Throughout our nation’s history, our most heroic and intelligent citizens have selflessly sacrificed themselves in order to maintain a prosperous republic. Unfortunately, following undeserved media scrutiny, these individuals are sometimes forced to clamber atop a soapbox, bloated with courage, to loudly declare, “Not I!” In light of my own media troubles, I must also formally announce that I will no longer be running for president.
Since my first unexpected spike in the polls, reporters have rigorously questioned my qualifications. I can vividly remember the scathing items on the news tickers: I’m lazy; I grind my teeth while sleeping; I’m afraid of spiders, large crowds, and small crowds; I once had bedbugs, and could spread them to the White House; I’m highly allergic to pollen, which would leave me largely indisposed each spring; I’m a chocoholic, and this signifies a susceptibility towards more dangerous substances. That I’m a sad young man with an incredibly short attention span and only $11.75 in campaign funds. These accusations are —
I’m sorry, I lost focus after I noticed a squirrel stealing a poppyseed bagel out of my neighbor’s trash.
What I meant to say was that it’s my own private concern whether I’m “faithful” to my cancer-addled wife, if I have one lovechild or several, if I have sexually harassed my parole officer, and if I lead a double life as Juan Montezuma, a distinguished dry-cleaning magnate from Houston, Texas. Perhaps journalists should focus on the real issues that face average Americans, instead of broadcasting baseless accusations about the virility of a hardworking, sensitive presidential candidate? Airing dirty laundry in public gets us nowhere, as those in dry-cleaning racket like to say.
Worst of all, a French newspaper is claiming I text-messaged photos of my genitalia to employees at my for-profit non-charity. I must address this issue head-on. The quotes are products of poor translation. I never claimed that “The Port Authority men’s room perfectly captures that certain je ne sais quoi required of well-composed penile photos.” Nor did I “ejaculate” with “malice” that “politicians lacking penis photos aren’t patriotic.” Looking at the shoddy photos — my aides have obtained them for me — it’s clear they are not my work. Their grainy quality makes it difficult to determine whose testicles they even are, and what all the fuss is about. The accusations are stiffly fallacious.
In an unrelated side note, I firmly stand by my for-profit’s tax records.
Sadly, it seems the damage has been done. My poll numbers have irrevocably tanked. My feelings, as well as the feelings of my entire harem, have been sufficiently hurt. I must exit the race. But don’t pity me. In retrospect, I don’t think I want to be president. It’s a terrible job. The long work hours, poor job security, millions of ornery bosses watching surveillance footage of your every move. Abridged vacations that cause your ranch to become unkempt with overgrown brush. That damn marching band that tails you, playing a fortissimo “Hail To The Chief,” even when you’re just trying to watch football on your only day off. You don’t even get to wear a costume; at least the Pope gets a fancy hat.
Additionally, there are other jobs I must rescind my candidacy from. I will not seek to be governor, mayor, or sanitation commissioner. I refuse to run the local block party committee, nor will I attempt to become Number One Dad. Let my critics be satisfied: I now know my place in the world.
Sadly, I can already hear John Q. Public in his ramshackle rathskeller, rambling in disappointment regarding my decision. I expect nothing less from my endlessly supportive, hypothetical constituents. For their disappointment, I’m dreadfully sorry.
Joe Veix is a Brooklyn-based writer and comedian, whose work has also appeared in McSweeney’s, The Awl, CollegeHumor, and other less reputable publications. You can find him on Twitter, Tumblr, or pensively loitering around strip mall parking lots.
The Humor Section features a piece of original humor writing each week. To submit to it, send an email to Becca O’Neal.