178. Leap Boy, back in the news

Things sometimes change fast. I had this post ready a week ago, but BREXIT came along and I had to shuffle my schedule. I intended this as a revisit to a light entertainment from the end of February, and it still is. But BREXIT did more than change sequence; it also made this story – intended to be funny because it couldn’t happen – actually seem plausible.

You don’t remember? Leap Alan Hed, born on February 29, 1952, on Leap Day, the man who wouldn’t claim his age, the accidental President?

I guess I’ll have to tell you again.

Once upon a time – 1952, it was – a boy was born on Leap Day. His Dad was named Alan Hed, and he wanted to give his son the same name, but his wife had a quirky sense of humor. She told the nurse to call the boy Leap, as in Leap Alan Hed. When he was really young, his dad called him Alan and his mother called him Leap, but when he got old enough for school, his kindergarten teacher – who was a mean bastard, anyway  – called him Leap A. Hed. That brought about a sudden parent conference and after that the dad got his way, and the boy tried to forget that his first name was Leap.

People wouldn’t let him forget, and finally he gave in and refused to answer to a Alan any more. He went further. He decided that if he was going to be the boy with all those nicknames:

Leap Boy
Leap Frog
Leap for Cover
Leap Forward
Leap Back
. . . and of course, still, interminably, Leap Ahead . . .

If he was going to have to put up with all those stupid names, he was going to go all the way. I refused to celebrate his birthday on the twenty-eighth of February or the first of March. He only celebrated it on February twenty-ninth.

Worse, he counted his age by birthdays. When he was sixteen, he started putting his age down as four. He spent a lot of time talking to the principal about that, but they finally got tired of the whole business. You might say he out-stubborned them.

He couldn’t out-stubborn the draft board. When they said he was eighteen and he said he was four, they didn’t buy it. He claimed discrimination under the Civil Rights Act. He might have made it all the way to the Supreme Court, but when the 1969 draft lottery was held, February twenty-ninth drew number 285, so the draft board dropped the case.

After that his life calmed down. He never married (he claimed he was too young) and the IRS was indulgent. They figured he would regret his claims when he wasn’t eligible for Social Security until he was 260 years old.

Unfortunately for Leap – or Leap Boy, as the media started calling him – some joker heard about his claims and put him up for President in 2016. It caught fire. Saturday Night Live had a field day with the notion. Blogs sprang up all over the country in his name. The Leap Boy Theme Song (set to the tune of the old cowboy song Take Me Back to Texas, I’m Too Young to Marry) had eight million plays on U-tube.

Donald Trump denounced him. He said that if Leap claimed to be sixteen years old, that made him ineligible to be President.

Unfortunately some jokes get out of hand. On November eighth, after a massive write-in campaign by people who surely didn’t really expect to succeed, Leap Alan Hed was voted in as the forty-fifth president of the United States.

Oh, well. Could he be any worse?

I guess we’ll never know. At last report, he has fled to Canada, where he is seeking asylum under an assumed name.

When word got out, the Canadians didn’t want any part of the controversy. They refused to grant him asylum, and they refused to let him legally change his name.

It is said that anyone who wants to be President is automatically disqualified by reason of insanity. Maybe; if so Leap was the sanest man in America, because he really didn’t want it. He considered trying for asylum in another country. He thought about Switzerland, but he gets a nosebleed in an elevator. He thought about Russia, but the last thing he needed was to be caught up in that tug-of-war. He considered Great Britain, but he has been living in California and the thought of all that rain . . . (Late note: he didn’t think of BREXIT because that hadn’t happened when I wrote this.)

He decided to just disappear, and he did. I don’t know where he went; he didn’t tell me. Geraldo claimed to know, but that turned out to be a bluff. Somebody said they saw him heading north, following a compass, but everybody knows you can’t walk to the North Pole now that the ice caps have melted. Probably looking for a Fortress of Solitude, and you can’t blame him.

All those people who voted for Leap are now wringing their hands and wondering what is going to happen next. Every one of them thought they were the only one who would write him in. They never thought he would win. They never thought he would run to Canada like a modern day Draft Dodger. Which, essentially, is what he is — drafted to be President, and scared out of his wits.

Hillary has been very quiet about it all. She hopes to win in the House if they can find Leap, and if he resigns. But it’s problematical. There are only fourteen Democrats and eleven Republicans in the new Congress. Aside from a few Libs and Greenies, the rest are all newly elected Independents, sent by a disgusted America. Bernie is smiling.

Donald claims he will still win, and when he does, he plans to invade Canada.


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