Not Eudora
By Harry Welty
To be Published Sept, 20 , 2013 Yet to be published


Well, Shut Mah Mouth

And the publisher is about to. Not Eudora's going silent till mid November.  The only advantage the publisher can give a political candidate is the advertizing rich candidates can buy. This isn’t the first time Not Eudora’s got its mouth shut. My fingers were stilled in a 2006 election. Ostensibly (to spit out a 50 cent word) this was to take away my unfair advantage  of self promotion.

I’m not so sure this column is all that much of an advantage for me. Writing a column that I find interesting pretty well requires me to annoy somebody. Most political candidates hate to offend anyone who can vote the exception being persecuted minorities - like synthetic drug users.

When I was a kid beloved politicians in the Deep South could safely treat black citizens like a different species. They couldn’t vote and were even thrown in jail for trying to register. As a public spirited white Minnesota kid I watched the Birmingham Fire Department turn fire hoses on children who had the temerity to demand that the City let their parents vote. Afterwards drenched and soggy kids were thrown into jail until the cells were so crowded no more could be stuffed in.

Shutting Not Eudora’s mouth for the interim is no inconvenience or even censorship. If anything its a new advantage since my columns mostly cost me votes. My old columns are littered with eye pokes to Republicans (who the publisher first thought I would defend), public employee unions, the Chamber of Commerce, miscellaneous Christians, and Red Planners among others. In anticipation of this day I even tried to be reasonably scrupulous by avoiding the topic of the upcoming campaign in this summer’s columns. Now there will be merciful silence.

I’d thought about calling this column “Ethics of a Tattle Tale” which might still be a good one for the future. Tattle tales are necessary like the vermin that helps us recycle our prodigious refuse. I’m strongly inclined to tell tales that others might not want repeated. They are not only provocative but often the most useful and interesting.

“Provoke.” I’ve liked that word ever since I heard my Grandmother sputter, “I’m so provoked!” She was an English teacher and liked fifty cent words. She taught me the definition of remuneration.  According to Nana her father got his first job at the Santa Fe Railroad by dazzling the interviewer. He asked how much his “remuneration” would be.

During my wife’s first pregnancy Nana confided that she had foolishly shown off by wearing her expensive new fur coat to the hospital when she went to deliver her first child, my Dad.  Her water broke on the way and she could never get the stains out or wear it again. It took her fifty years to tell this embarrassing but instructive anecdote thus keeping it out of useful circulation.

In my early career as a politician I was drawn to the example of the notorious Eleanor Roosevelt. FDR’s First Lady wrote a nationally syndicated weekly column about her travels on the President’s behalf.  Doing political foot work for her wheelchair bound husband was one of the reasons she was both beloved and despised.

I imagined that if I ever got elected I could write about what was happening and why, not just the result. I wanted to see how all the political sausage I’d heard so much about got ground into something edible. Maybe I should have been an inspector for the Food and Drug Administration. I wanted to know why things happen the way they do. Why did those Birmingham fireman drench children with powerful skin ripping jets of water?

The writer in me is like a cat that can’t rest until it sees behind a closed door. The cats I write about are often as inscrutable as junior high kids who disappear behind the brick walls of their schools only to reemerge at the end of the day to tell their folks that “Nothing happened.” I know better. That’s why I write.

Welty is a local crank who also rants at…………..