The Basement Files

Trio of candidates with their own very specific skills


Let’s all forget that the Vikings are currently destroying the Packers in the NFL North Division standings at the moment, and take a look at the presidential issue gripping the nation: The fate of Big Bird.

I never really liked that bird really It always seemed like kind of a “know-it-all” to me, but I did grow up watching and really enjoying “Sesame Street” as a kid, way back in the 1980s. I never missed a show, and to this day I still sing the “rubber-ducky” song while I’m getting cleaned up in the morning. He really does make bath time lots of fun.

But as I said, I never was a fan of the bird. I was more of a Count Von Count fan (voiced by Jerry Nelson until his death in August, may his soul rest in peace,) and the Cookie Monster. That guy had an opinion I could get behind, and, while we are on the subject of the presidency, does have a striking resemblance to one William Howard Taft.

This got me thinking, and as we all know, that’s never a good idea. But with all this talk of Big Bird, I started to wonder which other fictional characters from my youth would not make good political fodder, but make a good president, or at least a reasonable candidate. So, after many long minutes of research, and many hours of watching classic TV and playing classic video games, these are my finalists.


Conrad S. Hauser

A lad born in St. Louis, he grew up fast and bold. Shortly after his 18th birthday, he joined the military and graduated top of his class at Fort Benning, Ga. As well as being rated as “exceptional” at nearly all forms of armed and unarmed combat, Hauser was also fluent in several languages, which would come in handy in any sort of negotiation.

As a soldier, Hauser felt that he must lead from the field with his men, which caused him a little bit of trouble and held him back in the “traditional” forces, but he really found his stride helping to form the special-ops team “G.I. JOE,” where he would take the code name “Duke,” and fight against the worldwide terrorist organization C.O.B.R.A. Combat experience, leadership experience, and charisma, “Duke” would make an excellent candidate.

Mario Mario

Yes, Mario, the eldest of the Mario brothers (which would make his name “Mario Mario,” if any of you remember that terrible 1990s movie) is another great choice, in my mind at least. He’s an everyman who worked his way up from being in construction in the 80s (and dealing with a nasty ape) to becoming Brooklyn’s premier plumber along with his brother, Luigi Mario. He knows exactly what the middle class is going through, and when times get tough, he’s not afraid to collect a few coins, jump on a few heads and fight a gigantic, princess-kidnapping dog-lizard known as Bowser, King of the Koopas. He can get the job done, he’s been doing it for almost 30 years, and he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty.


Orion Pax

OK, so this one isn’t human and Michael Bay has done his best to ruin him. But remember, we’re talking about the 80s here, so let’s forget about those live-action monstrosities. While Orion is similar to Duke, he does have a few distinct advantages. Orion is patient, and willing to help the downtrodden and those down on their luck before doing things for himself. He was also very “Washington-esque” as he is a reluctant leader. He might not have wanted to lead, but when duty called and the Decepticons took over his homeland of Cybertron, he knew what had to be done. He took that Matrix of Leadership and became Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, quite possibly the greatest leader the galaxy has ever known.

But in order for him to get elected we would have to change election laws to allow foreign born (or in this case, “constructed”) aliens to run for office. It could make for an interesting couple of debates if he ran against “The Terminator.”


            Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.