Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Kinky Friedman thinks I'm somebody

Kinky Friedman thinks I’m somebody.

He said so, and on national TV, to boot.**

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**Some sort of proviso – or qualification, I suppose is the word – is in order here, probably. He did say it, in a way, and so far as “national TV” is concerned, it was on MSNBC, which is like national TV.

Still, the story is one my very favorite stories to tell. I tell it at parties sometimes.

I don’t go to a lot of parties.

My proviso-slash-qualification-slash-dinner-party-story is like this:

2006 was the year I ran for Texas Governor. I mean it. I filed papers. I was nominated by a political party. All of that.***

But there were other parties that insisted on nominating candidates, too, for instance the Republican Party, which ran Rick Perry. What’s more, the Democratic Party had a candidate, as did the Libertarian Party, and there were two un-partied independent candidates: Carol Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman, and he’s the one who thinks I’m somebody.

Kinky Friedman was a singer-slash-comedian-slash-writer-slash-friend-of-Willie-Nelson.

I feel I’m overdoing it with the slashes now.

Suffice it to say that here in Texas, Kinky Friedman was a bona fide celebrity and back when he ran for governor, he was on cable news shows practically all of the time.

On the night in question – that is, on the night when I became somebody – I was sitting on my couch with my girlfriend when she said, “Look! Kinky!” Such a thing had never before been said on my couch, I can tell you that, but she was right. Kinky Friedman was on the TV.

Again.

The host of the show – God knows who it was now – said, “Who is running against you, Kinky?”

Kinky Friedman, who wore a black cowboy hat and smoked an impossibly big cigar, listed the same cast of characters I just listed, only at the end, he added, “And then you’ve got your Green Party, and they’re running… somebody.”

And that was me.

Kinky Friedman thinks I’m somebody, even if many of you still do not.

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 ***Tragically, despite having the finest of gubernatorial candidates on its roster, my political party failed in its attempts to get onto the Texas ballot that year. My campaign was suspended in June.

43 comments:

  1. That's why I see no Green Party on the Texas Gubernatorial Election 2006 roster. Or you.

    What, you think everyone won't rush to check?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not even sure it's discussed in the Texas Green Party site archives anymore.

      They had a full slate signed up to run that year, but as I said, we didn't make the ballot.

      Ballot access would have required getting 45,000 signatures in a 75-day petition drive. We failed miserably in 2004, 2006, and 2008. Then the Republicans paid our way back onto the ballot in 2010.

      For a brief moment in time, though, I was their candidate for governor.

      I'll write more about it.

      Delete
    2. Okay, I'm thoroughly confused. I'd like to chat with you about it when you have the time. It's pretty easy to confuse me these days. I knew you were planning on running for a position, but I didn't know what position. It makes sense that you were going to run as a Green Party candidate.

      Delete
    3. Ten years ago, i ran, but the party didn't end up getting on the ballot that year.

      Next year, I might run for something again. Maybe Texas Supreme Court, since it is difficult for minor parties to find candidates eligible to run for those positions (you need to have been licensed as an attorney in Texas for at least 10 years).

      If you're feeling up to it next year, you should run for Congress or something. It's fun.

      Delete
  2. I do remember Kinky Friedman. My niece told me about him early on. At least he recognized you... sort of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I own one of his novels and it was a fun read. Some of his old Texas Monthly articles were good.

      And that's the extent of my opinion on Kinky Friedman.

      Delete
  3. Okay well at least we know Harry is straight, or trying to be anyway.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. But you're the one who taught Nasreen not to make limiting assumptions!

      Delete
    2. Ah but that was Nasreen I was talking to, now I don't know who the hell you are, and never did, and never will I've decided to create my own Harry.

      Delete
    3. Someday soon, I might be as be as comfortable plastering my pictures all over the internet as poor Nasreen was.

      I'm sure I'll come across as being more real, should that day arrive!

      Delete
    4. Nazy sure was cute, but then they all are at that age.

      Delete
    5. I can post more pictures of cute young women, but I'm just not going to writing from their perspective for the foreseeable future.

      Well, not today, anyway.

      Delete
  4. Craze superb .i always knew u r quite a famous person.its sad u have not competed atlast.if u had been governor texas would have grown well.politics needs visionaries like u.ha ha its quite a tough task to imagine u as a man hmm but its ok.only god knows the real u

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To tell you how un-famous I am...

      Around the time of the 2006 campaign, there was a wikipedia entry on me. I don't know where it came from or how it came to be.

      A few months later, it was taken down and in its place, there was a box that said, "This topic has been removed because it is not significant" (or something like that).

      Talk about 15 minutes of fame!

      Delete
    2. You got a Wikipedia article even for a while? You lucky beast. Mine was rejected.

