Political commentary coming shortly, but first, here are two recent conversations, one that I overheard and one that I was part of.
Overheard: The other day, in my neighborhood Walgreen’s, I saw a skinny young man who was wearing pants that defied gravity and an oversized baseball cap that was overwhelmed by it. I thought he was accompanied by one young woman, but it turned out to be two. I’m still not sure what that was about. He sidled up to the pharmacy counter and here’s what I heard:
Young Man (face mostly obscured by oversized cap): “Mumble. Mumble mumble. Mumble mumble mumble.”
Pharmacist (loud and clear – might as well have been using a bullhorn): “Over the counter?”
Young Man: “Mumble mumble. Mumble. Mumble.”
Pharmacist: “Fertility tests? Yes, we have fertility tests for women. They’re in Aisle 3.”
Young Man: “Mumble! Mumble mumble mumble mumble. Mumble.”
Young Man: “Mumble mumble mumble!”
Pharmacist (looking a little disgusted): “No! For a test like that, you gotta go see a doctor!”
The pharmacist fled to the comfort of filling prescriptions. The young man and his crew slouched out of the store. All looked dissatisfied.
Part of: Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent way too much time on chat and phone with various forms of tech support. Most of it has had to do with Quicken, which inexplicably stopped working right, and then piece-by-piece, started working better. It now appears to be fine, although no one knows who or what caused the improvement. In the world of technology, an experience like this is known as a “Full Smolinsky.”
I have great respect for people who provide tech support from call centers in the places like India and the Philippines. To make better lives for themselves and their families, they work miserable hours supporting poorly built products that are used by ungrateful people like me. And last week, one of those wonderful people called me and said the following:
“Hello. I’m trying to reach Mr. Daniel Wallace. Is this Mr. Daniel Wallace? Hello, Mr. Daniel Wallace. I’m calling from Intuit Quicken. I am the support agent who will be helping you on this call. My name is Ann-Margaret.”
You know my rule. I never make this stuff up.
Now, on to the political commentary.
Hillary Clinton has, at last, thankfully, conclusively demonstrated that she is not qualified to hold the nation’s highest office. This time, it’s not the general smarminess, the lack of transparency or the squishy ethics. It’s not the habit of doing questionable things and then acting outraged when people question them. And it certainly isn’t the deeply held beliefs, the policies that emanate from them, and the clear, compelling vision for the future of America. It can’t be any of those things because I have no idea what they are and, in fact, strongly suspect that they don’t exist.
No, this time it’s much simpler.
In this day and age, if you don’t know that you can carry one phone with two email accounts on it, if you think that the right way to get a personal email account is to get your own mail server, if you can actually get your own mail server, and yet your answer to the question of whether it was secure is, “Well, it was on a property protected by the Secret Service,” then, at least in my humble opinion, you simply are not smart enough to be President of the United States.