the next president

Among the many lunatics I’ve come to know and love (or hate) in my life, there was this guy I knew briefly around 1968 who was known only as “Mac”, which was short for “mechanic” since he fixed things. He never spoke, he just stayed in the background and when something needed to be fixed, like a gas generator, he’d take it apart and fix it. He never even said his name was Mac – it’s just what we called him because there was nothing else to go by.

One night a bunch of us were sitting around shooting the breeze and suddenly Mac opened up. He told us that he had been followed around for years, in California, by phone company vans; that they had got hold of him and implanted electronic devices in his brain; that they had planned to make him president of the United States; that he would be known as President Andrew McAllister.

The name seemed perfectly presidential and so I felt that although the man was utterly nuts, it might be a good idea, just in case, to keep an eye on future U.S. presidential events.

One day, sometime later, he came by the house where I’d been staying. This was within a day or two of the July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. Mac paced wildly around the house talking non-stop in an incomprehensible (to me) language. He was extremely agitated. Then he left and we never saw him again.

If, by 2012, there is no President Andrew McAllister, I will assume he lied.

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