Yes, I seriously considered running for mayor of Waterville. Not that I’m crazy about the job, but if I ever wanted to be governor, that seems like the necessary first step.

I like Waterville, but I like Falmouth, Freeport and Camden, too. OK, I’m partial to the south and the coast, but that’s beside the point.

I live in Waterville, and it’s a nice town, but I have serious problems with it and the most serious would be the streets. Small cars and children have been known to vanish in the pot holes of this city’s streets.

If I were mayor, I would make them my raison d’être. That’s French for “the only reason I’m mayor.”

So I considered it. I thought maybe I could run on the tea party ticket. There are a lot of those out there, and I don’t think they have a hot candidate.

They’re so serious. There isn’t a comic in the bunch. America needs laughter. I don’t much like the tea party. I don’t like broccoli either, but I eat it. I don’t like super-dark chocolate, but I eat it because of the flavonoids. I’m not sure what flavonoids, are but I hear they’re important.

Then it hit me. I can’t find my birth certificate. This is serious. This is 2011. We all know by now that if President Barack Obama showed the copy of his birth certificate, all the tea party folks would vote for him.

So If I’m going to get their votes, I’m going to need my birth certificate. I don’t want birthers swarming around my campaign demanding proof that I was born in America.

This is the problem. I had two of them. The first one was from St. Louis City Hall. My Irish immigrant cousin, Rosie Chambers, was sent by my father down to city hall to record my birth.

Rosie had lost the slip of paper with my name so it, so she just said, “I think it’s Jerry.” So, forever and ever in black and white, it became Gerald Joseph Devine.

Rosie made up the middle name on the spot. This is a true story. I know, because my Uncle Pat told it at every Christmas party for years, even when he was sober.

My mother, of course, was horrified and banned Rosie from the house. That wasn’t the name she wanted. Sister Amilda, a friend of the family from the convent across the street, said “Don’t worry, the only true name will be the one you give him when Father Keating baptizes him.” That’s a true story.

So when they doused my head with holy water, the good father intoned, “Jeremiah Padraic, do you renounce Satan and all his works?” My brother Jug said that I actually smiled for the first time. My mother made the sign of the cross in fear, but Aunt Mamie said it wasn’t a smile, it was only gas. I didn’t find any of this out until She, who renounced Satan and all his works in French, and I got married. True story.

I digress. I can’t find either of these documents, and this birther movement has me worried. This could bring me down and crash my political career.

Rosie is long dead as is everyone who was there that hot September day. I guess I can write city hall in St. Louis and the church where I was baptized, but the election thing is getting close and just in case I really do want to run, I have to hurry.

OK, this breaking news just in. She, who thinks she’s funny, just handed me both documents. She was hiding them just in case it wasn’t the wine that made me talk about running, and that I might be serious. OMG. Am I really that old?

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.


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