Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thing 304 Meet Senator Norris

Sure he's a Senator now, but I'm thinking this guy is likely to be President at some point real soon. When that happens I'll be pretending that this photo was taken after he got the job. Then I'll frame it and leave it lying casually about the house for when guests call over. Then when they see it I'll be all like "oh yeah, me and the President are great buddies..." I'm a liar like that.

If you've been reading this since the very start (fair play, how'd you manage to stick it?), then you'll already know that this guy is a hero of mine. I wrote him a fan mail as Thing 5 or 6. He wrote back too. It's not just his pleasant demeanour and glorious beard, though they are big plusses in his favour, it's also what he's done.

This guy took on the institution, and beat it, back when it was massively unpopular to do so. He set up the Foreign Affairs committee all on his own. He's a Senator, and a seriously smart operator. Then there's something else about him too, something I can't quite put my finger on. What ever it is, call it charisma for now, but it makes him admirable as well as likable.

He was down here in Limmers for a trip to the Brothers of Charity in Bawnmore, and to meet with people who seem to think that he'll make a good President. There's quite a gang of us actually. So we got to meet up with him, and then grill him.

And I mean grill him. He was asking people to take their best shot at him in terms of assessing him and the way he is. No questions out of bounds, and no topic off limits. And all this while we had a cup of tea. Man can that guy talk...

As Dr Frasier put it: "He'd talk for Ireland..." Can't you just see that on a campaign poster?

We just sat there in the hotel lobby, in a big gang, asking questions and talking politics. I felt kind of fancy actually. All we were missing were some brandy glasses and a handful of pipes... slippers and quilted dressing gowns are optional. This isn't normally like me. I'm about as fancy as the newspaper they use to wrap fish and chips, so in that regard it really was an unusual experience.

That's not to say I don't like talking about politics, I just prefer to do it from a barstool, where I'm perpetually correct. Then again, so is everyone else at the bar...

Anyway, they say you shouldn't meet your heroes, and I'm normally inclined to agree. We've a bad habit of putting people up on pedestals that's unhealthy, for us and them, because ultimately people are just people, and from time to time, they'll let you down badly. Thankfully this man didn't. He's pretty much the same in real life as you've heard on the radio or seen on the TV. Chatty and a bit of fun, with a sharp edge to him that you'd miss if you weren't looking...

Oh blast... I'm gushing again. Sorry. Has to be said though: nice day out.


  1. He is quite the Orator indeed... did he tell you his story about getting invited to Saddam Hussein's birthday party? I had an encounter with him similar to yours and that was my favourite story that he told. NORRIS FOR PRESIDENT!

    Have been reading this blog since the beginning by the way, wondering what I will read in the morning before work when it finishes... :-(

    - Bró

  2. Sure would be a shame...