My sophomore year in high school, I took a class in Creative Writing with Ms. Williams. It was Mrs. Williams, actually, much to the dismay of fantastic fifteen year-old boys. But I remember the class vividly. For an early exercise in creative writing, the
delightful blonde nymph respected shaper of young minds, divided the class into groups. The assignment: to write a page of a short story. When the groups finished their segments, we passed the story to the group on our right, who would add a segment to the story, and so on, until each group had a turn with the story. Here, Tyrone Jackson was born.
Ah, Tyrone Jackson. The middle-aged rabbi from Thailand. Dan, Troy, Jim, and I concocted this character from the fevered imaginations of our adolescence, somewhere amid the giggling (which we would have called chuckling, but our voices were still changing, so it was probably giggling). We injected Jackson into every story passed to us. He suffered a number of untimely deaths and dismemberments once the group to our right determined what we were doing. At the end of the exercise, the groups had to rewrite their original stories using elements from the other groups’ contributions. So our group, ignoring the ignoble assaults on our hero, rewrote the story. Or Dan, Troy, and Jim did; I abstained, as they were not doing our hero justice. Although we got a passing grade turned on whatever they turned in, I was not satisfied. I had greater dreams for Jackson. Thus begat The Further Adventures of Tyrone Jackson.
My first book, hem, was a collection of short stories that chronicled how Tyrone Jackson would have infected all other stories and myths before him. However, each hero must have his arch-enemy, and Jackson discovered his when he met the leader of the Venusian invasion in the undersea base wherein the Venusians were keeping Jackson’s pet bunny Manerd.
“Lyndon LaRouche? You’re the dude from those dippy TV specials!”
Lyndon LaRouche became Tyrone Jackson’s archenemy. When Jackson consulted with his guru on Mount Everest, it was LaRouche sending the Soviet Spetsnaz after him….or James Bond….or maybe MacGyver, who happened to be mountain climbing at the time. When Tyrone Jackson stole Doctor Who’s Tardis, he uncovered Lin Don La Ru was the mortal enemy of Tai Ron Ja Sing in feudal Japan. LaRouche was the all-powerful Denfather in the alternate earth where the Cub Scouts had taken over. Like some archetype or eternal conflict, wherever Jackson encountered his match, it was LaRouche. Jackson always won, though, but LaRouche got away to fight another day… or in another time….
So when I went into the local polling place tonight, the collection of aged election judges asked me whether I what ballot I wanted. “Democrat,” I said. When I was alone in my voting stall and confronted with my allotment of possible choices, I voted for Lyndon LaRouche.
I admit, I have heard his commercials on KMOX radio comparing Ashcroft to Hitler. I have not seen any of his television specials, either, whether sixteen years ago or last week. But I voted for him anyway. Not because he’s got a chance of winning, and not because I think Joe has a chance of beating el Johnissimo. But for old times’ sake.
LaRouche has been a punchline of mine for almost twenty years. Who knows if I’d ever get a chance to vote for him again?
Somewhere, amid the hundreds of lost loose-leaf pages of Tyrone Jackson’s further adventures, undoubtedly Jackson is cursing the the villian’s luck once again. And tomorrow, when I review the election results, I shall recognize my vote among LaRouche’s handful.