Monday, February 4, 2008

Our Ride On the Magic Mitt Mobile

While in Florida on January 22nd of this year Vesper's dad took us to hear Mitt Romney give a speech at the Jewish Republican Coalition in Boca Raton. Like I'm sure most politicians are, Mitt Romney was quite convincing. (Though, I must say I was quite impressed the Mr. Romney did not refer to notes of any kind during his 45 minutes speech and subsequent question and answer session. I know that such facts have zero baring on his fitness to be President, but worth noting none the less) As interesting as this Jewish political gathering we were a part of was (being not Jewish) that is not what this blog is about. This blog is about what took place after the formal speech. (As a side bar - Vesper and I are still quite ambivalent about which candidate(s) we really like or want to vote for. But Vesper's father on the other hand loves Mitt Romney with a love that will not die, nor will it fade. He hosts phone banks at his home to call other registered republicans in the states that are holding primaries soon to try and persuade them to vote for Mitt. The campaign provides prepaid cellular phones, call lists, and scripts) After the speech, some area campaign rep. comes up to Flint (Vesper's dad) and asks him if he would be willing to drive the Mitt Mobile up to the Orlando area. "The Governor" (the fact that the campaign referred to Mitt as "The Governor" every time he was mentioned was a highlight of the day) was taking a flight up to do some more campaigning, but the Mitt Mobile still needed to get up north. Flint said that he had to work but that Vesper and I weren't doing anything so we'd be able to. After talking it over, and initially resisting, we talked about it and Vesper had friends that she wanted to see in Orlando anyways so we agreed to make the 2 1/2 hour drive north up the turn pike.

After speaking with a higher up Mitt Romney campaign rep and getting instructions on where and how to pick up the Mitt Mobile (the Mitt Mobile will further more be referred to as the "MM" to stave off the inevitable onset of carpal tunnel) I envisioned a quick get away so we would have time to make it to Orlando before rush hour traffic and see Vesper's friend before her 3 little ones had to get to bed. This was most certainly not to be. First, we found out there was an appointment to get the oil changed on the MM. That took a good 40 minutes of our time. Then Flint just about begged us to bring the MM by his work so he could take pictures. That cost us another 30 minutes. Now, I must admit, though my heart was blackening by the second with the delays it was a treat to see the huge goofy smile on Flint's face. I haven't seen such a look of joy on his face in quite some time. (He celebrated by lifting a bunch of incidental paraphernalia from the MM) Lastly, and most necessarily, we had to swing by Vesper's folks' place to grab some gear for the road trip. We were in our best and spit-shined from the earlier rally/speech, and that is no state to be in for a road trip. That cost us another half hour.
Now, I would be lying if I didn't say that when we stopped over to get our things for the trip if we didn't stop and make a thorough tour of the MM and catalog everything that we saw.

The above sticker is what greets any visitor upon entering the MM. The thing that made me laugh in this picture were the children's toys in the open cupboards. (Notice the red "Eragon" book) I also thought it was neat he had one of his dad's campaign stickers displayed prominently.

Vesper and I survived mostly on the contents of the small kitchenette that was part of the MM. Though the fridge contained amazingly rancid feta cheese, the rest of the stock was pretty good, and mostly non-perishable.

Have you ever tried to imagine the splendor of the campaign trail? The opulence that the candidates lavish upon themselves whilst lying to the masses? Well, here it is. The master (and only) suite in the MM.

Of course, I couldn't pass up on a shot of the bathroom. Do you notice a flushing mechanism in this picture? I didn't either the first time I gazed upon this washroom, but I was full to bursting so I utilized the room regardless. Well, poor Vesper had to use the facilities later on as well, and as horrible as the smell was in there, I can't help but believe she was secretly very thankful I only engaged in numero uno. (She then proceeded to show me a foot pedal that flushed the toilet. My RV rank was revoked to novice.)

We greatly enjoyed the patriotic air fresheners.

Here is an example of what Flint made off with earlier in the narrative and a very fat looking hand.

