Kerry/Edwards Shirt Did The Trick
Humor by Tom McLaughlin
I must have been the only one on the planet that didn't know who he was. My editor sent me an e-mail to interview Dr. Bob Arnot and I immediately replied "Who the hell is he?
Dr. Bob was the keynote speaker at a forum held in Ocean City sponsored by the local hospital.
My problem was what do I talk to him about? My big gut that I have been working for over two years to reduce to sexy teenager size? I thought and decided Lyme disease would be the best topic, mainly because I had heard it was a big problem here on the Shore. We are an outdoor people with hunting, fishing, claming, crabbing, bird watching, gardening, hiking, tanning, boating, farming and everything else having to do with nature while Frederick Countians' major hobby is commuting.
I had to be at the Pocomoke City Cypress Festival to pass out literature to support Norm Conway from our district who is Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the number three guy in Annapolis and targeted for defeat by Republicans. I looked through my shirts, wanting to sport one with a Democrat message and donned an old Kerry/Edwards singlet. Rushing to the interview and assured Dr. Bob was a "somebody," the Press Relations lady looked at me, shorts and the Kerry shirt, with a nose up stance - but the temperature was 94 with matching humidity.
I thought I would recognize him when he strolled out but my mind still remained blank. He immediately informed John Kerry was his neighbor in Nantucket and they often went bike riding together. He asked me if I still liked the senator and I told him I did and we discussed Hillary Clinton and other Democratic Party presidential contenders. I told him I waffled on Mrs. Clinton because she had supported the war in Iraq (which I am vehemently against) and was looking seriously at John Warner of Virginia.
We discussed politics for a while and finally got to Lyme disease where he expertly gave me his ideas (we must establish a local center connected to a research center very interested in the disease). We backed into politics again and I got him to promise to come to Annapolis to support Norm's bill to start the process.
There was a bill last year but some lady senator turned it into an unrecognizable menagerie. The press secretary from the hospital signaled my time was up and I got a really good article from it (www.Baysideoc.com under "Top Stories" click on OP fire (computer foul up)).
On departure Dr. Bob stated he really liked my Kerry/Edwards shirt and I thanked him as I rushed to support the Democratic Party cause at the fair. (more on that next week).
Hot, dirty, sweaty and tired I returned home and decided to look up Dr. Bob which I should have done in the first place before the interview. On the Internet I discovered he was vocal critic of the war (like me) and supported most humanitarian causes.
I got a great article and support for a Lyme disease center all because of shirt I chose that morning. Go figure!
Oh, by the way, Dr. Bob has a program "Dr. Death" that will be on NBC September 17.