Well, every other blog has already posted about Sarah Palin. All of them. Even my mom posted about it. [No link for you, suckazzzz!] And I don’t need to point out some of the more obviously hilarious shit, like the fact that the Sarah Palin action figures are male, or that the media really isn’t very good at their jobs, or her apparently legitimate LinkedIn profile. No, I have something way way more fucking important to tell you.
I’ve tried to keep this to myself, but I know Sarah Palin. And not the way America knows her warm, moose-gutting smile from the small-town life we all participate in, and not the way that she knows Jesus or whatever. I mean, we met. For a brief period, I like to think that we were something special. And not in a gay way.
WARNING: This story is, for once, entirely true
Do you remember when Into The Wild was published? Well, I do. I was ten years old, but already starstruck by the majestic beauty of Hatchet. This wasn’t the book Hatchet, but the mediocre TV movie with all the bearfighting. I couldn’t read the book, because throughout most of the ’90s I was illiterate because of brain parasites, etc. In fact, I only knew about Into The Wild because I met Chris McCandless at a press conference shortly after it was released. At the Barnes and Noble inside the Stuckey’s in my Massachusetts hometown, his smile dazzled me and his tales of the Arctic lit a fire in my soul.
I was so impressed with his charisma and pallor that I promptly started hitchhiking to Alaska, like in that famous eight-episode sequence from Malcolm In The Middle. A variety of friendly truckers gave me rides across British Columbia, putting me through various trials, each of which I passed with youthful vigor, aplomb and spontaneity. After weeks of this foolishness, I reached my destination: beautiful Wasilla, Alaska, then a finance boomtown with over 400,000,000 residents, and a downtown with skyscrapers, and unbelievable amounts of relevance. Due to my own inadequacies, I was unable to obtain gainful employment and was forced to take a position as a newspaper boy, one of millions struggling to start a new life in this fast-paced metropolis of opportunity.
One of the quieter neighborhoods in bustling Wasilla.
In the crowded stations of Wasilla, where the packed trains left every twenty minutes for Milwaukee, New York and Terrifying Communist Russia, I plied my trade with issues of the Wasilla Daily Courier (circulation: 200 million). “Daily Courier!” I would shout, with the vigor that poverty and starvation brought to me and so many of my compatriots, “please, sir, just 25 cents for a Daily Courier!” It was particularly difficult to make sales on account of I couldn’t read the headlines.
And so thousands of frustrated commuters brushed by me without so much as a fare-thee-well, hurrying to Communist Vladivostok to buy whale futures and shares in igloo distribution firms: these were headier days. But the town shuddered under the potential yoke of a potential Russian invasion, and we all shuddered with it. But who was I to complain? The constant fear sold newspapers, and only our ineffective Mayor Stein was there to defend us. A weak line of defense he was, yelling across the Bering Strait, suitcase in hand, begging for a Terrifying Communist trawler to ferry him to sunny Siberia. In our beds, silently, at night — we quaked with terror.
In 1996, after a year of this backbreaking labor and mind-rending fear, I met Sarah Palin. At the time, she was only a City Councillor (one of 752 that represented each of the massive city’s many districts). Still, even the meekest of salarymen had a good excuse not to stop and talk to a knee-high newsie such as myself. But she did. “Excuse me, young man,” she said, kneeling so as not to dominate me with her 6’7″ frame, “but have you had anything to eat today?”
It wasn’t long before we found true love.
Being a good sport, Sarah posed frequently for informal portraits such as this one.
Living in a small apartment in a fifty-story high rise in Wasilla’s Skyscraper Heights district (the site of which is today an empty, mouldering parking lot next to a derelict walrus factory), we each worked toward our respective goals. While I struggled to get a job where I didn’t breathe coal dust in the dark corners of locomotive platforms, Sarah plotted against Stein. While we slept, she knew, Stein was making clandestine phone calls to the Communist premier, negotiating the handoff of Alaska to Russia in exchange for 3% of ANWR revenues, gross, plus 22 points on the antique stores dotting the Alcan Highway. She shook with fury while she slept and moved with a stunning quickness while awake, faxing out press releases and calling the editors of the Courier to insist that they denounce Stein. The newsroom, which was by then entirely in the pockets of the whale industry, declined with bald-faced bravado.
In other words, Sarah was an uncompromising ideological badass, fighting for all that was right. I guess that’s what finally drove us apart. For awhile, she was content to teach me the ways of her home; to date, I can kill a polar bear from over ten thousand feet away, with my bear hands. [Oops! I meant “bare.” — Zach] I loved to learn. But there was a problem. Like most East Coasters, I was an ardent believer in Communism, and Godlessness, and Doing The Wrong Thing, and Mandatory Abortion, and Didn’t Enjoy Shooting Guns, and I thought that All Small Towns Should Be Fired Out Of A Cannon Into Space, and Hated Trucks, and Mandatory Gay Marriage For Straight People Also.
Of course, one night our disagreements became more than academic. “Goddammit, Sarah,” I shouted in a fit of pique, “if we don’t confiscate 92% of the pre-tax earnings of middle-class Americans, how will we fund the Welfare Baby Higher-Taxes Space Program For Transgender Welfare Babies?”
“Get out of my apartment,” she replied. “I thought you’d fit in here in Alaska, but it turns out you just loved my innovative hairdo!” Dejected, I packed what few possessions I had into a steamer trunk and headed back to New York City, then and now an isolated backwater with no relevance to the way that the country functions. Since then I’ve led a paltry and middling life, never matching the vigor that Wasilla — and Sarah — had filled me with all along.
The test rocket had to be scrapped somewhere over the Pacific.
Of course, Wasilla is a quieter place today. Since the 90s, it’s shrunk to house only a few thousand residents. The skyscrapers were taken down, packed up and relocated; to Shanghai, mostly. I often think back on those days with Sarah, or pause briefly at my desk to compose to her a typo-ridden letter. Still, the responses never come, and the threatening knocks on the door from her staff are ever-louder. I think of how much better the times were then… Ah!, but those were Wasilla Days, the sort of days we shall never see again until we’re carried away in Heaven’s merciful chariot. Until then, dear friends, adieu. Mon cherie Sarah, adieu!