While the heavyweights are all analyzing the big appointments at State, Justice and Defense, and the wise-guys are stocking in powerful electron telescopes lest "Change"- proves to be elusive, my strategy has been to find an ignored appointment upon which to shine a light.
Superficially, Janet Napolitano's quiet competence may seem a poor fit for what, just a few years ago, was the hottest appointment in town. Being the Queen of Blah, however, may be just the ticket for the grim thankless task of protecting America from mushroom clouds, big winds and swarming illegals.
In any event, since she doesn't get much ink, I thought I'd take a look-see. There really wasn't very much. Aside from the oft-repeated "I'm not a lesbian"-; she is most famous for her saying, in opposition to "The Wall"-, that even if America should build a fifty foot high wall or fence, "they"- would simply respond by "using a fifty-one foot ladder."-
Fifty-one foot ladder? I don't think I've ever seen one of those. (not that I'm a big ladder guy) I went to town and checked all the stores. It didn't take too long. In the four stores that sell ladders nobody had anything close. The local custom being to always recommend another shop when you don't have something; also availed me nothing, as nobody had even ever heard of a place that sold ladders that long. Perhaps, it a local problem, I thought. Maybe, because we are so close to "The Wall"-, it's the same thinking which makes it impossible to buy spray paint in big cities?
So, I went wide, and checked in with the Wizard. After summoning his spirit, (by typing in G-O-O-G-L-E) the mystery deepened. No fifty-one foot ladders. Not even on the World Wide Web!
I gathered my creaking bones, fired up the pre-vintage bug, and headed west on US 90 across a territory that was not for an older man. If "they"- are coming over the wall with the great ladder, why not talk to "them"-?
I crossed at Buzzard's Pass. Once again, no uber ladders on our side; just an unusual number of gun-shops, stocking an "unusual"- assortment of weapons. After a few discreet inquiries at Shady Cantina, a double sawbuck got me directions to a villita in the middle of nowhere. When I got there, not a soul was out on the "streets,"- just a few skinny dogs curring around. It was the kind of place writers are pleased to call "sleepy."- The kind of place where the few people envy the strays.
My instructions led me to the end of a particularly rutted washboard dirt track. It was there that I met Poncho. "Hola"-, I said. "Hey"-, he said. With the little children giggling behind their mother's skirt, the hablando commenced.
"-We are poor people, but we are not stupid. Do you think we have not heard of the great ladder? In our lives there are only walls-. In our lives even the dust is a wall. Amigo we know about ladders, -yes we have to know. There is no hope without ladders...there have been factories and craftsman here longer than there has been the United States--we have been making ladders for a very long time. Once, this place was the ladder capitol of all Mexico."-
But Poncho, do you have fifty-one foot ladders?
Si, we have all kinds of ladders, any kind of ladder you want-. We can make anything you want. Until the men in the suits came we made "los grandes"- too, and they were beautiful. Have you ever seen a cincuenta uno"? It is like the steeple, it reaches to heaven". When the Father came and he saw it we lit candles and he blessed the things"---but we are poor people and we could only make a few before they said to stop
What men in suits Poncho? Who said stop? He would not explain. Even the few dollars I had left would not change his mind. "It's not the dollars"- he said, "Although I would prefer los euros, I have already told you too much."- With the advice of "why don't you talk to the narcos"-, my interview was terminado.
Narcos? Did I look like somebody eager to have his head in a duffelbag?All the way home, I could not get those words out of my head. "-..any kind of ladder you want"-men in suits"-"-narcos"-..we made los cincuenta unos"-"-any kind of ladder you want"-"-we made them"-.men in suits"-.. Back on "our"- side I tossed and turned all night. Janet Napolitano"-..homeland security"-they can just make a fifty-one foot ladder"-"-men in suits"-..9/11"-"-any kind of ladder you want"-"-terrorism"-..Janet Napolitano"-.border state"-..Homeland Security"-. BORDER security"-"-.WE CAN MAKE THEM"-
I sat bolt upright covered in sweat. That's it!
All the pieces finally fit together. We don't have big ladders. "They"- do have them, or at least they did, until the men in the suits came. What a great pick Obama had made after all. Who better than the governor of a border state? Someone who had demonstrated an advanced understanding of the "fifty-one foot ladder"- problem? The president-elect is way ahead of the rest of us; he has put his finger on a new and terrible threat that may "change everything"-.Oh my god! We have a ladder gap!