The Poisoned Ink Well

Sunday, November 17, 2002

I would be disingenuous by suggesting that I ever expected help or niceties from the men that rule Baton Rouge and the state of Louisiana.

It is true that we did many good things while working with our women’s groups (humble though we were) holding dinners, parties, or arranging yet another casino night to benefit the social cause of the moment, while our governor showed off his considerable skills at dealing cards.

How many times while attending some function, at the governor’s mansion, or the capital, did I personally witness some inopportune moment when the mayor, or one of our good representatives, was left with a lull conversation that would allow some poor per functionary to go with symbolic hat in hand to ask for a favor, maybe for a sick child, or a serviceman, or maybe for themselves.

The cornered politician would break in an all to familiar sweat, turning pale as his eyes darted wildly back and forth, trapped like animal with the worst kind of constituent, and that being one lacking the necessary social skills to know when a bribe is required for their humble request to be granted.

Oh how they would tremble and their bodies would jerk looking for any opening and at these times even I (being a petite teenager not lacking in looks) was seen as an agent of rescue for the noble gent waylaid by an opportunity seeker, and oh heavens, not even an important one. At these times my hand was clasped and I was even hugged with mumbled words in the ear, that meant nothing to me, as they brushed past hugging my shoulders in gratitude, while jumping a hedge or a coffee table to freedom.