By Michael Willard
A rather embarrassing development has occurred. It was brought to my attention that while I am a coffee tete-a-tete liberal none of my alter egos are of color or, for that matter, of the sugar, spice and all things nice variety.
This, even though some of my most influential confidants holding top executive positions over the years in my companies have been female. The fact is I have been active in civil rights since the 1960s.
It’s ancient history, but I was unceremoniously asked to leave a private university for protesting an all-white policy, and much later, downed Coca-Colas on my live-aboard boat with Martin King III, the son of the late Dr. King.
I have my garden variety prejudices, but none have to do with color, sexual identity or religion. I believe you have to favor inclusion to really be a red, white, and blue American.
My son Rob is black or bi-racial, as are two grandkids. This, I realize is a gratuitous comment as I chase my penultimate point into a black hole. However, I have a button-busting pride in that family and shout when I can.
But the discrepancy between what is and what should be was brought to my attention by the most chatterbox of my ghostly friends, the Spaniard Pablo Pistachio. Pablo, you possibly remember, was a colorful character in an earlier novel, “Killing Friends”.
In an effort to rectify this — and despite the recent bellicosity of our current accidental and temporary President — I am issuing a blanket announcement for alter ego auditions for folks of color and ladies in general.
If some version of actress Helen Mirren would appear or a facsimile of actor Morgan Freeman materialize, I wouldn’t be disappointed and would welcome their sage advice as I have often admired them on the silver screen.
The fact that they both are thespians isn’t relevant. Besides, as Billy Shakespeare might say, “Aren’t we all, and the world is our stage.”
I also should hasten to add that its not a difficult job. I am putty in the hands of my alter egos. A general meeting of the group is more like a tag team match at Georgia Championship Wrestling. Forget Robert’s Rules of Order. It’s mayhem.
However, I realize such a quest is far-fetched, and the most likely suitors for my open positions would be of the same lowered economic and social class as my current flock: One of whom, Harvey Strange, was a pimp, a second, Rigor-Mortis Motlow, is long-time dead and a third, Pug Sage, rattlesnake obnoxious.
Don’t hold the pimp’s vocation against Harvey. He’s long retired from the pimping trade and has been in my service for the last two decades full-time, which is not to say he is gainfully employed. The fellow does have sticking power.
It is without a doubt, since the President holds up in a White House bunker when feeling threatened, that he would much prefer my sidekicks be vanilla-ish and, preferably tobacco-spitting guys in combat boots with big guns.
That’s simply not me. I am, admittedly and unabashedly, what those to the right of good sense call snowflakes and hold up to ridicule.
If over the years you have read anything I have written, you are quite aware of my political proclivities, and that at 18-years I had a Saul on the Road to Damascus, burning bush, light-blinding, kind of incarnation.
It is who I am and have been.
However, in holding alter ego tryouts, I keep an open mind. Frankly, I have no idea of the political persuasion, religion or sexual inclinations of my alter ego tribe.
I only ask that they be semi-sober at least some of the time and that they give lip-service allegiance to my Florida Gators and my West Virginia Mountaineers during football season, which, I admit, is taxing on the psychic.
While I would hope none are Republicans, that wouldn’t be a show-stopper. There is always a chance they, too, could have an epiphany like I did, though perhaps without that burning bush stuff.
The application process is now open.