Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Secret Twin by Susan Reinhardt

Within an hour of Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s selection of a running mate, my phone started ringing and the e-mails poured forth.
“Susan, your Daddy and I were watching TV and there you were,” Mama said. “I screamed. That Alaska Governor he picked looks just like you when you wear your hair up and those ugly glasses.”
Nancy Russell-Forsythe wrote to say, “I couldn’t believe it when I saw (Governor) Sarah Palin. She looks just like you. Are you leading a double life, living both here and Alaska?”
Clicking on photos of her, I could see resemblances in many of the shots, especially the hair and glasses and rather huge ears.
The other day, after images of her blasted every screen and paper in the world, I went to the mall to buy a pair of Spanx (best girdle on earth) and a gaggle of women at the upscale makeup counters stared.
I thought, “Dang, do I have something coming out of my nose?” Or “Is my skin that bad they want to sit me down and talk about how a gopher could emerge from one of my enlarged pores?”
I bought the Spanx and had to pass the makeup section again.
“Excuse me,” one of the lovely ladies with perfect skin said. “We were wondering if anybody had ever told you that you look just like Sarah Palin?”
Same thing happened at Bi-Lo and everywhere else I went that day.
First, I’d like to set the record straight about a few things. One, I don’t think I’m a hottie like Palin is. Maybe if a person’s half blind and stands 20 yards away, they see us as twins.
Otherwise, McCain’s, gun-toting, smooth-talking speaker, really isn’t my doppelganger, except we both have donkey ears and a bit of junk in the trunk, as in a rather “healthy” caboose area.
It was our smart-ass columnist John Boyle who jumped on the Palin look-a-like wagon and said, “It’s freaky” how much I favor the woman. “What you need to do is get her mannerisms and speaking habits down and, voila! You’re on ‘Saturday Night Live!’ It’s a chance of a lifetime, Susie. Don’t waste it.”
He’d received an e-mail from one of his cronies asking if McCain had really picked me as his running mate.
“Remember, Susie,” Boyle said. “This is a major compliment, because Palin is truly veep-a-licious.”
“Yeah, but she’s a few years younger and much better looking than me. Plus, I can’t field dress a moose. I can barely dress myself. I did gut fish when I was growing up. Does that count as dressing a fish?”
“Just watch her speech Wednesday night,” he said.
She was incredibly poised, Botoxed and effective with her message. And while I’m not exactly on her political page, I did love one comment in particular.
“Do you know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?” she asked her enthralled audience, pausing for drama. “Lipstick!”
I could relate to a woman who thinks the right shade of lipstick will cure most ills.
My ills of late are writing and re-writing and waiting for my new agent to give me word on a novel I turned in a month ago. As the days pass with no comments, I start to panic and get scared that maybe I suck and have no business in this field.
This is why I’m glad I favor Sarah Palin. Maybe I could make a few dimes off the Mistress of Mooses. Then again…Maybe frothing up some Chocolate Elvis Smoothies at the mall might be a better option should my fiction career tank.
Susan Reinhardt is the author of “Not Tonight Honey, Wait Til I’m a Size 6,” “Don’t Sleep with a Bubba,” and her latest, “Dishing with the Kitchen Virgin.” She’s a syndicated columnist with Gannett newspapers.

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