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Plenn D'Mairde
by Eric Miller

As a bartender, I get to see all kinds of difficult people who drive you nuts. Plenn D’Mairde is a perfect example.

I try to avoid people like Plenn, but when you’re the bartender at the bar at which he sits day in and day out, it’s a pretty tough thing to do. Let me be blunt, right up front. The guy definitely lives up to his French name, but in case your tongue can’t can can with French words, allow me to explain, but I’d prefer to be socially appropriate. So let’s just say that his name connotes that he is constipationally full.

What drives me, and pretty much everyone else, crazy is that Plenn has illusions that he is the smartest guy around. He thinks that he can parlay his intelligence into being the best interviewer on television. Now the problem with this is that he isn't that smart; moreover, he is a terrible interviewer.

“I need an idea for an interview,” he said in his singular style of pomposity, one day while sipping a non-alcoholic light beer. “Any ideas for a topic and guest?”

“Geez, Plenn, all you’ve got to do is read the front page of the local newspaper every day,” I advised for the umpteenth time.

“Yeah, yeah, but you’re so on top of what’s going on. You hear the pulse beat of the community right here, all the time.”

“Well, there’s a lot of wheeling and dealing going on about gerrymandering our Congressional District. Why don’t you interview the Commissioners of the Board of Elections?”

"What do you mean by gerrymandering?"

"You know, changing the boundaries of our district to help the incumbents cluster residents from their party within the new boundaries."

"Why would they do that?"

"Duh?, to win, of course."

"Win what?"

"Jesus, Plenn; to win re-election, that's what."

"Well, why would that jury rigging make them win?"

"No, Plenn, it's not jury rigging; it's gerrymandering."

"I still don’t get the difference."

“Actually, Plenn, that’s the most astute thing I’ve ever heard you say. There is a degree of similarity between the two.”

“Well, aren’t you going to tell me what they are?”

“No, you can just ask your guests to comment on the similarity of the two acts.”

“I have an idea, Plenn,” Wally Malloy interjected. “Why don’t you invite my son-in-law to the show with the Election Commissioners. He’s a demographer who could add a little more dimension to the discussion.”

“I don’t want a megalomaniac on my show. If your son-in-law’s a demographer, then he must be a megalomaniac.”

“No, Plenn, if he was a demogogue, then he would be a megalomaniac,” I interjected.

"Don't try to semantically split hairs with me.” If you want to use a euphemism for demagogue, so be it, but no matter how nicely you try to frame demography, it is still demagoguery."

“Well not quite, but constipationally full is a good example of a euphemism,” I noted, trying to hold back my laughter.