The U.S. Senate race this November between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue will be one of the more unusual campaigns we have witnessed in Georgia. Neither has held public office and both are anxious to portray themselves as the ultimate "outsider."
But just how outside is outside?
That was a task I assigned my esteemed associate, Figby. I asked him to pose that question to both candidates. Figby is good at this kind of thing and is used to tough assignments.
He once got Southern Baptists together with the American Civil Liberties Union. Thanks to his efforts, the Baptists agreed they had misinterpreted the Bible and would hire only women preachers in the future. The ACLU agreed to tattoo a copy of the Ten Commandments on every member's forehead. At the end of the day, everybody was hugging and crying. I was proud of Figby.
Rap! Rap! Rap!
Figby: "OK, folks, let's get started. Where is Ms. Nunn?"
Nunn: (Hollers) "I am out here!"
Figby: "Ms. Nunn, I can't see you."
Nunn: "That's because I am outside, you dipstick. If I come inside, I won't be outside. Is that so hard to figure?"
Figby: "Hmm. Interesting point, Ms. Nunn. Mr. Perdue, where are you?"
Perdue: (Hollers) "I'm sitting in my pickup truck, watching a movie called the ‘The Outsiders.' I've seen it a million times. It stars Marshal Dillon and John Cameron Swayze. I identify with the characters. They wear denim jackets and are not a part of the ‘in-crowd,' like somebody I could name."
Nunn: "Oh, pooh! Your cousin was governor of Georgia and you live inside a gated community that is inside another gated community on Sea Island. You had to send your valet to Pembroke to find you a denim jacket. Some outsider."
Figby: "Let me stop you for a second. "The Outsiders' starred Matt Dillon and Patrick Swayze, not Marshal Dillon and John Cameron Swayze. Marshal Dillon was played on television by James Arness and John Cameron Swayze was a network anchorman at NBC many years ago. You might enjoy a little story about Mr. Swayze. ..."
Perdue: "Yeah, well what about you, lady? You grew up in Washington D.C. That's about as inside as you can get."
Figby: "John Cameron Swayze did commercials for Timex watches. Their motto was ‘takes a licking and keeps on ticking.' One time, on live television, he. ..."
Nunn: "For your information, I barely remember Washington. I'm not sure I could find the place today. I think it is somewhere near Cohutta. I'd need a map. That's how outside I am."
Figby: "...put a watch on a motorboat propeller. ..."
Perdue: "Well, I'm so outside I can tell you I don't know where Washington is without looking at a map. I believe it is in Ohio or Arizona."
Figby: "... and it slung the watch off and nobody could find it. It was terribly amusing and. ..."
Nunn: "C'mon, David. You have been to Washington just as much as I have."
Perdue: "Yeah, but only because I had to. When I wasn't running major corporations, I was usually fishing. I love to fish."
Nunn: "No kidding. Back home in Perry, we have a lot of fish ponds and some mighty fine fishing. That brings back a lot of warm memories."
Perdue: "You are from Perry? Don't that beat all! I'm from over in Warner Robins. We were practically neighbors."
Figby: "Sorry I seem to have gotten sidetracked, folks. If we can get back to the discussion, I don't feel we are making much headway today and I would like to suggest. ..."
Nunn: "How about that! Why don't you and the family come over sometime for catfish and collard greens?
Perdue: "Gosh, we'd love to. I'll bring my copy of ‘The Outsiders.' You will love the movie. Marshal Dillon and John Cameron Swayze are great in it."
Figby: "Again, that's not correct. Marshal Dillon is a fictional character. ..."
Nunn: "Great. I'll have my folks call your folks and set it up. Just one condition."
Perdue: "What's that?"
Nunn: "Let's be sure and eat outside in case anybody sees us. Remember, we are ‘outsiders.' We've got our reputations to think about."
Perdue: "Ha. Ha. Ha. Good one. Outside it is. See you later, Michelle. My best to your folks."
Nunn: "Same here, David. Bye."
Figby: "... and John Cameron Swayze was ..."
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or www.facebook.com/dickyarb.