      Delete
  5. Being "somebody" in Kinky Friedman's world is an honor. Kinky and I helped write a book several years ago (along with our old pal Willie Nelson and slew of others)... It was technically a book by Tanya Tucker called "100 Ways to Beat the Blues", but Tanya didn't write a whole hellova lot for the book. Instead, she had a publicist call around and recruit celebrities to write little essays to use as filler. When they ran out of celebrities (like the "somebody" from the Green Party in Austin) they called me. My little essay is between Gayle Sayers' and Willie's. I didn't get a cut of the profits. In fact, I had to buy my copy of the book from the discount rack at Barnes and Nobel, where it landed almost upon its release. I'm pretty sure my essay did us in. Sigh...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did a search on it. You're right up at the front of the book with GW Bush!

      I think that's kind of cool even if it didn't result in fame and riches.

      Delete
    2. Robert Timmerman, nice to meet you.

      Delete
  6. Great story! And bravo for fully exploring the criminally underused short story structure of footnotes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, well, yes. I told the story in the first two lines, and since the rest of it was a let-down from my initial statement, I figured it could be relegated to a footnote that dwarfed the story itself.

      I'm always thinking.

      Delete
  7. I know you haven't officially asked, but when you make your next run for governor, I would be honored to serve as your vice governor. I may not know anything about US government, but I've blocked off the entire rest of the afternoon to watch some Schoolhouse Rock on YouTube. That's how committed I am to this campaign.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you watch Schoolhouse Rock, you might be overqualified to run for office. We're electing people with no knowledge of how the system works now.

      Still, if you'll wear that "I'm just a bill / Sitting here on Capitol Hill" outfit from the cartoon, you're in.

      Delete
    2. Count me in. I can make that in an afternoon.

      I think it'll be great to unite Colorado with Texas and simultaneously bring all the fun back to the Green Party with my state-proven platform of legal weed.

      "I'll bring the Green, you bring the Party!"

      Delete
    3. Hey now, Texas has legal pot.

      Actually, it has legal marijuana syrup for people with one type of epilepsy.

      But you know what they say: Marijuana syrup to treat epilepsy is a gateway to heroin.

      Delete
  8. "with my girlfriend when she said,“Look! Kinky!”" - funny. I remember Kinky being covered in the national news back then.
    Hey on the subject of politics and campaigning. What's your opinion (without using vulgarities) of Trump starting his 2020 campaign now in 2017? I think he is desperate for positive attention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems like those rallies are his favorite thing to do - like a musician playing live. I suspect he'll find excuses to keep doing them for the duration.

      Delete
  9. Jerry Larson
    Praise Allah
    And whatever you say lady

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mr. Myass: I've always thought there was a certain amunt of irony about an anonymous commenter getting riled up about whether someone else is using their real name.

      I'm satisfied with the form this blog is taking. It's going to be a fun ride.

      Delete
  10. I like Kinky. I liked Kinky and the Texas Jewboys, and my favorite songs were "They ain't making Jews like Jesus anymore" and "I just don't look good naked anymore". I liked "Elvis, Jesus, anc Coca Cola", and I liked Greenwich Killing Time, and the Love Song of J Edgar hoover. I don't expect that I'd dislike Kinky in person, but I do suspect he's a handful.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. He's got this story he tells about crashing a party at the governor's mansion back when Bush was governor. There was a table with name tags on it, he put on Larry McMurtry's name tag, and no one else knew what McMurtry looked like so he was able to pass.

      Turns out Bush himself was the only person who figured out what he'd done.

      Some people are just bigger than life.

      Delete
  11. One can never have enough slashes (or ellipses, in any case).

    Love the structure of this tale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Megaly. This isn't a favorite of mine. I always try to have a drop of something magical or stranmge in every post, and this alcks that.

      However, I felt it was more important to introduce who I am this time out than to play the alien.

      We'll see.

      Delete
  12. I am proud of you for doing what you are doing. Can't be easy but there will be a payoff!

    ReplyDelete
  13. My friend Jack used to occasionally cover "Waitress" when he played in bars, and it went over surprisingly well in Eureka in the early eighties.

    -Doug in Oakland

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't actually know any of his music at all, but a review of the comments to this post reveal that a lot more people know a lot more about Kinky than I would have ever believed!

      Delete
  14. This is so interesting! I can't wait to hear more Harry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm having a tough time starting this blog. It's going slowly. But it will pick up soon.

      Delete
  15. I love Kinky Friedman's book! In fact I'm going to Amazon and order a couple of more, his humor will come in handy given the insanity of the current era.

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    1. I have a novel he wrote called "Kill Two Birds and Get Stoned" which, although it's been a decade since I wrote it, I remember as being great fun.

      Delete
  16. SOmebody is good, I've been a nobody for a long time.

    ReplyDelete