[cue trumpet fanfare]
Yes, my friends, it appears that my father has been secretly hanging with the Washington elite. And they're Democrats. (Dad likes to keep me guessing, given his tendency to bash George Bush, Dick Cheney, and President Obama within the span of 10 minutes.)
But, thankfully, I'm not here to discuss politics. No, instead, I would like to share with you an encapsulated version of a conversation I had with Mom over the weekend during our drive over to the grocery store. I was going to write this post the other day but realized I needed to do some fact checking before I put anything down in black and white.
The exchange went something like this:
Mom: Not to change the subject [oh, yes, you are], do you know anything about Rahm Emanuel?
Me: Um, you mean the White House Chief of Staff? [wait, is he the Press Secretary? no, wait, I think I was right the first time]
Mom: Yes. Did you know he used to work for Dupont [where my father was employed as a research chemist for 34 years before he retired]?
Me: Hmm. I knew he was a Congressman, and I thought he was one of Bill Clinton’s campaign advisors or something. I don’t know much about his background or how he started his career. [I’m amazed that I know this much, or, should I say, can BS this well.]
Mom: Well, you know the fish story?
[Where the heck is this conversation going?]
Me: Uh, no. There’s a fish story?
Mom: Sean - oh, what’s his name? - do you watch him? He’s on at 9.
[Oh crap, I hate when she asks me to remember the Fox News primetime lineup.]
Me: Mmm, not sure.
Mom: Ooh, darn it, what’s his name? He comes on before Greta.
Me: [Wait, it’s coming to me.] Sean Hannity? [I scare myself sometimes.]
Mom: Yes, yes. I heard it on his show.
Me: Heard what, the fish story?
Mom: Yes, do you know that one? Where Rahm Emanuel threw a fish?
[Actually, Mom, I don’t have a freakin’ clue what you’re talking about at all.]
Me: No, somehow I haven’t heard that one. He threw a fish? You mean into a lake or something? Or was this a joke?
Mom: Oh no, no. He threw a fish at somebody.
[Given my parents’ inconsistent political leanings, I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing.]
Me: Oh, I hadn’t heard that one. Was that in the news yesterday? [did a health care town hall go horribly awry and I hadn’t heard about it?]
Mom: No, no. This was - well, Sean was talking about it, and your father got SO ANGRY.
[At Hannity or Rahm Emanuel? And what does Dupont have to do with anything? I swear to you, I need a scorecard sometimes]
Me: Angry at what?
Mom: Oh, the way he was talking! [you are not helping me any] And then he said that Rahm Emanuel is very smart and was very influential when he worked at Dupont.
Mom: Do you know, did he work at Dupont?
Me: Rahm Emanuel? I’m 99% sure he didn’t, but I guess anything is possible.
Mom: Oh, see, I wasn’t sure. Your father said he was a chemist and then he became a VP.
Me: While Dad worked there. [All righty then.]
Mom: Yes, while he worked there.
Me: Rahm Emanuel isn’t that old. He’s what, late 40s, early 50s? Dad retired over 15 years ago. I don’t see how Rahm Emanuel could have been a VP at Dupont before the age of 35 and I didn’t know about it. You know I worked there too, and I don’t remember ever seeing his name on any memos. [See, I can play this game, too.]
Mom: Well, that’s what your father said. [please tell me you’re not believing him] And he said we had him over for dinner.
[WHAT THE ----?!!]
Me: We had him over for dinner?! Rahm Emanuel? We didn’t have anyone over for dinner.
Mom: Yes, we had him over for dinner. I tried to tell him we never had him over for dinner, but he swore that he and his wife came over when we lived in Graylyn Crest. [You lived in Graylyn Crest in the early 60s. If you had the Vice President of Dupont Chemicals and his wife over for dinner at your humble split level, and his name was Rahm Emanuel, and he was three years old at the time - clearly a child prodigy - I can’t believe I haven’t heard this story before now.].
Me: Mom, I know I wasn’t alive at the time, but think I can pretty safely say that didn’t happen.
Mom: You see, your father gets so mad when I try to tell him anything different. I tried to tell him we didn’t have him over for dinner, but he was so insistent. Do you think maybe he really did work at Dupont?
Me: I don’t think so, but I can look it up and see what I find. I’ll get back to you on that.
So, this is what I learned after a little research. Rahm Emanuel was born in Chicago in 1959. As a child, he was attending a Jewish day school and taking ballet lessons (not helping to run an international corporation). While attending high school in mid 70s, he worked for Arby’s (not Dupont). He began his career in political fundraising (not chemical engineering) in the early 80s. He went on to become an investment banker (not a research chemist) and later a Congressman. But perhaps most importantly, he reportedly "mailed a rotten fish to a former coworker after the two parted ways."
Well, I’m glad we cleared that up.