Here's Johnny - No excuses for bad behavior
The following note will be sent to The Hatchling (aka my daughter) as soon as I've checked it for grammar, meaning and susceptibility to lawsuits. Dear Anna, No doubt you're aware of the 2005 utterings of a certain presidential candidate claiming you can get away with groping strangers if you're a star. As you go to school in Manhattan, all too near where this presidential candidate is headquartered, I need to let you know - though I expect you already do - that it's never okay to grope strangers. I never have, though I'm pretty sure I pulled a pigtail circa kindergarten. Years later, when I was a television anchor and reporter and thus some sort of local star, I continued my non-groping policy. Indeed, to this day, I've never done such a thing, and can say with certainty that I never will. Remember our Beer and Boys talk? The one where I pointed out that boys - and girls - are more likely to do foolish things after a few beers? Well, think of this note as a sequel of sorts. Most men aren't pigs, Anna. We may engage in a bit of "locker room talk" from time to time - as I've been told women do - but we don't grab women we don't know. As for the locker room talk excuse spread by the candidate in question and some of the declining number of supporters of this presidential candidate, well, that's garbage. What he spoke of was something else entirely: sexual assault. During Monday's debate, he denied having engaged in the conduct he bragged of. I don't know what happened. I do know that if anyone ever touches you without permission, you should report them to the authorities. Unfortunately, doing so isn't always easy. Sometimes, gropers are people in a position to make life difficult for victims who report their bad behavior. They may be teachers, or supervisors, or even a rich and powerful star. I'll make you a deal: I'll promise not to do something that will land me in jail for years if you'll promise to tell me if someone tries to take advantage of you. (I won't rule out a short stint for a punch or two on the beezer, though. I think most judges would be merciful in such a case, and would probably allow me to continue writing Here's Johnny for the few weeks I'd be in the hoosegow.) In August, in the weekly column I write for The Woodford Sun, I called the man who bragged about groping women a bully and a braggart. Some Dear Readers may have assumed that I was just a member of the Liberal Media so many members of the Groper's party blame whenever they read a story they don't like. Not so - I've voted for folks from both political parties. One year, dissatisfied with my choices, I even voted for myself for president. As you may have noticed, it wasn't enough to put me over the top. Point is - and I do have one - this can be a mean ol' world. Some of the most blessed persons in the world will behave as if they don't know the difference between right and wrong, and when they get caught doing the latter, blame their victims or the media or anyone but themselves. Your mother and I aren't perfect parents (though she's pretty darn close), but I think we taught you not to be a bully or braggart or to blame others when you make mistakes. Maybe after you hang up your dancing shoes one day, you'll do something mad like run for political office. If so, you might just win, because you're smart and brave and honest and perhaps by then, that's what voters will look for in a candidate. What you won't do is behave like the person who came all too close to becoming president in 2016. Love, Dad P.S. No beers or boys! P.P.S. Okay, boys, maybe - but no beer!