Governor Granholm’s Presentation in Japan

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, May 22, 2006

As summer approaches, my mind wanders. Maybe it’s being conditioned to anticipate summer vacation from school. Maybe it’s the full bloom of beauty that draws one to stop and dwell. Maybe it’s the radiated heat of a sun burnt scalp that causes hallucinations….How was your Memorial Day weekend? Mine was fantastic. I got to go to my kids’ soccer games; drive a convertible; sit on the back patio with Janie, the kids, my sister, brother, and his partner and sip cool drinks; walk the sprinklers around the yard; read; nap; play lightning; swim in the neighbor’s pool. What do you think of when you get pool water up your nose — especially the first time it happens outdoors during pool season? I am instantly transported back to the West Reading pool in Pennsylvania.West Reading is a suburb of Reading, but by most standards it’s a city: a main street surrounded by row homes, corner stores, and sidewalks buckled by the roots of established sycamores. No room for backyard pools, so there is a community pool. We used to go there when I was little, ages birth to five. Mom would pack a lunch, and we’d sit by the wading pool all afternoon. There was a concession stand and sometimes we’d get lucky and Mom would buy us something. I remember the bags of Lance’s brand potato chips that looked sublime. But I would pick a Treasure Chest. It was pressed sugar bits (like Necco wafers) in coin shapes inside a box made to look like a pirate’s treasure chest. You know how food tastes especially good after playing outside all day? Well this wasn’t actually food, I guess, but man! It was delicious! Even the pink ones that taste like Pepto-Bismol.

So like I said, my mind wanders….

And my mind was definitely going on an aimless stroll for this week’s comic. It’s hard really to call it an editorial comic. It’s more of a “John finds it funny when very stern Japanese businessmen say silly things.” Our governor Jennifer Granholm just got back from a trip to Japan to scare up some new business for Michigan. Kind of a cheesy concept, which made me imagine that not all Japanese businessmen (and they are typically men) would want to attend these meetings. Which made me think, what if it turned out to be an Amway presentation? It went from there….

So, hey, I’m going to be taking my summer break from writing. I wish you all a safe and blissfully random summer. See ya in the fall!

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