiled on the floor under the dispenser. Better than some things I’ve seen on the floors of portable bathrooms, and there was hand sanitizer. So, I entered and went.
After exiting the bathroom, something tickled my leg. I turned to look. Stuck to my shoe, like a streamer was the toilet paper that had been coiled up on the floor. The wind tossed it about.
I looked around. Yep, my first concern was how many people might see me. Then, while cursing people who throw toilet paper on the floor, I gathered up the paper and returned it to the biffy. More hand sanitizer. Lots more.
I didn’t share my embarrassing moment with anyone–too embarrassing. I knew the paper was on the floor, still I hadn’t been careful.
Then I watched the January 6th hearings last night.
I listened to Republican Congress members who gave speeches right after the January 6th insurrection and coup attempt. Those Republicans, fresh from the experience of wondering if they were going to die, called out Trump and condemned what happened. They knew Trump was a piece of toilet paper clinging to their shoes.
But then something changed because Trump’s base didn’t see it that way.
So, many Republicans started calling the insurrection and coup attempt “a tour of the Capitol Building” or “an overblown description by the leftist media” or “unimportant when compared to inflation.” They chose to ignore the toilet paper clinging to their shoes.
It would go like this:
“Hey, Republican Congress persons, do you know you’ve got pieces of toilet paper trailing from your shoes?”
“Oh, that? It’s a loyal constituent who wants a tour of the Capitol Building,” says one Republican Congress member.
“Only the leftist media can see that,” says another Republican Congress member.
“Do you know how much toilet paper costs now?” says a third Republican Congress member.
These are the same Republicans who ran for their lives on January 6th, who called Trump and begged him to help them, who decided the stolen election narrative had to end.
Fortunately, there are Republicans who understand the difference between tourists and insurrectionists, who know some behaviors are beyond partisanship, who comprehend that a dictator would be a bigger threat than cyclical economic trends.
As for the Republican Congress members who are ignoring the toilet paper on their shoes, thanks for making my embarrassing moment yesterday pale in comparison to your embarrassing conduct.
Although, I’d give anything to still be too embarrassed to talk about my porta potty episode in exchange for a country where I’m not worried about what is going to happen in the next election cycle.