Here is where Vesper and I spent the majority of our time on the trip. The amazing cabin of the MM that did not have adjustable chairs. (Let's just say that my pelvis probably could have handled steering duties) Though we did not utilize the TV or the DVD/VCR combo we were entertained by the small figures in the middle of the picture. Can you see them on the dashboard? Need a closer look? you are.

A Mitt Romney bobble head doll and a bizzare alligator head. I'm not sure if they are supposed to be some sort of commentary on his campaign or his relationship with the press, or perhaps his intentions upon winning the presidency, but anyway you cut's just a tad disturbing. (Also, later on we discovered that Flint has the same bobble head on his desk at work)

Well, when we finally hit the turnpike we figured out why the Romney campaign folks didn't want to make the drive themselves, and were so gracious and thankful when we volunteered to do it. The MM reeled to and fro like a drunken man dropped upon burning coals covered in glass shards and angry piranhas. I kept checking out the trees along the turnpike to ensure that we weren't in the midst of a strong, swirling gale. I also often checked the road to make sure that there weren't any treacherous ruts that were the culprit of our cyclonic sloshing, but there were neither. The MM was simply a hurtling bullet of death and Vesper, our unborn/yet to be fake named child, and I were the gun powder. (If we extend this comparison I suppose the Mitt Romney campaign staffers were the cowards that pulled the trigger.) Though I soon acquired my sea legs Vesper was very tense to downright panicked at times during the trip. Much of the turnpike was under construction and the lanes would narrow or become difficult to navigate. The MM had about 6 inches of clearance on each side going through the toll booths. Also, we would somehow forget at times we were in a garishly painted campaign RV and be startled from time to time when folks would honk manically and wave their limbs at us.
After 90 minutes of the turnpike we mercifully pulled into a rest area to fill up the MM and get some treats. I had to disappoint a couple of different folks who asked if Mitt himself, or one of his sons was on the RV. After putting close to $200 dollars worth of gas into the MM we were off again.
As we neared Orlando we began to get a tad nervous. A campaign staffer was to call us with directions to where specifically we were to drop off the MM and we kept getting passed back and forth between staffers. After many nervous calls and rapidly diminishing patience we finally got a hold of the right person and he gave us the directions we needed. It wasn't that far, but we had to get through the heart of Orlando in rush hour, and it ended up taking an additional hour and a half. By the time we finally go to the Ramada (or whichever forsaken hotel we ended up at) we were absolutely toast. Again, the campaign rep that met us at the forsaken hotel was very gracious and full of the feral energy that only the converted possess. She kept talking about how she was only getting 2-3 hours of sleep now that the Florida primary was so soon, and all I kept thinking was how silly it seemed to give so much life for a political candidate. But, I suppose I should be happy for her since she found a candidate she can believe in so completely.

Can you see the great fatigue in our countenances?

We soon got our blessedly small rental car after dropping off the MM and had a splendidly relaxing dinner and evening alone. Unfortunately we were now over an hour away from Vesper's friend's home, so we rescheduled for breakfast the next day and wrapped up the day checking into a Holiday Inn or our own east of Kissimmee, were I proceeded to drink Vesper's contacts and contact solution the next morning. But that is a story for another day.
All in all I'm not sure what word I would used to describe the experience that we had transporting the MM. Exhausting would probably be the most apt one. It also felt a bit strange to talk about the campaign and pass out Mitt Romney stickers to those who asked since I really didn't (and don't) care one way or the other if he wins the nomination. I guess I felt like I was play acting, or deceiving these folks a little bit. I never said anything pro or con Romney (though the thought did cross my mind to be negative for the shock value of it), but it still felt like I was somewhat of a proxy for "The Governor" during the 5 1/2 hours we were in possession of the MM. Despite all of that, at least Vesper and I got a day that we will never forget instead of sitting around her parents house all day.


Marie said...

Oh my word, this makes me so happy. Good thing you have pictures of you two in the belly of the beast, or I'd wonder if you hadn't just lifted these pics from the Internet for blog material. I'm really jealous. I bet there isn't another political RV that is so delightfully dorky, unless it's the Huckabee Humvee.

I especially liked your analysis of the dashboard dolls. Fuh-reaky.

Gawain said...

I never even thought of accusations of falsehood. Now I'm especially glad that we took pictures "in the belly of the beast".