An English In Kentucky


















Wednesday July 3rd 2019Tim Candler9


     When your gardener first arrived in the USA, he worked as a jobbing gardener in Washington DC. My employer, though I'd hardly call him an employer, he rarely paid me, physically he was extraordinary idle, couldn't manage much more than a couple of hours a day, an hour before lunch and an hour after lunch, so most of the day was driving the fifty odd miles to DC and try to begin the trip home before the rush hour. He had a few regular customers, we'd stare at garden stuff, the rest of the time was really spent driving around the city. He'd worked for the Dukakis Campaign, referred to Dukakis as the Duke, and when things fell apart he worked briefly for the DNC before something mysterious happened and he had to look around for new work. I once gave him an opinion on my impression of Washington DC. I told him the Capital of the United States looked like a peaceful provincial town with an underfunded and wholly inadequate road system that had devoted itself to harmless pursuits, and I added that I thought this rather wonderfully refreshing in the Capital City of a military power.



    But I guess it's what you know about Washington DC that defines it for you. My employers reaction was a tad sneering, he went on a bit about the underhandedness of it all, and how it all depended upon who you knew, had nothing whatsoever to do with ability, and before lunch he drove his van to the White House. And I kind of suspected that one of his broken dreams was the failure of the Dukakis Campaign, which had it succeeded might have resulted in a job for him in the White House. If you haven't seen the White House from the street, it looks tiny, like a big doll house for Ken and Barbie. My employer however told me it had been built by slaves on a swamp, and it was currently occupied by a B rate senile movie actor, and for some reason he went on about Chimpanzees in a manner that was less than admiring. It's true all this was a good thirty years ago, so things might have changed, but the idea of tanks parading in Washington DC is a little hard to comprehend. There's no Red Square there, there's no purpose built victory boulevard, a Champs-Elyesees, which is over a mile long 230 foot wide and all of it tree lined hardtop to parade along, can't imagine where a marshalling yard might be in DC, a dozen or so tanks in single file, much more than that and you need years of practice. The whole thing could be a little Dear Leader embarrassing, but you never know.  


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