If you are new to Leap’s plight, you can catch up at 178. Leap Boy, back in the news, 192. Billy Joe Takes a Leap, 200. The Last Sane Man and 203. Leap on the Bandwagon.
Leap Alan Hed is on the run, not from any crime, not from angry criminals, but from the insatiable news media. When Billy Joe Barker proposed him as a write-in candidate for President, they descended on his house and he fled. Now a couple of weeks have passed.
He went north at first, toward the Canadian border, but he couldn’t find a way to pass over without being spotted. He turned south-west and tried to lose himself in the Rockies, but things have changed there, too. Where every cirque and valley used to be filled with old-time prospectors, broken down cowboys, and overly hopeful hippies, now every mountaintop is capped by a mansion with a movie star living inside.
I’m not sure where he went after that. He didn’t confide much to me, and after the paranoia set in, I don’t know how much of what he said was true. Being on the run will do that to you.
The media was hot on his trail and they have almost infinite resources. They would have found him in no time if they had cooperated. Instead, they guarded their sources, set misinformational rumor afoot, and generally got in each other’s way.
Leap stayed one step ahead of them, but it wasn’t a life worth living. He finally decided to give an interview to satisfy the world’s curiosity, and get everyone off his back. Poor fool. Giving one interview was like the old story of the man who reached for a bucket of water to put out a fire, and found out too late that it was gasoline. But Leap was an innocent, and innocents are doomed.
He wrote a letter to G. at —BC news, proposed a time and place. They met in the home of a distant relative (who was himself harassed for the next three weeks).
G. spoke to the camera, briefly outlining events to date, then asked, “Why did you run and why have you agreed to this interview?”
Leap described the siege of Dannebrog, and some of the things that had happened since, then said, “I’m hoping that telling my story will convince the American people that I am not someone they want to write in for President, and that I can just go home and get my life back. That would be a miracle.”
G.: “I’m not sure that is a miracle we can provide, but go ahead, tell us why you think Americans have become so fascinated by your candidacy.”
Leap: “I’m not a candidate. I’m not running for President. I’m running from President.”
Foolish Leap. He still didn’t understand the phenomenon he had become. Those three words – Running From President – which his farmer friend had said in Grand Island, became the stuff of a thousand headlines and a million tweets.
G.: “Why do you think America has embraced your non-candidacy, then?”
Leap: “Look at the alternatives. We have three hundred million people in America, and this is the best we can put up for President? There must be a thousand Democrats that would make a better president than Hillary, and a hundred thousand Republicans who would make a better president than Trump. But I am not one of them.” The interview continues tomorrow.